My kids have been stuck at home since mid-March. Our summer garden was overrun with fresh cucumbers. The world was on fire. Nothing to do but make pickles. Continue Reading…
In my experience growing up, carrots were served two ways: raw, sliced and served on a green salad, or cut into chunks and boiled to hospital food mush. I loved the former, but despised the latter, and so for years, I figured all forms of cooked carrots were, well, just gross.
Then along came roasting, or at least along came my discovery of it. Roasting any vegetable is one of the greatest ways to bring out its earthy sweetness, but roasting carrots is especially effective. Carrots go from being a pleasantly flavorful raw snack, to being a deeply sweet and elegant veggie side dish.
There is, however, a trick to getting roasted carrots right.
I thought I’d squeeze in one more hot soup blog before the weather gets toasty and our thoughts turn elsewhere.
Lately, I’ve been making a big pot of vegetable soup on the weekends, starting with homemade beef stock. I went through a phase when I bought beef stock from the store – there are so many good quality ones these days, and it definitely saves time – but honestly, nothing compares to the real thing. And last year, I got inspired to return to homemade stock after we did a fun 225 Magazine story on great local soups. I had the best time picking the brains of local chefs on what makes their signature soups so delicious. Some soups were cream-based, and their success turned on straightforward decadence. But others, like Dang’s pho, MJ’s Café’s black bean and Galatoire’s Bistro’s turtle, were soups that rose and fell on house-made stocks. No surprise, they were tended for many hours at a time.
Chef Kelley McCann at Galatoire’s Bistro told me about roasting a medley of veal bones, including lots of gelatinous joints, before simmering them for hours in order to make a super rich reduction for the restaurant’s signature turtle soup. Even Maureen Joyce’s vegetable stock, used in her black bean soup at MJ’s, called for overnight slow-roasting of multiple root vegetables. Soup seems so simple, but a really good soup requires some behind-the-scenes work.
I’m not sure I have that much time to devote, but I can certainly muster a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon while I’m hanging out with my family and doing loads (…and loads…) of laundry.
So, the question is, which bones are best for creating a stock that makes your soup sing?
My friend Elena once set a clear and simple personal goal: eat a salad everyday. The resolution was straightforward and easy to measure, exactly as a doable goal should be. Elena’s idea was that by committing to a daily dose of green, she was assured of a healthy injection — no matter what the rest of the day brought.
I love salads – and I love this idea. It checks so many boxes. Salads are affordable and generally good for you. You can change them up daily, creating something substantial and rich in protein, or something light and refreshing. They’re seasonal, portable and naturally stress-reducing. All that crunching takes your mind off life’s realities.
This week, I’ve got three comforting and filling salads that will start your new year off right. Enjoy.
Of all the one-pot dishes you might make this holiday season, I’ll argue that a big ol’ batch of chili is the easiest. There’s no roux involved. It doesn’t require sourcing or cleaning seafood. It’s fun to serve with a topping bar. And it’s universally beloved by kids and adults.
Chili is so fast and easy that sometimes I make it too much, so I’ve been working on keeping it interesting.
Here are five ways to enliven your chili habit as you head into frenzied holiday entertaining. Enjoy.
For the record, I’m a big fan of the mini-marshmallow.
One of my greatest food memories is cozying up to a marshmallow-y fruit salad — classic Southern ambrosia – that someone brought to my maternal grandfather’s after funeral gathering. I’ll never forget the way the baby marshmallows melted into the citrus juice, creating creamy goodness and a perfect comforting texture. I couldn’t stop eating it. Years later, I similarly fell in love with something called Green Stuff, a congealed cottage cheese and marshmallow fruit salad made by an old boyfriend’s mother and always served at his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Yum. I love a bowl of trashy.
But as much as I savor marshmallows, and as much as I bow down to tradition, this year, I wanted an all-natural version of the classic holiday side….