No tomato left behind. That’s my gardening motto. Every year I “farm” in my Brooklyn backyard. The crop that likes me best is tomatoes. In the spring, I’m innocent, I pour over the Silver Heights farm catalog of hundreds of organic veggies which is pretty much like reading food erotica.
Why didn’t my mom make garlic fried rice as my first food? I wonder if Filipino moms do? I love my mom and my family, but I often wish I were born Asian. This simple, five-ingredient vegan side dish makes me wish I’d known it all my life.
Even though it’s one of my favorite cuisines, I rarely cook Japanese food because many of the dishes are very complex and you need special ingredients. Braised daikon with mushrooms is very simple to make. It does require a couple of unusual ingredients that I always try to keep in my pantry. I try to stock up on them at the Japanese grocers, but you can get dashi, mirin and dry Chinese mushrooms or fresh shiitakes in many Korean-run “bodegas” here in New York and many places online.
Sometimes it seems if it weren’t for bacon, I might starve. Like I wrote in my song, “Bacon Makes Everything Better,” and it often makes my breakfast better. But not by in the traditional way of a side of bacon, but better with bacon fried rice. If you have just one strip of bacon, one egg and some old rice and any sort of veggies, you, too, can make a delightful breakfast.
“Springtime in Paris” was a fun theme for the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance spring potluck. I decided to riff on a classic bistro frisée salad with bacon lardons and the riff got a little wide by the time I made endive stuffed with an asparagus, radish and cucumber salad and topped with bacon lardons, egg, tiny croutons and a mustard-tarragon vinaigrette. The idea was sparked by a bouquet of endive.
I never post seasonally because let’s face it, I’m not that organized and methodical. The only thing that is predictable about me is that I resist predictability. This was supposed to be my post for Valentine’s Day, but that did not work out. BUT, that’s OK because the heart still makes sense since I’m in love.
BUT… it’s not unconditional love. It’s highly conditional. Or should I say seasonal. [SINGS: This is no ordinary love] I’m singing the praises of garlicky roasted tomatoes because this recipe saves me all winter long. Let’s just say if it weren’t for this recipe, I’d be singing the blues…
Do I really need to write a compelling story about macaroni and cheese or the macaroni and cheese birthday cake I made for my niece when she was two? I think not.
Macaroni and cheese are three magic words that spark instant reaction usually including, but not limited to: Sounds like oooh and ahhh, delight, heart rate increasing, mouth moistening, the welling up of excitement and anticipation, feelings of warmth, coziness, safety, tears of joy, eyes lighting up, the “juxtapositioning” of immediate gratification, pure pleasure and future guilt, the sweats, jealousy from the people who are not present and many more.
I could marry an anchovy. I LOVE THEM! I like radishes, but we we’re not talking nuptials… until now.
I was searching for antipasto ideas for my Chocabaret Success!!! party and I came across a recipe for cold radishes in an anchovy and garlic paste. It sounded good, but I forgot to buy the radishes and I ran out of time.
When I was racking my brain, two days later, for tapas ideas, the radishes popped up. BUT, I thought how much better it would be to roast the radishes. Roasting softens the flavor and makes them sweeter which would contrast well with the saltiness of the anchovies. So I whipped up this recipe.
I think tapas has to be one of my favorite styles of food. I love small plates and lots of ’em. Plus, there’s always tons of garlic and pork in the food. Strangely, not everyone eats pork. As curious as this is to me, it’s a total bonus because it means there will be more pork for the rest of us.
Since they kindly add more pork to my life, I like to look out for vegetarians or vegans when I can. So I made up this excellent tapas or side dish recipe.