Advertisements

myMEGusta

Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Sorry, Grandma!

Someone finally replicated my friend’s grandmother’s ricotta cheesecake, a feat never thought possible.

Ricotta Cheesecake

Ricotta Cheesecake

The scene was at Capeesh!, a Stamford, CT,  Italian eatery, and the dessert had arrived with a perky birthday candle and four spoons. Not normally a favorite of MyMEGusta, this ricotta cheesecake was fresh, light, and moist, unlike any other she has ever tasted.

Cheesecakes come in many styles, the best known being the Italian style (ricotta), New York style (baked and made with cream cheese, yielding a smoother texture ) and refrigerator style (also made with cream cheese, heavily promoted by that brand which comes in foil, and not cooked at all, firming up once refrigerated).

Icebox Cheesecake

Icebox Cheesecake

Speaking of Kraft, their website offers a recipe for a cheesecake made of their cheese, a tub of Cool Whip, and sugar.  If any readers try this, let MyMEGusta know.

Cheesecake is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, and there are versions all around the world.

Junior's Cheesecake

Junior’s Cheesecake

Although every bakery (and cook) in New York has their own style, it is generally acknowledged that Junior’s is the best: flavorful  and firm but with a creamy texture. They won a contest many years ago, although that was before they expanded to being a chain. Still, as of the last sampling at the Grand Central Terminal location, the quality was still spot on.

New Yorkers: Please feel free to disagree in the Comments section. This could be a fun debate, also known as a means of generating good leads for MyMEGusta to check out!

Berries!

Berries!

A good cheesecake needs no adornment, but fruit sauce (alas, often just canned pie filling) sometimes accompanies it. When the garnish is really top notch, like whipped cream and fresh berries, it’s a joy to behold.

Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberries

Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberries

One situation in which an add-on, e.g. strawberries, really does make a nice contribution is cheesecake ice cream, with the tangy taste of cheesecake with an accent of fruit in every bite.

The fall is myMEGusta’s favorite time of the year for cheesecake because that’s the season for pumpkins, and pumpkin cheesecake. She makes it using a classic recipe, substituting pumpkin puree for some of the liquid, and adding a soupcon of pumpkin pie spices, just enough to give a little flavor, not overwhelm the palate.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Maybe pumpkin cheesecake ice cream would be even more heavenly!

Advertisements

Fourth of July Special: A Salute to the Brits!

Yes, as we all hoist a glass to toast Independence Day, let’s also recognize the folks on the other side of the pond and their delicious cuisine.

Now, I know what many of you are thinking, and stop it right now!

Chef Kristen Lacount of Boston enjoying a Chip Butty at the Borough Market

Chef Kristen Lacount of Boston enjoying a Chip Butty at the Borough Market

We are not talking about notorious favorites like the Bacon Butty and Chip Butty (an overstuffed French Fry Sandwich) or things many would consider oddities, such as jellied eels.

Jellied Eels

Jellied Eels

And we are not poking fun at Spotted Dick (it’s a baked pudding with raisins, people), Bubble and Squeak (a delicious vegetable and potato dish) or Toad in the Hole (sausages in a Yorkshire pudding casing having nothing to do with amphibians).

Spotted Dick

Spotted Dick with Custard Sauce

Take Lamb Faggot, which MyMEGusta enjoyed recently at the excellent  Rex Whistler Restaurant at the Tate Gallery, London.  A braised lamb roulade on a perfectly crafted brown sauce, this was accompanied by a trio of sparklingly fresh spring vegetables: pureed peas, fava beans and pea shoots.  This truly world class dish could compete with any offering, anywhere .

Lamb Faggot

Lamb Faggot

And that’s the whole point.

British food has been revolutionized, and London is a world class dining destination. While you can find a bad meal there (particularly if one seeks out Wimpy’s Burgers and the cheapest possible pub grub), it is remarkably easy to find truly excellent  food.

Start by stopping in at a branch of Feng Sushi, brainchild of Chef Silla Bjerrum who has created an empire on the foundation of fresh, sustainable seafood.brit oyster bar wright brothers 3

Take a walk through the Borough Market and environs, sampling a sausage or two from the aromatic stands or popping into Wright Brothers Oyster Bar for perfect European shellfish. You’ll find a huge range of just about everything good to eat, including a stand with gorgeous paella and other cooked dishes, and there’s an extraordinary (and huge) cheese store across the street.

Consider Indian food, a British favorite since the Raj, and what used to be generalized as “going out for a curry”.   Make a bee line for Café Spice Namaste, where Chef Cyrus (a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and Pervin Todiwala create extraordinary renditions of Indian Classics.

They also feature Indian influenced British classics like Country Captain, vibrant Indian seasonings in the form of a classic shepherd’s pie which was invented many years ago to satisfy the yearnings of homesick British officers. This dish, which myMEGusta was fortunate to sample, was Chef Todiwala’s contribution to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee luncheon in 2012.

And, as a final salute to the Brits, don’t forget that there are lots of good things to do between meals in London, like the theater, the zoo, the London Eye, the museums. I’m ready to go back!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: