Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

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Don’t bogart that cranberry cobbler

November 22, 2006

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Cranberries + cobbler = Happy

Face it: Cranberries are a requisite ingredient in the upcoming holiday gorging event. As my husband (mockingly) describes below, I enjoy me some canned cranberry sauce. Preferably Ocean Spray, still bearing the telltale cylindrical marks on its wobbly sides, delicately sliced straight from the can.

As much as I enjoy that cranberrified-jelly-goop, I realize it’s not the apex of cranberries’ culinary potential. And my husband has opened my eyes to still better uses for that red gem… cobbler, for instance.

Cobbler is delicious, particularly when the biscuit topping is crumbly and delicate — and perfect for mopping up any escaping sweet syrup from the hostage fruit filling. Cranberry cobbler is no exception. The berries’ tart flavor yields to a long roasting in sugar, juice and spices — and the resultant heat from that cooking helps to cook the undersides of those crumbly biscuits. It’s a culinary masterpiece, and not that hard to make, to boot.

So, fellow canned cranberry sauce lovers, I urge you to branch out and sample a berry that’s never seen the inside of a can. You won’t be sorry.

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Sweet pork chop and quince? Genius!

October 30, 2006

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My husband has reached a satisfying stage as a cook. Yes, he’s been making scrumptious food this entire time. But now, on occassion, I get to take credit for it (or try to) — without having to lift a finger.

Take the meal pictured above, Maple-Dijon Glazed Rib Chops with Quince. I proposed that he barbeque something — pork, perhaps — for our guests. Genius. Upon tasting the quinces that he had bought, I proposed that he use them as a sweet side to the pork dish. Magnificent. And of course, I suggested he make some damn good mashed potatoes (not pictured) that would pair perfectly with the sweet honeyed pork and quince. Outstanding!

The whole meal was a smashing success, and it was, like, totally my idea.

Granted, I didn’t actually make any of the elements that were such a smash. (I do help, though. I made the salad and the vegetable — again, not pictured. Just take my word for it. And I clean, too. And I’m an excellent eater.)

Yes, my husband took the raw clay of my unformed, rather vague ideas and turned them into masterpieces. But do I get some credit for providing the clay, people? Should Michelangelo get all the glory? What about the guy who pointed out David to him, and said “That would make a heck of a statue?”

No matter, my small reward will be eating the fruits of my husband’s cooking. And believe me, it’s not really that small a reward. This dish — for example — is absolutely delicious, and perfect for fall. The pork is tender and sweet, with the delicious smokey aroma that comes when sugar hits the grill and caramelizes. And the quince accompaniment is the perfect dancing partner for the pork. Forked up alone or together, either subject is dazzling. I highly recommend. Read on for the recipe and his how-to!

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Cherimoya: Dinosaur Eggs, Smelly Feet and Seeds (Lots of seeds)

October 20, 2006

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I love globalization. While I know many people bemoan the state of affairs it has caused around the world, I like to proclaim my love for it. I love it because I’m selfish and a capitalist, but also because of the food. Because of this crazy global economy, I get to discover fun things at my local grocers. Add the adventure of my wife starting My Husband Cooks, and I’ve taken to embracing every single one of these oddities as a chance to eat and write. (e.g. dragon fruit.)

This week is about the Cherimoya. I’ve seen them recently, had them in my basket twice and took them out. I thought they looked awesome, but I had no clue what they were. Finally, I had an excuse—my sister-in-law, Missy, came for a visit. Now, there are jokes to be made at your “in-laws” expense, but she is like another sister to me. So like Tessie and the rest of my family, Missy is just part of food focus groups waiting to be fed new things.

IMG_2116.JPGAs a result, I bought cherimoyas. The best way to describe the way they look is dinosaur eggs. They look pre-historic. From what I read, and to my surprise, they grow from an evergreen tree that can be found in parts of Southern California. They are native to Andes Mountains near Peru, Columbia, Bolivia and Ecuador. They are ripe, like an avocado, when slightly soft. But most importantly, how do they taste? Our reviews are below.

Husband: I liked parts of it. It’s very seedy and fibrous around the seed. The problem is the seeds are everywhere and about the size and shape of tiny almonds. It had a bad smell and taste in spots (sweet-smelly feet). At its best, it had a smooth texture with a strawberry-banana like taste. I am curious what it would taste like if it were fresher. It has potential to be good, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt given that I bought it in Virginia and couldn’t tell you whether it was ripe or just off.

Wife: The seed to fruit ratio was very high — too high. Parts of it did taste bad, parts of it tasted OK. There was a 1/4 inch section that tasted pretty good.

Missy: I’ve never been wild about the texture of bananas, and um, it had a banana-like texture. Parts of it were good, and parts of it tasted like butt. It was bitter sour and gross, in parts. And there were too many seeds.

IMG_2117.JPGWant to know more?

California Rare Fruit Growers’ cherimoya info

A New Zealand site about cherimoya
Cherimoya.com

Any insight onto our new dinosaur egg look-a-like friend?

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Eat me, I’m pancakes: My husband’s story and his Orange Ricotta Pancakes.

October 3, 2006

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Click, click, bloody click, pancakes. (Does anyone else watch The Family Guy?) No? Then the reference is lost on you.

My husband makes me pancakes every weekend, and loves The Family Guy. When the tummy starts to rumble, I just have to say that special phrase and he snaps to — griddle on, pancakes working.

At heart, I’m probably an egg-breakfast girl. I like salty foods in the morning. Tater tots before cereal. Hard-boiled eggs before pastry. But I love my weekly pancake breakfast. First, because my husband makes some wicked-good pancakes. Second, because it feels like family.

And now he’s gone all gourmet on our typical-Aunt Jemima pancake breakfast. Orange Ricotta Pancakes. In a few words, they were delicious — and very fall. Orange citrus zing melding with the warm aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg? I may never go back to Aunt Jemima (and we were so close!)

All I can say is, click, click, bloody click, pancakes! (Care to hear Stewie Griffin in his full thespian glory? Click this link to see Japanese anime repeating Stewie’s lines. Somehow, it makes it more hilarious.)

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Let them eat cake? Yes, please.

September 18, 2006

Asian pear cake
Asian pear cake

I love dessert, yes. But I think I might love rich, bread-y and only slightly sweet breakfast treats even more. Danishes and coffee cakes and fruit breads, oh my!

So this Asian pear cake is perfect for me. It was nominally served as dessert, but in my view, it was a perfectly delicate and sweetly restrained coffee cake. It had this beautiful spice bread that played masterfully with roughly sliced and luxurious Asian pears. To someone who didn’t know they were Asian pears, the fruit might seem like fragile and yet slightly crispy sweet apples.

Serve it for dessert, then eat it for breakfast. I think it would go perfectly with vanilla ice cream or with coffee, and its spicy goodness makes me yearn a bit for the holidays and fireplaces. Go on for more about his Asian pear cake.

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Tart ‘n’ tangy: Key Lime Cheesecake

September 12, 2006

Key lime cheesecake

Key lime cheesecake

I’ve seen it on many a menu, but have rarely been tempted by it. Usually, it’s crowded out either by my full stomach (which refuses dessert entirely) or offerings of warm berry tarts of some sort (which always call their siren song to me). What mysterious dessert am I talking about?

Key Lime Pie.

But Key Lime Pie is a star in many parts — I think particularly in even warmer climates — and I’ve felt an obligation to try it. But after a packing away a full restaurant meal and then growing dizzy at the prospect of dessert, bearing the mantle of culinary explorer (as opposed to warm apple tart eater) is just too much.

Luckily, my husband has solved this dilemma by making Key Lime Cheesecake here in our own home.

So now I can tell you that this particular variance has a light, custard-like texture that pairs with the crispy spiciness of its ginger snap crust. When you fork it in, it has a fresh — very tart — taste of lime, quickly met with an uncloying sweetness. Kind of like a sour lime candy. Then you finish by munching on the delicious cookie crust.

Sound good? I think so. I’m not Key Lime Pie expert (obviously) but I know good dessert. This is it, folks. Read on for husband’s backgrounder, and as he waxes philosophical about limes of all kinds.

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It’s, like, a fruit

August 21, 2006

Dragon fruit

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Dragon fruit

So my husband tells me he has a special treat for me tonight. It tells you a lot about him that no, it wasn’t a fancy piece of jewelry, and no, it wasn’t a homemade dessert, and no, thankfully, it wasn’t a swift kick to my butt. It was a piece of fruit. (Pause.) Exactly.

At least it was an incredibly exotic piece of fruit (to me). A dragon fruit, to be precise. It looks like a poor man’s Faberge egg or a prop that went astray from that dinosaur movie, The Land Before Time.

(You just had to see my husband’s face when he pulled out. So excited and expectant. He was so delighted with himself. For my part, I look at him blankly. “What is that?”)

But my excitement quickly grew to match his as he brandished the giant chef’s knife and lobotomized it. Who doesn’t like to see things sliced open to reveal gleaming, seed infested insides?

So, I’ll cut to the chase and describe my experience of eating a dragon fruit. Inside, it’s a white, soft melon-type texture with hundreds of tiny kiwi-like seeds suspended in its heart.

Sorry to disappoint, but frankly, it didn’t really taste like anything — at least the one that our local Whole Foods provided. Kind of like an unripe honeydew. A nothing kind of taste, but still melon, with an earthy aftertaste. The texture was pleasant, though, and you can scoop it out with a spoon.

I let my husband eat most of mine…. So it’s only fair that you read his version of these events. He was the one, after all, who inflicted this food tasting on the family…. Read the rest of this entry ?

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