Monday, February 25, 2013

how to store leftover egg yolks

egg yolks

I’m always sad when I have to throw out a perfectly good ingredient just because I can’t find much use for it at that very moment. I’ve been too cold to contemplate ice cream, and at the moment, there’s no room in my freezer – as it is chock full of fish (courtesy of the lovely folks from the Alaska Fish Council – more on that at a later date).

But I bet that if you’ve ever made marshmallows, or meringue, or macaroons (or macarons for that matter, you had leftover egg yolk and you probably wondered how to save it, right?

A few weeks ago, when I was elbow deep in testing marshmallow recipes for my hot chocolate addiction, I wound up with quite a few loose egg yolks. I simply stirred the yolks with a pinch of salt, put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the yolks, covered with a lid, and placed the container in the freezer (with a date written on top of a piece of masking tape, which I find to be an indispensable tool in the kitchen). Those yolks will be good for at least about 2 months, and I’m willing to bet that I’ll have that ice cream hankering sooner rather than later. Or better yet, I’ll make lemon curd instead!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

fig hamantaschen

fig hamantaschen

I wanted to title this post “Here are the !@#$%^ hamantaschen – Happy Purim!” but that seemed kind of rude, and not really my style. So instead, I’m going to apologize for giving these to you in the eleventh hour. I have a good excuse: I seem to have caught Andrew’s horrible cold and I’ve been feeling lackluster for the last few days. Not so terrible that I’m spending my day in bed, but terrible enough that I am constantly dreaming of a nap, which never happens to me under normal circumstances.

Fully intending to test these hamantaschen on Thursday, I was derailed when I woke up feeling off. At first I thought it was a matter of having coffee and letting caffeine return me to human form, but when the funny feeling didn’t go away, and in fact proceeded to grow, I figured that maybe I was coming down with something. I still decided to make the filling, which consisted mainly of just monitoring the simmering figs and making sure the pan didn’t go dry. I felt like I could handle it – and it went okay. The filling turned out great and in the fridge it went.

That was the end of my culinary effort for the day. Earlier in the morning, I had the foresight to pick up a rotisserie chicken, some sweet potatoes and red onions. So all I had to do was make one side dish (that requires minimal effort) and dinner was ready. I wish I had the foresight to do these things more often.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

roasted chicken thighs with clementines

roasted chicken with clementines and orange juice

I don’t care what anyone says, but on my bookshelf, Jerusalem has found a permanent spot as a go-to book. With all due respect to Marco Canora, I think some of his criticism (while judging this year’s Piglet contest) of the book was a little, well, I’m not sure what to call it, but I was genuinely surprised by some of his criticism. But then again, some of the criticism of the books being judged struck me as odd. Adam Roberts makes a good point when he says, some people’s garbage is other people’s treasure. Also, I’m pretty sure you can get sumac at Kalustyan’s and it’s so worth having in your spice pantry.

I get it – some of the recipes, should be more specific, and in that, the critique holds valid. Yes, it’s better to say how much salt and pepper in the ingredients if you do give a measure for it later in instructions. I’m not going to challenge that. What I am going to challenge, perhaps, is that the food, in and of itself, is gorgeous, celebratory, lush, full of joy and love, and Canora makes no mention of it. And while the recipes might have used a slightly more thorough edit, the food, in and of itself, is what truly makes this book a treasure.

I approach writing about food on this blog simply: If I see a good recipe, whether it’s something I’ve tested on my own in the kitchen, or cooked from a book, I’m going to share it with you because I feel that the only recipes worth sharing and writing about are the ones you want to shout about from tops of mountains, or in the case of living in New York – buildings. And Roasted Chicken Thighs with Clementines is one such recipe.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

hot chocolate and marshmallows

plop

I sure talked a big talk when I claimed to be making Valentine’s Day dinner for Andrew and me. And I bet all of you fell for it hook, line, and sinker. But in reality this year, our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple carries a bit of irony with it. Instead of a quiet just-the-two-of-us-at-home meal, Andrew will be speaking at his alma mater in Boston. What could possibly be more romantic than climate geeks stealing flirty looks, gazing into each other’s eyes, or even possibly meeting their soul mate while listening to my one and only explain the patterns, the trends, the connections between extreme weather and climate change? Exactly – absolutely nothing.

My parents and Andrew’s parents are coming to the talk – they’re forbidden from asking questions. Also, they are to sit in the back, lest their parental instincts take over and they start mouthing “Enunciate! Straighten up!” to Andrew. We’ve got this under control.

Flowers? Who need’em! Just talk dirty-climate to me.

Continue reading hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

pear and cheddar scones

roasted pear and cheddar scones

See above there? Those are some delicious pear and cheddar scones. And what I’m about to talk to you about – has nothing to do with baking, scones, rushed breakfasts, or leisurely brunches. Nothing at all – except this is what has recently been plaguing my brain. So bear with me here…

What has been on my mind lately is how people living in small apartments work at home without having a designated space. There’s a blogger I follow who documents her life in a tiny apartment that she shares with her husband. The apartment, a studio in our neighborhood, is tiny, and she manages to make it look airy and large. Meanwhile, I trip over my own stuff, and our place is about three times the size, and to be perfectly honest here, it feels like a tight squeeze.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

bratwurst, cabbage, and sauerkraut

brats, cabbage, sauerkraut (and beer)

This, above, might not look like much: bratwurst with cabbage looks humble enough, but let me tell you – it’s something, all right. On a cold February night accompanied by freezing rain, I can’t think of more satisfying dinner. Also, feel free to file this under “Crap, it’s [fill in the day of the week] night, the fridge is empty, and there’s no dinner plan” kind of a meal. Happens in this household more often than I like to admit. And also a random but important aside (and please tell me if I’m alone in this): on the worst kind of nights, the kind where there’s bitter winds and cold rain or sleet, I am loathe to call for take-out because (and follow me here a moment) I feel badly about sending the delivery guys out in this weather delivering my food. I worry that they might get sick and there’s no health insurance; I fret over the fact that people’s driving is more erratic when there is bad weather and the delivery guys might get into an accident. I know my logic is flawed (by not ordering I am costing them income), and when we do order in on such nights, we tip extra for the delivery guys’ effort, but still, the pang of guilt in making them go out into the elements – I feel it every time.

Bratwurst served with sauerkraut is, I’m told, a very common thing in Germany. It’s hearty, hardy fare, downright pedestrian if you think about it; honest cooking without much cooing or pretense. It’s meant to warm you right down to your bones and fill your belly, and goes down beautifully with a pint of beer. Right about now I might crave Florida sunshine, a pool, and an umbrella drink, but for this, friends, you need the all the misery of the Northeast February (or anywhere where it’s cold) with all its inglorious freeze to fully appreciate what visually doesn’t, in the least bit, look arresting.

Continue reading bratwurst, cabbage, and sauerkraut.