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.
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
Sometimes you just need that combination of cool refreshment and savory satisfaction. I think that’s when chicken salad comes in handy. It’s a casual summer treat, but it usually only comes about once you’ve had your fill of both types of extremes—too many cold, vegetable-based meals one day, and a whip-cracking, bulldozing heavy meal with meats or poultry another. I guess what I’m saying is that leftover, roasted chicken salad with crisp vegetables in a sandwich is that perfect yin-yang of summertime eating.
It’s a mashup that keeps to the same cuisine: pizza, and a flattish beaten-egg dish topped with anything you like (frittata). Who didn’t try to forge pizza with a toaster oven and whathaveyou at home when growing up? English muffins and French bread are a favorite pizza pasttime. I remember spooning stuff from a jar of “pizza sauce” onto halved bagels and English muffins for these after-school snack purposes growing up. Looking back, I’m not sure why the sauce should have … Read More
What a chilly, rainy start to 2015 in New York. Yesterday found me stomping through the city in a sleeping bag-esque coat that collected flurries, hail, and splatters of freezing rain like moths around a flame. Alright, I guess the precipitation hit everyone else on the streets, too. But my fate seemed sealed toward making tomato soup when I got home–perhaps with toast, or grilled cheese.
I’m thankful for leftovers this week. A big day of eating has come and gone, and as usual, the fridge seems to be more full than depleted afterward. The prized item in this cache of Thanksgiving leftovers? The roasted turkey carcass. With it, the opportunities are endless. You can make a soup, or just stock to use for things like making risotto or braising vegetables. But along with that carcass—and with most leftover Thanksgiving meal caches—is plenty of leftover turkey … Read More
I love making new food discoveries, like making new friends. This late summer-almost fall, I came upon some warbled bean pods that were blushed with red on the bright green outsides. Fresh cowpeas, so the sign for them had read. This wasn’t at the farmers market, where I usually find my rare produce delicacies–but at the bodega down the block from me in Brooklyn, which catered to a mostly Caribbean neighborhood clientele and was run by Korean owners. I have … Read More
Do you ever edit yourself, after something’s been said and done? After you’ve cleaned off a meal that you enjoyed to its fullest, then start believing that it wasn’t all that it could be? I have this compulsive habit sometimes, and right now I’m really wishing that I’d scattered crisp red onion across this dish, like slivers of orchid petals. And maybe pinched speckles of Maldon sea salt and black pepper on top of those tomatoes and lettuces, and–eh… it … 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
It’s more filling than a mere tomato sauce, but just as easy to make. I like to make versatile dishes in the winter; things that can keep well in the fridge, and keep on playing new roles well, too, albeit of a similar character. It’s not the Meryl Streep of foods, I guess: this bean and pancetta-studded tomato sauce wouldn’t exactly make a drastic turn in, say, Vietnamese cuisine. But it does wear many hats quite deliciously keeping within a … Read More