Tuesday, October 07, 2008
A Rich Weekend
Every Monday or Tuesday I start puttering around, looking through my latest food magazines, checking what pages I cornered on my current favorite cookbook, seeing whether I need to test anything for Leite’s Culinaria -- beginning to decide what to cook next week.
When I thought about the dishes I wanted to make last week I realized that my culinary cravings had advanced to autumn – I wanted warm, comforting food. In fact, for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I planned all creamy, cheesy dishes: leek tarte, butternut squash lasagna, and potato gratin (to accompany salmon and lacinto kale).
The leek tarte was from Molly Wizenberg’s (a.k.a. Orangette) column in Bon Appetit. The tarte was inspired by her trip to Belgium and is basically a thin quiche enveloping rich, creamy leek confit. It turned out beautifully, although I did make a couple of ingredient swaps: gruyere for the aged goat cheese and whole wheat flour in the place of one-third of the white flour for the crust. The crust swap was a great success. The wheat lent a nutty flavor to the tart, and the crust was still buttery and flaky. The gruyere was good, but didn’t pack enough punch. I will try the tart again with the aged goat cheese.
The butternut squash and sage lasagna, from Martha Stewart Living, was heavenly – rich, cheesy, and creamy. A bit sweet thanks to the squash; deep and woodsy courtesy of the sage. The lasagna was a big hit and will be making another appearance at my table Friday night when my parents come to visit from Colorado.
Last night’s potato gratin was also lovely, with nutmeg-spiced cream and a golden, crunchy top. I have to say that my favorite part, though, was the ultra-thin slices of potato compliments of my life-changing mandoline.
I’m not planning next week’s meals tonight, since Dave and I will be in Cannes beginning on Saturday. Something tells me I won’t be taking too much of a break from my rich, creamy diet in France, either… Spa food for me later in the month?? With even colder weather on the horizon? Probably not.
*Photo from Martha Stewart.