Fried Shrimp with Corn, Tomatoes and Okra

It’s the season of no recipes needed. In winter, we might pore over splatter-pocked cookbooks, braising a stew or simmering a ragu just the right way. In the summer, things get a lot more loosey-goosey: we unsheathe the barbecue, dig into dirt, invent salads from overflowing refrigerator crispers and lounge around barefoot catching seafood, perhaps. All this fun and the peak quality of seasonal ingredients leads to a quick and effortless cooking session, if you can even call it that.

Mussels with Zucchini and Paprika

Over the winter, I had fun making long-simmered pots of chicken paprika and goulash, Eastern European dishes that pull at my childhood memories. You see, my next-door neighbors growing up, an elderly couple from Poland the Kieslowskis, would often make these in their home and it filled my backyard with delicious scents as I scurried about in the yard, sometimes playing tetherball with my brother, sometimes helping my parents with yard chores like weeding, or sometimes wandering into the Kieslowskis’ own backyard … Read More

Gumbo with Chicken, Shrimp & Squid

Happy Fat Tuesday. I’m feeling the extra weight from last weekend’s pre-Mardi Gras dinner party with friends. Any holiday is an occasion to celebrate with food. But when it’s Creole or Cajun food that’s associated with it, you don’t want to miss out.

Octopus with Shaved Fennel and Orange

So, it’s my birthday this week. I’ve officially passed the threshold of being in one’s “early” thirties—but so what, right? There is infinite time to live and learn, make and do things, all of them incredibly new and infinitely, excitingly and fresh and different. I cooked octopus for the first time last month. It wasn’t exactly the first, if you count helping other cooks over their shoulder and doing-by-seeing, but it was a first for my own kitchen. Chefs of any … Read More

Breaded Fish Milanese with Flowering Kale

posted in: Recipes, Seafood | 0

Breaded, frozen fish sticks were a fairly staple kids’ food in my time. (Are they still now?) Bland and inoffensive logs of cod, the ads for them always promised they’d be crispy, with an ethereal, ear-chattering canned crunch sound so elusive from any food, let alone fish. Short of this satisfaction, they always needed something — they needed some help — but I can recall only dipping the finger-shaped nuggets in ketchup as a kid. This does not sound very appetizing, I … Read More

Calamari Braised with White Wine, Tomatoes & Spinach

Spring has been really snoozing on the job. Rather than bursting with cherry blossoms, the new season has only brought soggy, sort-of snow and below-freezing nights. This might be our latest bitch and moan as we bundle up in scarves on the subway each morning, but it’s actual, literal bad news for local orchards. Seems that peaches in Upstate New York may not make an appearance this summer, unless these small-scale farmers have the time and resources to bundle their trees … Read More

Spicy Korean-Style Seafood and Tofu Stew with Spinach (SoonDuBu Jigae)

I was craving Korean food the other night, so I made something that could approximate it. Haunts of stuff that one might get while on a group outing to Koreatown with friends, that sort of thing. It’s not difficult to pull off a hardscrabble version of such dining-out memories, as long as we aren’t talking some Escoffier-esque French gastronomy classics. These cravings can overwhelm, but if you’ve perhaps tried your hand at cooking similar things before, or just have especially … Read More

Pasta with Clams, Kale and Breadcrumbs

“How do you cook clams?” is a question I’ve heard a lot from home cooks over the years so let’s get a few things straight: Clams are amongst the cheapest, tastiest, quickest- and easiest-to-cook seafood. They’re also resoundingly sustainable (you can do much worse with shrimp if you’re going the shellfish route). They help clean the ocean, they fortify us with minerals and omega-3’s, and they’re commonly found on restaurant plates. Especially with pasta. But you can have that at home easily, too.

Crab Cakes with Dill Mayo

There are things that are good, and things that are really good. And for a New Year’s Eve party in the city, my friends and I have decided to go all-out really good with food. Dismayed that we didn’t find a house to rent upstate with a fireplace and enough beds for everyone, we threw in the towel searching on Airbnb and turned our attentions to throwing a really good party at home. Which is where this splurge on lump crabmeat … Read More

Potato Leek Soup with Salmon and Spinach

I know most people don’t have an extra piece of fresh salmon sitting around, leftover, too often. I don’t either. But oh, when you do have some leftover salmon, life is good. You need to get yourself into this situation more often. Let me help you finagle the way in.

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