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Celery root – or celeriac, if you want to be all proper about it – is no beauty! But at this time of year, it’s a root worth digging deep for – all buttery, earthy taste and satin texture.
I had a rumpus of a time writing this story! – except for one part: standing on the freezing porch trying to take a glamorous photograph of rapidly cooling lentils. Yeah, that part.
Recipes from Gourmet Today and Plenty are featured in this story. You can read more about those books – and over 250+ cookbooks worth giving this holiday! – on my cookbook-rating app, CookShelf. Available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices and updated regularly.
And…one more story today, though it ran a bit late on the NPR site.
I love a roast in the fall, and one of the things I love best is when there’s fruit – dried or fresh – in the roast, lending a syrupy, caramelized finish to everything it touches.
Click here to read Roasting with fruit story at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
Browse all my Kitchen Window stories for NPR.
August means tomato heaven, out there on the farmstands, in the gardens, and at your local farmers’ market. And because it’s finally cooling down, you might not even mind turning on the oven to roast a few. Here’s how–trust me, it’s worth it.
Click here to read Roasted Tomatoes: The Perfect Accessory for Summer Dishes at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
It’s been a very busy few weeks, but I’ll be back with more cookbook reviews, CookShelf app updates, as soon as the kids are back to school (1 down, 1 to go)!
Browse all my Kitchen Window stories for NPR.
Possibly the only thing better than buttermilk alone is buttermilk plus blueberries, and we’ve gotten plenty of those too–bumper crop this year. Ah, buttermilk! Ah, blueberries! Ah, summer!
Click here to read Buttermilk Makes Everything Taste Better at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
The pictured recipe for Buttermilk Ice Cream comes originally from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, the cookbook from the legendary Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco. You can get a full analysis and read a full review of the book on CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app, available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices.
My garden’s a mess this year, due to serious slacking during the endless rains of June. But I still kept a watchful eye on the garlic bed, because I had a deadline and the garlic needed to coöperate.
The garlic was perfectly healthy – vigorous, green, and inarguably well-irrigated. But where were the scapes? “C’mon!” I exhorted. “Let’s get a move on! I’ve got a story to write!”
Scapes are funny. As far as I can tell, they’re not there, and then they’re there. I went out one humid afternoon close to deadline and there they were – dozens and dozens, lining up in scapey curlicues. I marched into the cool house and e-mailed my editor. The deadline, I declared, was safe.
Click here to read Scape Velocity: Green Garlic Takes Flight at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
The splendid recipe for Pork and Garlic Scape Stir-Fry comes from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Every Grain of Rice. You can get a full analysis and read a full review of the book – and even click to buy it – on CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app, available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices.
Actually, it’s not called “Mom’s Secret Stash” – that’s just what I call it. The story has a more NPR-appropriate title: “Try a Do-It-Yourself Mothers’ Day” . The idea here is that sometimes the best person to come up with a delicious treat for Mom on her special day is…Mom. I’m not saying you shouldn’t accept, enjoy, and appreciate the pancakes in bed, the crayon cards, the champagne at brunch – if you are so lucky as to get those. I’m just pointing out that there’s no harm in doing a little bit of the spoiling yourself.
By the way, some of your loved ones will want to get you a cookbook for Mother’s Day. So as to avoid getting stuck with some random grilling book you hate, direct them to CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app, now available for iPhone/iPad or Android devices. On it, you can read about many of the recipes and cookbooks featured in this story, including this incredible matzo candy from Susan Feniger’s Street Food.
“I trace my finger down the ingredients list. Shallots, check. Tomatoes, check. Cinnamon stick, check. And then there it is: Preserved lemon. “Drat!” I think. “Foiled again!”
That’s how this story started – I finally made up my mind to get a clue about preserved lemons, and never again find myself caught without a stash on hand. If you’ve already got preserved lemons on hand, congratulations! Let’s get cooking. And if you haven’t? Well, there couldn’t be a better time to start.
It took me a while to learn to love a lentil, but once I did there was no turning back. The absolute first time I ever cooked lentils was for lentil soup, and I proudly announced my accomplishment to this guy I had a crush on. ”How long did you soak them for?” he inquired. Panic struck. I hadn’t soaked them at all, and I didn’t want to look like a fool. ”Forty-five minutes,” I lied, thinking that sounded plausible.
As it turned out, we were both fools, because lentils don’t need soaking (I don’t know where Crush got the idea they did). Indeed, their blithe disregard for the bath all other dried legumes must endure is part of their charm.
Since those days, I have developed a real affection for the lentil and its homely, honest ways. The notion that anyone would feel a need to lie about lentils seems laughable now, but there you have it. I may not be the only cook who’s had to make her peace with being a fool, but at least I’m a happy and well-fed one.
“I developed a strategy, which was to select the smallest piece I could and swallow it whole, as if it were a particularly large multivitamin, and I a Burmese python.”
That’s how I dealt with Brussels sprouts when I was a young person. If this story sounds familiar, it’s no surprise. Brussels sprouts are among the most energetically reviled members in a generally unpopular family, the Brassicaceae.
Yet now they’re one of my favorites. Many of us have seen the (greenish, cabbagey) light in recent years. I like to think it’s because the recipes have gotten better. A few of the best can be found in my story today.
For those of us lucky enough to have a working stove, some chicken broth on hand, and a couple of eggs, these soups may provide a little comfort without much fuss after storm-drenched days of coping.