So there’s this trend going around for cooking things in mason jars that I didn’t quite understand until now. I mean, why would you want to eat a fancy dessert out of a jar?
Think of it this way, mason jars are like see-through ramekins with lids! So if you have a particularly pretty layered dessert, it will look even lovelier in a mason jar, and if you want to give it as a gift, it comes with a convenient lid for easy transporting.
In the case of making cheesecake, using a mason jar has an added advantage. Many cheesecake recipes (like the popular classic cheesecake on this site from Dorie Greenspan) require the use of a springform pan placed in a water bath. As careful as you can be with wrapping the pan with foil, water sometimes leaks in, resulting in a soggy crust. There are no leakage issues when you use a mason jar, and you have convenient single serving containers.
Two simple foods that pair perfectly together are grapefruit and avocado. Avocado loves the bright splash of acidic citrus, and grapefruit loves the warm richness of avocado. Sprinkle everything with a citrusy vinaigrette and you have a salad that is delicious as it is pretty!
One of the finest dishes ever to come out of The Silver Palate Cookbook, Chicken Marbella is chicken first marinated in oil, vinegar, capers, olives, prunes, and herbs, then baked with added brown sugar and white wine. Prunes are the distinctive ingredient in this famous dish. They’re actually used often in classical French cooking, and the Silver Palate recipe borrows heavily from the French traditional lapin aux pruneaux.
One of the easiest side dishes to prepare for almost any meal is one of roasted new potatoes. Cut the potatoes into manageable sized pieces, toss them with some olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and salt, and then roast them in the oven at a high temperature until they are brown and crispy at the edges and cooked though in the center. Great with steak or chicken.