A little bird went to Costco and brought home an incredibly huge bag of baby spinach. What would YOU do with it? Imagine extravagantly!
I've been experimenting with different potato salad recipes. I just made one with blue cheese, celery, scallions, and parsley with a bit too much white wine vinegar. My mom makes one lightly dressed with a French vinaigrette from the Joy of Cooking, tossed with celery and capers. My spouse's favorite involves Japanese msg mayo, shiso leaves, and chopped pickled plums.
How do you prefer your potato salad? Do you like it with vinegar? Mayo? Mustard? What sort of herbs? Do you like it creamy or not, with crunchy bits or not? Cold or warm?
Usually I go for zaru soba above anything else, but lately I've been craving the simple manju. What about you? Do you have a favorite Japanese food?
Have you ever seen someone pull off a jaw-dropping kitchen feat?
During her birthday party, my friend Justine casually tossed together a bunch of ingredients without measuring them, and then put them in the oven without setting a timer. In the middle of unwrapping her presents, she suddenly walked over to the oven and took out a huge load of perfect scone-ish things. They were amazing. I can't imagine how she was able to pull that off!
My neighbor cooks to order from her home kitchen. She hails recently from Mexico and speaks about ten English words total, which means I struggle to communicate with her. So far I've ordered whatever another neighbor from Mexico has suggested but the well's run dry. I've eaten her enchiladas, empanadas, taquitos, and tamales. Everything comes with tomato rice and refried beans. She appears to make mostly working class or home cookin' types of meals. I don't want to ask her to cook something she's unfamiliar with but I'm no expert on Mexican food. There is NO menu. So, any suggestions? What should I order next?
I know many (most?) Serious Eaters revile ersatz meat and dairy products, but I can't shake my inexplicable addiction to vegetarian bacon and also some Tofurky sausages. On camping tricks I've even been known to eat some of those truly un-hot dog-like Smart Life dogs (they're better roasted over the campfire)...and then smack my lips and sigh contentedly. I will even eat these things raw if I am hungry enough.
I won't apologize for loving mock goose at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Massachussetts, but when I lived in Berkeley, California, the Chinese restaurants took vegetarian substitutes to a whole new level. I even tried vegetarian shrimp and EEL. They were gross, to say the least! But I want to give all 5 of those restaurants serious props for trying.
Please share your experiences with vegetarian meats and cheeses. I want to hear it all: good, bad, offensive, and Twilight Zone-ish!
You're going to the movies with your friends or your s.o. Are you going to get food and drinks (or sneak some in under your winter coat?) What food completes the filmic experience for you?
I just like a cold bottle of root beer, myself. But my college friends and I used to sneak ice cream in from the diner in the mall. Those were halcyon days.
I've gotten into a habit of ordering takeout every Friday from my neighbor Laura. She cooks Mexican food out of her kitchen and everything is quite affordable, usually $10 for 6-8 servings of decent homemade food. I always invite my friend over and we have a great time together chatting and not worrying about cooking or clean up. It's a nice way to end the week when you're exhausted and you have to take care of a 1 year old.
So I've been wondering if other people have a regular habit with a local takeout place or two. Tell me all about your takeout rituals. Do you eat it alone, watching TV and drinking liquor? Do you have friends over? Is it always a certain day of the week? What cuisine do you favor? Are you friends with the owners/ chefs? Can you walk there from your house? Tell us about your secret take out life.
I keep reading about people who make their own condiments and keep them "on hand" pretty much all the time. I think I read in a banh mi recipe that Kenji keeps pickled daikon radish and carrot slices in his refrigerator all the time, but it only lasts a week so he must keep making it. I think he also wrote that he keeps pickled onions on hand.
Somebody else wrote that she makes her own garlic hot sauce and always has some around. And then of course many people make their own salad dressings and store those in the fridge.
I don't do this at all! So I'm wondering how many of you make your own condiments so regularly that you have them on hand about once a month at least? Which condiments ? And finally, what are you eating with these condiments?
You are welcome to give us recipes if you feel like sharing. :-)
I'm not going to lie, I just finished a crazy amount of work and, being in excellent spirits, I celebrated with my friends and a homemade pumpkin pie milkshake.
Have you done any celebrating lately, or will you soon? What sort of food makes it festive?
Tell us all about how you eat when you're under unusual stress. Do you eat less? Do you eat more? Do you swerve into junk food or food that Mama used to make? Do you pull out all the stops and cook yourself something super fancy? Is it breakfast for dinner every day?
I tend to refuse to cook, then buy 3 vegetarian burritos from my local taqueria, stash them in the fridge, and slowly chow down on those for 3 days, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After that I drink pureed vegetable soup (preferably tomato or pumpkin or broccoli-and-cheese) in a mug for the next several days. If stress continues after that, I pretty much stop eating and sleeping until I've solved the problem at hand.
I'm currently at the considering-buying-burritos phase.
Yes, I know it's only Tuesday. But come on, guys, make me feel better! The 3 pounds of sauteed turnips with dill, the boiled Rainbow chard with lemon...even the can of Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans that I opened has been better.
Tell me how you've ruined a meal or at least made a mediocre attempt. Perhaps I won't weep myself to sleep.
How does time pass for you while you cook? Are you constantly realizing that you should have added something several minutes ago, or that you should be doing something right now? Is your mind always whirring ahead, thinking to the next few steps? Or are you in a Zen state of total focus on the present, while time flows harmlessly around you?
Do you guys make (and happily scarf down) food you would NEVER offer to company?
My kimchi quesadilla is one such dish. It's stinky, spicy and weird and I love it. Also my vegetarian hot dogs and veg bacon, which I occasionally eat raw--yes, I'm disgusting.
So share, Serious Eaters!
I know it's still mid-March and the snowdrops haven't disappeared yet, but I find myself buying terrible spring and summer produce before the season has really arrived. I bought blueberries! They tasted horrible. Now I'm craving berry fruit parfaits and garden lettuce.
Do you Serious Eaters have spring food cravings already? What are they?
I've been rummaging through Rick Bayless's Mexican Everyday cookbook and found myself inspired after making his spinach enchiladas. Since then I've made a whole container of mushroom-onion-poblano- cheese filling for my tacos, but I just hit on a new favorite: Mexican crema and steamed broccoli. You can stop clapping now, I already know I'm a culinary genius. Now what do you put in your home tacos?
Hey Serious Eaters, my birthday is months away, but I've already started obsessing about the cake because I finally found whole wheat pastry flour, a key and (around these parts) rare ingredient in the vegan chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake I eat every year. This cake is so moist and light that my spouse and I eat it for breakfast the entire week of my birthday. It includes agar agar, arrowroot powder, and kudzu and may I just say it is the best cake in the world. Thank you Voloptuous Vegan Cookbook author, Myra Kornfeld.
When I was a kid, my birthday cake every year was a chocolate cake layered with strawberries and bananas and slathered in a chocolate whipped cream frosting. That was awesome too.
How about you? Do you guys make Serious birthday cake for your birthdays? Buy ice cream cake? Any fond birthday cake memories? Has someone ruined your birthday with bad birthday cake? Let us know all about it.
It's snowing and sleeting in North Carolina and my laundry detergent has frozen. But I've got 12 children descending on my house soon. What are some great hot desserts you enjoy making?
I'm throwing a birthday party for my 1-year old. I want it to be Chinese-food themed because I went into labor with him on the Chinese New Year in a Szechuan restaurant. There will probably be 5 to 7 adults and 10 kids of various ages. I'm vegetarian and Jewish so no pork, etc. Three of the people invited are extremely familiar with Chinese food but the others couldn't tell the difference between Chinese and Vietnamese food. !!!
I have no idea what to do. Suggestions? Recipes? Buying food from a restaurant? A combination? Games? My brain isn't contributing anything. Should I just give up and bake a cake? I can't spend a LOT of time cooking because my son slows me down so much in the kitchen.
Eaters, I have recently come to adore turnips. I cannot get enough of them--they are so juicy, sweet, tender. And I guess it's turnip season right now, so if you have some favorite turnip recipe from your great-great-great grandmother, please pass it on! How do you like to eat or prepare turnips?
My favorite two ways right now are first, to cube and steam the turnips, then saute them with butter, salt, and fresh dill (thanks, Deborah Madison!). Second, I like cubed turnips boiled with turnip greens and then drained and tossed with salt and pepper. The slightly spicy, bitter cooked greens nicely compliment the sweetness of cubed turnip flesh. I highly recommend it!
Pulling all-nighters seems to be the rule rather than the exception lately. I know many people are suffering from deadline syndrome this time of year. How are you stuffing your face at 3 in the morning?
My spouse bought some kind of chocolate on square cookie things with a picture stamped on the chocolate part. Absolutely fabulous. I've also been frying up eggs with scallions.
Is your kitchen dedicated purely to the creation and clean up of food? Or do other things hang out in the kitchen?
My mom keeps a TV in her kitchen and not just for watching cooking shows. She also keeps stationary, the telephone, staplers, and stamps plus two bulletin boards containing loads of random scraps of papers. I think she's got a few photos stashed around as well.
My kitchen, however, is almost pure. Even the calendar in there comes from our take-out place, so that we can look in the fridge, find it bare, and pivot smoothly to the calendar for the tacos-to-go hotline. The only non-food habitants are two philodendrons that I am sure will eventually take over the state of North Carolina if they keep growing at this rate.
Oh how I loathe fruit cake! The one my GIL mails to my MIL every year tastes like plastic. BUT, I am will to convert to the fruit cake lover's side if you provide me with your favorite recipe.
Failing that, do you buy fruitcake and from where? Do you have a sneaky strategy to make fruitcake palatable?
FRUITCAKE 101 is taught by you!
At the farmer's market yesterday I was amazed to find really happy-looking radishes, winter squash, turnips, carrots, collards, kale, beets, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and green onions. There were even some fresh herbs and paprika peppers.
What produce are farmers yanking out of the ground in your neck of the woods?
So which hot drinks do you mull? And which spices do you use?
I mostly mull non-alcoholic cider, and for that I use 2 sticks of cinnamon, a handful of cloves, about 12 gratings of fresh nutmeg, and two pinches of allspice.
I was born in Boston and was raised New York as a kid before going back to live in Boston for another 10 years during and after college. Whenever convenient, I like to consider myself a New Englander. That time is usually in the summer, when the rocky beaches are at their drizzliest and the coastal clam shacks fire up the boilers and fryers.
I still make it a point to make at least one or two New England road trips every summer so that I can get my seafood fix. But even when I can't get up to Yankee-land, I'll do my best to get my fix right at home. You can do it too with these recipes for clam chowder, lobster rolls, blueberry pie, and more.
A creamy chai-flavored custard set in a chocolate crust.
The intoxicating aromas of this Turkish dish of baked stuffed eggplant supposedly caused the Muslim priest for whom it was made to faint.
Tart rhubarb and sweet, red strawberries are the perfect foil for fresh basil in this pretty spring cocktail.
Think of this as a much, much improved version of that bottled Italian dressing sitting in your fridge door.
Eggplants and tomatoes are far from culinary strangers. Whether baked gently in a ratatouille or simmered in a rich pasta sauce a la Norma, these friendly nightshades blend seamlessly in many cuisines. This super garlicky eggplant and tomato dip in Louisa Shafia's cookbook The New Persian Kitchen is no exception. Adding a new layer of complexity, however, is the inclusion of a couple of eggs, which thicken and bulk up what would otherwise be a glorified tomato sauce. The eggs transform the vegetables into a spread equally at home on a crudite platter, in a pita sandwich, or dolloped atop a warm bowl of rice.
Kothimbir wadi or Cilantro/Coriander Fritters are one of the best ways to bring out the real flavours of the herb. It's light, fresh and a wonderfully aromatic dish that's makes a delicious snack.
My neighbor cooks to order from her home kitchen. She hails recently from Mexico and speaks about ten English words total, which means I struggle to communicate with her. So far I've ordered whatever another neighbor from Mexico has suggested...
Until picking up Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new cookbook, New York a la Cart, I didn't know the first thing about making dosas at home. I didn't even know you could make dosas at home. The tangy, ethereally light and crisp oversize Indian pancakes seem like the kind of dish unwise to attempt on a tiny stove, in a tiny kitchen with little practice at spreading gloppy, sticky batter. But with a little practice, dosas pretty darn close to what you'd be served at food cart NY Dosas can be had in your kitchen.
Yuji Haraguchi started Yuji Ramen at Smorgasburg last year, and it's been a hit ever since. He took some time to talk with us about where he shops for ingredients, and where he goes when he wants someone else to do the cooking.
Named after the two little peepholes that resemble reading glasses, La Boulange: Cafe Cooking at Home presents these lunettes, with two kinds of jam sandwiched between buttery cookie squares.
Buttery crepes with sweet cream and fragrant strawberries.
This Vietnamese-inspired rice noodle salad combines cabbage, tofu and peanuts with a hot-sour-salty-sweet dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and sugar.
Soft layers of meringue sprinkled with crunchy almonds and filled with billows of cream and juicy fresh strawberries.
A quick meal of broiled salmon in a tart tomattillo-guajillo chili sauce served with broiled asparagus.
Little pots of satiny molten chocolate are the ultimate chocolate fix in under 30 minutes.
Passover starts at sundown tomorrow. We've rounded up the brisket, matzo brei, Passover-friendly quinoa, and flourless cake recipes—please share your favorite recipes too! Particularly one for homemade gefilte fish...anybody?
Filling potato turnovers that reheat easily.
In these tropical bar cookies, a buttery shortbread base is topped with sweet guava paste, then finished with a lightly crunchy oat topping.
Mussels and shrimp in a curry-scented coconut broth flavored with cilantro and chilies. Dinner for two with one skillet in 25 minutes or less.
Now that my wife has decided to go 100% vegetarian for good, she's had to resign herself to the sad truth: the perfect buffalo wing can never again be hers. In an act of selfless valor, I made it my mission to provide her with a suitable alternative: deep-fried cauliflower.
I don't miss too many foods as a vegan, but... pizza. My first true love. Light of my life and fire of my loins. It will forever rest in that OMG WANT corner. Fortunately, as I found, great pizza is not off-limits to vegans by any means. Here's how to make vegan pizza every bit as satisfying and delicious as a cheese-topped pie.
Guasacaca is the Venezuelan answer to guacamole, but with a brighter, tangier flavor.
This is my favorite dish of all time, in a completely meat-free form. Using dried and fresh mushrooms complexity and texture to the fiery dish, making it every bit as good as—if not better than—the original.