I have been seriously craving hamburgers lately. Not the cutely compressed, miniature snack-cum-calorie-whoppers wrapped in grease-blotched paper, but the mean, towering, impressive type stuffed with fixins’ that might come with a steak knife at the side. Oddly, though, I was craving the whole big sandwich affair more so than meat, and wondered if that could be sated without.
And lots of garlic. And slowly cooked, finely chopped carrots, onions, green olives and cured sausage — oh my! This stew was so terribly satisfying on a cold winter night. I’ve eaten it (with a poached egg) for breakfast every morning since, too. I really wish I had more for tomorrow’s, and may start one anew.
Sometimes you’ve just got to eat something ooey, gooey, and rich. That doesn’t mean it can’t be vegetables, layered with all that good stuff and little else. It occurs to me now that whoever drafted that recipe for green bean casserole and sold it to millions via labels on condensed soup cans was probably trying to come up with a “healthier” alternative to most casserole recipes. In this recipe, I’ve probably found the most decadent way of preparing a side … Read More
I couldn’t decide whether to cook the crisp cubanelle peppers I’d gotten from the market or chop them up to serve somehow raw. So I went with the best of both worlds, softening the pale-green pieces along with onions, garlic and fresh tomato for a Spanish rice infused with chicken stock, and mixed the remainder with fresh lime juice, onion and mint leaves for a refreshing topping. Yeah, I’ve had a serious craving for Mexican food lately.
These hot few weeks, nothing cools like a crunchy salad. I like shards of crisp, brittle cabbage, which deserve the name “iceberg” much more than most types of lettuce. If you’ve ever bought a whole head of one, you’ll know how many mounds of shreds they’ll yield, and how they last long in the crisper, too. The fresh, sweet flavor of cabbage compares to that of pole beans, just in season now here on the Northeast; combining the two, I … Read More
Why have I not been making gnocchi every day? It’s luscious, filling, delicious and much easier than rolling out pasta at home. A classic potato gnocchi is simply flour and boiled potato, but it takes a certain tool (ricer) and timing to make a fluffy mound of warm, moist potato to absorb the flour. While you can do this any time of the year, fresh fava beans in the pod are only in season locally right about now. These lovely beans … Read More
Grilled asparagus is such a pure, seasonal delight it really needs little embellishment to serve. But if you want to round it out to a light meal, here’s an easy and healthful way. I went Middle Eastern with the accoutrements for this dish, blending up a creamy red lentil base and lavishing it with some tangy yogurt, fresh mint and lemon. Combined with some char on the asparagus, it’s both cooling and savory, a satisfying snack indeed.
What a delight to find zucchini so early in the season at the Greenmarket last weekend. There was just one small crate of them at Grand Army Plaza early in the morning, and I snagged two ripe ones with shiny, lizard-green skins that appeared to be stretched across their juicy flesh like balloons. With such prime, squeaky-fresh zucchini like this, I don’t even want to cook them. I just want to slip a knife through them, and toss the lime … Read More
I was seeking advice for a gumbo I was to bring to a fundraiser cook-off last weekend. I’d wanted it to have lots of densely packed greens, like a traditional gumbo z’herbes, but also seafood, okra and perhaps some bacon. “Why don’t you do something like Hoppin’ John?” my friend Karol, a Southern food expert, suggested. This was one of her famed dishes, and one time, she’d added some greens like spinach to it as a variation. It was really … Read More
I had guests over for dinner last weekend and came up with a five-person entree on the fly. I’d zoomed through the Greenmarket, picking up a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, a firm eggplant, and a couple small, pattypan squashes. These all went into a pasta with a hearty portion of Italian sausage from Flying Pigs Farm for the meat-eaters in the crowd. We all loved it. Loved how the dish was colorfully studded with well-sized chunks ‘o stuff. Loved … Read More