Posts tagged dairy
Thursday, June 27, 2013

summer potato salad

Leftover potato and spring vegetable salad for lunch while I take a break from cooking and invoice my client. Sugar snap peas, radishes, spring onions and parsley in a yogurt-olive-oil-Dijon dressing. #privatechefmonth

Yesterday, in a 5-4 landmark ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and effectively allowed marriage equality in the state of California.

Also, there’s this potato salad.

Continue reading summer potato salad.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

fregola sarda with peas, zucchini, feta, and almonds

fregola sarda with peas, zucchini, feta, and almonds

Funny how the first thing I write about post honeymoon isn’t some tropical drink or dish (though those are coming some time soon), but about pasta with a somewhat obscure name – fregola sarda. From Jamaica to Sardinia in one fell swoop. How’s that for globetrotting?

Fregola sarda’s name hints at its origins, the island of Sardinia (hence “sarda”). It’s sometimes spelled as fregula and even though it’s a little tricky to find, I can’t recommend it enough. Visually, it looks just like Israeli couscous, which you can certainly swap in its place, should its Sardinian cousin be difficult to find. The only difference that I can think of (and please correct me if I’m wrong) is that fregola sarda is toasted, which gives the pasta a lovely, nutty flavor, while Israeli couscous is not. Curious, I’ve tried toasting Israeli couscous and it makes for a decent close substitute.

Continue reading fregola sarda with peas, zucchini, feta, and almonds.

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.

Continue reading fig hamantaschen.

Monday, September 17, 2012

tomato sauce with onion and butter + tomato sauce techniques

tomato sauce with butter and onion

I think that many things have been said about this tomato sauce that it feels almost redundant to jump in at this point. Enough praises have been sung*.

But as I was thinking about this sauce and why it’s so great, and why it’s just so great to make your own tomato sauce for dinner rather than reach for a jar of it, it got me thinking about the technique of making a proper tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is a simple, humble thing, and yet it too has a few rules that need to be followed in order to wind up with a sauce that will take your breath away each and every time. The most important one is to cook your tomato sauce uncovered.

Continue reading tomato sauce with onion and butter + tomato sauce techniques.

Monday, September 10, 2012

amazing chocolate pudding

chocolate pudding

Hello there. Sorry for vanishing into the void, but I’m back. Sort of. August was a blend of crazy, busy, and sad. I won’t get into the sad, but there was a lot of travel between New York and Massachusetts and not of the happy variety either. Amidst the travel and gaining two additional roommate for a few weeks in August, I submitted the manuscript I co-wrote with Chef Forgione. The recipes alone were over four hundred pages. How I got it done, I’m not sure entirely, a lot of it had to do with a generous friend and her home office.

While it’s taken me three weeks to tell you about chocolate pudding, I hope you forgive me. I’ve been feeling a little stretched as of late, despite a relaxing week in Wellfleet where I diligently ate oysters and chased them down with beer. It feels like a far away memory now. I could, easily, have spent a whole month out on the Cape and hope to do so someday soon.

Most recently I had made chocolate pudding to justify my dessert-for-dinner excuse. I had a filled cavity from earlier that morning and could hardly open my mouth. Applesauce seemed too boring. And it was too warm to contemplate mashed potatoes. Rice pudding, delicious as it is, required chewing. Naturally, the next possible choice was chocolate pudding. Obviously, right? Right??

Everyone I know likes chocolate pudding. Even people who are ambivalent towards chocolate, like chocolate pudding. But here’s the rub: some of most of the recipes were far too rich and far too sweet for my palate. In doing a bit of research I found that many of the recipes use egg yolks, and while I’m all for yolky richness, I like my chocolate pudding to have singular, clean chocolate note. Less of a custard, more of a pudding, if you will.

Whenever I crave chocolate pudding, it’s impossible for me not to recall a certain disaster that once befell an apartment I was renting on the Upper East Side. Back then, I used to be a big fan of Swiss Miss chocolate pudding snacks, which I purchased weekly at my local Gristedes. At the time, I was working for a certain investment bank where my hours were long and my teammates were not very nice. When I had initially accepted the position, it was to do x, y, and z. I was, instead, relegated to the tasks no one wanted to do, and in the end just about everyone on the team came in at 9 and left at 5; whereas I had to be in at seven thirty in the morning and left well after nine o’clock at night. On most weekends I spend at least one day in the office. It was some time ago – I was very meek and didn’t know how to speak up for myself. Thankfully, I’ve become much better at this.

Continue reading amazing chocolate pudding.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

peach ice cream with sour cream and black pepper

peach ice cream

Oddly enough, one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to temper eggs and make egg custards. Funny, how something that made me anxious just few years back is now a favorite activity in the kitchen. My fear caused me to resist egg custard-based recipes for years, until I finally bit the bullet, gave it a try, and found that it’s really not so terrible or difficult.

Tempering isn’t exactly rocket science, but it is slow, measured, deliberate, patient. So if drizzling hot cream while whisking it into eggs makes you crazy just thinking about it, tempering might not be that enjoyable to you. I, on the other hand, find it meditative, much like focusing on your breath in yoga. Tempering requires that you make fast friends with your custard, one trickle of hot cream at a time, turning eggs into a lush, golden-hued, velvety fluid.

Continue reading peach ice cream with sour cream and black pepper.