Flutterby™! : Cooking!

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2004-01-21 17:07:58.761441+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

In the comments to my question about cooking polenta, Meuon said: "And now we know what Flutterbarians are REALLY into: cooking." I've recently been reading The New American Chef. Subtitled "Cooking with the best of flavors and techniques from around the world", I was hoping for a "here are the basics of each of these cuisines". Alas, it's a collected from conversations with bunch of the most pompous chefs who take every available opportunity to drop into self parody, from the guy who runs the sushi restaurant in LA that flies in all of its fish from Japan and charges enough that you may as well just fly to Japan if you want to be that authentic; to the disagreements about "only ingredient X would be in that dish, you would never ever have ingredient Y", of course countermanded in the next paragraph by another chef; to the usual repetition of lore that anyone who's actually tried to verify in the kitchen has discovered is false. In that vein, imagine wavy lines, as the camera dollies across the studio audience, the stage lights come up, and...

Welcome to cooking avec Dan at Domaine du Flutterby. Ah, pardon, "Fletterbié", we must keep se fak accent of indeterminate origin sso you think se years I clam to haff spent preparing food in McDonald's exclusive sixteen star restaurants across Europe have happened. You haff not heard of e sixteen star restaurants? Zat is how exclusive zey are.

Tonight we ahr prepahring acorn squash ravioli with sahj and garlic. We start with whole wheat flour and semolina. Se whole wheat flour brings a nuttiness to se pasta that I like, especially since I'll be matching this up with collards, a rhobust earthy green. Since we are cooking for one, we use half an egg, and a quarter cup of each of se flours for se dough. Since we have se luxury of editing, we will skeep over se part where we show how out of practice Dan is at making pasta, and pretend that he didn't make it just a touch too dry, and we we were almost instantly able to end up with se rolled out dough.

Handmade pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, so we need to prepare se rest of se meal. Garhlic in zis establishment is measured in heads, not cloves, since we're only cooking for one we'll chop up a single head.

Next we prepare se filling. Acorn squash, zome parmesan (reggiano, because it was cheap at Trader Giotto's), some herbs (dried, because se garden isn't producing this time of year). Mix it thoroughly, and spoon it out onto se dough. Zen we spread se remaining beaten egg around se edges of se ravioli to be.

If we were cooking for company, we'd carefully crimp se edges, or use se press. Because we are just cooking for one, we beat se edges togeser with a knife handle. So primitive. Rrarrr.

Se accoutrements will be some collards, garlic, dried tomatoes, a little bit of diced ham, and sage in olive oil. Simple, yet hearty. First we brown se garlic for that nutty carmelized flavor, sen we add se ham and crisp that.

Add se greens, toss in a little bit of water to help things braise, cover, and cook. Meanwhile, slide se ravioli into boiling water, set a timer for 3 minutes or so, and when it goes off combine and serve.

I find that bills and unopened bottles of wine of unknown provenance on se table add to se ambi-aaah-nce, but grated parmesan and a sprinkling of olive oil brought back from Italy by friends who like to go to Vernaza make se flavor.

Not bad, the accoutrements could have used a little more acidic bite, maybe more dried tomatoes or some capers, and I should have done a separate small pan with just sage and oil while the rest was cooking to better distribute the flavor, but it works.

What'd you make for dinner?

[ related topics: Books Dan's Life Food McDonald's ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Cooking! made: 2004-01-21 18:30:40.969003+00 by: ebradway

Tonight's Dinner:

I'm trying to learn to cook by not cooking... That is, raw foods or living foods, whichever you prefer...

First, I am making chocolate milk. Usually a simple task, but making it raw becomes quite a feat:

  1. Soak 2 cups of raw almonds (not roasted) over night.
  2. Drain almonds, put in blender with 4 cups of water, six dates (raw, seeded)
  3. Blend thoroughly.
  4. Pour into cheese cloth to strain the chunks. Repeat until the milk is the desired consistency. Save the pulp for later.
  5. Put milk back in blender with 1/2 cup of raw carob (not toasted), milk of one young coconut (not a fully matured one, it matters), and one raw vanilla bean, and maybe a few more dates. Blend for a very long time.
  6. Enjoy what is likely the healthiest thing you've ever consumed.

Second, raw "cheese" made from the almond pulp:

  1. Start with the almond pulp from above
  2. Add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and juice of 1 lemon
  3. Finely dice one small onion and one red pepper, add to the mix
  4. Enjoy with celery sticks or just straight from the tub

Be sure to split open the young coconut and eat the flesh. If you haven't had it before, it has a mild flavor and is very soft. It's almost all omega fatty acids.

#Comment Re: Cooking! made: 2004-01-21 19:11:47.299274+00 by: Dan Lyke

A Thai place near the office serves a young coconut with a straw as one of the drinks. Hell yeah that's a different experience...

Cool on seeing some of those techniques, I think the carb load is heavy enough that I don't think they'd be good in large quantities for diabetics or borderlines, but in small enough portions that opens up some options for a few folks who wouldn't want the dairy. Thanks!

#Comment Re: Cooking! made: 2004-01-21 20:10:19.54615+00 by: markd

All you need for those pictures now is narration by a small terrycloth monkey.

#Comment Re: Cooking! made: 2004-01-21 21:22:02.751679+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... Maybe I should do it again with my plush Cthulhu or stuffed Bun-bun...

#Comment Re: Cooking! made: 2004-01-22 14:33:36.795869+00 by: ebradway

The issue of carbs and diabetes comes up alot in with Raw Food because of the amount of nuts, dates and especially, fruit. The theory (can't find any supporting research yet) is that the body handles sugars from raw foods better than cooked. There is also a theory that much of what passes for illness (diabetes, allergies, etc) is actually the body's response to the toxicity of cooked food compounded low levels of physical activity.