One of the objectives of this whole cook-through-my-cookbook-bookcase experiment was to reconnect with cookbooks I used to use all of the time but have since…well, not abandoned, per se, but haven’t referenced as much as I’d like to. The Book of Tapas is one where I have a handful of recipes that have entered our regular rotation—I’m particularly fond of the lemon-garlic chicken wings—but a few Fridays ago I decided to finally try a recipe I sort of half-assed back in New York and then never attempted to make again: the ham and quail’s egg tapa. Read More
As I’ve learned to love and appreciate a good salad over time, I’ve been trying to add more of them to our rotation, saving the more complicated ones for the weekend, or for days when I’m craving something simple and light during one of my sabor de soledad sessions. There’s one recipe from Alton Brown’s new cookbook that’s been an early favorite, but given that strawberries feature heavily in it, I’ve been waiting for them to come into their peak season before writing about it. This recipe, on the other hand, is relatively season-agnostic* and what I like about it is that in the winter it helps you think of warmer days and in the summer the grilled mushrooms add substance without weighing the dish down on a hot day. Read More
I actually made this back in January when entertaining a friend who was staying with us for the night, and she was so excited when I told her about my resolution for the year that she asks me how I’m doing on it and that’s one of the reasons that finally compelled me to write all of this down and track in properly. I have many books to go still, but I’m as determined as ever to get through this.
Next up: white gazpacho from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites: A Cookbook.
I’ve decided that I’m going to master making pasta completely by hand. This thought first came about a few weeks ago when I was trying and (mostly) succeeding in making a Puglian dough out of water and semolina flour, but was cemented when we finally sat down to watch the season two premiere of Master of None. Earlier that evening I had been feeling rather vulnerable and grouchy but thought that a solid workout and some soothing yoga had calmed my nerves. Then Aziz Ansari has to go and make a big, soaring love letter to classic Italian cinema and show this sequence:
Whenever someone makes a crack about the flimsiness of IKEA furniture I want to tell them the story of our two tall BILLY bookcases that have moved from New Haven to New York to Stamford and then to two apartments in Baltimore. They’ve held up remarkably well given all of that activity, and right now one of them is playing host to 102 of our cookbooks, plus my various issues of Cherry Bombe, Lucky Peach (RIP), Fine Cooking, and Food and Wine. When I was organizing this shelf again after Christmas, I realized that I really shouldn’t buy one more cookbook until I’ve given all of our current ones a spin, perhaps signaling any that might not be living up to expectations and could potentially be given away. Read More
When you go to a local food festival and end up tasting a really delicious grapefruit-infused moonshine you obviously need to buy yourself a bottle of it to take home…but then the question remains: what to make with it? This was the conundrum I had after picking up a bottle of Belle Isle’s Ruby Red Moonshine at the Emporiyum Baltimore last month, and after poking around the interwebs for about twenty minutes scrolling through a slideshow of grapefruit-forward cocktails, I eventually stumbled on my answer. Read More
While usually I’m really, really on top of my meal-planning game, there have been a few errant days where not only do I fail to think of a dish before we go to the store, but I’ll realize the day that I need to cook that I have zero ideas in mind. When this happened a few months ago I started Googling to see what I could whip up with what we had in our pantry. (Protip: have a well-stocked pantry for such emergencies as these.) Pretty quickly I stumbled on a Cooking Light recipe for spicy broiled chicken thighs that looked really good and extremely easy to make, so I bookmarked it and made it that night, using onion powder for garlic powder as we had plenty of the former and none of the latter. (I’ve since rectified this, naturally.) Read More