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party planning, day 2

January 4, 2008

I dashed to the store earlier to get my last minute items—condensed milk, cilantro, rum, bourbon, and some household stuff, like bread.

The cilantro, obviously, was for the salsa I made last night. I rough-chopped it and stirred it in; I hope it’s OK. I’m letting it sit in the fridge for now.

The condensed milk is for a fudge recipe I found in Nigella Express. I guess it’s not technically fudge, since it doesn’t involve the use of a candy thermometer—and thank goodness for that, since I don’t have one! I modified the recipe, which calls for shelled pistachios, which I could not find, and used almonds instead. It’s pretty simple—I hope it’s as good as Nigella claims it is. You toss a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (or 12 oz. of chopped semisweet chocolate) into a heavy-bottomed pot with a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tbsp. of butter, and a pinch of salt. Cook over very low heat till everything melts together, then stir in your nuts. (If using pistachios, pecans, or walnuts, I’d break them up into smaller pieces; I did not do that with the almonds. I hope that doesn’t cause people problems. Eeek.) Pour into a 9″ square dish, preferably metal (a disposable one would be great, but I just used a metal cake pan). Cool on the counter, then slide into the fridge (or freezer). Slice into squares and serve. Nigella says to make seven cuts each way—I gues that’s 8 x 8—for 64 pieces total.

The only other thing I’m making is eggnog, and I don’t need to get started on that for a while. I make it by first mixing 3 egg yolks with 1/8 cup sugar until it “forms the ribbon.” That gets blended with 1/8 cup rum and 1/2 cup bourbon. I set that mixture aside and whip the egg whites till stiff (with just a pinch of salt and another 1/8 cup of sugar). The whites get folded into the yolks-and-liquor mixture. Finally, I whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and again fold into the egg mixtures. If it’s too thick, I’ll thin with some milk. It’s pretty stout stuff, but absolutely excellent. ((Yes, this is similar to a 50-year-old recipe that appeared in the New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago. I have been making this nog recipe for years, but I got it from a family friend, so maybe he’s been making this since 1958! Or got it from someone who’s been making it since 1958—I don’t know that he’d thank me for assuming he’s been making eggnog that long, since I don’t think he’s that old.))

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Categories: food
  1. January 5, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Nigella has a new book?

    I always find her so amusing to watch..she’s so overtly sexual when she cooks!!

  2. k
    January 6, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Nigella’s new book is actually terrific–and just as sexual as you’d expect. 🙂

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