puu's passover weekend

i’ve decided not to let passover keep me from baking my way through my “cooking wish list” and made bold plans for the weekend: matzo meal profiteroles. i promise, i didn’t make it up out of the clear blue sky but saw a recipe for them on the martha stewart homepage last week. her recipe made a daunting amount of puffs, though, so i combined her recipe with a technique i found on humble pie to make a small batch of chocolate matzo meal profiteroles, with white chocolate ice cream and a “very cherry cherry” sauce (from the “seven sins of chocolate”, alice medrich’s “bittersweet”, and emily luchetti’s “passion for ice cream”, respectively and inspired by david leibovitz’s sour cherry frozen yogurt profiteroles).

this very ambitious goal also allowed me to at last test out nigella lawson’s potentially revolutionary technique of making creme anglaise (or ice cream custard base) IN THE OVEN. no more scrambled egg custard for this lil puu! perhaps at last i can stop avoiding french-style ice creams...

i’m pleased to report that the profiteroles were a success. or at least, as much of a success as anything made out of matzo cake meal and egg can ever be. it’s true, i didn’t put enough cocoa powder into the batter, and the matzo meal made the choux a bit tougher than it ought to be, i daresay, but overall i had nothing to complain about. the white chocolate ice cream--i debated pulling the recipe from either “the perfect scoop” or “bittersweet” but gave in to ms. medrich when i saw that her recipe was more easily halved--was subtle, sweet and tasty even if i did foul it up by putting too many too-large chocolate chips into it as a last-minute whim. the cherry sauce was the closest i’ve come yet to replicating one of my favorite (now discontinued) products from the williams-sonoma shelves, the sour cherry compote that american spoon used to distribute via w-s. and yes, i could mail-order it, but that got to be too much of a hassle. i found a stash of frozen farmers’ market cherries hidden in the freezer and happily put a double-handful to boil in a pot full of water, splenda and a pinch of sugar (i’ve discovered that splenda doesn’t carmelize or reduce a sauce the way that sugar does).

dinner, unfortunately, gave me less to gloat about. it seemed to elementary, to make potato gnocchi and substitute matzo meal for the flour, but oy, vey! it’s very heavy on my heart. all told, i probably only made it through three or four spoonfuls before i gave up out of self-preservation. about the only upside of the effort was that it allowed me to practice my gnocchi-making technique, which i don’t use often enough because i always think it’s more work than it ever turns out to be. all of that and i found an excuse to have my favorite starter plate (ever since i saw it on every menu in rome) of fresh mozzarella with thinly-sliced proscuitto.

my goal for today was equally ambitious, but i must confess that i gave in to the lure of frozen baked potato skins lathered in cheesy goodness and bacon bits instead of the bangers and mash i had planned on. i also skipped breakfast, except for a glass of chocolate milk, instead of trying out ms. martha’s matzo meal crepes. too much effort too early in the morning makes me tired all day. i put my time to better use by accompanying the chocolate milk with a good book (the classic “hunt for red october”) and spending the afternoon making van dyke brown prints in my bathtub (as a side note, i did finish my entire weekend’s worth of spring sanity restoration to-dos off of my list!).

dinner i scavenged out of the fridge, pulling the ingredients together for a simple but really delicious stew of curried chicken in coconut milk. unfortunately i couldn’t dish this up with the plate of jasmine rice it deserved, so i had to settle for a small serving of coconut-infused quinoa (which, since it’s not technically a grain but actually a plant of some kind, is genuinely KFP).

i HATE quinoa. but between the coconut milk and the curry-stew sauce, i found i was able to get through it. and meanwhile the chicken was tender and juicy and had just enough heat from the spices.

oh, and did i mention that i set the kitchen of fire from making matzo brei?


Quellia said...

Sounds like you had a pretty successful passover, despite some disasters and set backs! Well done!

Elle said...

The challenge of passover certainly brought out creativity in your cooking. Did the oven baked creme anglaise work? The chicken coconut curry sounds great, but Ughh on the quinoa. I'm not a big fan. Something about the texture, althoughit is good for you.
Pat yourself on the back for meeting the challenge so well.

puu said...

oh, yes, i shall have to blog about the revolutionary creme anglaise. it looked shady at first, but after i strained it and cooled it....