David Chang talks about Brussels sprouts the way he talks about pretty much everything—with blunt force. “Basically, you can’t fuck them up,” he says, a pan of sprouts sizzling and sputtering in front of him. “Cook the shit out of them; just don’t turn them to charcoal.”
I am not ashamed to admit that Brussel Sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, behind kale and pizza. So I am absolutely making these in the near future…
Chang-Style Brussels Sprouts
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon Butter (optional) Sriracha hot sauce Lime Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. With a knife, trim the hard, woody ends of the sprouts, then slice in half lengthwise through the core.
3. Cut the bacon into small chunks and cook in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat till crispy, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
4. Drain most of the fat from the pan and add the sprouts, cut-side down. Raise the heat to medium high and sear until the sprouts begin to sizzle. Put the skillet in the oven and roast until the sprouts are deeply browned, 8 minutes or so, then shake the pan to redistribute them and ?ip them over. Pull the pan from the oven when the sprouts are bright green and fairly tender (taste one to check), about 10 minutes more, depending on how large they are.
5. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat. Stir in the bacon and, if you want, a pat or two of butter. Swirl till incorporated.
6. Place in a bowl. Add a few squirts of sriracha hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it, and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with anything.
* For Thanksgiving, toss a pound of sliced sprouts in a large bowl with 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a bit of salt. Place them cut-side down on baking trays and roast them in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until tender. Remove, and return them to the bowl. Toss with fresh lemon juice and toasted slivered almonds, or season as you would in the main recipe. Serve hot.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Much like Hitchcock’s famous cameos in every one of his films (including a shot of him in a newspaper in Lifeboat, which is set in a lifeboat, as it were), there is always at least one scene in every film in the canon Brad Pitt Cinema in which the Sexiest Man Alive Ever eats something*.
Since watching Brad Pitt eat actually counts as Food Porn, we’ll leave the scene above (the highlight from the clusterfuck/slowest-paced-movie-ever that is Meet Joe Black) as today’s image and you can just cruise on over to my favorite tried-and-true recipe for Peanut Butter Icing on your own.
*Insert obligatory sexual innuendo here. Ha. Insert. Ha. (Yes, I have the sense of humor of an awkward 7th grader…).
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.
Bacon tastes goooood. Pork chops taste gooood. And sometimes ribs can taste even better.
I am in the temporary possession of a slow cooker. And since said slow cooker hasn’t been broken in yet, and since the Jewish High Holy Days are steadily approaching (which means that I can really pack in a good chunk of sins before I repent in a couple of weeks for all of 2010-2011), and since I’ve been craving pork, this recipe for slow cooked, ridiculously EASY bbq ribs is totally on the menu.
I have a feeling that these little piggies will pair beautifully with a Honey Crisp apple and Napa cabbage fall slaw, some cheesy cornbread, and a couple of gorgeous Marzen beers, just in time for Octoberfest, college football, the fall TV season, and the pennant race for the LA Angels of Anaheim.
Okay, people. I know I started this whole daily food pornography thing to GET AWAY from kale and quinoa (my daily staples), but I have to tell you, after indulging in some fried wontons, including Nutella-filled fried wontons, at a hipster foodie screenwriter’s Emmy watching party last night, I cannot stomach anything more than kale and quinoa right now.
But, hey! Look! A more interesting way to make said ingredients! Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche. Good for the vegetarians. Cheap. Relatively easy. And, well, it’s pretty. Kind of.