Friday, September 10, 2010

vacation hold

Running off to do some work in NY for 2 weeks with Lindsay Olives as well as teach at deGustibus, Kings and Institute of Culinary Education. Of course, I'll find time to see friends, visit my stepdaughter who just started college at The New School and eat at a few spots, Maialino, Locanda Verde, Co and Convivio.

Home for 36 hours and then off again, this time to Europe for my cooking classes in Provence at Blanche Fleur and in Tuscany at Il Leccio. I have lots of friends in my classes as well as my sister, so it should be very fun. Plus I get to see my best friend in Europe, my assistant, Carla.

And to think... I call this work!

Needless to say, I'm putting my blog on vacation hold until I return mid-October. If you want to follow my travels, you can do so on facebook. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

addiction, part 2

I ate the whole bowl! Do I think you should run out to buy an ActiFry? Read this post first before you do that.

Here's the deal. I had one huge russet potato in my house. I read the directions start to finish. I did just what the direction said. Sort of...

I cut the potatoes into uniform 1/2-inch sticks. The instructions advised not to leave any sharp points as the points will get too crispy. What's wrong with that, I thought? I left points.

I put the potatoes in a bowl of cold water to wash away the excess starch and dried them well. I dried the bowl and put the potatoes back in the bowl along with a few spices, herbs, salt and 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. I tossed everything together and placed them in the basket of the ActiFry along with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. I almost forgot to set the timer for 35 minutes.

As I cleaned up the kitchen, I couldn't help but go back again and again to watch the potatoes through the clear lid as they turned in the machine. At the first sight of "golden" I started to get excited.

When the timer buzzed, I was right there. I couldn't wait... I put one crispy, HOT, spicy hot potato into my mouth ever so gingerly.

Were they French fries? Nope, not as we know them. How could they be? Don't get me wrong, they weren't French fries but they were tasty.

As I downed the last couple "fries" at the bottom of the bowl, I couldn't help but think of what Julia Child once said... "Let's just admit it, fat tastes good."

Spicy Garlic "Fries"

1 1/2 pound russet potatoes, unpeeled
8 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pimenton
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Wash the potatoes well and cut into 1/2-inch uniform sticks. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Drain and pat the potatoes with towels until dry.

Place the potatoes, garlic, salt, cumin, pimenton, chili powder, cayenne, oregano and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl. Toss to coat the potatoes.

Place the potatoes into the ActiFry pan and drizzle evenly with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Cook for 35 minutes or until the fries are crisp and the garlic is deep golden brown.

Eat immediately.

Serves 2

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I'm being blatantly honest... I am so obsessed with potato chips that I can't even buy a bag. If I was to perform such a blasphemous act, those damn potato chips would be calling my name all day long as I peck away on my computer or cook at the stove. I can't even have them in the house.

This past weekend Joe "surprised" me and bought a bag of Kettle One "baked" potato chips dusted with sea salt. I can't even talk about it knowing that there are still a few crumbs at the bottom of the bag sitting in the trash. I obsessed about that bag of chips that screamed my name until they were gone. I know I have a problem.... It's my weakness, my downfall!

I'm now on a potato kick! (I have Joe to thank for this.) A few months ago, Tefal sent one of those Actifry machines from France. You've heard of them. Supposedly you can fry a whole batch of french fries with one tablespoon of oil. Yes, I repeat, ONE tablespoon of oil.

I'm going to try it out right now.... I'll let you know...