Search results for 'parsnips'

From The Back Of My Pantry: Poker Widow Pasta

26 Jan

Editor’s Note: Finally! It’s Friday. Tomorrow we move the rest of the crap out of the old apartment, the new couch will (hopefully) arrive and then on Sunday, the grunt men come in to get the furniture out of Manhattan and moved to the borough of Kings. All of my kitchen stuff has been there since last weekend. We’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches this week.

Naturally all I can think about this week is cooking. And so, since there’s nothing really exciting to share except this wonderful recipe (one of my first!), I figured I’d share some of the recipes I’ve been hoarding in anticipation of a big, shiny new kitchen.

Chicken Bouillabaisse: Sher published this recipe right around the time my parents got back from Spain. My mom brought me back a tin of precious saffron and I immediately pinpointed this recipe as the proper way to use it. It’s at the top of my list for possible first weekend meals.

Celery Root Soup With Top Shelf Beet Relish: I had this way back in balmy November at the incredibly awesome Pickle Party and have been dreaming about making it ever since. The creamy comforting soup garnished with the puckeringly perfect garnish would make awesome leftovers for one of those nights where I won’t get home until 9pm because of my stupid job and my new commute.

Madame Hermé’s Spaetzle: I know there’s a lot of Pierre Hermé fans out there. I’ve never been to Paris and I’ve never tried his pastries, although I do think they’re beautiful and I would love to try them. But I don’t sit up dreaming about them. What do I dream about then? His mother’s spätzle. Though it doesn’t differ that much from my Aunt’s, the addition of semolina is truly intriguing. And there’s so many sausage-makers (sausagiers?) in the new ‘hood that would go so well with a steaming bowl of spätzle.

Savory Haddock Korma: I have no idea if this recipe from Ulla is traditionally Icelandic or traditionally Indian or simply traditionally New Yorkian, but it sounds delicious. I usually don’t go in for fish curries, but this one with its combination of creamy dairy, bright citrus and subtle, comforting cardamom sounds so pleasant.

Azerbaian Pilaf with Pomegranate Meatballs: Pomegranates will start disappearing from the groceries soon, and ever since a quick trip to Ikea last weekend, I’ve been craving meatballs. This recipe from Lindy would make a nice, homemade stand-in for their frozen (but delicious!) Swedish variety.

Green Olive Gnocchi With Green Olive Sauce: God I love making gnocchi, and boy do I love olives too, but I only make gnocchi when I’m in a big kitchen. The mess-factor is way too high for a wee bitty space. So I’m really looking forward to delving back into the world of fluffy pasta-dumplings as soon as possible and this is the one I want to try first!

Risotto Ai Pompelmo: Lydia always knocks my socks off with crazy creative recipes for the goodies in her pantry, and this one was a real shock; Grapefruit Risotto? Get out! So awesome! So perfect for all the gorgeous citrus hanging out at the corner bodega! What a way to bring some sunny summer sunshine into these grey winter days. Fab!

Flo Fab’s Wheat And Cornmeal Cheese Rolls: The only thing that could make these sound more appealing is if there was bacon in this recipe to boot. Let’s see; there’s melty cheese, sage and maple syrup, and since they’re made with whole wheat flour, that means they’re healthy too! And now that I’ve overcome my fear of kneading, I can make these. Yay! Thanks Luisa!

And finally, is it possible to write a recipe wish list without including something from the uber recipe blogger Elise? I think not.

Puréed Roasted Parsnips: We love parsnips. We love roasted vegetables. We love purées. And somehow, neither of us ever thought to roast and then purée. Bloody genius. Seriously, cannot wait to try this!

Of course, I also really want to make my mushroom pasta recipe again as well. It really is a winner. So, check out these recipes, let me know if you’ve tried any, and I’ll “see” you all after the weekend!

Poker Widow Pasta. Originally published February 25th, 2006.


Friday night when I found myself a poker widow I decided, rather than going out, I would stay in and make myself something decadent. I had been waiting all week to try some Porcini mushroom pasta I had found and taking inspiration from Mark Bittman’s foray into puttanesca I created this luscious, silky, tangy and downright sexy pasta dish.

Poker Widow Pasta

Poker Widow Pasta

prep: 15 minutes ~ cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Porcini Mushroom Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, sliced (but not too thin)
  • 1 package Crimini Mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tbsp Capers
  • 2/3 cup Dry Vermouth
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Chile Flakes to taste
  • 10 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Very good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Hard Cheese (of your choosing)

N.B. ~ The timing on this meal is wholly dependent on how long your pasta needs to cook. The pasta I used only needed 4 minutes, but if yours needs longer, please start it earlier on in the sauce prep than noted here.

Place a large pot with salted water (for your pasta) over a flame and bring to a boil.

Place a small, heavy bottomed dutch oven over a very low flame. Add enough Olive Oil to coat the bottom about 1/4 inch. When the oil is a little warm, add the garlic and cook slowly, about 5 minutes, to infuse the oil with its flavor and aroma.

Add the mushrooms and mix to coat well with the garlic oil mixture. Turn the heat up a little, to about medium, really cook the mushrooms down. When they have reduced in size, taken on a little color and released their liquid, add capers. Turn the heat up again to about medium-high.

Add the Vermouth and the lemon juice and allow to reduce by about half. Season with salt, pepper and chile flakes to taste. Add the tomatoes and stir.

Poker Widow Pasta

When the tomatoes start liquefying into the sauce, add your pasta to the water. Remember to keep stirring the sauce to keep it from burning and sticking to the bottom of your pan. When the pasta is done, turn off the flame under the sauce, it will most likely keep bubbling away for a few minutes.

Drain your pasta. Portion into bowls. Top with a nice glug of your very best extra virgin olive oil and your grated hard cheese of choice. Mix it all together and dig in! This is a truly delicious, earthy, sexy meal!


A Rogue Sprout

19 Oct

It was Sunday night. I was standing at the sink cleaning and halving Brussels sprouts when one went skittering out of my hand, landing with a surprisingly loud metallic thump in the sink. Without even thinking, I bellowed out “Sprrrrrrrooout Doooooooooooouwn!”

Before you go thinking I’m crazy, say it with me in your best pirate meets Patrick Stewart tenor, “Sprrrrrrrooout Doooooooooooouwn!”


See? Now isn’t that fun?

roastedAnd what on earth was I making when I started thinking of my tiny cabbages as weeee scrrrrruvy currrrrrs?

Roasted vegetables, natch.

Brussels sprouts, parsnips, a second harvest of baby carrots, Northern Spy & Macoun apples, shallots and garlic roasted for two hours to a perfectly sweet & roasty bowl of fall; finished with a glug of the best Croatian extra virgin olive oil and a splash of aged balsamic vinegar, and served with hunks of Iacopo‘s finest baguette (to sop up the pot liquer).

Thank you Maillard reaction for this delightful meal.

Just one note for you New Yorkers however.

roastedWe went to the Tompkins Square Greenmarket for our vegetables, but unfortunately there were no sprouts. So we trucked up Ave. A to the Key Foods for the sprouts. We grabbed four 10 oz. containers, went to the register only to find that each container cost $4 a piece! 40 ounces of sprouts equals roughly 2.5 lbs or, even more roughly, $6.40 per pound!!

So, New Yorkers, take my advice, if you’re craving sprouts, go to a Greenmarket anywhere in the City and buy them there for $2 per pound, pay the $4 round-trip subway fare, and yeah, you’ll still come out waaaaaay ahead. You have been warned.

roastedAnd just so as you all don’t think I’m the only one that personifies her sprouts, check out “An Inconsolable Sprout” for some more fun with cruciferous vegetables. I’ve never met Erielle before, so I can’t personally vouch for her sanity, but I do love her “voice,” it seems perfectly sane to me.

And what of the leftovers? More on them later this week.

Root Cellar Soup (and a pot of promise)

21 Mar

Saturday was a sad, draining and depressing day. One of my best friend’s mother’s had succumbed to cancer earlier in the week, and so a group of Manhattan and Brooklyn-ites headed over a bridge or through a tunnel to New Jersey for a beautiful remembrance of an amazing woman’s life.

I was tired and hungry when we got back to the city, so off we went to feast on therapeutic buttermilk battered fried green beans. I guess the boy could tell I was in no mood to think or cook, so he suggested trucking up to the farmer’s market to procure some root vege so he could make one of his famous pureed soups for me. What sane girl would say no to that?

We settled on a classic; Parsnip & Apple, but once at the market I was seduced by the Jerusalem Artichokes. As I was scrubbing the girasole, the boy was sauteing the onions and garlic and said to me, “Is there anything more full of promise than a pot of onions and garlic?” It was a nice thought at the end of a crappy, sad day, that a glug of olive oil, a few onions and crushed garlic could truly be the start of nearly any dish from around the world.

We didn’t get to eat the soup on Saturday, some group therapy was in order (read, a party) so we cooled the soup, grabbed some Gin and headed out into the night.

But Sunday was all about relaxing. With the soup bubbling away on the stove, I cued up disc 2 of Bleak House (another series I had missed during TV Free February), decanted a bottle of wine and got set to do nothing. It was blissful.

I don’t think my wine choice was perfect for the meal, a 2000 Chateau Ste. Anne from Bandol in Provence. It smelled lovely, all flowers and leather in the glass, but tasted a little tight and tannic with the soup. Perhaps I decanted it too late. But, after a little time to breathe, it eventually went very, very well with a little Wallace & Gromit.

Head below the jump for the recipe for this easy, soothing soup.
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Semi-Spring Saturday At The Farmer’s Market (plus a salad)

14 Mar

Saturday was so unseasonably, wonderfully warm a trip to the Union Square Farmer’s Market seemed very, very necessary. I was hoping, rather irrationally, to see signs of spring amongst the produce, but alas, the produce was the same as it’s been for the past 5 months; root vege, onions, the mushroom lady, the kimchee lady, the greenhouse leafy greens people, winter stored apples, parsnips, potatoes, horseradish, and on and on.

BUT! And this is a big but… the FLOWERS! Oh man, the flowers. Even the herbs were feeling the vernal love. Goregous rosemary shrubs, blooming no less. *sigh* If only I had a garden!

union square farmer's market

And since I found no inspiration at the Market for dinner, I pushed along to Soho to peruse the produce available at Gourmet Garage while the boy stood in line for fresh mozzarella at DiPalo’s. Ah, spring, when a young man’s heart lightly turns to thoughts of milky, salty mozzarella!

blood orange And what did my thoughts turn to? Sunny, sweet, tangy citrus. Originally, I was fixating on sweet Palestinian limes. I had gotten them a month or so ago to use in Poc Chuc, but alas, they weren’t there. So I grabbed two heriloom, Sicilian blood oranges, two hyper trendy Meyer lemons, a fat, frondy fennel bulb and some frisee (I swear, I wasn’t feeling the alliteration while shopping.)

winter's salad
I sectioned the oranges, thinly sliced the fennel, squeezed the lemons over the whole lot (in a bowl of course) sprinkled liberally with salt, chili flakes and lots of lovely, peppery extra virgin olive oil. I let it all sit and macerate for an hour, then poured the liquid off into a cup, tasted it and adjusted the dressing with a little sherry vinegar. Frisee goes into a bowl, oranges and fennel on top, dressing over it all. Simple, delicious; one foot in winter, another foot toeing into spring.