Showing posts from November, 2015

Endive with Sardines and Lemon from The Homemade Kitchen

Sardines and lemon atop endive leaves qualifies more as snack than a meal, but given the hefty amount of food many of us had this past week, perhaps this healthy snack will make a welcome meal. This palette cleanser that's about to launch us into December from  The Homemade Kitchen  and Alana Chernila. Chernila's lovely blog,  eating from the ground up , is a primer in cooking and preserving fresh, seasonal food. In this, her sophomore endeavor in the world of cookbooks, Chernila clearly enjoys making clear, clean, and realistic homemade food. While there are some fancy tricks and turns here--recipes for kefir and tofu--she gives us hearty staples such Coq au Vin (with Buttermilk Spaetzle, no less), Chicken Pot Pie, and Summer Squash Frittata balanced with nibbles and bites that will help keep the waistline in check. However, what delights me, as one who likes a good mantra, is the way she divides the book. Tacked up on Chenila's refrigerator is a list of d

Pumpkin Pie Puddings

I love a  pudding .  Simple, satisfying, classic, not too flashy. Which is what I would say about    Nicole Spiridakis's cookbook  Flourless.: Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts . As you know, I am not gluten-free, but I do  want to embrace more gluten-free cooking , for a few reasons: first, I have plenty of gluten-free friends whom I want to feed, but second, I think it  is  important to have a variety of foods in one's rotation, especially around Thanksgiving time, when oodles of people with many different dietary needs come together. Our national reliance on wheat is a boon for North Dakota, Kansas, and Montana; however, any sort of monoculture is troubling for a state (and yes, even vineyards, while I love their product, can be tricky for agriculture). Spelt (Ohio), buckwheat (New York), amaranth (Nebraska), barley (North Dakota, again), and oats (Minnesota) contribute to a variety of crops and a variety of foods for all of us. These are things I can get

Whole Roasted Celery Root from NOPI

Okay.  This almost doesn't qualify as a recipe. But I'll admit, I have never made celeriac this way. Yes, it took Yotam Ottolenghi to convince me to do something simple. And perfect. I am not going to mess around here. I love celery root. I have sung its praises here , here , and here . It is not a pretty little root vegetable, but if you can get beyond its humble, knobby exterior, it smacks of the bright, freshness that one expects from celery (which is, really, just the stalk of the plant) and the nutty, earthiness of something that comes from beneath the ground. This straightforward recipe comes from Ottolenghi's latest cookbook, NOPI , a collection of restaurant-approved recipes from London's powerhouse foodie and his partner and NOPI Head Chef Ramael Scully . Yes, it's true, I am a bit of a fan-girl when it comes to Ottolenghi, and next time I am in London (whew, it has been a long time  since I was last there), you better believe I pla

Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart with Walnuts

Oh people, I made this dense chocolate tart for Halloween Night, and it was decadent and rich, if a bit boozy. Who wouldn't want that as a descriptor, either for themselves or for their desserts? As I mentioned in a recent post , I have been nursing one doozy of a cold, so I have not been able to stay atop my cooking, but I did make this tart for Halloween Night. We surrounded ourselves with family at one set of my in-laws houses, and in between bites of a dinner, we answered the door as children pleaded for candy. Favorite costume: adult male dressed as a banana with a small child dressed as a monkey on his shoulders. When dessert time came around, we sliced up this rather rich tart. We did have to make a recipe and a half because I did not have a 9 1/2-inch tart pan. I did, however, have a much larger square pan and in-laws who were willing to take the leftovers off our hands. People, I am not happy with the fact that I have gained five pounds since the beginning of

Tangerine Negroni

As a child, at the toe-end of my stocking, I always found one apple and one orange--holdovers from my mother's childhood, when her own mother would stuff an orange in the toes, a twenty-year tradition from the Great Depression . Does your family still do this? Stuff an orange into the bottom of the stocking? Stuff these globes of bounty, of sunshine, of California or Florida, of a warmer and gentler clime? Even some 80 years since the Great Depression? And citrus fruits, while available year round, take center stage in the winter, when we're all convinced there are no fresh fruits to be found. This sweet and juicy cookbook by Valerie Alkman-Smith and Victoria Pearson trots out a healthy dose of citrus-inspired recipes. Sometimes the tangerines or lemons or limes take center stage (as in the recipes for Handmade Lemon Pappardelle, Cara Cara and Blood Orange Salad with Ricotta Salata, or Lemon G รข te au). Other times the citrus takes a supporting role (think Bluebe

Grilled Squid with Cucumbers and Anise Hyssop

I really like it when other people make me squid. I particularly like it when the kind folks at Camino in Oakland make me squid. But I have to say, this is far too much work for what turned out to be mediocre results. From here on out, I'll leave grilled squid to the chefs. Full disclosure: I am a little grouchy. I have had a cold all weekend, which means I missed a backyard BBQ with some of the husband's friends on Saturday, a 1-year-old's birthday party on Sunday, and other general weekend revelries. Instead, I spent my weekend in a NyQuil-induced stupor and watched such gems as This is 40, the current season of Modern Family , Inside Out , and Troy . Don't judge--it was a fine mixture of what could be found on demand and of the laziness that precludes lifting the remote. Nonetheless, I am grouchy. I wanted to love this cookbook, and I had been looking forward to its arrival.  But the sad truth is that I don't love it. The ingredients are too prec