The first cream of X soup (or “bisque”) I ever fell in love with was cauliflower. My mom and I ordered it at a diner in New Jersey once when I was little; we ate the whole cup full and had to order another (should have gotten the bowl). That creamy, white velouté was something exotic to both of us, I think, but mild and unassuming at the same time. I found an appreciation for dairy, which my young palate had been … Read More
Barley. How did we come to this? Just about the only times I encounter the ancient grain, long a staple of the Western diet, are when it’s malted and fermented in beer. And though we’ve been rekindling old fires with farro, spelt, and quinoa, barley seems to be largely left out of this next-wave appreciation, perhaps due to its containing gluten.
What a chilly, rainy start to 2015 in New York. Yesterday found me stomping through the city in a sleeping bag-esque coat that collected flurries, hail, and splatters of freezing rain like moths around a flame. Alright, I guess the precipitation hit everyone else on the streets, too. But my fate seemed sealed toward making tomato soup when I got home–perhaps with toast, or grilled cheese.
I’m thankful for leftovers this week. A big day of eating has come and gone, and as usual, the fridge seems to be more full than depleted afterward. The prized item in this cache of Thanksgiving leftovers? The roasted turkey carcass. With it, the opportunities are endless. You can make a soup, or just stock to use for things like making risotto or braising vegetables. But along with that carcass—and with most leftover Thanksgiving meal caches—is plenty of leftover turkey … Read More
What do you do with one whole week’s CSA share for a single meal? My friend Wen-Jay, who runs Local Roots CSA, decided to put me to this challenge to help kick off the winter CSA season. I was up for the challenge, but had another to contend with: what do you do with a big batch of food when you live alone and have no other mouths to feed? I eventually determined it would be a soup, and salad—preferably … Read More
For me, fall is the right time for entertaining. I spent a languid weekend preparing for two back-to-back dinner parties, post-Halloween hullaballoo (I was Kate Middleton for that, did you think you saw her walking down the street in Brooklyn?). It was the perfect antidote to a candy-strewn holiday, and one of the dishes I served for my friends was this vegetarian option, which I’ve been eating for lunches since. Like most long-simmered stews and soups, it just gets better … Read More
Ah, fresh fava beans. Who else first heard of this legume via Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs? If so, it was a most disturbing way one can be introduced to a new food (and I am amongst those). No, I didn’t eat fava beans for a good long time after seeing that movie, but it wasn’t because I was afraid. It was because I never did encounter them, least of all fresh and whole still in their pods, until … Read More
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
It’s more filling than a mere tomato sauce, but just as easy to make. I like to make versatile dishes in the winter; things that can keep well in the fridge, and keep on playing new roles well, too, albeit of a similar character. It’s not the Meryl Streep of foods, I guess: this bean and pancetta-studded tomato sauce wouldn’t exactly make a drastic turn in, say, Vietnamese cuisine. But it does wear many hats quite deliciously keeping within a … Read More