Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘main courses’ Category

I’ve been on a fall recipe kick lately – squash, pumpkin, apples, beets. I made the switch so fast from summer tomatoes and corn, it caught me by surprise. When I recently found myself with some extra butternut squash and no inkling (nor freezer space) to make soup, I thought about a sandwich. Specifically, it was a sandwich I had last spring at Bad Hunter, a Chicago restaurant. Their menu is interesting – mostly vegetarian but with a bit of meat here and there for flavor, creative dishes that are quite beautiful and with spectacular desserts. One menu item really struck a chord with me: a crispy squash sandwich.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago, I saw an Instagram post by my friend Camas Davis, proprietor of the Portland Meat Collective. It was a shot of quartered beets with the greens attached and she mentioned she was cooking from the Gjelina cookbook. I’d always cooked the two separately; this idea of cooking them together intrigued me. And I had that book somewhere. More importantly, I had beets with the greens still attached in the refrigerator and no real plan for them. The timing was perfect so I rounded up my copy of Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California by Chef Travis Lett and found the recipe. It seemed simple enough, small beets are roasted with the tops until the bulbs are tender and the greens are crispy. Simple enough until I made it. There was this one thing, this one annoying little direction, that had me cursing.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Somewhere a while back I read that we should be using pickle brine to marinate chicken. What?!? I’ve been brining meats like chicken, turkey and pork for years with a simple solution of water, salt, sugar and spices. Which, with the addition of dill and garlic, is essentially pickle juice. It’s so simple and so obvious, that’s probably why I didn’t think of it. How many times have we tossed that jar of pickle juice in our lifetimes? The smart ones among us might throw in some carrots, or more cucumber spears or jalapenos but for most of us? Down the drain and into the recycle bin. Well, let me tell you, there’s a better use for that juice (well, besides picklebacks but that’s another story.)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Every year I tend a small plot in a community garden not far from my house. I coddle and baby it all summer long and am usually rewarded with an abundance of something as well as a complete failure of something else. It’s always a learning experience. As September moves into October and fades into November, my interest and enthusiasm wanes a little with the season. It’s cooler and rain is more frequent so I don’t have to worry about wilting or watering like I do in the hot summer months. The plants still produce, especially the tomatoes which don’t seem to realize it will snow in a few weeks, but do slow down as the days get shorter. At this point, I just let it do its thing. In early November when it’s time to shut down for the winter and put the plot to bed, I throw anything remaining in a bag and deal with it back home. This final harvest usually contains greens, big bunches of green herbs, the string beans which seem to peak the day I have to clear everything out and a surprising amount of cherry tomatoes in all shades, mostly unripe green.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The summer of 2011, I was in Southwest France for the first time, about to start a stagiere at the Michelin stared restaurant of Chef Dany Chambon, Le Pont De l’Ouysse. I’d met him the previous fall at a food and wine event in Bangkok and when he offered to come work in his restaurant, I did. It changed my life. For the first few days, I stayed in a little b&b in the tiny town of LaCave. The owner was a very opinionated woman, who proceeded to tell me much of what I knew about French cooking, particularly that of the Dordogne Valley, was wrong. I kept my mouth shut and let her lecture me because I found it amusing but one morning she proudly presented a cookbook with a strange padded cover and declared it the best thing ever. It was by Yotom Ottolenghi, a strange name I’d never heard of and couldn’t pronounce. I took the book up to my room that night and never looked back. That book was Plenty.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Summer food is summer food for a reason. The ingredients tend to be things that are in season, many for only a short time like tomatoes and corn. The dishes typically come together quickly with a consideration given to not heating up the kitchen, utilizing techniques like grilling or a quick stovetop sauté and avoidance of the oven altogether. Full disclosure: I break this rule all the time and just sweat it out. I make what I want to make, weather be damned. Last weekend toward the end of a horrible heat wave, I was craving something cool and light and I was seriously considering sitting in a bucket of ice during every meal. Friends were coming over for Sunday Lunch and I decided to channel my inner French woman and make the ultimate summer meal I’ve enjoyed immensely during my travels – a Grand Aioli.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Not long ago, on a hot sunny Chicago day, some friends and I were drinking Michelada’s – the beer, tomato juice, hot sauce concoctions that are perfect day drinks. They’re refreshing, tart and tangy and are what they refer to in the business as “session-able” – you can drink several without becoming a sloppy mess. All around, it was a perfect day.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »