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In the Kitchen with a Mishap
updated: Mar 27, 2010, 9:30 AM
By Leah Etling
I had hoped to share with you an Italian-inspired recipe for braised baby artichokes with mozzarella cream this week.
Instead, I've got some ideas about things to do with mozzarella cream, and a suggestion to back away from the baby artichokes.
When a recipe goes wrong, how do you save the meal? Throw it in the trash and call for pizza? Or attempt a salvage mission of heroic proportions? That was my dilemma this week, and I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly with the cooking process until it was time to sauté the baby artichokes, which were cooked in water and dry white wine, with onion, a bay leaf, garlic, lemon and basil stems for flavor. At the end of the process, I made sure everything was soft enough to easily separate. It was. Next step was to drain and sauté in olive oil.
I sautéed, and sautéed, and sautéed. Tasted, and instead of buttery baby artichokes, the result was something like onion flavored weeds, still tough, hard to chew, harder to swallow. Made a face of disgust. Added olive oil, salt, pepper. Sautéed some more. Gave Erik some toasted bread so he didn't starve while I tried to figure out what to do. This went on for about 20 minutes. It didn't get better. Then I started to try to figure out what went wrong.
Meanwhile I was snacking on the mozzarella cream, which was easy and divine. Here's how to make it:
Buffalo mozzarella often comes in 7-8 ounce chunks. Separate the cheese (it's soft and comes apart easily), then add tablespoons of the water it was packaged with and a quarter cup of olive oil. Mix in the food processor, blender or kitchen mixer.
The resulting creamy cheese would be great on crackers, with tomatoes and basil, on a sandwich, in a salad, or as a dip for plainly cooked and cooled large artichokes. Keep it away from heat, however. I added it to some emergency ravioli that we ended up eating for dinner and it quickly curdled.
If you have a story about "the meal that went awry," and you managed to save it, please share. I'd love to hear it and I'm sure other readers would also.
Meanwhile, in a recent column someone mentioned that the chocolate crinkle cookie recipe presented sounded like earthquake cookies from Pierre Lafond.
I actually have a different cookie recipe that to me tastes much like the earthquake cookies, though it is not the actual recipe used by the deli, it is crunchier and flatter and includes oats and chocolate chips.
Here it is:
1 cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Beat the butter or margarine in a mixer, add sugar, baking powder, and baking soda, beat until combined. Add the melted chocolate and continue mixing, follow with the flour, oats and chocolate chips.
Bake in 375 oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Excellent with coffee or milk.
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