Recipes are a lot more flexible than you may think. Soups are especially welcome to additional ingredients, adaptable to changing seasons, and open to subtractions in the case of allergy or just preference. I’m of the opinion that in most cases, a recipe is a mere guideline for a certain idea rather than a strict set of instructions. And as such, I usually don’t follow them too closely. But to indulge one early-morning’s random obsessions about vichyssoise, I cracked open Julia Child’s Mastering … Read More
Every time I lacto-ferment something and it turns out well I breathe a huge sigh of relief. Home picklers out there, you feel me, too? Seriously, a few moldy “sauerkraut” experiments or squishy, pukey cukes all play into the glory that is the perfect peck of pickles when it does happen right. And right it did happen most recently, with a jar of cucumbers that were left to sour over a hot summer week.
Hello, ramp season. You know, after the six or eight years that everyone’s gotten excited about the wild spring allium, I have to say I am a little over the phenomenon that is pearly-pink bulbs resting pretty at the ends of long, flowy, green shoots. Of course I’m not. But I may be over their smell. Having carried a bunch of ramps (purchased at Union Square Greenmarket this past beautiful Saturday) for the entirety of an afternoon and evening as I schlepped … Read More
Do you have a lot of curious condiments lurking in the fridge? Like a strange bedfellow that you had a one-night stand with, but for whatever reason, life moved on, and you don’t feel the need to connect? Maybe it’s that Thai green curry paste that you thought was exciting and adventurous, but has since dried up and gone stale. Maybe it’s a bottle of salad dressing that you once genuinely loved, for a time, which is now squarely in … Read More
Is there anything more heavenly when breakfast time calls than potatoes cooked crispy in butter? Yes, I can think of something — when those potatoes mingle with the sweet flavors of root vegetables, also cooked crispy, in butter. There are simpler ways to combine these forces, as in a golden hash or a roasted tray of assorted chunks. I’ve slipped root vegetables ranging from parsnips and sweet potatoes to rutabagas and sunchokes into platters of these for many breakfasts past. … Read More
Sssizzle. One simple technique — searing — can add dramatic layers of flavor, even in places where you’d less expect it. A salad, for instance. I’ve had slightly charred radicchio and even romaine lettuce, but there’s something about sweet savoy cabbage, with its crinkly leaves, that tastes divine when given the treatment. Also, cabbage, in its many shapes and colors, is inexpensive, hardy, and readily available at a (yes, it’s still) winter farmers market. But the weather is getting warmer, … Read More
When the raindrops of storm Nemo turned to icy sleet, then light, puffy snow at an increasing speed, I knew that it was the perfect time to hole up in the kitchen and cook something good. I was expecting a long, drawn-out affair once I’d decided on kimchi jigae, a homestyle Korean dish. This versatile stew features kimchi in a bubbling pot with great hunks of tofu, often soft mounds of potatoes, sometimes mushrooms, sometimes eggs, and it’s usually simmered … Read More
This was a strange idea, for sure. One the one hand, it’s a rich and satisfying, all-American summer party staple, and on the other, fiery-hot, exotic fare. My inspiration for this potato salad was dan dan noodles, a savory and slightly sweet Szechuan noodle dish laced with red chili oil, pungent preserved greens, and Szechuan peppercorns. Actually, I was supposed to bring a potato salad to a party and couldn’t find much else to flavor it with in my fridge.