A brief history of non-risotto “risottos”: At one point, everyone was making risotto with barley instead of short-grain (commonly Arborio) rice. This was undermining the term orzotto, a similar Italian dish made with barley. Then we began to see “risotto” being made with all kinds of other “whole grains for health,” appreciating the nuances of nutty flavor and bite from the likes of spelt, oats, quinoa, wheatberries and more—and I was not one to miss out on the fun. So then it seemed absol-otto awesome … Read More
So after this year’s Fourth of July barbecue, where I consumed lettuce wraps packed with meat, a hot dog, a chicken burger, a kielbasa, and some wings, I decided to go easy on my lunches the following week. I propped my kitchen stool below the highest cupboards to look for some whole grains to make a refreshing salad with—maybe quinoa, maybe spelt, or some neat-o ancient grains would be found there, I thought. But I didn’t find those.
In a pinch, I’m a sucker for slicing ’em up raw. No, not a raw foodist, and yes, hate it when restaurants charge $15 for a plate of a few slices of freshly shaved zucchini or mushrooms drowned in olive oil and call it something like “carpaccio” because I know they only sliced maybe a fifth of one zucchini or just one mushroom to make a whole plate of these delicate little slivers. I know it because I can also … Read More
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.
There’s a street food that everyone’s obsessed with in Taiwan, and it involves boneless nibs of chicken marinated in five-spice, battered and crispy-fried, dusted with white pepper, and tossed with fried basil leaves. How can you improve upon this irresistible snack? You can’t, really. But you can take the same formula and make other foods irresistibly tasty, too. And one ingredient that works very well with it is juicy chunks of king oyster (or trumpet) mushrooms. At least, that’s what … Read More
Someone recently asked me what the difference was between scalloped potatoes and potatoes au gratin. The best answer is that “scalloped” simply means that the potatoes are thinly sliced, as in discs. And “au gratin” means, roughly translated, “with grated things.” No, those grated things don’t have to be pieces of cheese, necessarily. It could be small, grainy crumbs of bread as well. Many French and Italian gratins don’t feature any cheese, but they are baked with crispy stuff atop … Read More
I love the idea of stuffed mushrooms: savory, bite-sized morsels that you can serve at a party. Love the fact that they spare no parts of mushrooms, since the stems are chopped and sautéed to stuff inside the bowl-shaped undersides. But I rarely love the outcome: bland-tasting, greyish-colored, and lacking in texture.
Aren’t the holidays grand? You get to see your co-workers get drunk on the company tab, eat gingerbread to soak up eggnog, and see strangers dressed as Santa Claus on the subway if you’re in the city like me. Maybe that last part wasn’t a huge bonus of the season. But the point is, you get to party more. Throw off your shoes and–even if you’re not wearing elf socks–enjoy a little whimsy and respite from the weekly dredge more … Read More
Years ago, none of my friends would have pegged me to make green bean casserole for a potluck. I didn’t really know much about casseroles growing up, didn’t see them except for lasagna. But now, three years in a row, I’ve been bringing my own iterations of green bean casserole to my friend’s annual pre-Thanksgiving party. It began when my editor at the environmental site Grist asked me to remake a few Thanksgiving recipes traditionally thrown together from canned food … Read More