Peaches, peaches, peaches. How I love thee.
Looking for some way to maximize peaches in our lives, I hit upon the following. It is quick, makes very little in the way of mess or dishes, doesn’t heat up your apartment with the oven, and is a delicious change of pace.
Peppered Peach and Manchego Sandwiches
- 1 large peach
- Manchego cheese
- slices of thick sandwich bread
- fresh ground black pepper
Cut the peach from its pit in thick slices. 1/2 slices are best. Over low heat in a lightly-greased pan, saute them with slivers of butter and lots of black pepper on top of each. Meanwhile, toast the sandwich bread and layer one side of each sandwich with thin slices of the Manchego. When the peaches are starting to look a bit gooey or caramelized, layer them on top of the Manchego. The heat will soften the cheese. Cover the peaches with arugula, pour whatever peachy butter runoff remains in the pan on the top halves of the sandwich bread, then slice in half and serve.
There’s a perception that vegetarians are required to worship all vegetables equally. Unfortunately, embracing a meat-free diet does not mean that there are not certain members of the plant kingdom that you’d rather skip. For me, it’s raw bell peppers. For Jason, it’s summer squash, so this is a particularly tough time of year for him to stare down our farm share. As we were cooking on Saturday night, he gave me a sidelong glance over the cutting board and said, “Maybe we only need one squash for these sandwiches.”
“Two,” I said. “Trust me, squash hater. I’m going to do right by you.”
Doing right is much easier armed with some caramelized onions and a few medallions of delicious Quebecois goat cheese brought back from a weekend in Montreal. (Fear not, readers; a poutine post is coming.) Top them with some mint to balance out the richness, and you’re treading in the footsteps of angels.
A half hour later, Jason uttered the words, “This is fantastic,” and he wasn’t talking about the DVD copy of Airplane! we were watching. Surely, there’s hope for even the most difficult-to-love veggies.
Open-Faced Squash and Goat Cheese Sandwiches Continue reading
Lately, Jason and I have been hitting old episodes of PBS’s Finding Your Roots, because we’re basically elderly people masquerading as thirty-somethings. Besides leaving me with a pretty hardcore Cory Booker crush, it makes me wonder if I’ve been remiss in not exploring my lineage more fully.
Me being me, my impulse is to celebrate those ancestors through food, but unfortunately, my people come from lands that don’t boast the most delicious vegetarian cuisine. I’ve never had any real testing done, but family lore has it that I’m primarily made up of genes from the mushy-pea-and-haggis-rich British Isles. There is one branch of the family that is Hungarian, which remains mostly shrouded in mystery. Could I be related to Attila the Hun? It’s possible. And since I’m too lazy to actually do the research, let’s just say that I am.
You can see the resemblance in the eyebrows.
It’s true that the Hungarians, too, are tremendously fond of meat, but I think they have a couple of advantages, culinarily speaking, over my Irish/Scottish/English forebears: 1) all of the Eastern European countries make some bangin’ pastries, and 2) they have a serious thing for sour cream. The first fact I realized when I went to the Hungarian Pastry Shop on the Upper West Side. Though the staff was somewhat baffled when I asked them about Hungarian specialties and then offered up a Linzer torte, which I’m pretty sure is Austrian, I have to say that the cheese and sour cherry strudel was no joke.
The second fact I have always unwittingly embraced, but it was driven home to me recently when I got a craving for this mushroom stroganoff for which my mother (note: not at all Hungarian) gave me the recipe. Continue reading
It’s kiiinda like Spring up in NYC. As in it was 80 degrees one day last week and 35 yesterday and 70 today. Folks want their farmers markets back in full swing, though; they’re out at Grand Army Plaza on Saturday mornings looking dismal but dogged on those cold and wet days and buying all those perennials when it’s sunny.
But pickings are slim food-wise. Asparagus and the foraged mushrooms have shown up, but for the most part we’re still heading home those Saturdays with bags of root vegetables. And I’ve been working with them for months. Gotta do something new.
And thus this Honey-Miso Vegetables recipe. Stuck staring at last season’s carrots and turnips and parsnips? This’ll do ya.
Per usual, nothing was measured and units of measure are guestimated after the fact.
Honey-Miso Vegetables Continue reading
Yes, this photo is slightly out of focus, but I maintain that it is because of the delectable pear steam wafting off these babies.
I almost named these Presidential Pears, in honor of today’s holiday. (Jefferson was a big fan of wine, after all, and since that stuff about Washington and the cherry tree is probably apocryphal, anyway, why couldn’t it be a pear tree?) The truth is that these were more like Valentine Pears for us, but you definitely aren’t going to want to wait a whole year to try this delicious dessert.
The origin of this recipe lies, unfortunately, with the disappointment of my friend and co-worker Dominic, who accidentally ordered a nice bottle of what turned out to be dessert wine from Astor Wines, a lovely store with high standards and a tough return policy. Dessert wine, alas, is really not his thing, and after tiring of my helpful culinary suggestions about how he should use it, he decided to shut me up by just giving me the wine. Score! This recipe is super easy because the pears can roast while you’re eating your main course, and, served alongside a nice glass of the dessert wine itself, it’s seriously decadent. Go ahead and make up your very own holiday so you can celebrate by roasting these tonight; they’re worth it.
Roasted Wassail Pears Continue reading
When I was in high school, my neighbor Mr. Androw used to save his dessert to eat the next morning for breakfast. “I don’t see any real difference between coffee cake and regular cake,” he insisted. I always admired him for this stance, and if I haven’t followed suit, it’s probably only due to social convention. I hope he’s still out there fighting the breakfast powers that be.
If you’re not ready to embrace a slice of pie as part of a healthy breakfast, this oatmeal will provide an excellent compromise. It is stick-to-your-ribs hearty, plus it allowed me to use my crockpot which had somehow gone unused for an entire blizzard, plus it helped me plow through our generous supply of CSA sweet potatoes. Did I mention it was delicious?
I used almond milk, and I liked the way the flavor worked with the oats, but you can also use regular milk or soy milk or whatever your favorite milky substance happens to be. It’s your call.
Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal Continue reading
Soup, soup, soup, soup, SOOOOOP. I’ve been waiting for seasonally-appropriate weather for at least six weeks, largely to take the edge off the panic induced by a 70-degree Christmas Day in Ohio, but also to fully sink into winter grub. Winter grub includes soup. And thus we have here a tale of two soups.
The first is a variation on the carrot soup Shannon shared a month or two back. In this version, she braised the carrots in soy sauce before putting them in the food processor, replaced the onions with garlic, and added ginger and sesame oil. Boom. I have nothing against carrots, but I do get tired of the aggression of their sheer profusion these months. I could not get enough of this soup, though. I mean, some kind of lovely chemical in my brain drained away when Shannon told me there was no more. I didn’t care what Slippin’ Jimmy was dealing with in Better Call Saul. I sat there and secretly wished Shannon would give me some of hers.
Which she did on her own volition! “No, no,” I said, “you finish your soup; I’m okay.”
“I sampled a lot while making it; I’m full,” she said.
And so I destroyed the few tablespoons left.
And thus inspired, I decided to do my part to work our way through our stockpile of root vegetables by inventing another soup that would satisfy a craving that I realized was significantly a craving for sesame oil.
So I worked up what I’ll call Wasabi-Soy Sweet Potato with Ginger-Kale Chowder. Continue reading
A Mexican Sunrise in Brooklyn
I’m usually not a big breakfast eater, especially when I’m rushing around on weekday mornings. When I do take the time to eat a big breakfast, though, it makes me feel imbued with superhuman powers. I noticed this recently when we visited Richmond, Virginia and went to a restaurant called Lunch, where I ordered the Mexican Sunrise. The Mexican Sunrise was basically a big ol’ bowl of cheddar cheese grits, topped with all variety of yummy Mexican ingredients. After polishing off one of those, I felt ready to take on practically anything, even the Greyhound bus back to New York.
I tried my hand at my own version of the Lunch specialty, which was delicious, plus it inspired me to experiment. Below is a breakfast bowl I invented to use some of the goodies from our winter CSA shipment. I love layering just about anything (sweaters, sandwich ingredients, meaning), so putting one of these together provides a nice laidback kind of task that’s perfect for the weekend. Go ahead: face the morning (and the new year) like the superhero you really are.
Winter Breakfast Bowl (makes 2) Continue reading
There are all sorts of foods people eat on New Year’s Day to ensure prosperity for the coming year: greens because they look like cash, cornbread because it’s golden, black-eyed peas because they look like pennies (a stretch, I know, but whatever). What if, however, it’s not money you seek in the new year, but curly hair? When my mom was a kid, that’s how those meddling adults in her life got her to eat carrots, which was a lie so blatant that it would make me feel bad for her except that I’m pretty sure that she once told me carrots would make my eyesight better. Years later, I still have straight hair and glasses, but no lie: this carrot soup is delicious and might make a great addition to your New Year’s meal.
This is also perfect if you have a big bag full of carrots on hand, since they’re one of those vegetables that rarely get a starring role. You can adjust the spice to suit your taste, though you shouldn’t add so much that it drowns out the carrots’ own earthy sweetness. And is it just me, or do they not look a little like pennies when you chop them up to roast? Bring on the prosperous new year.
Zesty Roasted Carrot Soup Continue reading
The winter CSA comes in, and lo it is again the time of year for Jay to work magic on roots and gourds typically scorned in the household. The following took about 45 minutes to make and feeds four, though it did take more than a single pot. Where You Been and Eagle Rare were the accompaniments. As usual, measurements are guestimated after the fact.
- 1 small butternut squash
- 4 small or 2 medium turnips or other root vegetables
- 1 can cannelloni or white kidney beans
- 1 pomegranate
- 4 tbs mustard powder (or mustard, I suppose)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup crushed sage leaves
- 3 tbs butter
- dash of vinegar (balsamic or apple cider)
- olive oil, salt, pepper
First, chop the turnips into 1/4″ cubes. Drizzle with olive oil in a baking dish, then stir in Continue reading