Mom’s Uruguayo Pot Roast by Weezie

Posted on 12-06-09 · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My good friend and former business partner, Diego, brought me some beef from a little, tiny Uruguayo grocery store in Queens that imports its beef from Uruguay. The store is close to a wonderful Uruguayan restaurant called El Chivito D’Oro in Jackson Heights.

I have traveled to Uruguay over 30 times in the last 15 years for work and pleasure, creating with Diego our travel company, Discover Uruguay, which features travels to Uruguay and parts of Argentina and Brazil. I turned my share of the company over to my cohort about a year ago to pursue my passion for cooking.

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Bulgur with Peas and Mint, Leeks, Prunes, Walnuts and Orange Peel by Weezie

Posted on 11-29-09 · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bulgur with Peas and Mint, Leeks, Prunes, Walnuts and Orange Peel

When Anjuli and I get together in a kitchen it is like the improvisation that goes on between jazz musicians. She has an idea and it sparks me, I enhance on it, back and forth we go until, from these sparks, a dish is created. It just flows from mind to mind and heart to heart with no effort and no ego. It is quite amazing to me. I used to sing in the 60s with a partner. Sometimes we would hit a perfect note together. The feeling of the perfection of the note would make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It had a life of its own. When Anjuli and I cook together sometimes we create a dish that feels like that. We can just feel that it is right.

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T-Day Bird by Anjuli

Posted on 11-26-09 · Tags: ,

Thanksgiving Turkey in a Pizza Oven

I wanted to show you all the excitement we had this morning when mom’s bird went into the domed pizza oven out back. Her friend and mason Nick came over to assist us in searing the bird. Except for it initially blistering because the temp was up to 600 F (in mom’s words POW POW POW), everything went off swimmingly and it is now a delicious golden brown. The bird was expertly rotated on an enormous peel by mom with Nick’s assistance. We carried it ever so carefully into the kitchen and then into the oven. As we closed the door Nick sighed in relief, admitting that he’d dreampt that it had fallen on the floor. Well we say, HAHA! Can’t wait to taste it!

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Wheat Berry Salad by Anjuli

Posted on 07-31-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Wheatberry salad w/ watercress, kalamata, cucumbers, red onion, and feta

Grain salads can be your best friend in summer. You usually have something fresh on hand or something to get rid of, it’s all about the produce, and it’s so f*cking hot you want something cooling and excellent that doesn’t require being chained to the stove. In summer you’d be hard-pressed to find a blog or site that doesn’t include a “new spin” on this old favorite. When I found a bag of hard red spring wheat berries in the cabinet I thought I’d give it a try. Since I am not a fan of being slave to recipes (or my stove in summer, apparently), I spent a little time researching what goes well with these grain salad things people love so much.

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The Tagine: Spicy, independent, and oh so tender by Anjuli

Posted on 03-06-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Monkfish tagine with potatoes, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and roasted peppers

Ceramic vessels have been used for cooking for centuries the world over. The sand pot in China, cazuela in Spain, and the tagine (tajine, or طاجين in Arabic) in Morocco all take advantage of ceramic’s porous nature and the moist environment created by these covered casserole vessels that release steam gradually. Vessels like these are used to cook food slowly, creating juicy and tender proteins simmered in rich, flavorful sauces with little need for additional liquid or fat. I recently bought a contemporary version of the tagine from the French company Le Creuset. Our first tagine dish was savory, a little buttery, with a kick of spice, and included incredibly moist, succulent fish and enough broth to dip bread in to our heart’s content. Oh joy.

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Watercress salad with sesame tofu, ginger chicken, and mystery dressing by Anjuli

Posted on 02-27-09 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Watercress salad with sesame tofu and ginger chicken in a spicy Asian vinaigrette

I can’t share this whole recipe with you. It’s not a secret. It’s just that I was in a mood when I started it, and ended up opening my cabinets and dumping everything into a bowl in instinctual proportion but without paying attention. So to repeat, you may need to release the tension into the salad dressing, abandoning any care for convention, and relish this spicy concoction. So somewhere in the line of: 2 minced shallots, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cashew butter, crushed red pepper flakes, a little coconut milk, 1 teaspoon chipotle salsa, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon whole grain English mustard, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, and some pepper. Whisk. Taste. Holy shit.

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Cod en Papillote by Anjuli

Posted on 02-26-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Cod en papillote w/ lemon and thyme on leeks and carrots

Fish baked in a pouch. Sounds eh, doesn’t it? Well how about Thyme and Lemon Butter Cod en Papillote with Leeks and Purple Haze Carrots? Suit your fancy? Did mine when I came across a variant in Cook’s Illustrated.

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Lebanese Lamb Stew by Anjuli

Posted on 02-23-09 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Lebanese Lamb Stew

Nothing can bring you out of the depths of jet lag, writer’s block, and the melancholy from hating the recession, NY produce in winter, and NY restaurants in general like a rich, savory Lebanese lamb stew. I am a lamb and stew newbie so this was a small revelation. We actually had to look up lamb to verify its animal origin: sheep. This post is not without some myth busting and prejudice, specifically my relegation of lamb to the gamey, smelly variety of meat that I would never touch. Thanks to this recipe and Harold McGee, I have overcome my judgments. Mutton, though, is a different story.

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Salade Nicoise by Anjuli

Posted on 01-14-09 · Tags: , , , ,

Salad Nicoise

Last seven days: Colloquium = 6 days away; Japan = 8 days away; number of times I’ve been up past 2am = 5; number of morning I’ve woken up refreshed only because the prior day’s caffeine is still in my system = 2; number of books studying = 23; pots of tea drunk: 20? Times cooked = 1; chocolate bars eaten = 4; movies watched = 3. Even with all the caffeine, I’m relatively stress-free and happy. ONE MORE WEEK TO GO. Woot.

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Biryani w/ dried fruit, almonds, bell pepper, and spice by Anjuli

Posted on 12-26-08 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Biryani w/ dried fruit, almonds, bell pepper, and spice

This year’s Christmas dinner was homey and low-key. Everyone came together and cooked, and everyone felt a sigh of relief that we were making a no-fuss but excellent meal. This dish was surprisingly outstanding. By that I mean the recipe was of Indian roots, was repurposed and gussied up by a Californian and presented as a “holiday” dish, and turned out a flavorful and prosperous union of two different cultures. Not an uncommon find in this household, but still happily surprising.

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