Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garlic Press

I've been watching some more America's Test Kitchen lately and have seen them using a garlic press for mincing. It looked pretty effective. It's been a while since I've tried it, over 10 years, but I've been carrying mine (a gift at some point, I think) around for a long, long time. So, in making my ersatz ratatouille, I decided to give it a shot and literally dug mine out of the bottom of a storage box.

Okay, granted, I've got one of the ubiquitous aluminum ones everyone had a while back, but, boy, this sucked. With average-sized cloves, at least 1/2 of each one would be stuck in the "bowl" of the device. I'd have to dig them out and then re-seat everything, getting that sticky garlic juice all over my hands anyway.

Maybe the design of the one they use on ATC is better (it certainly looks fancier), but I have to give this one an "F." I'll stick with my new-found method of grinding it into a paste with kosher salt using the back of a knife.

Red Wine Marinara

I made another pass at tomato sauce and, while I've been happy with my previous attempts, I really knocked it out of the park with this batch.

I used the Eastside Cafe's recipe as a base, tripled it and used 1/2 red wine and 1/2 low sodium chicken broth for the water. The tomatos were Dei Fratelli again and the herbs came from our various plantings. Once it had cooked, I took my immersion blender to it (which I didn't do last time) and brought it to an even, smooth sauce. Absolutely perfect.

The downside is that by tripling the recipe, I had a LOT of sauce. Thank goodness it freezes well.

The recipe is reprinted with the kind permission of the Eastside Cafe.

Carter, Ruth, Elaine Martin & Dorsey Barger. Inside the Eastside: Recipes from the Eastside Cafe' Menu. Austin: Eastside Cafe/Blame Books 1993. p 22. Buy it here (It's now titled Eastside’s Inside Secrets)..

Egg White Omelettes

So, I ran out of Egg Beaters last week, but had some egg whites in the fridge from when I was thinking of making another Angel Food cake. Rather than let those go to waste, I figured I'd use them for my morning omelette.


I had enough for four days, so I was able to experiment a little bit. I was able to get them to not be quite as rubbery by whisking them up to even out the consistency, but really, even my best effort (which was, frankly, much better than most egg white omelettes I've tried) was still kind of gross.

I don't know why restaurants offer these as an option rather then just keeping Egg Beaters or something in their cooler.