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Archive for August, 2011

Catching Up With Summer

Charged with closing out the summer season, August is a month made up almost entirely of Sunday nights. Starting with a protracted political debate and market free fall then ending with an earthquake/hurricane double punch, August never seems to play fair. Yet when I looked through my accumulated links and clips, I was surprised by how happy I’ve been the last few weeks – taking advantage of the markets, going the long way around to the city, catching up with friends, cooling off in refrigerated movie theaters. Maybe it was the goodbye atmosphere but there was something to fall in love with around every corner. Here are a just a few, starting with… Read more

Padrón Peppers

Tucked next to French beans, Shishito peppers, and curly Chicory, Padrón peppers have made their late summer appearance. A product of Galicia, they’re a popular tapa lightly fried with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. I hadn’t heard of them until I read José Pizarro’s Seasonal Spanish Food and recognized them as the compact and deep green peppers everyone crowds around during the short weeks they’re available at the market. With my current Spanish preoccupation, I thought it was time to try them. Read more

Berenjenas con Miel

Normally, I  jump around the globe but virtual travel can be exhausting and with our seasons aligning I wanted to linger in Spain awhile longer. I rescued the eggplants I’d bought from last week’s pisto manchego partly to try this Andalusian recipe for eggplant fritters drizzled with honey from Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain and partly because my sister said they looked like little witches lined up in a row. Either way, they were ripe to stand on their own. Read more

Pisto Manchego

If I’ve been hard-selling farmer’s markets in the last couple of months it’s because I can’t remember a summer where I’ve taken this much advantage of them. It’s partly my dog’s fault. Orfeo Perro gets very fast walks during the week so Sunday mornings we go the long way around Carroll Park to the small market that sets up there. This should be a happy time for both of us but rarely is. The smell of sizzling turkey sausage goes to his head and I have to watch him so he doesn’t gobble up the samples (toothpicks included) that fall to the sidewalk or, even worse, get gobbled up by the much bigger dogs for whom he is a delicious turkey sausage. To make matters worse, he thinks nothing of snatching at animal crackers, cheerios and anything else that sticks out of a passing stroller. I work my way through the market in a series of tugs and apologies but that’s my dog – marking his territory and taking candy from babies. Read more

Croque Señorita

The thing about vacation is that eventually you have to come home. Always wanting to make it last a little longer, I hold on by bringing back ingredients, recreating recipes, or incorporating holiday habits to my everyday. In the past year, I’ve visited Paris and Mexico City, which is why I have tins of fois gras and impressionist teas on my shelves, half empty jars of caramel beurre au salé and cajeta in the cupboard, and stacks of corn tortillas in the freezer. This is also why I flounce around Brooklyn markets on the weekend with an enormous Provence basket and can’t stop making batches of salsa verde. Read more

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