Monday, December 27, 2010

Meatless Monday: Post-Christmas Food

Most things I make in a large pot have copious amounts of alcohol in them. This soup is, for good or ill, appropriate for this time of year for just such a reason; the sub-par bottle of wine. (If you entertain enough around the holidays, you’ll get at least one.) Don’t regret! Light a fire in the fireplace, scavenge your refrigerator’s scraps and make french onion soup. 


Friday, December 17, 2010

Improved Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant is a sponge to oil and butter, but I've found that it often doesn't need as much as most people give it. My favorite mixologist, Kirk, at Cure in New Orleans, names cocktails that are riffs "improved," i.e. the "Improved Aviator." The new is sometimes nothing like the original, but flavor notes are similar.

Hungry for a new way to do eggplant, without breading, frying, and layering tons of cheese, I turned to the Bible of authentic Italian cuisine, The Silver Spoon.  The recipe is not in English anywhere online--until now! It Italy, this is called "Melanzane in Festa" or "Festive Eggplant" and it certainly lives up to the name. This is especially good when made one day ahead up til the point of baking, or reheated for leftovers the next day.

This could be a hearty side or a vegetarian maincourse.  The presentation is nice enough for company, and you can make a day ahead to save time and improve the flavor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Peasto" - Smashed Pea and Mint Pasta

Recently, a close friend living in London wrote to me:
"Can you post that recipe for the mint/pea and pasta deliciousness?? If you recall we made it in London, drunk on wedding champagne, I cut my finger and you burnt your hand... the recipe that you gave your bestfriend to make for her BF and now she gets sexed on the reg? you know the one..."


With an intro like that, you can't afford NOT to try this. Have your own requests? Feel free to email me at denise.gass@gmail.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meatless Monday: Japanese Rice & Eggs

Eggs are comfort food to most cultures, and rice is ubiquitous for this purpose basically everywhere else but here.

Combined, they can do no wrong.


Preparing Japanese short-grained rice is a little finicky, but worth trying. I leave the house to get sushi, but stay in to eat Japanese rice and eggs. When we make miso soup, we eat it all by itself with a condiment made for expressly this purpose. It's a feast with seared tuna and a really gingery salad.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bacon Jam

About a year ago, I was at a conference on social media and one of the "gurus" speaking made mention of bacon. He said something simple, "Bacon is huge. People love talking about it in social media." There was a kernel of truth that resonated for me--bacon is the candy bar of meats. It's the adorable puppy of the food world. Everyone loves it, even vegetarians and those who keep Kosher, in my opinion.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010, Part 2

Our second day of Thanksgiving was full of Asian twists on old classics.  We served the new Asian dishes alongside the leftovers from the traditional feast the day before. The results were flavorful, varied, and interesting, to say the least.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010, Part 1

Our Detroit Thanksgiving celebration was a wonderful affair, with people visiting from 4 cities. One was even an Italian, by way of New Brunswick, NJ. So, being as I was hosting, and it was my first time as such, and John was working on Thursday, I went ahead and extended it to two full days, each consisting of one megameal. I'll split the two days' meals into two posts for easier, um... digestion.

Here's our best attempt at a group portrait. (Unfortunately, John was working.)