February, 2009 Archive

Saturday, February 28, 2009

steak sandwiches

steak sandwich

Sometimes, I don’t know me at all.

You see, one of the less-discussed factors in my cooking life on this site is the one I most like to keep a secret: I am incredibly picky. The list of foods I don’t want to eat is miles long. People like me have to learn to cook, it’s the only thing saving us from a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And well, barely that recently, while we’re being honest and stuff.

seasoning the slab o'meat

Among the items on the ridiculously long list of things I have no desire to eat is steak. You see what I mean? I can see your face. You’re outraged. You’re going to fill my comment section with recipes and links to steakhouses and swear that if I’d only eaten steak there, I would see the greatness that is steak. But people, I want to tell you something: I’ve been to just about every good steakhouse in New York City (don’t laugh — I like the sides, and the company of red meat-eaters) and none of them has turned my disinterest in broiled slabs of beef on its head.

caramelized onions

Continued after the jump »

Friday, February 27, 2009

key lime coconut cake

key lime coconut cake

Friends, I may adore you but I have had just about enough of this cold, windy and snow-free excuse for a New York City winter and I’m leaving you. For a week. Maybe more, I’m not making any promises of a swift return.

key limes

I seem to not be the only one with the Caribbean Islands on my brain, because I had barely cracked the cover of the March Gourmet when I saw this lime coconut cake recipe, remembered both the leftover coconut and a bag of withering key limes I had never used in the fridge and knew immediately that this would be the only thing that would get me through the remaining hours between now and that beachfront resort. Tiny violins, please.

toasted coconut

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

meatball sliders

meatball sliders

Nearly two years ago, when I was a sprightly young thing who planned elaborate birthday weekends for myself, Alex and I went to The Little Owl to celebrate, an infinitesimally small and adorable restaurant in the West Village that has an Italian/New American thing going on. Never ones to study up on a restaurant before going, we simply ordered whatever sounded good (in fact, I tried unsuccessfully to replicate my fideos appetizer at home) which went really well until we told people what we’d eaten the next day and they near-universally gasped “You didn’t have the meatball sliders?”

“Um, no?” I’d eek out, ducking.

draining the meatballs

Apparently, the meatball sliders at The Little Owl are All, the embodiment of everything great about the restaurant in three golf balls on buns and to skip them is to may as well have not gone at all. The good news is that the chef, Joey Campanaro, turns out to be incredibly generous with his recipes and nearly a year later, I had a chance to redeem myself when I found the recipe for his beloved meatball sliders in two places, New York Magazine and Bon Appetit.

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, February 22, 2009

soft pretzels, refreshed

tiny pretzels, tiny pretzels

Now, I know it has been barely two years since I told you about making miniature soft pretzels at home but according to my calculations, at least three-quarters of you weren’t around back then and that means you might be missing out. And that would be terrible.

Because making pretzels at home is such a fun weekend project. It’s a little more time-consuming than your standard loaf, but given the dismally dry, flavorless state of pretzel stands these days, so incredibly more worth your time. While the dough is a fairly standard one — flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar — the magic comes when you drop your little knots into a bath of boiling water and baking soda, as the second the little roll hits the bubbles, your kitchen will smell like a pretzelrie.

soft pretzels

What, no such thing exists? Such a shame. I’d open one and serve these and bretzel rolls and spicy mustards from around the world and chocolate chip blondies with bits of hard salty pretzels baked inside and rich German beers and live happily ever after. Ahem, not that I’ve given this any thought or anything. In the meanwhile, there are these. And you should totally make them.

soft mini pretzels

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, February 19, 2009

thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

I woke up Sunday morning craving oatmeal raisin cookies something fierce, so I tried to make myself eat oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar in it for breakfast but that didn’t work, and so there was nothing left to do but to bake cookies. My life is so hard, innit?

craggy batter

I have very specific tastes in oatmeal raisin cookies. A crisp edge is always welcome, but the rest of it must be thick and chewy. Just to confuse, this is unlike other oatmeal cookie recipes on this site, the crunchier chocolate chip pecan version and the thick but shattery, salty white chocolate version. Nope, my oatmeal raisin cookies demand their own texture, and one I can’t get from those other recipes.

Continued after the jump »