Due to a car battery failure, our Valentine’s treat got put on hold until Saturday night but the fondue was definitely worth waiting for. I didn’t make the traditional Gruyere/Emmental fondue but I did put together a variation of Myrtle Allen’s Ballymaloe Cheese Fondue, using local Hegarty’s Farmhouse Cheddar, a few splashes of Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc, some garlic and parsley. We dipped cubes of sourdough bread, which had been crisped up in a hot oven, pieces of rosemary flatbread from work, dried apricots, some thinly sliced Gubbeen chorizo and salami, cutting the richness with a few cherry tomatoes, gherkins (my latest foodie love!) and a green salad from West Cork. So simple and so good – I’m a fondue convert. The following day we were around at my Clonmel Cousin’s for brunch (yummy muffins!), waxing lyrical about our new fondue set and making her pull an almost forgotten old Christmas present from the back of the cupboard. Don’t forget to use it, Ruth!
Tagged: new york times
Happy Valentine’s Day! Be you romantic or not, there’s just no way of avoiding it. But you can make it easier on yourself. After hearing too many tales of horrendous evenings in restaurants from my waitress sister, I’ve always avoided restaurants on Valentine’s Night in favour of preparing something at home. I’m working all day today so there’s not going to be time to prepare any three course meals when I come home tonight – but I’ve got something even better.
The No-Kneed Bread recipe from Mark Bittman – aka the New York Times’ Minimalist – is one of those recipes that has taken on a life of its own. Published in the newspaper in 2006, it still keeps cropping up on other people‘s blogs and, finally – it was on my list of recipes-to-try for ages – I’ve gotten around to making it.
This is the book for anyone who has ever gone to Paris seeking French food and been completely waylaid from their Coq au Vin by the rich variety of ethnic restaurants in the city. With a far-flung variety of former colonies and protectorates, Paris is a melting pot for people and cuisines from all over North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. When we were there last year we spent a lot of time exploring the food available at places like the café at L’Institut du Monde Arabe, grabbing pastries from a spectacular Algerian bakery called La Bague de Kenza (subsequently written up in the New York Times, with recipes, and there’s also some great photos on Lulu Loves London) and trying to find a much-recommended restaurant called l’Afghanistan in the 11th arrondissement.
One of the many interesting things about food blogging is tracing the movement of ideas and recipes around the widespread world of bloggers. Since the first time I read about Mark Bittman’s No Knead Bread – currently on my (very long!) list of recipes to try – in the New York Times it has travelled far and wide. You’ll also find Peabody’s Cranberry Orange Cookies a-wandering around other people’s blogs, as is Donna Hay‘s Self Frosting Cupcake recipe, which first surfaced on Niki’s Baking Sheet and then moved out into the wider world.