Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ha noi House, NYC

High End Vietnamese place on St. Marks

Morning Glory with brown butter fish sauce will haunt me to the end of my days.

Everything else was good, don't get me wrong, but I wanted to order another one after my first bite.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

shredded brussel sprouts salad

Summer in our apartment means the returns of bright, meal-sized salads.  This is one of my favorites -- the speck gives it a little bit of extra salt and meatiness, so it feels more substantial.

From Food52.

Serves 3-4.

1/4 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and shaved on a mandoline.
1 c. finely chopped arugula
     [Alternative: double the brussel sprouts and nix the arugula]
1-2 ribs of celery, trimmed and finely diced
4-6 slices speck (or some other sturdy-but-thinly-sliced cured meat), cut into slivers
1/4 c. dried cranberries, roughly chopped (I've also used dried tart cherries here, to great effect)
1/3 c. walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely grated pecorino cheese
salt & pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 lemon, to taste
dash of chili powder

Mix the salad components up in a large bowl, add the olive oil and dash of chili powder. (The recipe calls for piment d'espelette, but chili powder is a perfectly adequate substitute.) Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and toss until the dressing is evenly distributed.

Protip: the brussel sprouts are sturdy enough that this stores really well -- even dressed! -- in the fridge overnight.

Monday, June 2, 2014

sugar snap summer salad

Winter was endless this year, so I'm as excited as I've ever been about the return of summer produce and light, summery meals. This salad (which can be either a side or stand on its own as a light meal) is super easy, and because you quick-boil the snap peas, it's perfectly fine if they're less-than-perfect looking.

Adapted from epicurious.

1.5 lbs sugar snap peas, trimmed, stringed, cut in half
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice (I was heavy handed on this, to great effect)
1 tsp white wine vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar and it worked just fine)
1/2 tsp sumac + some extra for garnish
1 bunch radishes (around 6 oz.) trimmed and thinly sliced
4 oz. ricotta salata, crumbled (feta also works, though it isn't my favorite)
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh mint

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.  Cook snap peas in a large pot of boiling (and salted!) water until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Drain and transfer snap peas to ice water bowl to cool.  When cool, drain the peas and transfer them to a baking sheet or paper towel to dry.

Once dry, toss peas, sliced radishes, and cheese in a large bowl.

For the dressing: whisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and sumac in a small bowl.

Add dressing to the salad and toss it until the veggies are more or less coated.  Season with salt, pepper, and as much lemon juice as fits your taste.  Garnish with mint and a sprinkle of sumac.

Monday, April 21, 2014

roasted eggplant with fried onion and chopped lemon

From the often high-maintenance but always reliable Jerusalem cookbook.

This is a fantastic recipe, and surprisingly easy to make -- all of the work can be done while the eggplant is roasting in the oven.


2 large eggplants, halved lengthwise with the stem on (about 1 2/3 lbs, total)
2/3 c. olive oil
4 onions (about 1 1/4 lb), thinly sliced (a mandolin is super useful for this one)
1 1/2 green chiles, seeded and finely chopped. (Keep the whole one and the half in separate piles.)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sumac
1 3/4 oz. (50 g) feta cheese, in large chunks
1 medium lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Score the cut side of each eggplant with a crisscross pattern.  Brush the cut sides with olive oil (the recipe calls for 6 1/2 tablespoons at this point), and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Place on baking sheet, cut side up, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is golden brown and completely cooked.

3. While the eggplants are cooking: Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and place over high heat.  Add the onions and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, so that parts of the onion are really dark and crisp.  Add the ground cumin, sumac, and the whole chopped chile and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the feta.  Cook for another minute (don't stir much), then remove from heat.

4. Use small, serrated knife to remove the skin and pith of the lemon.  Coarsely chop the flesh, discarding the seeds, and place the flesh and any juices in a bowl with the remaining 1/2 chile and the garlic.

5. As soon as the eggplants are ready, assemble the dish.  Transfer the roasted halves to a serving dish and spoon the lemon sauce over the flesh.  Warm up the onions a little and spoon over.  Serve warm or set aside to come to room temperature.

And, voila!

stir-fried cumin lamb

I've been super delinquent in posting over the last few months, so now I'm starting to clear out a recipe backlog.

First up, last night's tremendously successful venture into the world of making homemade spicy Chinese food (usually m's domain): cumin lamb! (And the blog's first photo!)

Recipe from serious eats.

3 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons whole sichuan peppercorns
12 dried Chinese red chilis
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (recipe called for about 1 tablespoon, but I went a little heavy on it)
1.5 lbs. lamb leg, trimmed of gristle, sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces (approx. 1-in. by 2-in.)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut pole-to-pole into 1/2-inch slices
3 stalks celery, ends/tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into thirds and crosswise into 2-ish segments
kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only

1. Heat cumin seeds, peppercorns, and chilis in a large skillet over medium-high heat, tossing constantly until fragrant, for about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and transfer chilis into separate small bowl.

2. Transfer cumin and sichuan peppercorns into spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind until roughly crushed but large pieces still remain.

3.  Transfer spices into a medium bowl, add the garlic, and mix.  Add lamb and soy sauce and mix with hands until it's thoroughly coated.  Set aside.

4.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat until smoking.  Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly charred and tender, about 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl.  Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil until smoking.  Add half of lamb and cook without moving it for a minute.  Continue cooking while stirring and tossing until lightly cooked (but still pink in spots) for about 1 minute.  Transfer cooked lamb to large bowl.  Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and remaining lamb, adding cooked lamb to same bowl.  Return wok to high heat until smoking.  Return vegetables and lamb to wok and cook, stirring and tossing until the lamb has a little bit of a crust, for about 2 more minutes.  Add chilis and cook, tossing constantly, for 30-seconds or so.  Season to taste with salt.

5. Transfer to a plate and top with cilantro.  Serve immediately.*

* And ideally, make enough so there are leftovers for lunch the next day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chocolate Cake for Passover

I don't normally like "flour-less chocolate cake" - the flavor is nice, but it has the texture of paste and who wants that?

So when we visited cousins in Miami and were served a souffle-like mostly-flourless chocolate cake, obviously we got the recipe to use for Passover.

Looking up the recipe online, it's clear that the cake has many ardent fans on the mommy-blogs.  And for good reason - it was trivial to make, and delicious.

G√Ęteau au chocolat fondant de Nathalie:

200 grams dark chocolate (I used 60% since it was on sale at whole foods, which worked out well),  cut into small pieces with a knife.
200 grams unsalted butter (I splurged for Kate's), cut into cubes. (It was just under two sticks)
200-250 grams sugar (I went on the high end, but regret it, next time I'll go lower)
5 eggs
1 Tablespoon coconut flour (the taste of coconut didn't come through at all, it was just to have some K4P binding)

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave until smooth and combined. Add the sugar, and stir. Add the eggs one at a time and stir into the batter (obviously I added all of the eggs at once. It probably took a little bit longer to get it all incorporated, but it worked fine). Add the flour.

Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes. In our oven it took about 30 minutes. It's done when nice cracks have formed.

The cake is really good - and poofy - straight out of the oven, but is arguably better once cooled.

Serve with whipped cream.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

rosemary + lemon white bean dip

From the always-reliable serious eats.

File this one under "super easy, super tasty." Total work time was barely 10 minutes, and this works great as a dip, or even as a sandwich spread.

1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium cloves of garlic, peeled (I was a little heavy handed here; probably 3-4 cloves)
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest (again, a little extra certainly doesn't hurt)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put beans, garlic, lemon juice in food processor (use the steel blade). Pulse until the mixture is fairly smooth.

2. With the motor going, pour 1/4 cup olive oil through the feed tube; process until the mixture is smooth.

3. Move bean mixture into small bowl. Stir in rosemary, lemon zest, and remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Can be served immediately, or keeps quite well in the refrigerator (tupperware worked fine) for 5-7 days.