Over the winter, I had fun making long-simmered pots of chicken paprika and goulash, Eastern European dishes that pull at my childhood memories. You see, my next-door neighbors growing up, an elderly couple from Poland the Kieslowskis, would often make these in their home and it filled my backyard with delicious scents as I scurried about in the yard, sometimes playing tetherball with my brother, sometimes helping my parents with yard chores like weeding, or sometimes wandering into the Kieslowskis’ own backyard … Read More
Zucchini and other summer squashes are truly versatile veggies. But I rarely think of baking them—perhaps due to the scorching heat when they’re in season locally. While some baked goods seem invented to hide the stuff rather than celebrate it (zucchini “bread”?) you can really get your fill on its flavor by slicing into layers upon layers of zucchini inside this savory tart’s shell. Its texture becomes something almost like custard inside, and a crust of cheese to top it all off can’t hurt … Read More
There are a lot of initiatives around hunger lately, with World Peace Day just behind us and a long winter ahead, but when one happens to involve dumplings, I cannot sit idly. The New York Dumpling Festival (#dumplingfest2015) is this Saturday, and it benefits one of my favorite charities, the Food Bank for NYC. To salute this group and shout-out the event, I thought I’d go orange with this dumpling recipe, a blend of hearty vegetables from my CSA.
A brief history of non-risotto “risottos”: At one point, everyone was making risotto with barley instead of short-grain (commonly Arborio) rice. This was undermining the term orzotto, a similar Italian dish made with barley. Then we began to see “risotto” being made with all kinds of other “whole grains for health,” appreciating the nuances of nutty flavor and bite from the likes of spelt, oats, quinoa, wheatberries and more—and I was not one to miss out on the fun. So then it seemed absol-otto awesome … Read More
Really, just those three things, plus salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh lemon. High heat, maybe, is another equal player in this equation. Plus, that makes it all the faster to throw together. I was looking for something to really treat myself with this weekend (and coming off my $1.50 meal in the last post). I just didn’t expect that it would take so little effort, and time.
It doesn’t take more than a couple fresh ingredients at their prime to make an appetizer that you might spend upwards of $10 for in a restaurant. But in a restaurant, a dish like this–even with so simple a philosophy that I can agree with–nags me a little. It’s just too precious. Too plated. And often, too skimpy.
Last summer, ten friends and I kissed the summer goodbye with a beach weekend and a clambake. I wrote afterward that there was no greater communal food activity than this, if you’re by the shore with many people. I take that back just a little. Because for all the seaweed we let sizzle on molten-hot rocks, and crustaceans that reddened atop those before cracking open, there is another awesome group food that should not be overlooked in the summer: paella.
Whenever I have a plethora of random vegetables with no assigned purposes, I start to panic think along the lines of stir-frying them. This tends to happen a lot in the summer, when stockpiles of goods from farmers market strolls begin to overbear my fridge. Everything looks so good, and there are so many kinds of vegetables in season now–eggplants and peppers, beans and leafy greens–it’s like looking at a menu that you want to order everything from. But fortunately … Read More
I needed a green detox after cookout fever this holiday weekend. I found myself stationed at the grill this 4th of July, where one after another, people lined up to give me things to char: chicken wings, sausages, lamb chops, chicken breasts, hamburgers, hot dogs, kabobs. Thank goodness it was overcast and not very hot that day. I also managed to grill some zucchini and eggplant, but didn’t get a chance to snag any while tending the flames. The chops were … Read More
It might seem less appropriate to cook zucchini when they’re as bright and bouncy as in the summer. And I don’t mean just lightly sear, but really cook — at a slow and low roast until meltingly tender — fresh, in-season zucchini. It might seem inappropriate to turn on the oven at all. But this aberration to my summer cooking routine has yielded a dramatically sweet, savory, and altogether satisfying way to enjoy one of my all-time favorite foods. It’s kind of like … Read More