Sunday, February 11, 2007


I'm in love with my small dishes.
Which is not the same as "small dishes," although I currently have two cookbooks out from the library on that subject, and I think I may buy at least one of them. (They are Amuse-Bouche by Rick Tramonto — adorable! — and Big Small Plates by Cindy Pawlcyn, which I haven't thumbed through yet.)
No, what I mean is cooking in little cups, bowls, mini-casseroles. Cranky calls it "portion control" but I just think it's fun.
Definitely more photogenic, in the case of homely things like bread pudding, macaroni and cheese, or shepherd's pie.
And guess what: I can legitimately call this shepherd's pie, because there's lamb in it. Beef too, but you take what you get. And in this case, what we got was a leftover shawerma sandwich from the Falafel Hut. Unrolled the lavosh wrapper, scraped out the vegetables, and chopped up the meat.
But that's the funny part. Even though I constructed these pies from homemade meat drippings, sautéed vegetables from the farmers market and mashed potatoes (ditto), the finished dish had the flavor of "Somebody Else's Cooking." I expect that in a restaurant, but it always shocks me at home.


D-man said...

Great photo! The tablecloth reminds me of an Indian shirt I've had for years, and I can easily imagine a ramekin of tasty treats on it. Yeah, little stuff is cool to dish up in. Stuff cooks faster, and has a better crunchy surface to melty inside ratio, but for me (who ALWAYS screws up the "portion control" part) it ends up meaning I have twice as many dirty dishes to wash. With no dishwasher but the one writing this. Around here we've taken to drinking wine from diminutive red wine glasses, and let me tell ya', I can EASILY knock back 8-10 glasses during a meal.....good thing they only hold about an ounce.

And, saw you over at Biggles.....maybe you should "talk the ears off "of Ted at Highland Hills because yesterday he said he would have fresh swine in two weeks. I could help get them to you if he has what you need, as I have an appointment with a roast of his then and will be heading to Novato within days of picking it up.

Susan said...

When I can't get a picture to come out right, I usually try a smaller dish. But when I'm done with the camera, I dump the all of the food back on my normal sized plate. I mean, I don't want to be wasteful.
I love the colors in your photo!

Beccy said...

Because they're small does that mean you eat two dishes full?

cookiecrumb said...

D-Man: Yep. Little glasses, too. We have these cute juice glasses we sip champagne from. I don't think they hold only an ounce though. Whoops!
Wow, how nice of you to offer courier service! I'll give it some thought. See, if I actually get them, I'll have to do something with them and -- eek!
Still, it would be great to meet you. Let me know when you're in the nabe.

Susan: That's actually how I got into using small dishes in the first place -- photography. I've had these dinky casseroles for ages, and I'm only just now using them for cooking food. (Well, they used to be the doggie's dishes.)

Beccy: No!

drbiggles said...

You people and your little portions. Feh.

Tell the truth and just start big baby! Get a wide angle lens and enjoy the world.

So Says I.


ChrisB said...

This is a favourite of ours- don't think Mike would appreciate small portions though

Sara said...

Ramekins totally just went on my to-buy-once-I-get-my-paycheck list. That looks delicious, and adorable to boot.

cookiecrumb said...

Hay Dr. B: Ya, ya, ya.

ChrisB: I'm enjoying my current experience with cottage pies because of your post a few weeks ago. So thanks to you.

Sara: The trick to justifying the expense is to actually USE them. Fun.