Wednesday, January 21, 2009

celebrity chef crush

Brad Pitt never did all that much for me. Neither did George Clooney, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp or anyone else in their peer group. Given the choice, I'm much more likely to go for the dorky-cute, slightly nerdy, funny guy--both in real life and in the case of hypothetical celebrity boyfriends.

One such hypothetical celebrity boyfriend happens to be my latest crush, cookbook author and cooking show host, Dave Lieberman. He's smart (Yale grad), handsome, funny, and, though I've never heard him explicitly mention it, his last name combined with his penchant for making cabbage rolls and apple cake suggests to me that he might be OK with raising the hypothetical Moskowitz-Lieberman children Jewish.

But what I really love the most about Dave Lieberman is that his recipes are simple, fresh, and very doable for cooks of all abilities. They're perfect for people who are intimidated by/new to cooking because, in addition to making it look like so much fun (oh the times we would have, just the two of us puttering around the kitchen...), he calls for ingredients that are easy to find and inexpensive. If you keep a well-stocked kitchen, most of his dishes can be created with what you have on hand.

I do have one teensy-tiny issue with some of Dave's recipes though: he uses a whole lot of cream and butter. While I certainly don't object to such ingredients on principle, I do know what will happen to my thighs if I make a habit of eating large quantities of said ingredients. Luckily for Dave I'm a good compromiser--and a very creative chef. Below, see my take on his recipe for Creamy Lemon-Almond Linguine. I seriously decrease the fat by using half-and-half instead of the heavy cream and fewer egg yolks. The double-boiler technique of cooking the sauce keeps it rich and creamy even though the fat is decreased, and the nuts add a delightful texture that is uncommon in pasta dishes. Also, the chopped flatleaf parsley is a fresh addition that really brightens up the flavors of the dish. I like to serve it with plenty of fresh cracked pepper.

Lemon-Almond Linguine
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon--reserve a little zest for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup ground whole almonds-- reserve a little for garnish
  • fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine according to directions. Drain pasta.

Combine the egg yolks, half-and-half, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of boiling water and whisk until the mixture thickens into a pale yellow, smooth sauce.

Remove from the heat, stir in the almonds, and toss with the linguine.

Garnish with more lemon zest, ground almonds, flat leaf parsley and more ground pepper.


1 comment:

Gabe Russell said...

Promise me you won't subject your kids to that six-syllable hyphenightmare.