Monday, November 28, 2011

Coffee with Molasses

Try a teaspoon of molasses in hot coffee with milk or cream. It's is a Creole tradition and very tasty! I use half milk, half coffee and it's like hot chocolate.

Nigel Slater

From The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

Right food, right place, right time. It is my belief--and the point of this book--that this is the best recipe of all. A crab sandwich by the sea on a June afternoon; a slice of goose with apple sauce and roast potatoes on Christmas Day; hot sausages and a chunk of roast pumpkin on a frost-sparkling night in November. These are meals whose success relies not on the expertise of the cook but more on the basic premise that this is the food of the moment--something eaten at a time when it is most appropriate, when the ingredients are at their peak of perfection, when the food, the cook, and the time of year are at one with each other.

There is something deeply, unshakeably right about eating food in season: fresh runner beans in July, grilled sardines on a blisteringly hot August evening, a bowl of gently aromatic stew on a rainy day in February. Yes, it is about the quality of the ingredients too, their provenance and the way they are cooked, but the very best eating is also about the feeling that the time is right.

I do believe, for instance, that a cold Saturday in January is a good time to make gingerbread. It is when I made it and we had a good time with it. It felt right. So I offer it to you as a suggestion, just as I offer a cheesecake at Easter, a curry for a cold night in April and a pale gooseberry fool for a June afternoon. It is about seasonality, certainly, but also about going with the flow, cooking with the natural rhythm of the earth.

Learning to eat with the ebb and flow of the seasons is the single thing that has made my eating more enjoyable. Our culinary seasons have been blurred by commerce, and in particular by the supermarkets' much vaunted idea that consumers want all things to be available all year round. I don't believe this is true. I have honestly never met anyone who wants to eat a slice of watermelon on a cold March evening, or a plate of asparagus in January. It is a myth put about by the giant supermarkets. I worry that today it is all too easy to lose sight of food's natural timing and, worse, to miss it when it is at its sublime best. Hence my attempt at writing a book about rebuilding a cook's relationship with nature.

-Nigel Slater, The Kitchen Diaries

John Thorne

When I first read about this dish in Nigel Slater's rather hypnotic Kitchen Diaries, I thought, "Where have you been all my life?" I love fresh peas as fresh from the garden as I can get them and often eat a whole bowlful at night just before going to bed. Who thought I could have them for breakfast, too? You might point out that Nigel hadn’t meant this as a breakfast dish, which is true but irrelevant. I love fresh asparagus on toast for breakfast — heat minced garlic in butter in a small skillet until softened, add half a cup of water and bring it to a boil, put in asparagus cut into short lengths, cover, and cook for 7 or 8 minutes. Make toast, butter it if you’re in a luxuriant mood, and pour over the contents of the skillet. What are you waiting for? Eat.
-John Thorne, NYT

Friday, November 25, 2011

Festive Cranberry Almond Kale

Steam two heads of washed and chopped kale in a big pot (takes about 15 minutes). Then add freshly chopped garlic to a skillet of hot olive oil and throw in the steamed kale. Then add sliced toasted almonds, soy sauce, dried cranberries and a sprinkle of kosher salt. You won't be disappointed!

Polka Dotted Cornbread

Try your favorite cornbread recipe with dried cranberries. It's colorful and delicious.

Here's my small recipe. Double it if you'd like.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup corn oil
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup of dried cranberries

Mix up batter in a big bowl with whisk, fork or wooden spoon and pour into greased cast iron skillet and bake for 30 minutes.

Jamaican Ginger beer

Goya Jamaican Style Ginger Beer is fabulous.

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup 55, Ginger Flavorings, Oil Of Ginger, Caramel Color, Capsicum, Citric Acid.

Try it on ice with a twist of lime! You can also add a splash of Meyer's brand dark rum.