The fantasy: Your house is clean. Your children have finished their homework and are playing by themselves quietly and without incident. You have the time to chop, sauté and simmer, and fill your house with good smells as you make a leisurely, healthy dinner, which your delighted family eats with enthusiasm.
The reality: There [...]
Fortunately, Serious Eats came to my rescue and developed a recipe for street meat. The first time I made it, the scent of the rice instantly carried me back to that summer, and I was, however briefly, 24 again. It has since become a serious staple in our house. Relatively easy to make, good to reheat, excellent to take to families with new babies and a frequent request made by my homesick husband. The Nuni loves it because I let her make the white sauce all by herself (it’s hard to screw up and a good way to train her to taste and season). In fact, it is, I would venture, even better than the original. [...]
Along the Cote D’Azur, pretty much every restaurant offers a version of fish soup. Made with the local catch, it is always served with croutons, rouille (a garlic and saffron mayonnaise), and cheese. I had been craving a good soupe de poissons but not the trip to the fishmonger to get the bones to make the stock and the fish to puree into the soup and .. . well, you get the idea. Chicken bouillabaisse, though less traditional, is infinitely simpler, and offers many of the same flavors. I make mine with fennel, herbes de provence, and, because I had it, a pinch of lavender, all of which are ubiquitous in that part of the world. Served with the requisite croutons, rouille, and cheese, I could almost imagine myself on a terrace covered with rosemary, sipping my chilled rose next to the Mediterranean. [...]
With all the holiday entertaining, it’s nice to have a couple of good appetizers up your sleeve — something that can be served to guests or brought along to a party. Something that can liven up a meal of leftovers, or even make for lunch on the day when a festive dinner is taking up your attention. This chicken liver mousse is one of my absolute favorites. It can (should) be made ahead, is just decadent enough, and is cheap to make. I buy organic, air-chilled chicken livers at Whole Foods (because they always have them) and they cost $1.50 for the whole recipe’s worth. [...]
When Kitchen Play and the U.S. Apple Association asked me to develop a healthy and family-friendly entree made with apples, I was thrilled. Apples are a great snack, sure, but their crunch and nice balance between tartness and acidity makes them a great addition to many savory foodstuffs too. I elected to make a barbecue pulled chicken recipe using apple cider and apple cider vinegar, paired in sandwiches with a crunchy coleslaw that’s brightened with chunks of sour sweet apples. The ones I had available were Gala apples, but this would be great with any firm and crunchy apple — my beloved empires, fuji apples, or even granny smith. This is a great recipe to share with the family. The Nuni ate it up and pronounced it “yummy”, my husband loved it, and my mom asked for seconds. It comes together quickly, and makes great leftovers for brown bag lunches the next day. [...]