Kitchen Projects

a cool salad for a fast pace

It’s been a crazy time but this salad has gotten me through. It’s everything. Sweet, salty, sassy with chile pepper heat. In the last month, in the craziest 9 days, we staged our house (POD in, POD out) and put it on the market. It sold 5 days later. We rejoiced, cried, panicked, and ran away. After two days by the waterside, things look more manageable and I am working on reestablishing a regular routine for the next little while. This is where we’re moving. Our condo is on the other side of the building. We don’t move until October, but on the other hand Holy Crap. WE MOVE IN OCTOBER. For those days when the house was on the market, I barely cooked, but I did manage to […]

tart cherries, sweet cherries and a Preserving Italy giveaway

The Northwest Cherry Growers from Washington State sent me a box of cherries. They were so delicious, I almost ate them all without preserving a single one, but I managed to set aside some for these delicious projects. Cherry Bounce. It’s a delicious cordial, George Washington’s fave tipple! It’s delicious and takes about 15 minutes to stir together and then a world of patience while it does its thing for weeks. Make it before the cherry season is gone and you’ll be serving it this fall. With all those gorgeous cherries, I turned to my good friend Domenica Marchetti’s lovely new book – PRESERVING ITALY – chock full of so many sensational recipes. It is a joy to read, Domenica’s writing is encouraging and fun, and the fabulous assortment […]

vin de noix

I first tasted Vin de Noix, green walnut wine, in a small restaurant in the Paris neighborhood Le Marais. I’ve never found the restaurant again, no matter how many narrow streets I turn down, but the taste of Vin de Noix never left me. When, several years later, I found the recipe in a small preserving book written in French on yellowed pages I did not expect several more years to pass before I could finally make it. The recipe calls for green walnuts, not a variety of walnut, but the immature nut. To make vin de noix, according to this recipe, the green nuts are picked on Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, June 24. Nocino is the very delicious Italian version of vin de noix, and those […]

fruity nutty honey nougat

Google what to do with egg whites, dried fruit and nuts, and you get nougat. What they don’t tell you is what an unholy mess it makes. Still, it’s worth it. Nougat is a sweet, chewy delicacy I first encountered in Italy, but have seen in France and Spain, and I’ve received gifts of nougat from friends after visits to Northern African countries, Turkey, Iran and Israel. Every country has their own version of this honey sweetened marshmallowy treat stuffed with nuts, always, and fruit, sometimes. Since the holidays ended, I’ve been working through the half bags of this and that, the frozen bits and bobs, all the little leftover whatevers from my holiday cooking and baking. There were macademias and pistachios, dried cranberries and cherries, almonds, pecans, walnuts. […]

merguez, shakshushka, and more. my fall kitchen projects.

Even if I didn’t have a calendar, I would know it was fall from the autumnal projects in the kitchen. In the market, there are pole beans and some shelling beans, a few chiles and peppers, potatoes, onions, leeks and fennel. Squashes and cauliflower. Kale and chard and spinach. The pantry is packed with jars of tomatoes and grape juice, dozens of different jams and jellies, pickles and pie fillings. For me, these weeks before Thanksgiving are full of activity. This year, instead of pushing through the last round of edits, or just back after from 22 grueling book tour days. I will be home for the holidays. I’m going to bring back some old traditions and create some new ones and I’m using the next four weeks to […]

tiny scotch eggs

It all started with the quail eggs.  Will at Whitmore Farm is raising quail and every darn week those pretty speckled tiny eggs are there at the booth. Irresistable. I devilled a dozen a couple of weeks ago. The eggs are so tiny I snipped the top and removed the yolk with a demitasse spoon. By slicing across base, removing a small bit to make a flat surface, the egg sat upright. I filled them with a piping bag. Very pretty. Oops. No photo. I am not sure where the idea of scotch eggs came from, but I couldn’t stop thinking about making small scotch eggs. I love a good scotch egg, but have never been able to finish one. They’re just a little too big for me. But with a […]