Monday, October 20, 2008

Beyond food: a brief personal indulgence

A quick word beyond the usual subject here - please excuse the indulgent deviation! I have been meaning to share (but couldn't quite figure out how to fit it in) the launch of my new pet product company, Greedy Pup. Yes, pets and product design are other passions of mine!

We are a functionally-oriented dog product company focused on providing effective solutions to pet and pet owner needs with great quality, value, and beautiful design. Our first product is the Eat Slow Bowl, a bowl designed to slow down the pace at which dogs eat. It provides a solution to a common concern among pet owners in a safe, gentle and effective way. Eating rapidly, and gulping air (in case you don't know) can result in issue ranging from irksome (choking, coughing, vomiting) to serious (gastric dilatation). It's a beautiful bowl that has been selling well - I am very proud of the start we have gotten.

If you live in Manhattan, you can find it at some of my favorite pet stores including Beasty Feast and the Barking Zoo. If you are elsewhere, you can find it at (an amazing site) or our company site, I hate to self promote but please keep us in mind as you think about holiday gifts for your furry friends! Thanks for the indulgence . . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poha revisited: eggs poha

Do you remember the cooking session I had with my friends Devesh and Tara during which they shared their recipe for classic Indian poha (a flattened rice dish served at breakfast)? Well I had the enormous treat of getting together again to cook with Devesh and Tara recently, but this time it was with Devesh’s mom who shared her recipes. She made a number of different Indian breads – parathas - plain and stuffed with all sorts of fillings (alu paratha (stuffed with mashed potatoes), gobi paratha (stuffed with grated cauliflower), and dal paratha (stuffed with mung bean)). It was absolutely amazing, and we all sat around the kitchen island watching her churn out hot breads and ate them while standing, like complete gluttons, before they even had a chance to cool on a plate.

I have been thinking about sharing some of the recipes and techniques but - well, I am not sure I could replicate those breads – particularly given that Devesh said that after years of watching, he still doesn’t have the technique down.

So rather than frustrate you, I thought I’d share a spin on poha that is eminently doable by the layperson – I’m calling it eggs poha. Ever since I had poha the first time I envisioned it going well with eggs. My enthusiasm for Indian flavors and spices was rekindled during the bread making session and I was eager for more.

The simplest way to combine poha and eggs would be to put a fried egg on top of a bowl of poha. But, to take it one step further (of course), I mixed a lightly beaten egg into the poha mixture, greased 4-5 ring molds with vegetable oil and packed poha into them. I baked the ring molds in a 350ยบ oven for ~15 minutes until the egg had set and the poha had turned into a cake. Meanwhile, I used ring molds (I have Ateco molds that are 3” high and 1.75” tall) of the same size to fry eggs (again, greasing them – this time with butter) so that they would fit perfectly on top of the poha cakes. I ran a knife around the insides of the molds, turned the cakes onto a plate, and topped them with the egg and a sprinkling of rock salt, pepper, and flat leaf parsley (or cilantro). I could maybe see a drizzle of spiced yogurt on the top but I don’t think it needs it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Appreciating Mark Bittman: perfect pancakes

I love Mark Bittman. His recipes are always straight-forward and just work. I’m so glad he’s blogging for the New York Times – you can never have enough Bittman. A while back he did a piece on the perfect pancake. Four different fool-proof versions to try. I love the fluffy rendition that features ricotta. He’s right – why do so many people buy pancake mix when it’s almost as quick to whip up your own batch?

Check it out.