Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Enough with the Nut Butters, Already!

I realize that at this point, you must think that my infatuation with all things nutty and ground in the food processor borders on serious insanity. Well, I can assure you that I am certifiably crazy, but it has nothing to do with schmears intended for toast.

That being said, our latest venture into the nut butter world was cashew. Ben is interested in trying out one of Martha Stewart's recipes that calls for cashew butter. I must admit that out of the three that we have tried thus far, cashew butter is my least favorite, although I can't clearly articulate why. Perhaps there is a higher starch content, which in the end yields something slightly more difficult to spread than the good old Peter Pan standby. While this may not sound like a ringing endorsement, I do suggest you try it. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. Who knows? Maybe I will even venture into the world of Brazil nut butter. Does that even sound good?

4 cups raw, unsalted cashews
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup oil
4-6 tablespoons water

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the cashews. Roast for 20 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown and release their oils.
2. In a food processor, grind the nuts with the salt, scraping down the sides often.
3. With the machine running, pour in oil and water, again scraping the sides as necessary. If the butter seems too stiff, feel free to add more water or oil.
4. When the cashew butter is smooth and homogeneous, transfer to an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Project Foodie

My mother's house - much like my own postage stamp in the Mission - was filled with stacks and binders of decades worth of food magazines and newspaper clippings. Hers were namely Gourment; my secret hoarding fetish includes mostly Saveur. I remember the sadness in her eyes when the basement flooded and she was forced to throw away the moldy back issues that had brought her so many gastronomic pleasures. Eventually, I would grow overwhelmed by their presence -- so many layers of precious information, but without the Dewey Decimal system or a computer driven search engine, how the hell does one find something even remotely specific?

Enter Foodie Pam of Project Foodie, a delightful personality that I had the pleasure of dining with at Cav Wine Bar and Kitchen this evening. Pam is the founder of this ingenius site that searches only reputable food publications and provides the user with links to recipes that will surely not result in disaster. No longer is it necessary to while away the hours in fruitless search of an elusive dish (although, I admit that there is nothing that I would like more). Nor are you forced to place your evening meal in the untrustworthy hands of less-than-average-blogger-Joe. Registration ensures that you can return to your favorite recipes again and again -- carefully bookmarked in your very own e-recipe box, ensuring that your prized instructions won't be set aflame on a misdirected burner or covered in Bordelaise sauce.