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Showing posts from February, 2015

Basler Mehlsuppe (Swiss Carnival Soup)

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Last Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent. Of course, the beginning of the Lenten season signifies the end of carnival. Well, for most Christian people, that is.  Not all.

Certainly not for those who hail from the Swiss city of Basel.



For you see, there, on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, the church bells peel and the Basler Fasnacht begins.  Indeed, according to About.com: De drey scheenschte Dääg, "'the three best days' of the year, start at 4 am Monday after Ash Wednesday and continues non-stop, with barely time to sleep, until 4 am on Thursday. The city almost shuts down and parades, confetti and 'Mehlsuppe' rule." Over 20,000 people participate in the festival, and those with elaborate masks and over 200 lanterns drum and piccolo their way through the streets. Usually, the masks and lanterns center on a theme heavy with irony and political satire of the previous year. (This year's theme: "We don't fit in a drawer.") Unlike most globa…

Japanese Flavor-Pounded Chicken

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Time for another fieldtrip.  However, this one isn't local.  Come on, let's pack our bags and head to Hearth, Marco Canora's restaurant in Manhattan's East Village. You see, I have recently acquired Canora's new cookbook, A Good Food Dayand already I am licking my chops, thinking about my next trip to New York (which let's be honest, has been almost 20 years since I drove the wrong way down a one-way bridge at 3 a.m. in Queens, terrified of the Big(gest) City, and while I am certain my confidence in navigating urban streets has increased with my subsequent living abroad and in large US cities, the siren call of New York City is one that I don't even need binding to the mast in order to resist. However, should I find myself sailing those seas headed into Gotham, you better believe, I'll book a seat at Hearth).

Sometimes, when I am walking by a restaurant, I stop to look at the menu. Imagining an unlimited budget and a bottomless belly, I fantasize wha…

Earl Grey Ice Cream

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This recipe took not one but two field trips.

First stop, Highwire. Home of my favorite tea (Winter Morning--no competition), this local coffee shop opened in 2010. They are completely committed to being the local coffee shop, even as Philz is planning a move-in just down the street. On Thanksgiving, the owners hand out fresh, free coffee, and it's my go-to tea store, including my weekly Wednesday cup of Spearmint after work. There is no other place to buy my Earl Grey tea. It is that simple.


One of the classics of the tea world, Earl Grey takes its name from Earl Charles Grey, the prime minister of England from 1830 to 1834 (who had a hand in the abolition of slavery throughout the United Kingdom in 1833 but is better known for the appellation attached to his tea). It is simply black tea combined with oil from bergamot, a citrus fruit (think a cross between a sour orange and a lemon) grown, for the most part, in Italy, but also in the south of France, Turkey, Mauritius and Ivory…

Catalan Turkey Meatballs

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Okay, I'll go ahead and admit it here. This recipe is not from page 215; instead, it is from page 115. But I have a lot of fish I need to make this year and I just cannot face the prospect of making Rosso's page 215 contribution--Cod with Garlic Sauce--when the only way I really, really like cod is battered, deep-fried, wrapped in newspaper, drenched in vinegar, and served alongside chips. 
My rules
I can break them.  
So, let's turn to page 115.

Julee Rosso's book,Great Good Food(now well out of print), was a staple of the 90s. While many of my own cooking habits have changed since those halcyon graduate school days when I secured this cookbook, one that I share with Rosso has not: cook with local, seasonal food, which this cookbook espoused even 25 years ago. Thus, despite its age and its now somewhat dated illustrations, the cookbook still rings true to me.
In 1977, Rosso, along with Sheila Lukins, began a little food store called The Silver Palate on Manhattan's…