Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The Woozy Woo Transformation
I don't know what other people call it, but I call it my woozy woo and it has changed how I cook. Basically, what you have is a mini food processor, a mobile blender, and a quick whipper. Now, you probably have all these capabilities in other machines if you have a food processor and/or a blender/ and/or mixer. BUT do you ever pull any of these things out, just to make a tiny quantity of sauce? No, you don't. So that is what is so great about this thing. It is small and portable and it just works great. Suddenly, blending herbs, onions, and olive oil is not a big job but a quick little easy job. Chop some nuts to sprinkle on a salad? No problem and no fuss. Last night we had some friends over for dinner; the woozy woo was working overtime. I used it to to make breadcrumbs from fresh bread; I pureed pumpkin; I whipped up two sauces for steak (recipes below); and finally I chopped up nuts and mixed up a crumble to top my apple pie. OK, I realize I sound like an infomercial here but I really do love this gadget. Really.
I have had two. This particular product shown in the picture is more like the first one I got. Works great. The one I have now is a bit more involved because it has two separate little mini food processors...a bigger one and smaller one. Also, the blender thing is metal. Amazon doesn't appear to be selling the one I have now. But, I think probably the first one I had was a tad bit better, because the small food processor is sometimes, well, a bit too small, while the big one is too big.
Tom's Anchovy and Garlic Paste
This is very garlicy, salty, and strong. It tastes fantastic with steak, which is how it was first served to me at a wonderful dinner with Tom and Elisha. I haven't yet got their recipe but I liked it so much that I tried to recreate it. I think Tom handgrates the garlic, which gives a prettier texture but they don't (yet) have a woozy woo or I am sure they would use it! I think this would taste nice on toast or on buttered pasta.
1 small can anchovies in olive oil
about 1 head garlic
some olive oil
Peel the garlic and open the can of anchovies. Take about 5 cloves of garlic, the can of anchovies and dump into the woozy woo. Pour in a bit of oil to lubricate. Whiz it up and taste. It should be salty and garlicy. If you like more garlic, then go ahead and put in a few more cloves. I used about 3/4 of a head. Whiz until it is a smooth puree, adding a bit of olive oil if necessary. You may need to get out a spoon and push the bits down. Put into a little bowl and serve alongside steak. Since the puree is not such an appealing color, I drizzled a bit of olive oil on top.
Amendment: Tom has since come back to me on this sauce and he advises not adding the olive oil that the anchovies are packed in but just using fresh olive oil. He also suggests chopping half of the anchovies and adding it into the sauce at the end for texture. Finally, some chopped fresh parsley would work well as a garnish so that "it doesn't look so much like regurgitated cat food." He also notes that the original recipe was from Chez Panisse Cafe cookbook, so there is some pedigree here. Still, it will always be Tom's sauce to me!
Argentinean Chimichurri Salsa
We love this sauce which we first had on a pigeon hunt in Argentina. For lunch they would stoke up a fire outside where ever we were shooting and grill huge slabs of meat and sausages, which they would serve with this sauce. No vegetables or starch. Just meat and sauce. I think it would taste great with fish or chicken also. After these huge lunches, they would string up hammocks so we could have a nap. Bliss.
4 fl oz olive oil
2 fl oz red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano (can use fresh)
one big bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 large clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
Combine all ingredients in woozy woo. The heat of the chili does not come out immediately, so don't put more in until you let it sit for a while. This can be made in advance and kept in the frig for a couple of days.