Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Splendid Table: We Like It!

Haven't been keeping up with the dinner diaries, but for the record, Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Splendid Table has been feeding us magnificently. Three dishes to call out.

Green beans with balsamic pesto were fantastic. Rich pesto deliciousness coupled with the virtue and crispiness of vegetable. 

Also amazing: brodetto -- "the king of Romagna's seafood stews." I've always been unnerved by recipes for bouillabaisse and cioppino that call for making a stock with bones and heads of fish to which you add pounds and pounds of expensive crustaceans. Kasper's brodetto was affordable and super-easy. You start by simmering chopped onions in red wine vinegar until "rosy" and soft, then add olive oil and fry. In go canned tomatoes, a bottle of white wine, garlic, and a few pounds of whatever seafood you like. I used calamari, shrimp, rock cod, and clams -- all in the sub $6.99/pound range from Whole Foods. A kingly seafood stew that can be enjoyed by the bourgeoisie.

Must also mention the popular Torta Barozzi, a cake whose innate elegance is not captured by my photography.

Here's Kasper: "Torta Barozzi is to chocolate cake what a diamond is to zircon. It looks like yet another flourless chocolate cake, but one mouthful banishes any sense of the mundane. This is a chocolate essence, moist and fudgy, with secret ingredients known only to the baker. "

Secret ingredient: peanut butter. Probably better to tell this secret.

I don't share Kasper's unbridled enthusiasm for Torta Barozzi, but I am notoriously unreliable on the subject of chocolate. Everyone else went completely crazy over it.


  1. The seafood soup and chocolate cake were probably two of the best Tipsy dishes yet dished. Beans were very good too. "Splendid Table" is not a great name, but itsa good cookbook so far.

    Idea for a book title: "Book Cook".

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