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.

Miso-Marinated Salmon with Hakurei Turnips and Orange-Sake Butter

posted in: Recipes, Seafood | 0

Have you ever stopped and suddenly thought, is this the one? Could this be my perfect food? I thought this on maybe the third or fourth date I had with Hakurei turnips. It was a sneaky sensation, crystallizing with a subtle sweetness and juicy bite that was so unlike any other thing. I got the same feeling when I tried my first bite of miso-marinated, broiled fish—only it was a smack-in-the-head awakening, a firestorm of personal penchants as if from a … Read More

Oyster Omelet with Celery Leaves

There’s something uniquely appealing about this omelet—so much so, that it’s quite the phenomenal street food in Taiwan. It’s a singular kind of dish that’s uniquely appreciated there (if they were to have a “uniquely popular” map on the topic, I’d put money down that this dish would be the one to beat in Taiwan). But I don’t think I could call this version, which I made at a sleepy Connecticut shore town with family, a “Taiwanese oyster omelet.” That’s because I missed a … Read More

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