Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Pearl of great price and butterskitch cockies

Grocer's Daughter and I went to Pearl in Oakland tonight. Neither of us had been. We split four appetizers and one entree, and two desserts (one more than was necessary). The things I thought were bloggably good were

1) A bruschetta on a single big slice of very Berkeley bread (Acme? GD, could you tell?) with goat cheese, slices of figs, coarsely chopped, blanched hazelnuts, and really well-caramelized onions (cooked for a long time, not just browned quickly -- that's what really made the dish). GD said, "It's Chez Panisse on toast!"

2) Black cod with a soy glaze charred on the outside, served with watercress (a great contrast) and a couple of more forgettable garnishes. I love this fish, I'm seeing it around more and more, and it's not (yet) forbidden by Seafood Watch! (Yay!) I've eaten it smoked all my life, but only recently have been seeing it fresh. If you haven't had it, its nickname "butterfish" says it all. It's also called sablefish, or just "sable" when smoked.

Anytime that you are able,
Put some sable on your table!
If you'd rather call it butterfish,
Still you'll never want anutterfish.
Black cod anglers: cast your lure to it!
There is nothing I prefer to it.

Neither dessert was great, but one involved ice cream with butterscotch and an oatmeal cookie. Taking a bite of cookie with stray butterscotch on it, I had a Proust moment. The flashback was to a time when I was (12? 13?) and my mother came in with a fresh baked tray of what she offered to us as "butterskitch cockies" (no, my mother does not drink while baking). I laughed harder, longer, and eventually more painfully on that occasion than I ever have in my life. My friend, my mother, or I had only to repeat that phrase out loud to set me off again. I don't think I've had a cookie with butterscotch chips in many years; white chocolate, which I have no use for, seems to have replaced them as the "chocolate alternative". OK, so butterscotch chips might be too working-class to mingle with dried cherries and other upscale stuff, but stick to walnuts and oatmeal and I still think they'd be great. Mams, do you still have the recipe?


At 11:16 PM, Blogger nightquill said...

My mother reports: (the link has been fixed)

If they had oatmeal, this is my best guess. I originally got the recipe from June Cleaver. If you would rather use a link:

At 11:18 PM, Blogger nightquill said...

I note that 1 cookie has 22% daily quota for saturated fat.


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