Everyone’s always on the lookout for holiday side dishes with a twist. Quite by accident, this year’s Thanksgiving table included sides that turned assumptions about certain ingredients upside down, offering savory bites where sweet was expected, sweet where savory is usually a given. It began with the cranberry sauce. Cranberry Salsa —“What is this? I’ve never had anything like it,” asked one dinner guest. This … Continue reading Upside-Down Sides
The fun of sharing a plate of peppers (along with an icy beer) is that someone is likely to get a mouthful of fire. Folks have called it Spanish roulette. Continue reading The Boss
I must be suffering a rice deficiency because all I seem to crave these frigid winter days is risotto. Continue reading Risotto Mio
Hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge, a tuna empanada is handheld happiness. Continue reading Wrap Stars
Sifting through the leftover magazines at my local coffee shop, I came across a copy of the esoteric food journal Gastronomica. When what to my wandering eyes did appear, but a story about the Croatian dish strukli, “The Best Dish in the World.” Really? I have a vague recollection of my mother making strukli when I was young, a bland sort of boiled dumpling filled with soft cheese. And … Continue reading 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . Strukli
Last week, I thought I was losing my mind. I would check on some item baking in my oven, and discover that I had somehow shut the appliance off entirely only half way through the cooking time. This is actually not that difficult to do if you’re using the timer and you punch “cancel” instead of “off” to silence it when it rings. Just as my frustration with myself was about to boil over, however, I saw it happen–a click, a blank screen, and the oven turned itself off. I wasn’t exactly pleased by this but, reassured that my sanity hadn’t walked out on me, I called a repair service and waited for my house call.
As these things go, four days later when the super-amiable repair duo showed up, the oven worked perfectly–bake, broil, not a single glitch. Nice to avoid the pricey circuit board replacement, but still. Really? I was advised to bake some brownies and call them on Monday if the oven went berserk again.
The suddenly crisp temperatures did make me want to bake something warm and comforting for dinner, so I decided to test the oven and my luck with a roasted root vegetable pot pie I like a lot (adapted from the Poor Girl Gourmet). And so I spent an uneventful afternoon in the kitchen. An hour of roasting and 40 minutes of baking and not a single oven malfunction. I got a beautiful pie out of the deal, so not a bad day, I suppose. But I wish I could have figured it all out for myself before I paid $65 just to have two strangers poke around under my oven and retrieve a pile of lost cat toys.
Maybe it’s the crisping of the morning air telling me the end of the harvest is creeping up on us, but I couldn’t resist an urge to stuff things into glass jars this weekend. I made up a batch of yogurt with my market milk and, in response to family demand, did up a final round of my usual pickled green beans, plus a wasabi … Continue reading Things in Jars