This week we peeked into the Boston kitchen of Eva Katz — writer, food editor, and recipe developer extraordinaire. Eva had a wealth of kitchen advice to share with us this week, including her kitchen essentials and her favorite measuring spoons, not to mention her most important kitchen habit and opinion on slow cookers.
So there's only one question left to ask: Eva, what's cooking this weekend?
What are you cooking this weekend?
I have a couple things in mind. My husband and I love going out for raw oysters and wine. But truth be told, we just don’t go out that much these days. I recently started buying and shucking my own oysters rather than waiting for those rare outings. It’s certainly a lot cheaper and not so hard to do with a bit of practice and a good oyster knife. I’m also planning to try an interesting Georgian lamb, eggplant and herb stew recipe (the country not the state) called Chanakhi – it looks delicious.
What inspired you to make what you're cooking?
This past summer, I read Anya Von Bremzen, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Bremzen is one of my favorite food writers and in this beautiful memoir she recreates seven decades of the Soviet experience and her family history through food. At the end of the book there are a few recipes and this Georgian stew stood out. I know very little about the food from this region. And it just so happened, a couple of weeks ago I was having dinner with a young man who is living in Georgia and he said that the food there is some of the best he has ever had. It was meant to be — I scoured my library for the book and have made out a shopping list.
Is there an ingredient wildly inspiring to you right now?
All kinds of pickles and kimchis. I guess you can say I’m getting on the fermentation bandwagon. I’ve been slowly reading my way through Sandor Katz’s (no relation) fermentation tome The Art of Fermentation. I’m currently experimenting with some Brussel sprout kimchi. I also really love coconut — both in sweet and savory foods. Coconut in various forms makes its way into many of my recipes. I even buy frozen coconut milk and add it to my smoothies.
When is your favorite time to cook at home?
Definitely in the morning. My kitchen is open and airy and the morning sun streams in through the kitchen from a wall of glass doors and windows. Even on the coldest days it’s glowing. I also like cooking when I’m alone and the kids are at school. I can crank some music or listen to NPR, without competing with the TV that is situated off the kitchen (a big sigh).
What do you wish someone else would cook for you this weekend?
I have a lot of friends that are intimidated to cook for me. Which is too bad, because, I’m just grateful for anyone else to do all the shopping, cooking and cleaning. But if I had to be specific, I would say my mother-in-law in Australia. She is a fabulous cook and is always scouring magazines and books for new and interesting recipes. It also happens that we like a lot of the same flavors. She always goes to so much effort when we come to visit and that means a lot to me.
Thanks so much, Eva! We so appreciate the advice and the peek into your cooking life.
Readers, your turn — what's cooking?