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
In response to the executive order on immigration issued at the end of January, I’ve seen some food sites offer lists of cookbooks that celebrate the foods of the seven countries listed in the ban, with one of Food52’s selections being the book Moro: The Cookbook. I’ve been wanting to write about this book for some time, and well, now feels like an apt time to do so. It’s the cookbook companion to the restaurant of the same name in London, and the chefs Sam and Sam Clark draw inspiration from both Spain and several Northern African countries that run along the Mediterranean. There are lots of great recipes for both tapas and mezze contained therein, but to be frank, the recipe that makes this book a worthwhile addition to your cookbook shelf alone is the one for homemade harissa. Read More
Over the years I’ve acquired many, many Spanish cookbooks but one of my eternal favorites was one I bought way back in the day on a whim at Crate and Barrel: Spanish Country Cooking. (Yes, I paid retail for it.) I’ve written about it here before in singing its praises for inspiring one of my favorite soups and a fantastic bass recipe fried in pancetta, but probably my favorite recipe to cook from it is a simple garlic chicken number that I’ve loved for years but never shared with you. Well, that stops today, because it’s too good not to enjoy, and when paired with a side salad you won’t feel like you’ve abandoned your resolve to eat a little lighter if you so choose. Read More
One of the aspects of Spanish food culture that I love is how they eat eggs at any time of day, with no need to cloak it in the really irritating “breakfast for dinner” trope.* The tortilla is perhaps the most famous way they cook eggs–check out Le culs en rows for her rather brilliant mini-tortillas that you can make in a muffin tin, by they way–but I’m convinced that the Spanish version of any egg preparation is the best. When we do have some eggs on Saturday mornings, Michael follows the technique that José Andrés calls for in his scrambled eggs with shallots and scallions recipe and they always are really creamy and tender because he makes sure they are still a little runny when he pulls the pan off of the heat. And then there is the baked egg variation, which I first enjoyed at La Tasqueta de Caldes in Caldes d’Estrac and I’ve been trying to recreate ever since.
Ever since we got back from Spain, the number of grey, rainy, and unseasonably cold days we’ve had at home has been significantly higher than we usually get this time of year. I think it temporarily stymied all of that wonderful inspiration that accompanied me home from Barcelona and Caldetes because last Tuesday I mulling over what I wanted to make for dinner that night and had absolutely no ideas whatsoever. Remembering that I now had the first season of Made in Spain on DVD, I immediately went to the website to see if any of the recipes posted would provide a bit of inspiration.
And then I found this recipe and resolved to pop a DVD in while I made dinner and waited for Michael to get home. Suddenly, my grey and chilly Tuesday looked so much brighter. Read More
In order to understand what we were attempting here, I need to comment that my restaurant in the area is Dinosaur Barbecue. Without spending the next fourteen paragraphs waxing on about the merits and wonders of this place, I will simply say that if you want good, fun barbecue in NYC, look them up.
I enjoy chicken wings, very much. Ever since I made them for E and I, (Vietnamese-style) she and I have been waiting for the next opportunity to recapture the magic, so to speak. Sure, it was Super Bowl Sunday, but I assure you our mutual and exclusive thirst for chicken wings that night was something altogether stranger than simply wanting traditional football fare, as she alluded to yesterday. Alton Brown did a show on making wings at home, but we both were in the mood for saucier, more BBQ-stlye wings opposed to Buffalo so I figured I’d sauce them before cooking them as well as after (with Buffalo, the cooking should be done dry then sauced at the very end). This was fortunate because making crispy wings without a deep fryer is… arcane at best. Read More
So, first of all, we hope you managed to have a happy Christmas in spite of any weather issues you may have experienced. We here on the East Coast had…not the worst of times, but it was not the best-managed of times, at least by the transit powers that be, and I think we could all use a little seasonal-appropriate foods that aren’t leaden down in heavy foods.
Continuing in our theme of “la-la, Winter, you can’t get us down” that began with a look back to sunnier and warmer days some days ago we have a brunch that is actually seasonally appropriate (do you want to roast beets in the middle of summer? I don’t think so!) but is not nearly as heavy as other fare served this time of year. In fact, it’s an excellent appetizer to serve at this time of year, as the reddish-purplish beets and the green parsley make for a refreshing-yet-festive addition to the holiday table, even after Christmas.