Permalink

3

Winter Quiche

I know the normal response to cold weather is loading up on carbs, but my body craves greens. It could be a reaction to the lack of sunshine or seasonal produce in the Northeast, but either way, I tore into an arugula salad with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese at Westville this past weekend and it was the best meal I’d had in days. If Ramsey is out for the night and I’m cooking for one, I’ll saute dark green kale leaves and shallots in olive oil while steaming cubes of sweet potato. I top it all with a poached egg and it’s a perfect winter meal.

Winter greens can also follow a less healthy path—a dark, delicious path lined with cream, egg yolks, cheese, and salted pork that leads to just one destination: quiche. Continue Reading →

Permalink

3

Capellini with Butternut Squash and Prosciutto

Fiore is my favorite Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, and on a cold Saturday evening before a birthday party in Williamsburg, Ramsey and I stopped in for dinner. It was part of our regular rotation of weekend meal locations when we lived in Greenpoint two years ago, so it was nice to sit down at the same small table by the wall and be served by the same charismatic thirty-something hipster man with arms like a punk rock drummer and tattoos to match.

After we sat down, Charismatic Waiter complimented my dress and launched into the specials of the day. I picked the capellini special with pesto, butternut squash, and prosciutto because those flavors are great on their own, but when combined, I imagined they’d create a Voltron of deliciousness. And boy, did they. The chunks of prosciutto were just the right level of salty and fatty, the butternut squash sweet and tender, and the whole thing was covered with a fresh basil pesto with parmesan.

I tried to recreate the dish in my kitchen last night and it was a success overall. The only issue was that I bought prosciutto pre-cut into tiny cubes, while the original dish had larger chunks. If you decide to try this recipe, I recommended buying a small piece of prosciutto and cutting it yourself at home. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t feel like dealing with meat, you can make the dish with just squash and it’ll still be good.

First, peel and dice half of a butternut squash into into 1″ by 1/4″ chunks.

Next, heat a little olive oil in a pan and cook the squash for about eight minutes, or until tender.

Continue Reading →

Permalink

1

Pancetta and Swiss Quiche

Get ready for a behind-the-scenes tidbit: My kitchen doesn’t get any natural light. Well, that’s not 100% true. There is a tiny window behind the sink that overlooks a concrete patio and dozens of cinder-block walls that separate tiny brownstone backyards, but it only gets direct sunlight for about an hour everyday and that light shines right into the sink. Not the ideal situation for a woman who wants to take photos that aren’t washed out or strangely orange. Good ol’ fashioned sunshine makes my antiquated point-and-shoot camera look pretty good.

To my improve photos, I decided to put a few surfaces in the well-lit living room to use while I made a quiche for breakfast today, including the coffee table, dining table, and very chic radiator cover. Behold, a bowl of eggs and dishtowel on my coffee table:

Yes. This quiche was off to a good start. Continue Reading →

Permalink

0

Sunday Cooking: Spiced Pork Chops, Applesauce, and Carrot Soup

It was a perfect Park Slope Sunday. I made my grocery list, went shopping, and had my kitchen stocked for the week by 10:30 AM. Once Ramsey woke up, we picked up pastries and walked to 4th Ave to cheer for the marathon runners. He ate a chocolate crossaint and I ate a pear and caramel turnover as hundreds of people in top physical condition ran by, fueled only by bananas, water, and those unsettling fruit goo packs. We discussed the practicality of marathon costuming after someone wearing a gas mask and Occupy Wall Street signage passed. Kids lined up against the blue police tape and held their hands out for the runners to hit on their way by. Thirtysomethings walking home from mimosa brunches yelled out the names printed on runners’ shirts and each runner responded with a whoop or a subtle thumbs-up. A live band on the corner played “Gigantic” by The Pixies and we all nodded along.

When the packs of runners tapered off, Ramsey and I walked up to the farmers’ market where we spotted our local dog celebrity, The Lazy Dachshund. I bought kale and apples, Ramsey bought a tub of pickled vegetables, and we were back in the apartment by noon. I was ready to cook.

My menu for the day included my favorite carrot soup for lunch, and then kale, applesauce, and spiced pork chops for dinner.

The carrot soup only called for few ingredients: chopped carrots, onion, rice, chicken stock, butter, oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.

More photos after the jump… Continue Reading →

Permalink

3

Leftover Dumpling Soup

I did some dumpling-related freelance writing recently and was left with an abundance of the pork and mushroom variety when I was done. After enjoying a dozen dipped in soy sauce, I decided to make a simple dumpling soup with shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and scallions. This is a perfect meal to make if you have leftover dumplings that you’ve made yourself or that you have in the fridge from your most recent Chinese food delivery. The best part is that it only takes fifteen minutes to make. Continue Reading →

Permalink

3

Kitchen Basics: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Remember the classic children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, about a town where food falls from the sky for each meal? I found out recently that they’re turning it into a computer animated movie. Although the creators of “Clone High” have written and directed it, I highly doubt it will satisfy a generation for whom the book carries such strong feelings of nostalgia. I don’t know about you, but for me the book inspired many crayon drawings of houses and trees covered in a variety of foodstuffs. (I also understand they’re aiming for the twelve and under set rather than the jaded twenty-somethings in my peer group. The studios are betting we’ll all just go see the film version of Where the Wild Things Are, drawn in by a Dave Eggers screenplay, Spike Jonze’s direction, and a trailer that includes an Arcade Fire song. They’re betting right in my case, but such is life [link probably NSFW].)

Looking up information on a movie about meatballs falling from the sky naturally led me making meatballs in my kitchen. I’ve made meatballs only once before and while they turned out okay, they were far from great. After seeing a number of recipes around the web that combined ground beef with a number of other meats, I decided to try mixing ground beef and pork to create a more flavorful meatball. An additional twist was my use of whole wheat breadcrumbs instead of the traditional Italian breadcrumbs, which I believe added a very subtle nutty and sweet flavor. The recipe and more photos after the jump. Warning to vegetarian/vegan readers: raw meat photos ahead. Continue Reading →

Permalink

0

Maple Pork Loin Chops with Polenta and Collard Greens

Polenta seemed to be everywhere I turned this week. Mark Bittman made a breakfast pizza with it, Anthony Bourdain came across it in one of his travels during a late-night marathon of No Reservations, and an unopened bag of cornmeal was sitting in my kitchen, originally intended for a cornbread that never happened. This creamy cornmeal dish, similar to grits, is a blank canvas for a wide range of flavors. I decided to go the simple route since it was my first time making it, choosing to flavor it with chicken stock and parmesan cheese. I then paired it with maple pork loin chops and collard greens for a plate of serious comfort food. Continue Reading →

Permalink

1

Pomegranate Chops and Mint Couscous

When it comes to my routines at home, I am a creature of habit. Just as I like to go grocery shopping at the same time every week and enjoy my late night TV watching schedule (Stewart, Colbert, last half of Letterman, and most of Conan, if you were curious), I tend to cook meat in a similar fashion every week.

Pork is one of my worst offenders. I almost always create a marinade, bake for 45 minutes at 350º and serve. I decided to try something a little different this week and break out of the marinade rut by creating a recipe with a little Moroccan flair. Continue Reading →