April 18, 2008

How It Went -- Seafood for Book CLubs

1. I am giving up on Alton Brown's bean method. I love him, but this thing just never turns out the way I want it to. Who has a recipe they like?

2. The clam chowder went over really well. I wasn't that thrilled with it myself, but the crowd seemed rather wild for it. Again, I used frozen clams in the shell, and left out the pork.

3. The slaw was just fine. I followed the recipe, but had to drain it through a colander there was so much excess dressing.

4. No matter what anyone tells you when you're out shopping at the lovely little organic store for ingredients to make something wheat free for a guest and they don't have barley flour, do not substitute arrowroot powder for the barely flour! It does not work. Your cornbread will turn out like a brick. (Also, masa flour does not work for cornbread -- but that was my own fault. )I scrapped the cornbread altogether it turned out so badly (which is weird beyond measure, because I am an ace cornbread maker). I love Local Harvest, but sometimes they are missing the oddest items. Luckily Rebecca had some decent bread in the house!

5. OK, this apple crisp is to die for. My own recipe:

2 cups Trader Joe's Maple Pecan Granola
1 cup pecan meal (ground pecans)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup turbino sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter + 4 Tablespoons, melted separately
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
a pinch of salt
8-10 apples (I used Granny Smiths and some little red ones from Local Harvest)

1. Cut the apples into slices.
2. Saute the apples in the 4 Tablespoons of butter and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon until they're just turning soft; set aside.
3. Lightly toss together all the remaining ingredients, minus the butter.
4. Pour the butter over the granola mixture.
5. Slide the cooked apples into a large flat crock or pie pan.
6. Press the granola mixture on top of the apples, then sprinkle with a Tablesppon or so of turbino sugar.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for half and hour to forty minutes, until the apples bubble and the topping is brown.

I served it warm from the oven with heavy organic cream. It really was wonderful.

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