27 October 2008

a new kitchen... the first weeks.

I wanted our first meal in our new home to be special. Memorable. And it was... I made macaroni and cheese and it was great. The perfect meal to break in my new oven. It was, however,the next meal and the one after that were milestones for my culinary self.

The first of those two was inspired by figs. I have had figs on the brain lately and I really have no explanation for it. But on a pantry stocking trip to whole foods I picked up a carton of the lovely little guys and new that I needed to do something fabulous with them. In the corner of my mind was the new cookbook by David Tanis of Chez Panisse fame that Gourmet Magazine reviewed. Well, I had figs, I should probably have that cookbook too! And it was the duck recipe in that cookbook that became our next meal. Duck with Roasted Figs. And it was great. The method of cooking the duck was something that anyone could do and it really did come out great. I was really happy with my first try at making duck.

The next meal also brought something that I had never done before:Soufflé!! I had pulled a recipe from a magazine somewhere for soufflés with Roquefort and spinach and really wanted to give it a try. It rose and everything, just like it was supposed to! But it did take a lot longer to cook than it should have... like 45 minutes longer. I kept cutting in and checking and praying that it wouldn't fall (which it never did!) and finally we got to eat it and it tasted great. I full soufflé success!

The last meal to mention today is this fabulous pizza. I have started taping Alex Guarnaschelli's "The Cooking Loft" and watching it during the week when I am awake (it airs pretty early Saturday mornings). One of her first shows she made an "Oven Fried Pizza" with sausage and caramelized onions. Immediately I knew that that was dinner. I loved the way that she fried the pizza crust in a cast iron skillet before popping it into the oven. It gave a great texture to the crust and I will definitely do it again. It was a big hit with the hubby, too.

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