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Archive for 'cooking'

SHY-SMILE BEET GREENS: A MARKET STORY

The beet greens I typically encounter at farmers markets play second fiddle to the actual beets. That stands to reason: Most people regard the thick leaves as something to be discarded, asking the seller to remove them before tucking the shorn, diminished root vegetables into a market bag. I have viewed this phenomenon with puzzlement for ages; in […]

OF MIMI SHERATON AND MA-PO TOFU, OR 1,000 FOODS TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE … PLUS 1

I wish I could say that 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List, the latest book by journalist, restaurant critic, and national treasure Mimi Sheraton, was the sort of thing I kept next to the bed, for dipping into last thing at night. But it makes me too hungry. I end up […]

BUTTERY BRAISED ENDIVES

It took me a long time before I could admit how much I dislike barely cooked vegetables. I realize I am in the minority; most folks love them, especially this time of year, when heavy winter food has palled. Granted, their crispness and bright colors have a clean, minimalist appeal, but I find them squeaky in the […]

WINTER WARMTH: TURKEY CHIPOTLE CHILI

I’m a purist about a number of things, but not about chili. I like it with ground, cubed, or shredded meat. With or without beans. With or without tomatoes. I do prefer really good soft tortillas as an accompaniment, but tortilla chips, rice, or the spaghetti (and oyster crackers) that folks in Cincinnati are crazy about […]

TRUE BLUE: COLSTON BASSETT STILTON

January is typically devoted to fresh starts. We all know people who have vowed this month to exercise more, eat or drink less, and otherwise curtail the excesses that began at Thanksgiving. Good for them! I’d be more inclined to join in if I hadn’t discovered that my favorite Stilton—from Colston Basset Dairy (estab. 1913), in Nottingham, England—is […]

TIME FLIES!

And how. It’s been way too long since I last posted—I was typing as fast as I could for folks who pay for it—but here’s hoping in the meantime you’ve made Chicken Marbella at least once, and are contemplating your journey into the new year. Here at the Lears, we have a delicious few days ahead. There […]

CHICKEN MARBELLA: WELCOME TO THE CLUB

In 1978, the year I moved to New York, the Upper West Side was still gritty and rough around the edges. Except, that is, for The Silver Palate, a valiant little shop that had opened the previous year on Columbus Avenue, at 73rd Street. Its concept—elegant yet accessible take-home food for dinner parties, picnics for […]

ZUCCHINI: THE RAW & THE COOKED

Zucchini has quite the reputation. The plants are prolific as hell, and with the effortless pick-up of a sports car, their offspring zooms from the cute, almost-ready-to-pick stage to the size of a cricket bat (see above) in no time. Garrison Keillor, chronicler of the small, fictional town of Lake Wobegon on A Prairie Home Companion, has […]

BARBECUE SHRIMP

For years, I’ve avoided buying jumbo shrimp (one of my favorite oxymorons), because I’ve never known how to bring out their best. My default method—a few minutes in a small amount of simmering water—is more suited to small or medium shrimp. In my hands, jumbos handled this way become simultaneously tough and mushy on the outside before […]

FAST-TRACKING CHICKEN SALAD

Aside from the “fiesta” or “Oriental” versions found at some chain restaurants, chicken salad has pretty much been relegated to the Nostalgia Department: suitable fare for tearooms (of the Woman’s Exchange variety and otherwise), drug-store lunch counters (here’s a marvelous Lewis Hine image), and southern porch suppers, circa 1955. I don’t know why. I suppose people […]