October 4, 2012
Have you noticed how quickly all the food on this blog has turned its colors for fall? I didn’t until I started editing photos for this post, but now I’ve looked back and see that all I’ve posted in the last few days is orange, red, yellow, and brown.
Bring it on if it means more food like this. I’d never made mushroom risotto before, but it seemed a shame to do anything else with these glorious chanterelles, black chanterelles, and criminis. I wanted something that would really showcase the earthy flavors while backing them up with something more substantial.
Risotto, good risotto, takes dedication. Dedication to standing in front of your stove, stirring and stirring, for at least half an hour to release the starches for that creamy base. Dedication to tasting many crunchy, underdone pieces of rice until one gives under your teeth white that perfect al dente texture. Dedication to possibly wasting a cup or two of broth if your rice doesn’t need it that day.
But in the end, you’re rewarded with a big bowl of plump grains suffused with the flavors of the mushrooms, and with a creamy mouthful without adding a drop of cream.
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 20, 2012
You see this? This is me trying to figure out how to take photos of food in autumn light.
The moodiness of the photo in no way reflects my feelings about this salad. You guys! Brussels sprouts! Are back! What? Why is no one else as excited as I am about raw sprouts?
I guess I’m biased. The first time I tried Brussels sprouts was in the Momofuku recipe, and that’s an auspicious beginning if I’ve ever heard of one. I had never been tortured with boiled or steamed sprouts in my youth, when they’re so clearly meant to be fried or roasted.
September 19, 2012
We went out to dinner with friends last night, and I discovered on the way home that the evenings are now too chilly for just a blazer. Soon enough, it’ll be that time of year when it will be unthinkable to go out without a sweater, a thick wool coat, and a scarf.
I’m actually kind of looking forward to it. Having lived in LA all my life, I’ve never gotten to experience the change of the seasons. When I visited Paris for a week last Christmas, there was nothing more charming than going out in the morning, our breath making little clouds as we walked, and getting a steaming cup of vin chaud from a street vendor to sip as we walked.