Someone has nibbled at my bread - web bites
February 10th, 2007

The possibility of finding a (new) definite keeper or killer recipe is what keeps me going and spending -probably too much- time on the culinary end of the net. A trait many food lovers – especially food bloggers – have in common, continuously striving to find yet another fantastic new recipe. Which also serves nicely as a handy excuse to allow one’s cookbook racks to gradually take over what you used to refer to as your apartment. But cookbooks – in many ways – can’t compete with online recipe sources and in particular with food blogs. For a couple of reasons:

We write because we love our food, which, photographed or not, will land on our plates afterwards. Usually. I dare to claim food bloggers are epicureans, so by no means would someone add hairspray to a painstakingly prepared feast, right? RIGHT? And the inexorably melting ball of ice cream showcased on the plate is real ice cream – likely to have been documented by the bloggers’ cursing about how difficult it was to capture the perfect scoop. It’s all real.

Immediate feedback. Sometimes not the recipe per se attracts the reader’s attention, but perhaps the through-the-roof positive reviews it has received. Expressed appraisal and appreciation by the readership and other food bloggers can be the golden seal of approval. It’s a good sign that a recipe truly works and has the potential to knock you of your feet.

With the unbeatable side effect: Little flaws in recipes are likely to be discovered by your attentive readers which adds that extra level of quality insurance and encourages food bloggers to be careful and precise about each recipe published online. Mistakes happen, all the time – after all we are human – but it’s far easier to correct it online than it would be in a printed book, ultimately resulting in a higher accuracy of a recipe.

Why am I telling you this? Because the number of my recipe bookmarks has skyrocketed over the last months. Not a single day goes by without adding one or two new alluring recipes – most of which I haven’t tried yet (and truth spoken, I may never get to). A fault confessed is half redressed! So from now on, similar to Zarah Maria’s Dinning with the bloggers, I’ll try to re-cook or -bake as many of my bookmarked recipes in one day, now whenever that day is. Simply to find out, if there are some real keepers out there and I have a strong feeling there are!

How about you? Have you recently discovered drop-dead fabulous recipes online? True keepers? ‘Love to hear about your experience, what made the dish so special and who wrote about it!

English muffins
The same recipe was bookmarked twice, Barbara’s, as well as Sam’s attempt to bake these little breakfast treats. I found the dough a tad too sticky to work with and decided to add a bit more flour, which worked well: Fluffy crumb, crisp on the outside, next time perhaps with an extra pinch of salt – a keeper, I’d say!

English Muffins

Gougères
Cheese-y, fluffy, cute. Anyone out there who doesn’t like them? Thought so ;) Jennifer raved about them, Deb had before and I’m doing it now: Little delights, easy to prepare, the secret star of every party buffet. Original recipe by Jacques Pépin, Food & Wine

Gougeres

Potato arugula soup
Luisa’s encounter with Leslie Brenner’s Arugula And Potato Soup was not exactly what she had hoped for. Yet her thoughts on how to go about making a proper version planted a seed in my brain and I – an absolute arugula aficionado – had to see for myself.

Potato Arugula Soup‘Sautéed some shallots in butter, followed by the potatoes, added the chicken stock, seasoned it with salt, fresh black pepper, nutmeg, a dash of cayenne and a generous dollop crème fraîche before finally adding the arugula and blending everything. Help! I never had anything like this. Pungently bitter in taste and slimy in its consistency, I quickly came to my senses and kept repeating to myself that arugula is just not meant to be heated AND pureed…

Semolina pudding with oranges, syrup and pistachios
Petra writes one of those blogs I’d trust blindfolded, each and every recipe, seriously, I kid you not. Concise in her description and steps, her culinary taste never disappointed me, which is probably why her blog is the one I cooked most recipes from over the last years. Putting aside what I just wrote, this recipe instantly convinced me just by its looks, so colorful and juicy, it was screaming my name – or was it the blood oranges on our window sill, desperately waiting to be eaten? I cooked the pudding according to her instructions sans beaten egg-white (I don’t like the taste of it in my semolina puddings), reduced the orange juice together with brown sugar until syrupy and garnished everything with pistachio halves. Mmmmh-yum! A visual epiphany with a oriental undertone, which I’d like to emphasize even more so next time with additional cardamom and cinnamon.

Semolina Pudding

Comments
whitelady

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2007

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2007

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