Archive for December 2009

It’s Christmas Eve. For many, we hear that means carols, eggnog, and prettily lit Christmas trees. For Jewish New Yorkers, it means something else entirely: takeout Chinese.

I have a slightly different experience than most NYC Jews, though: my grandmother was born on Christmas Day, and my mother grew up celebrating the day both as Christmas and as a birthday. For much of my childhood, we went to Grandma Jane and Poppy’s house in Westchester for the annual Christmas-Birthday party where my main activity was playing with my sisters and cousin on my grandparents’ very cool red, orange, and yellow shag carpet left over from the 60s.

HOLIDAY DINNER PARTY MENU: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs; Butternut Squash & White Bean Puree with Bacon-Sage Croutons; Alta Brussels Sprouts; Pear Almond Tart

For a month or so this fall, my friend Sophie started having Monday night Gossip Girl and Brussels Sprouts dates with our friend Mark. I’m not sure why they decided those two joys needed to go together—perhaps to analyze the misunderstood Manhattanites along with the misunderstood vegetable? They would cook other things too, mind you, but the centerpiece of their meal was always some delicious variety of sprouts.

When I heard about this tradition

Oven-Fried Flounder

Posted by on Monday Dec 21st, 2009

Oven-Fried Flounder
Serves 2-4

Read the original post here.

4 flounder filets
2 slices bread (I used wholegrain, and, surprisingly, it worked fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 egg
another pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar or juice from half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray or brush a roasting pan with olive oil.

Toast the bread lightly and tear it into rough pieces. Pulse in a food processor to make breadcrumbs–it’s fine if they’re uneven. Toss the crumbs with the red pepper, oregano, thyme, …

EVENTS: Family Hanukkah Brunch at Uncle Michael and Aunt Cindy’s; Surprise-Ingredient Sunday Night Dinner
DISHES: Forgotten Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars; Potato Latkes; Oven-Fried Flounder with Parsley Aioli
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Chocolate, Potatoes

Paradoxically enough, I spent last Friday night, the first night of Hanukkah 2009, decorating Christmas cookies with Phoebe at Kate’s house, in preparation for the following night’s holiday party. In between icing a stocking and a candy cane, we lit the first two candles.

I spent Saturday, the first day of Hanukkah, with my family at Uncle Michael and Aunt Cindy’s house in

Shortcut Applesauce

Posted by on Monday Dec 21st, 2009

Shortcut Applesauce
Makes about 1 cup

Read the original post here.

2 apples
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples. Put them in a small saucepan with about 1/4 cup of water and the sugar. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the apples have disintegrated. Mash any remaining large pieces, then taste and add any extra sugar to taste.

Serve with latkes on Hanukkah–or any other time.…

“Forgotten” Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Makes 36 squares

Read the original post here.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Make 1 recipe of this milk chocolate-dark chocolate cookie dough.

Press the dough as evenly as possible into an ungreased 9×13″ pan. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is just firm and the edges are barely golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently remove it and cut into rectangles, diamonds, or squares.…

EVENT: The Kenner Family Christmas Party
VENUE: Kate’s Parents’ Apartment, Upper East Side
TYPE: Large-Scale Holiday Dinner Buffet
MENU: Beef Bourguignon; Scalloped Potatoes; Corn Pudding; Roasted Brussels Sprouts; Just Salad Fixings; Lemon Bars; Pecan Bars; Chocolate Fudge; Christmas Cookies; Cranberry Punch; Spiked Cider

The holiday season is an especially busy time for us Quarter-Life Cooks. Among our twenty-something friends, our expertise is in high demand for planning, prepping, and decorating all sorts of festive gatherings. But one particular grown-up event we always look forward to attending is the Kenner holiday party. Last year we were …