I think we can all agree that the holidays are terrific, food-wise. Carry the feeling of eating too much deliciously-spiced food with you into the joyless polar vortex that is January with this moist gingerbread cake.
I’m always trying to remember which gingerbread cake recipe is the one I like, which is the good one that is warm and sticky where the spices blend together and the whole thing does not taste like a jar of molasses. The answer is: this one. This is that perfect gingerbread recipe.
Are you aware that we are in the midst of a vermouth revival? That there are places on earth serving artisanal vermouth out of house casks and draft taps? That there’s some sort of Catalonian culture of casually drinking vermouth before lunch? Vermut refers to a drink, a time of day (noon), and a way of life ( …presumably chillaxing?). Barcelona: still leading the world in hot weather coping.
Vermouth, longtime scourge of gin, really makes a fantastic summer cocktail. Red vermouth is a little bitter, a little nutty, and a little herbal. It’s a wine fortified with spirits and aromatics. Casa Marisol (available in the US) describes their “making process”:
Macabeu wine fermented with selected yeast at low temperature in stainless steel containers. Darkened with unripe green walnuts and macerated with spices and local herbs from Matarrana area. Aged through the traditional system of solera (aging and blending) for a maximum period in wood of 6 months.
Inspired by the massive heat wave of the past week, I picked up a bottle of Vermut Negre and made some cocktails in the Barcelonian style (as described on the bottle). It’s the perfect compromise between a bottle of wine and actually having to make cocktails for your friends.
Our two hundred, twenty-eighth supper club meal was prepared in a micro kitchen in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It was made with a pregnant person in mind, by that same pregnant person, and no pregnant person stone was left unturned. Pickles? Check. Ice cream? Check? Virgin cocktails? You get the picture. The key was the so-called pregnancy power foods: broccoli, leafy greens, lean meats, fruit, nuts, and pie. See below for the full menu.
As it turns out, pregnant people enjoy delicious food. Notably delicious were the blackened snapper sandwiches. I have not been offered a piece of blackened fish once in the last ten years and was very glad to see it on the menu. It’s been so long, I had kind of forgotten what even made fish blackened. Then I used the internet. See below if you’re interested in a solid Cajun blackened seasoning mix recipe – Continue reading →
Bratwurst is traditionally served with Sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage. I really wanted to make some Brats and Sauerkraut but most recipes require 2-3 days for the cabbage to soak in all the brine. So I opted to make a coleslaw which can be made in less then an hour. However as I was cutting up the cabbage I thought it might be interesting to add more spice to the dressing. Before I knew it I was making a curried coleslaw by chance. It worked great with the Brat, which I cooked by simmering them slowly in beer and topping it with a spicy beer reduction. Recipe below – Continue reading →
Kale is amazing, so says all people alive with mouths. You have a kale salad and it changes your whole life (here’s the one that changed mine). You feel great, your oxidants are getting zapped or whatever, and obviously your skin and hair look perfect instantly; you’re made entirely of vitamin K and fiber. You’re thinking, “I’m invincible. I will eat kale every day!” So you buy a bunch of kale and then like four days later, you’re thinking, ” Oh @!#&, I forgot we had kale. Now it’s all wilty.”
I’m not saying that this happened to me, but this weekend I did make some kale chips with some slightly wilted kale (pictured). Like kale itself, kale chips are amazing. I have been known to pay ten dollars a box for bombay cheddar kale chips at my local Organic Extortioners, so you know they’re good to eat plain. Kale chips are also great mixed back into raw salads to provide a different texture, like kale croutons. And somewhere I’ve been eating a sandwich that has a spread on it made out of roasted kale, cream cheese, and other delicious things. So you see, not only are kale chips good, they’re practically a staple that you should have around your house at all times, like eggs. Making them is easy – Continue reading →
This is a rustic recipe. By rustic I mean uncomplicated. Its deliciousness is derived from the deliciousness of the component ingredients. I see Joël Robuchon and Thomas Keller telling me to cook every bit separately, to layer each item carefully, to fuss and rearrange. I like a poetic, modern meal as much as the next foodie jerk, but unfortunately for the proponents of needlessly complicating delicious-tasting foods, these gentleman came into my life long after a certain woman named Rita who had her own opinions on the matter.
Ratatouille was introduced to me at Thanksgiving, where it was a staple for some reason I don’t remember. Imagine a table laid out with meats and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and pie; and then imagine a bunch of kids lined up in front of a bowl of slimy vegetables and you will begin to see what my mother wrought in our hearts and minds concerning squash. I still make mom’s version at least once a month. It’s delicious, full of vegetables, has almost no fat or oil, takes no effort to prepare, and even the masters agree: ratatouille tastes better the next day. (It’s also vegan, glutin-free, everything free, but whatever.)
So with all due respect to Ms. Julia Child, who would slap me for putting corn in this dish (and for cursing as much as I do), I present my love letter to summertime vegetables: ratatouille with the vegetables I have on hand, sweet corn, and fresh peas because they’re delicious – Continue reading →
You know how you like to put hot sauce on pizza? Stop doing that and start putting pickled peppers on your pizza. Pickled peppers are also great on sandwiches and Rhode Island-style fried calamari. In fact, stop what you are doing right now and pickle some peppers, your new favorite condiment.
If you like hot things, use hot peppers. If you like mild things, use mild peppers. If you like using things that you already have, use whatever peppers are on hand. Basically you’re going to take a sterilized glass jar, fill it with sliced pepper rings, and then pour pickling brine on top of that. Easy. How to below. Continue reading →