Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie

I typically consider it a risky move to bring something untested to a potluck. Especially, something like pie, that you cannot sample before hand. I tend to wholeheartedly, over think the situation. I was particularly nervous as I headed over to this particular potluck because I had never tasted sweet potato pie, but I made one and I was going to feed it to strangers. I could not get sweet potato pie out of my mind after reading Ruth Reichl's Comfort me with Apples and it seemed like the perfect recipe for comfort on that blustery fall day. And it was, I had absolutely nothing to worry about serving this pie. It was phenomenal. Much akin to the pumpkin pie but with more flavor and a slightly creamier texture. I made sure I got seconds at the party and then made another pie the next day. The recipe couldn't be easier, just dump all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly, pour into your pie crust and bake. I used extra vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon just for good measure because there is almost nothing better in the world of pie enhancement.

Sweet Potato Pie adapted from Ruth Reichl

2 large sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
Pie crust for a 1-crust pie

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Roll out the dough and fit into a 9 inch pie pan; crimp the edges. Put into the freezer for 15 minutes.
3. In a bowl beat the sugar into the mashed sweet potatoes. Beat in the eggs, then the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and pour into the pie shell (it will be quite liquid).
4. Bake about 3/4 hour or until pie is firm all the way through, you can give a little shake to see if it is solid.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Salumi

Italian artisan cured meats. Salumi, thank you for bringing them to Seattle. I have been waiting to find a good day for a lunch at the tiny Salumi storefront in downtown Seattle for a long time. A year ago, a co-worker shared that this was one of her favorite places to treat herself to. This summer, Anthony Bourdain stated without question that Salumi was the best restaurant in Seattle, that we were lucky to have such a place. Combine the recommendations of these two very trustworthy sources with the fact that Salumi is run by the parents of Food Network celebrity Mario Batali, and I knew I was in for an outstanding lunch. I was not disappointed.
Stepping into Salumi was like coming home to a warm bustling kitchen. I had a hard time selecting my sandwich due to the plethora of options. The lovely ladies behind the counter handed me several salami samples, ranging in spice level and flavored with everything from fennel, to chocolate. I jumped on the Mexican inspired mole salami with fresh mozzarella. I watched as they spread mysterious spreads, (I was so mesmerized I forgot to ask what they were) on either side of my bread and delicately layered on the cheese and salami and topped the whole thing with peppers and onions. I savored this baby. Simple ideas, executed perfectly. Delicious. This is a place to get to early, to avoid the line and to avoid watching the options disappear before your eyes. This is a popular place, people. It is tiny, and only open for lunch Tuesday-Friday, so plan ahead and plan soon.

Salumi on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 5, 2010

Soba Noodles with Roasted Eggplant

Well Seattle can't seem to make up its mind on what season we are on. Record high temperatures one day, rain the next. Choosing appropriate outerwear is nearly impossible. However, I did find a lunch that can complement the weather, whatever it might be when lunch rolls around. This soba noodle dish is lovely warm or cold. Nice and refreshing for a lunch outside in the sun or a warm and comforting escape from the rain.

Soba Noodles with Roasted Eggplant adapted from The Food Network/Eating Well

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant (1 pound)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

8 ounces soba noodles

1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce

3 grated carrots


Optional toppings

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup diced cucumber

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Dice eggplant into about inch sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking pasta. Cook noodles until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.

3. Finely dice garlic and ginger. Heat a tablespoon of olive or peanut oil in a small sauce pan. Gently brown the garlic and ginger. Add vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, chile-garlic sauce (or crushed red pepper flakes). Stir until blended. Remove from heat.

4. Add eggplant to the noodles, along with carrots, and the sesame seeds. Add the dressing and toss until well combined. Just before serving, garnish with diced cucumber and cilantro if desired.

Monday, November 1, 2010