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Archive for 'cookbooks'

BLUEBERRIES IN GIN SYRUP

Labor Day weekend came and went, and guess what? It’s still summer! Gardens everywhere are galloping at full tilt, and even in our own little patch, something is ripening, ready for the picking, each minute. That doesn’t stop me, though, from braking at practically every farm stand I pass—especially when I catch sight of the blaze of sapphire […]

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 […]

PINEAPPLE BLIZZARD

When it comes to dessert, the world can be pretty much divided into chocolate people and fruit people. I myself am squarely in the latter camp, which is why the simple, refreshing dessert known as Pineapple Blizzard is a lifesaver this time of year. The first precious local strawberries—let alone the heavy, ripe peaches and […]

KASHMIRI GREENS

As always, March is a challenge. It’s such a fretful month: Snow is still on the ground and the wind has the force of winter behind it, but blazing blue skies, a sun the color of a rich egg yolk, and longer days make it impossible to stay inside, even though I lost my gloves. […]

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, […]

STIR-FRIED GARLIC LETTUCE: FOR THE LUNAR NEW YEAR, VALENTINE’S DAY, AND BEYOND

A simple stir-fry gives finesse to any meal. It can also make you look at a supermarket staple in a whole new light. Romaine lettuce is a great example of what I mean: Twenty-five years ago, it was either that or iceberg in our salad bowls. Nowadays, it’s usually passed over for more delicate varieties […]

KOHLRABI SLAW: A MARKET STORY

The weather whiplash we’ve been experiencing lately requires agility, both at the market and in the kitchen. Take last week, for instance: Those single-digit days had me entertaining thoughts of a fork-tender chuck roast or choucroute garni, fragrant with juniper, but no, I didn’t act fast enough. The forecast turned balmy, and the morning I set aside for […]

BEHOLD THE BUTTERNUT: INSPIRATION FOR AUTUMN SCRATCH SUPPERS

Butternut squash, introduced to the public in 1936 and working hard ever since, doesn’t have the cachet of kabocha or the drama quotient of a Blue Hubbard or Red Kuri. What it does have going for it is widespread availability, great versatility, ease of peeling, good, reliable flavor, and now … cuteness. That’s right. Say […]

MUSHROOMS PERSILLADE

The French technique of adding freshly chopped parsley and garlic to a dish, usually at the end of cooking, is called persillade (“pers-ee-yahd”), which sounds difficult, but couldn’t be easier. In fact, it’s a great example of how two basic, inexpensive supermarket ingredients can impart resonant flavor to a dish. It’s reason alone, in my […]

VIVA MARCELLA!

On Sunday, Marcella Hazan, Italy’s greatest gift to home cooks everywhere, died at the age of 89. The world is diminished. And I know I’m not alone in paying tribute in a way she would have appreciated: by cooking. There’s an armload of basil in the refrigerator, just waiting to be transformed into pesto, what she called […]