I’ve had soup on my mind for a while. A few weeks back, I made and froze a batch of rich vegetable stock (made with the first yellow onions of the season from our CSA). Since then, I’ve been plotting. Though hot soups aren’t typical summer fare, there are plenty of great soup ingredients out there right now – young fennel bulbs, leeks, potatoes – and so I’ve abandoned tradition. To give things a more summery feel than a typical potato-leek soup, I’ve tweaked my standard recipe and riced the potatoes for a silky texture, added sliced fennel bulb and a big squeeze of lemon, and used milk instead of cream. Leek-y, light, and lemony, this soup’s good enough to make August soup lovers out of us all. [Read more…]
A weekly summer produce guide to what’s in season right now based on the contents of our CSA share, with CSA and farmer’s market recipes and inspiration.
There’s summer produce and there’s SUMMER PRODUCE! and with the arrival of summer squash, green beans, and cucumbers at this week’s CSA pick-up, we are fully in SUMMER PRODUCE! territory, where we will remain until some time in early September when we start taking tomatoes for granted and dreaming of pumpkins. In addition to the exciting newcomers, cabbage and beets came in our share this week, as well as some more spring onions, potatoes and carrots. And leafy greens are still holing on – we’ve been eating our way through the collards and kale from our garden to clear some space for our tomatoes, peppers, and watermelon to thrive. It all amounts to a true bounty. Five weeks in, and we have all the ingredients we need to make awesome summer meals. [Read more…]
Generally speaking, I hold a winter without snow in very low esteem. Still, when temperatures hit the sixty degree mark this weekend, we surrendered to nature and decided to grill. Likewise, I typically frown on early chives or premature forsythia blossoms, but decided to embrace things and reserved a spindly bunch of early chives for the weekend’s cooking projects.
Brian likes to take a book outside and watch the grill while it gets going. Then at some point, I’ll set the girls up with an activity (just kidding – it’s tv) and sneak outside. If there’s bourbon, we drink some. We dodge the smoke and talk. The girls usually make their way out too. And for just a while, we all hang out before things descend into the usual pre-dinner chaos. [Read more…]
Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, for whom potage Parmentier and a host of other potato dishes are named, is the rare agronomist whose life makes for an interesting read (George Washington Carver is another and after that I’ve got nothing.) While we now think of the potato as central to European peasant cuisine, that wasn’t the case in Parmentier’s time, prior to the French Revolution. An import from South America where it was a staple for the Indians of the Andes, the potato hadn’t caught on as human food in Europe and was thought to only to be edible only for animals. [Read more…]
This post is sponsored by Klondike Brand Potatoes. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Brooklyn Supper possible!
Let’s get this out of the way for the vocabulary sticklers, this isn’t exactly what the Accademia della Crusca would define as a “frittata” because it’s an egg dish prepared over potatoes, which are not a frittata ingredient. Many of you are probably taking off your glasses and saying, “it sounds more like a tortilla de patatas to me,” but we included vegetables in the eggs which is not traditional in the Spanish dish. In the end, we went with “frittata” because in the US, “tortilla” usually refers to the thing on the outside of a taco, so it’s confusing to talk about the other kind. [Read more…]
Blue crabs are serious business in Virginia. I spent my high school years in Spotsylvania County, which is not on the Chesapeake, but is close enough to boast a few crab shacks and quite a few roadside vendors who do a brisk business. So, while I’ve eaten plenty of crabs, mostly steamed, it’s mainly been as a guest rather than a host. When we decided to make crabs for Elizabeth’s birthday party, I was simultaneously excited about taking on something new and a little gun-shy, haunted by the memory of a Lobster that Would Not Die a few summers ago. But, since all household tasks involving killing creatures larger than flies fall within my purview, I took a drink and got to work. [Read more…]
We got some sad news this week and that’s why things have been quieter than usual around here. I wasn’t planning to post at all this week, but last night, this simple potato salad was so easy and comforting, I felt like the right thing to share, even with a heavy heart. [Read more…]
The fact is, I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day. When I was single and living in Boston, one Valentine’s Day I stopped by the market to get a half pound of fish. The guys at the counter were like, “A half pound? Eating alone? (Awww, she’s eating alone.)” But really I didn’t mind. Even now, I think of it more as the fourth anniversary of our building’s basement catching fire. So, though Brian and I are definitely meant for each other, and I count myself lucky for finding such a great man, neither of us is particularly keen on the trappings of Valentine’s Day. We’re not that big on soul mates, chocolate, crafting, or candles. [Read more…]
Around here, potato salad has gotten short shrift. Always thrown onto a menu as a late addition, and made in a hurry. But yesterday I had a revelation – I love this stuff. Made right, potato salad can be crisp, bright, and modern. My take has tons of lemon and parsley, as well as capers, though I think the real secret is perfectly cooked potatoes. You want them just tender, but not overcooked in the least, so keep a close eye as you boil them. For our simple and classic potato salad recipe, head over to Babble Food.
One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to really improve my seafood skills. It has been less successful than my resolution to address every rate verifiacation query at work as soon as the request is entered into the database. I’ve been doing a good job with that and it really makes them easier to deal with when you don’t them pile up. But you know all about rate verification requests, so I won’t bore you with that. With seafood, though, I just can’t bring myself to put in the time and effort to master cooking a delicate fish so it’s not falling apart.
Fortunately, grilled clams, which we had on Saturday, require almost no time and effort. They fall between Chef Boyardee Ravioli and ramen noodles on the list of difficult dinners to make. Here’s the recipe:
2 dozen or so clams
Scrub off the clams. Light the grill and let it get hot.
Melt some butter.
Dump the clams on the grill, pull each clam when it opens. Eat them and note that they are incredible.
With the clams we had foil pack potatoes. We used to make these in Boy Scouts with a big wad of ground beef in there, too, but we would cook them in the campfire embers. It works fine on the grill without the wad of meat (Which is probably advisable. I don’t have any specific memories, but I would imagine that the meat gets pretty well done by the time the potatoes are cooked.) Here’s how you do it:
– Slice up some potatoes and chop an onion. Lay them on a sheet of foil.
– Put a few pats of butter and some salt and pepper on the potatoes and onions.
– Take another sheet of foil and put it on top.
– Roll up the edges of the two sheets of foil, so you have a pretty airtight package.
– Lay the pack on the grill, not over totally hot coals (even though that’s what I did in the picture and it turned out fine, just a little crispy on the bottom).
– It’s done in about 20 minutes.
– Then your dad tells a ghost story about this guy who lived right near here a hundred years ago. He didn’t have a foot, so he had one carved out of wood, but it would wear out too fast, so he had one carved out of stone instead. Everybody made fun of him for his stone foot, so he went crazy and killed people by kicking them with his stone foot (I think.). He was put to death, but if you listen closely, you can still hear him dragging his stone foot.
Elizabeth made a green bean and tomato salad. I was busy with the grill, so I don’t know what all went into it, but it was really tasty. I didn’t have high hopes for the green beans because they’d been kind of forgotten in the fridge for a while, but they were crisp and green and fresh. The tomatoes were from our garden which always fills me with a sense of pride even though my personal contribution to the garden is pretty negligible and consists mainly of hooking the hose up to the sink, turning it on and passing it to Elizabeth.
Also, I should mention that this week has been grill week and we are grilling every night until we run out of stuff to grill. So now you have something to look forward to in life.