Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back in the swing of things

I'm happy to report that after quite a few weeks of chaos, packing tape, boxes, etc. we are pretty much unpacked and settled in the new house. YIPPEE And so, this morning, for the first time in a long while I was able to get to the farmers market. I haven't made it there since the weather took a turn toward fall and was pleasantly surprised to find a number of my fall favorites on display. This weeks haul: sugar pumpkins, chanterelle mushrooms, leeks, swiss chard, golden beets, goat cheese, kiwis (which were only 1.50 for a dozen!) yams, pomegranate, and persimmons. I had never had a persimmon before and after a chat with the persimmon vendor- who was lovely- I picked up a few of each variety and she threw in a few extra in my bag for free- woohoo!
I'm kind of excited that fall is here. It's time to bust out some of my favorite food- risotto, braised stuff, mashed potatoes, gratins. yum We shall see what I come up with this week.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Appetizer par-tay

Eva hosted our monthly ladies night in October and chose the theme to be all about appetizers. Sweet- some of my favorite food are tapas. For inspiration I turned to a childhood favorite- Rice balls.
In every decent Italian deli where I grew up there was a huge prepared food and meat counter and this was always a popular item, even for the pickiest of kids. The basic gist- you make a ball out of rice and cheese, possibly put something in the center- cheese or peas perhaps, bread the thing and throw it in the frier. How bad could that be?!
For mine I made a mushroom risotto the night before the party with dried porcini and fresh chanterelles, and finished it off with a little truffle butter. About an hour before the party i formed the risotto into balls, put a little chunk of buffalo mozzarella in the center, and did the usual flour, egg, breadcrumb prep before shallow fry in some olive oil. I let them cool a bit on a baking rack (is it just me or does is seem that putting fried stuff on paper towels just makes them soggy?)
The result was a crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, earthy, nutty, gooey cheese centered ball of deliciousness. I fried up a few sage leaves for a little color in the dish too.