Filed under: Pasta, Soups | Comments (2)
Is everyone out of their turkey-induced haze?
Have you all thought of new and exciting ways to eat your Thanksgiving leftovers?
Are you hating turkey by now or are you still in love with the bird?
They, being magazines, cookbooks, the internet etc. tell you to average one pound of turkey per person for the Thanksgiving meal. I, ever dutifully (and thinking about how each person would like a little packet of leftovers), obliged to the extreme and allowed two pounds per person. But with the feast that lay before my guests last Thursday: two kinds of dressing, a duo of cranberries, mashed potatoes, yams, brussels sprouts with chestnuts, balsamic glazed onions, and gravy– lots of gravy, the turkey was almost inconsequential.
Don’t get me wrong, the bird was delicious! Burnished a lovely brown and basted with butter by me, and carved then reassembled magnificently by trusted guest. But I only had two little [...]
Filed under: Meat&Fish, Pasta | Comment (0)
Last year my dear friend moved away. And he left me booze, a lot of booze. This friend was not implying anything about my alcohol consumption, it was just that he was moving cross country. You know how grumpy police can be about traveling with open containers, especially over state lines. So when he moved, I became the owner of the remnants of his well-stocked bar.
Most of it is gone, save for the rhubarb and the orange bitters (a little goes a long way!), and a very large bottle of vodka. I am not much of a vodka drinker. If given the choice between a vodka or gin martini, the gin wins out every time. So I’ve begun to search for ways to use up my vodka. And one of the best things to cook with vodka has got to be Penne alla Vodka, essentially marinara sauce, enlivened with vodka, [...]
Filed under: Misc., Pasta | Comments (2)
I recently taught an autumn pie class, and at the end of the course one of my students gave me a vintage Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook she had picked up at an estate sale. I had told the class that I have a fascination with heirloom cookbooks. The book was her thank you for teaching her to face her culinary fears of pie dough.
As I’ve looked through the book (it’s really more of a spiral-bound pamphlet), fascinated by the advice on how to make a meal out of so little, one recipe stuck out– noodles for soup.
When I was young, I remember my grandma, though not Pennsylvania Dutch, making the richest, most satisfying soup with her own homemade egg noodles. Any time she roasted a chicken, she always made stock from the carcass. She would drop off a large tupperware of the soup to my parents at work. The noodles were [...]
Filed under: Pasta, Vegetables | Comments (3)
Remember the pathetic growing season I had last year? When I couldn’t get my tomato plants into the ground and had to “grow” them in pots? Then it rained practically all June long, leaving me with a few measly, watery tomatoes. This, my friends, is what I call a serious dearth. Well, this year we tried again. We actually got the tomatoes into the ground, in soil no less! They were slow going. Slow to ripen. But then they got a little crazy, bushing out, tossing their tomato cages out of the garden. If not for the care of a diligent and mindful friend while Brian and I were in California, I fear that we would have had to hack our way through the tomato jungle when we got home. In fact, we sort of did.
This was only one of [...]
Filed under: Meat&Fish, Pasta, Vegetables | Comments (4)
As in the soup, because I made my own cream of mushroom– for a very specific purpose. This week I had my first tuna-noodle casserole. I did not grow up with casseroles. My dad never liked a one-pot meal, and my mom didn’t really care, so I had a childhood free of Durkee French Fried Onions. Frankly, I never liked tuna fish from a can until I was in college, so a tuna casserole was not in my culinary lexicon.
But recently my mother started making them for herself . Maybe she was finally feeling that empty-nest syndrome, or maybe she was hearkening back to her own childhood in the 1950s, filled with tuna-noodle casseroles. Either way she started to rave about them. At first I was appalled; this casserole always sounded like a train wreck to me. But then, as I started [...]
Filed under: Pasta, Vegetables | Comments (2)
Sometimes, at the close of a weekend full of errands, dinner with friends, and general busy-ness, the most you can do is tumble onto the couch with the book review section of the New York Times. And then you remember that, oh yes, you have to feed yourself. What to do, what to do?
Growing up, my mother called Sunday suppers, “Fend for Yourself Night.” I must have gotten this propensity for laziness from someone. Usually my mom would do some cobbling together: there would be leftovers, or a can of tomato soup with some elbow macaroni bobbing about in the broth, there were eggs to cook, and if things really got slim, a bowl of cereal usually did the trick. But the one thing that these dishes had in common– mom didn’t have to spend much time in the kitchen.
Last Sunday I found myself throwing [...]
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Innards. It’s what’s for dinnards. Awhile back, when finally coming clean to you all about my, well…diversity of eating habits, I mentioned that offal, delicious though it may be, “doesn’t photograph too well.” I stand corrected. Though it may not be the beautiful girl, with a sparkling smile, and hair so buttery blond she is simply crying out to have her picture taken, it is not necessarily the gangly, pre-pubescent, girl with wiry hair and a mouth full of metal either. I guess it is all in how one handles a little bit of liver, that makes one exclaim– beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I myself was not always a lover of liver. When I was young my mom would prepare them every so often for Sunday supper, and I would gag. She would drag out the heavy, cast-iron skillet, [...]
Filed under: Pasta | Comment (0)
Did everyone have a pleasant, gluttonous holiday? Good. I don’t know about you, but each year come January, I am so ready to get back to my real life. I am ready to kiss those candy canes goodbye. Ready to extinguish those chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Ready to blow off those powdered sugar cookies. Is anyone with me?
As excited as I become to ring in the holiday season, I think that if I see another Bûche de Noël I just might have to toss it into the fireplace. (She says with a bah-humbug!) I am ready to go back to the daily, winter grind: obsessively checking the weather forecast for signs of snow, piling on layer after layer of woolen winter clothes, and slowly exhaling warm air hoping to catch a glimpse of my breath. And the food– there [...]
Filed under: Pasta | Comment (0)
This is what I would have imagined being fed if as a child if I grew up in some Spanish villa. Instead I grew up in a ranch style house in suburban San Francisco eating macaroni and cheese. Not that there is anything wrong with that cheesy goodness, but chorizo sausage it is not.
When I saw this recipe in July’s issue of Gourmet magazine, it intrigued me. Crispy bits of chorizo sausage, buttery chickpeas, and the crunch of toasted almonds sounded perfect. And this pasta dish was terrific, as long as you cast aside any preconceived notions as to what pasta should be like, in the Italian sense. This is not an al dente dish. The body that comes from this dish is not coming from the swollen angel hair noodles, it is coming from the other Spanish ingredients added to the [...]
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As I stumble out of the Grand Street subway station, I am immediately caught and taken away by the crowds of people, each grasping flimsy plastic bags holding ingredients, ready for cooking. This is Chinatown, a place so teeming with people I often wonder where they all come from. The shops each specialize in their own brand of goodies, from clothes to housewares, meat to fish, exotic fruits and vegetables, to more bottles of condiments than you would see bottles of potions in an old-fashioned apothecary shop.
I could spend hours here, and I do. I stroll along the streets, more quiet, with people actually sitting along the curbs once you turn off of Grand Street. I look at all of the dried roots, and mounds of dehydrated shrimp in one shop. At the butchers there are cuts of meat that I have never seen, and [...]