February 10, 2014 § 3 Comments
In my last post I described the comfort I find in frying chicken, and a before that I waxed rhapsodic about brown butter. Now let’s turn to food with a lower fat content. Here is a recipe that is virtuous and delicious: a wild rice salad. It took me a long time to overcome my reluctance to cook with whole grains and I still stubbornly refuse many whole grain alternatives that I know are good for me. But I have embraced salads made with chewy, nutty grains like farro, barley and wild rice (which is actually a seed). These dishes make sense to my mouth in a way that whole wheat pasta never will.
April 24, 2012 § 3 Comments
For my family, the surest sign of Spring is mangoes. Heaps of perfectly ripe mangoes, delivered with love by my mother-in-law each week. So many mangoes. My children love them, which is why their Lola (grandma) brings mangoes by the dozen. But, like all precious things that suddenly arrive in immense quantities, mangoes become a bit less desirable as time passes. Consumption slows and I am faced with a fridge full of fruit that is on the brink. It’s the saddest thing in the world to toss them out, and this year I won’t let it happen. Each time I cook I will ask myself: where do mangoes fit into this meal? Can I add cubed mango? Pureed mango? Dried mango? Because we have 17 of them, and they’re not getting any younger. Last night I came up with a delicious idea, a meal where mango was perfectly at home, I think. My daughter felt otherwise and asked for salad without mango. I didn’t serve her mango at dinner, but she had to eat three for breakfast. We all need to contribute in this household, young lady. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
I am a woman who loves dyeing eggs, but hates eating them. In my family we don’t have the fine motor skills to dye blown out eggs, so we end up with heaps of hardboiled eggs each Easter. I’ve never been able to stomach deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, or (shudder) plain old boiled eggs with salt. Mercifully, I have found a recipe that I don’t just tolerate in order to rid my fridge of dozens of stinky boiled eggs. I love this recipe. In the future, I may boil eggs just to make Sauce Gribiche. It’s delicious spooned onto toasts or over grilled meat. It will be a knockout drizzled over the spring vegetables that are just about to burst forth. Roasted asparagus with sauce gribiche… the very thought makes me crave a boiled egg. Unthinkable. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 20, 2012 § 3 Comments
I love most types of shopping, but I particularly like shopping that presents a challenge.
This could be choosing a paint color that my husband and I agree on, or stalking treasure at Goodwill, or finding a butcher block that is the exact same height as my kitchen counter (I know it’s out there).
Another scenario that thrills me: roaming around a grocery store that is stocked with food from far off lands.
There are risks, both to my pride and to my palate. If the market is small I might get awkward attention from regular shoppers – a grumpy stare from an old man, or a smile from a woman who wonders what the heck I’m going to do with the unfamiliar ingredient that I’m holding in my hand. I usually wonder what the heck I’m going to do with that ingredient, also. Sometimes it turns out that what I’m going to do is make a dish that tastes perfectly awful (I can’t seem to make pickled gooseberries work for me). But more often, I’ll take home an armful of inexpensive, lovely foodstuffs and learn a thing or two about a thing or two. And I thought you might want to learn, also.
Introducing Food From Far-Off Lands, wherein I explore a foreign food market, ask embarrassing questions to patient store clerks, and present recipes for you to try at home. If you visit the stores that I write about, you get to skip the ’embarrassing questions’ part. You will stride into the store and ask with authority: ‘Where are the salted duck eggs, Madam? I am using them for tonight’s noodle dish. Thank you very much.’ « Read the rest of this entry »