Archive for March, 2010
Last week I volunteered to test a meatloaf recipe for Food52, and I chose the craziest-sounding one with the hardest-to-find ingredients, just because I’m that guy. That, and I was late to the sign up, and it was pretty much the only one left to be tested. Which worked out perfectly! I actually already had many of the Japanese ingredients on hand, and I always welcome a trip to the Japanese grocer where I can poke around and try to guess at just what the hell I’m holding in my hand (Powdered fish eyes? Dried squid flakes? Pickle soda?). I always wind up buying things that I didn’t plan to buy (freeze dried scallions anyone?) but that’s part of the fun. This recipe sent me in search of “curry roux”, which is basically instant curry sauce that comes in blocks that look like chocolate. It’s really good, and I’m sure I’ll be working it into some recipes in the future.
The bottom line on this meatloaf, to cut to the chase, is that it’s insanely delicious.
My last post was for a tangy yogurt cheese dip, which should be served with pita chips. Here’s how to make them!
Earlier this week Tina over at Choosy Beggars put up an intriguing recipe for making your own yogurt cheese spread, which of course involves making your own yogurt cheese. Since I have never made yogurt cheese before, I had to give it a shot. It was surprisingly easy, and the results were pretty amazing. I think that technically this is more of just a concentrated yogurt rather than a “cheese”, but the end product is a tangy, creamy dip that is great with some home made pita chips.
So it’s Saturday morning. It’s too early to go to dim sum, and I’m not in the mood for a traditional breakfast. What to do? Make bacon and egg pasta!
This week’s Food52 theme was spring lamb. I don’t cook lamb all that often, because a certain someone doesn’t really like it (no names) but I do love me some lamb when I can get it. I usually braise it, for a wintertime dish, but since the theme was “spring lamb” I decided to go for something with a little more freshness to it.
Squid is a fish that is oft-neglected by the home cook. Relegated to the deep fryer at the local bar, squid seems to have the bad reputation of being something that you only eat while you’re out. The truth is that it’s an easy-to-cook, delicious alternative to traditional proteins such as chicken or beef in a stir-fry. It can be had for a fraction of the price of other fish (I paid $3.99/lb today) and it takes only minutes to prepare and cook. I threw together this quick stir fry for lunch, and it was very satisfying.
Those of you who read this blog know that I cook from David Chang’s Momofuku Cookbook quite often (if I continue writing this blog I will eventually post every recipe in the book, and I hope his lawyers don’t come after me). I love the flavor profiles he uses, and I have been slowly incorporating his techniques and ingredients into my daily cooking repertoire. Last night I got some friends together to watch Lost, and a marinated hanger steak ssam seemed like the perfect dish. Easy to make, great for a crowd, healthy, and delicious.
My cousin Erik, who lives out in Boulder, CO, recently sent me a recipe that he loves. He prefaced it by saying that this recipe “wasn’t pretty” and that I would need to do something to “dress it up” for the photos on the blog if I were to cook it. He was correct, in that the chicken comes out rather purple, since it is cooked in wine, and everything else winds up a dark shade of red. However, that aside, this dish was great. Warming, tangy, and filling. If this is what the peasants eat, I’d never want to be King.
Yesterday I got some friends together to enjoy the beautiful weather here in NYC down at Riverside park. Some bocce, snacks, sun, and of course…cocktails! I have to thank my friend Morgan Tayloe for introducing me to this drink at a picnic she put together in Central Park a few years ago. I have appropriated it for my own summertime get-togethers ever since, and it’s always a big hit. It’s very easy to make, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
This month, as part of my farm share distribution, I got 2 lbs of dried black beans. I’m not exactly sure how this happened, because I’m relatively certain that the upstate New York farm wasn’t growing black beans this season, but hey…you never know. I think that this month’s share was a little light, so they supplemented in some beans to make up for it. In any case, I was faced with the prospect of cooking black beans, and my favorite way to do it is to make the ultimate Latin American comfort dish: black beans and rice. Simple and satisfying, I could eat this all the time, and it’s healthy to boot.