Recently in Pasta, Rice and Grains
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

midnight pasta

midnight pasta

Our household is in hunker-down mode. Dinners are tried-and-true standbyes. Things we’ve I’ve made before that we love that don’t require hours at a time. Quick, easy weeknight meals are our fast friends. I’ve finally become inseparable from my slow cooker and all I can say on that is, where has it been all my life?

Needless to say that recipe development, at least what I like to do with it, has come to a screeching halt. At least for the time being.

Until I hand in the manuscript for the kimchi book due in, gulp, a few weeks, I don’t have much bandwidth or desire to experiment. I’ve got enough static in my head as it is. For now – I focus on what I know best. Meanwhile, Forrest labors tirelessly. Sundays are, apparently, for office hours. At least between naps anyway.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

creamy mushrooms with pasta

creamy mushroom pasta

It’s the day before Christmas, which means, in our household, that I’m playing Christmas music, minus the actual Christmas celebration. But it’s still Hannukah, which means we get to combine our love of fried foods with the annual tradition of Chinese food. But more on that later. I’ve something up my sleeve for you tomorrow.

Today I want to talk to you about pasta.

Continue reading creamy mushrooms with pasta.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

turkey sausage and mushroom ragu

turkey sausage and mushroom ragu

Hi friends, it’s been awhile. I’ve miss you and I’ve missed this little space here. To say that life has taken a turn for the busiest would be an understatement. I don’t have ten seconds to myself. What I have been doing, however, is noting some funny things around me lately. Either I’ve grown more observant with the change of seasons, or the universe has grown stranger. Allow me to share.

The other day, as I was walking on my way to Andrew Scrivani’s for a day of cooking and shooting, something I do every Thursday, a dog passed me by and walked into a laundromat called “Klean and Kleaner”. I could say “wandered”, but that would imply an aimlessness; and the manner in which he entered the space was so purposeful and decisive, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was doing laundry and needed to switch it from the washer to the dryer. And then I thought to myself, “Is his doing his laundry or his owners?” I guess I’ll never know. But I have been contemplating the strange name of the shop – it is Klean or is it Kleaner? Or is it just like Alice in Wonderland – curiouser and curiouser?

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

coconut ginger fried rice

coconut ginger fried rice

We eat a lot of coconut rice around here. Scratch that. We eat a lot of rice, period. It’s kind of a staple in our household – and while it may sound pedestrian, it tastes delightfully indulgent when instead of cooking it in water, you cook is in some coconut milk.

I got hooked on coconut rice a few years ago when I made it one night, after finding a can of coconut milk in my pantry. It occurred to me that I could use coconut milk and water instead of just water to cook my rice–and I never looked back. Granted, coconut rice isn’t exactly a novel concept – it’s a standard side at many restaurants, especially if you’re having Thai food – a side I managed to discover for myself.

herbs

But here’s what happens: you make rice, eat some of it, and then the rest of it is left languishing in your fridge until you, what, toss it out? Let’s face it – leftover rice is about as exciting as leftover scrambled eggs – there are few takers. It gets drier, compresses, and feels generally unappetizing. Some things are just better made fresh, unlike say a bowl of chili, or curried carrot soup, or stuffed cabbage. And what may seem like a duh moment to some, but was a definite “aha” moment to me.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

rice pudding with coconut milk

spoon!

I realize that rice pudding isn’t about to win the sexiest dessert award anytime soon. It’s dull in color, lumpy in texture, and offers no enticing shape. It’s a lump of gooey rice sitting in your bowl quietly awaiting its fate. If there was a pageant for dessert, rice pudding would lose the swimsuit and the evening gown sections of the competition. It doesn’t sparkle or wow with its looks.

unsweetened soy milk light coconut milk

But it would nail the questions category, and when asked what issue is important to its cause, the rice pudding would surely rise to the occasion. It is, without question, my favorite winter dessert, snack, comfort treat. I eat it warm after dinner, with the steam rising from the bowl; I sneak spoonfuls of it at night, cold, straight from the fridge; I could build a lunch around it with some sliced pears and bananas and a steaming cup of Ceylon tea. I could easily write odes to rice pudding, and I might as well have done so just now.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

pasta with brown butter, kabocha and sage

pasta with kabocha squash, sage and brown butter

And so there was the move. It was quick and seamless (is it possible to sing praises to your movers, because I want to!) and the whole thing took less that three hours from the moment the movers got to Andrew’s place to the moment when he handed them the check and tip and we shut the door. It’s official – we can finally can call one central space home, instead of referring to our respective apartments as our “weekend place” and our “city place”. It sounds very bourgeois and fancy, but it was a major pain in the neck constantly to be living our of a bag, unsure if a particular item was here or there. Never mind the cost of New York real estate – boggles the mind.

We unpacked a bunch of boxes on the first day, and around five o’clock were so exhausted we could barely move. We ordered Thai take-out and watched taped episodes of the Daily Show. It felt like heaven, somehow, amidst the clutter and the disarray – it felt so good to be under one roof. And so for the last few days we’ve been trying to settle in – and so far, it’s been really easy and smooth. We rearranged some furniture and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It’ll take some time, but we’re on our way. I can finally start cooking in earnest again (hard to do with lots of travel, packing, guests, etc.) and I can’t wait. So this here little dish is from a few weeks back, when I knew I was going to be too busy to cook and develop new recipes, I tucked it away for a day like today. It was inspired by one of our neighborhood restaurants – and the dish I had there has lingered on my mind for quite some time.

Continue reading pasta with brown butter, kabocha and sage.