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.
Just because the holiday season is officially over doesn’t mean cooking has to return to a boring routine. I’ve resolved to cook more under-explored foods this year, and stood at the seafood stand at the market for about five seconds before deciding on clams. Why? Because they — like daikon radishes, which were also snatched from a nearby market bin — are quick and easy to cook, flavorful, healthy, sustainable, and very inexpensive to boot. Hm, I guess that’s not … Read More
I don’t get the hesitation over darker, oilier, “fishier” sort of fish. Bluefish, mackerel, herring, sardines — these are the flavorful dark meats to bland white meat chicken (of the sea). If you’re one who prefers full-flavored, juicy cuts like chicken thighs or pork shoulder instead of loin, you might find common ground in these highly undervalued types of fish. Then again, the fillet of bluefish I broiled here was so fresh, it tasted clean and just faintly of the … 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
Oh indulgence, you sinful pride. I eat tuna fairly often, from a can, on bread or an olive oil-drizzled salad. The pale, meaty hunks of fish are pretty satisfying this way. But nothing compares to a thick slab of fresh-caught tuna, seared ’til just golden and ruby rare inside. It’s the perfect indulgence to pair with spring snow peas, also from local origin, and a zesty, tart, umami sauce with fresh, young scallions, too.
If you’re looking to scrape together a meal from seemingly nothing, here’s one way to really hit it out of the park. In fact, breadcrumbs really do need to be scraped, swept or otherwise salvaged from a scattered mess on the counter to do this dish right. Minced anchovies and garlic create a tasty olive oil infusion to coat the pasta with, and some spare greens like kale, or just a shower of fresh parsley for garnish, combine for a healthy … Read More
Does anyone remember “buddy burgers” from Burger King? I think that this retired menu item from the fast-food chain must have appeared sometime in the mid-to-late 1980s. As little kids, my brother and I enjoyed the novelty: two little hamburgers attached by virtue of a conjoined bun. I didn’t really have a taste for hamburgers then, but we liked pulling them apart and each getting a burger (for what that was worth). Here I’ve revamped the memory by making two … Read More
You can fault me for being lax about a lot of things in the kitchen, but when it comes to being resourceful, I am a regular stickler. Therefore, when my family had lobster on a recent trip to the shore, I kept the shells and boiled them down to a concentrated stock. And when we grilled shishkabob sticks and fresh corn on the hibachi, I saved the leftover, blackened sungold tomatoes and few discs of zucchini to puree with it. … Read More
For my last week in San Francisco, I went a little bit off the deep end, with food. I staged at two restaurants (Chez Panisse and Bar Tartine), took a cooking class, went to a supper club, volunteered at an Edible Schoolyard benefit called OPENEducation at the Berkeley Art Museum, and threw an epic dinner party on the boat. This was our first course: a tangy medley of fresh peppers, tomatoes, onions, grilled corn and fish piled inside a hollowed … Read More