Thursday, November 1, 2012

squid and leeks braised with red wine/foie gras ravioli with cherry balsamic gastrique

Back in April, Nathan and I celebrated our four year anniversary. As he's a law student and I'm a terminally underpaid editorial assistant, we opted to stay in and prepare a fancy meal for ourselves, much as we did for Valentine's Day. Nathan loves squid, so we braised some with red wine, leeks, thyme and some crunchy croutons, as seen above. We also had brought back some foie gras from the duty free shop in the Paris airport during our layover on our trip to Russia, so I made up some homemade ravioli in a cherry balsamic gastrique sauce with that. It was a great meal for a very special occasion.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

beach blondies with corona and lime

Believe it or not, I actually made these Corona Blondies back in January for an Oscars party. I added lime zest and juice to the original recipe and called them Hawaiian Corona Blondies in honor of nominee The Descendants. It was a pretty tenuous link to the film, but Corona does like to market themselves as a beer to drink while lounging at the beach, so I figured it sort of fit together with the film's paradisaical setting. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

white bean salad/mustard maple carrots

Like my most recent entry (which was a while ago, sorry), this post doesn't feature the best looking photograph, but it does have one new take on a Cascone classic, as well as two brand new side dishes, so I hope that will help to make up for the poorly lit picture.

Monday, June 25, 2012

romantic dinner

I'm truly disappointed in how these photos came out, but this meal was just too special for me not to talk about it just because it was kind of a hot mess for the camera. This year, with Nathan back at school, we've kind of scaled back on our big special occasion dinners, and have made fancy meals at home rather than shelling out the big bucks at a restaurant. For Valentine's Day we made this duck breast with orange gastrique, aligot mashed potatoes, braised leeks and then a lightening-fast chocolate mousse for dessert.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

game day snacks

I am, in general, a pretty big sports fan. As a child, I may have asked my grandma to read me recipes instead of stories, but once I learned to read I also used to pour over the sports sections of Newsday every morning, obsessing over baseball standings.

So obviously, giant game-day feast, combining two of my earliest loves, hold a special place in my heart. Above, you can see my spread for Super Bowl Sunday, which Laura and Jess so kindly helped me to prepare. I basically made everything delicious and decidedly not healthy that I would want to eat at my ideal Super Bowl party, plus the markedly more elegant brie en croute. I don't know about you, but for me the menu would include guacamole, taco dip, penne alla vodka, swedish meatballs and spinach dip.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

spaghetti with raisins and spinach

This pasta dish was actually spun off a couple of similar recipes that I had found for spinach with raisins and pine nuts, with almonds subbed in for their more expensive nut brethren, and spaghetti added to take this from side dish status to a full main course—aka all Sarah eats is pasta. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

avocado anchovy toast

Sometimes, a perfectly good meal can also be incredibly, ridiculously easy. Like if you smash up half an avocado and a couple of anchovies on some toasted whole wheat bread, drizzle it with olive oil. All you need is a little cracked black pepper and maybe, MAYBE a little extra salt, although the anchovy may have things covered. Avocados have a great creamy sweetness to them, and the saltiness of the anchovy compliments that really nicely. If you are worried about the anchovy being too fishy, try just a small amount. Just make sure to use a really ripe avocado that's nice and soft.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

saucy honey mustard pork chop/crispy quinoa leftovers with caramelized onions and a fried egg

As you may have realized, I like to read other food blogs, and that's where I tend to pick up my dinner ideas. However, sometimes (as with yesterday's entry) I like to just get down to business and cook, letting the ingredients take me where they will. That can lead to some plain sauteed spinach and fairly bland quinoa, but it can also lead to a legitimately awesome honey mustard pork chop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

roast vegetable mash with sauteed mixed greens and sausages

So recently I told you about a meal that I thriftily prepared from ingredients I found tucked away in my cupboard, and how Nathan probably wouldn't approve since thinks he's better than everyone who gets some modicum of enjoyment from throwing together a dinner that way. I also mentioned that he's equally dismissive of "market meals." Basically, he just likes to be judgey when foodies are involved.

On that note, I'm afraid I'm going to have to out him, because this meal is entirely composed of food from the Union Square Market, and Nathan was totally complicit in its purchase and preparation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

steak au poivre/spinach and mushrooms

As I think of what to write about this very traditional "meat and potatoes" type meal (literally), I realize just how infrequently I cook beef. That's healthy, I suppose, but also kind of a shame because I love meat and I love steak and ribs and all that good stuff. This meal, in particular, would totally be right at home on the menu of a steakhouse, albeit one with some heavy French influences. Like Les Halles.

Monday, June 11, 2012

raw kale salad with walnuts, pecorino, lemon and mushrooms/balsamic blackberry juniper ravioli

My first couple of seasons in the food co-op, I was not exactly what you would call a kale fan. The curly leaves and woody stems would totally languish in the fridge for weeks, and was always in danger of wilting and yellowing and even getting thrown out. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with the stuff, to be honest, and even I had a hard time finding many kale recipes online. Oh how times have changed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

olive oil tuna spread

Nathan likes to make fun of pantry meals. You know, when people brag about "oh you know I just dug through my cupboard and pulled out some dried goods and some canned goods and threw this and that together and voila! A filling, hearty and tasty meal that also happens to be totally thrifty!" I don't want to speak for him, but think he finds it rather self-satisfied and smug—although he also seems to have a problem with "going to the market and seeing what's fresh," so really there's just no pleasing him. Being inspired by the ingredients at hand is apparently obnoxious now.

Well, sorry Nathan, but this one is totally a "pantry meal," and I'm not afraid to brag about it. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

oyster and bacon soup

So this is not your every day soup. With 5 pounds of muscles that don't even make it into the final product, not to mention 36 oysters, this is definitely one of the spendiest dishes you're ever going to see on Garlicus Maximus. That being said, Andrew Carmellini's bacon oyster chowder is delicious and would be an excellent addition to a special occasion type meal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

bacon blue cheese quinoa/porcini rubbed pork chops

I've always been extremely, extremely skeptical about quinoa. That's like health food, right? No thanks, I'll pass. So what made me pick up a bag? A recipe where the other ingredients are bacon, blue cheese, spinach and cannellini beans, obviously.

Monday, May 28, 2012

a good pot of lentils

Back in December Bon Appetit posted a so-called food lover's cleanse, with a bunch of healthy veggie-laden recipes that were supposed to appeal to well, food lovers, while still being good for you. Sounds like a win-win, no?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

crispy chicken wings with mushrooms, garlic, thyme and vermouth

Chicken tends not to be the most exciting type of meat, and it takes a great chicken recipe to get me to stand up and take notice. This, my friends, is a great chicken recipe. And I'm not just saying that because this is by far the garlickiest dish I have ever made.  It's incredibly crispy, without being weighed down with any sort of batter, and the white wine, mushrooms and thyme are the perfect sauce.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

bacon-y carrot potato crusted pie

Sometimes all it takes is a photo, and a recipe will jump the line straight to the top of my "to cook list." A ridiculously rustic pie, with a burnished filling of caramelized carrots and bacon? Why don't you twist my arm a little harder, photographer blogger lady man sir?

Monday, April 23, 2012

garlicky broccoli rabe, fresh mozzarella and tomato jam sandwich

I know any photo involving gooey, melted cheese is guaranteed to set your mouth a-watering, but trust me when I say that this sandwich is legitimately one of the most delicious ones that I have ever tasted. There's the fresh mozzarella, broccoli rabe loaded with garlic and spicy red pepper flakes, and a sweet, slow cooked tomato jam, all pressed between a loaf of Italian bread like a crispy panini.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

super belated thanksgiving: perfect apple pie, bacon brussel sprouts with mustard vinaigrette, spinach and onion quiche, and DEEP FRIED TURKEY

Where do I even start? That is a photo of one of the three and a half Thanksgiving dinners that I enjoyed last year. The first two Thanksgivings were hosted by friends of mine, and both dinner parties went all out: turkey, stuffing, gravy... the works! I contributed some delicious butternut squash to both meals, which were, coincidentally, both hosted in Astoria.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

panko crusted mustard chicken/smashed turnips with horseradish

I feel like the lighting at Nathan's apartment always gives me problems; the food never looks particularly appetizing in photos... Anyway, even if it didn't photograph the way I would have wanted, this was a pretty great meal: chicken breast crusted in mustard and panko breadcrumbs, a little salad, sauteed turnip greens, and a horseradish scallion turnip mash.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

squash and polenta two ways

Polenta has become one of my go to meals. It's quick, easy and filling, and it takes on delicious flavors from other ingredients really well. I've talked a couple of times about how it's fabulous with sausage (which reminds me that I should make polenta with chorizo again soon), and there's no mistaking how well it pairs with cheeses, like parmesan, goat or blue. Polenta also plays nice with lighter add-ins, like the time I chopped up and added maybe a half cup or so of parsley, which is often thought of a garnish but actually is delicious in its own right. Today, I have two very different takes on polenta with winter squash.

everyone loves a waffle iron

Maybe it's just me, but I think of waffle irons as one of those kitchen devices that everyone thinks that they will use, but inevitably ends up collecting dust in the basement with the deep fryer and other cool but non-everyday kitchen devices. I mean, I can think of probably two times in my life that my mom has used hers, so I was hesitant to buy one of my own, considering the limited storage space in my NYC apartment. Clearly, no matter how many delicious waffle recipes are out there to tantalize me, this was not something that I needed..... but alas, good sense and practicality lost out to the sheer force of desire and a tiny $10 waffle iron on sale at Target.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

french apple cake/super fast sauteed apples and ice cream

So remember when my friends and I went apple picking?

Cute right? Yeah I know. Not so cute? The utterly homely but totally delicious and gooey apple cake. It's kind of brown and ugly, and I could barely get it out of the pan, but damn if it wasn't really, really good.

Friday, February 17, 2012

beet green spaghetti with raisins/cauliflower with hazelnut, pear and sage

This is this sort of meal I miss making now, in the dead of winter. God, I can't wait for spring! When the food co-op is in full swing, our fridge is chock full of all sorts of weird veggie odds and ends, and it's both a pleasure and a challenge to use that bounty as fully and creatively as I can. For instance: you don't often see them at the grocery store, but there are a lots of vegetables that come with a bunch of leafy greens growing out of one end. Most of the time, those go to waste, which is a shame because those greens can be really tasty, whether they come from turnips, radishes or yes, even beets.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

red velvet beet cookie and cream cheese ice cream sandwiches

I don't really like beets all that much, which you may have picked up on, considering that every time my food co-op forces them upon me, I reluctantly come up with some sort of way to cook them for which I can muster only minimal enthusiasm. Yeah that's usually how it goes. Not a total clunker in the bunch, but nothing that made me jump up and say "YES! This is the beet I have been waiting for and now we are in LOVE," and I'm beginning to think it's just never gonna happen.

So basically, this is me giving up on making a "beet dish" that I would really enjoy and just hiding them in a big fat chocolatey cookie. Of course, you occasionally hear about people making "all natural" red velvet cake with beets instead of red food coloring (which is actually more traditional, believe it or not). I could have gone that route, with a delicious cream cheese frosting, but I really wanted to whip up David Lebowitz's cream cheese ice cream, which made me think of ice cream sandwiches, which led me to these red velvet beet cookies.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

butter-fried potato and apple slices with porcini mushrooms, shallots, parsley and sage

Man, I can't believe how January is already flying by! And here I am, still blogging about something I made back in October. Luckily, this meal was mainly root vegetables and apples, which store pretty well throughout the winter, so this is still fairly seasonal. As you'll see in the photo above, there were three components of this meal: maple carrot turnips, garlicky turnip tops and, for the main event, potato and apple slices fried in butter with shallots, porcini mushrooms, sage and parsley.

Friday, January 13, 2012

pork chops and apples in mustard cream sauce

That is a big pan of pork chops and sliced apples in a creamy dijon mustard sauce. Incredibly rich and delicious, this is just the thing for a cold winter's night. If you've ever had pork chops and apple sauce, you have a good idea what a great combination they are. Classic comfort food, taken to the next level.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

marathon brunch 2: butternut squash baked eggs/french toast with roasted banana ice cream and toasted pumpkin seeds/bagel and lox

If you've been reading along, you'll recall that least year, Laura and hosted a brunch to celebrate the New York City marathon, which conveniently passes right by our apartment. If you've never experienced the marathon, it is hard to imagine how much fun it is to stand out there on the street, cheering and high fiving the runners as they run a seemingly super-human distance. It is also particularly great to be able to pause and reflect on their amazing accomplishments by eating ridiculous amounts of french toast and eggs.

In other words, let me tell you what I made for our second annual marathon brunch.

That's boozy french toast (as discussed in my second blog post ever), with amaretto, eggs, milk (or cream? doesn't matter really), a little sugar and some cinnamon. I let it soak in the egg mixture and then baked it in the oven. I served it with fresh whipped cream, candied pumpkin seeds and roasted banana ice cream. Oh, and a little maple syrup. Just in case there wasn't enough deliciousness piled up on there. The roasted bananas get really lovely and caramelized, and because the fruit is so naturally sweet, you barely need to add any sugar. (My only thought is that this might be even better if there was an egg custard base, because it wasn't quite as creamy as it could have been. But I am afraid of egg custards because the only time I tried to make one it broke so I'll take a slightly crystallized ice cream over prolonged stove-top trauma.)

cheesy baked squash gratin

What you see here is actually the leftovers from a big dish of acorn and butternut squash chunks baked up with some bread and cheese and a little cream-- essentially, another savory bread pudding.

It's original incarnation was as a delicious, if slightly awkward to eat without utensils party food. Laura and I usually put together a pretty well received spread of party snacks, and this was no exception. That being said, I think it was even better the next morning, heated up and served with a fried egg.

steak with cilantro pesto/duck fat potatoes

This is a nice medium rare steak with some cilantro pesto sauce and a side of delicious potatoes cooked with duck fat. It was a pretty good dinner, but the potatoes were definitely the star, even if the steak fanned out over the bright green sauce is considerably more photogenic.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Devil Deans

A while back I had an idea to combine two of my favorite things: deviled eggs and breakfast sausages. It's also possible that I came up with the name "Devil Dean" and thought it sounded cool so I went ahead and made up a breakfast food that would work with it. The name is basically shorthand for Devil(ed Egg and Jimmy) Dean (brand breakfast sausage). In the end I had a hard time finding Jimmy Dean in Harlem so it's just normal sausage - think of it as a sort of poetic license.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

edamame hummus

I made this for a New Year's Eve snack last weekend, for the two New Year's parties my brother Matt and I were attending. As long as you've got a food processor, this is a really easy dip to make, and can easily be doubled or even tripled for a crowd, as I did. It's a little salty, a little lemony, a little garlicy, and a whole lot of edamame.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

fried eggplant balls, mustard braised green beans and pancetta pappardelle with stewed tomatoes

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but this was probably one of the best dinners I made all year. Nathan helped, but this was mostly my endeavor, and both he and Laura had nothing but good things to say about the meal. When you've got some crispy fried goodness, a tasty, honest-to-goodness healthy vegetable, and a really solid pasta dish, that's pretty much a guaranteed recipe for a first rate feast.

Monday, January 2, 2012

fusilli with tuna, tomatoes and greens

This dinner came together around this delicious wasabi mayo that they serve with the tuna sandwich at Lure Fishbar. I work in the same building as Lure, and our magazine has a trade account there, which we always use to order food for meetings with different museum curators. One time, we ordered a couple of the tuna sandwiches, and they gave us a big tub of their housemade wasabi mayo to go with them.

After the lunch was over, and I successfully scavenged the leftovers, I brought home the big thing of mayo with the intentions of searing off a nice tuna steak to go with it for my dinner. Instead, I made this pasta.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

baked pasta with cheese and tomatoes

Happy New Year! When I was younger, I had difficulty making resolutions, but now it seems I am full of them: decorate my apartment, keep my room in order, read more books, be less angry and stop flipping out over the little things, volunteer, make art, eat better, get some exercise, get a job with health insurance... Gah. So much room for self-improvement. Daunting, isn't it?

So I'm starting with something easy: a blog entry. Have you missed me? (No, you haven't, non-existent reader, but that's okay.) I would really like to catch up and write about all the things I cook in a more timely manner, and even though it's a daunting task, I'm feeling up to it.