I had invited Priscilla for her birthday, but I was a little cooked out and couldn’t come up with anything to make. I started dreaming about the ingredients I knew she’d love – a stew of shrimp, chicken and sausage kept popping into my mind and making me hungry. So I considered what would go well with this rather unconventional trio. The cuisine of the seafaring Portuguese and hearty southern stews seemed apropro, as did capers, some wine and of course my herbs. I wanted this stew to be hearty and full with some heat from Italian sausage, a hint of sea brine, and those perfectly pink shrimp and deep brown chicken thighs.1 Comment » Keep reading »
In the words of my father, “Darlin, you really went to town on lunch.” Well, not exactly. What he was referring to was our lunch today of mushroom barely and chicken soup with focaccia. The focaccia was made last night by Matt in a baking frenzy – or as much as rolling out pizza dough and topping it with rosemary and goat cheese and little slivers of onions can be considered a sudden impulse. Yet focaccia does lend itself to a certain spontaneity and resulting crusty satisfaction. And we had mom’s post fresh in our heads to fuel the fire. While the dough was being rolled I stuffed a chicken in a pot, covered it in water and made the fixings of a good stock. After an hour or so of ever so carefully simmering the contents – which on mom’s stove requires a ton of finagling of knobs and peeking under the cocked lid to make sure the bloop, bloop is constant – we took the chicken out. I had started to feel the kind of crappy where your head is stuffed with foam and your kidneys hurt and you just want to lay on the floor in the kitchen and moan. So I lay there, perfectly useless, while Matt pulled apart the steaming chicken with a fork and a thumb. I did emerge a few times to pull dark chicken meat from the bowl and pop it in my mouth. I think boiled chicken may still rival the roasted kind in my book. Then we threw the bones back in and continued to barely simmer the stock, for what was supposed to be two more hours. At this point you’re aiming to get all the gelatin out of the bones. Well, unsurprisingly, we fell asleep somewhere in there and woke up at 2am to find the stock had been going strong for three long hours. It was down to about 2 inches in the pot including bones and vegetables and such. Ooops. It smelled divine, but we effectively had the essence of chicken stock, boiled down to very little. Matt strained it while I wobbled around, brushing my teeth, thinking about stock and getting into bed.4 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 »
Tomatoes are awesome this year. They’re plump, juicy and bursting with flavor; no rot, no blights. YEAH! Tomatoes are such a satisfying thing to grow. Once you get the hang of it, your tomatoes will taste and feel infinitely better (and be infinitely cheaper) than what you can buy. As long as you stake them, you can grow tomatoes in the most minuscule of places – even on a fire escape in the heart of a city. Tomatoes, generally a vine crop, like to grow up, so you just need to give them a little support. You can grow cherry tomatoes in a pot, too.Leave a comment » 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 »
On our recent trip to the Brooklyn Flea, we sampled some of these tasty Lebni yogurts from Likitsakos Specialty Foods. Sweetened with honey and spiked with vanilla extract, these yogurts are rich and creamy, and flavored with things like real blackberries, almonds, and grapes.1 Comment » Keep reading »
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.7 Comments » Keep reading »
It’s starting to get cold. Cold means frost which means winter vegetables. In the winter, we have two main options: squash or roots. This year I’m just not ready for either. Since I started paying more attention to seasonal produce, I have been amazed with how excited I am as new vegetables come to the greenmarket. Not this winter. My stomach has been saying “Winter, slow dooooown.” I’m eating tacos tonight. [I also had tacos last night.] For now I am beating the cold wind and puffy coats by building an inner fire using the magic of capsicum and tequila.
If you’re feeling what I’m feeling, join in on my fun. Chipotle chicken tacos with cheddar and guacamole.4 Comments » Keep reading »
Skinless boneless Organic chicken breast cut into strips, marinated overnight in a good blend of flavors, and cooked in a pan is a good thing to have on hand. Kind of like a good balsamic. Just saying. Two breasts cooked two ways can give you sandwiches and salads for the whole week.
The background of fresh lemon and tarragon can be enhanced or altered altogether to suit other recipes. Below I give both a sandwich and a salad that will enhance the marinated chicken, and also to make for an easy shopping list.4 Comments » Keep reading »
When I think of dinner parties, I think of time I will be spending in the kitchen. My recent adventure actually left leisure time for relaxation and conversation BEFORE DINNER WAS SERVED. Shocker. There was exceptional kitchen help and there was also chicken adobo. Crowd pleaser. Leftover king. Low-key, accommodating, with some natural charisma and a lot of flavor.13 Comments » Keep reading »