Wed Apr 16, 2008
Beet, Leeks and Goat Cheese Pizza
Every time you flip through your favorite cooking magazine or cookbook, you’re looking at a recipe that’s been tested and re-tested and then tested again, sometimes over generations. All of the kinks have been worked out—the ingredients measured to the tenth-of-an-ounce, the cooking times dialed to the second, the methods determined and then refined. When you’re making up the recipe yourself you have two options. You can wait to write about the dish until it’s all sorted out. Or, you can lay it all out on the table en medias res. A little peek into the oven while the dish is only half-baked, as it were.
Thu Apr 10, 2008
The subject of my first chef crush, Mark Ladner, now the executive chef at Mario Batali’s Del Posto, was the focus of a fantastic profile in the New York Observer earlier this week. It’s wonderful seeing this exceptional chef finally get a moment in the spotlight. Read more here.
Thu Apr 10, 2008
Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar
I can’t find my first sentence. Do you know where it went? I had it wrapped around my brain when I rolled out of bed this morning, but staring at the computer now, I can’t remember what it was. I had been dreaming about Top Chef again and Gordon Ramsey was the judge and Nancy Silverton had replaced Padma. We were getting ready to start the Quick Fire Challenge when G-Ram said…what?! Argh!
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Piselli con Asparagi e Basilco
Nature has put on her Technicolor dreamcoat and cast a verdant spell across California’s brown hills. Last weekend I found some gorgeous wild fennel tucked in amongst the daisies and sage in Runyon Canyon, it’s bright green fronds fanning the smaller plants in the breeze. I didn’t pick any, but fully intend to go back with a bag and a little gardening shovel to pluck out a licorice-scented bulb or two. I’ve also been on the lookout for ramps, the garlicky wild leeks prized by chefs; they’re bound to start popping up soon. Though, since there growing season is so short and the flavor so sought-after, I doubt any will remain in the ground long enough for me to find and pick. I’ll just have to watch restaurant menus to get a bite while I can.
The farmers market is awash in green, too. Fava tendrils hint at the broad beans to come, graceful, tender asparagus line stall after stall like crowned guards and snap peas and English peas pour out of baskets, crisp pods beckoning like the Jolly Green Giant’s fingers.
What? You don’t like peas? Continue reading