— Noted.

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baked-eggs

From Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, photography by Jonathan Lovekin

I feel a little sad that I just tried this recipe, mostly because I regret all the past weekends that did not include this. It’s easy, and warmly comforting. It’s essentially baked eggs with arugula, and a topping of yogurt and hot oil. (Pro tip: why do I always forget that sautéed arugula reduces by an unbelievable amount? Remember to have more arugula than you think is necessary on hand.)

I have to say, every recipe I’ve made from Ottolenghi’s Plenty has nearly converted me to becoming vegetarian.

Recipe here: Baked Eggs with Yoghurt and Chili

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There has been some serious roasting of vegetables happening over here. I just made a sweet potato and parsnip soup, loosely based on this recipe. I’m rewriting the recipe here as I made it.

2 parsnips

1 very large japanese sweet potato

olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 med yellow onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

dash of tumeric

dash of cinnamon

dash of cayenne

4 cups chicken stock (or veg)

 

Peel and cut the parsnips and potato into medium (1-inch) cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and salt on a roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout.

In a stock pot, melt the butter. Sauté the onion and then the garlic. Add in the roasted veg and spices, and give a quick stir. Add in the stock and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Blend until smooth – add water (or additional stock) if it’s too thick and you need more liquid, and salt and pepper to taste.

 

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If you’re looking for a healthy way to eat roasted veggies, I highly recommend this Smitten Kitchen recipe, namely for the miso dressing. You can roast any of your favorite veg (I did it with broccoli, parsnip and japanese sweet potato) and it was delicious. I also did not have tahini, so I used almond butter, which worked just fine. I made it again with tahini, and it hardly made a difference.

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Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl by Smitten Kitchen

 

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Lastly, brussels sprouts. You tease me at the holidays, and then I can’t stop thinking about you. Also from Smitten Kitchen this easy stove top recipe calls for pancetta, but I used bacon. A giant bowl of this and it gives me the strength to believe that I can make it through this winter.

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Balsamic Braised Brussels with Pancetta by Smitten Kitchen

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Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

This dip is so easy to make, and so easy to serve up with veggies, it outweighs any convenience of buying packaged dip. You can make it the day before. You will happily eat it as a snack if you have any leftovers.

There are many variations of a green goddess dip out there. It definitely has some strong flavors with the different fresh herbs, but I find this one to be simple and clean. I use my little cuisinart chopper/blender, which is the best little kitchen tool I could have ever added to my tiny Brooklyn pantry.

Get the full recipe here.

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One of my favorite things in NYC is the pretzel croissant at City Bakery. City Bakery is nearly perfect in every way, from the graphic design that was done by Carin Goldberg, to the hot chocolate month of February, which features a different flavor every day of the month. (MJ’s pro tip: all you need is a shot.) It also sits on a nearly perfect block in Manhattan, across from the best children’s bookstore, down the street from the ultimate paper store and art supply shop.

When I’m feeling a little down, a little guilty, a little happy, or a little bit like I need to indulge in a secret, I will go for the peanut butter cookie. It’s deceptively little, and looks like it won’t be enough. But soon enough, you realize it was all you needed.

In a dangerous step of having too much of a good thing, I’m making these cookies right now as we speak. They are in the oven, and will travel with me tomorrow up to my aunt’s house for Christmas Eve. Tis the season. Hope you are spending yours with all your favorites.

Recipe here: Salty-Sweet Peanut Butter Sandies

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Photo by Soo-Jeong Kang/The New York Times

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From the brilliant Kelli Anderson (and her grandmother), this fudge is the best fudge I have ever had. And if you’re a cook of any sort, you should give this app a twirl, it lets you watch and share your own video recipes.

Get the video recipe here.
And written here.

Peanut Butter Fudge
Ingredients:
3 C Sugar
1 C Peanut Butter
1 jr Marshmallow Fluff (7oz)
3/4 C Butter (salted)
5 oz Evaporated Milk
1 T Vanilla

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Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott for Bon Appetit

 

As you know, I’m obsessed with the galette! It’s such an easy peasy way to bake a pie, sweet or savory. I found a simple apple galette recipe and have now made it twice. Perfect for the hectic holiday season. I’m providing the galette recipe below in slight adaptation from the original posted at Bon Appetit.

 

1/4 cup salted butter (you can use less of this if you really wanted to)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Trader Joe’s pie crust (comes 2 to a pack, you can double this recipe if making both)
1 pound baking apples, about 2 large (I recommend Pink Lady for a hit of tartness)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (you can half this if you are using sweet apples or plan to add ice cream)
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375°.

Trade Joe’s pie crust comes 2 to a box, already rolled out in a circle shape and rolled up to fit into the box. There is absolutely no need to dust it with flour. I literally thaw it for about 2 hours outside of the freezer, unroll it straight onto the baking pan lined with parchment paper, patch up any spots that broke or cracked with the unrolling, and it’s ready to go! I like using Pink Ladies for the apples to get that bit of tartness, peeled and cut into about 1/8″ thick slices. Bring the butter to a boil until browned, and then add the vanilla at last moment. Let it cool for a moment while you lay out the apples. If you really love a pie loaded with fruit, you can add a pretty generous overlapping of thinly sliced apples. Arrange the slices in a pretty pattern or not, the galette is the best because it’s imperfectly rustic! Just make sure to leave about 1.5″ from the edge of the pie crust. Brush the butter on top of the apple slices and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Fold in the edges of the crust. Again, if the crust cracks when you fold it in, just press it in with your finger.

Beat an egg and 1 tsp. of water and brush on the exposed pie crust to get a nice brown color (I’ve also skipped this step in laziness and it’s totally fine, just doesn’t brown as nicely). Sprinkle the edges with granulated sugar. Put it in the oven for 40-50 minutes, turning once halfway through.

That’s it! A galette for you, and a galette for me.

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Summer is officially over and I’m clinging to corn and tomatoes like it’s the end of the world.

I’m conveniently channeling this impending expiration of summer produce into 2 new obsessions. Galettes and roasted tomatoes.

First, galettes. How is it possible that I have not been eating galettes until very recently? If you have not been introduced to the galette, do it here and now. To avoid the nagging sensation of life regret, I’ve started making galettes at home, which turns out to be very easy. I have limited prior experience in baking a pie. The good thing is the galette celebrates imperfection and does not require a pie pan. The other good thing is store-bought frozen pastry dough is really up to par. I’m told that pie crust is not hard to make, but with a tiny Brooklyn kitchen and the lack of interest, my focus has instead been directed towards the question: puff pastry or pie crust?

I conducted a recent test using a Dufours Puff Pastry vs a Trader Joe’s pie crust. Both were extremely easy to defrost and already in a rolled-out state that easily transferred onto a baking sheet with no need of a floured surface or rolling pin. I gave both to my parents to eat for dinner and the unanimous results were that the puff pastry is a better galette crust. I should also note that I used the same exact savory recipe from Smitten Kitchen: Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini (and Green Onion).

 

The recipe relies on scallions and parmesan. I would tell you they are essential:
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Crust folded over into position. All ready for the oven:
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What I am now curious about is whether that buttery pie crust would actually do better in a fruit galette. Stay tuned for that…

Second. Roasted tomatoes. After much research on different cooking sites, I landed on this advice from NPR that no matter which recipe you follow when it comes to oven temperature and how many hours to slow-cook, it really doesn’t matter and that they all work. That being the case, I went with David Lebovitz who split all extremes with an oven at 325° and a 2-hour cooking time. There is nothing as sweet as the taste of a perfectly ripened summer tomato, except maybe those that are slow-roasted and reduced to all that is necessary.

Recipe: David Lebovitz, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

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It’s stone fruit and berry season. Do yourself a favor and make this fruit salad right now. I just had it for dinner. Here’s my best version:

3 peaches, cubed
pint of blueberries
strawberries, sliced
bunch of mint
tablespoon of rum
lemon
honey or agave

Cut up all the fruit and put in a large bowl. Tear up mint. Sprinkle a splash of rum. Squeeze one lemon. Drizzle of honey (or not, depending on how sweet your fruit is). Toss. Savor summertime.

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At the greenmarket, I scored two of my favorite herb plants to have in the window garden: mint and thyme.

Also can not get enough of corn this summer, so I made a variation of this corn salad recipe by Mark Bittman. The nice thing about this kind of recipe is you can really improvise by tasting and adjusting along the way.

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ingredients (in no particular order and without any exactness)

4 ears of corn

pint of grape tomatoes (or whatever tomatoes you have on hand)

generous amount of mint (I used about 1 full tablespoon after it was chopped down)

less generous amount of thyme (maybe 0.5 tablespoon when chopped)

feta cheese (about 1/3 cup)

olive oil (about 0.5 tablespoon)

butter

garlic clove

salt & pepper

arugula (optional)

1. Cut the kernels off all the corn and throw it in a pan with a generous spoonful of butter and garlic. Add salt and pepper (just remember to go easy on the salt knowing feta is coming)

2. Let corn cool for a bit and then toss in a bowl with halved grape tomatoes and dash of olive oil. (Mark Bittman adds a lot more olive oil, but I did less because to be honest with you, I added a fairly generous amount of butter to the corn. He also recommends eating the corn kernels raw… which I am intrigued by but may never get to try because I love giving it a quick sauté in butter!)

3. Crumble in the feta. I added in a conservative amount, feeling it is better to add more on top when plated.

4. Toss and add any extra salt/pepper to taste. Serve on top of a bed of arugula (or not).

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Back from a splendid vacation in Palm Springs, and I can’t stop thinking about the chilled corn soup I had at this Austrian restaurant. I know what you’re wondering — corn soup, Palm Springs, Austrian food? But it all made sense at the time (could have been the 112° desert heat)! Found a recipe to try to replicate:

From Bon Appetit:

Chilled Corn Soup with Lobster Salad

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Photo by Ditte Isager

 

Speaking of chilled soup makes me think of my all-time favorite, first tasted when traveling in southern Spain. It’s a creamy version of a standard gazpacho, but made creamy by adding bread. Recipe here!

Gazpacho Andaluz from Saveur

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