This year’s Super Bow was low-key for us.  We’ve been hard at work, so what we wanted on that quiet Sunday was to recharge our batteries and reload for  another busy week.  Since it was just the two of us, we kept it simple:  Phil made his killer guacamole, and I prepared a recipe from my newest acquisition, the mammoth  “Essential New York Times Cookbook.”   The way it’s going, our pickup truck may not hold all our belongings (cookbooks!) on the trip home.  I’ve bought more cooking literature than I can possibly use here, and this one will add considerable weight to our load!   😉

This savory cake resembles corn bread in its looks and texture, smells terrific while baking, and does not disappoint in taste either warm or at room temperature.  We had a couple of slices on Sunday, and enjoyed the rest for lunch in the Gonda-McDonald courtyard at UCLA, on the sunny patio outside our building.  In the 75 degree sun it was hard to believe that the rest of the country was battling snowstorms…

Is it Summer yet?

(from The Essential New York Times Cookbook)

1 cup flour
1+1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz parmiggiano cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup semolina flour
freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
3/4 cup whole milk

Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter and reserve.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then add the grated cheese, semolina flour, and black pepper to your taste.   Mix well to combine.

Make a well in the center, pour the butter, egg yolks, and milk, and mix until thoroughly combined. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff, then fold delicately into the cheese mixture.  Spoon everything in the prepared pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the surface feels firm to the touch.  Serve warm or cold, cut in wedges.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  One word about the New York Times book:  awesome!  I have no idea how anyone could gather the energy and commitment to create such a masterpiece, but I’m sure glad that Amanda Hesser did it.   I haven’t yet finished  browsing its 932 pages, but I already have a long list of things to make.

Hesser suggests serving this cake in small wedges for cocktail parties with a glass of red wine, or with soup or salad for a light meal.   A hot bowl of tomato bisque (with a touch of basil, of course) is another great match. My only problem with the recipe was the name:  ‘parmesan’ suggests the use of cheap versions of this excellent cheese, with which I strongly disagree.  Instead, buy the best parmiggiano reggiano available, because that’s a taste that you’ll remember.

ONE YEAR AGO: Antibiotics and Food (something I’m very concerned about)

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  1. Thanks for the review and it looks like a perfect “cake” to go with soup or salad. Looking forward to trying it and yes, only the best Parmigiano Reggiano will do.
    I have resisted buying ENYTC to this point, but the recipes that I have tried have all been winners so I might bite the bullet this week for yet another kitchen bible.


  2. I have ordered that cookbook and anxiously await its arrival. Perhaps my SIL will “board” your cookbooks and I can bring them home a couple at a time following my annual visits!


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