A Salad to Come Home To

Posted by    |  April 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Technique

Whenever I’ve been traveling I have something I look forward to even more than my own pillow when I arrive home: a big salad.  Eating well while on the road is a challenge, and all-too-often I’m forced to settle for something between two pieces of bread rather than a bountiful bowl of greens and veggies.  Returning home,  I’m back at the helm of my own kitchen.  Invariably, I want to create a healthful, balanced, and cleansing ensemble of produce that will help me put the unfortunate meals of my trip behind me. Read more

Persephone’s Risotto

Posted by    |  April 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Persephone is the Greek goddess of spring.  This risotto features the most divine, sublime produce of springtime all in one dish.  Admittedly, the artichokes and favas have a diva-like quality as they play “hard to get” with their hearts. Read more

Tastes Change

Posted by    |  April 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home

I'm often asked, "Do your kids actually eat that?" Yup. I shot this image of Penelope after she wolfed down her plate of Kaddo Borani. The expectation of constant variety I've created in my kids means that they have very little anxiety about trying new foods and can simply appreciate each dish for what it is.

A couple of weeks ago I had a speaking gig with a crowd of moms with very young children.  Inevitably, I spent a large portion of my allocated speaking time advocating an approach to eating that can be summed up in one word:  variety.  I believe this is our number one goal in educating our children about food and its importance to their bodies.  We must be as committed to teaching our children to accept variety and the unfamiliar as we are to getting them to read and share their toys.  I’ll elaborate on this in a future post.

I got a number of questions during the Q&A time, but the underlying theme was the mothers’ predictable anxiety that there is something abusive about compelling their children to eat foods with which they are at best uncomfortable and at worst don’t “like.”  I tried to assure them and talked at length about the importance of repeat exposures and expectations.  Most “pickiness” is really more about a food anxiety than it is about actual preferences. Read more

Chicken Adobo–Happiness on a Plate

Posted by    |  April 20, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

In my experience, Filipinos seem be among the happiest people on the planet.  Despite widespread poverty that forces many to take work overseas in order to support their extended families back home, it’s rare that you’ll come across a Filipino who doesn’t have an infectious smile and giggle always at the ready.  I suspect that one reason for their happiness may be chicken adobo.  It’s one of the Philippines’ great contributions to the culinary world.  It’s incredibly simple to make, inexpensive, and hauntingly delicious–or as they say in Tagalog, “galing galing!”  Try and say that five times without chuckling. Read more

Produce Primer: Fava Beans

Posted by    |  April 19, 2010  |  Filed under: Home

It’s spring time, and fava beans are hitting the market stalls.  I’d venture a guess that the vast majority of people have never tasted these emerald gems, let alone cooked with them.  Fear not the fava, however.  We’ll have you working magic with them in no time!

Fava beans are from the Mediterranean.  Fresh favas have a brilliant chartreuse color, delicate texture and distincitve flavor.  They can be used fresh in soups, purees, ragouts, or salads.  Dried beans can be pureed into dip-like spreads or to thicken soups.  Think of them as a relative of the pea, which they are, and you’ll have some idea how to approach them. Read more

Pink Pickled Onions

Posted by    |  April 19, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from Recipezaar.com recipe number 73203.  Originally published on Epicurious.com

A week or so after I made these, Sally, my five-year-old, was griping that she didn’t want to eat pizza for dinner.  We were ordering out that Friday night and she actually hates pizza.  When I told her to find something in the fridge that she’d prefer, she said she just wanted to eat the “onion pickles.” Huh?  “Sure,” I replied, convinced she’d figure out that this was not a good idea on her own.  Invariably distracted, I never realized that she ate the whole jar until I found it in the dishwater. Read more

Puerco Pibil (Yucatan-Style Slow Roasted Pork)

Posted by    |  April 19, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from Recipezaar.com recipe number 86448

Here’s a little something to consider for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo.  It’s a dish that’s a bit of a hybrid of braising and roasting.  It isn’t really roasting because you are containing the juices of the meat to keep the meat moist and flavorful.  It isn’t really braising because the meat isn’t sitting in a braising liquid.  It’s very flavorful and versatile. Read more

Meal Planning for the Organizationally Challenged

Posted by    |  April 14, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Organization

Somehow you’ve failed to launch.  You know the difference between a boil and a simmer.  Your home is a fruit-leather-free zone.  You’ve got a freezer filled with high-quality meat and shelves of cookbooks. But there will be no dishes to do tonight.  Dinner will be prepared in someone else’s kitchen and conveyed in Styrofoam.  You’ll endure that same old internal dialog again. Read more

Mas o Menos? Menos, Por Favor!

Posted by    |  April 12, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Technique

It’s not very often that you’ll be encouraged to aim for less.  But many times in the kitchen, the axiom “less is more” is a rule to live by.  Buy great ingredients, handle them simply, and add as little as possible.  Restraint can be your best friend! Read more

Flounder with Chorizo and Clams

Posted by    |  April 12, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

This dish is a great example of the sophisticated flavor you can get from using high-quality ingredients in simple ways. To be sure, this recipe isn’t even as simple as it could be, but with just five ingredients, you will really enjoy the range of flavors, textures, and aromas it produces. Read more

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