Writing a cookbook is no easy task. Especially if you want to deliver inspired recipes that feature fresh ingredients and streamlined technique. My new book, The Portable Feast does just that. While the book is all about taking homemade, garden-to-tote (say) meals on the go for both work and play, the recipes also work really well as casual meals at home for smaller households. With bold flavors, easy preparation and small yields, it's brilliant for singles, couples, families with babies and empty nesters.
The book was written (duh) by me at my home in Los Angeles AND it was also photographed at my home. (MOST cookbooks are photographed in far away studios without the author's presence or input, and SOME cookbooks are photographed at the authors palatial estate with a team of pricey stylists.) The Portable Feast was shot by my friend and talented photographer, Ann Cutting, and all the food was made by me. (We are keeping it real here, folks!) Sarah Tenaglia, former food editor at Bon Appetit Magazine pitched in with cooking prep and it was super fun (and beneficial to the recipes!!) to have her hyper-critical and well-tuned palate present as we judged, tweaked and consumed every crumb of food made for the photo shoot.
I'm having a party to celebrate the book's release at the fantastical MorYork Gallery in Highland Park on Sunday April 24 from 2:00-5:00. There will be books and refreshments. Please come and see this most wonderful space, packed full of recycled artworks and cool collections by uber-talented Clare Graham.
There are funny music mash-ups and heart-attack-induing over-the-top fast food burger mash-ups, both a bit annoying. A better mash-up is sweet. From time to time here on my not so regular blog, I'll take on combining two desserts well. Here is a good and super fast blend of my lime pie from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes and the classic English dessert, Eton Mess, the jumble of strawberries, cream and crisp meringue served at the posh college post cricket. The texture and the pronounced sweetness of the meringue really adds to the enjoyment of the pie, en excellent and easy bled of tart filling and graham crust.
Fresh Lime Eton Mess Pie
Yield: 1 pie or 10 servings
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 1 packet of rectangles)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
I cup whipped cream, beaten until stiff peaks form
8 purchased meringue cookies, coarsely crushed
1 pint mixed berries
For the pie: preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch diameter Pyrex pie dish. Mix the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and up sides of the prepared dish, just even with the rim. Bake until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently stir the condensed milk, limejuice and lime peel until well blended in large bowl. Whisk in the eggs. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled. (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Cover with foil.)
Top the pie with cream, meringue and berries. (Can be prepared up to 3 hours ahead, refrigerate.)
Cut pie into wedges and serve.