This week marks the publication of my friend Chitra‘s cookbook, Vibrant India. If you’ve been reading this blog a while—or if you just like home cooking as much as I do—you may have found that cheap, healthful, and seasonal are some essential beacons to guide everyday recipes. And Chitra’s home cooking—and, hence, her cookbook—have these traits in spades.
Several years ago an ex-boyfriend’s mother offered to prepare the appetizer for a dinner I was cooking. Her dish, once assembled, was a salad. Yet it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The top was sprinkled with stiff pegs of noodle and raw radish slices, and it smelled like sesame oil. I asked with genuine curiosity what was in the dressing and she fired off a strange list with the likes of mayonnaise and soy sauce. If food is a … Read More
Do you have a lot of curious condiments lurking in the fridge? Like a strange bedfellow that you had a one-night stand with, but for whatever reason, life moved on, and you don’t feel the need to connect? Maybe it’s that Thai green curry paste that you thought was exciting and adventurous, but has since dried up and gone stale. Maybe it’s a bottle of salad dressing that you once genuinely loved, for a time, which is now squarely in … Read More
I can never really get bored with cooking zucchini and other summer squash when they’re fresh, firm and in season. I generally grab a couple bright, cheerful varieties any given time I’m at the farmers’ market all summer, but this often leaves me with a surplus of squashes that aren’t so terribly awesome-looking later in the week. But a few age spots on the outsides doesn’t mean they’re any more austere; I went ahead and baked these ones, in a … Read More
I had a special request for the organizers of Pig Island, which is holding its third annual event this Saturday on Governors Island: “Can I do a vegetarian-only tent at the festival?” It was absurd, unlikely, and frankly, bewildering given that this is an event to celebrate whole pigs from local farms, which twenty-five of the best city’s chefs carve up and portion into unique tasting bites to serve to the crowds. But they said, “Sure!” And I’m very proud … Read More
We have a new champ of the Food Obstructions, and a winning recipe that I hope everyone cooks up real soon. But first, a big, fat thank-you from Karol, David and myself to everyone who came, ate, and cooked. Together, we raised almost $600 for Just Food, the nonprofit promoting access to fresh, good food for all residents of NYC. It seems that definitely includes us, because what was even more impressive about Sunday was the smorgasbord of delicious, summery … Read More