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Archive for 'cooking'

WHEN IN DOUBT, PUT AN EGG ON IT

The last time I posted was way back in December, and I apologize for falling into arrears. But not only did life become even busier than usual, it was complicated by the arrival of an Airedale puppy named Scout. Truth be told, I was not thrilled at the prospect of this development, but, all too predictably, I […]

THE HOT BROWN: REASON ALONE FOR LEFTOVER TURKEY

Back in the day, a college pal we all called Kentuck introduced me to the Hot Brown—an open-faced turkey sandwich embellished with tomato and bacon or country ham, draped with a rich cheese sauce, then broiled. He was working with nothing more than a hot plate and a toaster oven, but somehow he managed to serve it with […]

SHRIMP CREOLE GIVES UP ITS SECRETS

Shrimp Creole. You’ll find it taking pride of place in any number of New Orleans restaurants, and south Louisiana home kitchens, too, especially on Fridays during Lent. But I love it this time of year even more, I think—its rich fullness of flavor makes it a great swing season dish. And it would be nothing without homemade […]

CONCORD GRAPES: AUTUMN’S JUICIEST FRUIT

Right now, people I know are putting up preserves, reorganizing their closets, or wrangling a wayward comforter into a duvet cover. I admire their industry and foresight, but truth is, I’m more of a grasshopper than an ant. I’d rather be outside in the October sun, poking around in the garden without doing anything much except harvesting lettuce and sizing up green […]

SEPTEMBER FIG FEST

In September, nature has a certain magnificent unconcern. Zinnias still bloom their heads off, rising above foliage wrecked by powdery mildew. Cosmos, bearing blossoms the size of teacups on their tall, feathery stems, straggle and sprawl with abandon. Bumblebees spend hours nuzzling the dahlias, then struggle to lift off under the weight of their yellow pollen pantaloons. And […]

ABOUT MUSKMELON

Our summer full of hot sunny days has resulted in fruit that’s on the small side, yet bursting with sweetness and juice. Take muskmelon, for instance—what most Americans think of as cantaloupe. I’ll get to why in a sec, but first, you should know that a true cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis) has very little to no […]

BEACH EATS

Early in the morning, the water looks like a sheet of mercury glass. Being not exactly cool, but not hot, either, it’s an excellent time to walk the beach and think about—well, supper. It’s hours away, but still. Time rolls into itself when you are on vacation, and when a houseful of people need to be fed, […]

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 […]