Friday, May 29, 2015

Sweet and Savory: Beautiful Piles on Toast, and The New York Times Summer Cooking

Three delicious and unexpected flavor and texture pairings, atop crunchy, chewy toasts. Why not have sweet and savory together, one a foil to the other in a dance, making mealtime especially awesome? That is the theme of this month's Anthology column.

Choose good bread. It's your foundation. 

pink peppercorn salt, fig preserves, and buffalo mozzarela toast
There are limitless opportunities for sweet-savory combinations. Here are a few I thought up in considering this month's vittles…

Which will be your new favorite?

sea salt-sprinkled bruléed bananas on melted chocolate and sourdough toast
How indulgent is your sweet tooth? How much do you crave savory bites? There is something here for everyone.

Pepita honeycomb brittle crumbled over umami grilled lettuce toasts
The fact that each of these is pretty simple to prepare makes them all the more attractive. I can't wait to hear what strikes you, and which you chose for your afternoon (or late night) snack.

Full story and recipes here.


In more layers of savory, for last week's New York Times Food Section I produced eight recipes to showcase four flavor powerhouses devised by Sam Sifton, which you can pull from and reproduce all summer long. Pretty tantalizing for a summer of good eating.

Here are some of my favorite images from the work, some printed for the feature and others not -

Lobster butter, with wild shrimp for dipping…

Lemon herb compound butter, paired with wild king salmon….

A sweet-spicy-smoky rub for meat…

And, an herby, vinegary marinade for the best grilled meat ever. This is my favorite of the bunch, though choosing a favorite is highly subjective. They are all delicious.

Warm weather is in full gear now. The chanterelle mushrooms are poking their golden caps robustly through the moist, black soil. I hope to bring some home for a new chapter in an ongoing series I've been producing on wild foods.

Most recently, I foraged mulberries (and made an amazing pie), made honeysuckle syrup from cups of plucked blossoms, and have already a haul of blackberries with which a shrub or mostarda (or maybe pie, let's face it) may be its outcome. Good eating, each and every one.

Make something sweet, something savory, for yourself today. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Mother's Lemon Meringue Pie, Creamy Goodness at Food52, and Another Page One (Luscious Lamb!) at The New York Times

Where has the last month gone, I keep asking myself. I don't think it even happened, but then I realize I've done all this work, and so it must have. 

This fantastic lemon meringue pie, an on-rotation favorite dessert from my mom, is this month's feature at Anthology.

Are you craving pie by now? Head over to Anthology for the full scoop, including the delicious recipe. You'll be quite happy you did, as you will no doubt delight in the slices of this bright, rich (but not too rich), perfect dessert.

This recipe is particularly well-timed, as I just returned from a lengthy trip back home, where I cooked and cared for my folks. 

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that for our parents in a more regular way? To have our schedules cleared, virtually suspended (mine was, even though the piles waited for me upon my return), and help family out in times of need. 

All this to say I would have loved to share the following stories with you sooner, and I blame them for being so tied up…..

In my Halfway to Dinner column at Food52, I created five fab recipes incorporating heavy cream. Some, just a little, and others, the whole nine yards. Up to you which you'll prefer….there is something for everyone. 

Because, they are all delicious.

a Julia Child-inspired chicken liver mousse

the delightful cracked sugar "glass" of crême brulée

chicken legs with shallots and apples, dressed in a cider cream sauce

my favorite: garlicky creamed wild onions

the gorgeous wild onions destined for creaming...

horseradish cream sauce with dipping accompaniments

Then there was the glorious NYTimes Page One story, the second I had in just as many weeks. I love it when that happens! 

This feature was geared for Easter and Passover and it delivered big. Four recipes (one, two, three, four) including a glorious leg of lamb, a grand meal to feed the whole neighborhood.

Any of these recipes could easily double for Mother's Day, which by now is right around the corner. These preparations are a feast for the eyes, made with love, and so tasty. Your Ma will no doubt appreciate it.

If you do choose one from any of these features, let me know. It gives me great pleasure to know others are eating well.

I'll be at the farmers market this weekend, refilling my refrigerator with peppery greens, juicy veg, orangey-yolk eggs, and a few surprise bits - usually whatever hits me as I roam.

A spare rib barbecue is in the works, as well as some pickle experiments I'm having fun with. Who knows, maybe a fruit and biscuit idea will make a splash... another story I've been chewing on….

Have a beautiful weekend. Hold these first few days of May close, as the rest will fly just as quickly as all of April did. xxx