Archive for September 2009

DISH: Grandpa Salad with Potatoes and Cheese
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Tomato, Cucumber

All summer, my family eats an easy salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, chopped red onion, and olive oil. When the tomatoes are good, the cucumbers crisp, and the onion not too abundant, there’s almost nothing I’d rather eat. For unknown reasons, we call this salad “grandpa salad,” though it wasn’t invented by any grandpa I know, and it’s not any more geriatric-tasting than the next thing. It is, like an old man, kind of crotchety, and by that I mean it is an inalterable dish, and we do not mess

DISH: Fried Multicolored Tomato BLTs with Basil-Chive Mayo
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato

Growing up, on days when a turkey club just felt like too much work for my jaw, I tended to downgrade from the triple-decker to a plain old bacon sandwich with one lettuce leaf and a sizable slather of mayo. At age 11, when I made the personal ruling that tomatoes were indeed a vegetable instead of a fruit, I transitioned from turkey entirely and began a lifelong love affair with the BLT.

I’ve found over the years that my favorites in the BLT department owe their …

It feels like just yesterday the six of us gathered to kick off what would become our favorite eating ritual: Magazine Club. Back in August 2008, Julie had just moved into a new apartment, and we joined to warm her new digs with Kate’s spicy tostadas inspired by Eva Mendes’ steamy cover of W magazine, Phoebe’s Go Green! Pretentious Pesto Pasta fueled by a 30-pg Thomas Friedman article in New York Times Magazine, and Leora’s Caprese salad, more or less a constant in the year of collective potluck eating, though there has yet to be an argument made for its importance.

This dish is modeled after one I enjoyed during a leisurely three-hour lunch on my last day of work, where my (ex-)coworkers and I managed to polish of two bottles of Prosecco among the three of us. Now, granted, anything would taste pretty good after that much Prosecco. But it was the image of this dish that stuck with me: an elegant, beautifully fried polenta steak piled high with delicately shaved summer squash, fresh corn kernels, and julienned basil. Normally I’m not a huge fan of combining a piping hot protein straight out of the oven with a cold, raw …

Romesco Sauce

Posted by on Tuesday Sep 1st, 2009

Romesco Sauce
Adapted from The New Spanish Table
Makes about 2 cups

Read the original post here.

1 small red bell pepper, in a coarse dice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup mixed nuts: use almonds, hazelnuts, and/or walnuts
4 slices dried-out baguette, cubed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large tomato, as much of the skin off as possible, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
salt to taste

Cover the pepper and hot pepper with about 1/2 cup of boiling water. Let sit about 15 minutes, or until ready to cook.…

Caramelized Corn

Posted by on Tuesday Sep 1st, 2009

Caramelized Corn
Serves 6

If you make one recipe from end-of-summer fare, make this one. Again, a technique pioneered by my mother, the long, slow saute brings out the sugar in the corn, making it sweet, toothsome, and rich. Read the original post here.

10 ears of the best fresh corn
2 teaspoons butter

Cut the kernels off the corn. Put them in a large saucepan with the butter. Cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.…

dinner’s not complete without a plating competition

EVENT: In Possession of a New Spanish Cookbook
VENUE: Cara’s Mother’s House, Long Island
TYPE: Festive Weekend Dinner
MENU: Cod with Romesco Sauce, Caramelized Corn, Tomato Slices

When my little sister, Kate, turned 21 recently, among other gifts, like a new license and a series of SoCo and lime shots, she received a Spanish cookbook by Anya von Bremzen, a contributing editor at Travel and Leisure with whom she happened to have spent a few weeks this summer in a Turkish resort town (more on that, and more everyday Turkish