Pan-Roasted Monkfish with Spinach, Snap Peas and White Wine Sauce

It’s true: Monkfish is one of the f’ugliest fish in the world. But you wouldn’t know it when it’s served to you. Or, when you buy some fresh fillets and pan-roast them just like any other fish, finishing them with a splash of white wine and butter mixed into the pan to drizzle on top. Yes, even when you’re actually cooking a raw thing to plated dish (in mere minutes no less), you can be spared the gruesome truth of its … Read More

Smoked Bluefish and Potato Salad

There’s something so Nordic and satisfying about this: boiled potatoes and smoked fish. Simple, but delish. Wholesome yet zesty, combined as one. Kind of like the Nordic pop princess, Robyn herself, whose beats I can’t resist bopping to, especially if I hear them on a car trip and my body is bored and just needs to move—a lot, and suddenly, thanks to her.

Seared Scallops and Zucchini with Avocado

Really, just those three things, plus salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh lemon. High heat, maybe, is another equal player in this equation. Plus, that makes it all the faster to throw together. I was looking for something to really treat myself with this weekend (and coming off my $1.50 meal in the last post). I just didn’t expect that it would take so little effort, and time.

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya

Jambalaya is not a beautiful dish. It, like its name, resembles a jumble—and I’m even told by a Southern co-worker that people in the South tend to pronounce it more like “jumbla,” too. It doesn’t play nice with restaurant-style plating. Rice grains cling to every shrimp, tasty bits like sausages and nearly-dissolved vegetables are embedded within the mysterious mass. I suppose you could deconstruct your jambalaya to place prime bits ceremoniously throughout, but then they wouldn’t have absorbed the incredible flavors of that … Read More

Smoked Salmon Spread with Capers and Dill

Ruby-red smoked salmon is luscious alone on a good piece of crusty bread—or, if you’re a New Yorker, on a bagel. But a schmear of cream cheese along with it, too, adds richness that gives its strong flavor legs. For a smoked salmon (or lox) dip with cream cheese, I tried to incorporate aspects of my current environment, while nodding to traditions. It turned out that I had—favorably, and rather by chance—just the ingredients to make a total classic rather … Read More

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Corn and Clams

There’s been some talk about the new “never-ending” pasta bowls at the Olive Garden lately. It seems the franchise is disregarding the low-carb (or the fresh and local) dietary trends of the day, and beckoning diners with even more all-you-can-eat. (My favorite crack? “When you’re here… Why are you here?“) Well, I happened to eat at the Olive Garden in New York City recently, to celebrate my friend Kara’s birthday. It was a nostalgic gag that myself and 14 other … Read More

Fresh Tomato and Smoked Salmon Salad

Do you ever edit yourself, after something’s been said and done? After you’ve cleaned off a meal that you enjoyed to its fullest, then start believing that it wasn’t all that it could be? I have this compulsive habit sometimes, and right now I’m really wishing that I’d scattered crisp red onion across this dish, like slivers of orchid petals. And maybe pinched speckles of Maldon sea salt and black pepper on top of those tomatoes and lettuces, and–eh… it … Read More

Spice-Crusted Cod with Baby Greens, Beets and Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

I’m not averse to wheat or gluten myself (knocking on wood), but I’m well aware of friends and general masses of folks who are looking for that delicious diversion from eating such products. So, for the crispy, crackly “crust” on a fish fillet, I crushed a grainy mixture of aromatic spices instead of looking to starch-based solutions. Then, since we’re creating such a textural complement to the otherwise tender fish, why not make fish itself the crusty crouton for a … Read More

Sichuan Fish Stew (Shui Zhu Yu)

If you’re familiar with the dry-style stir-fries of Sichuan cuisine — Kung Pao chicken, or beef with cumin — this is its soupy antithesis. Translating literally to “water-cooked fish,” it’s fish slices gently poached in a not-so-gentle broth. No, it’s not just water in there. Infused with dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns and chili bean sauce, it’s a tingly, vermilion bath loaded with slivered vegetables like cabbage and celery, flavors melding. And because of its stew-like consistency, it’s perfect for winter … Read More

The Great Clambake

Of all the elaborate communal meals to make, there is one that should stand without question should you ever be on a private New England beach: the clambake. After a whole summer of firing up charcoal for barbecues on the stuffy, blackened rooftops of Brooklyn, eight friends and myself found ourselves in such a tranquil idyll last weekend. We did not miss the opportunity.

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