Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recipe for Success

Disaster struck, but sadly not in this way. We had hoped to make two kinds of pastas last night but the dough just wasn’t right and, well, that’s all she wrote.

JustAwesome and I took 2 cups of GoWithTheFlow and poured into a large bowl with 1 cup of RunToTheStoreForPasta. Then added 2 Fun Friends with a certain amount of spice, mixed with wine/beer and tossed in one cute baby with a giant sense of humor. And stirred. On high.

Crisis Adverted. Serves 5.

Fortunately JustAwesome made this cake which might be the easiest cake ever. It tastes like an ice cream sandwich and ages beautifully (read: Sunday breakfast). Basically you layer cookies and whipped heavy cream, put in the fridge for a few hours, and top with chocolate (we smushed a Flake). Ours looks a little messy but...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Taste of a Memory

Fresh Matzo from Streit’s

One of my favorite things about living on the Lower East Side is walking past Streit’s Matzos on Rivington Street. Skip the store and walk to the factory window. Say hello, smile, and within seconds a sizzling hot piece of fresh matzo will come through the window. Everytime. There is nothing better on this earth. Be careful not to burn your tongue.

I eat matzo (or matzah, or matzoh) all year round. I love Matzah Brei*. Maybe it is nostalgic—the taste of a memory: my sister, Wendle Wigs, making it for me after school, or having it at Dubrow’s with my grandmother before she went to work in the garment district. But I love it. It always lifts my spirits when I’m blue.

Obligatory follow up matzah brie discussion: scrambled versus pancake, sweet versus savory, soak the matzo or rinse the matzo. Scrambled, salt & pepper, rinsed.

After eating my hot matzo, I decided to pop into the store to see what else they sell. I found these cookies called Kichel, that were just mentioned in the book that I was reading. (Unorthodox. LOVED IT!) I hoped that they’d be savory, almost like the British baked goods that JustAwesome covets. Savory, yes. Delicious, no. Maybe this is something you need to be nostalgic for. They taste like stale soup nuts, that had maybe been wet once, with a bit of sugar on top. Horrible. The taste of someone else’s memory.

Fortunately, JustAwesome had bought some chocolate spread at Pain Quotidien last week.

And so she made lemonade from lemons. Not horrible.

Kichel with chocolate spread

*notice the second comment on the Bittman article!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is a great night to stay home, cook and watch a movie. And an even better excuse to eat my new favorite vegetable. Cabbage. It is like an entirely different vegetable once we started cooking it. An exciting new vegetable!!

Pasta with Caramelized Cabbage,
Anchovies and Bread Crumbs

So, we made this. It was way more delicious than imaginable. Definitely adding to our repertoire of pantry meals. Like this one.

And for dessert, mint ice cream. Mint tastes green. Mmmm.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Sláinte.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Home Cookin’

I find this blog to be a little embarrassing sometimes. The feedback I receive tells me that people think that I am either a very good cook (I am not) or a food snob (I am not). I do this blog because JustAwesome wanted me to start cooking a meal a week, you know, to help out.

I am just learning how to cook and while I’ve gotten much more comfortable and proficient, I am not a great cook. I follow recipes. I lack instincts. I lack comfort. And most of what I blog here, JA pulls together. But I am helping more and being more of a participant in the planning of what we eat. I think that takes some of the burden off of her. This is the shot heard round the world. And writing this blog gives me something to do, rather than stare at her all day. (She even set up the Blogger account and named it Feral Cook. True story. I am that annoying.)

I am not a snob. I love to eat. I don’t even think I have a very sophisticated palette. But I get to eat lots of great, healthy and creative things—that JA cooks or tricks me into cooking—AND we do what other nonparentswholiveinNewYorkCity do—we eat out a lot. I am starting to taste more, really taste what is inside of each dish. More tasting, less shoveling. I am not a snob but I’ve been around. I love a good taco just as much as a 5-course tasting menu at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Well, maybe not just as much, but yeah, a lot.

So what do I do with my time? What does the Feral Cook, who is neither Feral nor a Cook do? I celebrate JustAwesome. Everyday. I try to do little things around the house, like organizing her t-shirts or cleaning the liquor cabinet. That’s when I’m really cooking—when I am doing little things to show my love. And in return she makes me yummy food and keeps me healthy. Win-Win.

Life is short. Celebrate your loved ones. Everyday.

The Great T-Shirt Project!
Stay tuned for The Great
Sock Project...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Science of Chow Fun

I really wanted a big bowl of greasy chow fun last night—the ultimate comfort food, to me. Apparently there are scientific reasons why we eat/overindulge when we are sad. I ain’t no scientist but I know its true! I am half expecting Richard Simmons to knock on my window one of these days. Overeating. Overindulging. Big time.

I loosely followed this recipe, but not really. I wish my photos looked half as good as that one, but honestly, it tasted pretty perfect. I went with a garlic-ginger-onion concoction with soy, rice wine vinegar, hot sesame oil and whatever else I had in my fridge. Fresh peanuts. (We’re not traditional here...) And I added roast pork to mine. Within 5 blocks of my apartment I was able to get the works: fresh rice noodles, vegetables, pork, sprouts. Yay!

Could I have bought a better one for way less work? Yes, of course. But mine was fun to assemble and had way less oil in it! And I’m supposed to keep busy (also science!)

Scientific conclusion: YAY!! Frown is upside down with anticipation of leftovers for lunch.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I am a roasting machine

Onions, and Cauliflower

Almost 2 years ago I discovered my oven. I discovered roasting. Since that time, I have figured out that there is NOTHING you can’t roast. Roasting season: Oct-May. As often as I can. Sometimes everyday. I throw in whatever is lying around the house. Whole carrots couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Onions get sweet and make me smile. Garlic. Parsnips. The list goes on. And on.

Inspired by the fellas at Roberta’s, I decided to roast some cabbage.

The result? YUM!!!!

Great as a side.
Great in a fresh salad.
Great on pizza.

Cabbage on Pizza (with other veg)

It is a great way to use up the extra cabbage.

What are you roasting, Feral Reader?