Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Wild About Nettles

Recipe: Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Stinging Nettles

Wild food has a primal call. Catching a fish, digging clams, hunting (I suspect), and even picking a stinging nettle. Okay, there’s no danger involved with nettle gathering – being stung by a nettle is a weird, tingly sensation, but really not painful at all – but it’s still empowering.

So when a friend offered me one last chance to gather nettles this year, I didn’t hesitate, in spite of the persistent rain. (Once the nettles are more than a foot or so high, it’s too late to harvest. Older plants don’t taste great and contain calcium crystals that are hard to digest) Mid-May is really late for gathering nettles, even here in the Northwest. We were lucky to find any.

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Of Granola and Grey Hair

Recipe: Cacao Nib Granola

Granola is a loaded word. Even today, it’s not just about the cereal – it’s about a lifestyle. Especially if you make your own – something I’ve been doing for years.  For a long time I thought it wasn’t really worth blogging about, till I gave some to a friend and she started raving about it.

Eventually every food blogger posts a recipe for granola, anyway, right? Just as it was in the ’60s it’s certainly one of the gateway foods for a do-it-yourself lifestyle.  Ironically, the word granola was once a trademark; a cereal created by Kellogg’s, in the 1880’s, consisting of baked and ground  oats, wheat and cornmeal.

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Indian Carrot Pudding with Raisins and Pistachios

Recipe: Indian Carrot Pudding with Raisins and Pistachios

Confession: I’ve never eaten carrot halwa in India.  Yet it is one of my favorites – and a dessert I’ve been making for nearly two decades.  It’s a good thing I live with someone who knows how it ought to taste and can veto any adaptations that go too far. But I still think it’s safer to call my version carrot pudding.

Indian sweets are a special treat. A few of my favorites include kalakand, laddu, pesta barfi, and peda – we don’t buy them very often, (though there are local sources) and I have yet to attempt to make them. When my Mother-in-law comes to visit with a box or two, we cherish them till every bite is gone.

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Baked Beans: The Next Generation

Recipe: Smokey Sweet Beans and Quick Chicken Sausage

It’s miserable outside; 34°F, snowing, windy and cold.  I was drenched walking the dogs this morning, in spite of all my wet weather gear. I know the snow won’t stick, and I’m grateful for the crocuses, cherry blossoms, extra day light and the early tulips at the farmer’s market. But spring still feels a long way away.

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Potatoes with Tart Lentils, Winter Greens and Controversy

Recipe: Potatoes with Tart Lentils and Winter Greens

My dog Max has a passionate love for seafood; salmon, trout, shrimp, lobster, and especially tuna.  The only time he indulges in countertop surfing is when we have fish on the menu. He once jumped into the back of fisherman’s truck parked on the street. When my cousin Mark made sushi in our kitchen a few years ago, Max was never far from his side.

I’m like that about Indian potato dishes; K.M.’s  black pepper potatoes, and the aloo dom (pressure cooked potatoes in yogurt sauce) I had in Darjeeling more than 10 years ago, and still dream of. The first time I made a successful aloo gobi (check out the video from Bend it Like Beckham), I felt like I had finally achieved novice status in Indian cooking.

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It’s Legit: Satsuma Apple Marmalade

Recipes: Satsuma Apple Marmalade and Dark Chocolate Almond Marmalade Tart

Marmalading: it really is a word. The Oxford English Dictionary says so, citing C.S. Lewis’s diary. Granted, the entry is marked as a rare usage, but still. That’s what I’ve been doing this week – making marmalade.

At first, I was afraid I wasn’t actually making marmalade at all, since my recipe doesn’t involve first boiling orange seeds to release the pectin contained within. Rather, (Satsumas are nearly seedless oranges), I chopped up an apple, tossed it in the pot, and hoped for the best.

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Savoring the sour: Tamarind Tofu Noodles

Recipe: Tamarind Tofu Noodles

Last week it was lemon ice cream –  today it’s tamarind noodles, and Friday a post about a lemon shallot shrimp salad. Maybe it’s a salt hangover from Charcutepalooza. (Have you seen the contest winning post? It’s really something special.) All I know is that I’m all about sour flavors right now.

I love tanginess almost as much as I love the heat of chilies – which probably explains my strong attraction to South Asian food. Sour and hot? Hand it over, now.

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