Search results for 'cauliflower'

A Leite Dinner

20 Jan

I’ve been thinking a lot about my colleague‘s recent conversion to what he calls “mostly veganism.”

Now, before we go quibbling about his choice of terminology I should tell you that this gentleman is an older, highly conservative Republican, red meat-eating, god-fearing capitalist and that he came to this state not out of any sense of environmental obligation but rather through sports physiology.

But, no matter the route, the destination is the same: A diet that is better for him and for the world.

I’ve been thinking a lot about vegetables too and how much I miss them and can’t wait to start pulling them out of our garden again.  This is the season that tries my soul.  I want to eat lots of unhealthy things like beef and pork and cheese and Christina’s Mama’s lemon sour cream pie, while I know I should be eating vegetables and grains and fish.  I want to be planting plants and digging around in the dirt but rather I’m stomping through slush and standing by the sink and staring at the fluffy, puffed-up birds while clutching a cup of tea, absorbing every last hint of warmth from it.

It’s a hard season to eat, and despite the insistence by the journalist and author Tom Standage at the AMNH’s recent lecture on curry economics that at some point getting your food from half-way around the world costs less in terms of carbon than raising it locally in a greenhouse, I still find eating at this time of year difficult.

It was all these complex thoughts that were rattling around inside my head as I was thumbing through David Leite‘s excellent cookbook The New Portuguese Table.  It was a Christmas gift from Isaac’s  mom and had sat sadly neglected on the ottoman since its unwrapping.  But on Saturday morning I was finally able to give it a good look.  And boy is it a beauty. So many wonderful recipes for interesting meats and creative ways to cook fish, but I was looking for simple, vegetable-centric ones.

You need to know about two recipes; a bread and a sauce below the jump.

Andre’s Cafe

15 Jan

Are you a New Yorker?  A frequent visitor? Maybe you’ve been here just once?

Yes? Have you ever been to Andre’s Cafe? No? Tsk tsk.

Oh, come off it Ann! A Hungarian place all the way up in the barren no-man’s land also known as the circle of hell the Second Avenue Subway hath wrought? Why should I bother?

Why? Because your preconception of Hungarian food is probably wrong and you like good coffee. Oh, and because you deserve a pastry today!

Well, sure, I always deserve a pastry, but aren’t Hungarian pastries stuffed with, uhm, poppy seeds and gummy cheese?

Gasp.  Get yourself to Andre’s, stat!

We went this weekend for lunch and it was great.  Everyone thinks of Hungarian food as paprikash and strudel and sticky pastries and these things are available at Andre’s, but when they’re done properly and well (read not by your mother in the ’80s as an attempt to cook something new and exciting) they’re utterly sublime.

Oh, and the coffee!  As we sat rhapsodizing over how delicious and balanced it was, the little old lady sitting next to me leaned in, “Isn’t it divine?” she asked, “It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had. It’s what keeps me coming back, well, that and the pastries.  Every time I eat here I call my brother and say ‘You have to come to New York and try this coffee!’ That’s how much I love it.”

Yeah.  That pretty much sums it up.

But coffee, coffee’s just a beverage Ann! What about the food?

Andre’s specializes in both savory and sweet strudels (I’m going back for the cabbage strudel, you can be sure) and palacsinta; crepes filled with delicious things like pepper stew (lecso), mushrooms (the couple that replaced the old lady oohed and aahed over these) and cheese with dill and bacon (I’m going back for that too).  And as if that wasn’t enough they also serve full dinners, sandwiches, soups and yeah, pastries.

Bacon, bacon and more bacon below the fold.

Root Down

10 Nov

When I’m stressed out, I buy books.

And so, on the day before my surgery, I found myself in the cookbook section of the Strand.

I was looking for a copy of Nigel Slater’s Appetite to give as a going away present to an aspiring home cook, but what I was finding was a mountain of books I wanted.  There was I Know How to Cook, Momofuku and Ad Hoc at Home; Jim Lahey‘s new bread book, Judith Jones‘ treatise on the pleasures of cooking for one, the surreal world of Heston Blumenthal and no Nigel.

So, I grabbed a classic Jamie Oliver tome for my co-worker, and, just for good measure, The Veselka Cookbook (complete with a recipe for my beloved Christmas borscht!) and for absolutely no reason (other than I’m a sucker for puffy book covers), Stephane Reynaud’s French Feasts for me.

On Friday, Isaac made us a beautiful pureed cauliflower soup while I lazed on the couch, trying to purge the anesthesia from my body as quickly as possible.  By Saturday morning, I was ready to get up and go again (I think they give you something when you have surgery to make you feel energetic and happy the day after), so we wandered down to the Tucker Square greenmarket.

The plan was to roast the last of the wee tiny beets and bitty little carrots from the garden, but we needed to supplement them with something.  So I grabbed a butternut squash, an acorn squash, a bouquet of sage, rosemary and thyme and a smoked duck breast.

Here’s where I divulge to you an embarrassing secret:

Want to know what it is? Head below the fold.

Lethologica

12 Mar

I have very nearly run out of words this week.

The old IRT power station.  It supplied power for New Yorks first subway.

The old IRT power station. It supplied power for New York's first subway.

The beautiful, enormous building was designed by McKim, Mead & White.

The beautiful, enormous building was designed by McKim, Mead & White.

I’m also all out of big thoughts, the ability to punctuate and good questions.  You see, for more than a week now, I’ve been filling in for one of the editors at work who has been out of the office.  I have slain many hackneyed phrases, deleted dozens of superfluous adverbs and thought very, very hard about the future of sports, the crisis on Wall Street and the new regulatory landscape in D.C., all on top of my regular job.

12th Avenue street art. This whole building was covered with it.

12th Avenue street art. This whole building was covered with it.

Head below the jump for a whole lot more photos and just a few more words.

Into The Pan

15 Jan

I have a co-worker, an accomplished young woman, who’s guilty pleasure is reading chick lit.

To her this is a deviant activity.  She was raised by a family of very smart women, is Ivy League-educated and has a rather important job for someone of her not-yet advanced years.  So to her, reading what is the literary equivalent of a pair of fluffy, pink maraboo-bedecked, high-heeled boudoir slippers is a delicious and deviant activity.  It’s a release into a fantasy world where the tough questions life tosses at you include “Manolo or Louboutin?”  “Should I or shouldn’t I?”  and “Champagne or martini?”

I think this is a wonderful escape.  Working in the same newsroom, a place that can make Times Square look like a misty Adirondack lake, I fully understand the need to escape into another world.  But chick lit has just never done it for me.  Nope, I like my literary frippery to have a little more age on it.  My guilty pleasure is historical fiction.

I know, I know, you’re all sitting out there thinking, “Wooooooooo… Wow, that’s so, uhm, indulgent, Ann!”  God, even my guilty pleasures are cerebral.  But, it’s true. When I’m surrounded by chaos, there’s nothing I love more than to sink into a book about another time, far far in the past.

Click here for more.