— Pete Wells, of the NY Times, has officially written one of the best pieces I’ve read all year.
Food Porn of the Day!
Samin Nosrat is not only an amazing chef in the Bay Area but a friend/girl crush of yours truly. She’s even featured in November’s Martha Stewart doing an amazing Oakland Thanksgiving. This is because she is radtastic. She’s just one of those people who I am so excited to see succeed because she’s such a badass who cooks phenomenally, has an amazing heart, and is a great yogi, writer, and froyo fiend.
In her latest blogpost (with a recipe for Pasta with Long Cooked Broccoli), she talks about how she is a forager and makes something out of nothing, which, as anyone who knows me can attest, I am and do too.
After all my money had been stolen early on in my Paris adventures, I made a career of taking whatever the cooking-impaired kids in my apartment building had in their kitchens and making it into some kind of feast. The payment for my services: I got to eat dinner too. This girl scout “Chopping Block” ingenuity, dear readers, is especially impressive to people you may have just schtooped or would like to seduce.
Anywhos, I’m impressed by two kinds of cooks: those who can utilize molecular gastronomy and do a bunch of fanciness serve it with a bunch of chichi chichiness (like, they put rice in MOLDS and stuff), and those who can cook something out of nothing, Mama-style. And you’d be surprised: raiding your kitchen can in times of need can inspire myriad recipes. In a panic in Paris - set off by munchies, laziness, and a lapse in my marketing routine - I roasted sardines (from a can) with chili and olive oil and served them with a lemony garlicky couscous with toasted almonds and raisins. See? Couscous, trail mix, and sardines CAN go a long way if you know how to work it.
Anyway, this is a great recipe for times when all you have is pasta, broccoli, and maybe some cheese. Great weekday lunch or dinner. And check out Samin’s blog because she’s pretty brillz.
Food Porn of the Day!
Today’s recipe for Beet Greens Bruschetta with Poached Egg and Fontina shouldn’t be that much of a shocker for my Food Porn fans out there, considering my commitment to delicious things on toast and delicious things with runny egg yolks.
Confession: I am a greens whore. Just an absolute slut, the kind of harlot who sweats profusely in church. Number one on my list is Kale, which I’ve been buying religiously on a weekly basis for the last six years or so. It’s sweet when steamed, holds up to garlic and hearty whole-grain pasta, tossed with a little olive oil, and makes for a delicious alternative to Cool Ranch Doritos when baked into chips.
Because I’m a believer in eating root-to-tip as much as possible, I also got into eating beet greens a few years ago, initially sautéing them with green garlic and baby leeks to accompany a polenta with marscapone and roasted beets dish a friend and I whipped up one night. And this summer I even had a pesto made with carrot greens, which topped perfectly hardboiled eggs.
Anywhos, the main thing here is not to chuck your greens. You seriously can’t fuck any green vegetable up if you steam it, or parboil, and do a quick sauté with a little oil (and garlic if you want).
This recipe does just that, crowning garlic-rubbed toast with greens, a little cheese, and a perfectly poached egg. But if you’re impatient and worried about fucking up an egg poach, just fry the little eggie, keeping the yolk runny, and call it a day.
Food Porn of the Day!
Ribollita, which translates to “reboil,” is tonight’s main course for dinner (and part of this morning’s brunch). My mom loves making huge pots of this and eating it through out the week. This recipe, to me, is perfectly fall. Food 52 is currently highlighting their version of the recipe, but after comparing it to our family’s version, realized that there are definitely some changes I’d suggest.
First of all, start the recipe by cooking some pancetta (Trader Joe’s has it pre-diced) or applewood smoked bacon. Then, using the rendered fat in the pan, add a touch of olive oil in which you should cook the onions, then add the garlic. To make things even easier, just get a pint of pre-diced mirepoix from Trader Joe’s and dump the whole thing in to the porky-fat goodness.
For tomatoes, get over yourself and shell out the extra $1 to get San Marzanos in a can. Super high quality Italian variety, canned at the peak of freshness.
As I do with every savory recipe possible, swap out the water for low sodium chicken broth (or your own stock if that’s your think). And for even more flavor, add a rind of leftover parmigiano reggiano cheese while everything boils together.
Serving suggestions: Since I grew up eating my mom’s amazing French Onion soup covered with bubbling cheese, I’m a firm believer in melting cheese over soup. If you want to go the extra step, ladle the soup into an oven proof crock, scatter some shredded swiss, jack, or mozzarella and parmesan on top, stick under the broiler to brown and enjoy.
Or you could roast off some slices of Delicata squash, plop ‘em on top of spring mix with a balsamic vinaigrette and serve on the side with crusty bread.
We’ve got some late season heirloom tomatoes hanging around, so we’ll have the soup with a simple bruschetta and polish off a bottle of Cab while I watch the Cal Golden Bears *hopefully/fingerscrossed/weneedamiracle* defeat the Oregon Ducks in tonight’s game. GO BEARS!
Food Porn of the Day!
As David Tanis over at The New York Times kindly reminds us, it’s pear season. And ‘tis also the season for a bevy of gorgeous fall produce: grapes, figs, pomegranates, persimmons (my favorites!),etc. And while I’m already planning on brewing my first batch of beer for 30 Before 30, in which we’ll be roasting a bunch of sweet pie pumpkins for Pumpkin Ale (cause you know I love me some pumpkin), and I love putting goodness on croutons, this recipe for a loverly fall crostini will definitely put me in an autumnal mood.
Presenting: Gorgonzola Walnut Crostini with Pear Salad. Pair it with your favorite Sauv Blanc or light ale and maybe some mixed greens with a lemony vinaigrette.
Food Porn of the Day!
This, dear Readers, was today’s brunch at chez nous. This, dear Readers, is what my family affectionately calls “The Spanglish,” after the mediocre rom-com from which it came. The best scene in this film stars Adam Sandler, who plays a successful LA chef, and this sandwich, which he creates at home as an afterwork snack.
It has been tested and hailed as the best sandwich ever. Because it is.
Thomas Keller, America’s favorite chef, was on set during production as a cooking consultant, a factoid which makes a foodie like me extraordinarily jealous because I would do pretty much anything to have the most talented and decorated chef of our generation COACHING me in how to cook.
Thomas Keller-ness aside, this sandwich is stupidly epic because it combines two sammies I love: 1) a classic BLT and 2) a fried egg sandwich (and my god do I love runny egg yolk atop my food. It make everything orgasmically extraordinary.)
Here’s the recipe. I know, I know. I just changed your life. Shhhh….don’t mention it.
My notes: I substitute the suggested “rustic white bread” with Sourdough (because, being an SF lover, I am a Sourdough slut of great proportions). Every other ingredient, though, is a must, and the melting of the cheese is ESSENTIAL. DO NOT SKIP THIS!
Also, we like to CANDY our bacon (I’m a thick cut apple wood smoked from Trader Joe’s fanatic) with brown sugar and a tiny bit of maple syrup (or just use whichever of the two you prefer). This is super easy and possibly the smartest thing you can do to bacon.
I eat this sandwich both day and night. Pair with a traditional boozy brunchie libation, like a super spicy Bloody Mary, a Belini, or a mimosa if you must, but I prefer it Adam Sandler style with a beer (Belgian Tripel, a nice Heff, or even a Peach Lambic).
Also, don’t try to figure out the nutritional content and calories in this beast. Suffice it to say, you’re getting your calories and saturated fat for at least one day of life.
Food Porn of the Day - Jew Crew Edition!
(Technically, this is more like PG-13 “Innocent Ingredient Porn”…)
Tomorrow at sunset, the Chosen People ring in the New Year. I, for one, couldn’t be happier to see 5771 get the hell outta here and even started writing some New Year’s resolutions for 5772 (the great thing about being Jewish is that if I mess up my resolutions, I can just restart them in January anyway).
Regardless, you know the High Holidays are neigh when you see the following in your mother’s kitchen…
Currently in stock: 7 Bottles of wine (5 pictured, 2 in the fridge) + two alien-looking stems of brussel sprouts + 5 pounds of potatoes + 5 pounds of yams + 3 Kishkas + 2 4-pound briskets + 2 pounds of chicken livers + 2 containers of schmaltz (rendered chicken fat, the nectar of the Schtetl, my friends!) + 6 quarts of chicken broth + 3 leeks + 2 boxes of Matzah Meal + 4 chickens + 5 pounds of onions + 5 pounds of apples + 2 bottles of honey + 2 pounds of carrots + Israeli salad fixings + family size tub of Hummus + 3 dozen eggs + 4 pounds of butter + a whole mess of basil = the first round of shopping for Rosh Hashana meals being served at my parents’ house this week. The cooking began on SUNDAY. I woke up at 5 am due to the smells of overnight roasted Brisket wafting through the room (being roused by cooked meat in the VERY early morning is amazing yet awful way to wake up).
Yet to be bought: 2 round challahs, ingredients for my pomegranate salad (a version of something like this) and some apple & honey-themed dessert (this one, maybe?). Plus I expect my mother to decide she STILL doesn’t have enough food, so she’ll buy another chicken/side of beef/herd of goats/whathaveyou.
Today’s recipe: Apples Dipped in Honey (a traditional food to symbolize a sweetNew Year)
1) Take a slice of apple (an ancient New Year symbol representing the circularity of the Jewish calendar and life cycle, and the sweetness of life and harvest)
2) Dip it in honey (symbolic of sweetness).
3) Optional: If it’s your thing, say thank you before you enjoy:
On that note, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, 5771!
Oh, what’s that? My future husband is ALSO into food porn? Well, la di dah!
(My god, I hope he’s straight…)
Food Porn of the Day
Eating this cake ranks among the highlights of my existence.
This summer in SF, I went to a Vampire Eric-themed birthday party for one of my sassiest sorority sisters.
Yes, I was, for a time, in a sorority.
And you know what? Yes, one year I was, for a brief time, the Spirit Chair.
And yes, I helped compose an extremely dirty pledge song, a parody set to the Disney neo-classic “Be Our Guest” at a drunken sleepover.
And yes, one year, the younger girls threw us a party that involved two pony kegs of beer, Costco taquitos, a synchronized pop-n-lock routine to “Bye Bye Bye” (which we learned from the choreographer in an instructional video), a Lenny Kravitz doppelganger male stripper who wore angel wings as he descended a staircase to give us a private performance, and, subsequently, a party bus that took us to San Francisco and dropped us off at a club from which I had been thrown out earlier in the year*.
And I’m pretty sure (but can’t remember exactly*) that we had the highest GPA of the houses on campus.
And no, I don’t regret having been a sorority girl because I met, for the most part, intelligent, funny, and cool-as-shit women who would one day have a Vampire Eric-themed birthday party with a cake that looked like that and tasted pretty fucking delicious.
Food Porn of the Day!
This recipe for Bruschetta with Ricotta, Honey, and Lemon Zest is incredibly fast, easy, cheap and waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more impressive than it needs to be. I started making it last year when I saw this on Food52 and have been cranking it out ever since. (Thank you, Merrill for saving the day yet again. My girl crush on you has done wonders for my cooking repertoire.)
Broil/grill some bread, rub it with a raw clove of garlic, cover it with ricotta (fresh or homemade if possible, if not…fuck it, who cares?), some lemon zest, a drizzle of good olive oil, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt. DONE!
I’ve made this for a crowd - just pull in a friend or two to help you assemble - and grilled the bread as a starter. It’s great for brunch and I’ve served also it to guests with a salad and wine for a simple, light dinner.
And make the whole loaf. You’ll eat it all. Or I will.