Monday, August 17, 2009
Pride Before the Fall-Updated
I made another great dinner tonight. Yeah, I know that's rather boastful but, hey, it's the truth. And my husband will back me up.
Again inspired by Julie and Julia, I devised this week's menu to include recipes from my Donna Hay cook-books. I have a lot of cook-books but lately have not been using them, rather depending on memory and easy-to-improvise-off-the-top-of-my-head-know-by-heart recipes. It's clearly time to hit the books. I was introduced to Donnas Hay about 11 years ago (when we were in Canada). Her recipes aren't complicated and her books have gorgeous photos. Some of the ingredients are a bit hard to come by, living in rural southern Illinois...so I often improvise, as I did tonight.
Tonight's menu was Baby Spinach Salad with Prosciutto and Tomatoes. Walmart was not carrying prosciutto today so I had to settle for pancetta. Also there were no wedges of parmesan so it was pre-shredded instead. Like I said about Donna Hay's recipes - easy and quick. Just roast the pancetta and half roma tomatos (drizzled with oil) in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The tomatoes take longer than the pancetta. Meanwhile get the spinach ready. In a bowl toss the baby spinach with about 1/2 c. parmesan. Now mix the dressing: 2 T. olive oil, 2T. lemon juice, 2 t. brown sugar and 1/3 c. chopped fresh basil. Toss the dressing in. Now to assemble: layer the tomatoes, pancetta and salad. Now devour. It's delicious, light, refreshing and elegant. Top it off with that wonderful NY Times bread and white white. Yes!
Now where the fall comes in...
I had a hankering for lemon pound cake. It just sounded right with the above mentioned menu, topped off with blueberries. So as soon as dinner was over I went to baking. Flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, lemon juice, vanilla---check, check, check. Mix it up. Set it in the pan. In the oven it goes. 60 minutes from now I will have what I want.
Two minutes into the baking process I'm cleaning the counter and, hey, what's this - 4 eggs. What are these out....oh no! As quickly as possible, and as carefully as possible I pull the loaf pan out of the oven and back into my already clean mixing bowl. Hopefully no worse for wear, I return the loaf pan to the oven WITH the eggs. It's just now out of the oven and cooling, waiting to taste if any damage was done.
Now the funny thing was as I was mixing this pound cake my mind was dwelling on the delights of dinner and how I could embellish my accomplishment on this blog. Pride knocks me down a few notches every time. It's for my good.
So after cooling I went to cut the pound cake but it was stuck in the pan because, you see, I neglected to re-spray the pan after dumping the original batter back into my mixing bowl. Oh, and it burned, a tinge. After cutting a few slices off then using the spatula to lift the remaining loaf then surgically removing the charred exterior, the cake isn't that bad. Nice lemony flavor and moist texture.