April 30, 2012
On the road one day in New Orleans, I spent some time in the Crescent City Farmers Market and got a lesson in étouffée-making from the doyenne of Louisiana home cooking, Poppy Tooker. Étouffée is a riff on the old French verb “to smother,” and while there are as many recipes for étouffée as there are cooks who make it, this one is so easy that it’s become an instant classic in our house.
April 23, 2012
This is a family meal that gets its inspiration from the countless little taverns all over Italy where grilled lamb comes on the bone, served with vegetable salads like this caponata (an eggplant dish with pine nuts and anchovies). I’m always mopping up the vegetables and lamb juices in these restaurants.
April 16, 2012
For 20 years, I’ve made a hot miso sauce by beating egg yolks, miso, sugar, dashi (Japanese soup stock), soy and a few secret ingredients in a double boiler. It’s my go-to sauce for grilled meats and fish—I love the salty umami elegance of it, the silken mouthfeel. But why it took me so long to figure out a cool miso vinaigrette is beyond me.
April 9, 2012
It’s so boring to point out that even in warm weather, you can enjoy cold soups that are as refreshing as they are simple to make. Yadda yadda yadda. But true. I make gazpacho every week and keep it in the fridge, and love pureeing cucumber, dill, yogurt, hot chile, lemon juice and celery into a classic Turkish summer soup. But vichyssoise has the sexiest story.
April 2, 2012
For 40 years I looked high and low for the best matzoh ball recipe, but nothing measured up to my grandmother’s until I discovered Susan’s, an old family friend. After a Passover seder at her house 20 years ago, I begged for this recipe and finally she gave it to me. It’s the perfect balance for a matzoh ball: light enough to float, dense enough to be a good “sinker.” I can now die in peace knowing I have achieved what every Jewish man should for his family: a roof over their heads and a nice chicken-soup-and-matzoh-ball recipe.