bookclubsandwich

A Non-Fiction Kitchen

Figs and Fall!

by jordanalmond

It’s almost fall and I can not wait for the change in produce. Give me all the squash and apples!! I got a little jump start this past weekend and picked up some fresh figs at the local farmer’s market. There really is nothing like fresh figs, they taste delicious whether served savory with cheese and bread or sweet like this fig and almond crostada. Crostadas are one of my favorite go-to’s for showcasing some delicious seasonal goods. It’s basically a lazy person’s pie where instead of rolling out and fussing with 2 pie crusts, you just roll out one big dough circle, fill it with something yummy and just fold up the sides. Ta da!! No fancy lattice, no crimping, just straight buttery, flaky, pie quality goodness!

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Almond & Fig Crostada  Via Queen Martha

  • FOR THE DOUGH

    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • FOR THE FILLING

    • 1/2 cup blanched almonds (*note: I used almond meal in place of whole almonds)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 pound ripe fresh figs (about 16), stemmed and thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Make dough: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, gradually add up to 2 tablespoons more water). Do not overmix. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days).
  2. Make filling: In food processor, combine almonds and sugar; process until finely ground. Add 1 egg, butter, flour, vanilla, and salt; pulse until smooth, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine figs and lemon juice; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a large lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough to a 14-inch round. Spread almond filling in center, leaving a 2-inch border; top with fig mixture. Fold border over edge of filling, pleating all around; press down gently to seal. In a small bowl, mix remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water; brush dough with egg wash.
  4. Lifting edges of parchment, transfer crostata to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool on baking sheet at least 30 minutes. To serve, cut crostata into wedges.

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– Jordan

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Open Sesame

by creamnsugar

Tosi you’ve done it again, much to my bellies demise. As if the lure of soft serve in summer wasn’t enticing enough Momofuku Milk Bar in Brooklyn has rolled out an epic new flavor. Strawberry Sesame.

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This ain’t no Mister Softee, this is real strawberries whipped up with fresh cream and sesame seeds. They marry together effortlessly into something sweet, light, airy, and totally reminiscent of your childhood pb + j’s. Tune out the siren song of the ice cream truck and make haste to Milk Bar. Chow!

-Alice

I am so ramped!

by creamnsugar

Tis the season! Ramps are here in all their breath-altering glory. We here at BCS never pass up an opportunity to indulge in such a season specific specialty so we are going to do what we can to make it last. Solution = pickling!

It’s particularly perfect timing since our upcoming book club will be featuring home preservation recipes galore. Jordan, much to our collective glee, has chosen Home Made by Yvette van Boven for the next installment of BCS. Yvette is a food stylist, recipe writer, cafe owner, and illustrator based out of Amsterdam. Her whole food philosophy emphasis making things from scratch. Not needing to rely on Heinz for your ketchup or being able to offer friends a jar of plum jam is an altogether empowering skill set for home cooks to have . Best of all, every recipe in her beautiful book is accompanied by a photo. Don’t be ashamed, that is a huge selling point for me too.

So through some fantastic luck Bailey has a co-worker with a penchant for foraging and apparently she hit the goldmine. In exchange for half a cake Bailey hauled home a garbage bag full of fresh ramps. After making some ramp champ (mashed potatoes in british slang) and dressing our basa filets in some pan fried ramp greens (oh my they were good) the rest were blanched and pickled. We used the brine recipe from Eleven Madison Park since we have yet to obtain a copy of Home Made but it’s in the spirit so that counts for something.

The ramps have settled into their jars nicely and now we wait. Keep your ears out for the full pickle report coming your way soon.

XxBailey & Alice

After-tune Tea

by creamnsugar

Why yes! I have been looking for a fantastically kitsch tea set with one of the most catchy, quizzical, chorus’ in history. Oh Lionel!

Tea for Tune

Kin as Folk

by creamnsugar

This is a thing of beauty.

 

 

 

 

Fellow bookclubber Jessica sent me a link today for Young & Hungry, a collaboration between editorial and fine art photographers Dax Henry and Anais Wade. Their site is beautiful and beyond being mouthwatering it represents what I love most about this food-centric whirlwind that has swept over us. It is a lush, passion-fueled look into the world of food. The people that grow it, the places that it comes from, and the hands that transform it. Their work can be found in Kinfolk Magazine. This is more than a mere publication. As you’ll see on the site it is a way of life, ‘a natural approach to spending time with family and friends’ as the founders put it. I am a bit green that I didn’t think of it first, turning the ritual dinners and gatherings my friends and I relish into something, well, marketable. But I digress, Kinfolk, Young & Hungry, and all the other bloggers, photographers, and fiends out there bringing good food and good people to the forefront deserve a pat on the back. Or a pat of nice butter. Whichever you prefer.

-Alice

Old Dog, New Tricks

by creamnsugar

So I had officially resigned. I had packed my bags, gotten off the hot dog craze express, and never looked back. It wasn’t easy. I love meat. I love long, skinny, grilled, glistening, rods of meat. Glistening rods topped with mustard, wrapped in bacon, nestled in a pretzel bun with a schmere of schmuk-a-luck-a-ding-dong or whatever en vogue topping is currently making the rounds. But I’d had enough. That long slit of a bun had become an excuse and it seemed like everyplace in town was just stuffing it to the brim with whatever was in arms reach. It was  more than I could take. And then today I saw this:

 

Yakisoba from Japadog

 

I know, I know. This literally looks like someone rummaged through the fridge, took last nights spaghetti, nuked a frozen hot dog leftover from summers last bbq, and plopped it all onto a bun as to avoid having to wash a dish. Well call me crazy but that looks delicious! It comes from a far off land called Japadog. Actually, Japadog was founded in 2005 as a hot dog cart in the streets of Vancouver by a couple who had just moved from Japan. Six years and a few carts later they have just opened their first U.S. outpost and lucky me it’s close enough to go to on my lunch break! Oroshi anyone?

 

Oroshi, a bratwurst with daikon and soy sauce.

 

Japadog is located at 30 St. Marks Place in NYC.