For all of you out there with cold feet, throbbing headaches, and damp socks.
For those who trudged through 1 ½ feet of sleet water to cross the street over and over again.
For those who shoveled for hours even after the snow turned to rain and then to solid ice.
For those who got stuck on the train in a tunnel for a half hour and then missed your meeting.
For those who forgot to eat lunch and took it out on everyone during the slow bus ride home.
For those of you trapped at home with no power.
For the cabs with spinning wheels and no traction.
For those with 3 pairs of soaked “waterproof” boots.
Although New England Clam Chowder (the white creamy version) is probably more popular, Manhattan Clam chowder is equally delicious. More like an Italian soup, this tomato based clam chowder makes a great winter dish.
Traditional recipes often require cooking fresh clams and using the cooking broth in the chowder (which is fine if you have the time) but I find that using canned clams and bottled clam juice makes this recipe more manageable, without sacrificing taste or quality.
Bal Harbor clam juice is available in most grocery stores and has great flavor. It’s made from steaming whole, premium clams and is triple-filtered. This soup will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days, and the flavors continue to meld. Reheat over a low heat, and make sure not to boil the chowder, which can toughen the clams.
Seriously folks what is with all the bad weather in the U.S.? When I'm tooling around on Facebook I feel like I've been living everyone's bad weather, including my own. So much snow everywhere. Let's hope Spring comes a little early this year. All these gloomy days means the slow cooker has been earning its keep. This Pulled Pork Chile Verde has been something I've been working on. But today it was perfect and that's why I'm sharing it with you.
My goals for this recipe were straightforward. I wanted a dish that makes enough food for several meals, reheats well, lower in calories and a version even picky eater kids would eat and love. All were accomplished!
In regards to meal times, my older son is easier to please than my younger one. Let's just say I have a real critic when it comes to what he wants to or will eat. But he loved this. I purposefully made it mild enough so the kids would enjoy it. You can do the same and add hot sauce to get the heat you prefer or use a spicier sauce to begin with.
It happens every Sunday. Clamoring crowds jostle for space around the popular tables at the farmers’ market to check out the hip Meyer lemons, the chic wild arugula, and the sexy red strawberries (yes, we really did have fresh strawberries this past week).
Not so at the cruciferous vegetables table. There lie the Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower (of which only the funky Romanesco variety is getting any attention). These uncomely vegetables patiently wait for someone to come by and check them out. It is a long wait.
This past Sunday the Brussels sprouts were carelessly dumped in a lop-sided pile, causing stray runaway sprouts to keep rolling off the table's edge and onto the concrete. Inspired by Molly’s witty post at Orangette, I thought I would take on a challenge. A makeover for three undatable vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. The make-up? Breadcrumbs.
Cornmeal is a staple foodstuff in the cuisines of many cultures throughout the world, cooked in nearly similar ways. It can be found in South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the South where it is known as grits. Cornmeal is made from the grinding of dried corn kernels that have had the husk and germ removed, which gives it greater shelf life.
Polenta, as cornmeal is known in Italy, came to popularity in Roman times when it was eaten as a basic porridge. Its origins as a peasant dish have now been displaced by its availability in high-end restaurants. It is very versatile and can be served alongside a variety of other foods, such as meats, stews, sauces, and fish.
With a nod toward tradition, in this recipe I serve the polenta with a mushroom ragù, a combination of two different varieties of mushrooms, oyster and cremini, sautéed and then simmered with mushroom broth from dried porcinis. But any available mushrooms can be used for this recipe.
I have gone on and on here about how much I love mashed potatoes (one of my fave recipes). Who doesn't really? However, I do consider them "special occasion" food with their copious amounts of butter, cheese and cream.
The rest of the time I often just puree cauliflower for a "faux" mashed potato fix and don't add much of anything, it doesn't need it. Kind of like this Winter Root Vegetable Puree, it has so much flavor from the veggies themselves. I love, love root veggies more than one can imagine, I'm not even sure where it came from. I didn't grow up eating this stuff. But geez it's such a yummy, low-calorie way to enjoy what your brain thinks is mashed potatoes. It totally satisfies my urge for that starch side dish.
One of the root vegetables I used was celery root. Have you ever used it or seen one? They are pretty ugly and look challenging to cut..but they're not. They peel easily with a knife and are available at almost every market. Try adding it to soup, it's delicious.
Kale is in season right now with the common curly kind leading the pack. But there's also a darker, more unique variety that hails from Italy. Tuscan kale is darker in color, more delicate in flavor, and tender to eat. It's especially great in salads and it holds up to many bold flavors. If you're craving a salad this winter, Tuscan kale should be your green of choice.
Most people only think of kale as a cooked vegetable, but kale is great raw. Not only do you benefit from all its vitamins when it's raw, you also get a great texture and fresh taste. It's great as a slaw, or as an appetizer or main course salad. For this hearty recipe, I combine kale with sautéed mushrooms, croutons, and a richly flavored brown butter vinaigrette. I top it off with Parmesan and a poached egg. Serve it for lunch or a light dinner with a glass of wine.
Now that the holiday feeding frenzy is over (well, sort of) we are left with hunks and wedges of cheese and packages of smoked salmon. I swear my cheese drawer looks like a graveyard of half eaten-half scooped items. But there is no reason to let them go to waste and they are easily re-purposed into something amazing.
We were lucky enough to have smoked salmon around this holiday season. But don't worry, this recipe would work well with any leftover salmon or fish you have now or throughout the year.
I shredded up some wedges of cheese, about 3-1/2 to 4 cups total. I used Parmesan, Dubliner, Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack and I had about 1-1/4 pounds of leftover smoked salmon.
To make things even easier, I used a can of Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Three Cheese Cooking Sauce as part of the base for my sauce. Have you tried these yet? They are so great to have in the pantry when you are needing a quick meal.
I love soups, stews, chilies – one pot wonders that will fill you up and feed you for days! Often when I’ve been writing about food, having a food photoshoot for a book or magazine or discussing menus with clients, the last thing I want to do is go home and cook. Yet, cooking is my therapy too – being a foodie is a tangled web indeed.
My chicken noodle soup is simple. I think it is delicious (toot toot goes my own horn) and it cooks up fast and will feed pharaoh’s army – a highly desirable trait for a dish in my family! I also like that this recipe is basic enough to appeal to year round flavors. Of course, during the winter, I crave this warm soup with some leafy kale and carrots, but I’ve found that basil or lemon thyme are delightful additions in the summertime as are sage and rosemary in the fall and chervil in the spring.
You usually see this around Thanksgiving – it makes a great first course – but it’s also perfect on a cold winter day. I think the most impressed I’ve ever been with this soup was the first time I had it at Spago’s in Beverly Hills. Wolfgang Puck serves his signature soup with a cranberry relish and cardamom infused cream.
I love the taste of cardamom – though a little goes a long way – it definitely adds a new dimension to both sweet and savory dishes. When I make this at home, I skip the relish and cream, but I do garnish the soup with sugar-spiced croutons – a worthy substitution!
Spago’s recipe also uses baked squash that is then pureed, but I opted for the method in Cook’s Illustrated which uses the seeds and fibers to build flavor, then steams the squash in a flavorful liquid.