Not Martha

let Christmas begin

We were finally able to find time to put up a Christmas tree last night. Earlier in the day I bought bread from Lola’s South City Bakery:

We used the baguette to make Toasts with Chocolate, Olive Oil and Sea Salt which I originally read about in Cooking for Mr. Latte. Our verdict was that we need to try again with a better quality bittersweet chocolate, Ghirardelli wasn’t working out in this case. I think my local grocery might have some bittersweet Green & Black’s, investigation to continue this evening.

The sandwich loaf in that picture is currently the object of my fascination. It’s beautiful and weighty and I nearly couldn’t bring myself to slice it. It made very, very good toast and there are grilled cheese plans for lunch. The little box contained a single slice of a dense Italian dessert which I forget the name of, but which combined fruits, nuts and a bit of cocoa. Here is the box when opened:

For dinner we decided to make Pork tenderloin roasted in rosemary salt with fingerling potatoes from the LA Times, which recently ran a much-discussed article on salt roasting. The potatoes did emerge too salty, you could see a salt water residue on the sides. Earlier this week I roasted some potatoes in barely-moistened salt and we didn’t experience the same thing. Perhaps salt roasting is best left for things you’ll remove the skins from – fish, a whole chicken? Otherwise, the pork loin was delicious and tender and juicy.

Here is the Kosher salt with fresh rosemary being mixed, it sparkled like snow and briefly made me wish fresh snow was scented with rosemary. The before and after pictures of the food encased in a mound of salt can be found here.

· comments [8] · 12-20-2007 · categories:food · mumbling · recipes ·

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Darci // Dec 20, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Good to know someone else is just getting their tree up…Ours will be proudly displayed this evening…

  • 2 Judi // Dec 20, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    If you’re into super-dark chocolate, Dagoba makes an 87% bar that’s quite good called “Eclipse.”

  • 3 Swellanor // Dec 20, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Depending on the flavorings used and the proportions of ingredients, your Italian dessert could be panforte, panpepato, or pangiallo. All are traditional for Xmas. Their spices and dense texture make me think “medieval”.

  • 4 Patti // Dec 20, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Fran’s makes my favorite bittersweet. :)

  • 5 William // Dec 21, 2007 at 2:56 am

    What kind of Ghirardelli were you using? They have bittersweet in two variates, 60% dark and 70% dark. I’m not the biggest fan of the 60%… 70% is the way to go, nice and rich without overpowering bitterness. It seems to work well in recipes without dominating the rest of the ingredients.

  • 6 JustaRabbit // Dec 21, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    I *heart* panforte. I tried it for the first time at my gran’s in November. She cuts it into little bite-sized pieces and stores it in the freezer. She’ll only bring out a little bit at a time, since she deems it “expensive to make”. And she’s quite right when compared to a sugar cookie. But luckily I’ve got the recipe now! So I can make a batch just for me :)

  • 7 joanna // Dec 21, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    may i recommend mad market for chocolate? when i used to work there we had an amazing assortment of chocolate. there was even a dark salty chocolate we kept on one of the end caps.

  • 8 Ann // Dec 22, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Hi! I found my way here through Stumble Upon. That’s a really interesting way of cooking! I’m by no means a good cook, but that sounds easy enough. That’s for the peak at your pages! Lovely pictures. I hope you get those glasses sorted out, they are gorgeous! Happy holidays!

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