The only way to get more comfortable with cooking a certain type of food is by cooking it. Maybe for some the challenge lies in steak, or a roast Thanksgiving turkey. Maybe you’re intimidated by cooking curries or poaching eggs. But maybe it’s something a little more… unsightly than that.
I’ve just returned from a week of eating and boozing in Mexico with five friends. There was a different taco to try at just about every hour of the day. I intend to throw a taco party very soon, to celebrate and exercise my own hand at the new flavors that so captivated us while they’re fresh in memory. But in the immediate aftermath of the trip, there was a group detox to do.
I was craving Korean food the other night, so I made something that could approximate it. Haunts of stuff that one might get while on a group outing to Koreatown with friends, that sort of thing. It’s not difficult to pull off a hardscrabble version of such dining-out memories, as long as we aren’t talking some Escoffier-esque French gastronomy classics. These cravings can overwhelm, but if you’ve perhaps tried your hand at cooking similar things before, or just have especially … Read More
I really want to call this a vegan, miso-based “Caesar” salad, but know that the powers of food purism would call this foul. No, it doesn’t have Romaine lettuce nor egg yolk, nor anchovies nor parmesan—but it does have a punchy piquancy that I’d equate with that of the classic dressing we know and love. And it was inspired by Caesar (salads, nothing Roman to look at here)—which are nowadays often found with the deeper-green brassica kale in place of lettuce—through … Read More
It wouldn’t really be a soup if it were only one ingredient, right? That’s the thinking behind this weekend concoction where I deposed my growing stash of random root vegetables into a not-strictly-root-vegetable soup. By definition, soup is a mingling of stuff in liquid form, often creating a harmony of flavors that tickle your tastebuds as it soothes your soul. So do your kitchen a cleaning with this approach to your next winter soup.
They’re made of pork, but these meatballs are nicknamed “Lion’s Head” in Shanghainese cuisine, because they’re usually made in gigantic proportions. Larger than a baseball, that is. But I was going to a holiday party — and I had just been to a holiday party — where bite-sized morsels were precursory. So I shrank the homestyle comfort food to size. That doesn’t mean they’re any less delicious, though.
Congee, like fried rice, is an essential leftovers vehicle. This soupy sister-meal can incorporate bits of whatever you have on hand—and the week after Thanksgiving is prime time for having somesuch cooked delicacies on hand indeed. No matter what your cravings were for that last Thursday in November, they’re sure to be quite different now, a few days past the holiday, with leftovers to burn in the fridge still. (Especially if you’re fond of collecting others’ leftovers, too, like #Dukarcass.)
Sometimes I like to teeter on the edge of super-precious, frou-frou-looking preparations. But there’s always something that pulls me back. They’re all going to laugh at you!—I watched Carrie again recently (on Halloween, to be sure), and that crazy lil warning from Carrie’s mom is surprisingly fitting in many circumstances. Did you spill too much over social media? Put on something weird to wear? Or, did you garnish food unnecessarily and felt frivolous afterward? No, they may not pour a bucket of … Read More
We get all worked up about winter squashes when fall comes around. I get it: they’re shiny and new. But actually, you should be more excited about brassicas in the fall; winter squashes will be here to stay for a while, stored easily all winter long. But fall weather also brings us brassicas—broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kale, Brussels sprouts and those spiky romanesco things—and we will not be seeing them for very long after this. It’s our last dance with them … Read More
I know what you’re thinking. Green beans cooked well past crisp-tender is unideal; their sodden, saggy skins remind you of bad leftovers and TV dinners, an accident, not something you would set out to make. Yet though they might not snap in that satisfying way, slow-simmered green beans retain an impressive structure, plumped with juice and fat from olive oil, and all the flavors therein, transforming into something very different, but still mildly sweet. And in case I’m not waxing poetic … Read More