Among the many pleasures of spring are the season-straddling meals, which retain some of winter’s rich comfort quality while opening up to the verdant splendor of new growth. And morels. Lots of morels. Throw in a duck leg, some transformed leftovers, and kumquat/absinthe marmalade, and you’ve got yourself an exemplary dinner.
Keep reading A Leg Up…
There is no more useful thing to have on hand at all times than good homemade stock. Witness this meal, a hurried response to lingering sickness and general wintry malaise that no cardigan can allay. I have written a lot about risotto, because I make it pretty often, though not because I love it particularly more than other things. I make it often because it is so easy; all it requires is rice, stock, and a condimento: an herb, a flavor, a vegetable or three for color, depth, and direction.
Keep reading Rice With Chicken Soup…
Though this is another paean to leftovers, hear me out. Everything about this meal was spot on; the various components had been transformed beyond recognition from their original preparations, and to excellent effect.
Keep reading My Satisfaction I Exhibit Thus…
This is a little hard to see, because everything is roughly the same color, but the flavors were all distinct. It was also mostly leftovers, reinvented to make something entirely new.
Keep reading Use It Or Lose It…
This may not have been the most elegant meal ever made, but it was very good to eat, and it illustrates a useful principle of home cooking that can, when applied properly, make homemade food taste more interesting than restaurant food.
Keep reading Chick Appeasement…
Leftover soup extraordinaire:
Stock from (Asian-inflected) chicken wing and (Mediterranean-inflected) lamb chop bones plus lots of ginger and garlic
1/4 of a roasted kabocha, spooned into curly dumplings
Leftover pumpkin risotto, with plenty of al dente pumpkin lumps to double down on the cucurbitaceous xanthousness
2 beaten eggs, stirred in for that inimitable (and light yellow) egg drop filigree
Cubes of tofu
Mixed garden greens (kales, chard, tatsoi, etc.)
Yellow curry powder
White . . . → Read More: My Yellow In This Case Is Not So Mellow
That’s what they call surf and turf in Belize, and possibly elsewhere in that region; I learned this on a dive trip there long ago. For that meal, the beef was frozen and the lobster was caught that day by our guide. In this case the lobster was frozen and the beef was fresh. This is not actually what we had for Valentine’s dinner last night, which will be another post, but was instead last Sunday’s meal. I stopped by a market on the way back from ceramics, where I’ve been working on a bunch of commissioned stuff, and in addition to the local, grass-fed sirloin they now happily carry they also had some lobster tails so I grabbed a couple to augment the fanciness quotient significantly. I’m still feeling guilty about all the cooking I did not do over the last couple of months, so I saw them as a form of crustaceous atonement.
Keep reading Reef And Beef…
I blather on regularly about how leftovers are a blessing rather than a curse, and how having a family with a low tolerance for them makes me a better cook because I have to innovate and transform the remnants of last night’s dinner into something new and different if I want it to get eaten and thus make room in the fridge for either A) a giant pork butt or B) uneaten portions of a meal to be named later. And it’s true. I spend far too much time thinking about how great it would be if I had all day every day to cook, drilling down into the experimentation, fabrication, and execution that leads to a deep relationship with techniques and results. But in the absence of that life of leisure, leftovers are the next best thing.
Keep reading Q.E.D….
After making the terrines, I still had half the pork butt left over. And since it was Sunday and all, and the days have cooled noticeably lately, turning on the oven to roast it up seemed like a perfect idea.
Keep reading It’s The Joint…
On Saturday we had a wonderful birthday party for a dear friend. There was much good food, and some pretty epic wines. Caught up as I was in first the making and then the enjoying of the food, I didn’t take a single picture. This has been pretty common lately; I’ve been ignoring the requirements that this blog imposes upon some of my meals and just, you know, making, eating, and enjoying them with family and friends. It makes for a more relaxed and well-lived life, but of course it’s anathema to the vicarious internet experiencing of the same events by others. And I’m OK with that.
Keep reading All The Ladies In The House Say Paella…