Archive for the ‘Friday Fotos’ Category

Friday Fotos: Preparations on a Saturday Afternoon

In Baking, Friday Fotos on December 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I’ve been getting a lot of mileage out of the latest addition to our home library’s cookbook shelf. Since purchasing Jim Lahey’s My Bread two weeks ago, at least half a dozen no-knead loaves have emerged from our kitchen. The method itself is absurdly easy and nearly fool-proof — the trade-off, however, is that to follow it requires a fair amount of patience and planning. Lahey’s technique is not for those who crave instant gratification. Case in point: it requires one to let the dough rise initially for a period of 12 – 18 hours. As for me, I’ve had a lot of success at the upper end of this time range, sometimes letting the dough sit for 19 hours (that is, before letting the dough rise for the required second time). Finally, once the bread emerges from the oven, Lahey cautions that the loaf be allowed to cool entirely — in upwards of one hour — before serving up that first slice. His reasoning is that the loaf will continue to cook during this waiting period. But, the end result is more than worth it. It is literally as good as anything I’ve purchased at my favorite local bakery, WheatFields — and that is indeed a very strong endorsement.

These photos were taken this past Saturday, while preparing for some Saturday afternoon guests to arrive. On the menu was a loaf of freshly baked bread, prepared using my now-favored no-knead technique. It was served simply with apple slices, an assortment of hard and soft cheeses, and a little butter (which was kept spreadably soft in an Emile Henry butter pot, as shown in the picture above) . To drink, we shared a bottle of Redstone Meadery‘s Nectar of the Hops. Although I don’t often drink mead, I do enjoy the subtly honeyed taste of it, and am a big fan of this particular meadery.


Friday Fotos: Fiery Red Curry

In Asian, Friday Fotos, Rice, Vegan on December 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Fotos: Either the phonetic of photos, or a tribute to the Dutch spelling of the term (perhaps a remnant leftover from having accumulated a couple of years living in the Netherlands prior to moving back to the US). In either case, Fridays on Esculency will be devoted to images related to food, and the rituals surrounding its creation and consumption. Truth is, I love taking pictures of the good food experiences I’ve had — for me they always conjure what’s really going on behind the scenes. That is, a lot of delectable conversation and the simple, singular pleasure that is taken from sharing a meal and its preparation.

Red Curry

This first installment features an extremely spicy red curry that was thrown together for a quick weeknight dinner. The key ingredient, of course, was a dab of red curry paste — and the rest of the dish was improvised from there. It was served up with a side of basmati rice, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale and some airwaves, which were tuned to a college basketball game.

Red Curry Bowl (And Beer)

The food itself might have not been perfect. A stickier rice might have been a better compliment to the curry. The vegetables were nearing overdone. Some of cubes of tofu were cooked unevenly. But everything — even the game — turned out just, deliciously, right.