A blank canvas...
I should start by saying I’m not great with recipes. I’m the kind of home cook that supplements a lack of actual skills with impatience and creativity. As a result, what I eat tends to resemble the same thing all the time (cabbage + flavor + beans, if you were wondering).
Trust me, a diet like that is a call for help. But as luck would had it, I was given a blank recipe book for Christmas…
Now all I have to do is fill it.
Help me out!
If you have any good recipes, fill out the form below and send them my way. The dumber the better with this – whatever you make for yourself when you’re starving and exhausted after a long day is exactly what I’m looking for. Of course, clazzy stuff works too.
While I’m at it, I might as well mention the other dish I stole from Northern Spy Co that fateful day last summer. It was actually served alongside the Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho, and it was equally fantastic. Can you blame me for plagiarizing both? *
What’s in it:
- Sliced peaches
- Slivered almonds
- Dressing: OO, lemon juice, honey, S+P
- Topped with Pecorino
I recently made this salad for a COME ETE! event… it was simple, summery, and pleasantly different. Bonus points if you pretend you came up with it yourself!
*I’m especially off the hook because Nathan Foot, the chef behind Northern Spy, already published the recipe in NYMag. This one looks like it was adapted for fall (with red kale and squash)… interesting idea.
I just realized I referenced Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho in my last post, but never actually wrote about it. It’s not that I’m such a stickler for journalistic integrity (ahem… Corn Futures Part III?), this soup is just too good to keep to myself. I first had it about a year ago with Laura at one of our favorite restaurants, Northern Spy Co., in the East Village. It’s a great farm-to-table spot (the inside actually looks like a chicken coop), and their gazpacho is pretty mind-blowing. Luckily, it’s also pretty easy to copy.
- Half a watermelon
- 1 can of tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 fresh tomato
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 small jalepeno
- 2 limes
- red wine vinegar (about 1/2 cup)
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
To make the soup, chop the cucumber and 1/2 onion in half. Then, put them in a food processor with most of the watermelon, the canned tomatoes, jalapeno, limes, vinegar, and thyme. Blend it all like crazy and then strain it to get out the chunks. To finish, dice the remaining cucumber, onion, watermelon, and fresh tomato and throw it all in the strained soup. Salt, pepper, enjoy.
Whether or not you make the gazpacho this year (the window of summer is quickly closing), I definitely recommending holding on to this recipe. It may be stolen, but it’s still one of my best.
Deeper issues lie within the context of this post. Issues like the criteria for culinary authenticity. Issues like the death of culture at the hands of convenience. Issues like the black magic behind the science of the microwave.
They’ll have to wait, though. The same time crunch that led to that sandwich (which is awesome by the way… microwaving eggs is easy and totally works) is bearing down on this entry. Just take my word for it: with a bowl and some Pam you can have a sandwich-friendly egg patty waiting for you by the time you finish brushing your teeth.
Cheat to win.
1. Put your bread in the toaster.
2. Get a bowl. Spray it.
4. Crack in a couple eggs.
5. Microwave for 2 minutes.
6. Grab ketchup from the fridge. Throw out egg shells.
7. Pop! Beep!
Huge bonus of going to grad school for hospitality: a lot of your classmates know their way around the kitchen. I’m talking professional chefs. Even better, the ones that come from the other side of the planet can make stuff you’ve never even heard of before. As you might guess, being in this kind of environment has led to just one question: how do I convince all these people to cook for me?
The answer has been my favorite part of the year so far: COME ETE. COME ETE (short for the Community Of MMH’ers Experiencing Enlightenment Through Eating) is basically a weekly supper club. Anyone can come, so long as they bring a food or drink that fits with the week’s theme. I got the idea from dinners Laura has been throwing in NYC. The premise is simple – food is best homemade, meals are best enjoyed with friends – and the results speak for themselves.
Jess's beautiful curried corn wontons in coconut broth. Click the image to see more of her photos
To give an example of the caliber of these things, some of the dishes at the “Summertime” supper were Vietnamese fried rice, watermelon gazpacho, corn with cilantro pesto, Shaker lemon pie with homemade olive oil ice cream, and a dessert soup made from Chinese fungus. They’re feasts to the most bizarre degree and I’m unreasonably lucky to be a part of them.
It’s Cinco de Mayo and I miss the cooks at my old restaurant. They may have made Italian food for a living, but when things were slow in the kitchen they could whip up some killer Mexican. Today, in honor of my amigos, lunch was inspired by the tastiest comida they ever made: octopus salad. Continue reading
A visual journey through my recovery menu: