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
Steak, Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Onion and Arugula Pasta Salad
When I lived in New Haven, the two apartments I lived in were above the oldest drug store in the city and the building was old and beautiful and made of brick. This meant that the laundry room–one washer and dryer for the four apartments–was in the basement, and the basement was straight out of a horror movie: cobwebs everywhere, stone walls, bare light bulbs that only worked occasionally, and a floor so dirty you’d sooner throw out a wayward sock or pair of underpants that happened to touch it rather than try to rescue it. I’m pretty sure there were spiders everywhere to boot, and so I’d scurry down there and load my laundry as quickly as I could and got the hell out of there.
In other words: I loathed it. Read More
Mustard-marinated roasted chicken
I can’t say I’m the most organized person, but one area in my life where I do crave order and lists is grocery shopping. My mom is a freaking ninja when it comes to it–not only does she write lists weekly, kept in a little stenography notebook, but she lists everything in the exact order she’ll find them in the store. By aisle. It’s hardcore–and she started doing it back when I was little and she needed to get through the store as quickly as possible before I started getting fussy.
I am nowhere nearly this organized with lists, but I am pretty good about whipping out a Post-It or one of our restaurant waitstaff notebooks (you know, those guest check pads you can buy at Staples) and a Sharpie and meticulously* noting down everything we need for a meal.
Canelons de la Festa
If you’ve watched 30 Rock with any regularity in the last few years you’ve likely seen Liz Lemon snack on something called Sabor de Soledad, an off-brand cheese snack from Mexico that translates from Spanish to mean “flavor of loneliness” an initially-hilarious and now not-quite-as-funny reminder for the audience that Liz is a single workaholic who has a predilection for highly-processed foods (see also: “Season 4″ and Cheesy Blasters) and for settling with Beeper Kings, if only for short bouts at a time. Read More
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.”
Curry and Fra Diavolo Chickens with Grilled Tomatoes
I’ve been remiss with recounting the rest of our London escapades, what with distractions like Eataly and Coney Island diverting me too much–but no more! Our first day in London culminated with a visit to Asda, otherwise known as Walmart in the U.K., to pick up some provisions for our hosts and ourselves for dinner. I was pretty insistent on making a visit to at least one grocery store while we were in England (yes, I’m a nerd–carry on!) and so why not a visit to the Big Bad Blue Behemoth’s English cousin?
ASDA: the English Wal-Mart
This isn’t C’s primary grocery store–as we walked through the car park she mentioned that the store isn’t that great and wasn’t very big, and subsequently was floored when she saw it for the first time post-renovation. The addition of a loft-like second floor seems to have opened up the place a bit, and the produce section resembled more of Target’s PFresh rather than what you’d normally see at a Walmart here in the States (though, in all honesty, my experience with Walmart Supercenters is limited and only based off of a few visits to random ones over the years). We didn’t spend a crazy amount of money, though, and bought some pretty sweet produce–easily on par with what we’d find at Fairway with regards to selection. The only complaint I had was that my desire to replace our heavy Tesco reusable shopping back with one from Asda was all for naught because the bags were very flimsy indeed.
This week’s Weekend Cook & Tell on Serious Eats was a good impetus to head down to the Union Square Greenmarket, as it served as a reminder to me to try to take advantage of the local tomatoes that would both be at their peak of deliciousness and also their lowest price. It didn’t occur to me until we emerged from the subway (and overwhelmed by the amazing smells everywhere) that we would also be getting the first of the fall harvest as well, so it took a good lap around the market for us to figure out what we wanted and where exactly we were going to purchase it all.
Michael wanted to roast a chicken, and as we passed the random vendors selling jazz albums and the community compost center he proposed pairing it with a nice pasta made with a gently cooked fresh tomato sauce with basil and mozzarella cheese.
Who am I to say no to that? Read More
Caserecci alla Carbornara
Because my last photo of anything alla carbornara was completely awful, I give you this photo, made from this recipe that accompanied aforementioned awful photo. You should give it a try because it truly is easy to make and is a complete meal in of itself thanks to the eggs and the garnishes of pancetta, and you are so overwhelmed by the headiness of this dish that you’re happy to gorge on it once or twice a year as long as it’s made well.
And yes, the pasta is all brown thanks to the pancetta in the pan.
Gemelli alla Scuie Scuie with Kumatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
The heat wave that Michael complained about yesterday is finally easing up here…at least a little. It’s still so hot in the mornings that I have to hold off on applying makeup until I get to work because even a cup of tea will create a fine mist of perspiration on my face (and if I have to run to catch the bus, then I’m really SOL). The heat means that our apartment is shrouded in darkness in an effort to keep it cooler during the day and Michael has been desperate to avoid using the stove as much as possible. Read More
Boston Mackerel, ready to go into the pouch
Usually, once the weather turns balmy my appetite tends to wane a bit and there are days where I don’t crave for much more than a cup of Rita’s Italian Water Ice (mango, wild black cherry or passionfruit, please) and my mind turns to grazing on random, small foodstuffs. The exception to this is whenever I am able to spend time in a body of water, be that a pool–or on very lucky days, the ocean–as when I emerge after a few hours of frolicking, I tend to become positively ravenous.
Memorial Day weekend did not present any swimming opportunities (that came a week later when we visited my parents to celebrate my mom’s birthday), but we ended up doing the walking equivalent on our Met excursion on Sunday, turning me into what Charles Schultz famously called Lucy van Pelt: a fussbudget. Read More