Smoked salmon and ricotta wraps
New Year’s Eve is my favorite food holiday, full stop. We don’t have to follow any specific food traditions, and instead we can make a number of small bites that follow whatever whims we may have in mind that particular year. In reality, the only rules that we do have around the holiday are simple:
- No leaving the apartment, even to do this same thing at someone else’s house, because that never ends well.
- Loungey clothes are necessary, if not required.
- Games will be played
- Wine, especially bubbly wines, will be consumed.
When our friend W asked what our plans were, I explained that we were pretty rigid on the not-leaving-the-apartment thing (seriously, the last time we tried to do this on New Year’s Eve, I ended up with a stomach virus) but that they were welcome to join us. As soon as she said that they would love to come, out came the cookbooks to brainstorm some ideas on what to make. I may have also put the El Bulli episode of No Reservations on while I browsed, and ultimately came up with more ideas for this dinner than I did for the dinners I was supposed to be planning for…because that’s how things tend to go.
Besides: a meal of this scale requires several days of brainstorming, and I ended up finding some fine meals to have on Sunday and Monday shortly thereafter. So there, husband. Read More
Oregano Pesto with Chicken Thighs
Welp. Well, I guess it’s really fall, even if the temperatures have crept close to the 70s a few days ago, and threaten to do so later this week. You know how I know this? The darkness has been making a hasty return sooner and sooner every day, and as someone who lives in the Northeast and prefers taking pictures of my food in natural light, I hate it. So please bear with me as I once again readjust to the awful artificial light in our apartment. Clearly, I will never take this transition well.
One of the few bright spots about this transition to colder weather is feeling the need to take the shears to my pots of herbs while they are still lush and vibrant. My oregano plant has been left to its own devices all season and has gotten positively unruly; because it’s considered to be really strong in taste, the only amount I’ve needed to use are a few sprigs here and there in recipes all summer. I despaired of finding a proper way to dispatch of it until I found this lovely pesto recipe from Saveur, which called for one and a half cups of packed oregano leaves and only half a cup of basil leaves. A little more than a week ago I trimmed back my plant to make the sauce to pour over pasta, and the results were not only really satisfying, but this pesto felt more autumnal compared to the ones I’ve been making all summer. Read More
Drunken Bucatini with Poached Eggs, Piave, and Pancetta.
Of the many things I miss about New York, access to the year-round greenmarkets can get really high on the list when I’m craving certain foods; namely, carbornara. It’s easy to feel confident about 99% of the foods we purchase at Fairway, but the only time a shadow of doubt crosses my mind is when I want to combine raw eggs with pasta. I was taught over our honeymoon that only the freshest eggs would do for pasta alla carbornara, so now I need to be able to know that the eggs I’m buying are fresh enough to do so–hence the need to buy directly from the farmer.
But what’s a girl to do when those greenmarkets aren’t a stone’s throw away anymore? While we aren’t horribly far from the city, it feels kind of silly to spend nearly $20 a person to go into Manhattan just to get eggs. That’s when the idea struck to add poached eggs to an otherwise simple combination of pasta, pancetta, and cheese, and that making the pasta drunken would keep things even more interesting. Read More
Tomato Pie with Jumbo Scallions and Bacon
I hope the holiday season gave you all time to be still and reflect on the year as it passed perhaps via most golden and perfect of all meditation opportunities, fooling around in your kitchen with no pressing need to generate a large or timely meal, maybe utilizing a night or two in that golden week between Christmas and NYE. If you did not have this opportunity, I guess you missed out.
By the end of it all, even I had had enough. Lasagna and Thanksgiving Food Dinner II with the families, a standing rib roast for the two of us, fried chicken on NYE and a sundry of interspersed meals inspired by greats like Tom Colicchio and David Chang. You might think I’d give up after this feastish onslaught and say “meh” on this particular evening, but the last night before the return to work, waking up early and wrestling I-95 called for something delicious, if not seasonal. E suggested making some pizzas and that felt perfect. Read More
Bone-In Ribeye Steak, aka the best damn roast beef we ever had.
One of the downsides in traveling to celebrate the holidays is not having a reason to buy any of the special holiday-only products that are usually in one’s supermarket meat department. At Fairway this is particularly difficult when you see such fascinating things like goose or capon or the crown roasts of lamb and pork that are on special and look absolutely delicious, but are far too large for two people to reasonably consume on their own. The week before Christmas tested our resistance to not hauling home a huge hunk of meat when Fairway was sampling its standing choice rib roasts: two bites of the medium-rare beef had us both sorely tempted, but it felt a little too over-indulgent, even for us. Cut to a few days later when a gift card to my favorite store fell into my lap and it took all of five seconds for me to offer to use it to procure a couple of bones of rib roast. We purchased it the evening before we were heading to Pennsylvania for the holiday weekend, and the following morning it was in the fridge, dry-aging to perfection. Read More
Bresaola with Arugua and Parmigiano-Reggiano
The first Saturday of December found Michael and I out and about on a very brisk day to escort my parents around Midtown; they had boarded a bus to New York around 7:30 that morning from PA, and emerged from the Lincoln Tunnel about two hours later, so we ended up escorting them around Midtown for a good seven hours (notable to us only when we realized that we spent 6 of those hours walking). Once we had gotten them on their tour bus home (a surprisingly harrowing ordeal thanks to there being at least 30 buses all jockeying for a spot along 42nd Street at Bryant Park) we made our way home, stopping for a quick drink to discuss the evening’s plans that left me feeling torn on whether to bundle back up and accompany Michael to the Village for a party or to stay home. I was tired but I felt bad after saying I would go with him, and as the exhaustion from the exertions of the day set in, I’m pretty sure that it crossed a wire or two in my head because I got a little irrationally angry at the choice of either having to stay home alone or schlepping it down to the subway again. In any case, I wisely chose to stay indoors and sent Michael on his then-grumpy way, resigning myself to an evening of some of my favorite DVDs and the Wii, promptly remembering that I actually enjoy having nights to myself from time to time.
Well, in the midst of all of this (very silly) drama I had my first taste of bresaola–air-dried,salted, lean beef from the Lombardy region of Italy–in the form of what could be the most perfect meat-and-cheese sandwich ever: bresaola and goat cheese between two slices of toasted bread. That’s it. Read More
Rajas and Cheese Tacos
Christmas had come and gone, and in it’s wake our precious New York was buried in two feet of snow and we were limping our way north despite the wintry conditions. As we sat on our train, stuck behind a broken switch, we started leafing through one of our newest acquisitions, a lovely little cookbook on tacos. With lots of time on our hands, we decided on two, if we ever made it back home. Read More
Tuscan-Style Lamb Ragu over Papparadelle
And just like that, we’re back to braises and ragus. The persistent, unseasonable chill that has defined most of December has certainly driven our desire to tuck into bowls of warm foods, as evidenced by many of our recent posts, but I have yet to tire of any of them. I’m sure by late January I’ll be craving for fresh salsa and peaches and other warm-weather staples, but for now it’s time to get while the getting is good.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
One of my biggest pet peeves in searching for recipes on the website of a certain cable food network is if I’m feeling particularly ambitious and want to make, say, wild mushroom ravioli, I’ll click on the first result because it’s from a chef I might particularly like and/or trust…and then I read the ingredient list.
Listed first: usually something along the lines of “1 10 oz package frozen wild mushroom ravioli.”
Sun-dried Tomato, Cremini Mushroom and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza
[Ed.--Elizabeth found herself craving some bikini-pizza from this post, and so when Michael suggested making pizza to use up some leftover fresh mozzarella an actual pizza was born.]
With the prospect of Thanksgiving looming, we deemed our weekend ought to do without my beloved roasted chicken. One night we opted for a duck ragu, and the farthest possible go-to from that, I guess, must be two homemade pizzas.
The first, the ‘bikini-pizza’ as it were, was a bit wet once all was put upon the dough thanks to lots of fresh mozzarella, mushrooms and a twist with sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh or canned. I anticipated this and and as such did not blind-bake the crust, giving the entire assembled pizza as much time in the hot box as possible. I covered an up-turned baking sheet with foil so if too much cornmeal got into the oven and burned, I could pull the entire thing out for the second pie. The day was dry and the dough was well-behaved, disembarking the pizza peel with ease. We bailed it after about 13 minutes at 500 F with a couple of spatulas and some oven mitts, as well as a optimally placed cutting board to rest. Read More