Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tasty treats for dark fall evenings

Fall is a gloomy season, with rain and darkness that require comfort food, or comfort treats to chase the darkness away. Small treats, easy to make, and with tons of taste. Here are a few things I may recommend, although some of it may be a little hard to get. Still it may give you some ideas.

Crayfish terrine with a spicy crayfish salad (above)

The idea is something you may play around with. I found this small crayfish terrine in the local delicatessen, and as I was invited to dinner (and was asked to bring an entree), I think that would be a good idea. I bought three, a glass of Baxters seafood sauce, some fresh crayfish marinated in garlic. I mixed the crayfish with some seafood sauce, added some lime, sweet chili sauce, and Cajun spices to add additional heat.

Took three thin slices of fine bread and cut them into roughly the same size as the terrine. Toasted them until crisp. Took the terrines out of their little containers, placed them with the aspic down on the toast. Added the sauce, and presto - tasty October treat. If you do not have crayfish terrine, use lobster or salmon paté. If no Baxter seafood sauce, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, chili sauce, lime, salt and pepper.

Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guess whose heart made a jump, as I spotted this package at my local supermarket. PEPPERIDGE FARM CHOCOLATE CHUNK DARK CHOCOLATE NANTUCKET CRISPY COOKIES!!! I have such a madness after this brand, as it is deeply connected with my American past. And here it was in the supermarket shelves.

I think Pepperidge Farm makes the best chocolate chip cookies, except from the homemade, of course. Like the one I crunched at Au Bon Pain at Harvard Square with my friend Joe Cice, with the creamiest chocolate inside and the crispy, crunchy crust outside. These are small memories you feed on until you die.

Until then I now know that I can feast on these delicacies with a hot cup of good coffee.

Cup Cakes from Heaven

I am absolutely not into baking. When I want to make a cake, I buy a mix. Still I like to make my own twist to it. Here I made the mix according to the instructions on the packet, but placed a large chunk of 70% chocolate in the little paper containers before filling them. After baking I added, as a bonus more melted dark chocolate and poured on the top and a few almond flakes as a decoration. Yum!

Cup Cakes reincarnated

This is a delicious way to reincarnate the cup cakes left from you party.

I have the most delicious French strawberry syrup. It has such a pungent fruit flavor. I reincarnated the 4 cup cakes left over from Halloween, removed the paper and soaked them in the syrup. I poured additional syrup on our plates and Laila and I indulged in the soft, sweet, strawberry sirupy, cup cakes. And what to drink. Nespresso espresso and two glasses of Grand Marnier!


Garlic Bread - to keep the Devils away!

I was on a party yesterday, and got back at 2.35 AM. The day after such an experience I crave for strong food.

Today I decided to make garlic bread. Sliced half a baguette in two, mixed butter, minced garlic, and Italian herbs and allowed to infuse. Then I spread the butter on the slices, added a good handful of grated cheese and allowed to bake in the oven until crispy golden.

Eat your heart out Bela Lugosi!

Spanish Langoustines in Garlic

I bought Langostinos Al Ajillo in Barcelona in June. As I opened this packet, I dreamed of the shrimps in garlic eaten at Hotel Santa Maria in Sitges, as the winds were playing with the palm leaves above.

Well the producer, Noly, did not replicate that experience, for sure. The shrimps had a strange consistency, nearly rubbery, and the oil had very little garlic in it. So buy your own shrimps, add garlic to good olive oil, and place in the oven. The result will be much better than this, for sure.

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