Nov 15th, 2011
It's another round of head-to-tail cooking, for the underrated root vegetable! And for good cause: radish greens are a true superfood, among the most nutrient-rich of all leafy greens, yet they tend to become a little coarse and bitter-tasting while the root beneath them matures. No matter -- mash them into a silken fresh pasta to toss with the lightly cooked radishes, too.
Daikon Radish Greens Pasta with Seared Daikon, Chilies, Garlic and Lemon
Nov 13th, 2011
Think spring is the best time of year to eat leafy greens? Fall's cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce and spinach are just as great, if not better, having been sowed in summer's warm soil. In this region, it's usually a sure bet that they'll mature in time for the first frost to hit, but before they wilt in strong sun. And despite the recent snowstorm on the Northeast, New York's local greens are looking ship-shape, especially the spinach.
Palak Daal (Spinach and Lentil Curry)
Oct 2nd, 2011
Covered in grime, knobby as a goblin, and incredibly fibrous and tough, celery root deserves a place in the "Now who'd have thought to eat that first?" category of foods. But perhaps once was sliced into, and its gruff shade gave way to a moon-like pallor, and a deliciously fresh scent was released; that may have been enough to compel one. And since then, many have done much to showcase the unlikely edible's charms. Like slicing the root finely, and dressing it fresh.
Creamy Celery Root Salad With Red Peppers and Mustard
Sep 29th, 2011
Whisk, ladle, sizzle, and flip. These four steps epitomized the quick weeknight dinner for me during a certain time, when all I wanted to eat were Korean-style pancakes stuffed with fresh vegetables and anything-goes in the fridge. Those, and dunk -- the sound of soy sauce soaking up the tip of one of them before it crunched in my mouth. It was certainly quicker to make than fried rice or noodles, another practical way to toss in any number of ingredients with starch. And some of my friends liked the recipe I posted for it one time so much that they became addicted at times, too.
Savory Mushroom & Scallion Pancakes
Sep 19th, 2011
I had guests over for dinner last weekend and came up with a five-person entree on the fly. I'd zoomed through the Greenmarket, picking up a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, a firm eggplant, and a couple small, pattypan squashes. These all went into a pasta with a hearty portion of Italian sausage from Flying Pigs Farm for the meat-eaters in the crowd. We all loved it. Loved how the dish was colorfully studded with well-sized chunks 'o stuff. Loved the fresh tomato sauce. Loved the way the eggplant, roasted in rounds and added to the sauce later, melted to a custard to thicken it all, and clung to the al dente-cooked pasta.
Heirloom Beans with Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Zucchini
Sep 7th, 2011
The most enjoyable aspects of Vietnamese summer rolls are their coolness, contrast of textures, and copious fresh herbs. This suits us most in mid-to-late summer, when herbs are taking over the garden, humidity reigns, and late-season rain and tropical storms can feel like a monsoon. So take it from the Vietnamese, and have something cold and refreshing to keep you awake.
Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls with Shiso and Thai Basil
Sep 1st, 2011
Here's one way to eliminate fattening nuts from your salad: dry-toast a whole grain to toss in. You'll still get a similarly satisfying flavor and the energy-packing proteins and fullness. But with more fiber, and less fat.
Watercress Wheatberry Salad with Cucumber & Yellow Tomato
Aug 20th, 2011
They say shakshouka, a common Israeli breakfast dish, is difficult or taxing to make, or that canned tomatoes are the best option to create a thick and savory sauce. But it was the first thing I could think of to whip up when I could find little else but ripe tomatoes and fresh eggs in the icebox one morning last week. I don't mean that in a nostalgic way, using the word, "icebox" -- for the past couple weeks, I've been living on a single-hull sailboat docked at the San Francisco marina.
Shakshouka, On A Boat
Jul 6th, 2011
Who needs rice with black beans when there's sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, Swiss chard, and if not peppers just yet, then new, sweet-tasting potatoes, in season now? That's my summertime take on the Latin American classic, with the black beans on the bottom this time.
Black Beans with Summer Vegetable Sauté
Jul 2nd, 2011
I find the mild flavor, mild texture, and outrageous color of roasted beets so enjoyable that I'll pop them into my mouth whole like popcorn. Only, it's not all the time that I get to roasting a few beets, especially when it's been as warm as the last few weeks in New York. However, I did roast a lot of very good beets the other day -- good, because they were just in season at the farmers' market (rather than having been in cold storage for several months, from last summer's harvest) -- and I had some stragglers after the popping-whole session.
Spicy Beet Salad With Smoked Almonds on Toast
Jun 26th, 2011
Last week, I got a beautiful, billowy head of napa cabbage in my CSA share. There were only about three other people picking up their shares at the same time as me, but I was able to overhear the same concerns: "What do I do with napa cabbage?" Naturally, I was determined to find a crowd-pleasing application.
Napa Cabbage with Chili-Garlic Sauce and Szechuan Peppercorns
Jun 22nd, 2011
I've been hearing the term "warm salad" being tossed around a lot lately, and feel it might be a new menu buzzword. Perhaps it inspires curiosity, still carries an unlikeliness that hasn't been as indoctrinated into our culture as, say, "chilled soup." Sometimes it makes perfect sense (roasted beets, dressed in a light vinaigrette), other times, seems more of a stretch (sorry, sauteed vegetables are just that). I've used the term for this dish because of its middle-road temperature. The potatoes are piping-hot and crisp, and when tossed with cool vegetables the combined effect is perfectly warm. It's the best way to enjoy it, I think.
Warm Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Olives & Garlic Scapes
Jun 17th, 2011
I'll admit, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by all the greenery that's coming in from my CSA -- and growing on the roof. I hit a breaking point when my friend Wen-Jay (of Local Roots CSA) offered me some leftover stinging nettle from a pick-up day, and I found myself biking home with two swinging backs full of stinging weeds, wondering how I was going to stuff them in my fridge. I thought of buying a juicer -- a quick, mindless solution to getting it all in my body like a transfusion of deep-green. But a classic Spanish recipe, made with mountains of muddled greens and fresh herbs, came to mind instead.
Green Gazpacho (and a preview of the Feast of 61 Local Ingredients)
Jun 13th, 2011
Zucchini and summer squashes are so versatile, and so various in size, color and shape, that they're endlessly fun to create with. From pattypan to eight ball-shaped globes of delicate flesh, we've come to see a lot more heirloom types of these over the last few years, thanks to farmers who've saved their seeds. This recipe can be made with any of them, sliced thinly and arranged in layers to stand in for lasagna sheets -- and soak in all the flavors in between.
Zucchini Lasagna (Without the Pasta Sheets)
Jun 10th, 2011
I've been eating in the style of mezze
a lot lately -- a small pile of sauteed snap peas here, some roasted beets there, etc. So many vegetables are suddenly in season, and piling up thanks to my CSA share, that preparing them all in some congruous fashion can get taxing -- and somewhat self-defeating, as most are so good on their own. So rather than plopping a big, messy pile in front of me, I like to scatter a personal potluck on the table, of delicious but simple things. Well, here's one addition that will bring protein to the party, and is easy to keep on hand.
Herbed Fava Beans
Mar 14th, 2011
If it weren't so easy to make an entire one, I might succumb to ordering a slice of savory quiche at a bakery or for brunch. But it is, and no matter if you incorporate the most luxurious ingredients or leftovers in its airy, yellow mass, definitely more economical than the options above. It's one of my favorite ways to add class to eggs.
Wild Mushroom Quiche with Pecorino & Lemon Zest
Mar 7th, 2011
Hear me out: making kimchee at home is really easy! And the payoffs are practical in the kitchen, too. Here's a look at my first attempt at making a true, Korean friend-approved batch of kimchee, and one way to put it to delicious use: as a seasoning for everyday, ever-versatile roasted potatoes.
Kimchee Roasted Potatoes
Feb 21st, 2011
My friend was talking about how she'd made spanakopita
, the Greek savory spinach pie, recently. Only, she didn't actually finish making it: "The filling was so good I just ate it up with a spoon, and didn't bake it with the crust." She was also impressed with how much spinach she had eaten; the one-pound bag, the size of a fluffy pillow, had all cooked down to a portion that neatly filled a soup bowl. That's a good way to eat a lot of spinach, I thought. And, why had I never made spanakopita
Spinach & Kimchee Pies
Feb 15th, 2011
Today was gusty like a regular dust storm, at least in Red Hook where I was a-working. And there was some music playing, by a feller named Woody Guthrie, and he was a-talkin about some dust storm in a song called "Talking Dust Bowl Blues." In one verse, he sings, "My wife fixed up a tater stew," and it got me hungry and thinkin' food. So I'll stop with the bad sing-song writing here, but now you know the reason for it.
Roasted Potato Leek Soup with Kale
Feb 9th, 2011
In the summer, beans were for dressing in a gloss of olive oil, tossing with a confetti of crisp, chopped vegetables, and having as salad. In the winter, we simmer them with rich fats, sometimes with finely chopped (less colorful) vegetables, which dissolve into the resulting soup or baked casserole. While it's definitely winter, I tried to make a compromise between these two polar opposite ways to eat beans. Starting with the king-size fava (or "broad") bean, dried.
Hearty Fava Bean Stew
Feb 7th, 2011
I would have named this recipe tom yum
since the popular Thai dish is certainly its inspiration. But it's missing a few crucial -- and difficult to find -- ingredients, and prepared rather on the fly instead of slow-simmered. It wouldn't seem quite right to purists of Thai cuisine. It is, however, absolutely right to those looking to quench their appetite for something a little exotic, restorative and refreshing, and you don't have much time.
Hot-Sour Lemongrass Soup with Mushrooms & Tofu
Jan 25th, 2011
If the fashion sensibility "peasant chic" were translated to food, this would be a runway highlight. It's a melange of the penniless pantry, but manages to come out vibrant with flavor, and chock full of nutrition. A little funky, offbeat, and very magenta (is that an "in" color?), it's what I call making the best of the least -- and the cheapest -- ingredients. It's also filling enough for a one-dish dinner alone, but plop in a poached egg and have with a crust of bread the next day for a hearty breakfast, too.
Red Cabbage & Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Jan 21st, 2011
No, I didn't just sneeze, it's oshinko
! A simple, no-sweat type of Japanese pickle. If you like a salty, crisp snack in the middle of the day, or something to refresh your palate at the end of a meal, try making a big batch of these pickles to keep in the fridge. It takes just three days for them to sit at room-temperature, to their slightly fermented state.
Carrot, Cucumber and Radish Oshinko
Jan 10th, 2011
For a long time, I could never fathom making many beloved, wintry foods without meat. It seemed like if you took the meat away, you'd lose the whole hutzpah of the thing. And besides, we need something to fortify our chilled bones with. Well, it's taken a long journey but in the case of cassoulet, I've decided that it isn't the pork, or duck fat that is the whole hutzpah, it's the tender, melt-in-your-mouth beans swaddled in a creamy, baked-in sauce.
Incredible Vegetable Cassoulet
Jan 1st, 2011
Happy New Year. I'm not one to really make solid New Year's resolutions. But for any given reason, I might make new foodsolutions. My latest determination came after an extended Christmas vacation in Wisconsin. It was extended, because of the blizzard that hit New York City, just the day I was planning to return. And it was foodsolution-inspiring because Wisconsin is practically swathed in butter, cheese and beef.
Dec 20th, 2010
Crispety, crunchety, tang. That's all I taste when I sink an incisor through one of these slices of spring green. All it took was a splash of lemon juice, glug of olive oil, sea salt, and a few minutes' time marinating to bring something like broccoli stems to this level.
Quick-Marinated Broccoli Stems
Dec 14th, 2010
Here is a really good example of the fact that I'm half-Chinese. I have no idea what this is, but I just made it for a snack. It's sort of like hash browns, but with turnip slices, and condiments fit for dumplings. I gotta say, though, it was a lot simpler to make than either of the above, and its taste satisfied somewhere in between.
Pan-Fried Potatoes and Turnips with Chili-Soy Sauce & Scallions
Dec 9th, 2010
Dear Mom and Dad,
Today I had the most wonderful tomato soup. And I actually made it! Okay, it wasn't fancy or very fussy, and actually, it could have been pureed a little bit smoother. But it tasted just about perfect: full-bodied and fresh, not too sour, but not too dulled with milk or cream that you can't taste the tang of the tomato at all. And it wasn't too loose or chunky, like a marinara sauce, either. So I guess I was able to solve all my pet peeves about tomato soup by simply making it myself.
Tomato Soup to Write Home About
Nov 29th, 2010
You could say I'm on a bit of a soba kick lately. I've been slurping up a great bowl of buckwheat noodle soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner almost every day these past few chilly weeks. Let's talk about the soba in a bit; a really good bowl of any noodle soup, in my opinion, is in the soup. It's generally thought that a good broth takes hours or even days to make right. But I've figured out a quick and easy system for turning out a savory mushroom stock that doesn't taste like instant powder and is, moreover, completely natural and vegetable-based. So there's hardly any time needed to prepare a bowl like this in the morning, no matter how hungover I am (and I won't be for long).
Mushroom Soba & Miso-Braised Mustard Greens
Nov 20th, 2010
Last Halloween, Dave introduced me to a dish that involves baking stuff inside a hollowed-out pumpkin. He explained that he'd taken it from a Ruth Reichl recipe in Gourmet
. This past Halloween, I hosted, and I copied Dave's (or Ruth's) dish to a T. (Only mine was in a white heirloom "ghost" pumpkin, and I served a side of beet-and-tomato "blood" soup
.) It's sort of like French onion soup, inside a pumpkin: you stuff stale bread cubes and pour chicken stock inside the pumpkin, and top it with grated Swiss cheese while it bakes. A great concept, I thought, and I loved the addition of the roasted pumpkin that gets scraped up along with each spoonful of the finished stuff.
Chipotle Baked Beans In A Pumpkin
Nov 15th, 2010
Rather than watering it down with milk and cream, or confusing its flavor with a tomato-laden broth, this soup is all about broccoli, from its florets to its stems to its leaves. You'll get a big burst of the broccoli with each spoonful of the stuff, and that's a somewhat new way to experience a vegetable that's been around (and has been disdained, in many cases) for all our lives. It starts out with roasting the pieces to concentrate their flavor even more, and it has roasted garlic and shallots to cement that sweetened touch. A drizzle of distractingly good olive oil to finish and that's your bowl packed with the power food. Eating your greens has never been easier.
Broccoli & Roasted Garlic Soup
Nov 2nd, 2010
Question: Why do we eat coleslaw in the summer, usually? Okay, it's crisp, sweet and cooling, and I even thought it was called "cold slaw" as a kid. But it's made primarily of... winter cabbage. And we'll be seeing lots of heads of those for the rest of the year.
Red Cabbage Salad with Quince, Pickled Carrots and Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Oct 17th, 2010
I love making hash browns, but it's not exactly the quickest route to a savory breakfast. Nor is it the most nutritious; even if using sweet potatoes, which are richer in beta-carotene and cold weather-helping antioxidants than regular, pale potatoes, you'll spend almost twice the amount of time cooking it to a pleasing softness, and by that time you'll have added more oils to keep it from sticking to the pan. Winter squash is in season, and I've found a new use for any type. Browned in a pan with a hit of fresh peppers, which are still lingering from summer, lemony sorrel and some toasty squash seed oil, I can't think of a better way to start a fall day.
Spicy Squash Hash
Oct 8th, 2010
I'm always looking to cook beans in a hearty application that doesn't involve meat. After all, beans are a protein on their own. From lentils to split peas to baked beans with ginger, chipotle and hoisin, this has offered varied and delicious results. Why am I doing this? I have no idea, I'm not even a vegetarian. I just want to see how best it can be done.
Runner Beans with Caramelized Onions & Dijon Sauce
Oct 3rd, 2010
We're in a fall transitional time, when savory spoonfuls of something warm might appeal, but bright summer produce is still abound. I was going to make some oatmeal for breakfast, but this happened instead. Luckily, by the time these oat groats had softened, it was lunchtime, too.
Ris-Oat-O with Fresh Corn & Zucchini
Sep 27th, 2010
Most of my favorite soups have "peasant" origins. From the poorest "peas porridge" to simple black bean, reheated ribollita to wintermelon and stock, this humble fare reminds me that you don't have to simmer a whole great number of specific things to come away with a really great soup. Especially if your ingredients are great on their own.
Roasted Red Pepper & Parmesan Soup
Sep 11th, 2010
Just another fun way to serve up eggplant, fresh and simple. Because it's got to be cooked, eggplant tends to get weighed down in heavier preparations -- parmiggiana, or an Asian stir-fry with lots of gloppy brown sauce. But I love just roasting a skinny eggplant half, face down like a spear, and eating it straight-up like that afterwards, soft and gooey inside. This was more or less what I did for cooking demonstrations two weekends ago at New York Botanical Gardens' Edible Gardens series, when the theme ingredient was this versatile nightshade.
Sep 7th, 2010
I was inspired to do this by one of my favorite Chinese condiments, pickled mustard greens. The greens are finely shredded, brined with salt, vinegar and soy sauce, sometimes chiles, and in some cases, slightly fermented before going into a can or a jar to be preserved. Then, they're served with almost anything: stir-fries with tofu, a bowl of noodle soup with sliced pork, and, when I was little, sometimes just sprinkled on top of a bowl of hot, soupy leftover rice. It's kind of like sauerkraut, only leafier. Or kimchee, only shredded finer, and not as spicy, garlicky and gingery. You get the drill.
Pickled Swiss Chard
Sep 2nd, 2010
First it was this on a plate with leftover roasted almonds strewn about, a salad. Then it was this, transported to crisps of leftover bread, a crostini. Next it was this, stuffed into my cold burrito from a take-out place that I didn't even go to (somebody else did, and gave me their leftovers). Soon it will be this, on leftover rice that's stuck to a pot in the fridge. Basically, this is really good. Any way you serve it.
Shredded Kale & Sungold Tomato Crostini
Jul 28th, 2010
I don't know anything that doesn't taste good with a slice of a fresh, juicy and tree-ripened summer peach. It doesn't need anything to accompany it, but it sure can give other ingredients a boost. For example, ricotta or goat cheese with a peach slice on crostini. A bowl of vanilla ice cream with peaches. Grilled peaches on shishkabob sticks, in salsa and gazpacho, on a pizza instead of tomato slices, peanut butter and peach sandwiches. I'm eating buckwheat pancakes with peaches on them right now. Life is peachy. So I decided to do as I've done before with citrus fruit wedges, and toss them along with some roasted beets.
Peach and Roasted Beet Salad
Jul 23rd, 2010
Stuffed with what, it really matters little. Do a crab dip type thing, spinach, bacon or pancetta, or this: lots of herbs with breadcrumbs, onion, and the scooped-out squash sauteed first. Sprinkle cheese on top before roasting, or not. Or stuff it with "surprise," what happened to that fun tradition? The object is using the summer squash -- particularly the rounder species, like these lovely eight-ball varieties just in season -- in ways we haven't before.
Stuffed Summer Squash
Jul 18th, 2010
I love it when a dish just makes sense somehow. Feels more efficient. This can often be achieved by using two parts of the same plant, or animal, if in unsuspecting ways. Hey, if eating meat from head to tail is all the rage, then how about vegetables from shoot to root? Stalk to flower? Waste not, want not, and why not cook 'em both together? That's what I thought when I bought a bunch of these lovely tri-colored carrots. Though prepared this way, you might not even guess it was all the same plant.
Grilled Carrots with Carrot Greens Pesto
Jun 20th, 2007
It's such an easy feat sometimes to find a combination that's just miraculous -- it hit your tastebuds perfectly, it quelled your bad mood dutifully, and it spaced you out for an hour after eating it as you thought about it again and again. By this point, we've all had it drilled in our heads that the best food is often made with the most simply prepared, fresh ingredients. Which in part makes your life simple, too, and when it comes to leftovers, you'll have a lot more uses for that leftover half of an onion than a dried-out casserole of something that took you two and a half hours to make. So maybe I'm drilling the simplicity point even further into our heads by saying all the above -- but the truth is, I normally don't follow it. I pickle the red onion, if you know what I mean. Well, in this case I didn't, and I was humbled beyond words.
Red Pepper Pitzas with French Feta, Basil and Red Onion
Jun 16th, 2007
Fresh-mint infused ice cream flavors have grown up quickly from the esoteric awe they might have once induced. Now that Ciao Bella even makes a fresh mint chip ice cream, it's no longer the domain of chefs and home cooks, either. Fresh mint leaves are a world of difference from the minty mint chip flavor we grew up with (read: peppermint oil); it's kind of one of those delightful twists on a flavor that you didn't even know needed improving. But since there are so many varieties of fresh mint, I'm curious to see what happens when we begin to discern them in things like ice cream, too.
Wintergreen Chip Ice Cream Cookiewiches
May 10th, 2007
No seasonal food taboos can get between me and my favorite Italian rice dish (are there any others?): risotto is delicious year-round. It simply absorbs the season into its gooey mass and holds it there snug like a mother kangaroo. Lemon? Sure. Crisp spring vegetables like sugar snap peas, juicy zucchini and fresh chopped scallions? Why not? Welcome to spring, risotto. You're looking green and well today.
Spring Snap Risotto
May 7th, 2007
As I was celebrating the shameless drinking holiday oft misunderstood as Mexico's Independence Day this weekend, I learned that a) Cinco de Mayo is not even terribly important in Mexico, and that b) it was mostly invented by American spring breakers crossing the border to get wasted, so says a friend who happens to be Mexican. So why is New York city, a far cry from Tijuana, also crazy for this holiday? Sure, there was a battle in Puebla, Mexico on that date. And, uh, a great one at that. A victory feast was probably eaten... cut to the chase -- let's barbecue!
chicken and veggie shishs get fired up
Cinco de Mango Salad
May 3rd, 2007
Two summers ago I tried to grow basil, parsley, dill and another herb I can no longer remember in small pots placed on my old apartment window ledge. They didn't make it very long. Some, which I had decided to plant from seeds, were never even born. The whole dirt-caked affair was so sorry that I refused owning any herbs, or plants for that matter, all last summer. And fall, winter, then spring. This summer, I'm turning over a new leaf though.
My newly purchased miniature pot of basil is receiving sun, water, love and talking-to every day. It's no longer in my apartment either, and since I don't have any outdoor space or a window with any better light than before, I've stuck it between a row of pachysandra and neatly hedged stones in the front yard of my building. Only the tenant or mailman looking closely for it would notice the exotic, teardrop-shaped leaves swathed in its terracotta planter. And once they do, I may end up sharing my basil with the rest of the neighborhood. But until then, no matter.
Almond & Roasted Tomato Pesto Pasta
Apr 6th, 2007
A lovely article in the New York Times Magazine last week that aimed to decode the recipe behind the perfect bowl of cold sesame noodles was all the excuse I needed to indulge you with another testament to my fondness for the dish.
It's an unconditional love that extends from the classic cold staple to a decidedly spicy variety that I like to prepare hot. Yes, hot. I'm not exactly sure how or when I learned to enjoy this dish, but I'm pretty sure my mother was the instigator. The minute I mix together sesame paste with red chili garlic sauce my nose tingles with an unmistakable sensory memory--of the food, itself, not how I learned to make it. It's a sharp, cutting scent that foretells fieriness. And another hackjob at my tastebuds.
Hot Sesame Noodles
Mar 8th, 2007
I am convinced that stuffed peppers, like soup, are a true leftover invention, and that's just what I stuffed my poblano peppers with for these chile rellenos. In most cases the preferred grain would be rice, but since I had some potatoes I used them along with some leftover chicken. I've also come to suspect that most anything when stuffed inside a smoky, roasted poblano pepper will taste good -- that is, if you like smoky, roasted poblano peppers.
Chile Rellenos con Pollo y Patata and Roasted Tomato Salsa
Feb 17th, 2007
In celebration of "soup month" February and all the cold, soup-worthy weather we've been having recently, here's my contribution to Soup's On at A Veggie Venture.
It's funny how much the texture of warm chickpeas can parallel that other vegetable commonly paired with leek in a soup--the potato. While leeks cook up insistently savory, the chickpea balances as a more neutral, slightly nutty accoutrement. Thinking more or less of hummous, a little cumin went into this, soft roasted garlic, a squirt of lemon juice for a tang of refreshment--and although this could very well have been left out, I did think that a small dose of sesame paste added an extra layer of character to the soup. I should add that I didn't have the Middle Eastern type of sesame paste, tahini, in my kitchen, but a jar of Chinese sesame taste, which is slightly sweeter, with a thicker consistency. Sesame can be a strong, overpowering presence so a tablespoon was all that was needed for a subtle, lurking note. A bright splash of herbs later, and I had a vegan soup that could be at once Middle Eastern, Italian (as many bean soups are), French, and Chinese. Weird, huh?
Chickpea Leek Soup
Feb 6th, 2007
This is probably two days past the point to bother saying, but I don’t really do football. I just don’t watch it. And I don’t feel left out of an annual popular culture event by not going to a Super Bowl party, sitting on a friend’s couch and routing for a team, catching the first glimpse of all the “great” commercials, and snacking on endless bowls and mountains of appetizers: tasty fried, stuffed, dipped, blanketed morsels. Okay, maybe I feel left out of the snacking.
Sweet Potato Chips and Sour Green Dip
Jan 29th, 2007
I'm ashamed to say that I've never picked up a fennel bulb and cooked with it, and am not quite sure if I've tried it before. I had a leftover fennel bulb after using some of the sprigs for a jarred experiment I've been working on (more on that to come), so it was high time.
Cheesy Fennel Rice Casserole and Fennel Salad with Celery and Pecans
Jan 21st, 2007
Of course, I have been discovering all the classic French sauces with the help of my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking
, and am scandalized by the amounts of butter and fats they require. I just have never cooked (aside from baking) with that much butter before. My immediate thoughts: was I really eating that every time I went to a French restaurant? Was that why it tasted so good and...French? So when I felt like coating my pasta in butter and parsley for this dish I went to the book for the recipe of tasty beurre blanc, infused my butter in wine, vinegar, and shallots, and used only half the amount of butter they called for in their beurre blanc recipe for a lighter, not-quite-sauce.
Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potato and Beurre Blanc
Jan 8th, 2007
Food that looks as good as a summer's evening. And it almost was, after the temperature reached seventy degrees this Saturday in New York. I put on a light sweater and headed outside, with the tune from Amelie
in my head as I strolled over to Fort Greene Park, thinking of the scene about the man who buys a chicken every day and cooks it with great care and tenderness, savoring the moment he bites into the oysters. I had thoughts of Provencal fare on my mind as well, even though I don't know anything about how to prepare it except for a hunch that very colorful vegetables are lightly cooked with lots of garlic by sauteeing, or stir-frying them, a process very familiar to me.
Pasta with Chicken, Asparagus, Grape Tomatoes and Olives
Jan 1st, 2007
I'd really like to tell you that this was a quick, fun and easy recipe that makes for a great snack to bring to parties or entertain with. But it wasn't. It was really difficult and frustrating. Hopefully next time that won't be the case with the experience and skills learned in the two or three hour-long process. I have a newfound respect for pizzas the size that they're supposed to be. I'm always happy to put in some effort on food that's being served to friends though, so if you share this value, then these baby pizza pies can be an impressive show of handiwork.
Mini Party Pizzas
Nov 14th, 2006
My friend Karol always wins at stuff. Whether it's the Ms. Pac-Man playoff, or the guy at the other end of the bar, Karol just wins. So it was no surprise when her chili took home first prize in the annual "Bruce Chili" cook-off at Barcade. Coming back from a 7th place finish in the 2005 cook-off, her curiously titled batch, "I Love You But I've Chosen Chili" struck lightning this year, and is now the reigning 2006 champion to beat.
I Love You but I’ve Chosen Karol Lu’s Champion Vegetarian Chili
Oct 25th, 2006
Castellane con spinaci e fagioli is what I would have called this recipe if a)I were a real Italian person (I somehow don't feel I have the right to name this dish in Italian since I'm not), and b) I were actually using spinach, which I would have preferred. But even though the spinach scare is officially over, and the washed, bagged leaves are back on the shelves, I'm hesitant to forgive and forget. Castellane con spinaci e coli is not something I want to get too close to.
Pasta with Kale and Chick Peas
Oct 15th, 2006
Thanks DJ, for sharing your mom's recipe for squash rolls. DJ writes in an email that his mom makes these every Thanksgiving: "Oh and they don't really end up tasting like squash, which is a major plus because they're made from freezer squash, which is a cheap replacement for syrup of ipecac if you don't have any handy." Had to look that one up too--syrup of ipecac is a gag-inducing serum. Thanks!
DJ O’Connor’s Mom’s Squash Rolls
Oct 1st, 2006
The name of the dish implies a little heat, so it might be a fun experiment to add some chopped, jarred jalepenos in the stuffing. But for now, here's the recipe that I stick to wholeheartedly, one that never fails.
Sep 27th, 2006
I almost winced when reading an "Asian" (fusion, I guess) recipe in a major glossy magazine that called for a Noah's Ark full of ingredients from all across the world. It was a pork recipe, and just the notion of using fish sauce and Chinese black bean sauce in combination was enough to make my stomach turn, let alone calling for more than three tablespoons of fish sauce period. But the fact that the recipe also included hoisin sauce, sesame oil, orange juice, ginger, lime juice, sugar, cilantro, Serrano chiles, and honey was laughable. And what happened to soy sauce, or even salt, the most basic marinade ingredients upon which to add one or two more ingredients for a sturdy, reliable flavor? Not on the index-sized list.
Maybe I'm just being plebian about it. But it's funny, because with all the emphasis on simplicity in modern New American and European cuisines, it's incredible how much work everyone seems to think Asian food is. Plain old home-cooking, it seems, hasn't quite fazed the American public.
Plain Old Fried Rice with Five-Spice Tofu
Aug 30th, 2006
It's been a bit of a painful withdrawal from eating out at Alma, a restaurant which dealt no gimmicks except for meticulous flavors, as apparent in their exuberant new Mexican chile sauce.
Black Bean Enchiladas with Red Chile
Aug 16th, 2006
Fresh corn on the cob that squirts you in the face when you snap it in half is just what I was in the mood for when I went to the Fairway Market in Red Hook this weekend. Unfortunately, the two ears I’d gotten with the thought of making corn chowder stayed in my fridge for two days. By Monday it was pretty clear that I wasn’t going to make a hot soup in August, as much as I could see myself shaving those kernels right off a newly shucked cob into a steaming pot. When I finally dug into the ears that evening, though, they were still crisp and fresh as white snow.
Summer Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Risotto