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Archive for 'cooking'

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 […]

ASPARAGUS WITH PANCETTA AND PARM

In the realm of spring vegetables, asparagus is the cook’s greatest ally. It can be steamed, boiled, sautéed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. It comes elegantly thin or fat and juicy. It’s impressive on its own, as a first course; as a side to chicken, fish, ham, pork, or beef; or worked into pasta primavera, risotto, […]

DUKKAH FROM A PARIS KITCHEN

The subtitle of the recently published My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, by David Lebovitz, may lull you into putting the book on top of your bedtime-reading stack. That’s perfectly fine—it’s a terrific read—but you must be prepared to climb out of the wrapper at, say, 11 p.m. and go into the kitchen to eat something delicious. […]

SCRATCH SUPPER: BROCCOLI RABE WITH PASTA AND OLIVES

If it’s April, I’m eating broccoli rage. Drat—Wordpress autocorrect did it again—I mean broccoli rabe. Despite its name (the last bit is pronounced rahb), it’s more closely related to turnips (Brassica rapa) than to regular broccoli (Brassica oleracea), and although it’s commonly described as a bitter green, I happen to think it has more of […]

CHARD FOR THE EASTER TABLE

Easter will be celebrated on the fly this year, so I’m keeping it ultrasimple—good smoked salmon to start, herb-crusted rack of lamb, boiled little potatoes, and something lemony for dessert. As far as a green vegetable goes, the gorgeous rainbow chard I’ve been seeing everywhere has been pulling me in a Mediterranean direction. I do […]

A MICROGREEN GARDEN

In another month, the Union Square Greenmarket will be bursting with young greens—not just the ubiquitous ramps, but dandelion leaves and wild edibles such as chickweed, claytonia, and nettles—spring tonics, all. Meanwhile, I’m getting my fresh fix from microgreens. Unlike sprouts (the first stage of plant growth), which are germinated in a dark, moist environment, […]

THOUGHTS ON CLAM CHOWDER

There are about as many versions of chowder as there are cooks who make it, which is perfectly reasonable when you think about it. Like vegetable soup or gumbo, it’s more a product of circumstance and soulful interpretation than an actual recipe.  I myself was raised on a brothy Hatteras clam chowder, which tastes of the ocean, […]

KITCHEN SYNC: FREEZE-DRIED SHALLOTS

The shallot is a workhorse of the restaurant kitchen. It’s reliable and available year-round, and its flavor—delicate, nuanced, and intense all at the same time—gives finesse to dishes that range from classic French sauces (beurre blanc, bordelaise, mignonette) to the seasoning pastes and hành phi, the crisp caramelized shallots that add depth and richness to many […]

RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS: OVEN-BRAISED BEEF WITH TOMATO SAUCE AND GARLIC

A braise, with its deep, soulful flavor and lush texture, is a stellar example of what can happen when household economy meets benign neglect. Take an inexpensive cut of meat, put it in a heavy pot, brown it (or not, as the case may be), add a small amount of liquid, and let it cook, […]