A New York Thanksgiving

November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and for the first year ever, I am cooking for my family in New York City. Having already made two trips to Whole Foods with another planned to pick up the turkey, I *think* I’m in a pretty good Thanksgiving place prep-wise. The execution, of course, is yet to be seen.

Since I will only be cooking for my mother, sister and Rupert, I’ve tried to scale back on the quantity of dishes paring out those things we find somewhat superfluous to hone in on the big ticket items. During this process, I definitely did some nerdy thinking about optimizing utility, marginal returns, etc. putting my degree in economics to good use. Also taking into account tastes and preferences, I’ve strategically omitted some of the traditional thanksgiving dishes that somehow have never caught on in my family. Stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie? No thanks. Call us weird but that’s just how it has always been. That being said, I didn’t want to forego some of Thanksigiving’s traditional flavors, so I’ve incorporated them here and there in the menu below:

Torrisi Turkey
Torrisi’s turkey sandwich definitely ranks among the best I’ve ever had, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well I can recreate the incredibly moist, flavorful meat at home. The breast is also a nice alternative to an entire turkey when only feeding four people.

Baked Gruyere Cheese Grits 
While grits on the dinner table may seem unconventional, to Southerns it should make perfect sense. Basically grits are just another carbohydrate that is conducive to adding obscene amounts of butter and cheese. What’s not to like?

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
My favorite brussels spouts of all time. I have my friend Lauren to thank for introducing me to this recipe.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
While I love a good s’more and realize this may be an incendiary statement, I believe marshmallows have no place on the dinner table. Hence, in place of sweet potato casserole, I’ve snuck the tubers into biscuits instead.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
I made this cake for Christmas this year, and as I’ve come to expect from Smitten Kitchen, it was incredible. The perfect balance of rich and tart and deceivingly elegant for how easy it is to make.

And there you have it. Expect a full report next week! In the meantime, a Happy Thanksgiving to all!


A Round Up of Recent Favorites

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

After a few weeks of being out of blogging mode, I thought it was high time to call out a few of my current favorites at home, in the neighborhood and beyond.

At home, I’ve been trying to take advantage of late summer produce before fall settles in on us. As much as I love trying new recipes, there are always some that become so attached to that I return to them again and again. Here are a few that always prove to be crowd pleasers and are relatively easy to pull together with impressive results.

Rosy Chicken 
via Food52

After many years of cooking dry, uninspiring boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I eventually began overlooking chicken when choosing protiens at the grocery store. Only recently have I realized the best cuts of chicken are those that include bones, skin and all. This recipe embodies summer to me as it involves rose and fresh beefsteak and cherry tomatoes. Even better, it cooks itself for the most part making it a great dish to serve for company as it doesn’t involve much last minute attention. The pan sauce is addictive, and I’ve found that cous cous is the perfect medium for sopping it up

Tomato-Ricotta Tart
via Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

As an intern the test kitchen at Everyday Food shortly after the magazine’s launch, I had the opportunity to cook and eat through three to four issues of the magazine. These recipes are still some of my most tried and true and a fond memory of that incredible experience. That summer I came to appreciate simple but reliable recipes that consistently yielded impressive and delicious results. This recipe in particular still ranks in my top five from my time there. Instead of the breadcrumb crust, I often make a savory pie crust which I think is a nice variation.

Milk Chocolate Pots-de-Creme
via Food & Wine

We have a dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate difference of opinions in our apartment, so this dessert is the perfect way to satisfy both parties. The milk chocolate is surprisingly intense and rich in this simple but elegant dessert. Always one to avoid washing additional equipment, I found there is no need to blend the chocolate mixture in the blender or food processor. If the chocolate is finely chopped and the hot liquid steeps long enough, a good whisking is all you need to eliminate any lumps.

White Chocolate Clafoutis
via Food Network Canada

Another all time favorite (and deceptively easy) dessert I never grow tired of is the clafoutis. This one, which features white chocolate, is perfect with cranberries in the fall/winter or cherries in the summer which I substitute for the mixed berries to make it more unique.

Luckily as summer fades, I already have a laundry list of fall recipes I’ve been waiting to try. I see lots of brisk Saturdays at the Greenmarket and Sundays in the kitchen in the future!












Blogging Debut

March 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

For quite some time, I’ve been ingrigued with the blogosphere, but I could never quite convince myself to start my own. Finally, I’ve decided to take the plunge. 

In keeping with my approach to most technology, I would much prefer to figure things out as I go rather than read the directions at the outset. This stubborness will undoubtedly result in some rudimentary posts, technical difficulities, and a blogging faux pas or two until I find my sea legs (blog legs?), but these are all risks I am willing to take. 

So bear with me, enjoy and comment away.

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