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
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
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
Hubris is a funny thing: leading up to our move, we didn’t do much in the way of packing because I think we were feeling a bit superstitious about all of it, and so the most I did was clear out two closets’ worth of boxes and other assorted items and move them downstairs so that they would be ready to go come that Friday afternoon as soon as we had the keys. Those were quickly transported downstairs in short order, and that started what seemed like a marathon three-week push to wrap, pack, and move all of our possessions one measly floor down in our building. We squeezed in some painting too–just a few accent walls for now–along with two trips to IKEA, but in the end we were mostly moved out by the last week in April and so we had a little time to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. (We did: an old robe I had on the back of our bathroom door was kindly left at our new door by the listing agent for the old one.) It was exhausting, but ultimately pretty satisfying, work. Read More
Do you remember how I mentioned making the warm tomato vinaigrette during my most recent sabor de soledad but then I never posted any pictures of it? Well, I’m making up for it now with this passata. It was the first Sunday of Daylight Savings Time, and we had decided to make pizza (but not in enough time to make the pizza dough in time so frozen dough was required) and I grabbed some tomatoes and herbs to make more of the passata that is the core of the recipe and turn it into a fresh tomato sauce to go one one of the pies. The base for the sauce–long-roasted tomatoes blended with fresh basil–is solid, and so I felt it was only natural to add some roasted garlic and some tarragon to punch it up a little. Read More
Despite the fact that the temperatures were barely cracking 40 degrees and snow was predicted to fall up in New England, there was no way I wasn’t going to let the first day of spring go by without marking it in some substantial way. I ended up flipping through my Canal House Cooking books, and landed on a couple of simple recipes that caught my eye: oysters with sausages and chilled avocado-cucumber soup. Michael suggested making cutlets or roasted chicken, and just like that we had a menu that felt properly celebratory.
I’ve sung the praises of the Canal House Cooking books previously, as their slow-fried chicken thighs are a favorite around here as is the ever-so-simple Italian Greyhound, and what I like about them is that they are incredibly unpretentious and you really feel like you’re hanging out in their riverside kitchen studio in Lambertville, New Jersey. Some of the recipes are more complicated than others, but what I love to do is discover little combinations that I otherwise would not have thought of going together, like oysters and sausages. Read More
Years ago I found this recipe for piadina in an issue of Food and Wine magazine, and despite the presence of ricotta cheese I actually was able to convince Michael to make it fairly often. This was before I started making my own pizza dough so we’d use the stuff from the store, and then once I started making my own dough I think we became too preoccupied with making pizza to try making these again. Once we did use the ingredients on a full-fledged pizza, but I think it might have been too much ricotta for Michael to handle so we haven’t done it since. Read More