I’ve never been one for meat and potatoes. I rarely go for the steak frites on frenchified Smith Street and I’m as interested in the sides as the slabs of beef served at steakhouses. While I believe hamburger cravings should always be heeded because absolutely nothing else will satisfy, my own burger attacks are few and far between. Still there are exceptions when I really do love red meat: 1) when my mother who is a genius with a Costco steak and open flame grills for us at home (post to come later) and 2) Argentinian-style churrasco drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Read more
I keep coming across lists of things I’m not supposed to like. If I do – which is often the case – then I’m from Florida/Brooklyn, varying degrees or white/latino/other, basic or a hipster. The hipster lists really sting because they’re typically include favorite food trends – but then who doesn’t love bacon, green juice is good for you, and mason jars are very practical. I was considering making my own yerba mate-flavored soda when I saw homemade soda listed as a repeat offender and felt very much caught in the act. Read more
Recently, I had the rare chance to attend a dinner for Edible Brooklyn hosted chef Diego Felix of the Colectivo Felix and chef Hugo Orozco Carrillo at La Slowteria. Rare, because Diego is rarely in one place for very long, but then, that’s kind of the point. It was the kind of lingering, midsummer evenings you almost think you imagined the next day. Fortunately, I was there with photographer Emily Dryden who took some lovely pictures to capture it all.
In case you missed it, I posted this recipe for alfajor de coco on Devour the Blog and wanted to share it here. Normally, having something this sweet on hand is dangerous – sneaking slivers on every trip to through the kitchen until it’s gone sooner than I’d like (or would ever admit to). In this case, the tart just got better with each passing hour so I had extra motivation to keep walking until I could properly indulge.
I hadn’t planned on a traditional Good Friday. I was supposed to meet my friend Carolina, who was visiting, at the Met but was falling behind. I’d spent the day making a tarta Pascualina or Easter pie to write about this weekend when the day got away from me when another friend who was moving to Chicago stopped by in the afternoon to say goodbye. For the past few weeks, Aaron and I had done a lot of before-you-go things in the neighborhood but helping me finish the pie was the absolute last. The pascualina done, I changed to plan to a low-key night at home with Carol and my sister Cami – the better to catch-up on the bear of a week we’d all had. We were about to sit down when we heard the procession outside the window. Read more
My oven and I have been locked in a battle of wills – and I’m losing. It will work just fine for a couple of days, do whatever I ask of it, then for no particular reason refuse to heat up at all. Its left me with unroasted tomatoes, ungratined cheese, unbaked cakes and generally frustrated. Getting anything fixed in my apartment is an ordeal and I’ve had no fewer than three visits from the building’s supers where they stand in the kitchen, look over the oven, agree that “yes, it’s not working”, then leave. While I appreciate their sympathy, the nodding isn’t getting me any closer to 350 degrees. Read more
I’ve always been drawn to recipes where you can manipulate an ingredient into an object or shape that more accurately captures its essence. It’s why I love retro dishes like fighting lobsters (don’t they look like they should be fighting?) or deviled eggs (yolks sent to finishing school). It’s what attracted me to these Argentinian pastries filled with membrillo and shaped into flowers. Fresh quinces have always remind me of perfumed apples so it’s fitting that boiled down with sugar and tucked into pastry dough, they bloom. Read more
It’s hard not to be drawn to a recipe by a beautiful photograph. Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent, and Francis Mallman’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way have all escaped from my kitchen shelves to my coffee table (where both the books and I feel they belong). Not surprisingly, Santiago Soto Monllor won this year’s James Beard award for Best Photography for Seven Fires. Read more
I’d been waiting for spring to try these ricotta gnocchis with pea puree and jamón serrano. The ñoquis del 29 are meant to attract prosperity, so a little extra green can’t hurt. Read more
I decided to skip last month’s ñoquis del 29 post on a leap year technicality. Picking up in March, I decided to make cornmeal ñoquis baked in béchamel. I had never associated ñoquis with Cuban cuisine but, after finding several references in a few older Cuban cookbooks, I wanted to try it. The cooked cornmeal is shaped into small discs then baked with white sauce or cheese and put under a broiler. Though not like any ñoquis I’d had before, I thought their similarity to gold coins fitted with the Argentinian tradition of putting a coin or peso under your plate while you ate them to attract greater prosperity. I was a little up in the air about doing another one and questioned whether I really wanted to make ñoquis again so soon. As with most resolutions, the first time is all zeal, the second time may be a fluke, and the third time is when you decide whether or not to stick to it. After some starts and stops, I realized that I looked forward to answering the same question in a different way every month. Hopefully, with some consistency, I can be consistently lucky. Read more