Posts tagged party food
Monday, April 28, 2014

“everything bagels” gougères + marc forgione book comes out tomorrow!

"everything bagels" gougeres

So, I wrote a book. And it’s coming out tomorrow. And I don’t know what else to say about it.

In January 2012, I sat down with Marc to discuss his vision for a book he agreed to write for then Wiley (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). We had been in a conversation, on and off, for months preceding, and the ice was finally moving. I was picked out of a number of writers, and here we were, signing the contract and talking about book deadlines, which, by the way, were six months away (ha!). At the time, I was in the final stage of writing the Kimchi Cookbook manuscript. Other than my work for Melissa Clark and a yet-unpublished book, I didn’t really have a resume. I was eager. I was hungry. I wanted this book.

Never, in a million years, did I think that Marc would take a chance on an unseasoned writer like myself. And when he did, I immediately did a celebratory leap around the apartment, which was immediately followed by a complete and total meltdown.How – how?!?! – was I going to write this book?

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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.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

crostini with whipped ricotta, persimmon, and prosciutto

crostini with whipped ricotta, persimmon, and prosciutto

I could tell you that I’m bringing these crostini with me to a New Year’s party this year, but alas, I can’t lie to you, good people, I just can’t. It’s not that these aren’t party-worthy (they are) or are difficult to make (they take minutes and are practically no-cook perfect cocktail snack), or don’t go with cocktails (they go perfectly with a nicely-chilled Manhattan or a glass of your finest bubbly). It’s just that our friends who are throwing this amazing New Year’s bash are, much to my chagrin, a piggy-free household. Personally, I think a little cured pork makes any party that much more delicious, but rules are rules.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

tomato sliders

tomato sliders

I think the only reason I would ever want there to be eternal summer is the promise of a tomato in my hand. I don’t think I can never get enough. I can have them in salads, on toast, slow-roasted, cooked into sauce, and in soup. I can also, with equal pleasure, bite into a tomato as if it were an apple and savor each ripe bite. And though, I am an autumn girl through and through, that ripe tomato cut into thick wedges, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with fleur de sel, is pretty much my idea of heaven in a meal. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about tomatoes, who might also wish for a summer if not eternal, then certainly extended. But eternal summer is clearly not here to stay, and I guess I’ll make peace with it soon enough. It’s just that I have such a hard time saying goodbye. I’m crap at it, really.

bun mise olive oil, lots of it.
drippy unbaked buns

Apparently, I’m not the only one who wants the season (or at least its produce) to last a little longer. The reason I made these tomato sliders in the first place is because Andrew spotted them in New York Times and promptly emailed me the recipe. One of the best things about dating someone who loves food as much as you do, is that they actively make suggestions and that the get it when you bolt from the couch to make impromptu ice cream. It’s not enough to eat something good, you must experience it with others. And food, as you well know, tastes much better when shared.

shhh, don't tell them they're about to get blanched nekkid!
you's about to get cored sundried
chopped

By now Andrew has heard me wax poetic about Blue Hill and the genius that is Dan Barber. And he sort of instinctively knew that these could not possibly be anything but sublime. Which they were. We could have easily made them into a dinner meal, but I was ambitious that night in the kitchen, and we had them as starters. I think we even fought over the last one – and generously decided to split it.
mascarpone and goat cheese filling
a view from above

I hope that you make these tomato sliders while there are still late summer (or early fall, come to think of it!) tomatoes at the market. Try to find the fragrant ones, heavy and fleshy – they will serve you well. The recipe looks like a handful, but really, there is nothing to it. It’s just a few steps, none of which take too long, and all of which can be made in advance. So if you’re hosting a party, these can be put together in no time. And they will, I guarantee you, steal the show. Because who can resist a miniature homemade burger bun with tomatoes, mascarpone, goat cheese inside? Exactly – no one. And if they do – clearly, that just means more left for you!

tomato sliders
tomato sliders

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

wings: honey-mustard wings & teriyaki wings

teriyaki wings

It’s hard to remember where my love for the American football began. It is an improbable love, sandwiched between my Russian heritage and my sports-apathetic family. In Russia, sports fans watched either soccer or hockey. They also read chess-match play-by-play summaries in the paper (yes, chess was considered a sport in Russia – I kid you not). My family, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. If it wasn’t opera or ballet, my father wasn’t paying attention. And if it wasn’t being broiled, fried or braised – my mother instantly would lose interest.

teriyaki marinadehoney mustard

So it begs the question why I’ve become such an avid football fan, replete with an arsenal of game-friendly foods in my repertoire. While I’ve certainly made my efforts to assimilate better, sports fanaticism is a hard one to fake. You actually have to understand what’s going on. And football comes with a lot of rules at its disposal, so it’s not a late-comer friendly game. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Bill Belichick and I share the same high school alma-mater.

Continue reading wings: honey-mustard wings & teriyaki wings.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

honey barbecue chicken wings

ah, the wings of glory

I feel like I’ve fallen so behind in blogging about items cooked, that I’m a bit at a loss where to start. Do I go back to the last picture NOT blogged about and start in chronological order or do I reverse the order and go back in time? I certainly spend a lot of time thinking about cooking and looking up and concocting recipes, but when it comes to photo editing, discarding, uploading, tagging, naming, describing, and last, but certainly not least, trying to write up a vignette interesting enough for you to read through and not fast forward to the pictures and the recipe – I feel that I fall so far behind, it all takes up so much time, that I’m just barely getting to it all between the cooking and the cleaning and the job. And sometimes food related incidents occur when there’s NO cooking involved whatsoever. Or rather, cooking happens as an afterthought, a side note.

Take, for example, our most recent acquisition of the FoodSaver. We (meaning KS) first got wind of it while in Salem, Massachusetts while visiting friends and my parents. We ogled the shrink-wrapped buffalo wings as if it were the world’s 8th wonder before we devoured them in silence. And when KS claimed he would buy it, I mused and dismissed it as a conversation starter. It wasn’t until we were putting the item into our cart at the ever-so-claustrophobic BedBath&Beyond, that I realized we don’t just talk about buying kitchen appliances together – we actually do buy them. And you know it’s serious when a couple purchases communal kitchen appliances. KitchenAid hand mixer. FoodSaver. Wutshof knives.

So back at home, KS was off last week. And periodically, I’d ring him from work and say hello. And he’d tell me things like “Honey, I shrink wrapped the butter.”

“But wasn’t it already in a card board box?”
“Yeah, but I needed to practice on something.”
”So you picked butter?”
”Uh-huh, and it’s awesome! I’m looking for something else to practice on.”

It was nice to see him put his vacation time to such good use. And now, you should just look at him, he’s a FoodSaver pro!

So when we were thinking about other items to seal, we thought of making spicy baked buffalo wings, and marinade them overnight. This would be a prime opportunity to vacuum seal our wings for 24 hours and let them hang out in a spicy sauce sans oxygen. I’m not sure, if this is actually more effective than letting things sit in a plain Ziploc bag, but after we took the wings out and roasted them, the results was undeniably finger-licking good. We ate our wings in silence, and chased them with an English ale. It was perfection beyond words and we had an electrical contraption to thank for it. So you see, cooking this time came as a peripheral, as an afterthought. But in the end, it all worked out, so perhaps it’s for the best that way, sometimes.

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