tag: side dish
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.
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.
August 30, 2012
This is the kind of dish that completely depends on high quality ingredients: fresh, gorgeous tomatoes and excellent butter.
I first encountered Cœur de Bœuf tomatoes, a cousin of the American beefsteak tomato, at Ô Chateau in a lovely salad preparation. Its uneven ridges create very small pockets of seeds inside the fruit, so the flesh is not nearly as watery as other tomato varieties. Substantial and fleshy, this variety is perfect for slicing thick and eating raw.
I can’t get over how pretty these slices are, arranged on a big plate — like big tomato flowers.
August 23, 2012
An old sweetheart of mine once gave me one of the most interesting compliment I’ve ever received: “I’d like to see you eat a salad. It’s hard to eat a salad gracefully, but I bet you could do it.”
He’s not wrong. About salad, not about my ability to eat it. Salads are, in general, kind of a messy affair. Especially the ones with those pretty and colorful artisanal lettuces that you don’t want to chop that are juuuuust bigger than one mouthful, meaning you get dressing all over your lips trying to get that forkful of unruly greens into your stomach, messing up your lipstick in the process. And don’t even get me started on frisée.
This is the antithesis to those messy, albeit often lovely, lettuce salads. You can eat the entire thing with a spoon. It’s crisp and cold from the raw corn, the chickpeas bring a lovely nuttiness, and the avocado melds with the lemon and olive oil to form a lovely creamy mouthfeel. I toss mine together in about five minutes flat.