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How To Cure Corned Beef (In Time for St. Patrick’s Day)
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and we’ve decided to take it (and Meat/Un-Meat Month) as inspiration for A Project. We’ve always been interested in curing our own meat, and corned beef seems like the perfect place to start. In fact, we’ve talked about home-curing corned beef a lot, but this year we’re really doing it! There’s plenty of time between now and St. Patrick’s to cure your own corned beef. Would you like to follow along with us?
Mar 10, 2009
Portobello Mushrooms: The Steak of the Vegetarian World?
We’ve all heard it a hundred times. “Portobello mushrooms- they’re thick and meaty, just like a steak.” Well, no, actually. They aren’t steak. But they do have a texture and flavor that fits in nicely with sandwiches. And they can be marinated and grilled without falling apart (which can sometimes be tricky with tofu).We’ve rounded up a few recipes that sub in portobellos where there might normally be meat.
Mar 10, 2009
Good Question: A Foolproof Recipe for Oatmeal?
Amy is trying to decide if she likes oatmeal or not. We would like to help her out. Here’s her question:Everyone seems to say that oatmeal is a powerhouse of health. I have a problem though — I don’t know if I like it. What’s a foolproof prep plan/recipe so I can try it and decide for sure. It looks yummy and warm and perfect for these frigid times.Amy, yes, oatmeal is indeed a powerhouse of fiber, nutrition, and yummy nourishment.
Mar 9, 2009
Recipe: Mini Rack of Lamb with Nutty Beluga Lentils and Sautéed Garlic Spinach
Yesterday we reviewed Cooking for Two, by Jessica Strand. This very pretty little book has a small, well-edited selection of meals for two. There was one recipe in particular that we really liked, especially given our meat-centric focus this month. It’s a juicy, succulent little rack of lamb with a whole delicious mess of lentils and greens. So here it is, for your dining pleasure.
Mar 6, 2009
Recipe Roundup: 3 Roaring-Red Ways to Love Gin Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Considering that the Martini – gin mixed with just the right amount of dry vermouth – is the ultimate way to enjoy the spirit’s clear color and crisp, junipery flavor, it might seem counterintuitive to steer things the opposite direction, stirring it up with something red, spicy, and slightly sweet.
Mar 6, 2009
Recipe Review: Authentic Ciabatta from Cook’s Illustrated
Being fans of both homemade bread and Cook’s Illustrated, of course we had to try the ciabatta recipe from the March/April issue! The recipe was pretty elaborate, including both a preferment made the night before and many detailed steps on baking day. But we were undaunted…If you’re at all curious about baking and bread chemistry, the article preceding the recipe has a wealth of information.
Mar 5, 2009
30-Minute Meal Hack: Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger, Soba, and Fried Pork Crumbles
We don’t cook straight from scratch every night. In fact, there are many good products from the grocery store that can serve as the base for an easy, quick, and healthful meal. Take the soups at Trader Joe’s, for instance. Here we start with one of them, sweeten it up with some miso paste, add some soba noodles, and then top off the whole thing with just a handful of protein: spicy, crispy fried pork sausage with ginger, hot pepper, and garlic.
Mar 5, 2009
Is This the Easiest Cake Ever?
Last week, we spotted something called a Nantucket Cranberry Pie over at the blog Cooking Books. It’s a recipe from Laurie Colwin, and it involves so few ingredients and so little effort, we had to make it immediately. Yes, we know those don’t look like cranberries. Bear with us…There were no cranberries to be found at the grocery store (nope, not even frozen), so we went with a mixture of frozen cherries and blueberries.
Feb 27, 2009
Recipe: Hijiki with Carrots
Hijiki seaweed and carrots are classic combination in Japanese cooking. This marriage of earth and sea is salty, sweet, pleasantly crunchy, and highly nutritious. Here’s our version of this side dish, using some of the kumquats we’ve been buying at the farmers’ market, but lemon juice or rice vinegar works, too. The basic recipe can also be enhanced with other ingredients such as tofu, edamame, or burdock root, and served with soba noodles or rice to make a more complete meal.
Feb 27, 2009
Recipe: Endive, Fennel and Parmesan with Anchovy Date Dressing
I’m still in LA, and Maxwell finally joined me a few nights ago. I took him straight from the airport to dinner at Mozza, a Nancy Silverton/Mario Batali/Joseph Bastianich production in Hollywood that I’ve been wanting to try. We sat at the bar and nibbled on this knock-out salad: a concoction of crispy crimson endive, whisper thin fennel and slabs of Parmesan cheese tossed with a dressing made from dates and anchovies.
Feb 26, 2009
Pretty (and) Easy: Polka Dot Cake from Country Living
We aren’t really whizzes with a pastry bag. In fact, we don’t own one. But we think we could get this look using a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. These dots don’t have to be too precise, or even the same size, to be charming…Polka dots are just cute; there’s no way around that. Dots of varying sizes all over a layer cake is simple enough to do, and they can hide imperfections in your icing (if, say, you have a few crumbs that got rustled up).
Feb 23, 2009
Look! Digging for Razor Clams on Not Martha
Have you ever gone digging for clams? We’ve always wanted to, and Megan’s post on her blog Not Martha makes us want to even more! Check out a few more of her clam-digging pictures after the jump…Regulations for clam digging (and other shellfish) vary from state to state, but it’s usually a simple process of acquiring a permit and then following the rules for number of clams per day and per person.
Feb 23, 2009
Whiskey Old-Fashioneds (With Really Good Fruit)
Fruit or no fruit? That is the question (or one of them, anyway). Like Martinis, Old-Fashioneds are one of those drinks that’ve been around long enough to have developed more than a few variations. A satisfying blend of whiskey (preferably straight rye or bourbon, though some recipes use Canadian Whisky or a blended scotch), bitters, and sugar, stirred together with ice (and sometimes topped up with club soda), the Old-Fashioned makes a great wintertime drink.
Feb 20, 2009
The Perfection of Simplicity: Potato Leek Soup
Two ingredients. That’s it. Well, if you want to be a stickler and count salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil, it’s five. OK, and water makes six. But the oil method is optional, so we’re back to five again but really, it’s two ingredients. Potatoes and leeks. Two of the most humble ingredients, plus the simple alchemy of simmering water, come together to make one utterly blissful, satisfying soup. Read on for the recipe.You can do anything to this soup.
Feb 18, 2009
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
Cherry Heering 2 Ways for Valentine’s Day Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Looking for something a little special for the 14th? A dark, luscious liqueur with an all-natural black cherry taste, Cherry Heering pairs with chocolate as beautifully as it does Champagne, making it a sweet choice for Valentine’s Day.Still made today from the original 1818 recipe, this old Danish favorite has been enjoying a bit of a cocktailian revival lately.
Feb 13, 2009
Recipe Review: Weight-Watchers Glazed Pear Muffins
Diet-specific recipes usually aren’t our thing, but we thought this one might be worth a shot. We were intrigued to see sour cream on the ingredient list and liked the fact that this recipe didn’t rely on any ingredient substitutes to achieve its healthiness. Here’s the verdict…Overall, we thought these muffins were pretty darn good! They were a bit dense and chewy, but in a way we found pleasing and very enjoyable to bite into!
Feb 12, 2009
Looking For: Black Bean Pancake Recipe
We’re here to help you with your good questions and your recipe searches. Here’s one from Jake. Can you help him?Just recently, I just went to a local organic restaurant and they had a black bean pancake on the menu. Intrigued, I ordered it and absolutely fell in love with it! It was savory and even more delicious with the serving of guacamole and salsa that was served with it. Since then, I have been looking online for a recipe but they were just not quite right.
Feb 10, 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
Soup of the Day: Creamy Garlic (Knoblauchcremesuppe)
Knoblauchcremesuppe! Say that eight times fast. It’s actually a very simple thing, and it’s quite deserving of our soup of the day. Creamy garlic soup, an Austrian favorite.This soup is so simple and easy: just some onion and garlic, a little flour and a little milk. Toasted bread croutons and ta-da! Dinner. Sweet and simple.• Get the recipe: Knoblauchcremesuppe (garlic soup) at Dinner for OneHave a great soup recipe? Email us here if you have a recipe and photo to share.
Feb 10, 2009
Soup of the Day: Rustic Winter Stew
We just reviewed Anne Bramley’s lovely ode to winter cooking, Eat Feed Autumn Winter, and we promised you a full recipe from this splendid book. Well, since it’s Soup Month, we couldn’t pass up a chance for stew! Here’s a hearty, rich stew for the cold winter, with pork, sour cream, and one more unusual soup ingredient!This stew calls for sauerkraut — that tangy preserved cabbage. In this it rather reminded us of the classic Korean homestyle stew Soondubu jjigae.
Feb 9, 2009
Southeast Asian Noodle Soups in The New York Times
When we announced Soup Month, several of you commented that you’d like recipes and tips for Asian soups. Then we remembered an article from our Times Top 5 at the beginning of January about Southeast Asian noodle soups that we thought we’d revisit. As the author writes, “These are chicken noodle soups you want to bathe in.” Soups from Southeast Asia are complicated only in the ingredients.
Feb 9, 2009
Basic Techniques: Eight Ways to Build Flavor
Have you ever made a dish that smelled great but tasted flat, unexciting, or one-dimensional? Don’t give up on that recipe! Next time you make it, try boosting the flavor with a few of these techniques…When we talk about “building flavor,” we don’t necessarily mean adding or changing the ingredients in the original recipe.
Feb 6, 2009
Recipe: Chickpea and Chorizo Soup
This rich, spicy stew really hits the spot on cold winter nights. Chorizo, the Spanish pork sausage flavored with smoked paprika and chilies, has a spicy, robust flavor that just permeates this soup. Onions, garlic, thyme, and a little wine round out a broth that gets soaked up by the beans as they simmer. It was easy, quick, and incredibly satisfying on a cold night.
Feb 6, 2009
Recipe: Creamy Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Cumin
I was so inspired by all the responses to our very first Cupboard Challenge. A dip had never crossed my mind, nor a casserole. It’s amazing what you can do with four ingredients! In the end, I had about 15 minutes in the middle of a busy evening to find my own solution to the challenge. I was tempted to throw in some meat, but I decided to limit myself closely to these ingredients, with the addition of a few spices and some fresh thyme from a friend’s garden.
Feb 5, 2009
Soup of the Day: East African Groundnut
Peanut butter in soup? Really? Why yes, and it’s delicious!I am currently (as you read this) in Kenya, so I thought I’d leave you with at least one African recipe. This one is actually from the Moosewood cookbook, but it’s similar to many recipes on the African continent, where peanuts are often used to thicken soups and stews.This one is a deeply flavorful and spicy concoction of tomatoes, peppers, onions, curry powder and cayenne with a squeeze of lime.
Feb 4, 2009
Recipe: Creamy Leek and Yogurt Soup
Here’s a light, easy soup we recently enjoyed. It has all the fresh, delicate flavor of green leeks, with some garlic to punch it up. We added yogurt at the end and blended the soup smooth – the yogurt gave it a lovely tangy taste.Add some fresh crusty bread, new butter, and a green salad – maybe some good cheese too – and you have yourself a light meal.
Feb 4, 2009
Word of Mouth: Bavarian
Bavarian (bah-vare’-ian), noun: A stirred custard that is mixed with gelatin and then lightened with whipped cream, poured into mold, and allowed to set until firm.Here’s another classic French dessert to try next time you’re in the mood for something fancy!Bavarians date back to the days of French chef Marie Antoine Carême toward the beginning of the 19th century.
Feb 4, 2009
Recipe: Ortine’s Mediterranean Platter
We are really excited about this recipe from Sarah Peck, the head chef at charming Brooklyn eatery Ortine. We just did a kitchen tour of Ortine, and Sarah gave us this recipe to share with you. The thing is, though, it’s really five recipes!These recipes make up a popular dish at Ortine, a bright and delicious Mediterranean platter.
Feb 3, 2009
Recipe: Two-Ingredient Biscuits
Did you know that you can make homemade biscuits from scratch with only two ingredients? And no, they don’t involve Bisquick.We discovered this old recipe while searching for a very, very quick dinner bread. We had just about half an hour, and we had forgotten to start a loaf of No-Knead the night before. We were browsing through AllRecipes, and this recipe for two-ingredient biscuits came up very highly ranked. We were skeptical: how good could they possibly be?
Feb 3, 2009
Good Question: How Can I Make a Good Mango Lassi?
Here’s a good question from reader Kim, who is craving a real mango lassi, made at home!I love Indian food, and I really love the mango lassis that you can get at Indian restaurants. I have looked up recipes online and even bought cookbooks, but no matter how many recipes I have tried I just can’t make a good one! Maybe there is some secret I am missing? Please help, I would love to have a nice mango lassi at home!Kim, this question is near and dear to my own heart.
Feb 2, 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
7 Super-Simple Citrus Cocktails Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
With all the fresh, juicy citrus flooding the fruit stands right now, it seems the perfect time to take a look at some quick and simple cocktails powered by Vitamin C.And when we say simple, we mean simple. Each of these classic recipes uses just one kind of freshly-squeezed citrus fruit, and one kind of liquor (okay – and maybe a dash or two of plain old sugar to ease the pucker factor). That’s it.
Jan 30, 2009
Recipe: Florida Butter Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
Heirloom Beansreviewed here Click through the gallery above for our process of cooking this dish. It initially looks rather complicated, but it’s very easy and hands-off. Basically, you… • Soak a pot of dried beans all night. • Then start cooking them in their soaking water so they can get softened up. • Meanwhile, cook some bacon and set it aside. (We were out of pork bacon so we used a combination of salt pork and turkey bacon.
Jan 29, 2009
Recipe Report: Quince Ratafia
Two months ago I started a ratafia. What’s a ratafia? Well, it’s a simple liqueur made from fruit steeped in alcohol. Or, as reader Bx put it, BOOZE FROOT.Want to hear how it turned out?Here’s the original post with the recipe:• Quince Ratafia: How To Make Fruit LiqueurI shredded a couple of quince fruit (delicious, heavenly things) and let them sit in a jar of pure vodka along with some sugar and a pinch of spices.
Jan 29, 2009
Eating Light: Homemade Popcorn with Olive Oil
We grew up in a popcorn-eating family. Every movie night, every game day, and every holiday evening, there was popcorn on the coffee table. We rarely ate microwave popcorn, so the smell of hot canola oil and the sound of kernels exploding against the inside of a steel pot bring back memories.We still love homemade popcorn, and we just found a new reason to make it much more often. Olive oil!!Olive oil on popcorn is hardly a new idea.
Jan 28, 2009
Recipe Review: Zucchini Muffins from Simply Recipes
We mentioned this recipe a couple weeks ago in our roundup, but we just made these muffins again and we had to report back on how easy, fast, and good these are.We found this recipe for zucchini muffins at Simply Recipes earlier this fall, and we’ve made them several times since. We like this recipe because it calls for oil or melted butter, instead of creamed butter and sugar. This makes them easy to whip up in just one bowl, without a mixer.We also love how flexible they are.
Jan 28, 2009
Light Eating: Braised Chicken with Shallots
This photo, and everything about the accompanying recipe, too, makes our mouths water. Eating light doesn’t mean avoiding meat entirely; protein is still essential, and chicken thighs are a frugal, tasty way to put it in your diet. But you do still want to avoid heavy sauces and lots of fat, which is where we come back to this recipe.The recipe is simple. Brown a pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Then create a base sauce with some shallots, garlic, dry mustard, and wine.
Jan 27, 2009
Recipe Review: Quick Cinnamon Rolls
We know it’s Eating Light month. But we’ve been eyeing these super fast, no-yeast-required cinnamon rolls on Fine Cooking’s website for a while now, and this past weekend we caved. They were worth it. So sue us… Cinnamon rolls are an instant gratification kind of food. Wake up, crave cinnamon rolls. No time for letting yeasty dough rise.
Jan 27, 2009
How To Make Blood Orange Jelly Smiles
Blood orange jelly smiles are a fun, easy, and (bonus!) rather healthy treat for New Year celebrations. Here is how to make them. This idea and recipe were originally shared with us by Sarah from San Francisco. • Recipe: Blood Orange Jelly Smiles I’ve made these several times now, and I wanted to update the instructions with more tips and notes I’ve picked up. How To Make Blood Orange Jelly Smiles 1. Buy a sack of blood oranges.
Jan 23, 2009
Recipe: Hot Rum Cow
The other night I was looking for something warming to sip and decided to try out a recipe from a cocktail book brought back by a friend on a recent trip to Belfast: The Merchant Hotel Bar Book. As I flipped through the “Hot Drinks” section, something immediately caught my eye: Hot Rum Cow. With its whimsical name and tempting list of ingredients (piping hot milk, dark rum, vanilla, aromatic bitters, and sugar), this Cow sounded like a winner.
Jan 23, 2009
Recipe: Italian Marrow Beans with Tuna
Heirloom Beansyour slow cooker Italian and Spanish cooks make variations of this dish, which at its base consists of beans, tuna, and oil. This is a dish where you can’t skimp on any of the ingredients. Look for Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese tuna packed in olive oil. Add a small baguette and you have a great portable lunch. You could serve a green salad as well.
Jan 22, 2009
Kale and Potato Puree
Last week we recommended a recipe for Kale and Potato Puree, a gorgeous green dish of warm and healthy winter eating from Gourmet. Well, we put our own advice to use quickly, and made it last weekend. It was delicious! True to form, though, we changed a few things. Here’s what we did differently, and how we would recommend making this easy, 3-ingredient dish.This recipe is basically mashed potatoes with boiled kale whipped in. Sound dreary?
Jan 22, 2009
Recipe: Cauliflower, Fennel, and White Bean Winter Salad
We first saw this winter white salad in Bon Appétit, where the description of fresh, lemony flavor with crisp winter vegetables earned it a place in our “to-try” recipe list. We made it this weekend, and it’s already a favorite winter salad. The flavors come together in a crunchy, tender, tart, and oddly creamy combination. Here is our adapted recipe — we think it might be a new favorite for you too.I’ve never had a salad quite like this.
Jan 21, 2009
New Idea: Roasted Orange Wedges with Herbs
Here’s what happened. Kim says: For our New Year’s dinner, I impressed our friends (and myself) with an amazing menu. But what impressed me the most was something completely accidental. Rewind to our Christmas Eve dinner… … I’d stuffed a hen with onions, orange wedges, thyme, sage, and rosemary, and I had a few leftover orange wedges. I put them in the roasting pan with the bite-sized creamer potatoes just to see how they would turn out. Surprise!
Jan 21, 2009
Recipe for Winter Citrus: Tangerine Curd
Last winter we started a little love affair with lemon curd. It was something we thought was hard to make but turned out not to be, and it is a bright, sweet addition to so many things (scones, toast, yogurt, cookies…) We thought, “Why stop with lemon?” And so…We were hoping this tangerine curd would turn out bright orange, and it did not. We’re realizing that the color of curd comes largely from the egg yolks rather than the citrus juice.
Jan 20, 2009
Recipe Roundup: Roasted Cauliflower
Ever since we tried roasted cauliflower, we’ve been absolutely hooked on the caramelized, sweet, and nutty florets. Roasting deepens the vegetable’s flavor and gives it a texture that’s both crispy and tender. A little olive oil is really all you need to roast cauliflower, but there are countless ways to add variety with herbs and spices. Have you tried turmeric and ginger? How about capers?
Jan 20, 2009
A Cocktail for Inauguration Day: Inaugural Cheer
Inauguration Day is tomorrow! We’re very excited to watch this historic event, and of course we’re also excited about the food and drink that accompany a day of historic import, new beginnings, and a whole night full of gala balls. Here’s a special cocktail recipe that we received from mixologist Danielle Tatarin. This lovely layered cocktail includes wild hibiscus flower syrup, and it’s served in a champagne flute.
Jan 19, 2009
Eating Well: Tips for Cooking Bitter Greens
Earlier this month, we posted a survey asking which vegetable you fear cooking. Many of you mentioned bitter greens, the category of collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens that can turn out tough and unappealing. So we have some tips and recipes to help…The classic way to cook collard and turnip greens—especially for those of us who grew up in the South—is to braise them with pork, either smoked ham hock or thick-cut bacon.
Jan 16, 2009
Word of Mouth: Court Bouillon
Court Bouillon (Court Boo-yee-an), noun: A flavored liquid used for poaching or steaming.Unlike regular chicken, beef, or even vegetable stock, a court bouillon can be quickly made and then used immediately – it literally means “quick stock”!Because it’s cooked for a half an hour at most, a court bouillon never reaches the same level of flavor or complexity as a full-term stock.
Jan 16, 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
Recipe: Fava Bean Dip with Roasted Garlic and Yogurt
Sometimes eating light in January is just too darn hard. There’s not a lot of green, not a lot of crunchy vegetables. So we broke down and bought a mess of expensive hot-house vegetables the other day, whittled baby carrots and all. The snap and crunch of carrots and cucumbers was so delicious (although those baby tomatoes were terribly anemic).We needed something to round out our guilty winter vegetable plate, something that would make it a healthy appetizer or meal.
Jan 15, 2009
Recipe Recommendation: Borscht
When I have a bunch of beets, one of my first thoughts is to make borscht. My borscht recipe is highly improvised and varies depending on my mood and what I have on hand, but it’ll get you started. Feel free to modify it for your own tastes.Kathryn’s Borscht Recipe1/2 lb. stew meat1 tbsp. flour1 tbsp. canola oil1/2 cup onion, diced2 large red beets, peeled.
Jan 14, 2009
Recipe: Prunes Stewed in Port Wine
Prunes…excuse me, dried plums, are not the prettiest fruit in the world. They are wrinkled and black, wizened and dry like oversized raisins. They have a terrible reputation, too, as food for babies and the fiber-deprived. But it’s a mistake to treat them as functional health food. Under proper treatment, prunes acquire a deep richness and silky soft texture, oozing sweet, dark plum juice.
Jan 14, 2009
Quick Pasta: Jamie Oliver’s Tagliatelle with Spinach, Mascarpone, and Parmesan
If you’re planning on joining Emma in her pasta making soon, this may be a recipe to bookmark. It’s got a simple, silky sauce with mascarpone cheese and ribbons of fresh spinach—perfect for letting fresh, just-made noodles shine. Get a link to the recipe, below.A few weeks ago, we saw another pasta recipe using mascarpone in the sauce. It was a British cooking show, and the chef made a creamy sauce of mascarpone and lemon, served over spaghetti.
Jan 13, 2009
Have You Ever Made Gnudi?
Gnudi is pronounced nude-y, and how appropriate that is. Because gnudi are little lumps of the filling that would normally be inside ravioli, only boiled gently without their clothes.We’ve made the recipe above, from Giada De Laurentiis, before, to mixed results. Once, the little balls of spinach and ricotta dredged in flour stayed perfectly formed in their hot water bath. The other time, we might have eyeballed the ingredients, and our gnudi broke apart while cooking.
Jan 12, 2009
Recipe: Oven-Roasted Tomato Jam
Sometimes a recipe arises from a confluence of ideas and inspiration — a convergence of influence, flavor, and downright craving. This recipe is one of those. It was inspired by Laurie Colwin’s rapturous description of a long-roasted tomato “condiment” she ate to excess at a party. The recipe she received from a waiter was vague at best. We thought we detected hints of it, though, in Elizabeth’s stewed cinnamon-spiked tomatoes.
Jan 9, 2009
Recipe: Classic Beef Stew
Beef roasts were on sale this past week and we immediately thought STEW! We grabbed some onions, carrots, and celery and scurried home to make a big pot for dinner. This classic stew is full of vitamin-rich winter vegetables and chunks of lean meat in a warming broth.We didn’t follow any specific recipe as we put this stew together. Instead, we fell back on techniques like searing and braising to get flavorful and tender meat, and then we tasted as we went until the stew was just right.
Jan 8, 2009
Recipe: Peppermint Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Flecks
The only frozen thing many of us have on our minds right now (especially in New York) is what’s falling out of the sky. But the snow piling up on our windowsill is not stopping us from making ice cream—especially when it’s a minty, Christmasy flavor.Peppermint ice cream with hot fudge sauce is pretty much a perfect dessert for us. This round, we tried putting the chocolate in the ice cream.
Dec 19, 2008
Gift Recipe: Chez Panisse Herbed Almonds
My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Chez Panisse this week — a first for both of us. I had eaten upstairs in the café, but never downstairs in the evening dining room. It was a lovely meal, of course, full of the pleasures of comfort and excellence. (I share a dilemma with Dana: how to talk about a meal there without using the words delicate, seasonal, or perfect.
Dec 19, 2008
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels with Mint Sugar Un-Gift Guide 2008
Here is a very, very last-minute food gift that takes literally five minutes to make, and yet everyone you share it with will love it (and you). Too good to be true? No — it’s just chocolate-dipped pretzels.The other very nice thing about this pretzel project is that it is quite inexpensive. All you need are pretzel rods, chocolate chips or another chocolate good for melting, and some sprinkles or coarse sugar.Here are a few tips for making these salty-sweet treats.
Dec 18, 2008
Recipe Recommendation: Hot Buttered Bourbon and Cider
I grew up drinking Mexican hot cocoa on Christmas eve, but an allergy to chocolate forced me to seek a different beverage tradition. Enter my new, grown-up favorite: hot buttered bourbon and cider.A twist on the more common hot buttered rum, this bourbon and apple cider recipe is warming, sweet, spicy, and oh so decadent. Not only has it become a personal favorite, but it always has our holiday party guests clamoring for a second – or third! – mug and the recipe.
Dec 17, 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: Pasta with Brown Butter and Fried Sage
We ate this pasta twice last weekend—at both dinner parties. It’s not healthy. It’s soaked in butter. Delicious, toasted, slightly sweet brown butter with little bits of sage fried up in that buttery bath. Save it for the holidays, when you’re splurging on calories. Or, hey, eat it twice in one weekend like we did…We weren’t really adept at browning butter and took a completely uneducated stab at it. Guess what?
Dec 16, 2008
Recipe: D.I.Y. Honey Roasted Peanuts
We weren’t going to let one failed attempt get us down – we still think that homemade honey roasted peanuts would make a terrific homemade holiday gift. Here’s the recipe we wound up with, and it’s even easier than we hoped. This gives the peanuts a sweet glaze of honey with some crunchy sugar bits that dissolve on the tongue. This is a basic recipe, and we’d like to experiment with adding some extra spices and flavors. Enjoy!
Dec 16, 2008
Recipe Roundup: Savory Cookies
Along with the classic sugar cookies and gingerbread men this time of year, it can be fun to add some unexpected, savory twists to your holiday baking. Herbs and spices like pepper and rosemary can add heat and dimension to biscotti and shortbread. Cookies made with parmesan or blue cheese may be enjoyed as appetizers or just a little respite from all the other sugary treats in our cookie tins. From cumin to seaweed(!), here are some savory cookie recipes we’re eager to try.
Dec 16, 2008
What Makes a Cookie a Cookie? Three Food Writers Discuss
What is the state of the American cookie? Three food writers, Dorie Greenspan, David Leibovitz, and Sara Dickerman discuss the definition of a cookie, what makes a cookie American, and chunky vs. thin.This roundtable discussion, conducted leisurely via email and published at Slate, yields a wealth of fascinating cookie topics near and dear to bakers’ hearts. Underbaking and overbaking, the role of nostalgia in cookie preferences, the ritualistic habits of cookie-eating (childlike, perhaps?
Dec 15, 2008
Flickr Find: Persimmon Oat Muffins
I was hit with the flu this week and did little of my usual eating, let alone cooking. One meal does shine through the haze, however – a nourishing bowl of oatmeal with Fuyu persimmon slices, memorable for the bit of freshness and sweetness they brought to an otherwise dreary period of canned soup. With their almost cinnamon-y flavor, persimmons are a natural complement to oats.
Dec 12, 2008
Try This! DIY Air Freshener in the Crockpot
Getting rid of lingering food odors is a constant challenge for home cooks. We’ve tried candles and open windows (even in winter) and simmering pots of vinegar. Here’s one more trick to add to our list from Stephanie O’Dea of A Year of CrockPotting!Stephanie’s technique is to mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water in the bowl of a crockpot or slow cooker. Set the crockpot in whichever room is most in need of a little freshening and set it to LOW with the lid off.
Dec 12, 2008
Dinner Quick: Creamy Pasta with Tomato, Bacon, and Ricotta
If you only have a few minutes to get dinner on the table and have just enough energy to dice an onion, this is a good recipe to turn to! The flavors are simple yet delicious, and the ricotta adds just a touch of tang and richness. Sometimes a dish like this with a glass of wine is all it takes to make us happy.This sauce can be made in roughly the time it takes a large pot of water to come to a boil. Prep all the ingredients and then put the water on to boil.
Dec 11, 2008
DIY Peppermint Patties
Whether you’re planning on making candy for the holidays or want to make your own candy in general, it’s a great idea. Candymaking is both economical and fun, and since you’re choosing your own ingredients, you know exactly what’s going into it. You can easily make your own organic, low-sugar candy without additives and preservatives. In this post, we’ll share a recipe for making your own peppermint patties. You’ll never buy them at a store again!
Dec 10, 2008