Happy Chef Blogging Friday!
Prospective investors were stunned Oct. 5 when the private placement offering for the much anticipated Nancy Silverton-Mario Batali restaurant hit their desks. Shares in the Italian kitchen are being offered at a record $100,000 each, a startlingly large sum in Los Angeles, where buying into a top restaurant rarely costs more than $25,000 a share, and never more than $50,000. - LATimes
Born in Los Angeles, Nancy was 18 years old and studying liberal arts at Cal State University Sonoma when she "tasted her cooking future". She began working as a vegetarian cook in her dormitory kitchen. She apprenticed at a small Northern California restaurant and then attended the Cordon Bleu in London. She returned to Los Angeles where she was employed as an assistant pastry chef at Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica where she met her husband, Mark, who was the sous chef.
She is primarily known for her breads, but she does amazing cookies and other pastries. She's also a big fan of sandwiches done right...on Thursday Nights, especially.
Makes about 20 2 1/2 inch cookies.
In Australia this light and crunchy cookie is equal in popularity to our chocolate chip cookie. Traditionally, it was a homemade cookie they baked for soldiers (ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Corps) as well as for children coming home from school. This recipe was given to Nancy Silvertaon by her former assistant pastry chef, Australian Kerry Caloyannidis.
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut* (see Note)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350F
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt two tablespoons of butter and stir in the oats. Cook, stirring often, until the oats are lightly browned. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and add to the pan. Remove from the heat and stir until the butter is melted.
Spread out the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly toasted. Add the flour, sugar, dissolved baking soda, zest and coconut to the oats and butter. Stir together and let cool to room temperature.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls ( you should have about 20) and place on the baking sheet. Press down on each ball to flatten. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Store in an airtight tin rather than a cookie jar.
NOTE: Unsweetened coconut is available in health-food stores.