Lesson #2

Larousse Gastronomique p. 416
Diablotin
A very thin, small round slice of bread (sometimes first coated with reduced béchamel sauce) sprinkled with grated cheese and browned in the oven, Diablotins are usually served with soup, particularly consommé. If a full-flavoured cheese is used, such as Roquefort, they can be served as cocktail snacks.
Formerly the name diablotin was used for a small fritter made of a deep-fried thinck sauce. It is also the name of a small spoon used to measure spices for cocktails.

cheese diablotins
Cut a ficelle (long thin French loaf) into slices 5 mm (1/4 in.) thick. Butter them and coat with grated cheese (Comté, Emmental or Beaufort, which melt, or Parmesan, which doesn’t). A thin slice of Gruyère or Edam which may be used instead. Brown the slices quickly and serve with soup.
diablotins with walnuts and Roquefort cheese
Cut a long French loaf into slices about 5mm (1/4 in.) thick. Mix some butter with an equal quantity of Roquefort cheese and add some coarsely chopped green walnuts, allowing 1 tablespoon per 75 g (3 oz, 1/3 cup) of the mixture. Spread the mixture on the slices of bread and quickly heat in a pre-heated oven at 240ºC (475ºF, gas 9).

Here Begins the Lesson…

Every day (or more likely occasionally, knowing me) I will randomly open to a page in the 1,350-page Larousse Gastronomique and reprint an entry (without their permission, of course). This is a fantastic book and not just for cooks. If you are considering buying this book, however, please wait until I get my affiliates link from Powell’s book store in Portland up. Powell’s is arguably the best independent book store in the US and we should do all we can to support these stores. I’ll probably join the B&N affiliate progam too, so folks can order CD’s, DVD’s and super expensive books (like this one) which are always discounted through big superstores.
So, without further ado:
Larousse Gastronomique, p. 574:
GRANITA
A type of Italian sorbet popularized by Tortoni in Paris in the 19th Century. It is a half-frozen preparation with a granular texture (hence its name), made of a lightly sweetened syrup or of a syrup flavoured with coffee or liquor. Unlike sorbet, granita does not contain any Italian meringue.
It is served in sundae dishes or a glass bowl, either between courses or as a refreshment.
RECIPE
granita
Make a light syrup with fruit juice (such as lemon, orange, tangerine, passion fruit or mango) or very strong coffee. Cool the syrup then pour it into an ice tray and freeze for 3-4 hours without stirring. The granita will then have a granular texture.

Gen Art Closing Night

Ropdancer-GenArt.jpgTuesday night saw the closing of the 9th annual Gen Art Film Festival and the screening of Greg Lombardo’s Knots. The pretty basic story of the lives of three men living in New York is largely covered ground and many of the elements have been seen before. The film also could have used some editing in the script stage as well as in the cutting room, but the performances are mainly top-notch and the pic contains several genuinely hysterical moments. John Stamos should be especially singled out for showing the comedic talent that has largely gone unnoticed (by adults, at least) in vehicles such as TV’s Full House. The rest of the cast includes Scott Cohen (TV’s Gilmore Girls), Annabeth Gish (Shag, TV’s The West Wing), Paulina Porizkova (Anna) and Tara Reid (American Pie, Van Wilder). I do loves me some Annabeth Gish!

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Newport International Film Festival Fund Raiser

NancyandSky.jpgLast weekend saw the holding of the annual Newport International Film Festival’s New York City benefit party and what an affair it was! Starting with a pre-party at a Greenwich Village penthouse with lovely city views, great food and company including Festival Director Nancy Donahoe (her son, 5 month-old William Leo Cohen was not in attendance), Programming Director Sky Sitney, producer Anne Chaisson (Roger Dodger), Exec Director Laurie Kirby, webmaster Joe Ruggeri and several festival board members.

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Bush Is Over!

BushIsOver.jpg
To put in succinctly, I think George W. Bush aka The Chimp, is going to lose the election. Of course, anything could happen between now and then (and knowing the pack of criminals, thugs and evildoers that run the government “anything” will happen) but I think if Kerry and the rest of us who want to see Dubya out stay on course and don’t get distracted by how phenomenally stupid Bush is, we can get rid of him. To put it in a way that worked once way back in 1992: It’s the Economy, stupid!
The shirt in this pic can be ordered by clicking on the “Bush is Over” banner in the “Links” section above and on the right (pun intended). They are my very first affiliate and I hope you will all make them welcome and buy lots of shirts from them. The fact that I get a little dough out of this is nice, but hardly the point! Their stylish and functional (keeps your bits from being on show to the public) is modeled here by a very talented filmmaker who shall go unnamed as per his request. I will say that his debut film of a few years ago was fantastic and largely overlooked!

"What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?" – Londo Mollari

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