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Showing posts from January, 2015

Potato and Onion Salad with Smoked Albacore

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I present to you: Potato Salad.

That said, it's a pretty special potato salad with smoked trout and piquant arugula, but potato salad. I find that I have many disparate thoughts about this potato salad, and I lack the inclination (and talent) today to string together these thoughts into something coherent and clever.  Instead, I present to you a bullet-point list about a savory, peppery and smoky potato salad that I urge you to give a try should you have the inclination (and time).

Deborah Madison (our cookbook's author) tells the story of finding smoked albacore at her local farmer's market. I had smoked trout, instead. Indeed, smoked trout is a boon. Not only is it caramelized and earthy-sweet-smokey, but it is one of those treats with lovely, pleasant memories associated with it. Earlier, I wrote an homage to a friend, who often served smoked trout before a massive Canadian thanksgiving feast. Before the meal, we would all crowd on his and his wife's little balcony…

Butternut Squash Crumble

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Oh, this past weekend was spent at the ocean. Well, technically, it was spent in a cabin in the woods, but last Sunday evening was spent on a winter run that ended with a winter sunset at a winter ocean, and let's face it, that was the highlight of this winter weekend.

And, in addition to that wonderful sunset, yes, there was squash.

I do what I can, when I can, to eat squash, for my CSA sends it almost every week. I have roasted it with cardamom and nigella seeds, wrapped it in pastryroasted it with dates and thyme, and pureed it into soup.

And this past weekend, I had it in a squash crumble, which is a savory equivalent of a crisp (as in what the Americans might think of when we think of Apple Crisp). Apparently, the Brits serve these crumbles in a swath of varieties and have been doing so since the middle of last century. Americans know them usually only under their sweet variety, but the Brits are onto something here: you don't always have to make a crumble sweet. 
Now, tha…

Stir-fried Noodles with Wild Mushrooms

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A few years ago, we got a wok. We didn't need a wok, but we wanted one. So we got a wok.

Often those who are not in the know, my ignorant self included, have relegated the wok to simply a vessel for the stir fry. However, one can see the wok truly for what it is: a "cooking pot"--which is precisely what wok means in Cantonese.


I started to get curious about the wok, so I called upon our trusty friend, the internet, to tell me all about it. Turns out, we don't know a ton about one of the most widely used cooking vessels in the world, but people have all kinds of theories. I needed some answers--consequently, I turned to notable food historian, Rachel Laudan, who had this to say: we don't know much about the (history of the) wok.

She reports that some believe that as a Chinese cooking pot, the wok is about 2000 years old; however, as Laudan attests, other scholars date it more likely to about 1000 (or even only 500) years old and suggest that the wok is pretty inte…

Rosemary Cake

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From time to time there comes along a book that just speaks to you and to the kind of person you want to be, a book that feels aspirational and ordinary and satisfactory and accurate all at once. Tamar Adler's book The Everlasting Meal is just that book for me.

I have waxed poetic about it before, and certainly my affection for this book has not changed. It is not a traditional cookbook; instead, it is a meandering lyric on Adler's relationship to food. Her basic premise, as hinted at in her title, is that all food begets more food. Our meals should be everlasting. Those beets you just roasted? Their greens would go great on that pizza that you just made with the sourdough starter you have tucked in a corner of your refrigerator. Those beans you made? Their broth is the base for the minestrone of leftover pasta from last night. Did you just make a roasted chicken? Better keep the bones to toss into a pot to make the perfect chicken broth.


Tucked among her thoughts on the mean…

Meyer Lemon Éclairs

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Lemon curd is a delightful thing. Spoon it atop a scone next to a cup of tea with milk. Tuck it between layers of vanilla cake. Dollop it on buttermilk pancakes. Or you could do something far more sensible: just eat it with a spoon. Which, let's face it, I did. For breakfast. On New Year's Day. There may have been some toast involved.  However, mostly it was a spoon.

So officially, I can say that the first thing I ate in 2015 was lemon curd. And I can also say it was the last thing I ate in 2014. However, in 2014, I was far more refined in that I ate it in its éclair form.



The éclair is a favorite of mine. A choux dough filled with cream (and lemon curd in this case) and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar or a slather of shiny icing is the perfect and deceitfully light ending to any meal or the start to any day. The story goes that this little pastry is thus named the éclair, which means "lightning" in French, as a nod either to the sparkle it gives off when coa…