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.
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 →
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 →
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.
I love food and I hate wasting it. CSA season started a few weeks ago. If you don’t have one, a CSA is a Community Sponsored Agriculture group, commonly known as a farm share. Every week we get a huge assortment of just harvested fruits and vegetables from nearby farms and we attempt to eat all of them. Success varies from week to week.
Summertime CSA is hard because we get so many greens. We get mixed greens, spinach, arugula, radish greens, bok choy, and mizuna. We also get greens on carrots, greens on beets, greens on kohlrabi, even greens on our broccoli. Cooking, shredding, and eating these is a full time kitchen occupation. There are other challenges.
Last week we got apples. These were fall apples and already pretty gamey by the looks of them. I ate one with yogurt and reserved the rest in a bowl “For cooking. Later.” They were browning and a little soft. The fruit flies arrived before later did and forces were conspiring. The apples looked like they were bound for the trash.
No! I will eat them! was my defensive response. I will cook them into applesauce. See? I am cooking them right now.