A few weeks ago I stumbled across a fantastic article in which a writer for Vice’s food site invited a French sommelier to test out some wines that are blatantly and shamelessly targeted at women. The results are exactly what you think they would be, as the tasting notes from both Perrine Prieur (the sommelier) and Gray Chapman (the writer) are hysterical. Prieur has no qualms in declaring one red “like a bad tank that hasn’t been cleaned, that they’re just throwing shit into,” while Chapman slayed me with several quips that I won’t spoil for you here.
It might seem like an easy premise for a bunch of laughs–ooo, the fancy French sommelier doesn’t like mass-produced wine–but it’s pretty clear that Prieur came to this experiment with an extremely open mind and was just crestfallen every time the alleged varietal was revealed to her. More importantly, she made a point of showing Chapman several wines in her own shop that were less expensive and more complex than any of the ones that were part of the taste test, and that’s the reason why Prieur has rocketed onto my list of favorite lady sommeliers along with Gretchen Thomas of the Barteca restaurant group.*
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
Momofuku's chicken and egg
Neither Michael nor I said the actual words over the course of the last week of 2011, but in retrospect it was pretty clear we were both missing our tiny kitchen after four days of holiday celebrating with not much opportunity to get behind the stove. Day two of our mini-we-miss-New-York-Week (subtitle: the week we bounced back and forth between Tom Colicchio and David Chang’s cookbooks) was another “let’s take on a Serious Project!” day–although while this is a dish that takes some time to make, with a little planning I could see us enjoying this on a random weekday evening. It was also a great opportunity to break in one of our Christmas presents (although that is a very poor choice of words given what it is): Read More
Garlic Chicken Thighs with Israeli Couscous Casserole
After the escapades of my first foray into adventurous cooking on my own, I resolved to do better; specifically, I resolved to manage my time so that I wouldn’t be eating dinner at 8 once again. So I kept my time out of the apartment to a minimum and got my chicken into its marinade in the middle of the afternoon, because I was really excited about what I was making on Sunday and I really didn’t want to muck it up. This is a recipe that I had in my head for well over a week, and was one of the main impetuses to go to Despana the day before: it called for a cazuela and I love nothing more than a great excuse to hit up my favorite specialty shop in the city.
In any case, this fixation came about because I happened to pay attention to an episode of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef a few weeks ago. She was making this garlicky chicken over an Israeli couscous concoction and it sounded pretty good to me, especially because it called for several vegetables–thereby making it not nearly as “guilty” an indulgence as, say, aglio e olio.
(I know I keep coming back to that particular pasta dish, but really–it is the easiest dish I know how to make and the temptation to break down and make it in the face of more complicated fare was always present in the back of my mind. I even bought a box of angel hair to keep in the pantry for emergencies.) Read More
Kitchen-Sink Chicken over Cheesy Brown Rice
This week I have all about completely purposing whatever I have on hand after a slew of over-blown saucy outings that I have yet to even write about, let alone commend the leftovers to the deep as they are now weeks beyond prime.
So today, I’m going to do something different. This was a mid-week meal I came up with off the top of my head, made entirely out of nothing more than a fresh protein, a piece of fruit, a root and some stuff out of the pantry. So, a brief bit of free-styling… Read More
Moroccan-Style Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Capers
It begins with a mea culpa. I thought that preserving Meyer lemons would be foolish. They’re slightly sweet, I thought, they are too floral to be packed in salt and preserved like yellow pickles. The wife disagreed. I told her to find a preparation or commentary about preserving Meyers and within all of five minutes she had found several, including the one we used from The Gourmet Cookbook. The tome claims that the floral delicate nature of the Meyers makes them especially apt for preservation.
Who knew? Read More
Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Sauteed Spicy Cabbage
[Editors Note: I will admit that I like to bug Michael about what he’s making for dinner when I call him from the Westport train station platform, mostly because I like having something to fantasize about during my hour and a half commute (on a good day). Especially with all of the weird smells I encounter on the bus thanks to people bringing their Popeye’s chicken and Little Caesar’s pizza onto the M60, M100, M101 or Bx15, I like to know that there’s something awesome in store for me at home. Onwards after the jump!] Read More