Some people collect cars, for others it is playing golf, for me, it’s barbecues. I don’t collect them per se but rather I cook with them. Their value isn’t termed by condition but in hours of use. Much like a … Continue reading A Real Winner: Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Salsa Verde and Almonds
While it is not ever my first choice, hydrating droopy vegetables is worth the effort if your vegetables aren’t too far gone. I am not talking about trying to save rancid moldy vegetables but rather the carrots I bought yesterday that were crisp, fresh and gorgeous but somehow, within a 24 hour span in the fridge, have gone wilty, maybe even beyond wilty but nowhere near rotten. It pains me to throw out food. Generally I would make a stock with vegetables like this just to use them up but I was really counting on this particular gorgeous bunch carrots … Continue reading Hydrating Droopy Vegetables
Rarely do I use my microwave. I use it to take the chill off my coffee. I heat leftovers for lunch. Whenever a recipe calls for “butter, melted” onto the glass turntable the fat filled Pyrex measuring cup goes. I don’t cook with my microwave in any real culinary sense. I sometimes wonder why I have it, why I allow it to take up precious counter space when I know everything for which I use it can be done just as easily on the stove. Of course there is also the fear that has been around as long as the … Continue reading Perfect Microwave Broccoli
My favorite kind of coleslaw is the classic, creamy variety; it comforts me because I grew up eating it at a mom-and-pop catfish bar whose coleslaw was second to none. Their version was made with finely grated cabbage and bright orange ribbons of carrot. It was a bit tart and a little sharp — the way horseradish can be — because the cabbage was freshly grated. It paired perfectly with deep-fried catfish, whose crispy tails tasted of bacon. This is the slaw by which I judge all others.
There was a time when my father and I would have walked the distance up the hill to Gordon’s Rocky Top. We would have crossed the creek, stepping gingerly across the slick rocks like seasoned hopscotch players, hiked to the fork in the path, taken the trail on the left, and then quietly ascended the long, wooded hill. On our way, we would have walked past the pond, and if we were lucky, we might have spooked an owl or happened upon some white tail deer.
To be honest I lost interest in New Year’s Eve a long time ago. If memory serves me, the last New Year’s Eve I celebrated was sometime late last century. For that matter, I am not sure what year it was that I last made it to midnight. It doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate, I do, I am just not in a rush to do so as the bell tolls. I guess I prefer to ease into it casually, like when my eyes pop open after a good night’s rest.
Have you ever had a friend who knows no strangers? The kind of genuine person to whom everyone in the room gravitates — someone who doesn’t have to work at meeting new people, because somehow it is coded into their DNA for others to like them?
I like repetition. It guides me from one task to another. Like how in the morning I’ll make my wife’s coffee exactly the same way and take it to her while she is getting ready for work before making my … Continue reading The Virtues of Routine and Braised Cabbage
Sadly, as I sit at the bus stop watching my daughters play, I have to tell myself: summer is so last season. All summer I have been grilling vegetables for salads. Mostly zucchini and summer squash; I char it deeply and then chop it and toss it with basil, lemon juice, and olive oil, in sort of a grilled chopped salad. It captures all the flavors of early summer one could want. But at some point, either the zucchini or I tire and the dish no longer appears on the table. At least not until next summer, when the annual … Continue reading Everything but the Hamburger, Special Sauce Included
I can’t get enough of taco night. Neither can my wife Amy or my daughters. We love it, and especially me, because I can do everything — with the exception of chopping with a knife or the food processor — … Continue reading Taco Night on the Grill
I really like chowders and really like French onion soup. I don’t like pasty chowders so I didn’t thicken it except for the starch released from the potatoes. One tip I learned from Jasper White’s 50 Chowders is to let … Continue reading Three Onion Chowder
The rain is really coming down now. On the few days it has been nice I have been to the garden looking for the tiniest hints of spring. Maybe thin asparagus tips might be peeking at me through the damp … Continue reading The Asparagus Has Not Sprung
A wonderful blend of deeply caramelized onions, spicy tomato broth and creamy chickpeas. Khatte Channe, as it is know in India, is traditionally served with a flatbread but as it is cooked in this recipe it has lots of sauce … Continue reading Chickpeas in a Spicy Tomato Gravy
What thrills me the most about potato cakes like this is the crispy top and creamy interior. If you use good potatoes the flavor is unbeatable and if you are creative you can even layer the interior with things like … Continue reading Potato Cake
This time of year potatoes are a shot glass full of sunshine, they are the break-up song I can’t stop listening to, they are my noodle, my rice, and my comfort. They are soothing in the way a pacifier is to a child and they get me through the edgy emotions of late winter. They are one of those rare ingredients that selflessly put other ingredients on a pedestal. They make butter better and cheese cheesier and we all know potatoes are versatile by the vast number of ingredients you can pair with them. You can bet come Sunday when I want something comforting for dinner, … Continue reading Everyday Potatoes