If you’re familiar with the dry-style stir-fries of Sichuan cuisine — Kung Pao chicken, or beef with cumin — this is its soupy antithesis. Translating literally to “water-cooked fish,” it’s fish slices gently poached in a not-so-gentle broth. No, it’s not just water in there. Infused with dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns and chili bean sauce, it’s a tingly, vermilion bath loaded with slivered vegetables like cabbage and celery, flavors melding. And because of its stew-like consistency, it’s perfect for winter … 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
I never regret buying lots of carrots. They’re great for snacking, for roasting as an elegant side dish, and they’re entirely soup-worthy as well. Bonus points for staying crisp quite a while in the fridge. But as much as carrots play a quintessential role in a mirepoix, the basis for so many soups, I’ve never seen them quite fit to play the starring role in one. Carrot ginger? Just not quite enticing enough, sorry. But if we’re going with a … Read More
I’m not sure why tomatillos aren’t as popular as tomatoes. They’re as easy to grow as tomatoes, and they’re even covered with a natural, papery husk to prevent bruising or the need to even rinse dirt off. Yet tomatillos haven’t been integrated into cuisines outside of Latin America. Nope, I can’t think of one example — too bad. Because my favorite advantage about tomatillos versus tomatoes is their intense tanginess, and thick, jammy consistency when cooked. So I’m using them … Read More
It’s too hot to eat hot soup, but cold soups might benefit from a certain sort of heat. That’s what I figured when I set out to make a smooth, creamy puree of shelled English peas. Chilled soup is a great fix for a hot summer day–light and refreshing yet satisfyingly tasty. Then I recalled the taste of another favorite application for peas: those crunchy, wasabi-glazed snacks.
Part of this recipe is applicable to any time of year, in any part of the world you live, and it’s great to eat for any meal. The other part of this recipe involves a specific ingredient that’s not conventionally harvested, and only exists at a specific time in a plant’s life cycle. Combined, the earthy, savory and hearty element (chickpea stew) complements the youthful, bouncy and springlike element (flowering greens) for a fully satisfying, complete meal. Yes, a meal … Read More
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.
Nutty, buttery, sweet, earthy — sunchokes are a singular tuber that is best when focused on alone. Like a fine wine that ought not be paired with red meats or aged cheeses, this one is delicate enough to miss the nuances of if you blink — and that would be a shame. So I thought I’d showcase its true colors in a velvety-smooth, simple soup.