Crossword puzzle aficionados will recognize Nobody ever told me as a familiar clue. The answer is LAMEEXCUSE. That’s all I can offer for why I didn’t recognize the orange slab of swordfish Jody brought home for this week’s blog. It’s called pumpkin swordfish – new to me – and the jack o’lantern color results from …
Maybe lockdown is the perfect time to bring back soufflés. If you screw it up – and you probably won’t – and who’s going to complain? A few months or a year from now you can whip one up for a special night. Then, Jeez, who knew you could make a soufflé? Plus it has tons of Parmesan and cheddar in it.
This is the simplest salmon recipe you will ever read. Your dog could make this recipe. You put a skillet of boiling water on the lowest rack of a preheated oven. A baking dish with oiled and seasoned salmon goes on the rack above it. Everything remains in place for 45 minutes. The most succulent …
Winter is coming, and no matter what WHO says about meat, dammit, all of us need an occasional treat to balance the scales with life’s tricks. Herewith Chicken Livers with with Passion Fruit, Pomegranate and Caramelized Dumpling Squash, exactly the kind of meal that Jody and I cook up at home when things have been crazy and we need to remind ourselves to slow down and savor what’s in front of us. In the last month we’ve been to Haiti, where Jody cooked and taught up a storm and I photographed it all and much besides. Right before our departure, one of Jody’s cooks fell and broke her ankle, which will keep her out of the kitchen for several months. Since out return Jody’s been picking up the the slack (note the state of Jody’s hands in the photos), while I’ve been processing photos for all of the institutions we visited. When we lift our noses from the grindstone, this is what we eat.
I returned from Istanbul a few weeks ago with an eggplant monkey on my back. During those brief periods in Turkey when I wasn’t stuffing myself with baklava, I was slavering over Turkish eggplant. The aubergine highlight of my travels was a braised veal shank wrapped in eggplant, a dish so meltingly tender than it was difficult to tell from texture alone where the eggplant ended and the meat began. The ubiquity of cooked eggplant in Turkey isn’t duplicated in this country and an eggplant lover must sometime fall back on his own devices. Stuffed Eggplant with Farro, Ginger and Pomegranate is not nearly so complicated as the veal shank I ate, but it is tender, and so deeply satisfying that the absence of meat in the recipe seems irrelevant.
Previous blog posts notwithstanding, we don’t spend every free moment careering about the back roads of rural France and Italy, pausing every few hours for an under-the-olive-tree feast. Truth is, we almost never go on picnics unless we’re on vacation or on a biking trip. Trying to find time when everyone’s schedule meshes during the day is like trying to plot when when three or four different orbiting satellites will pass within shouting distance–not impossible, but requiring more math and determination than any one of us can muster. We’re as overbooked as you are. Which is why when we do manage to find the time, having something special – other than what’s on offer from a gourmet deli – becomes all the more important. Enter Poached Salmon with Chipotle Yogurt.
In the spirit of estival amnesty, we chose not to publish an Easter post about rabbit, but now that our kitchen has been picked clean of of brightly colored eggs, it’s back to the
cutting drawing board. Herewith, Mustard-Braised Rabbit with Leeks, Peas and Radishes. In other words, rabbit for grown-ups.
Every pasta shape is lovable, if only it finds the right sauce. But deep down inside, we know whom we love best. For me it’s bucatini. Bucatini is what spaghetti would be if it had a gym membership, and the will to pump iron until it got the girl. I’d slurp up a bowl of bucatini slicked with WD40 just to experiences its chewy satisfactions. While bucatini is no match for sauces that require crampons and carabiners to hold them in place, ending up with leftover sauce in the bottom of the bowl hardly seems like the end of the world. (Pass the bread, please.) No fear of that this week. New England tomatoes are gasping their last, with only a few red diehards and lots of green wannnabees still about. Together they make a great sauce that tastes of the season. Bucatini with Red and Green Tomatoes is the pasta to eat at the gate of fall. Blink, and even the green tomatoes will be gone.
Who flipped the switch? After weeks of height-of-summer salads and cookies suddenly here we are, plunged into nights when you need a jacket. I grilled a dozen ears of corn last Thursday, alone at home, nursing a scotch on our deck in the dark, except when I raised the lid of our grill …
Fat. Let’s not beat around the bush, shall we? Fat’s probably the best place to begin a discussion of Chicken Rillettes with Preserved Lemon and Summer Savory. Au debut, as the French say, in the beginning, rillettes meant one thing – pork. Or rather, pork and fat. Rillettes was pork that had been salted, cooked slowly in pork fat, shredded, then preserved in the same fat, and served at room temperature, usually spread on toast. Rillettes* are now found all over France, and while pork is still popular, in the Southwest, the Midi-Pyrenees, extending down to the Spanish border, the technique is more often seen with duck or rabbit. Today rillettes of salmon, tuna or other fatty fish, or even mushrooms are not uncommon on pricey menus. It’s hard to argue with that–what doesn’t taste good when cooked slowly in fat and salt?