Shrimp and Spicy Chorizo with Garlic

When I was planning the menu for our big party a few weeks ago, I had it in my head that I would save a few of the dishes to make while people were there, if only to provide a bit of spectacle and give me a chance to retreat from everyone so I could focus on cooking. The problem with this idea is that inevitably everyone likes to gather in and around the kitchen, whether it’s open or not, and so that doesn’t leave for a ton of space in which you can maneuver. Fortunately it turned out that we had way more food than we bargained for and didn’t need either of these dishes, which worked out well for yours truly because I could never decide on a good time to prep them and as a result, I didn’t waste any food from either dish. Score! Read More

Tomato, Burrata, Prosciutto, and Basil Salad with Sherry-Garlic Vinaigrette

I don’t know what’s worse: having to go on a work trip immediately before or immediately after a vacation. Michael had to fly down to Jacksonville, FL the day after we got back from our little sojurn in Rehoboth, and so I was looking at a few days of making food just for myself. On the drive home from Delaware I devised a little menu for the two nights he’d be gone, deciding on ricotta dumplings (because it’s been too long since I’ve made them) and initially, the arugula-prosciutto-orange salad I made a few times back in Stamford. The ricotta dumplings were as delicious as ever, and made better from using some of the herbs growing on our window sills, but to be truthful I wasn’t really feeling the arugula salad the next day. I mostly blame this on the fact that the package of arugula I got was really disappointing, but let’s just say there were other factors involved as well. Read More

Snails in salsa arribata

Back when spring was easing into summer, I really didn’t fully appreciate just how much we had planned in the first few weeks of the season, and here we are in the middle of July. One thing I resolved on doing this summer was to spend some time revisiting my favorite Catalunyan dishes since we wouldn’t be making our biennial trip over to Europe this year, what with us buying a house and me buying a new car, but with everything we’ve been up to it’s been awhile since we could devote a couple of days to anything more fun than a typical weeknight meal.

With a weekend looming on the horizon with no plans but our own, I decided to give us a chance to relax and give ourselves a mini Caldes d’Estrac vacation, at least with food if not in beach time. Rosado would be poured, caftans donned, and my hope was each dish would bring us back to those warm days we would spend along the Mediterranean coast. Read More

Homemade rosé vermouth

Back when winter was finally starting to draw to a close, I had decided not to add on any new silly spring and summertime aesthetic to my arsenal, because between rosés, caftans, vermouths ans stripes I felt like I had more than enough to work with as it was. Both scratch that ever-present itch for the Mediterranean that I get once the temperature heats up but in different ways, and I felt that I had barely explored the possibilities of vermouth especially. Then, back in March when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed one evening, I came across a post from Food and Wine magazine and wouldn’t you know, it was a recipe for making your own rosé vermouth. Immediately bookmarking it, I then went to see if J.Crew happened to have any striped caftans (because why wouldn’t they?) and of course they did, and so I decided that this year would truly become one giant mashup of everything. Read More

Vermouth cocktails as inspired by El Quinto Pino

The first time we ended up at El Qunito Pino a few years ago, it was the culmination of a quasi-successful tapas crawl around Manhattan–we ended up tarrying long enough in the city to go there when it opened at 5, and we had a nice little last spread of snacks. I was able to finally try their famed uni panini (a small sandwich filled with sea urchin roe) and enjoy my first taste of pig’s ear. When we were in New York in January, our hotel was only a few blocks away from the restaurant (as over the intervening years the place had morphed from a tiny bar to a tiny bar now attached to a full-fledged dining room) so we took a chance on finding a few seats at the bar and went there for dinner on our first night. Read More

Escargots à la Bordelaise in the style of Galatoire’s

Back in November I did a very silly thing. I had this Amazon gift card that had been sitting on my desk for months, and for the life of me I couldn’t decide what to get with it. This was mainly due to the fact that I felt very uncomfortable about the circumstances in which it came to be in m possession, so I could never figure out what exactly should I get. I immediately dismissed all things practical because that’s no fun, and so I was toying with adding a couple of books to my cookbook collection or maybe getting a heavier kettlebell.

Instead, I ended up getting a used copy of Galatoire’s cookbook that was in very good condition and a cast iron snail pan.

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Grilled Oysters with Horseradish Aioli and Pancetta

As a lover of all things oyster, I have to admit that usually my preferred mode of eating them is raw and right out of the shell, maybe with a little lemon, horseradish, or mignonette. I’ll enjoy a good fried oyster po’ boy from time to time, of course, but I never really warmed to the idea of grilled oysters until we finally had Drago’s chargrilled oysters as part of an early evening happy hour on our last New Orleans trip. The concierge immediately directed us to the Drago’s that’s in the Hilton Riverside, and while the decor there screams that you’re eating in a hotel bar, the food is far better than what you’d get at a normal hotel. The original Drago’s is in Metarie so it’s not as easy to get to if you don’t have a car, so for many visitors the Hilton location is a good compromise. Read More

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