Spring has been really snoozing on the job. Rather than bursting with cherry blossoms, the new season has only brought soggy, sort-of snow and below-freezing nights. This might be our latest bitch and moan as we bundle up in scarves on the subway each morning, but it’s actual, literal bad news for local orchards. Seems that peaches in Upstate New York may not make an appearance this summer, unless these small-scale farmers have the time and resources to bundle their trees … Read More
It’s true: Monkfish is one of the f’ugliest fish in the world. But you wouldn’t know it when it’s served to you. Or, when you buy some fresh fillets and pan-roast them just like any other fish, finishing them with a splash of white wine and butter mixed into the pan to drizzle on top. Yes, even when you’re actually cooking a raw thing to plated dish (in mere minutes no less), you can be spared the gruesome truth of its … Read More
It’s all about balance. Sweet and savory; healthy and buttery; light and fluffy, and somewhat dense and gritty. That’s what good cornbread is all about. You could see it as a series of contradictions, of too many conflicting elements trying to work together at once. Or you could try to keep it all in check, to each his own place in this small casserole dish, a miniature world that’s really not that hard to govern over, when you think about … Read More
I’ve warmed up to baked, savory dips lately, the kind you schmear onto a cracker or crisped piece of bread at parties. I love cracking the golden crust like a creme brulee, revealing an oozing interior and steam. On Thanksgiving, I mustered my first-ever artichoke dip, a simple concoction using tangy Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or cream cheese. Last weekend, it was this creamy blend of white beans and spinach, pulsed just enough to create a velvety texture but … Read More
“Unsightly” doesn’t do justice to the unattractiveness of this classic Punjabi dish. But I dare not go lower than that in descriptors, because it’s so delicious by contrast. To be sure, Sarson Ka Saag would be the traditional name for it, and the greens used in it commonly mustard greens and spinach. But I had a hulking bunch of kale recently, so I gave that a whirl instead.
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.
Mackerel is like the kid who gets picked to be on the team last. Outside of Japanese cuisine, it doesn’t get much respect. The poor things are canned more often than not, commonly smoked or cured (this is also because it must be eaten only very fresh), and considered too fishy-tasting and unimpressive in size. You won’t see it on the menu of too many restaurants, roasted or grilled as is. But when eating in, you get to be captain … Read More