it's okay to play with your food

Friday, October 24, 2008

Indonesian in Newbold

I'm a bit late in posting this... but last Friday's Inky showcased two Indonesian restaurants in my part of South Philly, Newbold. I've only been to Hardena (just three blocks from my house!) and can attest that it is awesome. The unassuming storefront gives no hint as to the delicious food inside. For $6, you get a mound of hot rice and a choice of three dishes to go on top. I tend to go with the coconut beef, yellow curry fish and tofu/tempeh. On my last visit, I shared a plate of lamb satay swimming in a most authentic peanut sauce (also only $6). Overall, their sauces are thick and rich, the meat tender.

The only downside is that their hours are a mystery. I went there with friends last Friday (the day of their glowing review) at 8:30 to find the doors shut. Plus, I believe they are also closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

So check out the review below and let me know when you want to go to either place. I am up for trying Indonesian Restaurant but I suspect my heart will always belong to Hardena.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

The following recipe is the last chocolate cake recipe you will ever need. It is super simple, both in terms of ingredients, time and effort required. And it's very good. Plus it is easy to gussy up with frosting, whipped cream, or a fruit sauce (raspberry sauce would be delish). It can also be eaten plain. I realized I should share this on kitchenplay after my friend asked for a simple but really good dessert for a dinner party.

And if you've ever made this cake (ahem, Sarah... ahem, Elizabeth), I want to hear your testimonials about it. Leave comments!!!

Elodie's Chocolate Cake
Bon Appetit, October 1995

10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar

5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Beat eggs and 1 1/4 cups sugar in large bowl until well blended and beginning to thicken. Sift flour and baking powder over eggs and fold in. Gradually fold in chocolate mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake 20 minutes. Cover pan with foil. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs still attached, about 30 minutes longer. Uncover cake; cool in pan on rack (cake will fall as it cools). (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.)

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Sift powdered sugar over cake; cut into wedges.

Coming up: Pumpkin Walnut Muffins and Cranberry Granola from The Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lavender Rosemary Crostini

A more accurate recipe title would be Lavender Rosemary Honey Goat Cheese Crostini... but I shall sacrifice accuracy for pithyness.

Inspired by my Honey and Goat Cheese Sandwiches from a couple weeks ago, I made these for a housewarming potluck last weekend. In light of the occasion (one of my best friends just moved to Philadelphia), I wanted to gussy them up a bit. They were very popular and easy to make.

As lavender is such a strong flavor, and one that is not favored by many palettes, keep it subtle. Start out with less than you think you need and add as desired. As usual, my measurements below are estimates. I did use about 5 sprigs of rosemary and a generous fingerful of rosemary. I *think* it was about 2 tablespoons.

P.S. I promise this will be my last goat cheese recipe for a while!

Lavender Rosemary Crostini

One baguette, sliced into rounds (approx. 1 inch thick)
Olive oil and salt
Goat cheese
About two tablespoons of lavender, coarsely chopped
About 5 sprigs of rosemary, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Mix together olive oil and salt and spoon over (or brush on with a pastry brush) the rounds of baguette. Arrange bread on a baking sheet and cook till crispy and a light golden brown (about 20 minutes).

Prepare lavender and rosemary by mixing them together and set aside.

When crostini are done, let cool. Smear each round with goat cheese. Place each round side by side, and drizzle them with honey. Sprinkle the lavender & rosemary mixture on top.