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Lamb-herb meatballs with yogurt-lemon-herb sauce.

It is unequivocally spring around here, and every day it’s as if there’s something new to savor: longer days, warmer weather, the trees finally budding back to life and offering some gorgeous color. I try to keep reminding myself of this while I’ve been struggling with some writer’s block recently for a variety of reasons ranging from being busy with social engagements to feeling ennui in the spring, and the latter feeling is totally bullshit. Spring should be the last season in which ennui should be able to take hold of me, because for once everything I love is coming back: the light, the lush greenery, and the better produce. How can I struggle with existential crises when spring onions are back in the market? Read More

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As creative as we like to get in the kitchen on weekends, I have to admit that we are pretty susceptible to falling into dinner routines (or ruts, depending on how you look at it) on weeknights. If work is keeping us really busy it becomes much easier to stick with what we know and bang out dinner without much thinking, but too much of that will leave me feeling rather uninspired, and there’s something to be said about closing out the day with a delicious meal that isn’t just the same old, same-old. Read More

Tuscan-Style Lamb Ragu over Papparadelle

And just like that, we’re back to braises and ragus. The persistent, unseasonable chill that has defined most of December has certainly driven our desire to tuck into bowls of warm foods, as evidenced by many of our recent posts, but I have yet to tire of any of them. I’m sure by late January I’ll be craving for fresh salsa and peaches and other warm-weather staples, but for now it’s time to get while the getting is good.

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Michael's Knock-You-On-Your-Ass-Chili

This weekend was a slightly melancholy one, I don’t know why. General crankiness, weird weather, who the hell knows. Regardless, Sunday night we needed some therapy, and at the suggestion of the lovely Mrs., I made some flipping chili. And that was that.

I made lots of chili in grad school, I even won the Chemistry Department chili contest my last year (second the year before, c’mon!). I took it a step beyond with this batch. Luckily, our kitchen was stocked with dried chiles, which I was able to toast and grind into my own chili powder along with some lovely cumin seeds. I browned a pound of each ground pork, sirloin and lamb, then added two huge sweet onions followed by crushed tomatoes, a beer, the chili powder/cumin/cayenne and some water. A few additional spices here and there and a loooooong cook down on the stove and then there was chili. I added two cans of black beans (the store downstairs was out of reds) with 30 minutes to go and the rest is history. We finished the bowls with some sharp New York cheddar and, and I must stress this, fresh green onions. The fresh onions really added much, I cannot overstress this.

We are enjoying this for lunch all week and it really is a great pick-you-up on these long cold winter days. The spice, the warmth, the sustenance, it’s all perfect. So to your ranges and warm your homes and your life with some luscious chili or other stewishness. Until next time, friends- stay warm and cook on!

Braised Lamb with Tomatoes and Peppers with Toasted Fideos

I saw the first flecks of snow while in Stamford, waiting for the 6:57 clutching a box of penne alla puttanesca and a little bottle of Cabernet Sauvingnon, all the while cold and thankful for the real pashmina that my best friend had gifted her bridesmaids back in July. Though winter is still officially eight days away, the weather would have us believe that it is here now, and just in time for Christmas festivities. These past years, though, haven’t felt quite so festive–and so they continue to be. While we’re OK (for now, at least) it doesn’t mean that we can’t empathize with what others must endure, what we endured in the past.

Snow usually makes me feel elated, especially when I’m in the city:  it sparkles against the streetlights and twists about in the artificial wind tunnels that skyscrapers create. Last night it merely made me feel cold and desperate for a taxi. Giving a dollar to the guy who was running out in traffic to secure a yellow cab for me feel almost good in a way, because he was doing something absolutely crazy and I could show my appreciation in a tangible way. Read More

Avocado and Jalapeno Salsa and Tuna and Avocado Ceviche

There are days when I really, really miss New Haven. Up until we found an amazing fish shop in Hell’s Kitchen I fiercely lamented not having a shop like #1 Fish Market in North Haven, and of course I longed for a nice glass of wine and some tapas at Barcelona. But Barcelona was not the only place that I missed; you see, New Haven is a little treasure trove of culinary delights, boasting more quality restaurants in its tiny footprint than one would ever expect. You want Cuban, Japanese, New American, French, Italian or Spanish food? New Haven got you. Want pizza? You better believe that New Haven got you. Want decadent, delicious, and gut-busting brunches? Well, do we see a pattern forming here? Read More

Braised Lamb Tacos with Shallots and Cheddar Cheese

“I want to braise a tongue and make tacos like the kind we had at La Esquina,” Michael said to me on a grey and slightly unseasonably cool Sunday.

My mind immediately goes back to the Friday a week prior and us leaning against an outdoor counter while wolfing down various tacos and remembering in particular how good the veal tongue ones were. “Sound fine to me. Do you have a recipe?”

“Lemme do a quick search. I’ll find something.” Alas, this idea was not to be. This time, anyway. Read More

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