Rocky Durham said in a cooking class we took with him back in Santa Fe, if you put grilled in front of just about anything, people will buy it. Seeing as this Santa Fean chef launched a series of successful restaurants, all called Santa Fe with exactly this premise in mind, let’s humor him and give it a try. Salad. Grilled salad. Watermelon. Grilled watermelon. Pizza. Grilled pizza. Springer spaniel. Grilled springer spaniel. Well, you get the idea.3 Comments » Keep reading »
A couple months ago Matt and I stopped ingesting large sums of caffeine. For people who spend a lot of time at their computers – writing and programming respectively – this is sort of professional suicide. We cut out basically everything except chocolate. And I’m not saying we swapped it out for some English Breakfast or Mate, which. BTW, is NOT coffee, but a bitter tonic that makes you feel like your chest is in a vice grip. For people who know us, this was a huge red flag – not the first indication that we’d gone off the deep end. They assumed we were half way to converting to Jainism and wearing bug nets in front of faces so we didn’t, perchance, swallow an unsuspecting fly, and that our cussing had been reduced to references to sweet snacks. Naaah, we’re still us, just not artificially pepped up like jackhammers. Really, my body needed a break. The caffeine wasn’t working anymore. Part of me also assumed I’d be like all the other 20-somethings out there who look back fondly and sheepishly at that one glorious year after college when they attempted to get off the juice. Or that it would be like the time we went on THE MASTER CLEANSE. We subjected ourselves to a few days of eating lemons, grade A maple syrup and cayenne pepper before we broke down, partially because we could barely concentrate enough to remember to drink the stuff, and raced around Manhattan looking for maple sugar candy leaves or a maple tree to tap. This is before we realized Manhattan is not in New England.Leave a 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 »
Cabbage is a satisfying vegetable to grow in the garden like carrots and parsnips. It is relatively undemanding and available from July on in the garden. In the fall after hard frost, when you have harvested everything from the garden, it will keep in the fridge for at least a month. We consider it a staple, like carrots or onions, that we almost never have to buy.
Cabbage, by many, is considered a poor man’s vegetable and thus there are millions of recipes from around the world for wonderful cabbage soups. The following was inspired by the Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine, with my adaptations.10 Comments » Keep reading »
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.Leave a comment » Keep reading »
Being a perceptive cook really means doing the bidding of your food. It’s a good day when you just happen to have a molasses sweet and cornmeal gritty anadama bread (from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice) that is crying out for some grilled cheese and tomatoes. If on that day it happens to be 80 degrees (seriously?) and both your cheese and brow are sweating, you just pair it with a little acidic salad to refresh your palate.4 Comments » Keep reading »
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.12 Comments » Keep reading »
On Saturday evening we witnessed our first Unsilent Night in New York (check out the photo set). Listening to the sounds of the city mesh and mingle with the sounds of the Phil Kline’s soundtrack while walking from park to park with New Yorkers clutching boomboxes, some dressed as santa, was definitely a unique urban experience. On Sunday I woke up wanting pizza.
Pizza is one of those things you cook that is all about fun and flavor. There’s nothing practical about it. There’s nothing thrifty about it (especially not with the NY options). There’s nothing quick about it (between the rising of the dough, etc, you’re looking at leave 4 hours). Oh boy is it tasty, perfect for groups, satisfying hand work, and customizable to anyone’s taste (except gluten-free diets, so sorries!) with mix and match ingredients.8 Comments » Keep reading »
Oranges, blue cheese, and red onion are a winning combination. In other terms I would say something astringent, something sour, and something spicy go well together. Add in the sweetness of the dressing, the savory walnuts, and the fresh, bitter greens and you have a simple salad with a complex taste. Adding in the salt and brine of a good black olive also works well.3 Comments » Keep reading »
Coleslaw’s revival has been sudden and powerful. The sugary, gelatinous mess handed to you in styrofoam at KFC, slopped on paper plates at picnic tables as a “veggie” to accompany BBQ, or found in metal containers at buffets all over the US is now being challenged by the flavorful variety of homemade recipes in kitchens and restaurants alike. Join us. Take back coleslaw. Dare to eat it in the fall, or even the winter (ooooooo). If you’ve already mastered your own, send me links.1 Comment » Read the recipe »