<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d32078707\x26blogName\x3dcucina+nicolina\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://cucinanicolina.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://cucinanicolina.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-5802318633701481215', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script><!-- --><div id="flagi" style="visibility:hidden; position:absolute;" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><div id="flagtop"></div><div id="top-filler"></div><div id="flagi-body">Notify Blogger about objectionable content.<br /><a href="http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=1200"> What does this mean? </a> </div></div><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><div id="b-sms" class="b-mobile"><a href="sms:?body=Hi%2C%20check%20out%20Orangette%20at%20cucinanicolina.blogspot.com">Send As SMS</a></div><form id="b-search" name="b-search" action="http://search.blogger.com/"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a id="flagButton" style="display:none;" href="javascript:toggleFlag();" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/flag.gif" name="flag" alt="Flag Blog" width="55" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="as_q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="ui" value="blg" /><input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="orangette.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search_this.gif" alt="Search This Blog" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value='orangette.blogspot.com'" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search_all.gif" alt="Search All Blogs" value="Search" id="b-searchallbtn" title="Search all blogs with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value=''" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- var ID = 32078707;var HATE_INTERSTITIAL_COOKIE_NAME = 'dismissedInterstitial';var FLAG_COOKIE_NAME = 'flaggedBlog';var FLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/flag-blog.g?nav=3&toFlag=' + ID;var UNFLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/unflag-blog.g?nav=3&toFlag=' + ID;var FLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/flag.gif';var UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/unflag.gif';var ncHasFlagged = false;var servletTarget = new Image(); function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} function blogspotInit() {initFlag();} function hasFlagged() {return getCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME) || ncHasFlagged;} function toggleFlag() {var date = new Date();var id = 7793856;if (hasFlagged()) {removeCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME);servletTarget.src = UNFLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = false;} else { setBlogspotCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME, 'true');servletTarget.src = FLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = true;}} function initFlag() {document.getElementById('flagButton').style.display = 'inline';if (hasFlagged()) {document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;} else {document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;}} function showDrop() {if (!hasFlagged()) {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'visible';}} function hideDrop() {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'hidden';} function setBlogspotCookie(name, val) {var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() + 5 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000);var path = '/';setCookie(name, val, null, expire, path, null);} function removeCookie(name){var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() - 1000); setCookie(name,'',null,expire,'/',null);} --></script><script type="text/javascript"> blogspotInit();</script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>


Jul 10, 2007

French on the 4th of July

Bastille Day is rapidly approaching (this Saturday, for those keeping track), and I for one will be celebrating with a bottle of French wine. I'm not throwing a party this year, or even making a meal française , but I do think I will have a reprise of the Pissaladière strips I made last week. The recipe is, of course, from my beloved Gourmet; I made it as well as their uniquely delicious basil lemonade recipe to savor during the long, hot afternoon of Independence Day.

It's too bad I didn't take any pictures over my lovely 5-day weekend (I thought I'd left the camera at home, but shockingly -- and not for the first time -- I did have it in my backpack, yet somehow couldn't find it. I blame the heat.) because I saw some sights: deer, lakes, the cool, brown Russian River on the way back to Sebastopol on Saturday afternoon, lots of oak trees, peach orchards, and the ubiquitous dry, dusty California summer landscape I so missed when I was living on the East Coast.

But the season is bowling along, as it tends to do; here we are nearly at mid-July, and my thoughts have turned again to la France in all her glory. I've said it before, and it's true: I am shameless. I adore France and all things French. If you make this light pastry, you might, too.

The true Provençal recipe calls for olives but though I fly my Greek flag proudly, I can most often leave olives as take them (accompanied by glass of ouzo, now, that's another story) -- so I've omitted them here, and substituted portabello mushrooms. I also eliminated the butter in favor of vegetable oil, and threw in a handful of spinach at the last minute. I made this the night before my bbq and was worried the strips would get soggy during transport up to Sonoma County; they did, a little, but a quick fix in the toaster oven perked them right up.

As we waited for the mini grill to heat, I made a batch of basil lemonade vodka gimlets and we nibbled on a taste française. Despite the lack of butter, the pastry was light and flaky, and the filling was sweet from the caramelized onion. The fresh basil I'd used was a nice tie-in to the basil lemonade, which had a sweet-tart taste all its own. Honestly, I think I could have been happy eating just a plateful of this pastry for my dinner instead of the feast that followed.

[Oh, who am I kidding? I'd have been happy with a plateful and then eaten an entire meal anyway..]

This weekend, I'll test out how they go paired with a glass of red wine.


[Pissaladière, July 2007]


Pissaladière Strips, adapted, and made vegan, from Gourmet

For filling
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or basil (I used basil)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 portabello mushroom caps, coarsely chopped
Handful of torn baby spinach leaves

For dough
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy milk

Make filling:
Cook onion, bell pepper, mushroom, rosemary or basil, a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Make dough:
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Blend in the oil with a fork or your fingertips until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Add milk and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. Gently knead dough 8 to 10 times with floured hands on a lightly floured surface.

Assemble tarts:
Roll out dough into a 12-inch square (1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut into 3 equal strips. Arrange strips 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and spread with filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges.

Bake until crust is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack using a large metal spatula and cool to warm or room temperature. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

• Pissaladière strips can be baked 3 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.


Basil Lemonade, from Gourmet

2 cups basil lemon syrup (recipe below)
2 cups cold water
2 cups ice cubes
1 ¼ cups fresh lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients in a large pitcher or bowl. Pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice. For an alcoholic version (which I recommend), add 3/4-cup vodka to the mix before serving.

Makes about 6 drinks.

Basil Lemon Syrup

2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
4 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest (I left these out)
2 cups packed fresh basil sprigs

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the basil, stir to combine, and let stand at room temperature, covered, for 1 hour. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Strain the syrup through a sieve into an airtight container, pressing hard on and then discarding the solids.

Makes about 3 cups.

Note: Make sure you are not half-asleep when straining the basil from the syrup; if you are in a daze, you may pour most of the liquid down the sink before realizing your mistake, and have to re-do the whole thing. Not that I would know, of course.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Directory of Food/drink Blogs Food & Drink Blogs - Blog Top Sites


main