December, 2006 Archive

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

chicken skewers with dukkah crust

chicken skewers with dukkah crust

My inner seven-year-old told every single person she saw or spoke to today that she ate dukkah for dinner last night, but she pronounced it “dook-huh” to emphasize the very dookiness of it. My inner sever-year-old, mind you, not me. I am a civilized, professional woman of the age of 30 in sensible Italian boots and a tasteful cashmere sweater would never relish the first reaction of people who heard she ate something foul-sounding for dinner. Nope, not me, not at all.

dukkah, post-toast, pre-grind

But I did! Not only did I make some dukkah, I rolled fingers of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in it and served it to others on a platter. And we liked the dukkah because the dukkah is good. And now I have probably said dukkah enough times to drive up my search results for the term, only to offend each and every person who lands here looking for a sensible, respectful discussion of this Egyptian spice blend. My apologies, I’ve been trying to act like a grownup for some time now and I find it exhausting.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

orecchiette with cherry tomatoes and arugula

tiny ears

Last night, I sauteed some shallots, minced garlic, red and yellow cherry tomatoes and fresh arugula with orecchiette pasta for dinner, and we topped it with a cloud of microplaned parmesan, eating it in front of the (omg) Wire finale. I’m pretty sure it was delicious, though I was barely paying it any mind. Alas, this is the point where you are supposed to ask me, Hey Deb, why does your orecchiette look so… er, unique?

And I will say, I’m so glad you asked! Like any other reader with drool-prone taste buds and a carb-fixation, I was completely spellbound by Delcious Days’ stunning creation of orecchiette a few weeks ago. She made it look so easy! Now I have never made pasta before, nor was I sure I desired to when such good, professional fresh stuff abounds in NYC. I lacked a master recipe, special tools, a single iota of apprenticeship or education on the subject, but this didn’t stop me from trying my hand at it on Sunday night with a very imaginative (read: unmeasured or weighed) interpretation of Nicky’s recipe.

a wee bit soft

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, December 3, 2006

winter panzanella

winter panzanella

Among the few Food Network chefs that don’t terrify me, Michael Chiarello is high on that list; his cooking, style and not overly-aggressive healthfulness fits cleanly with the type of foods I like to make and we like to eat. But, I have yet to make a recipe of his and it is, quite frankly, because he can be such a pain in the ass. The gray salt, the extra-virgin use for cooking, the $218 Balsamic, the fifteen-step recipes and his endless gadgets put me off. Would it still taste good from the kitchen of Simple Folk? Due to some haphazard sense of principle, I never bother finding out.

But he’s finally broken into the Smitten Kitchen with a winter vegetable panzanella I couldn’t resist, you know, the one he whipped up for his “holiday gift wrapping lunch,” my god. This week I had found myself missing that summery panzanella salad I’d made for a dinner party last month, but I wanted something more seasonal. I’ve had this roasted vegetable version bookmarked for a while, but… something about it seems lackluster. When Chiarello, in his just-enough-rumpled shirt said butternut squash and brussel sprouts, I had very much a “bingo!” moment.

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, December 2, 2006

german pancakes

a light dash

Back when I was still getting daily “are you okay?” and “do you need anything” phone calls from my mother each morning after my little rumble with the stairs, she told me one more she’d just made German pancakes for breakfast. “Oh, you remember them, don’t you? I made them once in a while when you were growing up.”

german pancakes
springy!

Well no, I don’t. Do your parents ever do this? Insist you ate something often — it was practically a staple, mind you — and it’s news to you. I have no recollection of these puffy, curly, easy-as-sin goodies but I won’t be forgetting them any time soon. They taste like thick, winding crepes with just a hint of sweetness. The recipe suggests you serve them with butter, powdered sugar and lemon wedges, mom suggests her favorite, raspberry syrup but Alex and I are more the Vermont pure maple and fresh berries type.

about 2 minutes later

Continued after the jump »


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