On the plus side, I did take a photo of the jar of peanut butter I made the morning I arrived home. Two different kind of peanut butter in fact (just give me a second while I brush my shoulders off...). The top is a nice, lightly toasted peanut butter and the bottom is an UBER toasty peanut butter. While the top one is more for general applications, the bottom is fantastic for cooking. It made some stellar peanut butter cookies, where you can really taste the nutty, roasted flavor of the peanuts. It's extremely simple to make PB, actually. Roast some peanuts till they're just beginning to brown, toss in a food processor, add a pinch of salt and some honey, and turn that sucker on high. When the nuts start becoming paste-like, stream in vegetable or peanut oil till it thins out to the right consistency. Voila! Homemade peanut butter!
Of course, you need a filling for macarons. For some reason, my parents had an abundance of pears in the house, so I thought, why not a pear curd? I haven't made curds in a while, but as far as I know, it's generally fruit in some form (either juice and zest, or pureed), egg yolks, and butter. Since these pears were relatively young, I simmered them in simple syrup with a cinnamon stick and some cloves, blended them, then went ahead with a traditional curd recipe. Oh man, is this stuff good. Very lightly flavored, it works so well with the macaron, or honestly, probably on any dessert-like platform. I'd actually just eat it on its own.
For my goodbye dinner, my mom always makes up a meal that I generally couldn't get anywhere but her kitchen, which is almost always Indian food. We were browsing the produce section of the grocery store and came upon Methi, or fenugreek. That was it, a dish I haven't had in ages but really love: aloo methi. It's chopped up fenugreek leaves cooked with potatoes. This is a seriously Indian dish. I almost never see it at Indian restaurants because it's a flavor that most people who haven't grown up eating Indian food would probably not immediately enjoy. It also makes your kitchen stink a bit. But honestly, the flavor is so interesting and lovely. You mix mustard oil and seeds with asafoetida, turmeric, and these greens and potatoes and get this amazingly pungent, bitter, and delicious dish. If you're brave, I'd definitely give this one a try.
|My last supper: aloo methi, gobi (of course), papar (best chip you could ever buy), and celeriac remoulade|
Alliance Bakery: http://www.alliance-bakery.com/
French Food at Home: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/french-food-at-home/index.html
Note: When we tossed the vinaigrette with the celeriac and apple we found that it was just shy of enough. Instead of making more I just sprinkled in a bit more ground fennel and mustard, along with a pinch more salt and pepper. Worked out fine, this vinaigrette adds more like a sheen to the mixture, just the faintest hint of dressing.