Friday, July 25, 2008

Two Birds, One Recipe

The book has tempted me. Sitting on the shelf staring, daring, and challenging my inner soul. The French Laundry Cookbook: the Playboy of Food Porn, the Rosetta Stone of Risotto, and the Bible of Bordelaise. Over the last two days, I tackled a recipe. And in doing so, solved a problem.

The herb garden was a great idea; but now the basil is taking over. We get a lot of queries from readers, such as McCall and Go Bama, about what to do with the pounds of basil growing in their garden. Here is what you do.

From the French Laundry Cookbook.

Take 3 Cups (tightly packed, like a cooler on a boat) of Basil. Bring to a stunning boil 2 quarts of water and 1/2 cup of salt. Toss Basil in water for 15 seconds.
Remove and throw into an ice bath. Drain basil (it will look like frozen spinach) on paper towels until dry. Seperate basil into two portions of half each.
Cut with scissors one half of the basil clump and place in blender.
Add 3/4 cup of oil to blender. Blend on low for 1 minute. Then high for 2.
Add half the remaining basil (cut as well), blend on high for another two minutes. Open pourer hole on lid of blender. The oil will get hot; this is ok. Its called friction, it happens.
Add remaining herbs (also cut), blend on high for 1 minute.
Place oil mixture in fridge for one day.
Strain over a fine mesh or cheesecloth into a container or squeeze bottle. I buy squeeze bottles in packs, they are inexpensive and very useful.
Do not push the mixture through or the oil will cloud.
Use oil.

Sure, not really a recipe or anything close to this gal. But the longest journey over the shortest pier, begins with the smallest step.

This morning I drizzled the basil oil over an omelet. The oil is pretty good; a lot of work. But then again, what else are you doing on a Wednesday night?

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