Sunday, December 13, 2009

She's no mall rat

I need to correct an error from a previous post. Isabel wanted to go to the mall strictly to buy Secret Santa presents; she and her friend had no other agenda. I was wrong to poke fun and will be more sensitive in the future.

We had a second "family" birthday party for her the other night, this one with my father and sister. Divorce may be hell on the kids, but it's a bonanza for the grandkids. Isabel didn't get to choose the whole menu, just the dessert.

We started with two easy appetizers out of Moro.

The paprika roasted almonds are billed as a "delicious accompaniment to a glass of chilled fino sherry." I'm sure they are.  I went to the Spanish Table today and looked at all the sherries and was impressed and fascinated by both the variety and the prices, but while I'm eager to learn more about sherry, I need to do more research before investing. 

Even without a glass of chilled fino, it's hard to pass up a roasted nut.
I also assembled some Manchego with membrillo (quince paste), one of the genius food pairings of all time.
I have enthused about Manchego and membrillo before and while it's not exactly a recipe, Moro finally taught me how to serve it properly -- in triangles cut to 1/8 the circumference of the cheese. Almost worth the price of the book. It would be interesting and thrifty to learn to make membrillo should our quince tree ever fruit.
For the main course: Moro's pork loin braised in milk, which is similar to the incredible Marcella Hazan version. If you are unfamiliar with Hazan's dish, you should to try it immediately -- recipe is reprinted here.  I prefer Macella's to the Moro version as she permits the use of pork butt while Moro is very specific about pork loin, a cut that, as always, I found pallid and dry. Justine says she's coming around on pork loin, that when she eats pork butt she feels sick afterwards. I wonder if this is because it's fattier or because it's so much better that she eats more.

Dessert was a fat-free angel food cake that used up a jar of egg whites.

Isabel did not approve of this frumpy, unadorned cake and requested I make some rocky road ice cream to go with. Which I did (David Lebovitz recipe, awesome), because she's a lovely daughter and a girl only has three thirteenth birthday parties. 


  1. When are you going to buy her a guitar?

  2. You should definitely try homemade quince jam! In Argentina we use it as the filling for a crostatta we call “pasta frola”


  3. angel cake! my mother's served with homemade chocolate sauce...

  4. I'm with Anonymous Oz--quince jam is incredible on manchego. My brother-in-law brings me quinces from his grandma's tree. Good stuff.

  5. I love this kind of versions, specially this appetizers, but to be clear, is most commonly used for this course in U.S and Canada, because pudding or afters may be alternative terms used in the UK and some other Commonwealth countries. 23jj

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