Spring Archive

Sunday, May 17, 2009

asparagus, goat cheese and lemon pasta

asparagus goat cheese pasta

A couple weeks ago, I had a fantastic warm asparagus salad at a nearby restaurant, one I immediately swore I’d make at home. It had segments of white and green asparagus tossed with goat cheese and a tarragon and lemony mint vinaigrette and it was piled on a bed of red endive, my favorite. It was stunning. It was delicious. Alas, this is not it. What a tease I am, right?

giant spiral pasta

After trying and failing to find all three elements — the green asparagus, white asparagus and the red endive — for the next two weeks, I gave up. Oh, and sure, you could use all green asparagus and regular pale endive, but you’ve met me, right? I’m a pain in the butt and without the visual, it was going to be no fun at all for me. It would not do.

asparagus

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

artichokes braised in lemon and olive oil

braised artichokes

Given that I can say, without pausing or so much as batting an eyelash, that artichokes are my favorite food on earth, it’s kind of a bummer that they’re so woefully underrepresented here. Sure, there are Artichoke Ravioli, a quick Potato and Artichoke Tortilla, a a scooped heart filled with fresh cranberry beans, a gratin and some crostini in which they play a supporting role, but when you love them as much as I do, this is not enough. Nothing ever is.

busted artichokes

Artichoke season can’t come soon enough for people like me, even if the best we usually get are cross-country, battered and overpriced visitors. It is never enough to deter me, and neither were these downright busted looking ones I saw at the store yesterday for a reduced price. I pounced on them, as even with shoddy leaves, their hearts are in the right place, that is, center and endlessly delicious.

sauteeing shallots, garlic and carrotsartichokes in their braisescooping out the chokebrowning the artichokes

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, February 12, 2009

devil’s chicken thighs + braised leeks

devil's chicken thighs + braised leeks with dijon

This, my friends, is all the evidence you will ever need that you can never go wrong with a Suzanne Goin recipe (also: that ugly food is the tastiest). Because despite having a horrible cold (not just any cold, mind you, but a Man Cold) all week, zero appetite, even less inclination to stand (upright! like on my two feet! how exhausting!) in the kitchen and cook and actually briefly calculating the food costs in my head of chucking the dish (already marinating) and trying it again another week, with Alex’s help we trudged on through and had this for dinner last night and it was amazing. Curative, even. I feel 50 percent better today.

halved leeksmmm, shallotsbrowned leeksshallots

So what’s all this about? Well, you start by braising leeks, which if you’re me, already has you sold. Amusingly, I was halfway into the leek prep when I had a vague feeling of deja-vu and you know what? I told you about these last year, to the day! Memory, what memory? Anyway, they’re unbelievable and seriously, if you’d like, you can stop right here. Serve them with some proscuito, a poached or sliced hard-cooked egg, mustard vinaigrette, some thick bread and maybe a sharp little salad on the side and you’ll be happy as a clam. Swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock and you can even make them amenable to vegetarians.

braised leeks

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, July 31, 2008

napa cabbage salad with buttermilk dressing

napa salad, buttermilk dressing

Stop. No, seriously. Stop everything you’re doing. What are you eating for lunch today? Are you going to one of those delis that will put whatever you want in the salad and mix it with some mysterious, better-not-closely-considered dressing in a squeeze bottle and charge you $10? (Is this a NYC thing, or do they have these everywhere?)(Further, have I waded so far into the NYC bubble that I no longer know what people outside it eat for lunch?) Well, I want you to take a good long look at it and repeat after me: No more deli salads.

buttermilk dressing

Because have you seen this beauty? This should be your lunch tomorrow. This salad dressing is so good. So so so good. Oh, and the salad isn’t half-bad either.

People, I’m in love. Like just about everyone else who bakes, I seem to always have buttermilk left in the fridge, but it’s always too little to make something something frosted and fancy. I had no idea there was such a simple dressing out there that could use it up in half-cup increments, or heck, give you an excuse to buy more because it’s so darn good.

All I’m saying is, don’t say I didn’t warn you, okay?

napa salad with buttermilk dressing

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

strawberry rhubarb pie

strawberry rhubarb pie

I usually try to shield you from examples of my various forms of Crazy, but in this case, it’s just too relevant not to own up to. You see, I’ve got all sorts of superstitions about pies, with each and every harebrained theory derived from some near or actual pie disaster in my past.

making pie doughpie dough pacmancannot resist the flutedunbaked lattice-top

There’s the theory that pies can smell fear; if you’re certain your pie will be a mess, it becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then there’s the theory about making anything but the simplest lidded pie in the summertime, as the heat and humidity defies any level of air conditioning and makes your pie dough melt apart, no matter how many times you chill the dough. I also believe that pie recipes can be curses, because not every apple has the same level of sweetness, tartness and liquid and it’s nearly impossible to come up with a core recipe that works each time.

strawberry rhubarb pie, unbaked

In short, my pie superstitions could be summed up as, “Shh. The pie can hear you.”

Continued after the jump »


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