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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 […]

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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 […]

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corn shiitake fritters and the traveling circus

We were lakeside for awhile. We took a two week vacation in Western Massachusetts. Back in January I reserved a great big rental house, invited some of our best best friends, and made plans to read, nap, and dangle our feet in the water. Time to do nothing at all but have good friend talks, slightly rowdy dinner parties, and gulp in the last minutes of summer. At the end of a crazy private road with precipitous drops on a twisty dirt one way up hill climb, was the house. It was quite a climb down to the dock from the house. We needed provisions. I packed them. Granola and tamari almonds, booze and wines, 2 dozen jars from the pantry, a cooler full of beautiful meats and ready-to-heat homemade casseroles (!!), jigsaw puzzles, water […]

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poblano rajas, potato and egg.

Rajas. I’m obsessed. Fire-roasted poblano chiles, cut into strips. I go to the farmers market with this meal in mind, gathering a few poblano chiles, beautiful new potatoes (purple ones are pretty), and the best, freshest eggs. In Spanish, rajas means strips or slices. Don’t fret about perfection. It’s a few quick minutes’ work to roast, peel and prepare a handful of poblanos for a week of breakfasts. Steam the potatoes ahead, too, until they can be pierced with a fork. These potatoes should still have structure, which is why Red Bliss or purple Peruvian potatoes are the best choice. In the morning, coffee cup grasped hopefully in one hand, spoon a serving of the rajas and steamed purple potatoes into an oil slicked sauté pan. […]

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get grilling. peruvian style chicken

There are only two photos of this dinner. It was so delicious, it disappeared before I could take another. Peruvian style chicken is one of our favorite meals. It’s delicious, quick and easy. I always have what’s needed to make the marinade and I’m guessing you do, too. In the winter, I roast the garlic and make a whole chicken, as I did for this Food52 recipe posted ages ago, but in the summer, I love to grill chicken thighs. It’s a bright, spicy, citrusy chicken that partners perfectly with every single vegetable at the market right now. Select good chicken. I like to break down entire chickens into pieces because that is the most economical, but for weeknight dinners, my farmers market friends have packages of cut up chicken thighs available […]

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berry cobbler

I can’t stop eating warm berry desserts.  I know I should post a main dish, or a preserving recipe, but all I seem to do is make the simplest dinners of steamed corn, sliced tomatoes and zucchini pancakes  and then I luxuriate in dessert because – well – BERRIES. I just love berries. Let’s talk about blackberry cobbler. Swap one berry for another or stir them all together and make jams and cobblers and pie with the sure to be delicious combination. You people in the Northwest U.S. have the BEST assortment of berry names. Ollaliberries and huckleberries and marionberries (as a DC resident, this one cracks me up.) I came home last weekend with two raspberry half-pints, half a flat of blackberries, two containers of blueberries and […]