Sara Kate Gillingham's Recent Articles
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Recipe: Roasted Baby Cabbage
Last week I showed you some baby cabbages I bought at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market in my post about dropping in on other cities’ farmers markets. These little fist-sized gems called out to me so I bought an armful without knowing how I’d cook them. I didn’t want to torture them too much, but wanted a warm, comforting dish to go with some grilled pork chops on a rainy night.I started by cutting them in half.
Feb 17, 2009
Carved Wood Bowls from Fallen Los Angeles Trees
I stood in the rain last Sunday at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market in front of a table of wooden bowls, gawking, when finally a man with artisan hands came up and introduced himself as John Talbot, the artist. Even if I never learned the story behind of these boards, bowls, goblets and utensils, I would have wanted to show them to you, just for their beauty.Then Talbot told me how they were made to honor the fallen trees of Los Angeles.
Feb 11, 2009
Recipe: Sticky Toffee Cakelets
Back in LA for two weeks, I’m having flashbacks to the work I did here a few years ago on my book, The Greyston Bakery Cookbook (Rodale).One of the groups of recipes I added to the book that were not based on products from the Bakery were the individual cakes, which I affectionately called cakelets: Chocolate Molten Cakelets, Steamed Lemon Cakelets, and Sticky Toffee Cakelets. Any of these would be great for Valentine’s Day. Today I’m sharing the Sticky Toffee Cakelets.
Feb 10, 2009
Adieu to Joseph Ades, The Gentleman Peeler of Union Square
We learned the news yesterday when the NY Times called asking for permission to use our photo of Jim Ades, the famous carrot peeler of Union Square (and occasionally other parts of the city.)He was known for his bravado and his enthusiasm for the peelers he sold. He never was officially part of the Greenmarket, rather choosing to park himself on the fringes of the market, capitalizing on the traffic, but never obtaining a vendor’s license.
Feb 3, 2009
6 Breads That Go Perfectly With Soup
We love a good soup or stew around here. But do you know what elevates soup into a whole cozy experience? Bread. Picture it: Spoon in one hand, a nice chunk of crusty bread in the other, ready to soak up all the flavors. We have so many warm and comforting soup recipes for chilly weather. And right here we have the absolute best breads to accompany those soups — like, soup soul mates. For real.
Feb 2, 2009
Recipe: No-Knead Fennel & Anchovy Pizza
A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers yesterday, January 29. To receive Sara Kate’s weekly email, sign up in the column to the left or click here. Something tasty will arrive in your inbox every Thursday.
Jan 30, 2009
Kitchen Tour: Kenny Lao of Rickshaw Dumpling Bar
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the East Village kitchen of Kenny Lao, founder and owner of Rickshaw Dumpling Bar. Wrapped up in my morning with Kenny was a dumpling-making tutorial. In honor of Chinese New Year, we ran the recipe today. But first, a tour of his place.
Jan 26, 2009
Four Great Chinese Cookbooks
When most American homecooks think of Chinese food, it’s the kind eaten out or ordered in, not cooked at home. This is partly a function of a pantry not fit for Chinese cooking and partly the intimidation factor. Heating a wok properly, making tasty condiments, folding dumplings; it can all seem like a lot of trouble when a bowl of pasta, just a boiled pot away from the plate, beckons at the end of a long day.If this sounds familiar, might I make a plug for some good Chinese cookbooks?
Jan 26, 2009
Recipe: Raw Kale & Pig Cheek Salad, You Know You Want It
A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers yesterday. To receive Sara Kate’s weekly email, sign up in the column to the left or click here. Something tasty will arrive in your inbox every Thursday.We’re slogging our way through January with the theme of Eating Light guiding not only our recipe coverage, but our attitudes toward eating and cooking as a whole. In last week’s email I suggested one way to eat more lightly is to just eat less.
Jan 16, 2009
Why Don’t Pigs Make Cheese?
It’s a fair enough question. All the other barnyard friends — cows, sheep and goats — give milk that is made into cheese. But why not the pig? From the ubiquitous image of a mama pig nursing her piglets, we know they have milk.I always thought perhaps they just didn’t give enough milk.
Jan 12, 2009
Tip: Use Spreadable Goat Cheese in Place of Cream Cheese
I recently got hip to a great cream-cheese alternative for bagels and such and was thinking it’d be a nice time to pass on the tip given what a brunch-y time of year this is between Christmas and New Year’s and all the other excuses for gathering and eating. Spreadable goat cheese is a lower-fat form of goat cheese with a looser texture as compared to the chèvre usually sold in log form and usually comes in a tub so it even looks like cream cheese.
Dec 19, 2008
Recipe: Whole Wheat Raisin English Muffins
It’s a sick day for me, so I’m working at home on some recipes. With a congested head, I made the first mistake in cooking: I didn’t check to see if I had all the ingredients I needed before starting to test my winter breakfast bread wreath, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s email for that.I didn’t have enough butter. Ouch, the yeast was already dissolving in warm water and the flour was already out. What’s a cook to do? Make English Muffins.
Dec 17, 2008
Recipe: Beet Salad with Horseradish Cream and Frizzled Sweet Onions
Do we really need another beet salad? We really don’t need much, but would you love another beet salad? My guess is yes. There’s certainly room on our server, so why not?Last week, Maxwell and I ate at Market Table, a fine little establishment in our neighborhood. We shared a beet salad with a piquant horseradishy cream base, some fried shallots and a nice googey wedge of blue goat cheese.
Dec 9, 2008
Tip: How To Roast and Peel Beets
A roasted beet is a great base for a salad especially this time of year when, for most of us in the northern hemisphere, there are few choices other than cellared root vegetables. It’s a great skill to have under your belt.Just this weekend I made a beautiful beet salad with a horseradish cream and some frizzled onions. That recipe is tomorrow. Today, here’s how you roast and peel beets without much drama.
Dec 8, 2008
Tip: Warm The Plates
With Thanksgiving nipping at our heels, it’s a good time to remember all the things that help make a meal a great meal. Here’s one I learned from both my mother and my husband: warm plates make a huge difference.I’ll admit that I don’t warm the plates every time I serve someone food, but when it feels special, I always try to give them a little kiss of warmth. Here are a few ways of doing it.
Nov 26, 2008
The Amish Pie Perspective: A Good Dough & Funeral Pie
Our pie contest may be closed for submissions, but the pie love keeps going for another couple of weeks. Just in time is a new book called The Amish Cook at Home (Andrews McMeel). It’s not a pie book (just a few pie recipes) but it captures the spirit of sharing that pies are all about, and what pie recipes it has are worth sharing here.The author, Lovina Eicher, writes a syndicated column called “The Amish Cook” that she inherited from her mother. She has eight children.
Nov 11, 2008
How to Take a Good Picture of Pie
Best Pie Bakeoff Because so many people now cook with a camera around their necks (and eat with one in their laps) we encourage readers to send in photos with their questions and require them to do so for contests. Many are wonderful, but some could use help. Whether or not you plan to participate in the Bakeoff, I thought a little Pie Photography 101 might be useful.By the way, I learned most of these tips from my mother, who is a food stylist and did the styling for my book. Thanks, Mom.
Nov 7, 2008
My Tussle with Royale Icing
Oh yes I did. Last Monday night I whipped up some sugar cookie dough, and bought some colorants for royale icing that would transform my plain Jane cookies into some hopeful sunrise cookies for election day.I was inspired by all the Obama cookies I found online and in particular the one I featured in my election night menu ideas post. Plus, with an invitation to an election party featuring “Real American Food” I figured some sugar, white flour and dye was in order.
Nov 6, 2008
Pie vs. Tart: What’s the Difference?
Our Pie Bakeoff is in full swing (have you entered your best pie yet?) For the next few weeks we are running posts each day with different types of pie recipes, tips and inspiration, and soon we will begin posting entries from the contest.The question has been posed, May I enter the bakeoff with a tart? The answer is yes. While pies and tarts are two distinct things, they are close enough cousins that we will accept them both. A galette is another cousin who is invited to party.
Nov 5, 2008
DIY Recipe: Baking Soda Toothpaste
A reader named Alicia recently tipped me off to a growing niche of homemade toothpaste makers. Google around and you’ll find all kinds of health-nut websites with techniques for doing it yourself and why it’s better than the commercial stuff. I won’t make any health claims, but I will say that it is a big money saver. All of the ingredients are inexpensive, and it’s nice knowing where they came from. Look at the ingredients on your toothpaste tube lately?
Oct 31, 2008
Recipe: Tarte Aux Pommes
This is the time for apples. I cannot get enough of the Honeycrips at the Greenmarket now, always buying two more than I think I want, since we usually down two on the stroll home. If you can stand it, save some for baking.When I was in culinary school, I learned a classic Tarte Aux Pommes, which looks and sounds fancy, but is really easy to make. Great for your weekend dinner party. Impresses the socks (sure, in some cases, pants) off people.
Oct 14, 2008
How To Use Fennel Pollen
I got really into using fennel pollen a few years ago when I got addicted to Mario Batali’s Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Dried Orange and Fennel Pollen. The first time I made it I didn’t have fennel pollen sitting around in my pantry, so I used Batali’s suggested alternative: ground up fennel seeds. The pollen, I quickly found, makes a difference. And so I started using it on everything. A pinch of this stuff, makes magic happen.
Oct 6, 2008
Book Review: A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
When first encountering David Tanis’s new cookbook, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, skeptics might roll their eyes: why do I need a full-color, hard-cover book from a chef who splits his life between the Chez Panisse kitchen in Berkeley and a dinner club in Paris to tell me how to put some figs on a platter? Stop.
Oct 2, 2008
From The Email: An Ode to Prune & Armagnac Ice Cream
A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers on August 29. To receive Sara Kate’s weekly email, sign up in the column to the left or click here. Something tasty will arrive in your inbox every Thursday.Summer has officially shut down, and so too did our Ice Cream Month and Best Lick Ice Cream Contest (click here for the 26 entries… AMAZING!)I don’t think I’ve ever told you all the genesis of Ice Cream Month.
Sep 26, 2008
From The Email: Easy Summer Gazpacho
A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers on August 14th when tomato season was just starting for us. To receive Sara Kate’s weekly email, sign up in the column to the left or click here. Something tasty will arrive in your inbox every Thursday.When August (or September) brings on the steamy nights (or the cooling ones) and the tomato plants are (still) hot and heavy with ripe fruit, it’s time for gazpacho.
Sep 12, 2008
In Season: Italian Prune Plums
What are those little baby-fist-sized plums that have been in the markets for the last month? They’re called Italian Prune Plums and I adore them. Sometimes also called Empress Plums, they are the European-style plum (Prunica domestica) – small, dense, egg-shaped fruit with blue or purple skin, freestone pits (they separate easily from the flesh) and yellow flesh. These are the plums that are made into prunes.
Sep 10, 2008
Hess Pottery: Unglazed Earthenware Pie Plates
I’m a pie girl. And when the stone fruits start dropping from the trees, my pie plate begins its annual workout. My mother in law turned me onto a great pie plate from Hess Pottery, a little company in Reeds Spring, Missouri, started in 1979 by Tom Hess. She’d gotten one as a gift, and I’ve since given it as a gift. The pie love goes ’round and ’round.The Hess Pie Plate is made from smooth, native red clay without any harmful glazes.
Sep 9, 2008
Recipe: The Best Chocolate Ice Cream
OK, calling it the best might be a bit of a stretch: the true merit of something as beloved and simple as chocolate ice cream comes not just from its formula, but when and where it’s consumed, the quality of the ingredients, and perhaps foremost, the mood. I can’t control any of those variables, but I can give you a pretty simple recipe for chocolate ice cream to get you on your merry way.I was inspired by two things.
Aug 29, 2008
Recipe: Sesame Cucumber Salad
I have a cucumber problem: suddenly I have armfuls of giant, prickly cukes in my garden. They’re called Suyo Long Cucumbers and most gardeners would say there’s not a lot to do with such a large fruit and ideally, they should be picked before reaching such a massive size. That one in the photo above weighed in at 1 1/4 pounds. And I’ve seen bigger.The thing with these guys, though, is that they do not lack in flavor as you might expect them to.
Aug 27, 2008
Eating Well From The Corner Store: Bodega Party in a Box
There is always chatter about improving neighborhoods by opening up more farmers markets and making them affordable for all. Nothing wrong with that. But what about turning around the thinking behind bringing fresh, nutritious, affordable food to all by considering the bodegas that dot so many corners of the neighborhoods that need this kind of food most?That’s what The Neighbor’s Project is doing.
Aug 19, 2008
From The Email: Weeknight Fish for Two
A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers on June 26th. To receive Sara Kate’s weekly email, sign up in the column to the left or click here. Something tasty will arrive in your inbox every Thursday.Ask most “good cooks” and they’ll probably admit that sometimes, even for them, it’s a struggle to get dinner made during the week. This is especially so when you’ve been writing about food all day long.
Aug 15, 2008
How To: Make Risotto in a Rice Cooker
Not since a roommate in college had a rice maker have I played around with one. If I remember correctly, that one singed the bottom layer of rice and then broke before Thanksgiving break.Not much of a gadget-cook myself, I usually avoid appliances like these. But I’ve been playing around with Zojirushi’s latest model, the Rizo, and recently took their suggestion in the instruction manual to make risotto using the machine’s intriguing risotto setting.
Aug 13, 2008
Recipe: Blackberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Last weekend I found a bush on the side of the road teeming with wild blackberries. Our two-year old thought it great fun to pick them, and drop a few of them into her red bucket, while eating the rest. That left us with about seven berries. Later, when she wasn’t looking, I dashed back out and filled the bucket again for Blackberry Buttermilk Ice Cream. The lighter berries you see in the photo are some pale pink raspberries from my garden.
Aug 12, 2008
How To Write A Recipe Like A Professional
I write recipes, among other things, for a living. It may seem easy, but it isn’t always. It takes practice and adherence to a few rules. Knowing how to write a recipe is something even an amateur cook can benefit from knowing. There are two main parts of a recipe, the Ingredient List and the Preparation Method. I’ll take you through some basic guidelines for writing both parts. This is our own style guide and loose list of rules.
Aug 5, 2008
Recipe: Pickletini
This weekend we were treated to a special dirty martini from our favorite pickle joint in town, Rick’s Picks. Just in time. In an effort to get you ready for summer, we’re going to kick off a week of original cocktail recipes, and we begin with a bang: it’s Pickletini time.This weekend we held a little book party here in the office for the launch of Maxwell’s new book.
May 19, 2008
Recipe: Basic Tomato Sauce (with Optional Zing!)
For the sauce-hungry crowd, here is a basic tomato sauce, with some lemony and spicy elements for adding an optional zing. It’s easy, quick, and isn’t a boring old sauce. Basic sauces were one of the requested items from Cure-takers. This week’s assignment was to add a new skill to your cooking arsenal.
May 6, 2008
Recipe: Grilled Potato, Gorgonzola and Prosciutto Pizza
A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers on April 17th. To sign up for our weekly email (not daily as the box indicates) sign up in the column to the left or click here.Maybe I jumped the gun a bit, but a few weekends ago, I grilled pizza up on a bluff. We served it right there, in the damp April evening. It was only about fifty degrees, but green things are emerging from the ground, I thought. Let’s celebrate. It’s normal spring behavior for me.
May 2, 2008
Recipe: Nathalie Dupree’s Hush Puppies
We just posted a great video about Hush Puppies, along with a similar story by Nathalie Dupree, known as the originator of the New Southern Cooking movement. Here, she shares her recipe for these little tasty tidbits of friend cornmeal.Get your oil vat hot!
Apr 30, 2008
Recipe: John Besh’s Louisiana Speckled Trout Amandine
On my recent trip to New Orleans, I had the pleasure of tasting some incredible food, from classic po’ boys to quite elegant, Bayou-inspired cuisine. My first night there a whole gaggle of food journalists gathered at Chef John Besh’s restaurant, Lüke, a brasserie-style place with all the brasserie trimmings and a menu that drops serious hints of Louisiana cooking.It seemed all the locals were ordering Chef Besh’s Speckled Trout Amandine, so I hopped on the bandwagon.
Apr 28, 2008
Kitchn Cure: What Every Pantry Needs: Savory
With a well-stocked pantry, you’ll not only be prepared to cook a wide range of dishes, you’ll save time and money in the long run, because by getting accustomed to your personal set of supplies, you’ll develop your own style, and you will not have to go out to the store and buy every single ingredient in a dish when it’s time for dinner. In the Kitchn Cure, I’m starting to try to impart some techniques for cooking more by instinct than by recipe.
Apr 25, 2008
Book Review: The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook
Last week in New Orleans at the IACP conference, I met many fellow food writers. One particularly charming author was Amelia Saltsman, who wrote and published The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. We nibbled on debris (the shavings off a freshly carved roast) a po’ boy at Mother’s and talked shop.To keep my carry-on light, I made a promise to myself not to buy anything at the cookbook expo where IACP members were signing books, but I broke it with Amelia’s book.
Apr 23, 2008
How To Make a Beignet
While in New Orleans, if you haven’t had a beignet (pronounced ben-YAY), you aren’t having the full experience of the city.A few days ago I was there for the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference. I had a few minutes free, so I popped over to famed Café De Monde on Decatur Street, shared a plate of three with my companion, and washed it all down with a tall coffee and chicory café au lait.
Apr 21, 2008
Good Cure Question: What Are Processed Foods?
Last Thursday I gave a controversial assignment as part of Week Two of The Kitchn Cure: I asked you to pitch your processed foods.And the questions started rolling in about what, exactly, processed foods are?Processed food is basically food that has been changed from its natural state for the sake of shelf life and safety, or for the sake of convenience.
Mar 31, 2008
Another Reason Not to Eat Tuna?
It keeps happening: discoveries like the one reported on the front page of today’s New York Times (High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi) keep telling us that eating tuna just isn’t a great idea.After being pregnant last year, I all but completely removed it from my diet. But lately, there are some interesting “lower” and “lowest” mercury options out there, which Burrows’s article neglects to discuss.
Jan 23, 2008
Why Bees Are So Important To Your Food
Bees are all the buzz these days. And for good reason. Their critical contribution to agriculture has long been unknown and unheralded by the public. This fall I had the opportunity to work on the documentary film Silence of the Bees which kicked off the new season of PBS Nature this past Sunday (10/28).
Nov 14, 2007
The Celluloid Pantry: Gibson Cocktails and All About Eve (1950)
[Beginning this week, we’ll be rerunning some favorites from The Celluloid Pantry while Nora enjoys a writer’s residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts. We’ll be back with all-new posts December 4.] A crisp and delicious gin-based cocktail, the Gibson has a dramatic past. In the 1930s, the magazine illustrator, Charles Dana Gibson stopped in for a drink at the New York Players Club, an elegant social club for people of the theater.
Nov 6, 2007
Reader Recipe: Easy Blueberry Cobbler
It’s been a while since we had a reader recipe: this one comes from Melinda in Pittsburgh. “I picked up fresh blueberries at the Farmer’s Market this week and made this super simple dessert from my South Carolina childhood. There are many different types of cobbler crusts/toppings–buckles, crumbles, brown-bettys–but this is my favorite, a sweet, buttery, rich batter, with crispy and chewy bits. Delicious plain, but even better with vanilla ice cream.
Jul 24, 2007
Why I Don’t Drink Skim Milk
[Welcome to Nina Planck, a friend and author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why. For more of her eyes-wide-opening writing about eating and cooking, visit]In 1945, nutrition pioneer Weston Price wrote about a mystery nutrient called Activator X. Highly regarded in traditional diets, it was found in the fat (especially butter) of grass-fed animals, and it cured rickets, tooth decay, and seizures. Price found it powerfully effective combined with cod liver oil.
Apr 25, 2007