This is the menu that happened:
Caramelized Onions w/Grated Parmesan
Warm Cherries w/Goat Cheese by Chef Maili
Triple Citrus Tiger Prawns w/Thai Chili Sauce by Chef Maili
Caramelized Onions: I'd made these a few days before (using The Joy Of Cooking) to go with an omelet -- not realizing they'd take an hour and a half to cook. Didn't eat my omelet 'til 3pm! I'd been waiting for a chance like last night to try them out as a side dish/appetitzer the way the book suggested. Warm them up, then sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan on top. So I did, and served the onions along with a warmed-up loaf of Pain Rustique from Trader Joe's. Here it is:
|Caramelized onions topped w/fresh grated parmesan|
|Caramelized onion on bread devotional|
|Halloumi Cheese w/Lentil & Cucumber salad redux|
For the first time, I didn't burn the almonds. (Set the oven to 350, toasted the nuts for only 8 minutes and also checked for when I could smell them...a sign to pull them out fast). While you're sauteeing cherries (something so satisfyingly perverse and unexpected about sauteeing bright red fruit -- at least to me!), you're toasting almonds. These small touches -- warming the sauce, toasting the nuts -- are the kinds of things Maili taught me that can elevate your food -- just like choosing a surprising word or phrase in a story can elevate the language.
|Sauteeing cherries -- first in butter, then adding a simple syrup|
|Friend gets all reverential on the warm cherries and goat cheese|
|The only Blanche I know...swoon...|
I haven't mentioned yet that along with my cooking odyssey, I signed up for a five-week three day/week group physical bootcamp with Sonki Fitness. Getting in better shape while learning to cook made sense. I wanted to explore new foods without worrying (at first) about what was fattening, or unhealthy -- and focus instead on taste. Just have fun.
|Santa Monica bluffs public rose garden|
|Close-up of roses at Santa Monica bluffs public rose garden|
|M.F.K. Fisher in her kitchen|
"There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine is drunk."
-- M.F.K. Fisher
If I can cook, anyone can. Eat well!