Category Archives: NYT Food

Friday Food Round-Up!

What I usually post for the Friday Food Round-Up is what Marcus and I cook together during the week.

But this week between a celebratory graduation dinner, Marcus being out-of-town on business and another bridal shower, there really wasn’t time for cooking.

I made a batch of granola to distribute as hostess gifts at the shower.

Some croutons because I knew that Marcus would love them more than anything when he got home.

And on Wednesday night in-between a long(er) run and tackling my to-do list, I went all throw-back and cooked myself some pretty bitchin’ Single Girl Food.

What is Single Girl Food?  Those strange combinations of food that you crave and are more than happy to eat for dinner when no one else is looking.

Behold: Soft Fried Eggs on Whole Grain Toast with (hidden) Cheddar Cheese and a side of Roasted Radishes with Basil Aioli.

Brown butter happens, and I don't care.

After reading about radishes absolutely everywhere over the past few weeks, I decided that The Universe was Directing Me To Act and it was time to test them out in our kitchen.  Yes, roasting them definitely mellowed out the flavor, but they weren’t exceptional.

I found a recipe in The New York Times by Melissa Clark for a Seared Radish Crostini that we’ll test out next week.  There is still hope.

And, lest I completely ignore them, let’s talk about the egg thing.  I don’t want to say we’re veering off into Ode territory here, but it might be pretty close.

Besides being able to make a mean guacamole at the drop of a hat, being able to cook an egg properly is probably one of the most valuable skills you can learn in the kitchen.

Why?

They’re good protein.  They’re el cheapo.  They’re comforting, but they’re not comfort food.  They’re able to elevate simple ingredients instantly.

The last point, people, is the key.

Par example: You’re doing a leftovers round-up.  You have choices…Leftover roasted veggies, a hearty dollop or two of polenta, some rice, a sweet potato.  Take any of the above and fashion it into your base.  Add a bit of cheese.  Shredded, goat, or cream cheese are all great choices. Soft fry an egg or two, plop them on top of your base, season if desired (a bit of pesto makes one feel VERY fancy) and serve.

Suddenly, you’ve managed to action a completely serviceable, healthy, delicious (and likely attractive) dinner.  And it only took five minutes from start to finish.

Take that, Rachael Ray.

How often do you eat eggs?

What’s your favorite single girl food to make?

I have to say, I’m a major fan of making a dinner out of Egg Bake for One, doing a Mexi-Baked Potato or eating Oven Fries.  It’s a shameless way to live.

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Friday Food Round-Up!

I was meant to be meal-planning while I was in the middle of a highly caffineated haze, so rather than try to fight it, I forced How to Cook Everything on Marcus and informed him that he would be choosing our meals for the week.

I figured that giving him free rein would either turn out epically well or disentigrate into a total disaster.  Luckily for both of us, he picked out delicious dishes that I probably would have never found on my own.

And, in a bit of belated vindication, Melissa Clark wrote in The NYT this week about Cherishing the Turkey, All Year Round And, as The Universe (and I!) would have it, she included a recipe for Turkey Ragu, which I have been searching for high and low.

Sometimes you just have to spread the love.

Sunday – Roasted Vegetable Tray with Ina Garten’s Herb-Roasted Onions

For Mother’s Day with Marcus’ side of the family, we were tasked with bringing an appetizer to the Italian-themed potluck dinner that had been planned.  Since I usually like to bring something that I am in the mood to eat/is healthy/isn’t particularly time-consuming, roasted veggies were a PERFECT choice.

We had never roasted onions before (yes, do this) and with Ina’s recipe I used all of the ingredients that she included, but I looked at the specific proportions/measurements as guidelines.

Since we were in the mood, we paired the tray with a round of our favorite Lemon Aioli, which never disappoints.

Just remember, the only key to a beautiful vegetable tray is LOTS of color.

Monday – Curried Rice Noodles with Vegetables from How to Cook Everything

Reality Check: This is the kind of carnage that takes place in our kitchen on a daily basis.

The finished product.

Every time I cook with rice noodles, I am reminded of why I rarely cook with rice noodles.  They’re hard work, kittens!  I realized this around the time where I dumped the cooked noodles into the wok and it dawned on me that the only way to get them to separate properly was NOT going to involve my wooden spoon, but rather, chopsticks.

Yes, this means I need to invest in a pile of wooden chopsticks that are exclusively dedicated to cooking.

As for the actual mechanics of getting this dish onto the table?  The prep for this meal was busy, but extremely straightforward.  We took Bittman’s suggestion (he has many) and added sliced mushrooms to the mix.  More is more.  You know.

Tuesday – Chicken Cutlets Roasted with Tomatoes from How to Cook Everything

This was a super-fast dinner to prep, and it allowed Marcus to do what he does best – mince things until they’re basically a pulp.  Which is exactly what happened to the parsley that got tossed into the rub for the meat.

I think that I would have loved this more the first go-round, had I not been feeling heat exhausted.  But the second go-round?  Was perfectly serviceable.

Our Modifications: We used skinless turkey thighs instead of chicken cutlets.  It was another opportunity to move some meat out of the freezer and in the case of this recipe, it didn’t really seem like the actual cut of meat was the point.

If/when I make this dish again, we’ll probably use chicken breasts instead (for a lighter flavor) and cut back on the cumin that gets rubbed onto the meat itself.  1/2 T for the tomato mixture was perfect but for the meat, it was just a little bit too much.

Wednesday – Cilantro-Jalapeno Burgers with Fixins

This week, I practically forced red meat on Marcus.

Let me make this perfectly clear: I love red meat.  I think it’s absolutely delicious.  But for whatever reason, we just end up eating poultry more.

When we were at the grocery store, I made the decision to do a riff on Marcus’ favorite burger at The Bulldog N.E., The Green Marvel.

For the burger itself, we used our newly-minted Cilantro-Jalapeno Burger.  We caramelized some onions and a yellow bell pepper (it went under the base of the burger) and actioned some Guacamole to top it with.

Let’s just say that this arrangement was fail-safed to the max.

And because more is more, we actioned a batch of Oven Fries and some Chipotle Mayo.

I don’t want to say that this is my favorite meal that we’ve ever made, because MANY good things have come out of our kitchen.

But HOLY GOD this was good.

What’s your favorite kind of burger?

What kind of meat (or protein for vegetarians!) makes the most appearances on your dinner table?

Potpourri!

It’s past 9 PM, the “A” key on my netbook is acting up, my cuticles have decided that Now Is The Time To Declare War and I’m not even able to conjure a fraction of the effort required to think in a straight line.

Potpourri!, how we’ve missed you so.

I realize that I had Monday off.  But am I the only one who feels like this is just the longest week ever?

I’ve been sleeping like a rock, running like I just had four days off (oh wait…I did), and cooking up a storm.

But in all seriousness, today was long to the point where it was painful.

I did not love that.

I did love that The Pink Pelican (purveyors of my Engagement Party/Rehearsal Dinner dress and Wedding Reception dress) sent me a copy of the most recent Lilly Pulitzer catalog.

I mean, if 40 pages of brightly-patterned frocks don’t raise your spirits, I don’t know what can, honestly.

In the meantime, Marcus has kindly informed me that we now have four hours of joint-custody DVR action to watch.  The downward spiral starts here.

Capturing the spirit of some bandits actioning a hold-up, I ended up forking over $6.90 in fines to the Hennepin County Library.

Some people like to think of it as “charity.”  I like to think of it as I Wasn’t Really Planning On Stealing Them But Thanks Anyway.

I’d like to say that my out-of-control behavior on the reading materials-front ends there.  But I still haven’t even been able to THINK about picking up the February issues of ELLE and Vogue.

Reassuringly or not, I already have the March issues of…Everything.

I take it all back.  The DVR isn’t the downward spiral, my piles of magazines are.

I absolutely can’t get over the arrangement that Kate Middleton wore to the Lifeboat launch today.  I can’t be the only person who feels like The Royal Wedding and a lifetime of public appearances to follow is basically the equivalent of the Sloaney/Preppy fashion gods promising that manna will fall from the sky.

FOREVER.

Give thanks, kittens.

And I’m obsessing a little bit over the New York Times Magazine piece on Heather Armstrong AKA Dooce.  The way I see her, she’s not so much of an idol as that cool aunt who is almost young enough to be your cousin.  But ohmigod, she does it so well.

Speaking of The New York Times, can I just take a moment to say how thankful I am that they kept Mark Bittman on as an opinion columnist?  When he announced that The Minimalist was ending, my heart just about broke.

We are saved.

Longest Week Ever: True or False?

A Food Mood

Confessional: I haven’t watched the season finale of Bachelor Pad yet, hence the lack of thoughts on the episode.  Please rest assured that I’ll be watching it tomorrow night on DVR and that it will be a marvelously trashy experience.  Unfortunately for Marcus, since he only reads my blog at work, he’ll be learning about our plans for the evening tomorrow morning at 6 AM.

I’ve been trying to cut back on dessert lately in The Spirit of Healthy Eating, but y’all already know how that ends.  My freezer is a total carb-graveyard, and when Erica and Justin came over for dinner prior to my birthday outing, they came with The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies I Have Ever Tasted.  She didn’t want to take the remainder of the lot home, so I gladly threw them into the freezer.  It’s nights like tonight where I just love her to death for that.  Since y’all don’t have Justin around to stock your freezer with cookies, you’re definitely going to have to take a whack at the recipe.  The only thing I can promise is that you won’t be disappointed.

Similarly, as vindication of the two dozen ears of corn I purchased a couple of weeks ago with the intention of freezing them,  I’m reassured that once again, the New York Times and I are riding the same wave.  I adore Melissa Clark and the things she has to share, so if you have a soul like mine that requires lots of nourishing in the way of corn, cheese and cream please do take a peek at Creamed Corn That’s Much Too Good To Share.

And because the New York Times is the most importantly, the source of All Good Things, I also happened upon this recipe by Mark Bittman, Southwest Potatoes, With Cheddar, Corn and Patience.

Apparently I’m just in a food mood tonight?  I’m sure it’s totally related to The Need to Nest since Fall is upon us, but at this point, I just don’t have it in my heart to be there quite yet.  Plus, I’m pretty sure that it’s been AGES since I’ve found things I’ve been dying to share from the New York Times food section.  We love this.

I also realized tonight when Katie was over for dinner  that I don’t have my super-easy recipe for Chicken with Wine Sauce up yet (it’s in the body of this post right now).  It’s an entertaining and dinnertime staple for me in the fall/winter (though really it’s appropriate year-round) because you can have a lovely AND healthy hot dinner on the table in ~30 minutes.  Which, is a win-win.  Consider yourselves owed this one in more detail.

2- for-1

At the moment, I’m mentally preparing to go-to-war with the traffic that we’re going to encounter on our way up to Crosslake, so this is how we do it today…

I love Mark Bittman’s recipes, and more importantly, I love when he does his 101 features.  Thus, I bring to you all, 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling.  What’s wonderful about these is that all of them are extremely concise.  Throw a few basics onto your grocery list at the beginning of the week, and you’ll be good to go.  OR, you can just riff.  One thing that Bittman recipes are always dependably safe for is improvisation.

And, because I just realized I never shared this with y’all, enjoy 101 Simple Salads for the Season.

Upping the ante

Since I’ll be off having yet another Seder tonight, perfecting some oven roasted potatoes (I promise to share the recipe SOON!), and working my matzo ball-makin’ skills, I realized that it has been awhile since I’ve shared any of Mark Bittman’s treasures with you.

But you all know how much I enjoy a well-roasted chicken.  And yesterday, he upped the ante.

Please, just for a moment if you will, entertain the idea of how flipping curious I was when he presented the idea of putting the stuffing beneath the skin.

CHIKA CHIKA WHA?

Flavoring a Roast Chicken

This, I gotta try.  I mean, can you just imagine the possibilities?

Foodie Inspiration Board

I swear-to-god, sometimes I think I should have a food inspiration board, the way others have inspiration boards for fashion, weddings, that sort of thing.

Because I’ll wallow around, without a flipping clue about what I’m doing and then lightning strikes.

Par example,when I was trying to figure out what tonight’s meal was going to look like, these two came to mind instantly:

We’re Going to Party Like It’s 1929

Twice-Baked Potatoes: The Classy Side of the Family

Like, that’s just not normal.

The spuds are in the oven baking right now for Phase 1.  Having never successfully baked a potato before, this effort is epic.  And obviously, you can check back in the next few days for thoughts/recipes, etc.  Until then, if you’re wondering about the kebabs I whipped up last night, click here for the marinade.