Monday, February 8, 2010

Round Food, Part 1

I want to talk today about round food. This, being in the midst of citrus season, is fitting. But I don't want to talk too much about citrus, and not because I don't love it- quite to opposite. I have been eating as much grapefruit as is socially acceptable... and only a little bit more.

I want to talk about recreating foods (or attempting to) that you love. I once worked as a lunch and coffee slinger back in Portland. It was, in fact, the first job I had post college. I do not use the word 'sling' lightly. The lunches were prepared at a different location and by the time it got to the cafe we threw it on a plate and slung it at the customers. Really. The different location at which the food was prepared at was actually a catering kitchen, and food was usually well prepared and quite tasty. I suppose one doesn't 'sling' tasty food and that that verb is usually reserved for gruel or food of a similar consistency. But I digress.

I haven't worked there for almost 4 years, but there is one lunch item that has persistently been on my mind. Alas, I was unable to get a recipe before I left and have never attempted to duplicate it... until recently.

Gorgonzola and caramelized onion polenta gratin.

Yum? I think so. The key flavors and textures are pretty self-explanatory, though I still have some tweaking to do- As I remember it, it was much cheesier. I do recommend keeping caramelized onions in your fridge at all times- they do a great job of enhancing everything from polenta to pizza to scrambled eggs.

The other round thing that was made recently was supposed to be a pie. Nic bought some home-canned cherries and requested a pie. I personally don't deal too well with cherries other than to eat them fresh- they're a littl fussy to mess with, what with all those pits and not a lot of fruit to show for it, compared to other stone fruits. So the jars sat in our pantry for about 6 months. A few weekends ago Nic cooked them down in their syrup and created a nice thick cherry pie filling. However, the filling was less than an adequate amount for a full pie, and Nic only made a single pie crust, and so we made a cherry galette.

I am a big fan of naming things as you see fit. I once made what was supposed to be a lemon cake, but the cake turned out to be (a lot) more dense than I had hoped, and so I called a lemon torte. You can get away with a lot by remembering this little trick.

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