February 29, 1996 |
I remember the moment I fell in love with food. I was 5, and after one interminable morning of clothes shopping, my mother took me to lunch at the Bird Cage, the restaurant at Lord & Taylor. It changed the course of my life. The room was dazzling. I remember white trellises with artificial vine tendrils and murals of foliage and sky. We sat at pink wrought-iron garden furniture and ate sandwiches on white bread without crusts.
February 29, 1996 |
I used to turn my nose up at the mere mention of potpie, and if you grew up on the frozen supermarket version, you know what I mean. Then I was treated to a fine homemade rendition and was converted forever. Potpies are simple to make from scratch, and you can choose whatever filling ingredients your heart and taste buds desire.
February 22, 1996 |
Care^me has been credited with these innovations in French cuisine: * Croquembouche, a pyramidal display of cream puffs stuck together with caramel. * Vol-au-vent, a shell of puff pastry filled with meat (especially chicken) mixed with sauce; usually small and served as an appetizer. * Piped meringue ornaments. * Large standing meringue desserts. * Various dishes named for such patrons as Talleyrand and the Russian-Georgian Princess Bagration. * Perfecting puff pastry and souffles.
August 12, 1993 |
This quick and delicious plum tart is made with store-bought puff pastry, which is rolled and shaped into a free-standing pastry shell, then filled with a mixture of almond paste, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and flour. The tart is topped with fresh plum wedges and baked until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is moist and juicy. Sliced almonds are sprinkled over the plums during the last five minutes of baking time.
January 14, 1993 |
A neighbor once said of Turkey a la King, "How can anything that we all ate as children be fit for a king?" Most of us decided long ago that there was nothing kingly about the dish, and we usually never try to pass it off as anything more than good leftovers. But add some cream puff pastry to that dinner plate--a crisp, light cup to cradle the stuff--and you have a meal that is more regal than mundane.
November 13, 1992 |
Eating at Chatsworth's Granada Grill reminds me of one of the slogans from the recent presidential campaign, "We can do a better job." That's the prevailing attitude at this bright, cavernous Mexican and Southwestern style cantina, brought to you by a staff that I'd call uncommonly cheerful. When the kinks are ironed out, this restaurant should be a real winner.
August 2, 1992 |
I HAVE A FANTASY ABOUT MARTHA STEWART. WE ARE STANDING at the edge of the 30-acre property she recently purchased at auction in the wealthy New York suburb of Fairfield, Conn. The land is the site of an abandoned nine-hole golf course, now overgrown by rank grasses and weeds: no fairway, all rough. The season is April in a late spring, the weather still faintly raw. But Stewart raises her arm, gestures toward the horizon, and the land turns opulent, the season advancing swiftly into midsummer.
May 28, 1992 |
On a trip to Paris last month, I could not resist indulging in one of my favorite desserts, profiteroles au chocolat . It's such a simple dish--nothing more than cream puffs filled with ice cream and cloaked with hot chocolate sauce--but how heavenly it tastes! About 15 years ago, at the height of the nouvelle-cuisine period, when chefs were developing new dishes at a dizzying pace, profiteroles appeared with fruit ice cream fillings and berry sauces.
February 28, 1991 |
Puff pastry is the most challenging cooking technique discussed in this column thus far. Most of us simply purchase the prepared frozen dough. However, making it once (or just reading how it's done) will provide an understanding of how a few simple ingredients are combined to create this spectacular pastry. The French name for puff pastry is pate feuilletee --roughly translated, leafy dough.
March 22, 1990 |
Whether it's called pate a choux, choux paste or cream puff pastry, the recipe is the same. This simple mixture of butter, water, salt, flour and eggs, when properly combined, bakes into golden brown cream puff and eclair shells. The basic recipe uses one-half cup butter, one cup water, one-quarter teaspoon salt, one cup flour and four eggs. Bring the eggs to room temperature before beginning preparation.