They don’t grow in the ground, like potatoes, and they’re not stone fruit, like cherries, so why the deceptive name? They also share more semblance in taste to citrus rather than cherry or grape tomatoes, whose appearance they’re strikingly similar to, at least once their tomatillo-like husks are stripped. Which might leave one to throw their hands up and exclaim, what is this fruit/vegetable/freaky plant? At least it doesn’t have a stray animal in its name, gooseberry.
So much to cook… so little time. September is a busy time of year! While the farmers may be slowing down for the first time since March, we’re stuck with everything they’ve thrown at us — and peppers are coming out of my ears. “Oh, I’m just going to roast them,” I told a friend, who laughed at the leftover pepperage after the Hapa Kitchen Luau. (Admittedly, I’d bought too many peppers from Garden of Eve; fifteen pounds doesn’t sound like a lot … Read More
We’ve officially reached the “too hot to cook” threshold in NYC. Or for frequent home cooks, too hot to eat anything that isn’t cooked, and then chilled. Does cold food automatically equate a salad? I don’t know. If you have hot string beans, blanched and drizzled with olive oil, you don’t call it a salad. But if it’s the same thing cold, it’s a green bean salad. I fear this argument has no consequence, but to prove some state of heat-stricken delirium.
I received a mildly annoying press release in my inbox the other day: “Picnic food safety greater concern in hot weather” was the subject line (food bloggers out there, you get that, too?). The draconian yarn went on to provide tips to curb food-borne bacteria, which hot weather accelerates. As bringing homemade food to a sunny patch of grass outdoors is one of my all-time favorite activities, I felt that it was oddly singling out picnics as some sort of … Read More
Carpe diem — asparagus season is here! This is no time for beating around the bush(el). At Greenmarkets and farm stands, you’ll see plenty of sprue asparagus right now, too, the first tender shoots that are often as skinny as coffee stirrers. I had the rare pleasure of snapping a spindly green one straight from the soil at Sang Lee Farms last weekend, and eating it raw right then. (I’ll bet that anyone who claims not liking asparagus has never … Read More
I love roasting carrots, in just a coat of olive oil and pinch of sea salt. But now that it’s reached almost ninety degrees in New York City, cranking up the oven to 400 degrees seems less than appropriate. On the contrary, goading your friend with a rooftop patio to throw an impromptu barbecue absolutely does. So after a day spent lazing on Brighton Beach, on the first truly hot day of spring, last Saturday, I found myself successfully planted … Read More
There is a dish in Cantonese cuisine called turnip cake. Then there is a dish with turnip cake, chopped into cubes, and stir-fried with bean sprouts, scallions, some other veggies and often peanuts. I’m quite certain this latter dish was a leftover invention. The very best turnip cake (which is actually made from radish but I’ll get to that later) in my opinion is seared to a beautiful crisped surface, and is soft and mushy on the inside, like glutinous … Read More
The problem with soaking dried beans, which isn’t a probably exactly, and wouldn’t be one in the first place if you’re a little better at stomach-eye coordination as I am, is that you’re usually left with far more beans than you had bargained for. Water plumps up the beans, sometimes creating pot overflows and dried, un-soaked portions at the top. (It’s a bit like planting a magic beanstalk, with less fees, fies, foes and fums.) Ever since the Cassoulet Cook-Off, … Read More
I’ve been bringing roasted beets to work for snacks a lot lately. A lot of people have peered over my shoulder and said, “Oh, beets — how do you cook them like that?” My first reaction, that of a not-so-helpful home cook-ophile, is usually to say, “How do you not cook them like that?” I don’t mean to sound snobbish here. Obviously, I’m writing this post in response to all these requests. But as long as you’re not simmering them … Read More