July 30, 2012
Due to a severe thunderstorm, no doubt sent by Murphy, our flight to Ft. Lauderdale was delayed by about five hours. Thankfully, we didn’t even set foot outside the apartment. Lounging on the couch seemed like a better option than sitting in a plastic chair at LaGuardia Airport all night. We postponed our trip to next month and spent the evening watching Food Network and drinking Prosecco, a much better use of our time. Speaking of wasted time at airports…you must know that I hate food waste...
July 24, 2012
It's a challenge to have a cooking blog and a beach body simultaneously. In preparation for my upcoming trip to the clear, blue water beaches of Ft Lauderdale I’ve had to eat light and stick to my living room kickboxing routine no matter how much it may have annoyed our downstairs neighbors. Usually, my desire to eat cheese-covered, bacon-wrapped, pan-fried, butter-slathered, cream-topped dishes outweighs my desire to have Maria Menounos abs (does that gal ever where a shirt?) but lately the weather has been too hot to digest more than fresh vegetables kissed with olive oil and some Balsamic vinegar. Just a month or two after being inspired by David Chang’s Cherry Tomato and Tofu Salad in Alice Water’s cookbook, “In The Green Kitchen”, I received a request from a Brooklyn Salt reader for some tofu recipes; the Tofu Caprese was born. It’s pretty nifty how similar firm tofu is to fresh mozzarella, so I’m excited for my lactose intolerant readers to give this one a go. I’m not a tofu nut, but I had absolutely no trouble polishing off a whole plate of this stuff. Well, I’m off to the beach…talk to you all next week!
July 19, 2012
Beast, a low-lit corner restaurant in Brooklyn, serves up out-of-this-world dishes like fried manchego cheese bites with lemon and caramelized onion and fig pesto tarts. Their boston salad with crispy prosciutto gave me months of prosciutto daydreams until I just had to try crisping up that salty meat in my own kitchen. Fried, it becomes partly crackly, partly chewy and intensely salty making it perfect for tossing with a mild salad and some sharp cheese. While photographing the dish out on the porch, we were cornered by a massive flying insect which I won’t describe any further for fear of ruining your appetite, but the little bastard headed straight for my salad! I picked off the part he landed on and ate the rest. I was worried I might suffer a fate similar to Jeff Goldblum’s in The Fly (1986) but so far, I’m still completely human and that Crispy Prosciutto Salad was worth the risk. Also try my Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken and Poached Egg with Crispy Prosciutto.
July 13, 2012
My mom was born in Sicily and would make this Sicilian Spring Vegetable Pasta for our family often. It was one of my absolute favorites and still is. When I was little, I was always the designated pea shucker, shucking every other pod into my mouth. She always bought double the amount knowing my love of fresh peas. Often recipes that call for fava beans require that you remove not only the pod, but also the outer skins of the beans which is not only incredibly tedious but also wasteful. My mom never removes the skin of the beans and we love the chewy, hearty texture of them. As long as the bean is fresh and no larger than a lima bean, they should be tender enough to eat with the skins on. They should be easy to find in summer time at farmers markets and stores like Whole Foods, and sometimes you can even find them frozen. I like to break the pasta in thirds before cooking as we used to do and I recommend that you use DeCecco or Barilla pasta because they’re the best of the top brands on the supermarket shelves. Don’t let me catch you with any Ronzoni!
July 10, 2012
The inspiration for these gorgeous frozen buttons came from One Good Thing by Jillee and Shutterbean. I knew I had to try them immediately and, just as quickly, put my own spin on them and share them with you. I brainstormed for a bit and decided that piping the yogurt into little cup shapes and filling them with honey would be a tasty idea! These buttons are super cold but they start melting into creaminess within seconds with the honey adding a burst of extra gooey sweetness. They’re so simple to churn out and perfect for these ninety something degree days! Little kiddies will probably go nuts over them too…
July 8, 2012
REQUIRES 24 HOUR SOAKING, CHEESECLOTH AND 2 HOUR COOK TIME ...Wait! Don’t go. I know it looks daunting, but it’s fun and surprisingly easy to make a big pot of beans on a Sunday afternoon, especially when it will yield a multitude of meals. There are so many things you can do with a pot of flavorful beans. Think creamy beans on crunchy toast topped with a poached egg and fresh torn basil. Imagine beans smashed into hot pasta, drizzled with olive oil and showered in a handful of fresh parsley. How about beans blended into a creamy dip for chips and crudités? Beans on rice, beans under shrimp, beans in soup, beans on a boat! As for the 24 hour soaking? Take it from me, it’s necessary in order to rid the beans of their oligosaccharides, the stuff of gastrointestinal distress. And even yours truly usually skips over recipes that include cheesecloth because I’m too lazy to locate and purchase any, but it’s really no big deal to go to your grocer’s sauce isle, look up and find a bag of it which will probably last you the rest of your life. Now if only I could commit to buying parchment paper.
July 5, 2012
Fudge always reminds me of summers in Newport, Rhode Island, where I indulge in salt water taffy and hunks of flavored fudge, browse antiques and relax at outdoor bars with fruity cocktails. After making my Frozen Chocolate Dipped Bananas and my Frozen Creamy Lime Pies with Cookie Crusts, I had some leftover chocolate and a half a can of sweetened condensed milk with no home. When combined over some heat, these two ingredients turn magically into fudge! I threw some almonds into mine, but feel free to experiment in your own way.
An unappealing package of slightly dry brown-butter sugar cookies and a new found love of key lime pie inspired this recipe. Crushing up some boring cookies with butter and sugar and baking them results in a seriously decadent, chewy crust. I couldn’t find any key limes and this isn’t a traditional key lime pie recipe in any sense, but it’s a tasty imposter. After a few minutes outside of the freezer this pie will resemble super dense lime ice cream in a thick crunchy cone and if you patiently wait many more minutes, it will have soft creamy, pudding like consistency in a chewier crust. Try it at every stage! Also, try my Homemade Refrigerator Fudge with the leftover sweetened condensed milk!
July 1, 2012
One of my Brooklyn Salt readers recently requested a quinoa breakfast recipe which sounded so great that I had to get right to it. Hot creamy breakfast cereals always make me feel cabin-in-the-woodsy and I love the contrast of crunchy nuts, cool bursting berries, sweet golden honey and warm nutty quinoa.