24 June 2009

Apricot-yogurt pie

From this site:


1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
2. 1/3 cup sugar
3. 1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed
4. 1/4 cup rolled oats
5. Pinch of salt
6. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
7. 1/4 cup canola oil
8. 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
9. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
10. 1/4 cup sugar
11. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
12. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
13. 1/2 cup warmed apricot preserves


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, almonds, oats and salt. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the granola mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 5 minutes; transfer to a 9-inch glass pie plate and let cool slightly.
2. Using a flat-bottomed glass, gently press the granola evenly over the bottom and side of the pie plate to form a 1/2-inch-thick crust. Freeze the crust for about 10 minutes, until completely cooled.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 25 minutes, until the filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Pour the warm apricot preserves on top of the yogurt and gently spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Using a warm knife, cut the pie into wedges and serve.

OK full disclosure: I have no idea what this pie tastes like. Today we went to the food market in Bratislava (more on that at a later post), and I found some nice apricots, but a bit too tangy, so I thought: pie! But having made a gooseberry pie ten days ago, I felt like changing from the pate brisee crust and switching to something that uses probably my second most favorite food: oats.
So I did the crust above, cooked it ten minutes before placing the apricots on it, and it was omg-delicious. So much better than the basic flour-butter-water-fridge combination (though easy to memorize). Try it and tinker with the oil/butter ratio (i had good butter so i increased that). The result: with Schlage, or sweet whipped cream, the pie was pretty good.

[Everytime I do a search for pie, the English sites give me something way too overworked. What I want is tarte. Is pie not the translation for tarte, or Anglo-pies are just different from Franco-tartes?

Read this blog: Sichuan Oddysey

My friend Kareem has a new blog/mission:

My mission is to eat in every Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan and then report back to you here.
Given that Sichuan food is the third best world cuisine (after Arabic food and the Birreria in Pilsen but before hamburgers and Per Se), this should be an exciting—if caustic and grossly unhealthy—project. A quick note about authenticity: one of the worst things about food writing and its culinary Orientalism is the idea that authenticity can be sought out, understood, and explained. As a blogger I find that stupid and lame, and as a student of cultural anthropology I find it troubling and full of incorrect assumptions about basically everything. So, I’m not going to describe this stuff as if there’s a central, essential Sichuanness that I can appraise and these places can emulate, I’m just going to talk about whether or not I like them.
Right on, even if the ordering is wrong. So, you know: read it, add to RSS, etc.

21 June 2009

Sunday is Food Day: Vichyssoise

I recently had the good fortune to happen upon a used copy of Mark Bittman's "The Best Recipes in the World", and it has already been a great resource; if you come across a used copy be sure to pick one up. For Bittman fans, it's a good approach to a cookbook: an enormous hardbacked monster of a book, 1000 recipes from everywhere, and especially useful if you've got ingredients but no specific direction you want to go. Yesterday at the market, there were leeks. I was contemplating buying only one at $0.50, but the hawker successfully upsold me to 5/$2. And a good thing, as almost immediately I realized that I needed to make some cold leek and (also market-purchased) potato soup. Which would be vichyssoise.


  • 5 baby leeks, white bits only, well-rinsed and sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold in this case), diced
  • 5 cups veggie stock (this one derived from collard stems, Swiss Chard chaff, fresh garlic bits)
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1 c. whole milk (calls for 1/2 c. cream, so just upping for more fat)
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat; add leeks and stir occasionally for 5-8 min. Keep heat moderate and cook until leeks are soft
  2. Season with salt and pepper, and add the potatoes. Mix thoroughly, and cook for one minute
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.
  4. Pour into large bowl and let cool to room temp, either in fridge or not.
  5. Pour from bowl into blender, and blend until smooth, adding milk now.
  6. Return to fridge and cool; serve cold and enjoy!


TBD – still in process as of this writing.

16 June 2009

Traquair House Ale

It'd been sitting on the shelves at Carrboro Beverage Co. and was marked down, so I decided to take a shot at the Traquair House Ale. It was nice! Smooth and a bit sweet, and it was clear that it needed to be drunk now (hints of vinegar coming in), but overall - quite nice, a good after-dinner beer.

Rheinhessen Spätburgunder Rosé Eiswein 2004

Another of the super-bargains from 3Cups some time back, this ice wine was simply a perfect treat. Not too sweet, wonderfully grapey, crisp and refreshing, and at only 8% ABV not a clobbery dessert wine. I went back in search of another bottle (for $10!), but of course they were all gone. Oh well - nice to have had the chance at all.

01 June 2009

Sausage and Beer

The Sausage: Giacomo's Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage on challah with cheddar with horseradish mustard and collards with spring onions

The Beer: Witterke White

The Seat: My back porch

The Verdict: Yes