Dec 102013
 
Cranberry Cardamom Bread with Satsuma Caramel Glaze

  So– Thanksgiving, aka High Holy Day for Cooks, has come and gone. And you are left with, shall we say, an imbalance of leftovers. The guests fell upon the remains of the Maple Jalapeno Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts like vultures; the turkey and mashed potatoes were swiftly packaged up for later; the sweet potato crisp was claimed in the spirit of a conquering nation setting flags upon distant shores. But the remainders of the cranberry sauce, of which you admittedly make too much each year, sit alone and unclaimed upon the table, despite the tart and citrus-infused deliciousness. It’s […]

Nov 192013
 
Persimmon Pumpkin Hazelnut Bread, with tips on choosing persimmons and peeling hazelnuts

I’ve adapted this recipe from one my mom made for years when I was a kid– she followed it faithfully every autumn.  The house filled with wonderful aromas while it baked. My dad still has her recipe card from the 70’s; true to the era, it calls for canned pineapple. (I feel like half the recipes of my childhood involved canned pineapple.) I love the design on this recipe card. In this updated recipe, I use this pumpkin bread palette to highlight seasonal ingredients, so I drop the canned pineapple, raisins, and walnuts and swap in diced Fuyu persimmon, pureed Hachiya persimmon, […]

Jul 062013
 
Muhammara Popcorn Crunch

Sometimes you just need to mix up your home popcorn flavors. We’re hardly popcorn traditionalists in the indieculinary household. Butter and salt are nice, but they’re usually pushed aside in favor of some manner of hot sauce. This new popcorn recipe is one of my favorite flavor combinations in a while. I came up with it for yet another Food52 contest, (Your Best Roadtrip Snack), and here’s how it came about, from my write-up for their site: When I think back on the best road trip snack I’ve ever had, I remember driving through wine country with good friends. We […]

Jun 252012
 
Summer Breakfast Bread: The Quick Bread, Reconsidered.

  Quick breads are a category of baked goods which walk a line between bread and cake; they’re called “quick” because the use of chemical leaveners (baking powder, baking soda) negates any need to add yeast, or undergo the kneading, rising, and waiting that go along with it. Holiday favorites such as pumpkin bread and zucchini bread are quick breads. Squash, native to the Americas, has been a common component in American baking since colonial times. Quick breads date back to the 1800’s, when leaveners became commercially available. I studied some classic zucchini bread recipes and then took the concepts for a new spin […]

Mar 112012
 
The Pilaf Method

  There are three official (i.e., of Western tradition and taught in French-influenced culinary school) techniques for cooking rice and other grains– the risotto method, the pilaf method, and the simmering  method. A brief review of the techniques: To use the risotto method, you first heat up your chosen fat (e.g., olive oil, butter), with any aromatics you might be using, such as garlic or shallots. Then add the rice to the hot fat and make sure all the grains are coated, but not browned. Next, add a little liquid at a time (usually wine first, then an already-warmed stock you’re […]