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
Gooseberries are one of those what-on-earth-do-I-do-with-those? ingredients. They look like grapes but with thicker skins and have the interior of a passion fruit. Gooseberries are tough and tart and usually end up in preserves. I met someone who eats them plain like grapes, and now I do the same. However, blended with sugar and a soft berry, they made a great crisp. Yesterday I made a Raspberry-Gooseberry Crisp. Recipe below. Continue reading
My love of food and dislike of waste continues. Last week’s CSA fruit was cherries. I love cherries but we got maybe three and a half pounds of them. Obviously no cherry should ever be wasted. In addition to being delicious, they’re also like ten dollars a pound. What to do when they start turning brown and caving in?
Don’t get discouraged. Browning cherries look bad but they taste sweet. They need less in the way of sugar than a nice, firm cherry. If a cherry looks untrustworthy, throw it out, or taste a few to get your bearings with them.
The main hassle of baking cherries is the pitting. However, the nice thing about soft cherries is that you can roll them on a cutting board with your hand and remove the pits very easily. You can use a commercial cherry pitter if you’re so inclined, but I notice that a lot of them look rather like obstetrical devices. I have some friends who use and swear by one of these guys. They make a lot of cherry pies. I still think it’s quite easy by hand: press the cherry on a flat surface until the pit pierces the skin. Then remove it. Try not to be wearing your favorite canary yellow sweater because they do spray.
If you’re looking for coleslaw or broccoli slaw, look elsewhere. If however, you have a bunch of herbs in your fridge after using like a tablespoon in some other recipe, if you’d like something creative to do with kohlrabi tops (yes, you can!) or other undesirable hardy greens, if you like things spicy, try this: