Got this from Annie, and just in time because I was stuck for a blog entry!
Food and Cooking Meme
What is your go-to ingredient?
Oh my goodness, it's hard to choose just one. Probably pasta, which can be used for everything from "there's nothing in the house but spaghetti oil and garlic" to a fancy dinner party with homemade fettuccini with lemon and lobster.
What nationality of food do you like the best?
Again, too hard to choose just one! I love to cook Italian and Mexican; and always want to eat out at Japanese and French restaurants. I have a strong interest in Sephardic Jewish cooking, and adore those great old family recipes from Morocco I get from my cousins and Israeli friends.
What’s your favorite meal of the day to prepare?
Dinner, when you can relax around the table and drink a glass of wine.
What is/are your signature dish? (What dish are you ‘known’ for?)
Lasagne with homemade pasta; cool salmon with herb vinaigrette; Whole Snapper Stuffed with Stuffed Dates; Brisket with Sundried Tomatoes (my veggie friends eat meat once a year when I make this for Rosh Hashanah) ; Moroccan artichokes stuffed with lamb meatballs; cheesecakes.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Anything creamy. Pasta, risotto, oatmeal, pudding.
What cooking shows do you watch?
Good Eats with Alton Brown, Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey, reruns of Lydia's Kitchen on PBS. Not too many pure cooking shows left on FoodTV, sadly.
Your top three favorite cookbooks are:
You know. I'll really have to think about that. So many of my recipes come from online sources, friends, or are just one stellar recipe from a cookbook where I've ignored everything else.
Your must-have kitchen accessory is:
An old plastic spoon with a flat top. It's shaped perfectly for skillet or stirring, and I love it.
Do you ever eat fast food? If so, what?
Not a traditional Fast Food, but something which I can get in 20 seconds for $3 in my neighborhood. My very favorite cheap, fast lunch. Vietnamese banh mi, which is a crusty french roll stuffed with lemony grilled chicken, and lots of fresh cilantro, basil, and fiery hot sauce.
I also have a fondness for McDonald's french fries. Shhh.
Most memorable meal you’ve had while on vacation: A long, lovely lunch at an outdoor patio at a fancy restaurant in Piemonte two summers ago. Bliss and Brunello. We started with a roasted vegetable plate of onion stuffed with fontina and summer truffle; and peppers stuffed with fresh tuna and herbs. Then on to tiny, delicate veal agnolotti; and then perfectly cooked, rosy lamb. Peach mousse with lemon sauce for dessert. With a killer view, the most expensive bottle of wine I've ever ordered, and my husband.
What restaurant do you want to eat at that you haven’t yet?
I really want to eat sushi in Japan.
What’s your favorite dessert?
Anything in Paris.
What scent in the kitchen do you love?
Slow-cooking garlic; baking challah; roasting meat
What ingredient(s) do you avoid/dislike?
I'm not a big fan of ground beef, as in meatloaf, burgers, meatballs or chili. If I'm using ground meat, I much prefer the flavor of lamb, which works so well with fresh herbs. I'm also not thrilled by the texture of okra.
What’s your secret splurge at the grocery store?
Good fresh fish.
What’s the most decadent dish you’ve ever had?
Homemade pasta with fresh truffles
What’s your favorite midnight snack?
Cold Szechuan chinese food, eaten from the container.