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Cooking From Every Angle Articles
Really more of a concept than a recipe, this never fails to please in my house. - MerrillRead More »
Amanda reveals the secret to her husband Tad's excellent roasted potatoes.Read More »
Tell us about one memorable dish you've had this holiday.Read More »
These were among my favorite cookies growing up because they were simple enough that my sister and I could actually help my mother make them. -MerrillRead More »
Call me a fusspot but I really don't like having a mish-mosh of spice jars, packets, tins and bags. -AmandaRead More »
FOLLOW-UP: After a week or so of letting the fruit soak in the gin and brandy, here's what I found: I prefer the gin, which has a crispness that brandy lacks. However, I liked the flavor of ginger and star anise better than cloves and cinnamon, so next year I plan to combine the two -- gin with ginger and star anise. As my mother pointed out, the fruit really is best between weeks 1 and 3, so if you're making the fruit to serve on a particular day, plan accordingly. And as for what to serve it with, I'd suggest passing it alongside a cheese course, spooning it over ice cream or cake (with some of the macerating liquid!), or adding it toward the end of cooking roast pork.
Most years, in early December, my mother starts making a jar of gin fruit for the holidays. Her recipe is mindlessly simple -- layer your favorite dried fruits with some spices, cover with booze -- so I thought I'd play around with two variations. I hope you'll join me in this experiment.
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This past Saturday as I was walking home from Pilates class, I brainstormed about what to bring to a Hanukkah potluck the next day. Foods cooked in oil are traditional at Hanukkah, so at first I contemplated doughnuts, fritters and some other fried goodies. But I quickly got sidetracked. I was ravenous because I'd skipped breakfast, and I was really in the mood for eggs. Without warning, my foods-cooked-in-oil musings began to blend with my what-to-have-for-lunch ruminations, and I suddenly found myself craving two of my favorite dishes from the New York Times: Melissa Clark's olive oil fried eggs with polenta (I'm temporarily obsessed with polenta after last week's contest theme), and Denise Landis' escarole with pan-roasted garlic and lemon. What if I were to combine the two? Pondering this, I hurried home to make lunch, all thoughts of the potluck swept from my hungry brain.
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Amanda and I often find ourselves talking about dishes that would make a great "dinner for one." Although neither of us lives alone anymore, there are still those inevitable evenings spent home alone, when the challenge of cooking for one stares you right in the face.
It's rare that I get too fired up about concocting something elaborate just for me. More often, I see it as a nice excuse to whip up something easy and comforting -- like these goat cheese grits I first threw together one night years ago when I was actually living alone. I still make them whenever I'm in need of a soul-satisfying one dish dinner. They're creamy and soft (I add a bit of milk to the cooking liquid), with just the right amount of tang from the goat cheese and a nice hit of heat from coarsely ground black pepper.
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About this time every year, I return to one of my favorite cooking rituals: making the weekly ragu. On Saturday I go to my local farmers market and peruse the meat offerings; there's ground pork, lamb and beef, excellent turkey and turkey sausage, as well as more unusual items like pheasant and goat. Each week I aim to pick out a different meat (or combination of meats) for my next ragu.
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