Posts filed under 'Sauce'
I have a good excuse.
For weeks, I’ve been meaning to tell you about this hot fudge sauce, which is decadent and thick and glossy and everything a hot fudge sauce should be. The recipe has been on the docket since Valentine’s Day, in fact. I had a post planned, half drafted in my head. I intended to come clean that my annual protestations about Valentine’s Day were something of a hoax. For several years running, I’d posted a chocolate dessert in honor of the mid-February holiday (“holiday”?), so there was no denying that I was on board for at least one part of Valentine’s Day: the chocolate part. That would be the post’s title: “The Chocolate Part.” I quite liked that.
I’m crazy for ramps right now. Absolutely mad. I see them in the grocery store, tucked beneath deep green eaves of chard and kale, and I can’t help but grab a bundle in my fist, lift them triumphantly over my head, and squeal to myself (or is it aloud?): Ramps! About this time, Kevin busies himself in the crucifer bin—suddenly fascinated beyond distraction by a seafoam green head of cabbage. And, although the man does love his slaw, I’m beginning to think that maybe—just maybe—he’s embarrassed of my expression of ramp triumph. But, no matter: my shopping cart is lined with a lush carpet of ramps. Tra-lah-lah.
In truth, what I’m really crazy for is spring, and the ramps are just a little part of that. They’re a middle piece of the jig-saw puzzle. It seems that the perimeter of that puzzle has taken shape (the trees are starting to fringe themselves in chartreuse; the tulips have begun to unfurl), but the rest of the zillion middle pieces seem reluctant to fall into place (creating the real-deal, warmer-than-60-degrees, local-produce-at-the-markets, full-on spring).
[I'm in Napa, but I put this post together in advance. If we can't all sip crisp whites and spicy reds together, I'm hoping this is the next best thing.]
Some recipes just have your number. Call it destiny, or maybe love at first read. But, before you’ve even made the recipe, you just know. This recipe—for sweet cherry compote—was one of them. It has all the elements of my kind of recipe: a project (cherry pitting); a tranformation (rendering cherries from firm globes to slouching folds); color (a deep, seductive ruby—one that flirts, even, with purple); and a marriage of flavors that is equal parts sweet, salty and sour. Like I said, it was over before it began.
Speaking of destiny: this compote always had one destiny and one alone—a turkey sandwich. Which is pretty shocking for a girl who, not so very long ago, simply could not abide the presence of fruit on her sandwich. Be it banana-topped peanut butter, pear-threaded grilled cheese, or cranberry sauce over thick slices of leftover Thanksgiving turkey, my answer would be, emphatically, no thank you. Maybe even just a firm “no,” dispensing with the “thank you.” Heck, I didn’t even much like pb&j as a kid (the jelly, of course, being the problem).
As the late summer has slipped into a very autumnal mid-September, I find myself selecting recipe after recipe that allow me to sit on the fence. I don’t want to give up on summer just yet and the continued appearance of summer produce at the farmers’ markets, the occasional sunshine-soaked day and the fact that I still haven’t started my job at the law firm all combine to convince me that I don’t have to give up—not just yet. But there are other things—the early sun sets, the chilly evenings and my daily desire to pull out my sweaters and scarves—hurtling me toward fall.
As my brain see-saws between the two seasons, my palate does the same. One minute, I am craving a light, tart sorbet and the next minute I am hankering for pumpkin, baked into something sweet and tinged with baking spices that must have been born in the fall: cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, clove, ginger. And, well, it’s all rather confusing.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)