Cooking From Every Angle Articles

Gin Fruit and Brandy Fruit

December 15, 2009 • 28 Comments

Missing

- Amanda

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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Polenta (Again!) with Wilted Escarole and Olive Oil Fried Eggs

December 15, 2009 • 17 Comments

Missing

- Merrill

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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Creamy Goat Cheese Grits

December 8, 2009 • 13 Comments

Missing

- Merrill

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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Weeknight Ragu

December 1, 2009 • 37 Comments

Missing

- Merrill

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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Caramelized Citrus Vinaigrette

November 27, 2009 • 15 Comments

Vinagrette

 

- Amanda

As you may have noticed, we’ve been getting a lot of our recent cooking inspiration from you. In the same autumn salad contest that prompted Merrill’s post on Persimmon Chiffon Pie, there were a couple of dressing recipes that incorporated caramelized fruit. I like citrus-based vinaigrettes but sometimes the flavor is too thin, too faint and ephemeral. So I decided to try caramelizing some citrus before squeezing the juice for the dressing.

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Persimmon Chiffon Pie

November 24, 2009 • 11 Comments

Persimmon

 

- Merrill

Last week, several of the Autumn Salad submissions contained persimmons, which got us thinking about this distinctive fall fruit, known by the ancient Greeks as the "fruit of the Gods." There are two main types of persimmons available in the United States: one is firm when ripe, and the other is soft. Fuyu persimmons, which are round and squat like a tomato, are the most common variety of firm-ripe, or "non-astringent" persimmon found in this country; these are typically sliced and eaten raw. Hachiya persimmons, a popular soft-ripe (or "astringent") variety, are longer and more pointed, and they're ready to eat when the flesh of the fruit softens to the consistency of jelly. It is this second type that you should look for when a recipe calls for "persimmon pulp," which is just a fancy term for the soft flesh of an astringent persimmon after it has been scooped from its skin.

 

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Thanksgiving 911

November 24, 2009 • 121 Comments

Thanksgiving

 

In order to help you get ready for what is arguably the most important meal of the year, we're dedicating this entire week to all things Thanksgiving. We'll post featured recipes that we think would be great on any Thanksgiving table, and we'll ask you to share some tricks of the trade as well. Today, to kick things off, we're opening up the lines to any and all questions you may have for us about cooking for Thanksgiving. Need to know the right proportions for brining a turkey? Always wondered what the difference is between sweet potatoes and yams? Just post your questions in the comments section below, and we'll answer each and every one. And if we don't know the answer ourselves, we'll find someone who does and report back!

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