on our cookbook shelves

Harissa via the Moro Cookbook.

Harissa via the Moro Cookbook.

In response to the executive order on immigration issued at the end of January, I’ve seen some food sites offer lists of cookbooks that celebrate the foods of the seven countries listed in the ban, with one of Food52’s selections being the book Moro: The Cookbook. I’ve been wanting to write about this book for some time, and well, now feels like an apt time to do so. It’s the cookbook companion to the restaurant of the same name in London, and the chefs Sam and Sam Clark draw inspiration from both Spain and several Northern African countries that run along the Mediterranean. There are lots of great recipes for both tapas and mezze contained therein, but to be frank, the recipe that makes this book a worthwhile addition to your cookbook shelf alone is the one for homemade harissa. Read More




Our kitchen is (nearly) ready for New Year’s shennanigans.


Christmas has come and gone, and even though our new place is not at all decked out for festivities, visiting our families has given us quite the heavy injection of everything from Christmas carols to holiday lights. We received some fabulous gifts as we do every year, and of course that includes some pretty killer cookbooks that I’m excited to dive into over the next few months:

  • The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook: We only started coming here towards the end of our tenure in the New York metropolitan area, but it was certainly a case of better late than never. I’m hoping that both this book and the next can go far in both upping our culinary prowess and help fill that New York-sized hole in our hearts.
  • Le Bernadin Cookbook: As I’ve gotten more comfortable cooking fish—in particular whole fish—I’ve started to dabble into more advanced preparations, largely via Eric Ripert. It was only a matter of time before I wanted to explore some of the dishes that made him so well-renowned in the first place, and now that we’ve learned that the fish counter at the nearby Cross Street Market is the purveyor who supplies all of the sushi restaurants nearby, I’m really excited at the prospect of making high-quality fish dishes.
  • Moro: The Cookbook: I’m familiar with Sam and Sam Clark from their contributions to the Tapas cookbook, but I wasn’t aware of either Moro or Morito until Tim Mazurek (of Lottie and Doof) name-checked them in this piece for Serious Eats as favorite resources for dinner party recipes alongside Jerusalem, which is a favorite in our household already. The blend of Spanish, Northern African and Eastern Mediterranean flavors is one that intrigues me a great deal and given that we will be likely having at least a few dinner parties in the coming year, we’re going to need some new recipes to add to the repertoire.

(I also asked Michael for Mimi Thorisson’s A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse but since we haven’t done our gift exchange as of this post I don’t technically know if that will be added to my collection.) Read More

Momofuku’s ginger scallion noodles with pickled cucumbers, cabbage, and shiitake mushrooms with fresh scallions and a slow-poached egg

Remember how I mentioned that August had been a difficult month? Apparently the month wasn’t finished with us at that point, because last week came more less-than-pleasant news, albeit news that could prove to be good in the long run. What was honestly the most difficult about all of this was having to grapple with it alone as Michael was away all week for business, and what was going to be a week filled with some interesting new salads I wanted to try ended up being one in which I didn’t want to eat much of anything. Ricotta dumplings, a two-cheese omelette, and leftover pasta from the weekend made for a somewhat pathetic sabor de soledad, but comfort food was definitely the thing I needed just to make it to Friday. (I apologize for being a bit oblique, but it’s for the best.)

By sheer coincidence we had planned to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar as part of a delayed celebration for Michael’s birthday (a departure from our usual trip to Keen’s, but one he requested) and it ended up being just what the two of us needed. We were there right as it opened, got two stools right away, and proceeded to demolish our bowls of ginger scallion  noodles (me) and Momofuku ramen (him). I can’t honestly say what took us so long to finally come to this restaurant given how much we rely on the Momofuku cookbook for interesting meals at home, but nothing proved the adage “better late than never” like our lunch on Saturday. Read More

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Black Garlic and White Balsamic

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Black Garlic and White Balsamic

Eric Ripert, like most of the chefs who end up as judges on Top Chef, intimidates the hell out of me, mainly because he and his restaurant Le Bernadin in New York embody the word “flawless” in the way that few chefs and restaurants can. Simply thinking of the season 5 episode of Top Chef in which the cheftestants visit the restaurant, have an amazing meal there, and then are tasked to recreate a dish they had enjoyed makes my stomach churn with anxiety to this day. I mean, this is the place that employs a guy whose job it is to properly break down whole fish, and he’s so good at it that when he goes on vacation, two people are required to handle the volume of fish he portions by himself and it’s still not enough to meet the demand.

Eric Ripert demands excellence and embodies it on a daily basis, and the rest of us are merely along for the ride. Read More

Part of our to-do list in 2014

Part of our to-do list in 2014

We’re in the midst of preparations for our New Year’s Eve celebrations, i.e. our annual evening-long cooking-and-eating fest, but I wanted to drop in and wish everyone a wonderful 2014! The menu tonight is shaping up to be one of our best ever, and because one of my goals for this coming year is writing more here, I’m hoping I’ll be actually sharing it here very soon. Read More

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