In preparation for the annual mad-frenzy of BBQ enthusiasm that is Labor Day, the folks at Serious Eats put together a quick “meat quiz” to gauge grilling prowess. You’ll never believe it, but I scored 80%. (The average when I took it was 60.) I know. An amazing score for a vegetarian! Read More
A few weeks ago, I noticed on my geek holidays calendar Tolkien Reading Day is tomorrow. Only after learning about the origins of Tolkien Reading Day did I realize how truly geeky my geek holidays calendar really is. None the less, I figured if there is any way to celebrate this sham of a holiday it would be by serving a meal a hobbit would adore.
Of course, with hobbits, the question is which meal. (If this isn’t your first Tolkien Reading Day celebration you undoubtedly already know that hobbits eat at least seven meals a day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and (later in the evening) supper. You might also know that if you’ve recently looked up hobbits on Wikipedia.) Read More
In 2004, Food and Wine published an article about superstar chef Mario Batali’s kitchen reno. Of course, I love a good home make over, but what I loved even more was the very soft polenta with rock shrimp ragout recipe published alongside descriptions of Batali’s fridge placement and countertop choices. The rock shrimp are lovely, but the true appeal of this dish is definitely the polenta. Here’s how F&W sums it up:
This is Batali’s variation on a classic dish from the coastal villages outside of Trieste, where the fresh seafood is among the most prized in the world. The polenta that accompanies the shrimp must be very soft, almost saucelike. “Thick, lumpy polenta is criminal in that part of Italy, and justly so,” Batali says.
Truthfully, I imagine poorly prepared polenta is nearly criminal anywhere, but especially in Italy. Sure, we most often think of pasta and pizza when we think of the small boot-shaped nation, but “Italian grits” have a prominent role in Italian cooking throughout the country. The medium to coarsely ground cornmeal has its roots in the region long before Italy was united. Read More
After undergoing phase two of what will hopefully be my only root canal ever, I wanted something comforting, delicious and easy to chew for dinner. And, as you can imagine, after such a long day, it wouldn’t hurt if that something was simple to make. Enter mujadarrah.
If you aren’t familiar with this middle eastern staple, I urge you to get to know it. It is, at its core, a very simple dish: lentils, rice and onions. Of course, with this said, there are endless variations. Brown mujadarrah is made with green lentils, yellow with red lentils. Some recipes call for more or less olive oil than others. Some for cumin. Some for more salt. (Never for less salt; it’s amazing how the lentils and rice can just suck it up.) Read More