Barcelona's Empanadas with Smoky Pepper Sauce
I must admit I have been avoiding writing about this particular dinner. However, I am a firm believer in resolving problems via confrontation, and thus, it’s time to start avoiding the issues and begin the healing.
Drama aside, I do think that one of the most challenging aspects to cooking is planning and timing (I refuse to type the phrase ‘time management’) . If you’ve ever had a large dinner party, planned a multiple courses or just cooked a multi-faceted dinner, then you know how tricky it to make sure all the components are ready at the correct time, without having food sit for too long, or worse still, having the cook sit around waiting for something to finish wasting time and postponing your dinner. Read More
Turkey Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw, Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Cilantro
Another post in the cause of not wasting food, or perhaps a better phrasing is completely re-purposing surplus, here I added to another line of fine meals, the weeknight taco. Who doesn’t enjoy a taco now and again? For us, we prefer now to again. 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
Sticky Lemon Chicken with Orzo Pasta Salade with Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions and Red Peppers
Christmas comes but once a year, luckily. Okay, I don’t mean that. But it’s hard when you’re young marrieds you can find yourself at the mercy of two families instead of one and the maneuvering gets… difficult. Since we just completed an odd-numbered year, we did Thanksgiving and Christmas day with my parents and Easter and Christmas Eve with Elizabeth’s. My family had a large dinner planned with friends December 26th, so between the Eve and that, a big Christmas feast is right out. So, E and I offered to make the non-feast, far from home on Christmas night.
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
Spaghetti with Red and Yellow Peppers
Michael likes to rile me up any way he can (and I respond in kind by calling him Wrong-Way-M60 because last winter he hopped off the train and got on a M60 that took him to LaGuardia instead of home), and one of his more recent tactics to stir up my (completely not-serious) ire is to talk about how bread/pasta=poison. I’m not exactly sure where he got on this particular tangent, but as we were walking towards the A on Saturday I started quoting one of my favorite infomercials ever, nevermind that that it’s not real. It gets the “difficulty in using everyday products” scenes perfectly.
And, of course, there is this amazing bit:
Tracy: [doing commercial] Bread is one of the worst things in the world, but we’ve already needed it–until now. By burning three different types of meat together, the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine takes bread out of equation. Now you’re sandwich is all of the good stuff. [takes bite] That’s delicious!
Dr. Spaceman: And it’s healthy. Hi, I’m Dr. Leo Spaceman. I’m a working physician with a degree from the Ho Chi Minh School of Medicine.
Tracy: Dr. Spaceman, is it true that bread eats away at your brain?
Dr. Spaceman: We have no way of knowing, because the powerful bread lobby keeps stopping my research!
Tracy: Well folks, bread will never maybe attack your brain again. Because, say it with me, “Meat is the new bread!”
It’s a little scary how we can quote this show at any occasion, especially the first season, but I love to cook while having this show on in the background. I feel like Liz Lemon would approve of the food being made–the more indulgent, the better. While I couldn’t see her making this pasta dish herself, I could easily see her tucking into it because it’s that good. Read More
Fideuà (Noodles with Clams, Perch and Vegetables)
Michael has been teasing me lately that I’m turning into quite the talented Spanish cook due to so many weekends filled with gazpacho, bocadillos, chorizo and the like. This dinner came at the height of my preoccupation with all things Spain, otherwise known as the last weekend of the WC. Michael wanted to head downtown to the Strand to pick up a book for an upcoming trip (the details which will be revealed sooner rather than later), and being that it was the Strand I could not help but browsing through the cookbook section, seeing if there were any decent Spanish cookbooks for sale that I hadn’t seen before.
Clearly, because I went there not interested in buying anything that day, the most intriguing book that either Michael or I found was a cookbook highlighting dishes from Barcelona compiled by the editors at Williams & Sonoma being sold at half-price, calling to me with recipes that even on a cursory flip piqued my hunger. Evil bastards. Naturally I had to own this and even though it took another visit to a competing bookstore to get Michael what he wanted, we both left Union Square satisfied and smiling. Read More