Tag Archives: dinner

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


Farfalle with ham, sage, and peas

Gordon Ramsay:  That guy can cook.

Today was a good day for eating.  When P. and I rolled out of bed we rolled our way to Dinkel’s.  Custard. Bismarck. You want one.  Their coffee is pretty good, too.

For dinner, we pulled out Gordon Ramsay’s “Cooking for Friends,” a Christmas present that last yielded lemon-feta-basil pasta. I do plan to move beyond the pasta section eventually, but if all the pasta recipes are keepers like the lemon-basil stuff and tonight’s farfalle, I’ll be in no hurry.


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Linguine with lemon, feta, and basil

The conversation went like this:

“Right now, here in this room, is one of your Christmas presents.”


“I mean, I plan to get you other stuff, but I saw this and thought of you so I got it, and it’s here right now.”


“So my question for you is do you want it now or do you want to wait until Christmas?”

I love when two people who like instant gratification find each other.  I’m now the proud owner of Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends.  The pictures are pretty, the recipes look really tasty, the writing is straightforward, and the author and I have similar feelings on bacon (we’re pro) but the emphasis on fresh, interesting ingredients means that the recipes don’t get weighted down.

P. made me Ramsay’s linguine with feta, lemon, and basil for dinner tonight.  It’s simple, quick, light-tasting, and really awesome.  I’d like to make it for a summer dinner party with little dishes of different kinds of olives all over the table, and a really dry cold white wine. Continue reading

Pork chop with red and white onions and apple-turnip mash

Do you ever buy a vegetable at the farmer’s market out of a weird sense of duty?  “I should eat more root vegetables.”  That’s how I ended up with 5 turnips lurking in my fridge for the last month.  I think the same principle applies to duty Netflix – Bergman’s Cries and Whispers and Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller once sat on top of my television for an entire year.

I’d only ever enjoyed turnips once before.  It was March in Paris, and the chef had put tiny roasted turnips and their sauteed greens around the edges of a plate of lamb and white beans with rosemary.  It’s hardly fair – everything tastes better in France.

Today I decided to face those turnips and stare them down.  I peeled them.  I sliced them.  I wrinkled my nose at their sharp and funky smell.  I threw them in a pan with 2 peeled and sliced apples, a tablespoon of butter, some salt, a dribble of white wine, and a sprinkle of allspice and boiled the holy hell out of everything until most of the liquid was absorbed and I could mash the turnips with a fork.  Those suckers are sturdy and fibrous, so plan on about an hour, covered at a low simmer, to get them mashable .  I salted everything, tossed in some more butter and a few tablespoons of buttermilk, and went to town.  And the result was:

This could almost make you like turnips!

Delicious.  A perfect fall side dish – earthy and buttery. The apples take the sharpness out of the turnips. And that big piece of meat you see there is a pork chop, brined in red wine and salt water, cooked in a cast iron skillet, and allowed to rest while a bunch of chopped red and white onion (leftovers from other recipes) carmelized in that same skillet with some apple cider and fresh rosemary from my friend E’s garden.

If you don’t like turnips, this recipe won’t make you magically like them, but it contains enough butter and salt to convert someone who is on the fence.

Welcome to November.

Green eggplant = shows improvement.

I still had four of those green bastards lurking in my house all this time. And they wouldn’t go bad, so I couldn’t justify throwing them away.  But, thanks to neighbor Eli, I had a much more awesome plan for attacking them and turning them into food.  Continue reading

Eggs with Mushrooms & Croutons

Eggs with Mushrooms and Croutons

Eggs with Mushrooms and Croutons

In my efforts to slowly turn French, I’ve been eating eggs for dinner more than I do for breakfast.  The above recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers.  As written, it serves two, but is easily scaled up or down. Recipe after the jump.

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