Recipes

08.25.2015

I just cleaned out my fridge.

I found an old onion and some shrinking shallots, some firm, fresh garlic, tired kale, perfect tomatoes and a week old bag full of herbs from a friend’s garden, sealed properly and still verdant and crisp. I sautéed the onion and started to add a good glug of olive oil as usual, but then decided to go another way. I added some coconut oil to make up the difference. Sliced shallots and minced garlic, tomatoes in rough chunks to sizzle (with most of their seeds down the sink) on high heat with 4 big pinches of sea salt to draw out their flavor and make the shallots sweet.

2 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs olive oil
1 old onion
3 “vintage” shallots
3 cloves of taught garlic
5 leaves of wilting, yellowing kale
2 perfect tomatoes
1 large pinch of dried coconut
a bag full of herbs from a friends garden (basil, scallions, sage) fresh and crisp
random spices (such as nutmeg, za’atar, crushed fennel seeds, turmeric)
lemon zest & juice
garlic yogurt (minced fresh garlic, greek yogurt, sea salt, lemon juice)
lots of sea salt

I added ribbons of sideways sliced kale, rib and all, and covered it with a cutting board for 2 minutes so the kale would steam in the tomato juices. Meanwhile, I mixed a bowl of Fage Greek yogurt with minced garlic, sea salt, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a tiny drip of honey. My eyes rested on my much neglected spices, sitting in that small close cupboard next to my salt, so I shaved some nutmeg, ground some fennel seeds and tossed some za’atar into my hodgepodge sauté and added some dried coconut. One last squeeze of lemon for good measure. Serve in a bowl with a lot of garlic laden yogurt. Serve with some stale toast or old rice.

It took about 14 minutes. It was almost a curry…and was remarkably delicious. The lesson here, kids, is stock your fridge & cupboard well with hearty greens, like kale and radicchio that forgive you for forgetting them, then force yourself to use them even at the last minute…and then let them sing for your supper.

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Recipes

07.06.2015

Summer is in full swing and a July 4th jaunt from the North Fork of Long Island to the beloved Springs lent some inspiration. Knowing better than to show up as an empty handed houseguest and amorous of the tie-dye-colored carrots and local flora (sunflowers, herbs, radishes), I went on a shopping spree at the North Fork farmers markets, where prices are a fifth of those in the tony, traffic-mobbed Hamptons.

This is how I’ve been cooking fish lately, and it couldn’t be more simple, healthy or gorgeous, to the eye and on the tongue. It works with almost any whole fish (I used upstate trout when I was there and Montauk bass while on Long Island), and a variety of veggies can work too, such as fennel or radishes can fill in for the carrots; leafy greens like collard or chard would be great too, though no need to roast them before adding fish–just a quick sauté with olive oil and garlic on stovetop before adding the wine, fish, herbs and lemon.

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Ingredients (serves 2)
1 sea bass, or other whole white fish
1 bunch rainbow carrots, scrubbed in cold water but not peeled or topped
½ onion, sliced into semi circles
za’atar
cumin
fresh ground mustard seed
Aleppo
ginger
paprika
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
basil
flat leaf parsley
lemon, juice and peel
olive oil
1 cup white wine

Heat oven to 450°. Lay carrots and onion slices in a roasting pan and pour 1/4 cup olive oil over them. Sprinkle sea salt flakes, za’atar, fresh ground cumin and mustard seed, Aleppo pepper, ginger and lemon zest over and roll carrots to distribute spices, etc. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes while preparing fish.

Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Drizzle interior and exterior in olive oil and rub gently to coat. Generously salt and pepper interior and exterior of fish. Lay basil leaves and lemon rounds in fish cavity.

Remove carrots from the oven and stir slightly. Pour 1 cup of white wine over carrots and onion slices. Add parsley stems, torn leaves and garlic. Lay fish over carrots and garnish fish with lemon rounds. I added a last dusting of spices because I like my flavors punchy. Cover pan with tinfoil and bake for 12-15 minutes or until fish meat is opaque. The juices from the fish will mix with the wine and spices creating a nice broth to spoon over top. Serve whole fish on platter surrounded by carrots and garnished with fresh herbs.

The next day, add aioli (homemade mayo + garlic), capers and parsley to cold fish leftovers for a lunch salad beside cold carrots.

Suddenly Last Summer

All plate ware and beauty thanks to Ian & Emilie Irving (aka @_xenomania_), except the shot of Liz from Suddenly Last Summer. To leave a comment, please click here and scroll down to where it says “Leave a comment.”

 

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Recipes

05.22.2015

I do it every year, I put ‘M’s on my calendar on the weekends that there might be morels to find in the woods upstate. It’s not just them, those sneaky, wrinkly recluses; it’s the ramps, the asparagus that pop up for no explicable reason, three feet high, slender as a No. 2 pencil over by the sundial in our yard. The air is sweet and soft on bare arms and the bugs are back and I don’t even mind them. Everything is lilac and honeysuckle-scented; the rosé starts to flow. It’s spring. It’s spring. It’s almost summer and I’m hungry.

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There are so many elaborate ways to praise the spring bounty, but I usually wind up devoting some to simple egg and pasta dishes. After all, what could be more seductive than scrambled eggs with caviar or simple cacio e pepe with a few slices of grated truffles over it? My point is that often simplest ingredients show off the more rarefied, subtly flavored ones.

So after a day of lucky foraging, helped greatly by my knowing guide, I line my booty up. Ramps rinsed and trimmed: bulbs chopped, leaves set aside. Mushrooms, brushed of soil and halved lengthwise, lain on baking trays in a resting oven to dry out. Asparagus, scraped and sliced. Fiddleheads fiddling.

I perfected my frittata skills while waitressing breakfasts at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, where chef April Bloomfield serves a seasonal one that made a lasting impression on me. I will never cook a frittata without thinking of her penchant for bold flavors, like bitter broccoli rabe and verdant swiss chard that she balanced perfectly with creamy ricotta and lemon zest. This recipe can adapt to almost any greens that are available. Radicchio and endive would be great as well. As long as you’ve got bold flavors from good ingredients, a little lemon zest and creamy cheese, you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients
12 large fresh farm eggs
1 bunch of ramps
6-10 asparagus
5-6 fiddlehead ferns
olive oil
sea salt, fresh pepper
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
5-6 tablespoons Ricotta cheese
2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, oregano, chives, or lovage

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Whisk 12 eggs together until smooth, adding a pinch of sea salt.

Warm olive oil in a frying pan and add chopped ramp stems and bulbs, followed by chopped asparagus, fiddleheads, fava beans and ramp greens, as available. With a microplane, zest half a lemon over greens and add a squeeze of juice, seasoning with sea salt and fresh pepper. Sauté until just fork tender.

Add a generous glug of olive oil, turn up the flame to high and move veggies around pan to make sure pan’s surface area is coated. Pour egg mixture into pan, moving the veggies around to disperse evenly. Add 5-6 dollops (tablespoons) of ricotta cheese, spaced out evenly in pan. Remove from stovetop and place in pre-heated oven to cook through (approx. 8 minutes).

When the frittata is puffed up, souflée-like, and just barely firm at the center it’s done. Remove from the oven and using a spatula, gently separate from the edges of the pan. Remove from pan and place on large plate. To finish, drizzle with olive oil, season with a little sea salt and fresh pepper, herbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

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08.19.2015

 

 

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Clips

04.14.2015

So proud of this new issue of GREY Magazine. The food section contains two stories by me that were a delight to tell. The first is of three cocineras that I was privileged to meet in Uruguay–Clo Dimet, Lucía Soria and Gioconda Scott–and their mentor, the inimitable power house, Francis Mallmann.

This was a very small printing for GREY, so it’s extra hard to get your hands on. I hope you’ll enjoy the story with its stunning photos by Heidi Lender here.

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Clips

04.21.2015

My second story in this latest issue of Grey Magazine was on a rustic feast helmed by Martha’s Vineyard native, chef Chris Fischer. Vibrant photos by Gab Herman capture the un-styled but ebullient vibe of the day.

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