It's been one of those sweltering weeks when even my air-conditioned apartment feels overwhelmingly humid and hot. And when air-conditioning isn't cutting it, there's no way I'm turning on the stove, let alone the oven. But that doesn't mean we can't eat one helluva home-"cooked" meal.
'menu' on Serious Eats
Lent is over, the anniversary of the resurrection is upon us, and it's finally spring! In other words, it's time to celebrate. Whether your family does an Easter lunch, brunch, or dinner, we've got a four-course seasonal menu expressly engineered for maximum satisfaction. I'm talking fresh new spring greens, a choice between some mighty fine looking lamb and ham, and the cheesiest, creamiest potato gratin you ever did see.
For the last 15 years or so, I've been more likely to stuff a suitcase than a turkey come Thanksgiving. But I have a little fantasy about Turkey Day. It involves Bill Withers singing "Just the two of us" on the stereo as a fire crackles in our little fireplace. It involves a really nice bottle of Champagne that doesn't need to be split eight ways. It involves staying home: no planes, no trains, and a meal that's meant for just us. Here's what I'd serve.
When my wife demands food, I've learned through experience that it's a good idea to feed her, lest I want to pay the consequences down the line. So what do you feed a vegetarian with a stuffy nose in the icy cold of winter? Here are some of my favorite dishes.
Apple picking season is here, which for me means that I'll end up with way, way, way more apples than I need because who can resist filling up those bags when you're dragging that wagon around the pick-you-own orchards and you're finally tall enough to reach all the good apples that are above kid-picking level? Here's how to host yourself an all-apple meal.
When trying to decide what to recommend for a good father's day menu, I had trouble narrowing down my options. With my dad, it's easy: fresh seafood, preferably caught by himself. He does the catching, I do the cooking, we all do the eating. Unfortunately, it's not all that useful for me to go and tell you guys unlucky enough to have a non-fisherman as a father to teach him to fish by this weekend so that you can cook up some half-assed menu you found online for his special day.
So rather than press my own ichthyologically-inclined prejudices upon you, I decided instead to take a cue from the Serious Eats team and put together a menu that draws from some of their fathers' favorite dishes. And since its grilling season, I stuck with things that are backyard friendly, along with a couple of easy make-ahead desserts. It's a bit of a hodge podge, but a seriously delicious hodge podge nonetheless.
Last Friday while eating at Grand Sichuan I came across a section of the menu, "PRODIGAL DAUGHTER'S DISHES OF CHINESE EMPEROR," that initially sounded like poorly translated Chinese names, but upon a closer look read more like poetry. That, or potential titles for Múm songs. Are the dishes as exciting as the name? Eh, I would expect more from "WE WOULD BE TWO LOVE-BIRDS FLYING WING TO WING ON HIGH" than "sautéed spicy baby chicken pieces with fresh ginger," but I'll admit that Grand Sichuan makes some awesome chicken dishes....
Ordering a boring burrito at Charlottesville, Virginia's Aqui Es Mexico would be pretty sad considering that its other mouthwatering burrito offerings include beef tongue, fried pork, and lamb, but it's listed on the children's menu mostly to appease picky young eaters. Adults, don't even think about it....
SE's designer Raphaël excitedly brought in a strange Chinese take-out menu to the office this morning. "It's Chinese food...from the future!" After looking over the menu, I'm sad to report that the Chinese take-out food of 2008 is no more advanced than the Chinese take-out food of the present....