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TheExperimentalGourmand

My blog is a way for me to share my recipes and culinary experiences with friends and family. Having lived in London, Bologna, Strasbourg, Washington, and now New York, my files are full of great ideas for wonderful dishes to make.

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: Moving On From Smorgasburg

@chris - Thanks for these great articles about S&Z and its time at Smorgasburg.

Thanks, too, to everyone who has come out to support us and to eat our food! It's been wonderful to meet everyone, and your smiles and thumbs up when you enjoyed what we made for you made the experience really worthwhile.

It was also fantastic to vend alongside some terrific food folks who work their hearts out each week at the market. Now, I'll actually get to eat some of those other things that have been on my list to try this season!

Kathy (Noah's sous chef)

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: Opening Day on 1 Hour of Sleep

Just to clarify, I'm not yet a grad of the ICC (formerly FCI). My final exam is this Wednesday.

Our second Saturday at Smorgasburg went really well, and we sold out of the Kugel Double-down a few hours before the market was even over! Thanks so much to everyone who came out and supported us!!!

Cook the Book: 'The River Cottage Fish Book'

In a white wine and butter sauce. So simple and works for most kinds of fish!

Goodbye, Dumpling

So, so sorry to hear about this! Dumpling was the greatest mascot and, as you always wrote, a wonderful friend.

Food Artisans: SchoolHouse Kitchen

These are some of my favorite products! They are so wonderful to cook with or to slather on great bread to make sandwiches. Can't wait to see them again at New Amsterdam.

Sauced: Horseradish Cream Sauce

One of my all-time favorite sauces to dress up a roast beef sandwich!

Do You Remember Hojo's?

I'm also in with the fried clams memories. I think it might have been one of the first restaurants that my folks to our large clan to when we were kids, at least that's how I remember it.

Fast Food Chains in London That Should Be in America

I'm still hoping a Wagamama will open in NYC. I could go for Costa or Nero, too. I've heard good things about Nandos, but I've never tried them. If something similar to GAILS (mini-chain of artisan bread shops and cafes) could open, that would be great.

Weekend Giveaway: 'My Father's Daughter'

George Clooney - could be recipes from the South of the U.S. and the north of Italy. What a great combo that would be!

Taste Test: Local New York Milk

I'm a big Ronnybrook fan, as well, so I'm glad to see them come out on top. Their coffee milk is completely addictive, too!

When I leave NYC, my kitchen will have ...

I'm in the window category, too! Ah, to have better ventilation to make fish dishes and also to clear out the smoke so that I can cook on really high heat. It would also be nice to have more storage so that I don't have to store kitchen equipment in the bakers rack which is in the living room.

Cook the Book: 'Plenty'

I ate lunch at his Notting Hill branch when I was in London last month. Delicious and gorgeous food that was well-prepared and flavorful. I looked at bringing this book back with me, but didn't have room in my suitcase. I'm glad it's now available here. There were so many recipes I was thinking of trying.

The Food Lab: Homemade Tater Tots, Sweet Potater Tots, Twice Baked Potater Tots, And More!

Maybe this is dating me, but didn't Ore-Ida make a bacon (or ham) and cheese version of Tater Tots? Maybe it went the way of Grape Tang...

Love this! Made me want to make a batch tonight. Whenever we had them on the breakfast buffet at work, I used to scoop up some to eat back at my desk.

Spice Hunting: Old Bay

Mmmmm...Mermaid Inn uses Old Bay on its French Fries. Love them! Great on chicken tenders as well. The Washington Post has a good recipe for them from a few years back. My mom had in her recipe file.

When I realized I couldn't get it up here in NY, I bought a really big can of in when I headed south to the DC area for our family's annual crabfest one year. Of course, I don't see a mention of that special "Old Bay Sting" that happens during a crab feast when you've nicked yourself and don't realize it until the Old Bay spices hit the cut.

Does This Food-By-State Map Look Accurate?

Virginia is Ham, yes, but it is also Peanuts, so not sure how I feel about that being left out. Also, we have great apples, but I guess a few other states have those as well.

Meet & Eat: Julian Plyter & Kareem Hamady, Melt Bakery

These guys are great! Love their products. I've been hooked on them since the first bit of their Molasses Cookies with Pumpkin Pie ice cream at Hester Street. The Morticia is great, too, and a chocolate-lover's dream.

Meet and Eat: Rick Field, Rick's Picks

Can't wait to try the Classic Sours! I gifted People's Pickles and Mean Beans this year for Christmas.

Risotto - How do you cook your risotto?

I prefer the old-fashioned Italian way as well, too, but maybe because that's the way I learned to make it living in Bologna. I've used both carnaroli and arborio rice and don't really have a strong preference either way, as long as it is a good quality rice and not old. I often use a butter/oil combo to toast the risotto, which is probably, again, a preference built in from my time living and cooking in Northern Italy.

Chocolates for New Year's Resolution Makers and Breakers

I'll third the Fine & Raw chocolate rec. I gifted some of their two-piece bonbon this year and it was a hit.

Equipment: The 7 Most Essential Pots and Pans

Great list! We have an amazingly well-seasoned cast iron skillet that I think belonged to my grandmother or great-grandmother. When we close my parents' house eventually, I predict we'll have to arrange a custody-sharing arrangement for it. All of us learned to cook eggs and pancakes on it.

What are your food-related New Years resolutions?

Eat more great local food products! There's so much delicious stuff being made in the New York City area. Also, to create recipes that use up all the stuff in my cabinets and freezer. Dare I say, I'm also rolling over the resolution from past years to get my recipe clippings file under control [sigh].

Cookbooks you love ...but don't use?

I'm going to sound like a heretic, I know, but several years ago, I did a massive cull of my cookbooks (and books in general). I got rid of about 3/4-2/3 of them, and only three new ones have entered my library since, both of them gifts. It's not that I don't love cookbooks, but I didn't have the space for all of them and wasn't cooking from them.

I almost never cook from any of the remaining ones, but instead use them as references for when I'm trying to come up with a recipe. Truthfully, and in talking to other folks, I'm finding this to be a trend among folks who cook, I turn to the internet, find a few things that kind of sort of sound like what I want, and then go and make up my own recipe for the dish I'm planning to make. Some of the blogs have great recipes that are now in my collection.

Santa is the Best! What was under your tree?

A gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma and a huge bag of Cadbury candy via the Kraft company store. I forgot how much I love the caramel-chocolate CurlyWurly.

Ahhh! So much leftover ham!

I second the soups suggestions. Use it to flavor a batch of lentils (or other beans). Ham and leek gratin (or ham and fennel gratin) are both other ideas. My mom used to make a ham salad out of our leftover ham. I think it had something like lots of mayo and pickles and/or relish in it. I thought it was gross, but nothing went to waste that way. The ham bone went into split pea soup or lentil stew.

Aprons: yea or nay?

Definitely, Yea! Especially when baking, working with chocolate, frying or even cleaning up. Nothing like being in a rush and staining the clothes you were planning to wear out the door b/c you didn't take the time to put on an apron. I have a great Emma Bridgewater one with all sorts of veggies on it.

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