Category Archives: Recipes

Winter Vegetable Chowder

Hello!  Happy New Year!

I finally have a little time to both cook and write about cooking after a busy semester and producing a short film.  So back to it, yes?

Winter Vegetable Chowder

The cookbook is Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, and the soup of the day is Winter Vegetable Chowder.I should probably make more recipes from this cookbook, because every one I have made has been a winner, but then when I open the cookbook I’m like “Oh, that’s your favorite soup, you should make that one” and I just keep repeating old favorites.  Part of this is because many of the recipes are time-consuming and involve a lot of peeling and chopping, and it takes a few times through to have them become second nature.  But the time spent makes a huge batch of delicious soup that is tasty and substantial enough to be the main course at a dinner party, and the techniques you pick up serve you in making other soups. Continue reading


Crustless quiche with smoked salmon, asparagus, and goat cheese

This should be amazing, but it’s just so-so.

I chopped up some asparagus and about 2 oz of smoked salmon and put those things in a buttered pie dish.  I poured in 4 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan, and about 2 oz of crumbled goat cheese.  I salted and peppered.  I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

I really love all these ingredients, but it needs something else.  It’s just ok. I deem it “acceptable.” What would be better next time?  Chives?  Chopped red onion?  Dill? Fresh basil?  Roasted red peppers?

Broccoli, tomato, and chickpea salad

Want a cheap, healthy, fast dinner recipe that makes good leftovers?

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s excellent Everyday Food cookbook.

You’ll need 1 lb. of broccoli, cut into florets and steamed for 5 minutes.  1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved.  1/2 a small red onion, minced.  1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.  2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp dijon mustard.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Some chopped mint or parsley would not go awry.

Whisk together mustard, oil, and vinegar and add red onion to make the dressing.   Combine steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas in a bowl and stir in dressing.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature.

I think it might be better tomorrow, as the acid of the mustard and vinegar will have a chance to work on the chickpeas.  I’d let it sit for a while before serving.

A tale of two spaghetti sauces

I made two pasta sauces in the past two weeks.

The first was Marcela Hazan’s tomato sauce with onion and butter, adapted from her book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, discovered via Smitten Kitchen. Here’s the rough guide:

  1. Peel an onion and cut it in half.
  2. Throw it in a heavy pot with a 28 oz can of tomatoes and 5 tsp. of butter (slightly more than half a stick).  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot until the ingredients turn into sauce (35-40 minutes).  Keep an eye on it – it cooks a bit faster than you think.
  3. Remove the onion and discard it.  Or chop it up eat it in the kitchen or serve it at the table and use fresh bread to pick up sauce-covered onion chunks.  It just doesn’t go in the sauce when you put it on the pasta.
  4. Serve over 1 lb. cooked pasta with grated parmesan to taste.

It was amazing.  I see why every food blogger in the Western Hemisphere has gone apeshit over this simple sauce and used the words “light” and “rich.”  It brings out the flavor of the tomatoes.  I think it would work great on something like gnocchi, where you don’t want to overburden things.

Today I made a “kitchen sink” sauce with way more ingredients and steps.

  1. Brown 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb hot italian sausage in a heavy pot until no longer pink.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook an onion slowly over low heat until translucent and golden.  Add 8 cloves of crushed garlic and cook until mellow.
  3. Throw the ground meat back in with the onion and garlic.  Add about 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary, and a dash of crushed red pepper.
  4. Add 1.5 cups red wine, 2 tbsp. tomato paste, and a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes.
  5. Add 1 lb sliced mushrooms that have been sauteed in a little bit of butter or olive oil.
  6. Bring to a boil, then cook over a low heat for 3 hours.  Add 1 tbsp. of sugar to take the edge off.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste before serving over pasta.

This makes a TON of sauce – I’m eating some of it with spaghetti tonight and freezing a bunch.  Maybe I’ll make a lasgagna with it.  It came out really good – meaty, dark, hearty.  But of the two I think I prefer the three ingredient version.

What’s your can’t-miss sauce recipe?

Leftover flatiron steak fajitas + a glass of Bitch

Leftover fajitas

Last night I used Martha Stewart’s recipe to make fajitas.  Incongruous, I know, but that lady tests her stuff and does not let non-delicious things go out the door.  Her cookbooks might not change your life, but you know that when you make her stuff the recipe will not fail. Continue reading

Winter salad with apples + bonus salad dressing recipe

Winter salad

A couple months ago my friends took me out to dinner at The Bristol and to see Up In The Air.  We spread roasted bone marrow and shallot jam on toasted bread, tucked into roast chicken with homemade spaetzle.  There may have been flatbread with bacon and pull-apart monkey bread.  I seem to recall pate and cheese and gin drinks.  The movie was pretty good, too.

But the thing I haven’t been able to get out of my head is a salad we ate with green apples, watercress, parsley, hazelnuts, and manchego cheese in a lemony dressing.  I’ve been experimenting with recreating it with readily available ingredients (no watercress at the HarvesTime, and no hazelnuts except in Nutella form).  I think I finally got the flavors right for tonight’s dinner. Continue reading

That sardine-avocado sandwich

I don’t enjoy watching Alton Brown call himself disgusting on television, and I’m not on the smoothies! instead! of! meals! bandwagon, but I do trust that his food is going to taste really good and I can get behind both sardines and avocados. Hence, I tried The Sandwich, courtesy of Serious Eats. I didn’t need to make four sandwiches at the same time, so I adapted the recipe somewhat.

  • 1 can of sardines packed in oil, drained and oil reserved in a little bowl (this is enough for 2 sandwiches)
  • A little bit of lemon zest and 1/2 lemon cut into wedges
  • Half a leftover avocado from when I made this bitchin’ salad with grilled steak the other day (also an Alton Brown recipe).
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • Some chopped fresh parsley – a few sprigs-worth
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 piece of hearty bread per sandwich

This makes enough for two sandwiches, so I’ll put the sardine mixture in the fridge until tomorrow…or later.

So the directions are:  Make a happy little salad dressing with lemon zest, parsley, sardine oil, salt, pepper.  Rub a little on the bread and toast it.  Stick the rest of the sardines in the dressing and mash them with a fork. Mash the avocado onto the toasted bread, top with sardine mixture, squeeze a little more lemon on, salt, and devour.  I would eat this again and again.   Photos after the jump – I normally lead with them, but I feel that they will make P. gag, so I’m being nice. Continue reading