Budget Archive

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

migas with tomato-chipotle coulis

migas!

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, February 8, 2009

alex’s mom’s stuffed cabbage

stuffed cabbage (golubtsy)

I have been promising you my mother-in-law’s recipe for stuffed cabbage or “golubtsy”, which was her mother’s recipe for stuffed cabbage, for ages but do you know what is even sadder about how long it has taken me to get to this? That if I remember correctly, I jotted this recipe down on a page from my planner (a planner! with pages in it! many moons ago, my friends.) while sitting in the back seat as we drove to check out some wedding locations. Alex and I got married in 2005.

steeping the cabbagesauteing the fillingmixing the fillingcabbage rolls, ready to be cooked

And really, I have all sorts of places to blame for how long it has taken me to actually make the recipe at home. The first is Neptune on 1st Avenue, only my favorite place to sit outside for beers in the summertime and if you think that stuffed cabbage can’t taste good after a few Polish beers on a warm night, you obviously haven’t tried it yet. (With a side of kielbasa and pierogis, thank you.) The second is Veselka, also in the East Village — this is where I go for my winter stuffed cabbage fix. (Also cabbage soup. Small hands… smell like cabbage. Nobody else gets that, do they?) And the third is Alex’s mom herself, who often brings us extra that she has made, rendering it completely unnecessary for me to make any effort whatsoever to decipher my four year-old notes.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, February 2, 2009

crisp black bean tacos with feta and slaw

black bean tacos

Let me just get this out of the way before I begin: I’m a little embarrassed by this meal. Not because it took 10 minutes to make, but because it came entirely from things that were already packaged and it tasted… well, not bad, but certainly not like I made any great effort. I bet you can’t wait to sign up, huh?

smashing black beans

So why I am telling you about it? Because we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Even in New York City, where you can get anything delivered at any moment’s notice, there are days when one more meal that arrives in plastic-lidded foil containers will send you over the edge. I made this on one of those days. It was 8 p.m., we were both starving and I had one chance to ask Alex to grab something at the store on his way home and I didn’t want to miss it. So I Googled probably one of those most popular searches on the Internet, “10 minute meals” and, well, that pretty much brings us up to today.

slaw with scallions and lime juice

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Monday, January 19, 2009

smashed chickpea salad

smashed chickpea salad sandwich

It has been over one week since I told you about the Light Wheat Bread (and just as long since we’ve been out of it, sob), a post I ended with a promise to tell you about my new favorite sandwich next. But instead I told you about Clementine Cakes and then Mushroom Bourguignon and Chouquettes and do you know what happened? Not a single person griped that they were owed a sandwich. Because really, who does that?

zesting the lemonjuicing the lemon

I take issue with the banality of most sandwich recipes. I will actually change the channel if I see a food program that walks viewers through making one of any kind. I mean, is this how low the bar has dropped for “cooking”? But it’s not the shows that are to blame, I think, or not fully: it’s the sandwiches. Most sandwiches are dull. Some sliced stuff and schmear between two uninspired slices of bread. Who can stay awake for that?

ready to mix and mash

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

potato and artichoke tortilla

potato artichoke pepper tortilla

Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes eating “healthy” or at the very least, in a manner that diametrically opposes the Thanksgiving through New Years gluttony. Some people eschew meat, for others its just red meat, some give up cheese or bread or fat or potatoes — I mean, you name it, there’s a diet out there that promises that swearing it off is the answer to Thin Thighs in Thirty Days or You in a White Bikini in the Bahamas in 56 Days. …You know, just to throw out a totally arbitrary example.

potatoes, onion, roasted red peppercooking the vegetables

I am realizing increasingly that I belong to no dieting camp whatsoever. I mean, I consider things like portion size all of the time, and if I had meat in one meal, making sure the next one avoids it but I don’t think that there is a Magical Evil Food that when crossed off your menu will make pounds vanish from your hips.

cooking the tortillatortilla, a little overbrowned

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