March, 2009 Archive

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

caramelized onion and goat cheese cornbread

caramelized onion goat cheese cornbread

Let me just get the obvious out of the way: this is no proper Southern cornbread. Please, do not bring it to a North Carolina or Texas barbecue dinner, they’ll be horrified by the presence of sugar and honestly, at that point, it may be in your best interest to not even bring up the goat cheese within.

And while we’re on the subject of proper Southern cornbread — no sugar, cooked in a skillet that has often been swirled with bacon drippings — you know, I have tried to find love for it many times. I made a batch in January that all of my Southern friends (and their visiting parents) heartily approved of. It had crisp edges. It went great with the barbecue dinner. It was a cinch to make.

corn bread

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Monday, March 16, 2009

penne with potatoes and rocket

penne with potatoes and rocket

I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the idea of putting potatoes in a pasta dish since I first saw a recipe for it a couple years ago, and my Inner American gasped “All of that starch! How totally unhealthy!” forgetting, as usual, that the people in the world that eat dishes like this are for the most part, 75 percent of the size of your average American.

1/3-inch slices of potatopennerocket!potato, onion and garlic

But the disconnect between American dieting ideals and results is not what I wanted to discuss today, promise. This is really about it being late winter in the Northeast, a good month or two before the local produce looks particularly tempting and being kind of sick to death of everything readily available. Suddenly, potatoes and pasta don’t just sound feasible, but like they’re the best idea, ever. Throw in some sharp, spicy arugula and rosemary, if that’s your thing, and you might also wonder why you haven’t made it sooner.


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

layer cake tips + the biggest birthday cake yet

lit cake

My father-in-law, youthful guy that he is, turned 60 this past weekend and if you think I was going to allow my in-laws to purchase him a cake from a bakery, oh, you don’t know how even typing those words caused the shudder to rise up in my chest. A bakery cake! Promise me if I make it to 60, I get a homemade cake too. I hope to have leveraged enough cake-baking karma by then to not even have to ask.

two pounds of chocolate

But this isn’t about my father-in-law’s birthday cake, or not entirely. (But you’ll see the recipe later, you know, just in case you ever want to make your own 12-inch square insanely chocolaty cake.) I am long overdue to share with you many of my favorite layer cake tips. I get a lot of email about them, people asking about the logistics of putting them together and I realize I’ve absorbed a lot of advice over the last fifteen or so, and I’m overdue to sum it up in one neat place. So here we go!

ridiculous amount of ganache

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

migas with tomato-chipotle coulis


One of the chefs I was most excited to meet at last week’s Bahamas-fest was Sue Torres, the talent behind two of my favorite places to eat in my neighborhood, Rocking Horse (she’s no longer there, but was the one who put their stepped-up Mexican menu on the map) and Sueños (her current, inordinately delicious hidden-away new-Mexican restaurant, replete with a designated tortilla cook). Sure enough, her demo was totally packed and I have her mussel recipe still waiting for me to give it a spin at home, however, when I got home from a week of pork belly and fois gras and four to seven course meals, what I really wanted was something simple.

corn tortillas, wedgesmaking tortilla chipsshameful winter tomatoeswhisking eggscrisping the chorizotomato-chipotle coulis

So I hunted around and hunted around — look, I don’t even want to admit how long I did. I seem to be going through a phase of more extreme than usual pickiness coupled with laziness so basically I was looking for a dinner that took 20 minutes or less to cook and was made of magic — and le voila, Torres’ migas recipe crossed my browser and dinner was, at once, decided.

tortilla chips

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

san salvador island, bahamas

columbus isle, bahamas

Move along, people, there’s nothing to see here. My week in the Bahamas has left me full of wordlessness, short on commentary, drained of snark and every time I try to summon a few meager paragraphs about our vacation I open my pictures folder, blink a few times at the teal ocean and, I’m sorry, what were we talking about again?


… But I will try. There was sun. There was a very long beach, with the ocean a color I am not sure I knew existed in real life. You could walk out the length of your body and still see your feet under water, and this I could not get over — can you tell I “summer” at Brooklyn public beaches? And there was the most fun group of people I have yet to vacation with, and you might just know them too.

leapin' bloggers!

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