October 11, 2012
This thing I am showing you today, is an atmospheric snack.
We all know that combining garlic and oil and heat can make a house instantly smell delicious. It makes mouths water and stomachs rumble. Well, as it turns out, if you do the same thing with garlic and lemon and thyme and smoked paprika, the effect is multiplied several times over. I don’t think my house has ever smelled so enticingly like a spice bazaar.
I used to fry these in oil, as the original recipe dictates, but I generally prefer to oven-fry as it creates less of a mess and less of a danger of scalding myself with hot oil. (I’m kind of a klutz.) Oven-baking also results in chickpeas that are crispy all the way to the cores, instead of just a crispy shell hiding a mealy interior.
Warning: these have that Cheetos problem where your fingers will be dusted in orange powder after you’ve eaten them. They’re also just as addictive as Cheetos.
October 9, 2012
I don’t know if you can tell, but I get really excited about food. It’s not just the end product, the delicious thing I get to put in my mouth that does so much more than just nourish my body. It’s the process, too, the learning and doing and standing in the kitchen, working with my hands, listening to things sizzle and pop, my glasses steaming up as I open the oven door. I had some amazing kale and taleggio arancini during the kale party at Verjus a couple of weeks ago, and they were stellar. Perfectly prepared balls of rice and cheese and vegetal kale, deep-fried to a golden brown and served with a salty-sweet bacon compote. It’s a dish that makes sense — you know by reading the description that there’s no way that this could be bad, and chef Braden Perkins didn’t disappoint. The plate cost €8, a steal for such high-caliber food. And yet, and still. There was something missing. I didn’t make it myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love dining out, and I know my skill in the kitchen can’t match a trained chef’s, but… but what? I guess I miss the challenge. How extremely clever I feel whenever a dish turns out just how I wanted it to. I wanted to be the one whipping out those perfect arancini with that sticky, perfectly paired sauce. And yes, I felt extremely clever. Continue Reading
October 3, 2012
I found fresh sage at my greengrocer’s last week. I’d never worked with sage before — it’s not an herb that was easily found in LA markets, and I didn’t plant any in my herb box here. Besides, the slight fuzziness of the leaves freaked me out a little bit. But I sniffed the bunch of leaves and was immediately transported to the land of nutty warm fall dishes and… breakfast sausage? Well, sage is the main herb in American breakfast sausage, so no wonder.
Butternut squash is aptly named. With the creaminess of butter and a subtle earthiness along with a sweetness that’s magnified when the squash is roasted, it’s perfect paired with a tangy goat cheese. With bits of walnuts for crunch, these little phyllo pockets were filling and well-balanced snack.
September 26, 2012
This is spanakopita. (These are spanakopitas?)
It’s spinach and feta wrapped up into little phyllo triangles and doused with butter. The phyllo gets golden brown and butter-crispy and shatters into little shards that get all over your clothes that will make people on the street look at you funny if you forget to lint-roll yourself before leaving home.