This is the kind of comfort food that I’m talking about when I talk about comfort food — hearty, uncomplicated, slow-cooked and pleasantly easy on your tastebuds. Only I’m not talking about any comfort food from my own sensory memory. This one belongs to Arthur Schwartz, as told in his new cookbook, Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited.
Challah! The Risotto Challenge has been fought, and by “fought” I mean “feasted”! I hate to say, ‘You kind of had to be there’ about this event, but I seriously can’t even remember enough of it. All I know is that I had to replenish the plates and forks and one point, and we’d put out 100 each. (And not everyone was eating!) Billiardsburg took a field trip to the swank tables of the ‘Slope (or just Loki Lounge‘s), the … Read More
Last night I hosted a housewarming party at my new apartment. Each guest appeared at my door toting a bottle or two of wine, a six-pack of beer or the occasional small housewarming gift. Then, a new-ish friend of mine arrived and dug into her bag a moment. She whipped out a small Ziploc bag with a mound of moss-green, fuzzy-looking dried plantlife at the bottom. “Um…” “It’s Za’atar!” she exclaimed. My suspicions cleared, I excitedly opened the – ahem … Read More
The rest of the city may have largely moved on, but I still can’t decide between Hillary and Obama. It’s like deja-vu, back to being a kid in the candy store. I’m standing there scratching my head and weighing a Mars Bar and a Milky Way in each hand, while the rest of the kids have scampered outside, chomping away on their selections. The problem is, there is little difference between a Mars Bar and a Milky Way, just the … Read More
The first thing you’re probably wondering is why there is a big picture of broth instead of a completed, beautifully presented plate of winter vegetable couscous before us right now. That’s because when I made this at home, I erred on the side of caution and prepared the mostly winter dish with the addition of zucchini, just as I’d seen it done throughout my visit to Morocco. After eating mushy, limp zucchini several times there and then making it at … Read More
I know what you’re thinking. Your mouth is slightly agape. You read Brie and apples and your brain is skipping along at a jovial clip, then comes “risotto” and everything comes to a crashing halt against a tangled mental wire fence. Does that go? Apples in risotto? Remember, this is coming from a person who recently tried to put beets in pudding.
Beware, I’m about to make an indie rock reference (or is it too oldschool to be indie?): Anyone remember the song, “Swordfish” by the Dead Milkmen? Its lyrics essentially consist of the chorus, “I believe in swordfish/He believes in swordfish,” and it tells you nothing of swordfish except for the fact that everyone believes in something, and he believes in swordfish. Understandably so, as it would now seem.
No seasonal food taboos can get between me and my favorite Italian rice dish (are there any others?): risotto is delicious year-round. It simply absorbs the season into its gooey mass and holds it there snug like a mother kangaroo. Lemon? Sure. Crisp spring vegetables like sugar snap peas, juicy zucchini and fresh chopped scallions? Why not? Welcome to spring, risotto. You’re looking green and well today.
‘ A homespun breakfast with all the merits of “a good start.” This weekend my neighborhood was once again bustling with brunching — the all-afternon affair elongated by the sluggish buzz of cool cocktails and the sun and sights of street dining. I never did feel especially healthy leaving one of these spring or summer brunches in the end, nor (strangely) very full. But they certainly were nice for a warm spring day like we just had, magnolia trees bursting … Read More
I’ve made similar recipes to this using chicken and olives, or just seafood, but in the aftermath of last weekend’s brunch I found myself with a bagful of apples. Crunching my way through the whole week, I’ve jettisoned the idea of baking (yet another) pie. There’s a lot more versatility in apples than we’ve traditionally credited them with, I think. If applesauce or cider can be used to flavor savory dishes, then why not the fruit’s more assertive, fresher state?