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Spaghetti all’amatriciana

This past weekend was lovely, if it also went by too quickly, because we were able to cook at our own speed and please only ourselves. While I’m grateful for everything we’ve been able to do and thankful for everyone who came ’round last weekend to celebrate Michael, I was sorely in need of a return to a more normal weekend schedule. The kind where we wake up, I read for a bit, and then Michael eventually gets up and makes us bacon and eggs and we figure out what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. If there’s a plan to head around the harbor to Fells Point or Harbor East I’ll get my workout in before we go, and then we while away the rest of the afternoon over long walks, a couple of beers, and either some bar food or barbecue (and occasionally an oyster or six). We’ll grab provisions for dinner at the Whole Foods nearby before making the walk back over to Fed Hill, and then we’ll shower and make dinner and chill out for the rest of the day. Read More

Grilled Oysters with Horseradish Aioli and Pancetta

As a lover of all things oyster, I have to admit that usually my preferred mode of eating them is raw and right out of the shell, maybe with a little lemon, horseradish, or mignonette. I’ll enjoy a good fried oyster po’ boy from time to time, of course, but I never really warmed to the idea of grilled oysters until we finally had Drago’s chargrilled oysters as part of an early evening happy hour on our last New Orleans trip. The concierge immediately directed us to the Drago’s that’s in the Hilton Riverside, and while the decor there screams that you’re eating in a hotel bar, the food is far better than what you’d get at a normal hotel. The original Drago’s is in Metarie so it’s not as easy to get to if you don’t have a car, so for many visitors the Hilton location is a good compromise. Read More

Spinach Salad with Prosciutto and Valdeón

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, Prosciutto, and Valdeón

It’s been a while since I’ve recounted a week sabor de soledad, even though Michael has had several trips taking him all over the place in the last year or so. Two weeks ago he was in the fabulous city of Tokyo on a last-minute trip, and I have to say that I was pleased with the dishes I turned out while he was away. It’s funny—I’ve become more of a salad person over the last few years, but I’m never so prolific in making them until I’m on my own. I can only account the follow reasons as why I’m so Team Salad:

  • Easy to scale down to one person.
  • Cheese is often involved, especially the cheeses I love but only rarely indulge in.
  • They are relatively fast dishes to prepare.
  • Oh, I guess they are allegedly healthy too.

I feel like such a traitor to both Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson, but unlike fictional characters, eating vegetables on a regular basis is an unfortunate necessity.

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Pan-Fried Striped Bass with Pancetta and Parsley

A few months ago, right around Valentine’s Day, one of my coworkers asked me for some advice on making paella, and if I’d mind lending him a cookbook with a recipe in it. That night found me pulling my various Spanish cookbooks and reviewing the paella recipes contained therein; I wanted to give him one that was authentic but presented in an accessible way. I ended up bringing in my copies of The Barcelona Cookbook and Made in Spain for him to peruse, and between the two he was able to cobble together a recipe that would work for him.

My point of this story? When I went and pulled all of those cookbooks off the shelves, I realized I had upwards of at least fifteen dedicated to Spanish and//or Catalonian cooking. And that only counts the books we keep downstairs–the less-often used go upstairs in our loft “library.”

Common sense, recollection, and this blog’s archives tell me that I shouldn’t be so surprised by this, but I am all the same. Read More

Welp. I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I hit “publish” on this blog until I saw that my last update was in May. Early May. I can offer no good explanation for this–I know when this kind of extended silence happens elsewhere in the blogosphere, it’s usually due to news of great import, but I can assure you that is not the case here at all. Between the new job, various summer outings, visitors, and finally getting into Game of Thrones, the summer has been full so far. Read More

Drunken Bucatini with Poached Eggs, Piave, and Pancetta.

Of the many things I miss about New York, access to the year-round greenmarkets can get really high on the list when I’m craving certain foods; namely, carbornara. It’s easy to feel confident about 99% of the foods we purchase at Fairway, but the only time a shadow of doubt crosses my mind is when I want to combine raw eggs with pasta. I was taught over our honeymoon that only the freshest eggs would do for pasta alla carbornara, so now I need to be able to know that the eggs I’m buying are fresh enough to do so–hence the need to buy directly from the farmer.

But what’s a girl to do when those greenmarkets aren’t a stone’s throw away anymore? While we aren’t horribly far from the city, it feels kind of silly to spend nearly $20 a person to go into Manhattan just to get eggs. That’s when the idea struck to add poached eggs to an otherwise simple combination of pasta, pancetta, and cheese, and that making the pasta drunken would keep things even more interesting. Read More

True Grit. (click image for source)

I have a bunch of posts that should come before this one, but given the time-sensitivity of sports, it’s kind of necessary to write about the World Cup final hours after it ended. I heartily congratulate Japan on its World Cup win because it was well-deserved and came after a pretty epic performance by both teams. As happy as I was when Spain won last year, the game was tough to watch with the physical aggression and some playacting and diving and whatnot, so it was gratifying to see both of these teams comport themselves with grace, dignity, grit, tenacity and a hell of a lot of spirit. This was a game decided on playing football and not on bad calls or bad attitudes, and while I’m glad Japan has had a much-needed boost of national pride and joy, I want to thank the US Women’s National Team for one hell of a ride with this World Cup and for playing their hearts out on the pitch time and time again. It’s a performance that was extraordinary and inspiring, and while they faltered during the penalty kick phase of this game, they truly are the epitome of American sporstmanship.

OK–onto the food!  Read More

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