How often do you discover something delicious from a part of the world you know and you’ve never even heard of it? That’s the case with trahana for us, from Greece.
This recipe is so simple I had trouble envisioning exactly what I was going to photograph, which was fine, because given the temperatures of the last couple of weeks, who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Seared Haricots Verts with Whipped Feta and Preserved Lemon will have you in and out in no time and then you can devote yourself to doing what everyone does in hot weather – using the grill while quaffing enormous quantities of beer. Or, you can simply do what Jody and I did: sit down, pour yourself a glass of dry rosé, add some sliced tomatoes and crusty bread and call it lunch.
Curried Cod in Parchment was one of our earliest blog posts. After fantasizing about visiting Patmos, we thought it might be time to revisit the technique – with Shrimp in a Pouch with Lemon Mayonnaise.
This isn’t a fancy-pants recipe – it’s a remedy for the usual put-something-in-a-pan-then-put-something-else-in-a-pan-now-put-something-else-in-a-pan rut. You can finish everything before the first half-hour of All Things Considered ends, and that includes whipping up a batch of homemade mayonnaise (the house record for non-professionals is about 2 minutes). With luck the radio will be playing a story about Congressional budget negotiations while you devein the shrimp. You can sublimate your feelings, whichever side of the fence you’re on, into the pointed end of a sharp knife. Pause to pour yourself a glass of albariño. You deserve it – you’re almost done making dinner.
Craig Claiborne, the late pioneer of food journalism for the New York Times once wrote a New Year’s Day column that included the line, “Blessed indeed is the household whose refrigerator contains an overlooked tin of caviar.” Yes, well. For most of us, caviar times may be gone, but that only means the return of our salad days. Substitute chickpeas for caviar and you’re halfway to Wilted Green Salad with Fresh Chickpeas, Feta and Greek Yogurt.
Photographing Sardines with Feta and Salmoriglio this past week reminded me of a fancy dinner where Jody and I found ourselves sitting across the table from Stephen Hawking’s literary agent, who told a story about A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME. The original manuscript, we learned, had been an overlong demanding text several times the size of the slender volume that was eventually published. The agent revealed how he convinced Hawking how to pare it down. “I explained to him that every time he used a mathematical formula in his book he was going to lose half his readers.”
Hawking must have taken his advice to heart. There’s nary a single formula in the entire story.
Friends have suggested a similar axion holds for food bloggers. Every time you publish a photo of a fish with its head on you’re going to lose half your readers.
Tomato gazpacho just doesn’t do it for me. Over the years I’ve tried to love it, and each time a little voice in my head says, You don’t need to do this again. I love the idea of tomato gazpacho–fresh tomatoes, red onion, celery, peppers, a splash of acid in the form of red-wine …
Some weeks ago I wrote about a spring visit to Paris where our son Oliver and I had a great meal at Chez Janou. In iconic French fashion a nearby blackboard listed daily specials, including an hors d’oeuvre of Poivrons grillées au feta. Grilled peppers with feta. Sounded straightforward, simple. Okay, I could go with …