When I began this blog, summer was without a doubt my favorite season for food. I looked forward to summer highlights like piles of stone fruit, ripe tomatoes, and sweet corn all year long. But lately, I find spring is my favorite season. I love the anticipation and finding a new ingredient available each week, especially after so many months of the same roots and hardy greens. First there are chives, followed by green garlic, then ramps, lettuce, asparagus, and finally, strawberries. For years now, as I’ve savored these moments at my own farmer’s market or in my garden, I’ve also enjoyed experiencing the spring awakening through my friend Aimée.
Let’s talk about goals.
Last year, I boldly and publicly (on Twitter) proclaimed that my summer goal was to make sangria. This was before I realized that what I refer to as ‘summer goals’ everyone else in the world calls a summer bucket list. But the thing is, I want to live. Past September even, so I’m sticking with summer goals. So, sangria. The main thing standing in my way seemed to be the purchase of brandy. Now, you can make sangria anyway you chose, but I like mine with a slug of brandy. It keeps it from being too cloying. So, last summer came and went. And my solitary summer goal? Unfulfilled. [Read more…]
At Brooklyn Supper, we love winter produce with a passion, but once the weather starts warming, we get a hunger for all things fresh. The problem is, while spring weather is definitely creeping up on us, it will be a few more weeks before the spring crops start hitting the farmer’s market. So for now, we’re left cooking spring dishes with somewhat stayed winter ingredients, which means we need to be creative to get that spring flavor we’re after. For example, this carrot, fennel, orange soup brings a lightness to good old carrots. The soup is bright and fresh, with a little bit of heat (courtesy of spicy Hungarian paprika), and a big dose of tang from the OJ. [Read more…]
This is a strange week–we’ve been working as hard as ever, but there’s a lightness to things. Brian and I have been having fun after putting the girls to bed, drinking beers, typing away on our respective laptops, talking into the night, and making future plans. Even the baby’s recent decision to stop napping and our oldest coming home with a tiny fever haven’t dampened spirits in our drafty little apartment. Could it be the brighter days? The buds forming on the trees? The fluffy clouds hanging in the crisp February sky over the East River? Whatever it is, I’ll take it. [Read more…]
Today seems like the first quiet day in months. It’s warm and sunny, the window is cracked, and the birds are singing. The Friday hum is beginning to pick up outside and the kids are just about to stream, happily screaming and shouting, by my building. But for now it’s peaceful, and finally, I have some time to think. [Read more…]
I usually cling to the holiday season, and while our Christmas tree is still flickering away in our little apartment for a few more hours at least, this year I am thrilled to have arrived in January with its bone-chilling winds and cool, bright light. I think of this parsley orange salad as my first tribute to winter unadorned. [Read more…]
Pretty much always, I’m in this for the butter, especially where sweets are concerned. And, if you’ve read Brooklyn Supper for any amount of time, you have probably divined that I’m obsessed with citrus, and that zest of some fruit or another finds its way into almost all of my recipes. So for a recent cookie exchange hosted by Bloggers Without Borders, I did what came naturally to me and made these buttery, zesty sablés. [Read more…]
Food blogging can be a funny mix of reality and theater. Instead of buying a dazzling array of seasonal citrus, I went with what we had sitting around, three plain old (juicy, delicious) oranges and Thanksgiving ingredient leftovers (buttermilk, shallot, pomegranates, and rosemary included), which came together perfectly with tender spinach in a lovely jewel-toned plate. At the same time, to get the shot for this post, I had to place the salad on my hideous faux-marble, dark emerald green kitchen floor. And there it is, your perfect holiday salad, served, however beautifully, on the kitchen floor. [Read more…]
Our last CSA share of the year featured a bunch of Redbor kale. I loved its deep purple and green hues and stashed it for a weekday salad–my favorite use for kale. A few days later, I roasted a butternut squash (one of seven to pass through my kitchen in the past month), and supremed an orange to go with it. [Read more…]
If you ever lived in Charlottesville, VA in the 90’s or early 00’s you probably saw a bunch of bands in the basement of the Tokyo Rose. Those, my friends, were the days. Night after night of crazy, perfect, awesome shows and upstairs amazing sushi. Almost every friend I have worked there in some capacity at some point. I spent my youth eating sushi and listening to indie rock all at the same place. Sniff, the Tokyo Rose, that version, is gone and the heyday of indie rock is on the downswing, but I can still pop open a Kirin Ichiban and have some ginger ice cream.
Homemade fresh ginger ice cream is an upgrade from the standard sushi restaurant fare, but it still has that amazing warm flavor that comes from frozen cream, which would be comforting even if it didn’t flood you with a wave of nostalgia for your squandered youth. Oh, but, did you buy that ice cream maker yet?
Ginger’s bright, crisp flavor and mild heat is a great counterpoint to fall foods. After curing for a few days the cream fully absorbs the ginger and orange, and the ice cream is silky with a little bite. I guess all homemade ice cream is festive, but this is especially so. You could even make the argument that you need to eat it after a big meal; ginger, after all, is a digestive aid.
Ginger Ice Cream with Black Pepper and Orange Zest
(adapted from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, by Michelle Wojtowicz, Phillip Wojtowicz, Michael Gilson and Catherine Price)
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons honey
1 cup sugar
4 inch section of fresh ginger peeled and sliced
4 egg yolks
a big pinch of salt
zest of one orange
4-6 turns of freshly ground black pepper
Put the ginger in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Bring it to a boil and then let it steep for 10 minutes. Dump the water and then combine the ginger and 1 cup of milk in a blender. Blend well, for two minutes or more.
Combine the milk and ginger mixture, and the rest of the milk, the cream, honey, salt, and half the sugar in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, when the cream mixture is starting to steam set aside for ten minutes to allow for even more steeping. Bring the heat slowly back up and put the yolks in a heat proof bowl whisking in the other half of the sugar and the orange zest. Whisk a cup or so, 1/4 cup at a time, into the eggs. The goal is the raise the heat of the eggs so they won’t curdle when added to cream. Whisk the tempered eggs into the cream mixture. Cook over medium heat until the custard begins to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour into a large bowl, cover and chill for a long time–3 hours at least. Then process according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions. Please note that this makes slightly less than 2 quarts of ice cream, so you might need to process the ice cream in two batches. Remove from ice cream maker and freeze for as long as you can wait. Three hours is good, but this ice cream is at it’s best once it has cured for a few days. Crank the Curious Digit and serve with a twist of orange peel and a dash of fresh pepper.