We live in blessed times. I mean, seasonally. It’s late-spring, and we have things popping out of plants that are incredible and edible (and not edible, but fragrantly incredible, like wild lilacs, too). I recently had the plum privilege of being a judge for a cookoff held by GrowNYC, where I got to observe the making of, taste the outcome of, and help decide the winner of two very excellent dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. Held in partnership with … Read More
I’m just mad about saffron. And saffron’s mad about me, lately. For the last three Saturdays, I’ve been helping out my pal Andrew Gottlieb with his new pop-up food business, Tapas Shack, which serves paella among other Spanish delights at Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg. I have pinched saffron into wide, open paella pans until my hands turned a not-so-mellow yellow hue. And I’m not stopping at rice with my current saffron streak. After seeing the first, juicy orbs of peaches for … 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’ve been trying to perfect this recipe for a while. Not so much a recipe, but the technique to a perfect fish sandwich. What type of fish to use? How to batter and fry the fillets? What to serve on it? Well, each of the three variations made over the last three Saturdays were all pretty darn good, regardless. It’s a fish sandwich, with fresh toppings. What can go wrong?
I was at a backyard party in Brooklyn a few weeks ago hosted by my friend June. I’d been to her paella party at about this time of year last summer, and so I knew what kind of yumminess to expect from this event. I got there a little late, again. June was just adding the shellfish to a paella pan, plunking clams and mussels hinge side down into the rice. The wide, cast-iron pan was placed on top of … Read More
It’s summer. There’s produce, plenty of it local. It’s coming to supermarkets, restaurants and Greenmarkets throughout New York City. But one place you won’t hardly ever find it at is a bodega, those convenient, often round-the-clock shops where you can get toothpaste and telephone cards or tonight’s dinner of ramen and chips. Unfortunately, this is the only type of grocery store that exists in increasingly more communities here. That’s why the Healthy Bodegas Initiative was formed in 2005, aimed at … Read More
Make no mistake: food is trend-oriented. Each region has its own fixations; we recycle them once they’re in season each year, and other times, toss them out to make way for newer trends. It’s a monkey-see, monkey-eat philosophy, and one thing that’s been made abundantly clear to me these past few years is that an unassuming, often-wild allium called ramps is definitely in, around here.
Two ingredients thought to be past their prime — the broccoli plant, once it’s gone to flower, and bread, a few days since baking — revitalized. I do love using up food scraps. This recipe came after a few rounds of making really good bread pudding. Could anyone have conceived of a better way to use stale bread than that? I wondered. Then I began to think of French toast, and how custardy and warm the centers of those thick … Read More