Sourdough pancakes: A redemption by Anjuli

Posted on 10-13-10 · Tags: , , , ,

Sourdough pancakes
Pancakes, the limp dicks of the bread world… er… the carb darlings of the American breakfast. I’ll admit, I never liked ‘em. Pancakes always seemed like a sucker punch – refined flour and maple syrup taking turns until you were forced to go curl up in a corner and take a nap. Of course I always loved making them – they were the first food I learned to cook when I was about two. Mom would turn around the kitchen chair (so I didn’t tumble over onto the stove top) and let me (slowly now) ladle the batter onto the griddle. I’m sure there was a lot going through my kid brain at the time, but all I remember was making little dinosaurs and A, B, Cs.

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Donburi by Anjuli

Posted on 06-30-10 · Tags: ,

Donburi w/ fried egg and wilted arugula w/ miso

Is there anything sexier than a perfectly fried egg? Is there anything more arousing than that shockingly orange and plumped yolk, quivering and barely peeking through the white as you prick it ever so lightly with your fork? I think not. The delicious mess of ooey, gooey sunny yolk spilling forth all over your dinner is just about the best thing that could happen to anything. So why can’t restaurants, or diners for that matter, see the egg as anything other than a cheap, rubbery substitute for dinner?

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Wilted endive salad by Weezie

Posted on 06-21-10 · Tags: , , ,

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Anjuli’s grandmother, my mom, was born in 1910. She did not cook much until she married in 1940, as far as I know. She went through WWII as a wartime bride, exposed to rationing and culinary marvels like Scrapple and Spam. I was a baby boomer, born in ’47, so for me her cooking style was a product of the 50s. She delighted in post-war conveniences: plastic bags, frozen vegetables, cold soda, Tastykakes and Entenmann’s, en masse condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup, and keeping leftovers in the fridge (sometimes too long in my opinion). And she loved iceberg. Salads at home were invariably iceberg, tomatoes, carrots, onions and one of ten kinds of bottled dressing. The only exception to this rule was her wilted endive salad. She’d even make her own dressing. We always ate it as a main course because of the ample bacon and hard boiled eggs. I loved this salad for its heartiness, the texture of the curly, wilted endive, the sweet and sour tones of the dressing, and the lovely, crispy bacon. It satisfied all the tastes. It stood alone beautifully.

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Cavalo Nero Caesar salad by Anjuli

Posted on 11-03-09 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Cavalo Nero Caesar Salad a la Il Buco

It’s not the most romantic photo (apologies, it was so good we couldn’t help but eat it immediately!), but this Cavalo Nero Caesar salad is a stellar addition to the curious category of “winter salads.” I had this one at Il Buco in the East Village a month back and I couldn’t believe how flavorful it was, so I just had to try it myself. I always tend to enjoy the rich anchovy egg Caesar salad dressing in the fall/winter, but Romaine is a ridiculous purchase this time of year. The Black Tuscan Kale (Cavalo Nero) has a much more mellow bitterness than its kale cousins, but the leaves really sweeten up when you parboil them. I find the salad works well both with raw and cooked leaves. Kale is a wonderful winter vegetable, rich with calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. It’s also rich in sulforophane, which boosts the body’s detoxification enzymes and also has anticancer properties.

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Frisée salad w/ linguiça, serra, egg, and roasted garlic dressing by Anjuli

Posted on 04-14-09 · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Frisée salad w/ linguiça, serra, egg, and roasted galic dressing

We spent this weekend visiting mom and pop Pelletier in Dighton. In spite of Saturday’s rain we enjoyed ourselves splendidly, visiting a couple of Portuguese bakeries, a supermarket, and a restaurant called TA (Terra Nostra) in Fall River, MA.

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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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Caesar done right by Anjuli

Posted on 11-12-08 · Tags: , , ,

Caesar done right

Caesar salad is the most commonly bastardized dish I can think of. Done right it is an incredibly flavorful, savory, peppery, and satisfying meal. Done wrong it is a gloppy, sagging pile of bread and imitation cheese atop wilted yellowing lettuce flown from halfway across the world. Here I attempt to recreate the former.

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