Potato Leek Gratin

My girlfriend Christina grew up in Schoharie County, NY: home of Howe Caverns, tragic flood damage, and the Fabulous Beekman Boys. While she was home for the holidays, she picked me up the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook for Christmas. It’s chock full of seasonal recipes, using homegrown and local ingredients, handed down through the generations and adapted by the Beekman Boys, all on a farm only a couple of hours from here. Be still my local-girl heart. Coincidentally, I had recently read the […]

100% Local: Brazilian Feijoada

I am an ornery cuss. Not only do I give you a hearty, wintry, braise-all-day-long meat & bean stew on a 60-degree Saturday in January, but I got dozens of great black bean ideas from you folks following my call for inspiration on the Facebook page, yet I ignored them all to try feijoada. Like I said: ornery. (Which must always be pronounced “orn-ree” for maximum authenticity.) Feijoada is a traditional meat and bean stew: according to Hank Shaw, black beans […]

Chunky Black Bean Soup

How many black bean soup recipes does one blog need? Apparently at least one more. I made this soup on Sunday afternoon, in the midst of a (another) 3-day power outage from the latest freak storm, this one an October snow storm that dumped more than a foot of wet, heavy snow in our neighborhood. Tree branches cracked like gunshots, telephone poles snapped like toothpicks: our neighborhood is a mess. Most of Connecticut and our little swathe of New York […]

Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Pepper & Rosemary

I’ve been making this dish for about a million years. Maybe a million and one. Even in the days when I didn’t really cook, living in Manhattan or in my teeny-tiny, 350-square-foot apartment in Boston’s North End, I would whip this up when Fall arrived, as a potluck dinner contribution or for a family Thanksgiving. I’m not quite sure why it’s never made it to these (hallowed) pages: maybe because I’ve been making it so long, it has ceased to […]

Smoked Chicken & Corn Soup

In the days following Irene, when no one in northern Westchester had any power, my neighbor (and landlord) did the smart thing: he fired up the Big Green Egg, pulled meat from the freezer and put it in to smoke. Lots of meat: two whole chickens, a couple of fat slabs of salmon, a bunch of steaks. And being the kind landlord (and neighbor) that he is, in addition to bringing us ice from the City, he gave us one of […]

100% Local: Zucchini & Chard Gratin

Two down, one to go: my quest to use up the CSA chard (before more gets delivered on Wednesday) is proceeding apace. This zucchini gratin recipe from Simply Recipes came across my reader the other day and well: cheese, bacon, onions, garlic? Even the zucchini-weary can get behind that plan. I made a few changes of course: I cut the recipe roughly in half, since only one of our household will consume the “Evil Weed.” (Since I do the cooking, […]

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Chard & Garlic Scapes

I don’t know about you, but this time of year I usually start craving complex carbs like mad: bread, pasta, crackers; I can’t keep enough of them in the house. I think it’s because the vegetables just keep rolling in: the fridge is stuffed full of leafy greens, summer squash, bell peppers, green beans, and corn on the cob, not to mention the piles of tomatoes on the counter and the fruit! It’s an amazing time of year for a local […]

Bite-Sized Spaghetti Nests with Chard & Bacon

I’ve been participating in an informal food photography contest for a couple of months now on professional food photographer Dario Milano’s blog Food Pixels. Our growing crew of bloggers, photographers and foodniks is pretty talented and it’s always interesting to see how different people interpret each ‘assignment.’ The latest contest challenge is “spaghetti:” a broad topic to be sure, but also an interesting photographic challenge, as most spaghetti dishes are messy, saucy, ultra-casual. Since for the last assignment (“brown food“) I […]

Ramp & Asparagus Frittata

Have you ever spent an entire day in a jumpy house with a 7 year-old? Let me just tell you, for the sake of science, that it is possible to pull every sinlge muscle in your body at the same time, especially when, inspired by giggling, 7 year-old cries of “Do it again!,” you demonstrate your NBA-style, windmilling slam dunk on the jumpy house baskbetball net about 847 times. My friend Kami celebrated her 7th birthday a couple of weeks ago […]

White Bean Pesto Pizza with Linguica & Garlicky Kale

When I soaked the cannellini beans for pasta e fagioli last week, I used a whole pound, not thinking about quite how big runner cannellinis get (they are huge once soaked, up to 1 inch long!).  I used only half a pound in the soup, so I had a lot of cooked cannellinis in the fridge, waiting for their day in the sun. I don’t know when I first thought of a pizza. I was musing on the idea of […]

Pasta e Fagioli

Back in my Boston days, I lived for several years in a tiny (300 square-foot) but adorable apartment in the North End, Boston’s version of Little Italy (but so much more charming, in my opinion, than NYC’s Little Italy). Boston’s North End was settled in the 1600’s and has all the requisite charm of history: twisty, cobblestoned streets, narrowly packed brownstones, tiny and ancient graveyards that pop out of nowhere, the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s house. Despite ongoing gentrification, and […]

Smoky, Spicy Sweet Corn Chowder

A few weeks ago, I shared this wonderful-sounding recipe for sweet corn chowder, created by Cheryl Paff at At the Farmer’s Market, on the Facebook page. I’ve made it a couple of times since then and not only to clear out the freezer in preparation for the impending harvest season. This chowder comes together easily, without an excessive amount of chopping or prep, making it a good choice for an easy weeknight dinner. With potatoes and corn, it is very […]

Christmas Limas with Seared Pork Cutlets and Fresh Apple Relish

It’s just a week shy of April, yet temps hover near freezing and the snow still flutters down to add to the 3 – 4 inches that accumulated over night. So, as much as I want to be noshing on crisp pea shoots, chive blossoms, pungent ramps and mild green garlic, it seems that Mother Nature is conspiring against me. Have you had Christmas lima beans? They are big, meaty beans with a firm texture and a flavor of chestnuts. As wintry as […]

2010 Dietary Guidelines: Fat 101

Fat. Saturated fat. Unsaturated fat. Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, partially hydrogenated, trans fat. Lipids, fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol, omega-3, omega-6. No wonder we’re confused! What does it all mean? From the OED online: Pronunciation:/fat, / noun 1) a natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, especially when deposited as a layer under the skin or around certain organs, 2) a fatty substance made from animal or plant products, used in cooking 3)  any of a group of natural esters of glycerol […]

Dark Days: Crispy Baked Potato Skins

So, I hear that some large men in tights are going to be chasing a pointy ball around a grid-ironed field in a couple of weeks. Or at least, that seems to be what is going on in between the important parts: the commercials. If you, like most of America, are planning to gather with friends, watch commercials, keep a weather eye peeled for wardrobe malfunctions, and occasionally attest loudly that the team closest to your geographical region is much better than the losers on the other side of […]