Food & Wine (December 2014)
Food & Wine (December 2014)
Bon Appétit (November 2014)
Don't make this for Thanksgiving.
Zach & Clay
P.S. As a standalone fruit salad, it's OK, although nothing special. But serve this instead of cranberry sauce and you will be crucified by your guests right there on the Thanksgiving table.
P.P.S. This is incredibly time-consuming and makes a paltry amount -- especially compared to how easy it is to make a more traditional cranberry sauce.
P.P.P.S. The roasting took much longer for us before we ended up with anything remotely "golden" or "crisp." And about a third of the segments were too blackened too use. On top of that, while the roasted citrus looks kind of cool in the bowl (or does it? Does it just look like black bits floating in your relish?), we couldn't discern that it added anything in terms of flavor.
P.P.P.P.S This relish is eye-wateringly tart. Come on, it includes raw lemons.
P.P.P.P.P.S We ate some leftover relish on fish and it was decently good. But we had to mix in some agave to temper the overwhelmingly sour citrus.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. If you're looking for a great cran-sauce alternative, consider this Tart Apple Chutney we made in 2012. We very much liked that as a complement to turkey. But again, we think you'd want to serve that in addition to a cranberry sauce.
Food & Wine (October 2014)
Zach's parents were in town for a visit this past weekend and we had a great time together. We toured a wonderful art museum, had an excellent dinner at Buck's Fishing and Camping to celebrate Zach's mom's birthday, and generally just enjoyed walking around the city on a gorgeous early autumn weekend.
We also cooked at home. We made a not-that-special, help-us-eat-some-of-our-CSA-vegetables dinner when they arrived on Thursday.
But for Saturday night, we wanted to try some new recipes we'd dog-eared in some of our latest food magazines.
We had zeroed in on this Grilled Fig Salad with Spiced Cashews from Food & Wine. The magazine stamped this the "Salad of the Month." We loved the idea of the unusual ingredient combinations, along with other little twists, like using Chinese Five-Spice to flavor the cashews.
But this salad turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Let's talk about how to fix it.
Food Network Magazine (July/August 2014)
Last year, we spent the Fourth of July in Las Vegas with 10 friends for a bachelor party. The year before, the two of us were on the beach in Provincetown, on Cape Cod.
This year we spent the Fourth at home. It was just what we needed. Between work trips, a vacation and visits to see family, the two of us traveled a heckuva lot this spring and early summer. What we wanted and needed most was some downtime at home.
Our Fourth weekend was fantastic in a gloriously low-key way. The weather was insanely nice -- definitely the most pleasant Fourth either of of us can remember. We walked around town, saw some friends, saw D.C.'s beautiful fireworks show, grilled out a couple times, ate an ice cream sandwich, caught a movie (at a pop-up theater!), kayaked on the Potomac, and went to the pool.
And we made this Shrimp and Avocado Salad.
Food & Wine (June 2014)
Pound for pound, we probably eat more broccoli than any other vegetable.
Sure, we're indulging in the great summer produce that's (finally!) showing up -- lush greens, beans, squash. But year-round, broccoli is our go-to. It's tasty, it's packed with fiber and nutrients, and it's easy to prepare and pack for work lunches.
We typically make broccoli one of two ways. Either we'll roast it in the oven tossed with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and red pepper flakes. Or we'll steam it, either on the stovetop or in the microwave. We'll make a big batch at one time, giving us enough broccoli for a few meals.
So we're always on the lookout for good broccoli ideas, which is why we wanted to try this Charred Broccoli and Red Onion Salad.
Recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi
Way back in February, to mark the beginning of the seventh year (!) of The Bitten Word, we did a giveaway for dinner for six at our place. It was the best way we could think to mark our blogiversary. Meeting and hearing from so many of you over all these years has truly been the highlight of writing this blog (yes, it does thrill us, still, when you comment). Inviting a reader and his or her friends over for dinner sounded like a ton of fun.
Longtime reader Margie, who lives out in Virginia, won the random drawing for dinner. It took us a few months to get our schedules worked out, but in mid-May Margie came to dinner with three friends in tow.
We pitched three dinner ideas to Margie in the weeks leading up to the meal:
Margie chose Ottolenghi -- which is what we were secretly rooting for. We have previously made one Ottolenghi dish -- Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango -- and have been eager for an excuse to make more. Plus, one of the guests coming with Margie was vegetarian, and Ottolenghi is a master of vegetable side dishes and vegetarian mains.
In the end, we selected five recipes from the books. We're going to share them all over the next week or so, starting with the first course of our dinner with Margie, Na'ama's Fattoush Salad.
Food & Wine (May 2014)
The other day, we got to chatting with some friends about the first live concert each of us had ever seen. (For Clay: Billy Ray Cyrus. For Zach: R.E.M. God, we just dated ourselves.)
Anyway, the conversation turned to upcoming concerts of throwback bands. One friend said she was about to go see 10,000 Maniacs.
"Oh," we said. "We didn't know Natalie Merchant was touring!"
"She's not," our friend said. "I didn't realize it when I bought to tickets, but, um, it's just the Maniacs."
Just the Maniacs? No offense, but Natalie was the star of the show, the reason to be there. Seeing "the Maniacs" is like seeing just the E Street Band, or just the Blowfish, or just the Pips.
Why are we yammering about frontmen? Because, like a headliner concert band, these Sugar Snap Peas with Mint and Warm Coconut Dressing have a clear star -- and would probably work just as well as a solo act.
Want to guess who's the frontman here?
adapted from Bon Appétit (April 2014)
The April issue of Bon Appétit is all about "cooking like a pro." The issue includes tons of notes from restaurant chefs about how to take your food to the next level. There are lots of chef profiles, restaurant entrees, and tips for cooking restaurant-style food in your own home (apparently we should all be brining our fish).
But is there anything cheffy-er than serving something "three ways"? "Duck Three Ways," or "Mushrooms Three Ways," or "Chocolate Three Ways." One ingredient, three preparations: it's always going to look impressive on a menu.
Serving something "three ways" at home is a way to show your guests that you seriously have your act together. "What, this old salad? Oh, I just threw it together to highlight the bounty of the season. I mean, I guess you could say it's like three dishes in one, and I guess that's super impressive, if you think about it. But it really hadn't even occurred to me. More Sav Blanc?"
Saveur (April 2014)
Does your pantry ever surprise you?
Ours does. We remember fondly the first time, years ago, when we were able to make dinner entirely using foods we already had in our pantry. We were shocked! After years of living in tiny apartments, we'd grown accustomed to buying only the foods we were about to cook. But when we moved in together (and upgraded to a slightly larger kitchen), we started amassing pantry staples and frozen basics until one day -- boom! -- we could make whole meals from our pantry without having to buy a single thing.
Of course, in the six years of writing this blog, our pantry has grown a little ridiculous. We have more exotic spices than we know what to do with (rogan josh, anyone?), and our freezer overfloweth. (Sometimes, things have gotten so crowded that we've had to made a conscious effort to eat only from our cupboards.)
But our pantry can still surprise us. That was the case with these Edamame-Miso Tuna Salad Sandwiches from Saveur. We dog-eared the recipe, and then it dawned on us that even though this was a slightly exotic take on tuna salad, we already had every single ingredient on hand.
And yes, before you say anything, white miso is, in fact, a pantry staple around our house.
Vegetarian Times (October 2013)
If you cook vegetarian dishes long enough, eventually you'll wind up cooking seitan. It's a "high-protein wheat gluten product" that's a staple of meatless meals.
Frankly we've always found it a little, well, gross-looking. (And yes, it's pronounced like the devil.)
But, hey, we're always up for trying something new.
So we decided to try this Red Cabbage Salad with Curried Satan -- sorry, Seitan.