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Showing posts from August, 2016

Deviled Eggs Two Ways: Mustard-Cornichon and Smoky-Toasted-Rosemary

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You know, I would like to say that I am a sophisticated urbanite who does not hanker for the staples of her childhood potlucks. However, I would be lying.

Yet such hankerings do not include Jell-o molds. Nope. (To be clear, I have nothing against the Jell-o set. I love my aunts dearly.)


Kristin Donnelly of Eat Better, Drink Better has recently launched a new cookbook that drags the potlucks of yore into the modern age. Gone are the green bean and condensed (of course) cream-of-mushroom soup casseroles, the pigs in a blanket, and the cheese balls rolled in mixed nuts. Instead, Donnelly sets new rules for potluck fare that include
Staying power (it's gotta withstand its tenure on the buffet table)Simplicity (too many components equals prime fussiness; potlucks do not equal fussiness)Crowd pleaser with a bit of a surprise (it's a potluck, but it's not the 1970s) These are all rules that I can get behind. Her modern recipes include Apple-Ginger-Bourbon Cocktails, Indian-Spice…

Caramelized Onion, Eggplant, Olive, and Kale Calzones

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For many of you out there, the thought of turning on the oven makes you almost swoon. In fact, some of you are already swooning because of the heat. If this is you, bookmark this recipe and come back to it this fall when the eggplants are beginning to shrivel on the plant but are still quite good and when the kale is a little wilty but still edible.

Or better yet, defy the heat and make this tonight: but put it inside a Campfire Foil Pack and toss this on the grill (or even better yet, a campfire).


However, in the Bay Area, we are getting the August fog, that wall of cool, wet weather that makes me almost shiver, not from the cold, but in delight. In fact, tonight as we were driving (to Target for cat litter and Kleenex if you must know the boring details of my daily life), the wall of fog was firmly planted just on the edge of the Bay at the Oakland border.

It will creep in, not on little cat's feet as Carl Sandburg suggested, but in puffs and blooms as we get deeper into the ni…

Ottolenghi's Thai Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Chile Oil

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Sweet lord.  Double this recipe.  
Don't question me. Don't doubt me. Just do as I say, not as I did.  Because the sheer tragedy of this recipe is that I did not double it, and the amount of left overs was paltry, indeed. And this soup is really good.  As in, really, really, I-cannot-find-the-words-so-I-will-just-repeat-really, really good.


And it's so good not for any one particular reason. It truly is the sum of its parts. The savory and creamy red lentil soup has these aromatic hints of makrut lime and lemongrass, the chile oil bursts with lemon and star anise, and the parboiled peas add just the right sweetness and crunch.


Sure, sure, you might scoff at the long list of ingredients. You might even balk at having to hunt some of them down. (Yep, fresh makrut lime leaves can be a bear to find sometimes. But you can find dried ones here.)



Even culinary hero Yotam Ottolenghi himself champions messing around with ingredients, substituting some in and leaving others out (in…

Chive Crepes with Avocado and Smoked Salmon

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This little recipe is perfect for lunch. It's simple, it's very light, it's as healthy as can be, and it's satisfying. Let's break that down, shall we?
Simple:  Mix batter. Make crepe. Fill. Roll up. Eat. 
Perhaps the hardest part about this recipe is making the crepe. I don't know about you, but the first crepe, much like the first pancake, is always a little wonky. But once you get the pan to just the right temperature, all of your crepes will turn out beautifully with that satisfying little crinkle at the edges. But I get ahead of myself.

Very light: Yes, buckwheat can be a bit assertive, but thinly spread out into a crepe and topped with smoked fish, well any buckwheat crepe is going to back down a little and let the innards shine. And while there is an abundance of fat in this crepe, said fat leads both to the healthy and the satisfying.
Again, I am getting ahead of myself.

Healthy as can be:  Friends, it's buckwheat (champion of lower cholesterol and bl…