Yesterday, I received the newest issue of Bon Appétit and immediately began flipping through. The recipe for Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic (page 100 if you're a subscriber or bought this issue) screamed out to me: "MAKE me tonight! Don't you remember you have some sunchokes in the fridge?" I have waxed rhapsodic about Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes, before. Frequently, in fact. I love them. Because forewarned is forearmed, I simply must remind you that they are also known as fartichokes for a reason. A real big reason. If I were you, I would not eat this delectable tuber before an important meeting or a date with someone to whom you aren't married.
If you aren't doing either of those things, go for the gold with this fabulous vegetable. I like to roast them simply, make a mash or incorporate them into my marvelous leeky sunchoke bisque. Last night, however, I went the Bon App route and am so glad I did. Theirs is an incredibly simple, seriously delicious recipe, and though I halved the recipe such that I made just four servings, I ate the entire bowl as my entree. Butter + rosemary + aged balsamic atop root veggies? Ohmahgah.
I was a bit short on sunchokes so tossed some cauliflower in to make up the difference. This is a win-win scenario. Observe the glowing, caramelized mess of yum below.
I have not forgotten about the story I wanted to share. It began at last December's Food52 holiday potluck here in DC. In addition to each bringing a dish to eat at the party, the fete was also a cookie exchange. Since I'm usually not big on cookies, I chose to make my aunt's ridiculously good rum ball recipe for a sweet change of pace.
As if often the case with powdered sugar, it benefits from being sifted before use because it tends to clump and those damn sugar balls seem impervious to stirring, regardless of how vigorously you do so. I sifted powdered sugar 'til my arms ached, cup after cup of fine snow raining down into the mixing bowl into which I'd already put crumbled vanilla wafers, chocolate, rum, crushed walnuts and corn syrup, a sticky biz to be sure.
When I finally set my sifter down, the handle promptly fell off, and I started "praying" that the tiny ball-bearing-like nut that held the handle to the sifter was not in my rum ball dough.
"What are the chances? What are the odds?" I beseeched the culinary heavens. But just in case, I rolled those rum balls with extraordinary, unprecedented care, inspecting each tablespoon of batter as if I were Sherlock in a bakery.
Several days later, at the party (rum balls get better over time, y'all), I'd forgotten all about the "issue" and had a ball seeing old friends and meeting new ones: EmilyC, cookbookchick (author of the Batsaria), calendargirl... Finally, I packed my share of cookies and headed home.
A day or two later, I received a message from cookbookchick. It was the loveliest message ever, not least because in enjoying her portion of my rum balls, she found my sifter's missing bit. I.was.horrified.
"OHMYGOD, are your teeth OK? I am SO sorry. I am MORTIFIED."
"Don't worry. I'm Greek. We have strong teeth. I knew you'd be mortified but don't worry, I just wanted to send your piece back."
A) Go Greeks and your teeth, and B) How nice is this?
She did return the could-have-cracked-your-molar metal, and I made Tom epoxy it to the sifter.
You connect with people a bit more deeply in the funniest of ways, eh? Thank you, S!