Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Today's Special: The Color Orange


I spent days trying to come up with orange foods for IMBB?...

It really wasn't sure I could pull this one off...all I could think of was cheddar cheese!

Finally, I managed to put a few things together (hey, when I decide to do something, I tend to get a bit carried away).

So, submitted for your approval, my Orange dishes.

Cheese Tart, from New Recipes from Moosewood.

A flaky pastry crust (flour, butter, salt and ice water), with grated Cheddar, smoked Swiss, and Gruyere, as well as eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Baked about 45 minutes, at 350F.

I'd received my very first issue of Martha Stewart Living last week, which carried a recipe for making your own gravlax. I knew Matt would enjoy it, and hey...it's kind of orange-y!

Salmon fillets, rubbed with salt, covered in chopped dill, with a bit of vodka poured over. Wrap tightly in plastic, place in a non-reactive baking dish, and weight with heavy object(s). Turn fish every 12 hours; will be ready in three days.

The tart? Oh, fantastic as always. This is fast becoming one of our favorite recipes. I added a little extra cheddar on top, to make sure it looked orange!
The cheese is very set, warm, and filling. I don't mean the temperature is warm...the flavor is. Try it; you'll see what I mean.

I, obviously ( because I'm a vegetarian who doesn't eat any fish or animals...for those who only skim my posts and make assumptions), didn't eat the gravlax, but Matt loved it. It came out really salty. We're not sure why, but any time we cure something, it's really heavy on the salt...no matter how much rinsing we do. But, it was good (according to him). It's very simple to make, and we used a really good piece of fish.

Next, Cream of (orange) Pepper Soup.

This took a bit more work, but it's not out of reach.

Char peppers, place in paper bag. Peel, seed and slice. Saute shallots, garlic and red onion three minutes. Add vegetable broth and peppers (reserving four slices), simmer 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup till smooth. Return to same pan,
Add half and half, red wine vinegar and cayenne pepper. Warm soup, ladle into bowls. Garnish with basil and reserved peppers.

This was a good soup. It's not too thick, and not too watery. At first, you get a nice, pleasant, roasted pepper flavor. Then, you get a kick from the cayenne...yet, it's not hot.

And finally, Orange-coated Truffles.

Just cream, with a mix of semi and milk chocolate, coated with orange candy melts. No big; I just felt like rounding out the orange theme with a dessert!

16 Thoughts for food:

At 3:25 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Oh my gawd, that cheese tart just looks so...drool... I would give anything to have a taste. I'm totally impressed at your three(!) orange contributions--all of which look delicious and, well, really orange! Good job.

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Zarah Maria said...

So dedicated and so well-planned you are Stephanie! I'm still thinking about what to do for IMBB? - heck, I'm still contemplating what to make for SHF tomorrow! Good job, the tart looks scrumptious!

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Rachel! The tart is amazing...it's a snap to make, you generally have left-overs, and it is so yummy!

And if anyone wants the recipe for the tart, just let me know...I'll gladly email it.

Zarah; hey, I'm the one who comes up with EoMEoTE posts two weeks before the end of the month! It's the Virgo in me, I suppose...
If it makes you feel any better, I'll only be baking my SHF entry tonight.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Nic said...

Wow, Stephanie, you did a great job putting all these dishes together. A whole orange meal!

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Nic...I tend to go a bit theme-crazy (just wait till you see what I have planned for Cinco de Mayo!).

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Lyn said...

I will take you up on your offer of a hug...but only if you bring the cheese tart. I have a big drool stain on my lap from looking at your blog.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I'd be willing to email the recipe...I don't know when/if I'll make it to Canada!

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Julia said...

Hey, I'm loving the scrummy-looking cheese tart, and the soup too, cos it put a smile on my face! :)

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Turhan said...

We've had it three or four times now, and hard as it may be to believe, it tastes better than it looks. Which should give you some idea of how good it tastes.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks Julia!

When you get that oven, the recipe is yours!

The tart could have looked better, but I made a point of not marbling the cheeses, to keep the top nice and orange (what with that being the whole point). It does look a little nicer with all the cheses mixed up.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Arielle Harris said...

Just wanted to say that your blog is a great idea, the vegetarian dishes look delicious and gorgeous! I will definitely be trying some of these recipes.

I live in Rockridge, do you recommend any vegetarian restaurants in the area?

my blog is :

At 6:19 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Arielle!

I've been trying to get to your profile in hopes of finding an email address, but Blogger is misbehaving.

A vegetarian restaurant? Great Wall. Fabulous. So many amazing dishes...I miss going out to eat and having more than a couple choices!

They do a lot of vegetable dishes, as well as their own meat-substitutes. And I can tell you that they have the best fake meat I've ever tasted...you know it's not really chicken (or whatever), but you almost want to double-check! And their multi-nut stir frys are incredible. The five-nut is the best (in my opinion).

Of course, you can find places with lots of veg options, like Isobune and Barneys (their veggie burgers are fantastic). Isobune assured me their miso soup was made with vegetable broth, and not bonito flakes; I asked on several occasions (we were frequent visitors) and finally decided to quit asking...it was just that good!

Hope that helps, and if you're interested in any of the recipes here, just let me know.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Niki said...

Wow - 3 courses! I don't even think I'll get a chance to make even one for IMBB. I have some polenta in the fridge which I was planning to use, but don't know what to put with it.
I love the look of the soup and those yummy truffles - and would you believe I have exactly the same snail shell plate as you!

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Niki!

Well, now that I know (in advance, occasionally...) about all the different food blogging events, I'm doing my darndest to get involved. Because, you know, I need another reason to cook and bake...!

Matt and I picked up that dish right before we left California...some gourmet foods store, but I know C&B sold them. It's not often I have occasion to use it (more's the pity), but when I do...it's front and center! I only wish I'd gotten the two other dishes sold with it (there was a triangle, and I forget the other).

You could grate cheddar over your polenta, and bake it...that wouldn't require too much effort!

At 11:46 AM, Blogger chronicler said...

Very nice Stephanie! The cheese tart is such a good choice! This seems to be such a simple addition to a meal. Yet it will be praised by all who have the good fortune to share it with you!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you! The tart is always a hit, and it's a cinch to make (if you get past all that cheese-grating).


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