Monday, September 19, 2005

btietw: in + out

before the cali readership gets too excited, let me tell you that the title is not referring to in + out burgers. though they are right at the top of my list of things to eat when i finally do get out to the other coast, just below chez panisse and the french laundry....

no, i mean "in + out" as in "of my house".

the best thing i ate in my house was a batch of the much-requested muhamarra. remember when i said that the hearts of palm dip is the most crowd-pleasing thing that i make? i may have to amend that statement. when i served the muhamarra at my birthday party, it inspired such a feeding frenzy that susan and i had to whip up another batch during the party. as stephen says, it's the perfect combination of flavors: sweet (pomegranate syrup), tangy (lemon juice), bitter (walnuts), earthy (olive oil), spicy (hot pepper), garlicy (garlic).... i can only make a double batch at this point, a single one goes too quickly and makes us sad. so without further ado, the muhammara:

2/3 c breadcrumbs (i think it works best when i use slightly stale slices of bread)
1 T garlic
2/3 c walnuts
2 lg. red peppers, roasted (or the equivilent thereof from a jar/can)
2 t cumin (i use less, but i'm not a huge cumin fan)
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T lemon juice
2 T pomegranate syrup
1 T water
1/4 c olive oil

whip up all of the ingredients in the food processor, in the order i listed them, drizzling in the liquids through the hole in the lid with the motor running. serve with pita chips, blue tortilla chips, ak-mak, or a spoon.

the best thing i ate out of my house was my meal at la lunchonette (18th + 10th) with the f.i.t. ladies. i was going to pick one dish to write about, but the meal as a whole really was wonderful, there was no standout, everything just worked together perfectly and seamlessly. we did my favorite thing and got lots of small plates: artichoke vinaigrette; beet salad; goat cheese is puff pastry; seared scallops with a chunky tomato-y sauce; sweetbreads (okay, i was the only one eating those...); escargot in a cognac and garlic sauce; a cheese plate with a smoky cow's milk cheese, a cheddar-y cow's milk cheese, a boucheron-esque goat cheese (crumbly in the middle, brie-like on the edges, one of wile's favorite foods, of course, at $13/lb....), a triple creme, and a bleu (gay will be posting the names of the best ones on savortooth soon. ahem.); and a creme caramel to finish things off. it was all very simple and french, perfectly executed. nothing fancy, nothing surprising, just great french comfort food. and the place itself is so utterly charming—brick walls, low ceilings, wide-plank wood floors, a worn-in feeling—that you just can't help but love it and feel at home. that all said...the hostess/perhaps owner woman was a leetle intense/insane. the whole time we were there she was scurrying around like a ferret, leaving a trail of tension in her wake. but besides that, it was just lovely.

1 comment:

casey said...

ohhh, i'm drooling! la luncheonette sounds wonderful; gods, i wish i could eat cheese! *cries* muhammara, however, i can do - i'll be trying that one!

ps - thank you for the stuffonmycat link, adam and i were cracking up for a good hour at that one. heh.