Feb 25th, 2010
Let me confess: my first day of the Week of Eating In was actually Sunday, one day before it officially began. On that day, I managed to leaven two loaves of bread, which would later be baked, roast two trays full of root vegetables, which could be snacked on like popcorn or put into more formal preparations with a little warming up, simmer some tomato sauce from a can of whole plum, and make a pot of stock and some soup with most of it. And I went shopping, too, though the brunt of it was on Saturday, picking up bulk plastic bags of produce like apple and turnips at the Greenmarket. I did about enough to keep me going for two weeks of eating in, over the weekend. I'm still thinking that some of this bread may end up for the birds, or at least, as breadcrumbs.
Week of Eating In Day Two: Preparation Is Everything
Oct 13th, 2009
On Friday, as I sat in the converted shipping container outside of Roberta's Pizza that's home to Heritage Radio Network preparing for the first Cheap Date episode with my guests Keith and Rachel, we were interrupted by a series of loud, clanking noises coming from the roof above. "Can they stop farming now?" I think I muttered. But really, it was music to my ears. There is more than a tree growing in Brooklyn, or for that matter, cities all over: a bonafide agricultural movement. And it was happening above our heads on the rooftop garden of Roberta's Pizza that day, as well as at farms, community gardens and backyards throughout the city. Tonight, Roberta's Pizza is holding a celebration of all that, as well as what more can come. You're welcome to come join the party, the dialogue, the movement -- and with your contribution to a new rooftop farm next spring, one of the most delicious feasts I have ever heard of.
Support Urban Farming at Roberta’s Pizza Tonight
Sep 7th, 2009
A cook's gotta do what a cook's gotta do. That usually includes dealing with the whole vegetable or grain from its raw to fully-cooked and plated states. Sometimes, it means the same for an animal. And the way I see it, all the better for the person cooking it.
Reason For Not Eating Out #35: The Whole Side of the Story
May 23rd, 2009
Just because jalapenos haven't ripened in these parts yet, and neither have tomatoes (unless you splurge for the hothouse types), doesn't mean it's nach-yo season for nachos. Or at least, that's what the founders of Nachos NY think, year-round. And who am I to argue with that kind of authority? After a successful Guactacular Invitational, for which the site's founders Lee and Rachel asked me to be one of the judges of ten guacamoles, they suggested we get in the kitchen and make some nachos for ourselves. So I called for a bonafide "nachos party" at a friend's barbecue, and corralled a bunch of friends to join. And by corralled, I just mean that I merely told them it was happening. It's one of those things that's easier done than said.
Spring Nachos with Ramps, Asparagus, Smoked Cheddar, Roast Pork and Spicy Radish Salsa
May 8th, 2009
I have an absolutely sensational, hysterical and eye-opening book on my shelf: Asian Ice Cream for You and Your Kids
by Arron Liu. It's not intended to be funny, but it is. I also don't have any kids, so I'm not sure it's intended for the sole delight of an adult beyond growing age, either. But, it's a powerhouse of serious ice cream recipes, and while flipping through it, I was struck by the saffron glare of a full-page spread depicting one called "Japanese Curry Ice Cream."
Curry Carrot Ice Cream
Apr 21st, 2009
Guac and corn chips it is not. Plain-old hummus and pita it's neither. Just as munchable as either of the above, I'd say definitely, as well as easy to prepare. It's edamame, or soy beans, cooked and mashed up just like chickpea hummus (minus the tahini), and eggy wonton wrappers baked with a coating of oil and sesame seeds. And -- with a little modification -- it's one of the four canapés that will precede the five-course dinner on May 1st, at Queens County Farm Museum.
Edamame Hummus with Wonton Wrapper Chips (and a May Day menu teaser)
Apr 13th, 2009
It's an Easter egg hunt of an entirely new brand: guess the country of inspiration! When I was describing my idea for three variations on deviled eggs, it occurred to me that I was pinning three East Asian cuisines to each version: China for the one with five-spice and scallions, Japan for the one with wasabi mayonnaise, and Thailand for the red curry and lime juice one. "Are you going to stick flags in them?" my friend asked, nonchalantly. Nah, I thought. I just wanted people to eat
them, not pledge allegiance to them.
Deviled (Easter) Eggs, Three Ways
Mar 25th, 2009
Spring is officially here, and to celebrate the first day of nature's annual renewal, I took a field trip out to a farm. Only I didn't leave the city. At the end of the E and F subway lines and a quick hop eastward on a bus lies the Queens County Farm Museum, the oldest continually farmed tract of land in the city, and now the site of a renewed agricultural program that's growing still. But unlike Stone Barns or similar close-to-urban country idylls, entrance to this farm is free.
A Day at Queens County Farm Museum