Winter squashes can seem intimidating to cook. They have thick, hardened skins often scuffed with dirt, and their dense flesh can make for quite a dangerous job of cutting it if you’re not careful with a big knife. Their seed pockets are stringy and stick to your fingers. They take a long time to soften — or do they? Not when using these red kuri squashes, in thin slices for instance.
I’ve gone grain crazy as of lately. There are so many different types of them to explore. It started with a pack of bulgur, coarse grinds of whole wheat with a muddy tan color and toothsome, chewy texture. If you like wild rice, you’ll find some similarities here. Then I went freaky for smoky roasted spelt, also known as freekeh. Now I can’t get Missy Elliot out of my head.
Today marks a sad day. I usually never let good produce go to waste, but after coming home and inspecting the three miniature squashes I had left out on a decorative platter on the coffee table, as a decorative touch to the room, I discovered that I had overestimated their coffee table life. They were no longer firm and heavy, but sickly hollow-feeling, and the acorn squash’s lizard-green skin was a bit wrinkled, with one spot of mold on the … Read More
Another soup, is it? Yes, indeed. Sometimes you just gotta do — and cook — what feels right. And spending this past gusty weekend sniffing and sneezing beneath scarves and wearing sweats around the apartment just spelled “soup’s on” to me. Not only is hot soup therapeutic to eat, but I wouldn’t be the first one to say that breathing in the fragrant steam of something gently simmering in the kitchen for an entire afternoon is a good way to … Read More
Happy Labor Day. In my neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this holiday doesn’t just signal the end of half-day Fridays and seersucker; it ushers in the beginning of the new season with a two-mile long parade of elaborate floats, costumes and music, a street-wide carnival, and several performances at the Brooklyn Museum, all in celebration of West Indian American pride. And all along the way, lots and lots of authentic West Indian food.
Last year marked one of the least snowy winters that New York City has ever not enjoyed. This year is shaping up to be a little better, but let’s face it, we haven’t had reason to call the whole day off in more than two years, and that’s a shame. The absence of the pure, white fluffy stuff is dire enough as to make people look elsewhere for alternatives. I have a hare-brained theory that this is what’s been fueling … Read More
Congee, you know what I mean? Except not. First, I’ll admit that this was not the most convenient meal to make on a weeknight–but it can be done. Just remember to pop the squash in the oven as soon as possible, then begin the rest of your preparation and cooking. That way it should be soft enough by the time the risotto is ready for it to be added. Timing is everything.
Thanks DJ, for sharing your mom’s recipe for squash rolls. DJ writes in an email that his mom makes these every Thanksgiving: “Oh and they don’t really end up tasting like squash, which is a major plus because they’re made from freezer squash, which is a cheap replacement for syrup of ipecac if you don’t have any handy.” Had to look that one up too–syrup of ipecac is a gag-inducing serum. Thanks!