The thing about early spring, at least here in the Hudson Valley, is that it basically looks and feels exactly like winter. For most of March and even into April, it’s cold and damp, and nothing in the garden will grow. During these dog days, a bright and zingy citrus salad feels like a life-saver. And it’s simplicity itself: juicy, sweet blood oranges (and a few mandarins for variety’s sake), tossed with crisp endive and some quick-pickled red onions. Toss over a little peppery mint and pistachios for crunch and that’s it. A drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky salt is all the dressing it needs.
Happy New Year, pals! Whoo! Last year did fly by, didn’t it? No, I’m kidding of course, it didn’t fly by, it was grim and interminable and everyone hated it, but at least we’re spinning away from the winter solstice. January 2021 is now upon us, and we can fall back on tried and tested aphorisms such as “it’s darkest before the dawn” and “soup is the best thing to get you through January”. (Sometimes we change that to “whisky is the best way to get through Tuesday” but a lot of you are doing dry January and we don’t want to put you off your game.)
Soup is so essential to maintaining our sanity through the short, cold winter days that we always cook up a big batch of stock from the roast turkeys and rotisserie chickens that we’ve made since November, and then freeze it in large ice cube trays or plastic containers, so we have a store of rich, versatile broth for any soup recipe we need. Often, too, we’ll make a large pot of soup from the broth, and then freeze that so it’ll last several weeks. We’ve already blogged some of our favorites: a thick Nettle (or Spinach) and Potato soup, a Creamy Mushroom Soup with Black Rice, which quickly became a favorite, a classic Tomato Soup (with cheesy toasts that will blow your mind) and a Chicken and Potato Chowder (which we made a batch of last month and thawed this week). There’s a reason why “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is a trademark, and there’s a reason why chicken soup works so well to raise the spirits. We’d like to introduce you to our new favorite variation on the theme: Gingery Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup with Crispy Garlic.
The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without homemade eggnog, gooey baked brie, perfectly crisp and juicy roast pork, and many more of our favorite celebratory dishes we’ve collected in this Christmas / New Year recipe roundup!
Seasonal greetings, Nerdlings!
We’re spinning around the kitchen like wild dervishes making Christmas cookies and a million pounds of toffee (and other Christmas and New Year snacks), but we just had a few minutes’ break to put together a round-up of some of our favorite holiday treats for you. From how to make the perfect Cheese and Charcuterie Board to what to make for breakfast the day after your New Year’s Eve party!
These are our festive picks for all winter gatherings, including drink suggestions, appetizers, entrees, desserts and sweet treats, and some party snacks that will serve you for any festive shindig!
We wish you the happiest of winter holidays and the very merriest of New Years, and we’ll see you in 2020!
Love, Emily, Matt and Arya
Our ruby-hued blood orange and hibiscus curd makes a delicious and luscious filling for this beautiful seasonal tart. The crust is made from crushed gingersnap cookies, and couldn’t be simpler. With a great balance between sweet, tart and spicy, this is a real showstopper of a dessert.
When blood oranges are in season, we just can’t get enough of them so when we found a local shop selling a big bag of them for under 5 bucks, we knew we couldn’t pass them up. But what do you do when life gives you lem… oranges? Make curd!
We are legit curd crazy in this house. Curds with knives, they call us (no one calls us this). Lemon curd is pretty much a bi-monthly event in our kitchen. We’ve made blueberry-lemon curd, strawberry curd, even rhubarb curd. In fact, it was our experience with rhubarb curd that led us to add an extra ingredient, hibiscus, to our blood orange version (more on this later in the article).
Let’s get this out of the way upfront: there’s a meat-and-fruit tradition in cooking that we’re just not a hundred percent on board with. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that kind of combination, but the problem occurs when the fruit is overly sweet and there’s nothing to balance it out. When you have a fatty cut of meat — such as lamb — or fish, such as the wild salmon we use here — it benefits from being cut with an acidic component. It’s the same reason we use oil and vinegar together in a salad dressing.
We’ll often use lemon in our dishes to contribute that balance, but this week we’re looking at how pomegranate molasses, made into a pomegranate glaze, can lend a similar complexity to the rich flavor of roasted salmon.
We’ve all got that ingredient somewhere in the pantry. It’s the jar of something you picked up at the store, maybe on a whim or maybe with a specific purpose in mind, but then it got forgotten and languished in your kitchen cupboard until you re-discovered it and thought “aha! I know what to do with that”. Pantry space is not infinite (we can’t all have a TARDIS) and there’s a limit to how many items we can store that we aren’t using on a regular basis. For us, this ingredient is pomegranate molasses.
Why do winter-season dinners feel more of a challenge to put together than summer ones? The days are darker, the evenings draw in, there isn’t quite as much fresh local produce at the store or farmer’s market, and maybe we don’t have the energy to get as creative as we’d like. But here’s the key: sticking with simple ingredients such as hardy winter squash, healthy farro and fresh greens, and then packing them with winning flavor combinations will reward you with a dinner as healthy and delicious as it is straightforward.
In this recipe, we’ve partnered with Maille Dijon Originale Mustard to create a hearty seasonal winter supper packed with nutrition and flavor.