May 27, 2012 § 8 Comments

When I discovered the recipe for Garibaldis in a recent issue of Jamie magazine a few weeks ago, the first thing I thought when reading the name of the biscuits was how familiar the name was, even all these years since high school history class. The second fleeting reaction was how cool must it be to have a biscuit named after oneself, with a third and lasting thought of ooh currants, I love them in baked goods.

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Black sesame lace cookies

May 17, 2012 § 9 Comments

Last week I was in a bit of a baking rut, mostly like caused by over-indulgence of cookbook-buying: everything looked so appealing it seemed impossible to choose anything. Unfortunately, wallowing around flipping idly through cookbooks while poking the cats with their new toy doesn’t necessarily work with the calendar’s plans, which is to say that Mother’s Day was looming and I needed something sweet.

In the end I wound up back where I probably should’ve started, deep in the pages of Flour, my trusty baking book. The black sesame lace cookies beckoned, as I already had black sesame seeds left over from another recipe, flour and butter and sugar are always around, and fortuitously two oranges were lurking in the bottom of the produce bin.

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Preserved citrus

May 2, 2012 § 11 Comments

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a preservation/pickling kick, as evidenced by the pickled beets previous. After impatiently waiting for a few weeks while the salt and acid worked its magic, I can enjoy the fruits of my labor, preserved lemons and preserved oranges.

The preserved lemons are a classic Mediterranean/Maghrebian/Middle Eastern dish, with each region having a preferred spice mix. My version seems to be most common in Moroccan cuisine, with coriander adding a nutty warmth and slight muskiness to the bright lemons. I also poked in a dried chilli because I like spice. The lemons are great chopped finely and added to tagines and couscous dishes, and they also go well with poultry too.

As for the preserved oranges, I decided to take them in an almost Chinese direction, with a hint of Szechuan peppercorns adding a tingling spiciness, chillis for yet more added heat, and my favorite, a broken point of star anise providing a licorice undercurrent. They’re an almost-fusion experiment that turned out even more successful than I could’ve hoped. « Read the rest of this entry »

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