Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Apple Cheddar Scones with Rosemary

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I frequently tell people that I don’t like baking. It’s not that I blurt it out, randomly, but when people learn that I like to cook they often casually ask about baking recipes, or what I like to bake. This is what I like to bake, when it has to be: savory stuff. Buttery baked goods that are bursting with unique flavors, not just sweet. From goat cheese oatmeal cookies to bacon chocolate cupcakes, I think a good baked good needs some balance and complexity. Fortunately, I don’t think I’m alone.

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Reason For Not Eating Out #55: Because You Can Pile Up

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This weekend, I’m going apple picking at an orchard a little ways Upstate. I’ve never gone apple picking at a U-pick farm before (as lamented in this post two falls ago), so I’m pretty excited. I’m even more excited about all the fun opportunities for using the apples afterwards–in addition to just plain eating them, I wonder how I can smush them into more soups and stews, and envision being loved by all my co-workers for the apple tarts and other baked goods I can bring in for the next month. This hits on many “reasons for not eating out,” like sharing and learning new tricks, but the possibilities of piling up are a great plus in itself.
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Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Chicken Braised with Sake, Cider and Miso

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Oh, happy fall. Like with many folks I’ve spoken to here and there in the past couple weeks–friends and strangers at the post office alike–fall is a favorite time of year. It ushers in cooler nights and breezes, colorful leaves on the trees, and that unmistakeable smell… of fall. I liken this to the scent of apple cider. It’s somewhat earthy but sweet. Of course, fall is when we see the annual harvest of apples, and cider is somewhere not too far wafting in the air.
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Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Black Beans with Salsa Roja, Kale Salsa Verde, and a Poached Egg

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It’s easy to eat a lot of Mexican food in the late summer and early fall. You’ve got ripe tomatoes, corn, tomatillos, and chili peppers of all kinds. But it’s also easy to turn that idea into something really greasy, cheesy, and heavy; something more or less like nachos supreme (which we all know isn’t really Mexican but rather Tex-Mex as interpreted by fast-food and/or Midwesterners–taco dip, anyone?). So let’s take it back to a fresh, clean point of view.
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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Smoked Salmon Spread with Capers and Dill

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Ruby-red smoked salmon is luscious alone on a good piece of crusty bread–or, if you’re a New Yorker, on a bagel. But a schmear of cream cheese along with it, too, adds richness that gives its strong flavor legs. For a smoked salmon (or lox) dip with cream cheese, I tried to incorporate aspects of my current environment, while nodding to traditions. It turned out that I had–favorably, and rather by chance–just the ingredients to make a total classic rather than some aberration or experiment. That was good thing; some classics are just meant to be.
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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Corn and Clams

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There’s been some talk about the new “never-ending” pasta bowls at the Olive Garden lately. It seems the franchise is disregarding the low-carb (or the fresh and local) dietary trends of the day, and beckoning diners with even more all-you-can-eat. (My favorite crack? “When you’re here… Why are you here?“) Well, I happened to eat at the Olive Garden in New York City recently, to celebrate my friend Kara’s birthday. It was a nostalgic gag that myself and 14 other friends surprised her with, since Kara used to work at an Olive Garden when she was in high school. It was my first time dining at the establishment, and the experience left me wanting.
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Friday, September 19th, 2014

Summery Bean Salad with Freshly Shelled Cowpeas

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I love making new food discoveries, like making new friends. This late summer-almost fall, I came upon some warbled bean pods that were blushed with red on the bright green outsides. Fresh cowpeas, so the sign for them had read. This wasn’t at the farmers market, where I usually find my rare produce delicacies–but at the bodega down the block from me in Brooklyn, which catered to a mostly Caribbean neighborhood clientele and was run by Korean owners. I have relied on this bodega, and many like them, throughout Brooklyn for everything from last-dash needs like lemons or ethnic specialties like rice noodles. This time, though, thanks to the season’s harvest, they had a special of the day that I couldn’t refuse. Even though I’ve never cooked with freshly shelled cowpeas before.
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Friday, September 12th, 2014

Support Just Food at ‘Let Us Eat Local’ (or by winning a foodie adventure)

Farm to Table's offerings

Each year brings a different set of challenges for local food systems. But each year has seen some progress in New York City, thanks to the non-profit organization Just Food. From helping small farmers through CSA to bolstering fresh food access through city farms, Just Food makes it more possible to Let Us Eat Local. So on September 17th, we’re celebrating with a benefit event called that. In addition, you can participate by winning a unique prize in its silent auction, now open to all.

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Monday, September 8th, 2014

Shaved Summer Squash and Nectarine Salad

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It doesn’t take more than a couple fresh ingredients at their prime to make an appetizer that you might spend upwards of $10 for in a restaurant. But in a restaurant, a dish like this–even with so simple a philosophy that I can agree with–nags me a little. It’s just too precious. Too plated. And often, too skimpy.
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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Vegetarian Paella

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Last summer, ten friends and I kissed the summer goodbye with a beach weekend and a clambake. I wrote afterward that there was no greater communal food activity than this, if you’re by the shore with many people. I take that back just a little. Because for all the seaweed we let sizzle on molten-hot rocks, and crustaceans that reddened atop those before cracking open, there is another awesome group food that should not be overlooked in the summer: paella.
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