Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, Prosciutto, and Valdeón
It’s been a while since I’ve recounted a week sabor de soledad, even though Michael has had several trips taking him all over the place in the last year or so. Two weeks ago he was in the fabulous city of Tokyo on a last-minute trip, and I have to say that I was pleased with the dishes I turned out while he was away. It’s funny—I’ve become more of a salad person over the last few years, but I’m never so prolific in making them until I’m on my own. I can only account the follow reasons as why I’m so Team Salad:
- Easy to scale down to one person.
- Cheese is often involved, especially the cheeses I love but only rarely indulge in.
- They are relatively fast dishes to prepare.
- Oh, I guess they are allegedly healthy too.
I feel like such a traitor to both Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson, but unlike fictional characters, eating vegetables on a regular basis is an unfortunate necessity.
Tomato Pesto over Gnocchi
I spent the last few days in Chicago visiting a dear friend, and those days were surprisingly warm. I was all ready to embrace the fall and I even packed two sweaters to combat against the wind tunnel effect, but they and the jacket I packed were completely unnecessary. It was sunny, and warm, and largely reminiscent of not only the last third of this past summer, but also of our time last year in Barcelona. Between Thursday and Friday, I walked all over Lincoln Park, and the Loop, and revisited West Loop which was the neighborhood I stayed in the first time I was in Chicago ever. As a belated housewarming gift to my friend I brought him an immersion blender, and ever since then I was kind of preoccupied with making my favorite tomato pesto because it always comes out better using that than the traditional blender.
If I also wanted an excuse to post this recipe again to tempt T into making it before the tomatoes are lousy, well, I’ll never tell. Read More
English Tomato Salad from Hawksmoor at Home (The Manhattan [food] Project)
In my continuing campaign
to prolong summer while it is still
summer and protect us from Fall Creep, I humbly submit this salad as evidence that it’s far too soon to be wishing for pumpkin lattes and fucking sweaters. This salad is
summer. It’s delicious and nourishing and it will not taste nearly as good at any other time of year as it does now, and therefore you should make it immediately. Incidentally, since today is the last Wednesday in August, it is officially La Tomatina
: a festival in Buñol, Spain that is essentially a town-wide tomato fight. Most of us can’t be there in person to participate in the festivities, so why not use it instead as an excuse to splurge on some fantastic heirloom tomatoes?
Strawberry-Basil Caipirinha with the first issue of Cherry Bombe.
OK, so I feel a little guilty. I’ve been sitting on these cocktails for most of the summer, but because I couldn’t write my way to a coherent blog post until now, these recipes have gone unpublished and therefore not enjoyed by anyone who hasn’t had the chance to hang out with us in the intervening weeks. But Fall Creep has started to rear its ugly head, so I need to share these post-haste before the it comes to wipe out what’s left of summer.
Let me be clear: I love the fall, but I HATE Fall Creep. Thanks to platforms such as Tumblr and Pinterest, people can indulge their desire for cooler weather practically year-round; unfortunately, CPG companies have realized that they can start pushing things like pumpkin-flavored lattes and Halloween candy even earlier than they ever thought possible as a result of said anticipation. It’s one thing when malls are decked out for Christmas before Thanksgiving–it is quite another when images of sweaters and pumpkins and dead leaves pop up on my feeds before the peak tomato season has even hit the Northeast. Tomato season is SPECIAL, you guys, and it is far too short to be passed over for fall-flavored syrups without a second thought.
So before you go and ruin the many weeks we still have left of summer with your fall cravings, may I suggest making at least one of these cocktails? I promise you won’t be disappointed. Read More
Bucatini con pesto trapanese/Bucatini with Trapanese pesto
It was with very mixed emotions I said goodbye to Michael a few Saturdays ago—I was off to Pennsylvania for some early-birthday celebrations with my family, while he was getting ready to head to England for a near-week-long trip. This wasn’t the longest he’s ever been away, but it is the furthest, and not having him handy when I was cooking, even remotely, meant that I was really on my own when it came to meal planning that week. And unlike the last time he was away for a long stretch, I wouldn’t have nearly enough time as I have in the past to plan my meals; after all, there was a Clásico to watch, and a barbell to lift, and groceries to buy on Sunday once I returned home from the Stamford train station. Fortunately, I was wise enough to ask for Made in Sicily for my birthday from my family, so I had a quiet ride on the Keystone to flip through its sizable pages.
It’s a pretty exhaustive tome on all things Sicilian that’s heavy on the vegetable, pasta, and seafood dishes, and it made me wish a few times at least that my birthday was a little earlier on the calendar so I’d have more time to take advantage of the many delicious tomato dishes on display. Other recipes definitely intrigued me until I realized the called for bottarga or uni (i.e. sea urchin roe), two ingredients that aren’t exactly cheap here in the U.S., but perhaps if I’m feeling particularly adventurous (and flush with cash), there may come a time to treat myself if only to try it in the future. I settled on a recipe that I had seen before, but never made from this book: a pesto trapanese that was exactly what I wanted: a fresh sauce made thicker by the inclusion of almonds and more refreshing with a healthy addition of mint. It may not need the processing I put it through via the blender, but I prefer a blended pesto over a very rustic one, and I loved how it coated every strand of the bucatini. Read More
Tortilla de Vegetales
I have a confession to make, but I’m not sure how you’ll take it, so I’ll provide a little back story. It started on a Friday night and the conundrum of what to do for food for the week when we were traveling Saturday through Sunday morning (really, we were in Pennsylvania for less than 24 hours) and so Friday
we I spent the evening poring through cookbooks and logging some ingredients into our Fresh Direct order.
As I read the list of ingredients from The Book of Tapas, Michael surmised that we were making “a more complicated version of a Western omelette.” Suddenly warning bells sounded in my ear, urging me to proceed with caution. I took solace in the fact that the tortilla we were making was only one of two dishes, and the second was a longtime favorite: Catalan meatball soup.
Why the worry, you ask? I’ll be frank: I don’t like omelets. Read More
Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Lemon Basil
This is easily my favorite time of year: walking around outside with not much besides a sweater or a slick jacket is not just possible but a pleasure, and farmers markets are still brimming with the last of the summer produce (well, perhaps now the best of the tomatoes are gone) and the early fall bounty, all but guaranteeing a heady, sensual experience when stepping out from the subway and into Union Square.
Clearly, this will not last forever; soon we’ll be dealing with “snowicanes” and shorter days and heavy coats. So meals during this time of year deserve to reflect the period of transition we’re experiencing: a little bit of summer, a little bit of fall.
Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Sauteed Spicy Cabbage
[Editors Note: I will admit that I like to bug Michael about what he's making for dinner when I call him from the Westport train station platform, mostly because I like having something to fantasize about during my hour and a half commute (on a good day). Especially with all of the weird smells I encounter on the bus thanks to people bringing their Popeye's chicken and Little Caesar's pizza onto the M60, M100, M101 or Bx15, I like to know that there's something awesome in store for me at home. Onwards after the jump!] Read More
Lamb Steaks with Garlic Confit with Mint
As you all know by now, the Mrs. and I recently returned from a trip to Merry Old England. The weekend before our departure, I got it in my head that I needed to prepare nothing but first-class cuisine in the event that the chow was lousy. Turns out it was far from bum, but it was the kind of snap judgement that just means you end up eating four great dinners instead of two. Worse case scenario maybe you make an extra trip to the gym. Oh well. Read More
Vermicelli Salad Bowl with Vietnamese BBQ Pork Meatballs
I don’t know how far back to go with this one. Okay. In New York around seven, I used to enjoy watching The Simpsons, often while eating (yes, we eat in front of the TV, I know it’s bad…) Then, one night, I was horrified to realize that they were removing my precious cartoon for some lousy talk show. But I’m a survivor, and I made do. I started watching Emeril Live on Cooking Channel. I like the show, it just gets a bit repetitive at times, is all. And even though The Simpsons has returned to its predestined time slot, I still flip back to the big E often, I can’t help it. Read More