Mushroom Eggs Benedict with Not-Hollandaise

Here’s a breakfast that won’t put you right back to bed. I love Eggs Benedict, in all its drippy, sticky, bread sop-worthy mess. But I rarely bother to make Hollandaise sauce, which is poured liberally on top of the open-faced sandwich. For practical reasons, it’s fussy and complicated to make; and you’d have to make a bigger batch than suitable for just one serving, since it requires at least one egg yolk. And since I’m already having runny, poached eggs, … Read More

Spicy Korean Chicken Stew (Dak Dori Tang)

There’s a dish like this in every culture: chicken curries, coq au vin, chicken paprikas, tagine chicken, red-braised chicken, chicken mole. The list is endless. You braise some chicken with tasty stuff. Scoop it ’til the last drop. Feel better. Sleep better. Be a better person. You know the deal.

Spinach and Cheddar Cornbread

It’s all about balance. Sweet and savory; healthy and buttery; light and fluffy, and somewhat dense and gritty. That’s what good cornbread is all about. You could see it as a series of contradictions, of too many conflicting elements trying to work together at once. Or you could try to keep it all in check, to each his own place in this small casserole dish, a miniature world that’s really not that hard to govern over, when you think about … Read More

The Apple Pie Cake (and a few warnings on working with fondant)

posted in: Desserts, Recipes, Regrets | 1

Last weekend was Karol and Dave’s wedding. And Karol — as evidenced by numerous blog posts chronicling her bake-off victories — is a master of making apple pie. The perfect golden crusts, tall mounds of apple-y ooze, and her signature crimped, lattice-woven tops, were the delight of many parties she has treated myself and friends to throughout the years. I wanted to honor that at her wedding somehow. But a wedding must have cake.

Sundried Tomato Caesar Salad Dressing

This recipe is dedicated to all the do-gooders hosting gatherings who’d like to make their standby favorites, but find that something’s not vegetarian… and someone attending is. Caesar salad is one such popular crowd-pleaser that pairs well with rich, holiday fare. But the classic dressing gets its umami oomph from minced anchovies, a taboo for certain diets.

Stir-Fried Broccoli with Fermented Black Beans

You know what? I predict that salty, pungent, Chinese fermented black beans will not only sound less creepy but become more widely embraced by American cooks in the near future. Why? Well, we’ve familiarized ourselves with soy sauce pretty well, dabbled with miso paste aplenty, and foraged into Asian grocery shelves for sauces like Korean gochujang and Sichuan doubanjiang (chili bean sauce). All are made from fermented beans. It seems a good time to take a look at them up … Read More

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Chili Flakes and Fresh Herbs (Not-Candied Not-Yams)

Maybe I’m just not understanding something. But when a vegetable is so naturally sweet as to have “sweet” in its name, why smother them with marshmallows and syrupy goo? It’s like sprinkling salt on your prosciutto or lox. I know it’s tradition, but “candied yams” can go with dessert then. For the main meal, why not roast some sunny-orange slices with savory herbs and a hint of spice?

Hearty, Meaty Pasta Bolognese (and a failed attempt at a vegetarian version)

There was nothing I was craving more than a luscious red sauce studded with slow-cooked morsels of meat this chilly fall week. This is a diversion from my everyday, quick-cooking routine, which has lately been focused on what fall vegetables are still in season. But, it was cold out, and I had weekend time to spare. A hearty, meaty, proper bolognese sauce was calling like a wintry elf in red stockings. But…

Curried Carrot Soup with Red Lentils

I never regret buying lots of carrots. They’re great for snacking, for roasting as an elegant side dish, and they’re entirely soup-worthy as well. Bonus points for staying crisp quite a while in the fridge. But as much as carrots play a quintessential role in a mirepoix, the basis for so many soups, I’ve never seen them quite fit to play the starring role in one. Carrot ginger? Just not quite enticing enough, sorry. But if we’re going with a … Read More

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