It’s been a while since we blogged about a recipe with family history. We’ve been doing quite a bit of commissioned work for Serious Eats, and they’re a professional outfit you know, and you can’t just submit any old tosh on their site (ahem). Their readers are a refined, questing bunch, wanting to get to the nitty gritty of a recipe without having to weed-whack through paragraphs of us arse-ing around talking about our chickens, or what kind of expression our dog is making (bored, if you must know), or that time we tried to juggle seven lemons. As you know, we leave all the old tosh for our own site, so it is with a familiar thud that I dust off the book of Nerds Family History and tell you all about gamush.
Tender, thin-cut pork chops smothered in a rich, savory sauce, with sweet cipollini onions and grapes. This is a dinner party-worthy dish quick enough to whip up after work.
Is it just me or has 2016 been a beast? Maybe it’s only pre-election madness but lately everything seems just a wee bit more stressful than usual. I look around and all signs seem to point to YEP, TIME TO PANIC. Not that I’m turning into a crazy survivalist or anything (surreptitiously steps in front of industrial-sized case of organic ketchup). What? That was on sale at Costco.
Now that I think about it, if the apocalypse really is coming I want to have lots of condiments on hand to mask the flavor of boiled weeds and roadkill. I’d probably be the Walking Dead zombie that sprinkles fancy salt and a splash of vinegar on my victims before I chew their faces off. There’s really no excuse for bland brains, m’right?
Okay, I seem to have strayed raaaaather far off topic. What I mean to say is, even during stressful times, nay, especially during stressful times, it’s important to take an hour out every once in a while and make a nice dinner.
Chili sweet potatoes are our go-to for a rainy fall weekend – we give you a few meat and meat-free options, but they’re all tasty.
I’m a film editor and several times over the span of my career, I’ve thought about moving from New York City where I was born, to Los Angeles. Many of my friends and colleagues have done it, and most of them love it there.
It’s so beautiful, they say. True, I’ve been and it’s very pretty. There’s a lot more work and for the price of a Brooklyn studio, you can buy a three bedroom house with an avocado tree in the back! All true and, yes, this makes me jealous. And the best part? It’s warm all the time and it never rains! Aaaaaand you’ve lost me.
For me, one of the great joys of life is feeling the crisp, cool air of Fall. When the weather turns it feels like a shock, every time. Even better if that cool air comes with a blustery rain storm. The type of weather that practically forces you to cook something warm and comforting. To stay home and watch movies or play video games all day. (Nerd note: Matt and I are re-playing “The Last of Us” and, oh my god, it’s so good).
When I heard it was going to turn cold and rainy last weekend, I knew right away what I wanted to make; spicy chili with all sorts of yummy toppings stuffed inside a baked sweet potato.
Grilled steak ramped up with a tangy, creamy blue cheese and chive compound butter. Watch out, steak night, the bar just got raised.
Okay folks, strap yourselves in tight because it’s going to be an exciting ride (picture me winking and making a clicking noise while pointing at you). This is a “seal the deal” kind of dinner. The kind of dinner I make for Matt when I really want him to say “Huh? Whatever. I wasn’t listening but ‘yes’ as long as you make this again.” It’s that good.
There’s something about the combination of rich beef and tangy blue cheese that just works (which is why the best burger combination is blue cheese and crispy bacon, in my opinion). Well, this recipe takes that classic pairing to the next level.
We grilled New York Strip steaks and topped them with the most delicious blue cheese and chive compound butter and served it with Balsamic Roasted Red Onions with Thyme. You’re licking your screen, aren’t you? I understand, here’s a tissue.
Pork chops marinated in a spice brine, cooked to perfection and served with garlic-sauteed broccoli rabe and an apple-onion sauce. Chops don’t get much better than this.
One of the things I love about living in Beacon is that it really feels like a community that is growing and changing in an interesting way. For a long time I felt this way about Brooklyn (where I had lived since the early 1990’s) but as wonderful as Brooklyn is, it’s just too damn expensive now for artists and creative people to do anything but hustle every day to make rent.
I know I’m the bazillionth person to complain about how amazing Brooklyn used to be, but I was incredibly lucky to be one of the crazy, hearty few who lived in East Williamsburg back when it was practically deserted. It was a startling, magical, bizarre, occasionally terrifying place back then, and my roommates and I had absolutely no idea what it would become.
In 1995, if you would have told me that one of the hippest restaurants in NYC was going to open two blocks away from my house, I would have laughed loudly enough to startle the poodle-sized rats that lived in the burned-out minivan abandoned outside my front door. All we knew at the time was that you could rent a 3,000 square foot loft for a few hundred dollars, but you had to install your own toilet and either evict or adopt any animals you found on the premises (I love you Special Ed).
So Beacon may not be able to boast quite the same level of grittiness (thankfully), but it does have a bit of that creatively experimental spirit. Case in point, on a rough-looking corner lot, quite a ways off Main Street, has opened one of the coolest new businesses in town, Barb’s Butchery. Run by a former math professor named Barbara Fisher, it’s exactly the kind of butcher shop you dream would open up in your neighborhood. She sources as much as possible directly from local farms and so far, everything we’ve cooked from there has been fantastic.
If you’re anything like me, you start the week with grand plans (and a long list) of all the things you’re going to get accomplished. Paint the porch. Just in time for Halloween! Work on the novel. Duh, I’ll just wake up an hour earlier! Train the dog to stop losing her mind every time the UPS truck is within a seven block radius. Easy as cake! Oooooh, maybe I’ll make a cake.
Then inevitably, usually by about Thursday, I realize that not only have I managed to fail in getting those things done, but I also didn’t use that chard I bought and the dog is now convinced that the clean laundry basket is her new bed because the un-folded clothes have been in there so long.
That’s about when remember that even when I’m too busy to care whether my socks match, I can still make something really satisfying for dinner. It doesn’t have to be a big production (especially if you’re not stopping every five minutes to take pictures).