Last week, I decided to proffer a farewell to winter and welcome in spring with a classic beef stew. Although my original choice for a recipe, one from Sally Schmitt’s Six California Kitchens, appealed to me for its simplicity, on second look, its lack of a thickener for a gravy and its relatively quick time for cooking the vegetables (15 minutes on high) after simmering the meat on the stove for two hours gave me some pause. Eventually, a search through my bookshelves led me to a similar recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook that addressed my concerns with the first and required only a little more effort. That it called for oven rather than stove-top cooking made it even more attractive.Read more
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
After last week’s disappointment with my venture into “retro American,” a plethora of chicken drumsticks found in the freezer along with another retro recipe, this one from the New York Times “Cooking” website, led me to attempt another American dish from 30 years ago: “Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.” It’s an adaptation by Marion Burros from Jane and Michael Stern’s 1991 cookbook American Gourmet.
Reading John Birdsall’s hefty biography of James Beard, The Man Who Ate Too Much, motivated me to go through some of Beard’s cookbooks. He was prolific author and definitely earned his place among those cooks who influenced American cuisine by emphasizing seasonality, using local ingredients, and eschewing the mid-century elitism epitomized in Gourmet Magazine and its Francophile editors.
Herbed Baked Chicken
Back in graduate school, when my friends and I began to set up our new apartments and started to entertain and have one another over to dinner, one friend in particular stood out from the rest. She had a certain sense of style. I used to describe her as being “VSFA,” or as the store’s advertising campaign would add “Very Saks Fifth Avenue.”
Pork Roast Stuffed with Apples and Onions
Sometimes a recipe doesn’t turn out the way you hope. Such was the case this weekend when, inspired by a post by friend and expert food writer, Diane Darrow, about a stuffed pork-shoulder roast, I set out to make one. That our local Whole Foods was having a sale on pork butt motivated me even more to attempt to replicate Diane’s success. Attributing her recipe to one in an old issue of “Saveur,” she provided an illustrated account of her adaptation of the recipe capped with a photo of the finished roast. It looked so good.