Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Cauliflower has long been an under appreciated vegetable. Less known than it's green cousin, broccoli, cauliflower has a milder taste, and works very well with a wide variety of tasty toppings. As a side or an app, cauliflower can shine in many different ways. For this dish, I made a roasted cauliflower with gremolata, an herb topping.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Canadians don't get a ton of credit in this world, but one thing that they've blessed the world with is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize or a Pulitzer or the mysterious Noblitzer Prize for really unhealthy food. The dish worthy of this high praise is... drumroll... Poutine! French fries, cheese, and gravy, mixed together for a delicious, unholy, amalgamation of awesome. I've had poutine more times than I probably should have (which is only about 3 or 4... it's really not good for you), but I was curious to see if a homemade version would live up to the tasty hype of the famed French Canadian dish. It did. It really, really did. The salty potatoes were perfect with the rich gravy, and the gooey cheese was the perfect flavor and texture to bring it all together. Make this dish, you will be happy you did (until you weigh yourself).
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I am a big fan of eggplant. It's a really beautiful, interesting, and versatile vegetable. Eggplant can be fries, breaded cutlets, dips, sides, main courses, and even bruschetta. It melds well with all types of cuisines and flavor profiles as well, but for this dish, I wanted to do a play on an appetizer classic, tomato bruschetta.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Oh wings. I love chicken wings, whether buffalo or bbq, fried, smoked, or grilled. For some reason, chicken wings are the perfect football snack. They're filling, but somehow you can eat them gluttonously. They're spicy, but they never overwhelm you. Wings are the mysterious chicken dish that are appropriate for every occasion and can be prepared in many different ways. A ubiquitous snack, perfect for an American pastime.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Inspiration for a good meal can come from anywhere. I will often look at recipes or menus to get ideas for the things I cook. Sometimes I will just come up with something out of the blue or figure out a meal from a conversation with someone about cooking. One of my favorite sources of inspiration for meals is when I eat something at a restaurant that I enjoy and then try to recreate it in my kitchen. In the East Village, there is a restaurant called Northern Spy Food Co. It's a small rustic space with a fresh and imaginative American menu. I've eaten there a number of times, and I'm particularly partial to their brunch. They have one dish that is a kale salad with squash, cheddar, and eggs. I love kale, and this salad always catches my eye. I decided to do a take on a kale salad with eggs for breakfast, inspired by the dish at Northern Spy.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Asian flavors are beautiful to cook with. They mix a balance of sweet and spicy, tangy and tart. With this dish, I was trying to capture the interesting blends of Asian style cooking and use a lot of vegetables for a healthy dish that is out of the ordinary. The dish had four components, crispy tilefish (a mild whitefish that is similar to snapper), stir fried eggplant and mixed mushrooms, cabbage and carrot udon noodles, and fried shishito peppers. While this sounds like a lot to prepare, the dish didn't take too long, and the result was a tasty dish with a lot of personality.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
When cooking for a big crowd, sometimes you want to make something that's low maintenance so that you're not spending all night in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun. This past New Years, I wanted to create a meal that was hearty, festive, and delicious, without keeping me confined in the kitchen all night long. I decided on making a rib roast with potato and celery root puree and roasted bacon brussel sprouts. This meal is a classic large party menu with a lot of flavor, but is simple enough to keep even picky eaters happy.
This New Years Eve, my friends and I rented a house for the weekend. I was in charge of cooking, and everyone was arriving at different times, so I wanted to make something that could be prepared ahead and be served whenever the group was ready. I decided on homemade meatballs and tomato sauce over spaghetti as it appeals to anyone and is easy enough to make in large quantities that increasing the amount you make doesn't create a hassle. I added some garlic bread and a nice salad, and we had a great meal for a crowd.