I know it’s suddenly summer in the city, and yesterday’s humidity prompted some to rev up the A/C already. But, like less fortunate others, I’ve come down with a rare case of spring allergies and can’t tell you how many times I’ve sneezed this morning. My inner food forecast told me it was time for some animal protein. Moo, you flexitarian, tea-drinking weakling!
I’ve been having a love affair with beans lately. This may have happened by default, with so few fresh muses in season to cook with, or else a newfound appreciation simply gained on its own merit: beans are infinitely versatile, used in every cuisine, hearty, and nutritious. They are the main ingredient in comfort foods of so many cultures, like the French cassoulet. But beans also have a stigma attached to them, especially in our meat-loving culture — that of … Read More
Hold the fries with these: who needs them when you have a crisp on the bottom, chewy on the top homemade noodle encapsulating a juicy nugget of better-than-Grade-A beef, with melted shreds of sharp cheddar and caramelized onions inside? That’s a happy meal for me alone. Alright, and some soy sauce (or ketchup? I can’t decide!) doesn’t hurt for dipping.
For the past few years, every Fourth of July has proven a raucous night of rooftop reveling not even close to climaxing with the nine o’clock fireworks spectacle. So this year, I hopped across the Hudson bright and early to “get away from it all” at my parents’ suburban backyard barbecue. Funny, I thought I’d be escaping the smog and fumes of the city. Instead, I found myself ensconced in a different type of smoke altogether, that of black tea … Read More
Goodness, did I cook a lot of whole animals this past week. First it was the glorious goat spit for The Greenhorns. Then Tuesday was the Hapa Kitchen‘s third dinner, “Paris of the East,” featuring a fusion of French and Chinese cuisines — and lots of duck, duck, and more duck (no goose). We dressed the dining room with Chinese lanterns, flowers and curling garlic scapes, put on some Django Rhinehart and the soundtrack to In the Mood For Love, … Read More
Just because jalapenos haven’t ripened in these parts yet, and neither have tomatoes (unless you splurge for the hothouse types), doesn’t mean it’s nach-yo season for nachos. Or at least, that’s what the founders of Nachos NY think, year-round. And who am I to argue with that kind of authority? After a successful Guactacular Invitational, for which the site’s founders Lee and Rachel asked me to be one of the judges of ten guacamoles, they suggested we get in the … Read More
A couple months ago, I was given a challenge: cook a “date meal” for two that costs $15 or less, including a bottle of wine. It was thrown to me by a local newspaper that has yet to publish the story, and I suspect they might simply never. Which is fine, but it would be a shame not to share the recipe for the entree, while its wintery ingredients are still lingering around.
Little dumpling, who made thee? I know who did, originally. This dumpling was featured on the menu of the notorious 20-course, $1,500 a plate dinners propelled by two of the world’s greatest working chefs, Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Per Se and Grant Achatz of Alinea. Their dinners, billed as mentor-protégé collaborations, unfolded in New York, Chicago and Napa, at the duo’s respective restaurants. But this dumpling, shown above, was just made by little old me. And the … Read More
Chinese New Year is coming up, and as with every holiday save for maybe President’s Day, that means one thing to me: FOOD! Great food. Excesses of food. And the first food that comes to mind for this one is dumplings. But instead of throwing a dumpling party like I did last year, forcing my friends to roll up their sleeves in the wrapping process, the talented food writer Winnie Yang and I are going to teach a class on … Read More
My friend Nick recently traveled to a few countries in Europe, and when asked what his favorite meal he had there was, he answered polenta e casura, a specialty of Milan. (Judging from my success at Googling the dish, assuming I have the correct spelling, it is a closely kept specialty of Milano cuisine, too.) In any case, the dish sounded soothing, comforting and rustic: braised cabbage and sausage, with polenta on the side. What could be simpler yet more … Read More