Showing posts from May, 2015

Spaghetti with Onions

The husband and I have wonderfully different palates, and this recipe proved it.   While watching—yet another—baseball game one night after work, we quickly made up this dish. Sure, you need a little patience as you will want to cook the onions on a low heat for a long time (say 15 minutes or so) to give them that lovely, sweet flavor rather than the usual strong and piquant flavor they normally have when raw. But, a little bit after you have begun the onions’ frying, you can make up the spaghetti, and by the time the spaghetti is done, you’re ready to finish the sauce. The milk will curdle, and the recipe will hold your hand, telling you not to worry. This is a perfect, economical, Thursday-night meal filled with those ingredients you have on hand all around the house, and you don't have to miss the first inning of the game.  We settled into our spots, forks and napkins at the ready, added our salt, pepper, and cheese, and proceeded to watch Hunter Pence and Buster

Kela Raita

When it came time to make another recipe (this one from page 215) from this well-loved cookbook from one of our favorite Indian restaurants in the Bay Area, I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed that my option was Kela Raita. Keep in mind, I knew nothing about kela raita and clearly my ignorance about Indian cuisine was about to shine through. I was just disappointed. The recipe did not appear to have flash or pizzazz. (I like a little flash and pizzazz). It threatened to be sweet (what, with the banana). And it presented itself as just boring old yogurt and banana. It hardly seemed worth mentioning in an individual blogpost. I like I said: I knew nothing. But I love raita, that thick yogurt side dish that could be a condiment, could be a salad, could be a dip. Raita helps temper the tongue-searing effects of curries, and I love the spiciness of the toasted cumin and black mustard seeds present in all raitas, so what was my problem? Mostly, it’s tha

Rum and Raisin Brownies

Memorial Day calls for an easy dessert after a dinner of husband-smoked pork ribs and an in-law-constructed glorious eggplant dish (from Ottolenghi’s Plenty , no less). Thus, it was the perfect time to trot out Donna Hay’s cookbook Flavours . As I have mentioned before (and before and before ), I am a fan of Australia’s Ms. Hay, as her recipes are simple and easy to execute. There is nothing fancy or flashy about her work, but it is always tasty enough to serve to guests and easy enough for a weeknight meal. Memorial Day was overcast and foggy up in Fort Bragg—the perfect kind of day for me, although others were disappointed that the fog didn’t lift and we were left eating indoors rather than out in the garden. However, the fog is the perfect vehicle for a morning spent grading and cooking and an early afternoon spent jogging by the beach while the husband grilled ribs and at one point seemed to be washing the side of the house with a long handled brush. To each his own.

Beet Salad with Orange and Pine Nuts

It’s baseball season. The time for hotdogs and beer. Nachos. Maybe even hot chocolate (hey, it’s San Francisco: more often than not, a night game when the fog rolls in requires hot chocolate, a hat and gloves, maybe even a blanket). I do not eschew such pleasures, especially in the summer. But to balance such indulgences, the regular days of my life need food that’s a little lighter, a bit more aware of its composition and construction, a fraction healthier. This is where Sarah Britton’s new cookbook, My New Roots steps in. I’ll admit, this cookbook is not for everyone, what, with its “cheese” made from cashews, “bacon” made from coconut, “scallops” made from leeks, and “tuna” made from sunflower seeds. I avoid substitutions on principle (if I want tuna, I eat tuna; I don’t substitute it with sunflower seeds.   That said, I’ll admit, I plan to just put actual tuna atop her recipe for pan bagnat with dill, spring onions, capers, cucumber and sprouts because, lordy, that s