What I’m Reading Today

Mayonnaise, Kale, and Macarons?  It’s actually quite a lovely combination…enjoy.

Andrew Scrivani/The New York Times

Have you ever made homemade mayonnaise?  It’s takes practice but I can assure you, even if you’re one of those mayo-haters out there, it tastes nothing like what you get from Best Foods or Hellman’s.  If you go to culinary school you’ll be asked to master the art of making mayo, by hand (that means no mixer/processor/blender allowed).  It’s one of those skills cooks love to show their friends-one hand madly whisking, one hand adding oil (at the pace of water torture, I might add), and all while managing to keep your bowl from flying off the counter.  Once you have it down you’ll find yourself making it all the time.  In today’s NY Times, Melissa Clark is kind of enough to guide you through the mayonnaise process, giving you the mixer and processor method, plus tons of flavorful variations.  Her best hint, which I learned in school too, is to add a few drops of water to keep the mixture from separating.  Give it a shot-you’ll feel like a pro once you have it mastered.

Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post

Kale has gone from the health nut veggie of choice to what might just be the produce of the year.  It’s in juice, salads, soups, sandwiches…you name it.  I happen to love the bitter green, raw or cooked, and these days you can find it everywhere (although the farmers’ market is still your best bet).  In today’s Washington Post you’ll learn the art of the kale massage in this recipe for Kale and Cucumber Salad.  Yes, I said massage.  Having nothing to with it’s recent elite status, the massage is actually a way to tenderize the leaves by rubbing them with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice.  If you haven’t tried a raw kale salad, where have you been?  Kidding-if you haven’t tried one you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  The crunch and bright flavor really are worth the massage.

Felicity Cloake

First it was the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Now, in the Guardian, Felicity Cloake has created what she deems to be the recipe for the perfect Chocolate Macaron.  Making these delicate French cookies is a commitment-there are egg whites you want to get  whipped just right, there is piping to keep each cookie consistent in size, and there is frosting to ensure the filling is perfection in each one.  None of these steps are difficult, but getting each one just right ensures you’ll have bakery-worthy cookies.  I’ve read so many recipes for macarons but I love that Felicity has done the work to come to, what she believes, is the ideal version.  I’m trying it this week…stay tuned.

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking.

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One Response to What I’m Reading Today

  1. Can’t wait to massage me some kale…sounds delicious!

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