Friday, November 30, 2007

T.W. Food

About a month ago, we had the amazing experience of a chef's tasting dinner at T.W. Food. The food was inventive, surprising, and delicious. I won't spoil it for you by divulging what we ate, but I will say that it may be the closest thing Boston offers to eating in France. Did Frenchie agree? Well, he may prefer No. 9 Park, but I think the intimate dining experience and personal service by the owners at TW Food tipped my vote. This is one of only a handful of restaurants (unless it was one where we knew the owners) at which I've truly felt like a dinner guest being looked after by a delightful host.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Checkerboard cookies

Last weekend, Philippa and I spent an afternoon in her lovely kitchen drinking mulled wine, making a mess of ourselves and baking these buttery delicious cookies. These were the first cookies I'd ever baked, so I'm hoping future experiences will be less complex and require only one person!

The recipe is on Philippa's site, and basically involves making chocolate and vanilla dough and combining them together in this over-the-top way after repeated chilling sessions.

She set me up with a training video from YouTube but I think I'm still confused how this all came together.

Brilliant way to spend a wintery afternoon, with some card-making thrown in. The most productive Sunday afternoon ever. I even got to take some pictures with her fancypants camera, which was fun.

This morning, exactly a week later, I took the left-over stacked dough out of the freezer and baked the little guys for 10 mins.
Superb with some hot chai.
Thanks, Philippa!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Five Foods I Hate to Love - Part 3

3. American Chop Suey

("Chop Suey", Edward Hopper, 1929)

At least I spared you the image of this monstrous noodle dish.

How can one love a hot mess of noodles and… ketchup?
Well, maybe you have to be Indian to appreciate this one, but I do love the bed of crispy hot noodles and stir-fried veggies, topped with a tangy, sweet and sour, ketchup and soy sauce mix (and a fried egg!). The sauce softens the noodles directly below creating three distinct noodle textures: the wet, soft, ketchup-y layer, the semi-soft, drier one, and the crispy, crunchy bottom layer. Delicious, I tell you!!

A staple in every Chinese restaurant in India, this can only be a disgraced, third-degree relative of anything in China or even America. The American version served in the painting above presumably contained ground meat, and seems like a different creature altogether.

Chinese food is wildly popular in India, and mostly consists of this more-Indian-than-Chinese variety of dishes that would thoroughly confuse any Chinese or American, or, frankly, anyone who hadn’t grown up with them! Hakka noodles, veg Manchurian, chili paneer and chicken lollipops are some of the names that will bring a nostalgic smile to the face of any Indian who lives abroad. Mmm…. maybe it’s time for an Indian-Chinese potluck?