Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ratatouille-esque Gratin

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas (if that's your thing.) My gifts all had a general theme - get your ass in the kitchen - but there are no complaints from me as I now have a new covered casserole, oblong baking ramekins, recipe card index, and three beautiful, saliva-inducing cookbooks for Moroccan, Thai and Chinese cuisine. They are from the "Food Of" cookbook series, the same as my Indian cookbook and, just like that one, they are fantastic. Large (11.5 x 9in), with fantastic pictures, detailed cultural and culinary histories sprinkled throughout and, of course, inspiring recipes; there is a pickled pig's feet recipe in the China cookbook I am particularly eager to try. And carrot soup with couscous from Morocco. And deep-fried quail form Thailand. As you can see I have been going through sensory overload reading through these books deciding which recipes to try first; it is exhausting.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cossack Pie

During my short visit back to the States to see my sisters and their families I was struck with a bit of irony: while I enjoy staying with my sister Amanda (whose husband is a vegetarian) because I don't have to eat or cook meat every day (yay!) she looks forward to having another adult omnivore in the house. So while I spent my free time perusing the myriad vegetarian cookbooks in the kitchen Amanda would list the meat products she had bought (ground turkey, chicken breasts, roaster in the freezer - we could buy shrimp!) in anticipation of my arrival; we compromised with meat for lunch and vegetarian for dinner. Thank goodness, because it meant she was able to make the deceptively delicious Cossack pie for dinner one night, a simple (I suppose you could also call it "rustic") quiche-like dish that manages to be both light and filling. Imagine.