Spring is in the air — and greens are in the earth. According to a friend who tends a farm Upstate, only the last couple weeks have granted the consistency of warmth needed to thaw the ground and allow for new plantings to begin. Rejoice! But then, not all plants need to be planted, per se. Some prefer to seed spontaneously, in the wild. Introducing the season of wild onions, including those most coveted now in New York City — … Read More
Gnocchi might seem tricky to master at home: you want them to be light and somewhat fluffy inside, textured outside, and preferably a little crisped from hot butter in a pan. Instead, first attempts might yield some over-boiled, chewy nuggets that taste like pretty much nothing. If that’s the case you’re working too hard — overworking the dough, over-boiling; gnocchi can be made with much more speed and carelessness. And to give them a seasonal-tasting twist, they can also be … Read More
It’s rare when a dish is both uniquely effortless and divine; this doesn’t happen, for instance, when making a decadent, double dark-chocolate cake. It doesn’t exactly hit the same satisfaction triggers either when you toss together some greens with bacon and cheese. But when you fold all the latter three into some hot pasta, along with silky egg yolks and olive oil, there’s some jingling in the air, and the angels will be smiling down upon your kitchen from above.
You might be wondering why, in the midst of summer, when all the glorious squashes, eggplants, tomatoes and peppers have come into season, did I choose to get cabbage at the Greenmarket? Well, the short answer is that I’m slightly obsessed with cabbages — of all kinds — and I don’t expect anyone to relate. And seeing a new head of Savoy cabbage, with quilted-textured, pristine green leaves on the outside and tightly wound like a rubber band ball, promising … Read More
Why have I not been making gnocchi every day? It’s luscious, filling, delicious and much easier than rolling out pasta at home. A classic potato gnocchi is simply flour and boiled potato, but it takes a certain tool (ricer) and timing to make a fluffy mound of warm, moist potato to absorb the flour. While you can do this any time of the year, fresh fava beans in the pod are only in season locally right about now. These lovely beans … Read More
If you’re looking to scrape together a meal from seemingly nothing, here’s one way to really hit it out of the park. In fact, breadcrumbs really do need to be scraped, swept or otherwise salvaged from a scattered mess on the counter to do this dish right. Minced anchovies and garlic create a tasty olive oil infusion to coat the pasta with, and some spare greens like kale, or just a shower of fresh parsley for garnish, combine for a healthy … Read More
I generally shy away from attempting to recreate dishes like chilled soba and sushi because they are perfection-oriented foods. The difference between really good sushi, for example, and so-so are all in the minute details: how fresh the fish is, how expertly it was cut, how perfect the texture and the temperature of the rice was the moment it adhered to the fish and was served to you. It’s no wonder becoming a sushi master takes years of regimented training, … Read More
This dish is inspired by the classic preparation of pizzoccheri, a tagliatelle-like pasta made with buckwheat flour from Northern Italy. It’s commonly tossed with cooked potatoes and cabbage in a buttery, starchy cooking water-thickened sauce accented with grated cheese. It sounded like just my kind of dish, only getting my hands on pizzoccheri noodles this side of the pond, or making it, proved unwieldy.
I may never master the all-American macaroni and cheese myself. But after sampling some thirty best efforts of this dish at Brooklyn’s second Mac & Cheeze Takedown on Sunday, I may have some more clues. Mac and cheese is one of those quintessential home-cooked dishes (along with chili, the food that began the Takedown), meant to be shared by many and enjoyed by all. But as I wasn’t competing in this Takedown myself (I’d asked host Matt Timms to but … Read More
Chinese New Year is coming up this weekend — the Year of the Dragon is just upon us. Remembering a few good-luck foods for the holiday can be simple: anything long suffices for promoting “long life.” That includes noodles, which are traditionally served on New Year’s, often pan-fried. Make it as fancy as you want with additional ingredients, or as down-home and cheap as this one. With an assortment of healthy winter vegetables, it’s life-lengthening, in more ways than one.