Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Cloud of Pears and Cherries Upon Which I Rest my Weary Fork

I don't generally get into making desserts-- all that tedious measuring and sifting, etc... (and there was an unfortunate cookie incident recently from which I am slowly recovering...) But this was more like wrapping a present, which I do enjoy - and it was a nice early reminder of the holiday season to come. In spite of all the doom and gloom foretold for the retail sector, good things most certainly come in small (edible) packages- as evidenced above. Full of bosc pears, dried cherries and a hint of amaretto, these tiny puff pastry pillows took the proverbial cake.

Little Devils

Curried, deviled quail eggs

The Humble Sprout

This post is dedicated to the poor souls out there that grimace (unjustly) at the thought of this miniature little vegetable. Somewhat alien when they first emerge from the dirt, they are one of the authentic gems of the season and with a little extra attention - no excessive boiling or steaming please -- they can be one of the shining stars of your fall table. Here's an easy way to use and not abuse them:

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Thyme
  • 1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
  • 2 bacon slices, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Cook Brussels sprouts in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes, then drain in a colander. Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and stir in Brussels sprouts, thyme, salt, and pepper, then cook, stirring, 3 minutes. (courtesy of

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ginger Plum Wine Poached Salmon: the Original Food for Thought

I am always trying to find new ways to incorporate more fish into my diet. Yes folks, I have booked a ticket on the omega-3 express. It's not as easy as you think (short of spiking my morning oatmeal with flax seed oil which I am loath to do-- raisins and honey are far more appealing). The Sous Chef of course would eat sushi for breakfast, however I have a moderately less voracious appetite for all things from the deep. (By less voracious I just mean the thought of seafood at every single meal leaves me well, green around the gills.) Salmon though is one of those miracle foods. Right up there with blueberries, pomegranate seeds and kale, salmon has been endorsed left and right by health practitioners and nutritionists for having wondrous effects on one's overall well-being. Salmon is, "low in calories and saturated fat, high in protein, and contains a unique type of health-promoting fat, the omega-3 essential fatty acid" -- which has been linked to better brain function and mental health --thank you internet. Now-- all of that being said, left to my own devices salmon would be smoked or cured exclusively (I was brought up on Saturday morning bagels at murray's deli in Philadelphia and I go to the church of Russ & Daughters here in NYC). However for the purposes of making tasty and healthful dinners, poaching is a fine alternative. Usually I poach in white wine, butter, garlic lemon etc... not winning any big points for originality with this concoction; however, tonight I decided to get a little wild. Okay not really - but I believe the salmon may have at least been wild. (There are notable differences between farm-raised salmon and wild salmon, in taste, texture and in ethics-- however attempts at sustainably farmed salmon or "environmentally responsible aquaculture" are out there - see This dinner was pretty tasty. My poaching liquid: fresh ginger, fresh garlic, chili oil, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and plum wine. Served over brown rice and sauteed garlicky rainbow chard. With avocado as well -- I was practicing my sushi knife skills.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lovely Butternut Squash Soup

topped with bacon. because bacon makes most everything taste better. but bacon aside, this soup tasted pretty great on its own. made with a squash from my grandfather's garden.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Post-August Wrap Up

Well folks, I don't know quite where the time went. My last post was July 29th and suddenly it's September? Apologies all around. This is not to say that I've abandoned the kitchen. I've just been slow to share my exploits with everyone. So, sit tight -- the following is the condensed version of August - because September has newly arrived and with it, apples, squash, radishes, soups, stews, etc. etc. all delightfully leading up to the GREAT PUMPKIN ADVENTURE of 2008. Stay tuned...

(spinach ravioli stuffed with spinach and goat cheese, topped with fresh garden pesto)

Key Lime Pie! In 4 steps -squeeze limes, make filling, candy limes, assemble pie.

King Crab Rangoons (These were so good that we had a good five minute discussion about whether or not we should purchase a Fry Daddy. We refrained)

Zucchini Muffins!