What to Cook (Page 618)
Click the play button to see us prepare the two finalist recipes for Your Best Fruit Tart: SmallKitchCara's Blueberry Tart and JackieK's Savory Plum Tart. Merrill conquers her fear of pastry dough, and Amanda invents a new cooking tool: the snissor. Leave your comments below!
Each week, we'll highlight not only the finalists in the contests, but here we'll let you know which recipes were named "Editors' Picks" -- recipes that we found promising and interesting. And when you do a recipe search, you can always filter the results to show all recipes that have been named Editors' Picks. This is one of several ways we're keeping the site curated, so you have access to the best recipes possible. In some cases, the Editors' Picks recipes are ones that were on our short list to test. In others, they're simply recipes that, although they may not have been good fit for the particular contest theme, are still noteworthy. If your recipe is named an Editors' Pick, you can still enter it in future contests. We realized with Your Best Tart theme this week that we should have more clearly defined the theme. For anyone who entered recipes that were galettes and crostatas, we will be holding a contest for these soon. So, without further ado, here are this week's Editors' Picks: Grilled Skirt Steak Salad by WinnieAb Spicy Thai Beef Salad with Mizuna by BigGirlPhoebz Peach Raspberry Tart by Jennifer Perillo Whole Wheat Pear and Cognac Crostata by Alejandra
(photo (obviously) not taken by Sarah Shatz) - Amanda For years I've been baking a peach tart recipe that my mother gave me. The crust is scented with almond extract and enriched with oil rather than butter, which makes it crumblier and a little snappier. The best part is that you don't have to roll out the dough, you just press it into a tart pan -- which means it's a great dessert for making with your kids and for when you're stranded in a rented house without your rolling pin.
- Merrill Every summer I spend a week or so on the coast of Maine, and during that time one of the tasks I assign myself is to eat as much local crab, called Peekytoe, as I can get my hands on. Peekytoe crab, which has only just become popular outside of Maine in recent years, originated as a byproduct of lobstering. For years, lobstermen's wives would pick and sell the crabs that found their way into their husbands' traps. The crab meat was popular among locals but considered somewhat pedestrian.
- Amanda At the end of every summer, we spend a couple of weeks with my husband's family in Wainscott, on Long Island. I pass most of that time running around to farmstands and eating as many peaches, tomatoes, corn and lobster rolls as possible. A few years ago, on my night to cook, I made a pasta dish with roasted tomatoes and corn. Everyone loved it, and then I forgot about it. I revived it again this year, and, determined not to forget it again, I've decided to write it down. Here.
- Merrill Canning is one kitchen activity that can intimidate even the most confident cook. The truth is, it's dead simple. Every August I make jars and jars of wild blueberry jam at my parents' house in Maine, and every Christmas I know exactly what I'm giving out as presents. The best part? It takes all of an hour to make the jam, and both the ingredients and equipment couldn't be simpler.
One of our first and most enthusiastic users, seattlebonvivant, recently told us about a project that she and some friends have set in motion. It's called Canning Across America (or CAA), and it's a national collective which aims to "promote safe food preservation and the joys of community building through food." We hope you'll pay a visit to their informative website, and then submit a recipe or check out the entries for this week's preserves contest. We also highly recommend seattlebonvivant's Twiitter stream, in our opinion an exceptional food journal.
Click the play button to see us cook the two finalists for Your Best Summer Fish Recipe: fisheri's The (Not Barefoot) Contessa's Fish Pasta and Giulia Melucci's Cod Mare Chiaro. Highlights include a "Whac-a-Mole" reference from Amanda and an attempt by Merrill to justify drinking on the job. We'd love to know what you think -- leave your comments below!
Amanda & Merrill Every cook we know is in endless pursuit of the perfect cooking shoe. Amanda recently graduated from Mary Jane Crocs to a pair of black patent Dansko clogs (here). She likes that they provide more support and make her taller. After years of wearing her cooking school mandated Danskos, Merrill went the other way and now rarely bothers to remove her Sauconys in the kitchen. We'd love to know what you wear in kitchen, and if there's some great shoe we have yet to discover. Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
We've seen some great submissions to the recipe contests so far. This past week, we received a particularly large and promising selection, and we'd like to thank everyone who participated. Although we can only choose two finalists for each theme, we do have a way of recognizing other noteworthy competitors. Each week, we select our Editors' Picks: recipes that we haven't tested but that seem promising and/or unique. There's no set number; one week we may choose ten, and the next week none. This week, we chose quite a few. You can see all of our selections, past and present, by going to The Recipes and clicking on "Editors' Picks" beneath the search field.
- Merrill Bavarian cuisine has gained a real toehold in New York City as of late. Trendy new restaurants like Seasonal and Radegast Hall are dishing up heaping platefuls of brats, schnitzel and goulash. Brooklyn even has it's own brand-new Schnitzel Truck,which announces its current location via Twitter.
- Amanda Yes, you're supposed to clean your grill as soon as you're done using it. But since that never happens in my house, I needed a way to scrape it down right before firing it up again. Merrill taught me a quick and effective trick for doing this: you crumple a piece of aluminum foil, then using tongs to grasp it, you use the foil to "scrub" the surface of the grill rack. It's amazing how well it works -- scraping up even the stickiest bits in just a few seconds.
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