Meatballs in my family make their own meal. They’re palm-sized and ever so tender nestled in tomato sauce with rarely a carb in sight. You could bake them in the oven – yea you could – but we like them simmered until they are just barely held together. Mom recently bought half a whole hog which she split with her good friend Priscilla who lives up the road. They’ll be cooking everything save a few offal, including the head, which are illegal to ship outside state lines. She’s still waiting on the cured bits, but ground pork, raw sausage and chops have graced our table in the last few weeks. It’s damn good pork, out of a small farm in Maine. Today we broke out the ground pork and some grass fed beef.3 Comments » Keep reading »
This is one of those dishes that is home to me. It comes out all piping hot and bubbling from the oven and you present it simply to your guests. You cut the flaky, tender crust into wedges so everyone gets a good piece and dish out the aromatic, creamy filling. The result is warmth and nourishment to the belly — pure rapture — and a dish that makes everyone feel like royalty.1 Comment » Keep reading »
Some foods are so hearty and so beloved that selecting one among the many variations is like waging war upon all the others. This is probably the case with beef chili, which some claim to have evolved from a Northern Mexican dish, and some a purely American one. My childhood memory of beef chili would more accurately be: “ground beef with kidney beans,” or the faintest memory of that other, “vegetarian” kind, which never held my attention for more than a few bites. In fact, I never really understood what the “chili” part of the dish was referring to, except for some faint red spice bombarded by too much oregano and cumin.Leave a comment » Keep reading »
You can’t go wrong with hearty soups and stews in winter. They make any snowfall feel like the best of snow days, they restore your body and relax your mind, and they simply and deliciously warm you up from the inside out. My family doesn’t eat pork all the time. But when we come across a really good spicy pork sausage, we immediately find a big soup pot to put it in. Allowing the thick coins to soften and infuse a light broth with their rich, spicy, fatty goodness can change your whole outlook on cooking in winter. There must be a group of people out there who have devised recipes that showcase turkey and chicken sausage, but this soup is not one of those recipes. Furthermore, I am not one of those people. The fat and spice is what gives peasant-like soups their umph. It’s why you find yourself leaning in over the bowl and breathing in deep. And fat certainly puts the soul in good ol’ chicken soup.2 Comments » Keep reading »
I sometimes realize how incredibly lucky we are that we all cook, not only cook but love to cook.
With all the holidays and a disaster or two thrown in, I have not had much time to write either on the blog to all of you or to work on our cookbook. I wanted an uninterrupted 3 hours or so with no other responsibilities so I could just dive in. Sometimes writing is like painting, it takes time to submerge yourself. That, in my experience, is when my writing starts to live and breath. Austin, Anjuli’s brother is back from Bulgaria. He is tall and lean and vegetarian. It is hard to keep him full. We all, including him, take turns.Leave a comment » Keep reading »
Tonight was the second night this week we thumped and punched and twirled and proofed and flattened and squeezed and generally manhandled some incredibly fluffy and elastic pizza dough. We’re trying to perfect a fluffy, crispy, and light crust that will rise conveniently fast but not too fast. We’re also working on perfecting cooking in the pizza oven — a feat that requires building a tepee of logs and lighting the paper beneath them ablaze while your whole torso is in the oven and making sure to remove your head quickly before your eyes melt. My mother, the pioneering woman she is, has this down pat. It also means adding logs every 10 minutes to keep the temperature up at 500 degrees, maneuvering hot cheese and dough in and out of the oven on peels with handles of 2-3 feet, and using a camping headlamp and a hat to be able to stand in the front of the oven without singeing the tip of your hair and still see at 4pm on a winter afternoon. In short: totally awesome. Anyone nearby will notice a boldness and exuberance combined with sheer giddiness and seriously flushed cheeks in themselves and their cohorts. Not to mention the heat.1 Comment » Keep reading »
…November 11, 2009 in Connecticut, around 3:30pm to be exact…
Girl wants to make soup for boy on a chilly afternoon. A lazy, delicious conversation ensues.
Boy: What do we have on hand?
Girl: Turnips, carrots, onions, potatoes, and homemade soup stock, some tomatoes, cannellini beans, and all the spices and herbs (at least dried) we could want. Let’s stick to the things that are in season together, and nix the tomatoes. I’ve never made a turnip soup, but let’s try one. They’re a little starchy, sweet, and a little tangy, I think. That’s a good place to start.
We recently joined a CSA in the West Village. For those unfamiliar, CSAs are local agricultural programs where an organizer establishes a drop point and relationship with a local farm. Members can apply for a “share” of produce, ranging from $200-500 for a 20 week season. Being a member means coming to collect your produce once a week at the designated time, and being flexible enough to cook whatever you get. (Check out Just Food for more information.)6 Comments » Keep reading »
Sandwiches are curious foods. While leavened bread has been eaten with food since 4000 BCE, the sandwich wasn’t conceived until the 18th century. Its predecessor was presumably a fresher open-faced version of the English trenchers, where slices of meat and butter were placed atop stale bread “plates.” The story goes that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, England conceived of the food as a convenient way to eat without skipping a hand at cards (Hawaii was also originally named The Sandwich Islands after the Earl).Leave a comment » Keep reading »