There’s a street food that everyone’s obsessed with in Taiwan, and it involves boneless nibs of chicken marinated in five-spice, battered and crispy-fried, dusted with white pepper, and tossed with fried basil leaves. How can you improve upon this irresistible snack? You can’t, really. But you can take the same formula and make other foods irresistibly tasty, too. And one ingredient that works very well with it is juicy chunks of king oyster (or trumpet) mushrooms. At least, that’s what … Read More
Barley. How did we come to this? Just about the only times I encounter the ancient grain, long a staple of the Western diet, are in beer. And though we’ve been rekindling old fires with farro, spelt, and quinoa, barley seems to be left out of the next-wave appreciation, thanks to its containing an ancient boon, gluten.
Jambalaya is not a beautiful dish. It, like its name, resembles a jumble—and I’m even told by a Southern co-worker that people in the South tend to pronounce it more like “jumbla,” too. It doesn’t play nice with restaurant-style plating. Rice grains cling to every shrimp, tasty bits like sausages and nearly-dissolved vegetables are embedded within the mysterious mass. I suppose you could deconstruct your jambalaya to place prime bits ceremoniously throughout, but then they wouldn’t have absorbed the incredible flavors of that … Read More
These cold, tough months of winter, I’m always in the mood for a warm bowl of pasta. But marinara sauce can get tiresome, and it looks like we’ve got a long winter still to go. So I made this simple pasta with garlic, mushrooms, and crispy slivers of olive oil-fried kale. I had it as leftovers next, and its flavors had really combined and popped. The oil was deep-green from absorbing that kale. It had also absorbed that lemon, softening … Read More
It’s a mashup that keeps to the same cuisine: pizza, and a flattish beaten-egg dish topped with anything you like (frittata). Who didn’t try to forge pizza with a toaster oven and whathaveyou at home when growing up? English muffins and French bread are a favorite pizza pasttime. I remember spooning stuff from a jar of “pizza sauce” onto halved bagels and English muffins for these after-school snack purposes growing up. Looking back, I’m not sure why the sauce should have … Read More
Who will win the Super Bowl XLIX? I say Go, Ducks! No, that’s not being facetious; I’m a huge fan of the Super Bowl… parties, that is. Any opportunity to make and eat a lot of food with a lot of people is my kind of game. It doesn’t matter who plays, who wins, or who cries the loudest. But it does matter that the food is good, and plentiful. So this year I’m bringing the tacos, with a delectable duck … Read More
Someone recently asked me what the difference was between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin. The best answer is that “scalloped” simply means that the potatoes are thinly sliced, as in discs. And “au gratin” means, roughly translated, “with grated things.” No, those grated things don’t have to be pieces of cheese, necessarily. It could be small, grainy crumbs of bread as well. Many French and Italian gratins don’t feature any cheese, but they are baked with crispy stuff atop … Read More
I wonder why egg salad hasn’t had a dramatic revival in recent years. With the re-embrace of eggs from a health perspective (not to mention its being an eggcelent protein for economy’s sake), it seems eggs can do no harm poached, fried, or hard-boiled on even the finest restaurant plates. But egg salad? Perhaps the pale-yellow deli standard could use a little perk.
What a chilly, rainy start to 2015 in New York. Yesterday found me stomping through the city in a sleeping bag-esque coat that collected flurries, hail, and splatters of freezing rain like moths around a bright red flame. Alright, I guess the precipitation hit everyone else on the streets, too. But my fate seemed sealed toward making tomato soup when I got home–perhaps with toast, or grilled cheese.