Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Social media

I've been struggling with whether or not to continue this blog now that my stomach is actually MD*. There's plenty of identifying data on here, but on the other hand, nothing particularly offensive (I think... e-mail me if you disagree, of course!). Informal consultation with a few residents and one attending has convinced me that it's probably okay. A recent (er, not so recent now, I guess) position paper on the benefits and pitfalls of online activity for physicians is actually reassuring; I don't complain about patients, period, and don't plan to post anything particularly personal or embarrassing.

Unless you consider crostini of minted goat cheese spread and balsamic macerated cherries to be embarrassing.

I love macerated fruit (all fruit, in any form, to be fair). In particular, it's a great way to alter summer fruit in some way without taking away from the firm plumpness of it all like baking or stewing!

Protip: to easily halve and pit cherries, run a sharp paring knife all the way around the cherry lengthwise, then twist the two halves apart. They'll separate cleanly. Use your knife or fingers to flick the pit out of the half in which it's seated, and presto! Pitted halved cherry.

The bread is a simple country blonde from Flour Water Salt Yeast. Our super super, Peter, gave us a free window AC unit that one of his super friends didn't need, which will go a long way in increasing the frequency with which I bake, roast, and broil this summer. The bread was baked at 475, and broiled at an even higher temperature. Without the AC on, the apartment was nearly intolerable.

And now, have a bonus recipe for really good cookies.

Sesame-apricot cookies with the Momofuku technique

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar (I prefer light)
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (if you're not using almond, use a full tsp)
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 c flour
a scant 1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon (can up to 1/2 for a more prominent flavor!)
1 c oats, not instant
Total of 2 c chopped dried apricots, white sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds, in your preferred ratios

Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer, if you have one. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix just until combined, scraping down the sides. Turn the stand mixer to medium-high speed (setting 4 on my KitchenAid) for a full 10 minutes, stopping halfway through to scrape down the sides. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, mixing just until combined, scraping down the sides. Finally, gently fold in the nuts/chocolate/fruit. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1.5 hours.

Preheat your oven to 375 F (original recipe on which I based this suggests 400, but I found that a bit too hot). Scoop out 1.5-tbsp scoops of dough onto a large cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space around each scoop. Grind a little kosher salt over the top. Bake 8-11 minutes. Note that the browning will start at the edges and rapidly move into the center; these cookies go from underdone to overdone in literally under a minute! Cool completely on the cookie sheet before serving.

**Except I've yet to actually practice, sooo...

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