...must unfortunately come to an end.
The first time that I cracked open my first issue of Gourmet magazine a year or so ago (yes, I'm a relatively new but very loyal reader), I was reminded of the first time I switched in high school from reading Time to reading the New Yorker. Gourmet shocked me: there was a magazine out there with gorgeous food photography, scintillating recipes, and full-length, proper articles on "good living"! The quality was all a bit overwhelming and for the first few articles that I read, I missed my Bon Appetit fixes, where "reading" the magazine consisted of merely flipping through glossy pages. But, it was not long before I was addicted.
There are many reasons I love Gourmet. It's actually a magazine that you can sit down and read, rather than just flip through, as most things are these days. There's always such a great balance between recipes, articles on the food world, and how-to's, between articles and recipes for food and articles and recipes for drink. The food photography is terrifically enviable as well. The main, main reason that Gourmet magazine won me over, though, was the recipes.
Unlike other food magazines or books that I often approach with a hint of caution and distrust, Gourmet magazine's recipes have never failed me. I'm the type of person who always has to fiddle with the printed recipes, but the ones that come straight out of Gourmet require no fiddling whatsoever. It's quite a rare experience for me. I always take Bon Appetit's recipes with a huge grain of salt: whenever I follow them closely, the final product never turns out quite right. But I've never had this experience with Gourmet's recipes. From the simple to the sublime and complex, Gourmet has yet to disappoint.
So when I read about the Celebrate Gourmet! blogging event hosted by A Mingling of Tastes, I knew I had to participate. And I knew that I wanted to do two simple Gourmet recipes--one savory and one sweet--because I think this is where Gourmet shines the most. Where other magazines boast "simple, quick, and easy to make!" food or food that's "fancy enough to impress!", Gourmet understands that delicious food is simple food. --And that's the mark of a true gourmand.
I will miss you dearly, Gourmet!
Read on for recipes and more photos...
(Poached eggs with green beans and gruyere
+ Chocolate creme pie)
Chocolate creme pie
adapted from Gourmet's "Chocolate Pudding Pie"
Note: my version differs from Gourmet's. The pastry crust is a different recipe altogether because I try to avoid shortening whenever possible, and this is my perfect go-to pastry recipe.
for pastry dough
2 cups AP flour
2/3 cups cold unsalted butter, cut
1/4 tspn salt
6 Tbpsn ice water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbspn unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tspn salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tspn vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbpsn sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Make pastry: blend together flour, butter, salt in a food processor (yields best results; or, use a pastry blender).
3. Slowly drizzle in ice water one tspn at a time until incorporated. Do not overmix!
4. Turn out dough onto a floured work surface. If made in the food processor, dough is ready to be rolled immediately; otherwise, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes - 1 hour, until firm.
5. Roll out dough and place in pie pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork.
6. Place a piece of pastry paper over the dough and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
7. Bake in oven for ~25 minutes, until edge is pale golden. Remove and let cool.
8. For filling: In a saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
9. Gradually whisk in milk.
10. Bring milk mixture to a boil over medium heating, stirring constantly. Boil, while stirring, for 2 minutes.
11. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.
12. Pour filling into cooled shell. Cover the surface with wax paper and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
13. Before serving, whip cream and sugar until soft peaks. Spoon onto pie.
14. (optional) Garnish with shaved chocolate. (though frankly, I was so excited to eat the pie, I forgot!)
Poached eggs with green beans and gruyere
"Green beans with poached egg and parmesan"
Note: my version here is different from Gourmet's; for the original, please see the link above.
3/4 lb green beans
1 Tbspn red wine vinegar
1 tspn salt
4 large eggs (preferably organic)
~1 cup cave-aged gruyere cheese, finely grated
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water (1-2 Tbspn/4 qts water), uncovered, until just tender, about 3-6 minutes. Drain. Toss with a bit of olive oil.
2. Fill a 3- to 4- quart pot halfway with water, add vinegar and salt, bring to a bare simmer. Poach eggs for 2-3 minutes. Transfer poached eggs to paper towels to drain briefly.
3. Plate beans and eggs. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese. Serve immediately.