The French! - What's in the Box? Blog at - 69452

What's in the Box?

The French! 
Jan. 13, 2009 11:13 am 
Updated: Jan. 13, 2009 2:41 pm
I did not end up using my squash last night -- poor little thing. Instead I made a pasta dish. I cooked some whole grain rotini and tossed it with olive oil, fancy salt, and toasted pine nuts. It sounds bland, but it was pretty good. I topped it with some Parmesan. The waning contents of my last box did not go entirely unused. There was just enough lettuce and avocado left to make a tasy little salad.

After dinner I sat on the couch, turned on some Mozart piano concertos, poured a glass of wine, and read a book called On the Line by Eric Ripert and Christine Muhlke. It's a very pretty book about the origins, workings, and food at Ripert's famous New York City restaurant Le Bernardin. There is a lot of discussion on the organization and discipline required to keep the machinery of a four star restaurant running. Ripert and the other players come off as refreshingly modest and they have a genuine respect for the ingredients used in the dishes they serve (primarily seafood). About 1/2 the book is recipes. I have never been to Le Bernardin (I don't eat seafood, for one thing!), but I recommend the book. I have seen Ripert on "Top Chef," and I find his measured manner and thoughtful critiques appealing.
Jan. 13, 2009 2:20 pm
sounds like the pasta would be good with Mizithra cheese. Have you tried it? You can find it where I live at Henry's Market, maybe Trader Joe's. If you have ever eaten at Spaghetti Factory, they also have a dish with this and this is where I fell in love with it. See "Mizithra Browned Butter Pasta" on this site. It is close to Parmesan, but different. (from wikipedia) The cheese is soft, snow-white, creamy, and granular; its flavor is similar to ricotta salata. It is made in various sizes and shapes, most commonly a truncated cone. The fresh, soft, sweet form is called simply mizithra; the sour version is xynomizithra. If it is aged, it becomes anthotyros. It is eaten as dessert with honey, or as mezes with olives and tomato
Jan. 13, 2009 2:41 pm
Thanks - that looks delicious:
I'll bet the toasted pine nuts would go well with it. I have tried Mizithra cheese at a Greek restaurant with olive oil, tomato, and oregano, and it was great.
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