Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Parties and smelly apartments
I have only lived in an apartment for about 10 years now. Up until then, my experience with them was the groovy pads that people on television lived in. People like Mary Tyler Moore, or Rhoda, or Marlo Thomas. My very favorite apartment, was from the Odd Couple. It was actually the only apartment that looked like it had a real kitchen, where people could cook. I always remember that scene from the Odd Couple movie where Felix Unger, actually cooked a meal in the gorgeous, spacious, 5 bedroom post war flat somewhere in FABULOUS Manhattan...and Oscar never came home for supper! HILARIOUS!!!
My apartment is quite fabulous, if I do say so myself...but it has a galley kitchen without a window, and a lowish ceiling with a small vent hood...nothing like the gourmet kitchens you see in all the brand new 5000 sq ft monster homes. When I cook something on my stove top...especially if I FRY anything in a pan, on my stove top...the smell carries into the open areas next to the kitchen. I usually turn the vent hood on high, and open up the sliding glass doors...but it seems that only time will take care of the smell.
Last week, I had a party. I had to scour the Internet and my cookbooks for inspiration and something that caught my fancy, was a caramelized red onion and Parmesan tart with fresh thyme...courtesy of Mr. Nigel Slater's cookbook, 'Appetite'. I am quite familiar with caramelizing onions, as we do a caramelized onion pizza at Delitalia...but the technique and ingredients were slightly different. Slater's instructions were simple and specific. Use approximately 4 Tablespoons of butter, 5 or 6 medium sized red onions cut on the thickish side, and cook them low and slow, until they are silky and brown and lovely. This should take about 30 minutes, but they can't be rushed. Well, my onions certainly did not rush. I believe they took approximately 1.5 hours...and everyone said my tart was delicious.
I am having ANOTHER party, 3 days from now...and I have decided to repeat the recipe, and add another tart, this time, a basil and tomato tart. As I write this every window is open...the kitchen fan is on high, and my onions are happily, sizzling away. I suppose that having an apartment that smells delicious, is simply a bonus when creating a tart that tastes delicious!