Posts tagged meat
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.

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!.

Friday, March 4, 2011

pelmeni

pelmeni

I’m worried that by writing about pelmeni, the famed Russian meat-filled dumplings with a cult following, I might inadvertently open the Pelmeni Pandora’s box and pandemonium will ensue. This is a dish that elicits passionate responses as there are just as many different persuasions on how to make pelmeni and how to eat them as there are Russians, probably more. And while the gist might be the same, the nuances, the proportions – will vary vastly. Whether or not you put garlic in your filling can become a central argument point of the evening. And believe me, it’ll turn into a very long evening, indeed. As far as my personal experience goes, every Russian family I’ve ever met (and I’ve met many given my background) equipped with a recipe will lay claims to making not only the best pelmeni, but also the most authentic. Authenticity is huge with Russians. The number of times I’ve heard at a dinner table, “That’s not a real [],” – I’ve officially lost count. To prevent another heated debate, I’d like to tell you, right off the bat, that this is just my family’s version. And, as expected, I like my version the best. But that’s entirely a matter of opinion.

If given the opportunity, I could wax poetic about pelmeni – I’d like to write it little haikus about how delicious they are, how they make a night of no-time-cook-dinner into a veritable feast. But then I’d be writing poems and totally forget to give you the recipe. So you’d be looking at pictures of pelmeni and how to make them without actually know how to bring this bounty to your own table.

Continue reading pelmeni.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

sloppy bao

sloppy bao

About a year ago on a day much like today I was stranded in the West Village waiting on a friend who was stuck at work, and thus running late for our dinner date. So late in fact that we wound up catching up over a late night drink that night. But there I was, stuck downtown, cold, hungry after my work-out, emerging from the gym to a text message telling me dinner was getting pushed back to even later. And as many of you know, an intense workout renders one famished and pushing dinner to later is not an option.

julienned mango

I texted back that drinks later were fine, but that I was going to find myself something to eat, lest I expire. Besides, unexcited about having to wander outside in freezing rain, I set out to find a suitable solution: dinner that was simple and casual enough that would allow me to pop in without a reservation and linger there indefinitely until my friend would show up. While it sounds easy enough in a city like New York, I should also tell you that I’m a picky eater in restaurants, who looks for various details that will provide me hints if a place is worth visiting. Somehow, my restaurant-picking gut has never led me in the wrong direction, and I trust it entirely. What this decision-making is comprised of, I can’t exactly say. It’s more art than science, that’s for sure.

Continue reading sloppy bao.

Friday, January 7, 2011

beef stew with carrots

beef & carrot stew

Wow. You guys are, just… well… wow! I don’t know what to say except for a heartfelt “Thank You!!” I didn’t expect this much support and of such caliber. In those moments when I get a little scared and doubtful, I just go and reread your comments and emails. Thank you for being so supportive and encouraging. It means more than I can put into words, which is a funny way to be for someone who relies on language so much. All I can say is that you make this little wee space here very much worth while. You make it what it is. And I am so so grateful each and everyday. To you. For you. I am so excited to be taking this plunge, and, in a way, taking you on this journey with me. It’ll be fun, I think. We can revel in the good, and find humor in the bad, and hopefully in the end, it all will fall into its proper place.

crunchy

I wanted to share this beef stew with you tomorrow. To write today and take some time to edit, but if you’re in the New York area, or anywhere where it’s cold and snowy, this will come in handy tonight. It’s my way of thanking you for being so wonderful. So if you see any typos here, please forgive me.

Because it’s snowing and I feel like snow is the perfect kind of stew weather, I want to give you this today. Beef stew, no matter how you make it, makes the house smell simply amazing, and is the kind of thing that begs to be ladled over buttery egg noodles. My favorite part is when I’ve finished all the beef, and have some sauce and noodles left in the bowl. I eat the noodles with a spoon, and, if I’m eating alone, always slurp the noodles; somehow it makes for a more satisfying meal. At this very moment, however, I’m sitting in a windowless office, staring at a window all the way across the hall and watching the snow fall softly.

Continue reading beef stew with carrots.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

cider-braised pork shoulder with caramelized onions

brown food ain't pretty, but it sure tastes good

Perhaps because I wasn’t reared in the culture of pork eating, I am at odds with the animal. It’s not like I didn’t have pork growing up – I remember slivers of lardo and slices of speck, and an occasional pork loin, slow-cooked, studded with garlic cloves and bay leaves. There might have been a cutlet or two in there somewhere. But pork, at least in my memory, wasn’t a staple in our household in Russia, and became almost non-existent the minute we landed in America. My father, for reasons he still can’t furnish, considers pork to be somehow less kosher (or more unkosher, to be exact) than other tref foods. His ruling was final – pork was out – and so it didn’t enter our house unless my mom and I snuck some in, mostly in the form of bacon.

flying pigs, who else?

And so, based on this history, I’m really weird when it comes to pork. Really, oddly, inexplicably weird. First of all – we must exclude bacon from the pork umbrella. Bacon is special and is a food group in and of itself. So is speck and lardo and other cured meats like prosciutto. But other stuff is fair game. Pulled pork sandwich? Yes, please! I’ll take seconds too! Pork chop? No, thanks. Pass. Yawn. Pork cutlet? Pass, again. How about an apple-cider braised pork shoulder? Um, here’s my plate, please pile some meat on it! Confused yet?

Continue reading cider-braised pork shoulder with caramelized onions.