Serving punch in watermelon bowls, clam chowder in bread loaf bowls, grilled beef in lettuce cups — who doesn’t love edible vessels? They can elevate humble-looking dishes to eye-catching hors d’oeuvres, but they’re not always the most practical, no-fuss solutions. Here, it just made sense: I was making a chunky, whole grain salad, and instead of chopping tomatoes to toss in it, I stuffed the ripe fruits to the brim.
There are two ways to prepare squid (aka calamari) with succulent results: very quickly, as in searing, grilling, or flash-frying; or very long, as in braising, stewing, or slow-roasting. Anywhere in between will yield rubbery, rigid bands like undercooked cartilage. I went with the latter preparation for this late-winter, almost-springlike, one-seafood stew. It could be plopped on top of pasta, or sopped up with pieces of bread. Tentacles had never been more tender.
If you have a few favorite ingredients to cook with, you’re bound to run into a moment of deja-vu pretty soon: “Did I just make the basically same thing last week?” Sometimes, you can set out to make a wholly different dish one night and find that you dined on an incredibly similar one the night before (and sometimes, this happens knowingly, like a weekly breakfast routine). But when it happens by accident, it’s a sure sign that that you … Read More
Most people think of tabbouleh as a grain-based salad, with bulgur (a whole wheat product) comprising the bulk of the dish. But actually, it’s more of a parsley-based salad, with lots of fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, chopped onions and other herbs, too. Its name derives from the Arabic word for “seasoning” (taabil), and purists have scolded my lack of sufficient parsley in past attempts. This got me thinking that tabbouleh is something of a chunky pesto, with some filling grains tossed … Read More
You might be wondering why, in the midst of summer, when all the glorious squashes, eggplants, tomatoes and peppers have come into season, did I choose to get cabbage at the Greenmarket? Well, the short answer is that I’m slightly obsessed with cabbages — of all kinds — and I don’t expect anyone to relate. And seeing a new head of Savoy cabbage, with quilted-textured, pristine green leaves on the outside and tightly wound like a rubber band ball, promising … Read More
I really like mussels, clams, and shellfish of all kinds. You kind of have to, if you’re going to dig into a whole bowl of steamed mussels, served with bread to sop up its broth, or French fries in the classic “moules frites” tradition. But if you’re a little shy of encountering mussels in such quantity, then try perching a few kernels of sweet corn, soaked in a fresh tomato-based broth with garlic and freshly chopped herbs in the bowl … Read More
Ratatouille is a soothing meal to enjoy on warm nights or as a light lunch (or brunch, topped with a poached egg). To me, it simply spells summer; common ingredients are zucchini and summer squashes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. To many, it epitomizes simply country fare from France, or brings to mind a children’s film of the same name. Since it’s a flexible dish of peasant origin, you can improvise with the ingredients used, and add any favorites of your … Read More
What a sorry sight: This is the first recipe on this blog in ages not accompanied by photos. I completely forgot to bring my camera when I headed off to Grand Army Plaza, toting a gallon or so of homemade vegetable stock and box of Arborio rice to do my risotto-making demo at the Greenmarket information stand. But, since so many people asked for a recipe, I wanted to share what I ended up making, using whatever looked good at … Read More