Wednesday, May 29, 2013

agrodolce meatballs

Meatballs for my client. Just wait til you read about it. No tomato sauce in sight. #latergram #nofilter

Greetings from the land of overbooked and overextended. Somehow, the end of May and the month of June have managed to shape themselves into something far more demanding than the sum of its parts. There’s work here, and work there, and work seemingly seeping out of every crevice I happen upon. This might sound like complaining, but it’s far from it – a few short months ago I was growing increasingly listless and anxious about not having enough to do, so having too much on my plate is arguably better. Still, some things must take priority and others less so, which is why instead of a picture of finished meatballs, you get an iPhone photo of the ones in the process of browning. To be honest, since I cooked a week’s worth of dinners that day, I just forgot to take a picture. Also, below is a random picture of mirepoix cooking. Aaaaaand you’re welcome for that one!

As I mentioned in my last post, I managed to pick up a private chef gig for the month of June. The upside is that my client eats almost everything – which makes cooking actually fun. But still, there’s quite a bit of work involved: from menu-planning, shopping for ingredients, prep, actual cooking, and to the dreaded clean-up. By the time I was done with this first week’s worth of meals, the kitchen looked like a small battle took place there, and I had to resort to Brillo pads and good old elbow grease to put the kitchen back together the way I found it. It took awhile.

Continue reading agrodolce meatballs.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

spicy tunisian fish stew (chreime)

spicy tunisian fish stew (chreime)

I’ve been thinking about this space in the last few weeks: how it changes with time. Life, itself, isn’t static, so it would be intuitive to think of this as a dynamic space. A year ago, Friday’s links didn’t exist, and today they do. I’m all the happier for it – I hope you are too.

Sometimes I post frequently; other times, not so much. Last summer, when I was in the throes of finishing a cookbook, I didn’t post much. I was too immersed in heavy writing and editing, and my husband and I ate a lot of “toast with things on top” and eggs made whichever way, both of which grew tiresome rather quickly. This upcoming month, in addition to some work I’ve been doing (and loving), I’ve picked up a private chef gig, and there might be another fun project on the horizon. So I might not be posting frequently in June, or maybe I’ll post about what I’m cooking for the private chef gig because these will be the types of things that will reheat rather well and should be a boon for a busy home cook. Friends, I hope you’ll forgive me for poorly lit iPhone photos should I do that, because the last thing on my mind in June will be a well-shot, well-lit, well-composed photo.

The infrequent posting could also suggest lack of interest or commitment to this space. But it’s actually quite the opposite: I only want to write about things that I think you ought to cook right now, without any delays; delicious and, for the most part, straightforward food. Sometimes, I’ll test recipes all week and they’re fine and good, but not particularly blog-worthy. It’s just regular dinner, folks, protein, grain, veg – you know the drill. Sometimes, the testing of a particular recipe takes months to perfect (there’s one on rotation like this right now – grrr). On occasions when I come across fussy recipes that are well-worth the extra effort, I save them for the kind of leisurely cooking when I can spend the whole day puttering in the kitchen. They tend to be weekends, but even Saturdays and Sundays can suddenly become full of those weekend activities like picnics and museums and hosting friends, and being outside in this glorious weather, because who wants to slave over a hot stove on a gorgeous spring (or summer day)? What you need is a reliable arsenal of recipes that will produce stunning results with minimal time and effort. In other words the recipes will have high culinary ROI.

Continue reading spicy tunisian fish stew (chreime).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

skirt steak with buttered radishes + giveaway!

skirt steak with buttered radishes

Hi, friends. Today, let’s talk to one another, frankly, about money. Or rather how we worry about money in this economy; and let’s face it — most of us, in some way or another, have worried about money at some point especially since 2008. Am I right?

Money conversations are never fun and are almost always awkward. I’m not sure why, but in our culture, money conversations are considered bad form. We can talk about income disparity, socio-economics, income levels, but when the matter of personal income is concerned, the conversation pretty much stops.

But it would be unfair to write about food, eating well, shopping at farmers’ markets, seeking out the best ingredients, and not, implicitly, bring up money. No one’s going to give you a dozen eggs for free, never mind a dozen eggs from fancy hens with their own names. Ramps and fiddlehead ferns (the trendy darlings of spring) aren’t cheap. Go to the farmer’s market in mid-August and try to buy a few tomatoes – they’ll cost you.

Continue reading skirt steak with buttered radishes + giveaway!.