Sometimes, in my kitchen, at our friends’ home using their grill, and in the food blogging world, things just don’t go as planned. Recipes go horribly awry; pictures turn out blurry; fluorescent lighting makes food appear greenish, blueish or just plain blah.
Or the incredibly simple but WOW shrimp recipe I’ve loved and made for years – with Beautiful Grill Marks Every Single Time – ends up having Zero Grill Marks, Whatsoever the one time I finally remembered to take photographs.
Thankfully, despite a few snafus during the cooking process, the shrimp still tasted pretty freakin’ great.
Snafus?? Well, let’s just say that, if a man walking around in an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat offers to grill the shrimp you’ve so carefully and beautifully marinated … (more…)
I remember picking radishes out of my mother’s garden as a child. And I’m almost certain that I did not clean them with as much diligence (and an entire bottle of hand soap) as the first baby carrots I ever pulled out of the ground. Rather, I brushed off the dirt with my shirt, twisted off the ugly root, and dove right in. Crunchy and spicy, I enjoyed the radish in its freshest and rawest state without any adornments. But unfortunately, I never thought to approach asparagus in the same way.
Fresh asparagus, as I appreciate it now, signals the decline of thick greens and hearty root vegetables, and ushers in the lighter, more uplifting assortment that spring has to offer. However, in my childhood memories, I recall asparagus as a rather sad, drooping and stringy set of spears that were often overcooked, as that is the easiest and most frequent method of preparing a veggie that barely needs any time to cook. Except for eating it raw. (more…)
Growing up, my mother always made corned beef, cabbage and potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day. I can’t recall eating cabbage any other day in the entire year, but I really looked forward to it each March. This year, I couldn’t quite wait for the holiday to arrive (and I didn’t have any corned beef left over quite yet to make corned beef hash and cheese bread), so I got my cabbage fix in a little early, swapping out traditional potatoes for the lighter, foodier celery root in the process.
If you have not tried celery root (also called celeriac) before, it’s a really strange-looking type of celery that’s grown as a root vegetable. Don’t be intimidated by its furrowed surface, as it actually has a very mild flavor that seems to be a cross between a potato and celery. But unlike its root vegetable brethren, celery root is very light in starch. Give it a try; you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised that this ugly root can taste so light and fresh!
As for cabbage, I know it’s not the most popular leafy green vegetable in the produce section. And if you’ve ever had it cooked to death in a soup or stew, or boiled to death for St. Patrick’s Day, I don’t blame you for hating it. But if you give cabbage another chance, you might find that it can taste positively delightful when cooked properly to an “al dente” texture that retains the slightest bit of crunch. And it’s usually dirt cheap.
The combination of al dente strips of cabbage and tender cubes of celery root creates a surprisingly light and fresh-tasting dish, as contrasted with the heavier boiled cabbage and potato combination. (more…)
Every time we fly to Boston to visit Grams, she treats us to one of her signature dishes. The first time I visited during winter, she made her incredible veal marsala, and since then, I’ve had the pleasure of dining on her Ritz breaded chicken, roasted rack of lamb, another veal dish, and now her brisket. And because I’m still in Newton for a few more days, I decided it’s fitting that I feature one of these dishes.
I chose her roasted rack of lamb because it’s simple and quick but delicious and impressive for a romantic night in or for a dinner party. And because I took pictures of the beautiful rack when I made it before the New Year. And because, in the words of Drake (whose obnoxious song I only heard for the first time a few days ago and which has refused to leave my head ever since) I really think nobody does it better; I love the way she puts it together; oh it’s fancy huh; oh it’s fancy huh.
Side note: I won’t blame you if you go ahead and shoot me now for putting that into your head. (more…)
To turn my ultimate shrimp cocktail from an appetizer into a dinner entree, I whipped up this simple salad. By jazzing up a fresh vinaigrette with some Greek yogurt, I turned it into a creamy yet light and tangy salad dressing that tastes refreshing and pairs well with most seafood. Topped it with some grated Parmesan for a little salty texture, and this salad is good to go.