CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Can I Get That With a Side of Nyquil?

Like everyone else right now, I am sick. Yeah, I know, I should just suck it up and deal. Between that and the close of my show (which was asked to be part of Best of the Fringe, thank you very much. Of course, we're not available to do it as a lot of us -- including me -- are not available for the dates, but it's still fucking cool, right?), I have had no time to kick it with the computer.

This has put a cramp in my dining style. Because, really, what do you do when you have to blow your nose a thousand times during a meal? Other than gross the other patrons out, I mean. My appetite has been suspiciously absent as well. This is great if you consider the 2.5 pounds I've lost in the past 4 days, but not so good when you're trying to slut about the town.

I did manage to hit A16 on Friday after my show. It had been awhile since we'd been, and I forgot how fucking good it is. I mean it's just unreal how great that place is. And we had Raymond as a waiter, and, really, everybody loves Raymond. He rocks my world. So did the pork terrine special with chanterelles.

We also went to a birthday shindig at Medjool. First impression is really good food and a really crappy bar (you can't make a bloody mary because you don't have bloody mary mix? What kind of bullshit is that? Buy some freakin' tomato juice, jerkwad).

Between my sniffles, I made a kickass German Chocolate Cake for the aforementioned friend's birthday. Whenever I make it, I realize how very few of the ingredients have any nutitional value. But good God that bitch is moist. And fluffy enough to sleep on.

I've also managed to sit on my ass quite a bit while spending quality time with my couch. I've used this time to reconnect with my Martha, whose new show is rocking my world. I love her. A lot. And I really think prison is the best thing that ever happened to her.

At any rate, I have a bunch of posts burning a hole in my keyboard but I can't commit to them at the moment as I'm still a bit on the ill side. I've gone through more tissues this week than a 14 year old boy.

I'll have more love for you soon.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
--La Rochefoucauld


Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

Your Martha? That bitch told me I'M her husband! Well I guess we can share.

This side of the Mississippi Chava's chicken soup is the next best thing to my Jewish grandmother's medecine. Let me know if you need me to deliver some.

9/20/2005 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK get it straight. 14 year old boys use gym socks, not tissues.

I got all excited by the title of your post, thinking someone was finally serving Nyquil cocktails. When I was a drinker I worked for a time at a market research company and they used to give us samples of their client's products, Nyquil being one of the products. I used to take home six-packs and serve it over ice. None of my friends were crazed enough to join me.

One of the many reasons I no longer drink.

9/20/2005 10:41 PM  
Blogger Amy Sherman said...

Oh man I got the same crud as you! Sniffly and fuzzy headed, I feel like a cross between sleepy and dopey. Feel better soon. Perhaps some spicy Indian food will help?

9/21/2005 5:24 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Shuna -- can we share her?:)

Haddock -- that is some hardcore shit. I don't think I'd have the stomach for that.

Amy -- Feel better, too! I'm going to push for spicy food this evening. It's times like these when I wish there were colonics for the nose.

9/21/2005 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Care to share your german chocolate cake recipe? Pretty please?

9/21/2005 5:32 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

well, it's not my recipe, it's Cook's Illustrated's:). I have a convection oven, so I lower the oven temp by 25 degrees to 325 and bake it about 38 minutes. Here it is:

When you assemble the cake, the filling should be cool or cold (or room temperature, at the very warmest). To be time-efficient, first make the filling, then use the refrigeration time to prepare, bake, and cool the cakes. The toasted pecans are stirred into the filling just before assembly to keep them from becoming soft and soggy.

Serves 12 to 16

4 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (6 1/2 ounces), toasted on baking sheet in 350-degree oven until fragrant and browned, about 8 minutes

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa , sifted
1/2 cup water , boiling
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for dusting cake pans
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream , room temperature

1. FOR THE FILLING: Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.)

2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate and cocoa in small bowl; pour boiling water over and let stand to melt chocolate, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth; set aside until cooled to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, spray two 9-inch-round by 2-inch-high straight-sided cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Sift flour and baking soda into medium bowl or onto sheet of parchment or waxed paper.

4. In bowl of standing mixer, beat butter, sugars, and salt at medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula halfway through. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl halfway through. Beat in vanilla; increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer running at low speed, add chocolate, then increase speed to medium and beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once (batter may appear broken). With mixer running at low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined. After final flour addition, beat on low until just combined, then stir batter by hand with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, to ensure that batter is homogenous (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with rubber spatula and smooth surfaces.

5. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard paper rounds. Cool cakes to room temperature before filling, about 1 hour. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

6. TO ASSEMBLE: Stir toasted pecans into chilled filling. Set one cake on serving platter or cardboard round cut slightly smaller than cake, and second cake on work surface (or leave on wire rack). With serrated knife held so that blade is parallel with work surface, use sawing motion to cut each cake into two even layers. Starting with first cake, carefully lift off top layer and set aside. Using icing spatula, distribute about 1 cup filling evenly on cake, spreading filling to very edge of cake and leveling surface. Carefully place upper cake layer on top of filling; repeat using remaining filling and cake layers. If necessary, dust crumbs off platter; serve or refrigerate cake, covered loosely with foil, up to 4 hours (if refrigerated longer than 2 hours, let cake stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving).

9/21/2005 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haddock, that is funny. A couple years back Dennis Leary did a blink-and-it's-gone show about a supposedly on-the-wagon cop, and there was a scene of him chugging Nyquil then driving around with a big green Nyquil moustache and beard. Talk about sick!

Get well soon, Joy!

9/22/2005 9:28 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

John -- Thanks, I'm feeling MUCH better.

Fatemeh -- aw, baby, you can come over and use it any time you like!

9/22/2005 12:32 PM  

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