Avocado Citrus Chili Shooters

I have spent a fair amount of time this week considering the avocado. Unlike anything else, avocados can really make a dish. Whether in a taco, paired with a sticky, Asian grilled meat and rice or wrapped around a beautiful piece of raw fish, they are able to transform a good dish into something really spectacular. And it is painfully obvious when they are missing and you eat each bite thinking….if only. During this avocado ponder, I thought about the various pairings that were the best and how I could isolate them in a way that showcased the avocado itself … Continue reading

    Crispy Barley Cake with Avocado and Brown Butter Balsamic

    It has been quite a while since I have had the time/energy/patience/lack-of-other-priorities to spend any sort of time on Savor This. In fact, it seems like ages since I’ve crafted any new recipes worth writing down and sharing. But the day before yesterday I found half an hour to go for a walk in the sweltering heat and I dreamed up a tasty appetizer. And today I found a little time to cook it and eat it. And it is definitely worth sharing. It started with an avocado (and if you know me at all you will assume that Food52 … Continue reading

      A Favorite New Platform

      The best part about a cooking challenge is the rare discovery of something great. Forced to think outside your cooking or ingredient box you might find a new technique or ingredient that will soon become part of your regular rotation. This was exactly the case with this chickpea recipe. Having not long ago discovered the delicious socca, I had chickpea flour on hand and was searching for something else to do with it. I also happened to have some smoked salmon that I thought would be great atop a chickpea pancake or similar platform. I thought adding a shredded or … Continue reading

        Burnt Orange Fig Charoset

        We celebrated the rare feast of Thanksgivvikuh with my sister’s family in Austin. It was an exercise of collaboration and creativity that produced some delicious surprises and new favorites. And so it was with great enthusiasm that I pondered my sister’s request for some reinvented seder dishes for an article she was writing on the Passover feast. Among the dishes we discussed, I was drawn most to the charoset which, in my somewhat limited experience, has been wonderful or dreadful. The dreadful versions involved browning apples sitting in a liquid of sorts that more immediately reminds you of the actual … Continue reading

          A Pile of Greens

          Food52 recently had a contest for your best recipes using hearty greens. I had a bazillion ideas, but less free time than ever and a promise to myself to do a better job with priorities. I did, however, have kale and spinach and I do have to eat and feed my family so a few recipes got through. The results of the contest are not yet published, so I will type with crossed fingers. And regardless, these are just good recipes that will continue to be in my repertoire. This first recipe is a silky, umami-rich condiment made with spinach, … Continue reading

            Velvety Cauliflower Custard

            The dinner parties my parents hosted were mesmerizing. From the buffet spreads to the complicated dishes involving lazy susans or a Peking duck that took three days, I was ever impressed by the formula they seemed to follow promising magical results. From the exotic to the classic there were always some standouts that oozed elegance and gourmet charm. Thinking back to those times I wanted to create something classic and elegant that would elevate a simple grilled steak for dinner. With a cauliflower on hand and being limited to the stove top (why? Food52 contest of course) I decided to … Continue reading

              I Got Scarlet Fever

              In the summertime my daughter is obsessed with playing out in her mud kitchen. She spends hours mixing, stirring, pouring and garnishing with sprinkles of chives and sage before proudly offering up each creation. One day she handed me a soupy slop adorned with twigs and leaves. “What is it?” I asked. “Scarlet Fever,” she announced without hesitation. This was due, no doubt to the fate that befell her good buddy’s family the week before, resulting in the (gasp!) cancellation of his birthday party. And just as that event made a serious impression on my four year old, so was … Continue reading

                Pickled, toasty, herby obsession

                In my third week of eating along the lines of the VB6 (vegan before 6) meal plan I hit a happy stride with an Ottelenghi-esque salad. A friend had long been trying to get me to try it and I finally had most of the ingredients to give it a go. Here is his original recipe which I read only after attempting to recreate what I had remembered from reading the recipe before. I started by simmering some red onions, carrots and jalapeño in cider vinegar (he used white, no sugar and only marinated), sugar and salt which I then … Continue reading

                  Caramel Tofu Banh Mi

                  I’m well into my second week of the VB6 plan, minus a couple days falling off the horse (and rolling down a spikey hill into some traffic). I started the week with another big grocery shop for piles of veggies, tofu and some grains and nuts and a list of recipes and meal ideas. On the first day I made a coconut saucy mix of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, corn and peanuts which I served on the farro/quinoa mixture I had frozen the week before. I was so glad to find that because I would have resorted to making a … Continue reading

                    My Adventures with VB6: Day 1

                    I am no stranger to a cooking challenge. My interest began years ago in San Francisco watching the original Iron Chef on public television (KQED?). Briefly we engaged some friends in a swanky cooking club called the One Up Supper Club. But then grownup life took over and somehow it fizzled. Later I enlisted my mom to go shopping at the Asian grocery stores to supply me, my husband, my sister and my niece with a mystery bag which we would cook from in teams. More recently came Meatless March—much harder because of the DENIAL and DURATION—but I did it … Continue reading