Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bayless: Next year more tomatoes, no pumpkins

Author: Rick Bayless
Book: Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen
Recipes cooked: smoky braised Mexican pumpkin 

Used pumpkin from garden. Peeled, chopped, made it into a pumpkin stew that I served to my mother for dinner last night. Children did not touch, which was silly because everything tastes okay slathered in Mexican sauce, topped with avocado and wrapped in a homemade tortilla, even pumpkin. 

Homemade tortillas, by the way, were kind of a thrill. I didn't have time to go to the Latin grocery store, but had a bag of Maseca, so we made them. Masa flour, water, flatten, bake for a minute in a hot, dry skillet. Easier than finding the car keys and better than anything you can buy.

The dessert you could not buy if you wanted to.

"When I tasted Huguenot torte, a recipe that ran in The Times in 1965, I had but one thought: Why isn't everyone making this weekly?" Amanda Hesser wrote in the NYT Magazine on Sunday.

Last night, I baked Huguenot torte and had but one thought: What she said.

The recipe is here. It's a one-bowl cake made with humble ingredients, and it's ugly, ugly, ugly
but unless you are on a diet, you will thank me. This torte is easy and gooey and chewy and nutty and moist from chunks of apple and has a candy-like meringue-like top crust that shatters when you cut it. Four of us ate almost the whole thing, picking at it in a way that drives my husband bananas, except he wasn't home.

My story about killing a chicken is here. As a postscript, I would add that there is not another chicken in our flock that I would be comfortable slaughtering, except maybe whichever one is eating the eggs. 


  1. jeanieg (AKA Mrs. Grant)9/17/09, 2:37 PM

    I think that we solved the problem of chickens eating eggs by giving them more protein. I think that occasionally we gave them a can of dog food, gross as that may sound.

  2. Thanks, Mrs. Grant. I will try that.
    You should come over and visit. I think often of your 1970s animal husbandry projects in Orinda. Now that Owen is in 4H, the next thing you know, we'll have goats and a pig and I'll start baking tofu cheesecakes. I still want that seed piecrust recipe.

  3. no offense, I'm sure that cake is good, but it looks like a cominc book blob that is trying to escape from the pan. Like something spiderman would have to fight.

  4. Thanks for talking about the cake; you convinced me to save the recipe to try. I had seen it when it was posted last week, but I'm not too fond of apples in cake, so it didn't reach out and grab me. But your tempting description ("gooey and chewy" and "candy-like meringue-like top crust that shatters when you cut it") made me change my mind.

    I've found that using fresh pumpkin in anything is a waste of time. Everyone prefers canned. More tomatoes instead is a good choice.

  5. We will love to come for a visit. I am so pleased that Owen is in 4H. Here is the crust recipe. I used it for tarts so made it in a tart pan.
    1/2 c toasted sesame seeds
    1/2 c date sugar (I order it)
    1/2 c unsweetened grated coconut
    1/2 c flour (whole grain)
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    4 tbsp. olive oil
    Mix all ingredients. Press into oiled pan. Bake @ 375 for 8 minutes or until brown. Cool.

  6. Here here on the fresh pumpkin. Despite what Kingsolver says, it's a lot more work and the pie doesn't taste any better than using a can.

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