Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bacon corn fritters, fig goat cheese tart, Jewish holiday recipes, and more: Catching up

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I know it looks here as if I've been neither cooking nor writing for the past few weeks, but it ain't so. I've been cooking. I've been writing. But I've also been launching a new business Q&A site at work, called Business.com Answers (http://answers.business.com/ and yes, please, go take a look!), which took nearly six months to bring around. And, the day after it launched, we had 35 people at our house for the first night of Rosh Hashanah. Which was GREAT, and fun, and a lot of work.

I'm also getting ready for the BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco this weekend. It should be a great time for those of us in the obsessive food blogging world: In addition to a whole day of speakers, presentations and how-to sessions, there are pre-parties, cocktail parties, after-parties, and, I hear, quite a bit of swag. Note to self: Better pack an extra suitcase. I plan to come home loaded to the gills.

So what exactly has been going on in my kitchen lately? A lot of bye-bye summer, hello fall. The fresh corn and bacon fritters pictured above will only be possible for another few weeks, I think, because fresh corn generally dies out in southern California a few weeks before Halloween. They're among my most-requested recipes of all time, and what's not to like, after all? Corn, bacon, green onions, a little parsley, tucked into a thick pancake batter with a splash of hot sauce, then fried in dollops in a combination of butter and olive oil. Decadent, but always the first thing to go at a potluck. I made the short-lived batch in the photo for a barbeque at the home of Aaron Vanek, the LA Cocktails Examiner, who, by the way, is an amazing writer. I don't drink much, but I love reading his columns, because they're only in small part about the booze.

I've also been on a tart binge. There's this fresh fig and goat cheese tart with rosemary (above), made with figs from a dear friend's tree. And then I did a savory tart with beet greens and cheese, a French-ish take on the typical Greek spinach pie. Plus a few fruit tarts whose recipes I haven't yet written up, with Italian prune plums, pears, and the last of the season's super-sweet pluots. The tart frenzy was inspired by a recipe for a no-roll press-in crust made with olive oil, which I found in my eighth reading of Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser's wonderful memoir Cooking for Mr. Latte. I hate rolling pins and am scared of traditional pie and tart crusts. The press-in thing has changed my dessert-making forever.

And here are a few of the recipes I wish I'd had time to make for Rosh Hashanah: Akasha Richmond's plum tart, Iron Chef contender Eric Greenspan's apple-honey noodle kugel, Alain Cohen's round challah with fresh figs, JDate's egg souffle (although I might still make that for Yom Kippur), and Joanne Adirim's honey cranberry almond bars.

What did I actually make? The easiest chicken possible, and my new go-to: Roasted chicken with garlic salt and smoked paprika. You won't believe how much flavor this dish packs. I've used the leftovers in chicken salad, quesadillas, and sandwiches. It's amazing. And I don't know about your Costco, but mine now sells smoked paprika in very large plastic containers. Score.

So what's next? Let's see what the season brings....


Maris said...

Love the whole wheat beer bread recipe! I make that too, only without wheat germ. I'll have to try it next.

It was nice meeting you at BlogHer! I already added your blog to my reader :)

Gaby said...

sooooo great to finally meet you this weekend!!!! lets plan something fun in LA! xo

Erika said...

Maris - it was great meeting you too. I'm so excited about all my new blogging friends. And I have SO much reading to catch up on! (I added your blog to my reader too.)

Erika said...

Gaby - I'm already working with a couple of my food PR friends on an LA food bloggers' event. There are plenty of us down here, we've got to make it happen! So glad to have met you too. What a great weekend at BlogHer Food!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Hi there Erika - so great to meet you at both the Foodbuzz event and BlogHer this weekend! Particularly enjoyed chatting with you at the after-party. Looking forward to catching up on your blog here and will add you to my reader immediately.

Also, those bacon corn fritters look *amazing*! Our fresh corn season is over here ... but there's always next year. ;)


Erika said...

Tara, same here - it was wonderful meeting you and chatting. I get to NY at least a few times a year, so we won't be strangers, I'm sure. And I'm adding you to my reader too!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Yay! Please do let me know when next you're in NYC. Would love to meet up again.

Laura said...

Hi Erika! Laura here Queen of All :D Finally in recovery mode and digging out my business cards to look through. Really enjoyed hanging with you at the after party!

Liz Rietz said...

I'm salivating over those corn and bacon fritters!!! Can't wait to try them. So wonderful to meet you at BlogHer Food!! See you soon

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