September 5, 2013
I have discovered reason number 72 that I suck at being single: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to grocery shop for one person.
Weekly, I find myself carting home my own body weight or more in groceries knowing that, logically, there is no way I will consume it all before the next shopping trip. Which leads to recipes like this, which required me to invite a bunch of people over to help me eat it.
Not like they were complaining. These chops were dang good, though be careful not to overcook since there’s nothing worse than a dry chop. Don’t skip the raisins here, though I hear all of you moaning that raisins ruin everything. They don’t in this — they add a hint of sweetness, the way applesauce would in another classic pork pairing.
July 1, 2013
I’ve been promising my friends to post the recipe for this frittata since that first picnic on the Seine. Well after nearly two months, and many more picnics, here it is.
This frittata is the ultimate picnic main dish. It’s substantial enough to stand in for dinner, it’s transportable, and it’s great hot, warm, or room-temperature. It’s not as fussy as a quiche. It has a ton of beautiful vegetables in it, which will make you feel virtuous, but has a bit of ham and cheese for smoke and salt.
March 17, 2013
I’ve been vagabonding around Paris of late, staying at one obliging friend’s apartment after another while they’re out of town, house-sitting or cat-sitting or what have you. It’s a great way to experience different parts of the city, to be sure, but it’s also a formula for feeling constantly not-quite-at-home.
There are things I do to make myself feel less like an interloper into someone else’s space: saturating the house with my favorite music; drinking inordinate amounts of tea while staring out of the windows, familiarizing myself with the view; making the kitchen smell like my kitchen.
One of the defining smells of the kitchen in which I grew up is sesame oil. My standard after-school snack when I was a little girl was a bowl of rice mixed with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil, the distinct nutty smell of the oil amplified by the heat of the rice.
This bowl of greens and grains is like a grown-up version of my carb-bomb after school snack. Delicate Brussels sprouts leaves and crunchy coconut are tossed in an Asian-inspired vinaigrette, walked quickly through the oven just to get them toasty, and served over hot, fluffy brown rice. I know it sounds way too healthy to be exciting, but trust me: this is some seriously addictive stuff, friends.
February 9, 2013
I’ve been going out to eat a lot lately. I feel like I’m finally starting to figure out this Paris thing, and a big part of that is hanging out with friends at good restaurants… which means that I’m not cooking as much.
There’s this thing that happens when I eat a lot of restaurant food, though, where I start to crave the kind of thing that restaurants don’t tend to serve. Long-simmered, inexpensive cuts of meat. Saucy brown stuff. The kind of food that isn’t pretty on a plate, but sticks to your ribs.
This is what I want today, after several nights of restaurant food. Fork tender pork meets a nutty, buttery, oniony sauce that’s rendered rich and complex by a cajun-style, chestnut-colored roux. Plus pajamas, plus Netflix, plus beer, equals perfect night in.