This winter, I’ve been warming my home with the help of the oven. If your city kitchen is as cubicle-sized as mine, you might have noticed that things get pretty toasty very quickly every time it gets fired up. Suddenly, your hair is clinging to your brow and for a moment you mistake the sizzling sounds heard from the oven for your own sweat. In this hotboxed environment, I concocted a dressing for the root vegetables that were instead making … Read More
Is there anything more heavenly when breakfast time calls than potatoes cooked crispy in butter? Yes, I can think of something — when those potatoes mingle with the sweet flavors of root vegetables, also cooked crispy, in butter. There are simpler ways to combine these forces, as in a golden hash or a roasted tray of assorted chunks. I’ve slipped root vegetables ranging from parsnips and sweet potatoes to rutabagas and sunchokes into platters of these for many breakfasts past. … Read More
Gnocchi might seem tricky to master at home: you want them to be light and somewhat fluffy inside, textured outside, and preferably a little crisped from hot butter in a pan. Instead, first attempts might yield some over-boiled, chewy nuggets that taste like pretty much nothing. If that’s the case you’re working too hard — overworking the dough, over-boiling; gnocchi can be made with much more speed and carelessness. And to give them a seasonal-tasting twist, they can also be … Read More
I’ll be the first to say that there is no risotto without rice. And a very starchy rice at that, such as Arborio, which thickens its cooking liquid like pudding. Whole grains such as spelt, wheat berries and oat groats just don’t do this, you see, and they take much longer to cook. But this time, for me, it was well worth the wait. Whatever you want to call it, this “risotto” with the nutty-tasting ancient grain spelt was even … Read More
I was craving the coolness of some type of salad, now that it’s reached 68 degrees this early March in New York. Visions of cucumbers and fresh stone fruit danced in my head, but despite the warmth, it was still no time for such produce. Bah humbug, but here’s a tip for the midst of winter: fresh parsnip has a slightly tropical, fruity taste, especially when tossed with fresh lemon juice.
I know it’s suddenly summer in the city, and yesterday’s humidity prompted some to rev up the A/C already. But, like less fortunate others, I’ve come down with a rare case of spring allergies and can’t tell you how many times I’ve sneezed this morning. My inner food forecast told me it was time for some animal protein. Moo, you flexitarian, tea-drinking weakling!
I’m not on a raw food diet; but my oven would have me that way. It won’t fire up, for mysterious reasons, and I seem to miss the mechanic at my building every time he comes by. So what was going to be a simple side dish of roasted root vegetables — just carrots and parsnips — turned out even simpler. And arguably more delicious, or at least, more refreshing.
A couple months ago, I was given a challenge: cook a “date meal” for two that costs $15 or less, including a bottle of wine. It was thrown to me by a local newspaper that has yet to publish the story, and I suspect they might simply never. Which is fine, but it would be a shame not to share the recipe for the entree, while its wintery ingredients are still lingering around.
I’d like to think of this as less a recipe than an olfactory cooking cure. Somewhere along the ranks of boiling a slow-cooked pot of chicken soup — it’s those hours of comforting smells, I’m convinced, that ease the common cold long before its consumption. The savory, sweet and spicy smells emitting from my oven as I baked this helped lift me out of an early spring slump — and eating it didn’t hurt, either.