Roasted Peppers

There’s something sort of… Georgia O’Keeffe-y about this picture of a charred pepper, right? Something vaguely obscene? Or did I just accidentally give myself a Rorschach test, and reveal my embarrassing results for the world to see?

Continue reading

Cobb Salad (and French Dressing)

Even though I’ve got family in southern California, I’ve always felt that Los Angeles has an uncanny quality to it—something that makes the city feel like it isn’t quite real. Maybe it’s the lack of seasons, or the palm-tree-lined boulevards, or the general happy/healthy vibe (people are… smiling? They… don’t wish death upon every stranger they see?). Or maybe it’s because I once spent a week “taking meetings” out there—i.e. having five lunches at five different bougie restaurants—and at every single lunch, I kid you not, everyone at the table (except me) would order a Cobb salad.

Continue reading

Vichyssoise

The crisp winter air, the invigorating scent of pine, the beauty of sunlight glinting off freshly-fallen snow—I am OVER IT. Done. I’m sick of bundling up every time I want to go farther than the front door, or making tea just so I have a mug to warm my hands on. Though I never thought I’d say it, I’m even sick of drowning my sorrows in comfort food.

Yet even just 48 hours away from the first (official) day of spring, winter refuses to relent. (It’s my fault; I knew I shouldn’t have murdered all those groundhogs.) The only way to fight this horrible reality, I suppose, is by soothing ourselves with sustenance that straddles the line between sturdy, cold-weather fare and delicate springtime meal.

You might not expect a soup made of potatoes and half-and-half to fulfill that particular criteria—but stay with me.  Continue reading

Vegetable Soup

After an eerie but lovely 24-hour-long warm snap, New York’s been pummeled by a week of dreary, drizzly, altogether bleak weather. Some might respond to this Seattle-esque malaise by  pulling out an oversized flannel shirt and writing a song about heroin. I think it’s probably healthier to fight it with food—specifically, the brothy, soul-warming kind that comes complete with two kinds of carbs and some slow-simmered short ribs. Continue reading

Fish en Papillote and Herbed Carrots

Here are a few reasons fish (and carrots!) en papillote (or en aluminum foil, a la Nonnie) should be in your regular meal rotation, particularly this time of year:

  1. Preparing food en papillote, or inside a little sealed package, is an exceedingly easy, quick, and largely mess-free way to cook protein (and vegetables), making it ideal when you want to make dinner on the only weeknight you have free in between awards season screenings and holiday parties. (I know, I’m playing the world’s tiniest violin for myself.)
  2. But it also feels very fancy, mostly because it’s got a tres sophisticated French name, hohn hohn hohn.
  3. Plus, every time you slice into a little foil package with delicious things inside, you’ll feel like you’re opening a present you gave yourself—and after all, ’tis the season.

Continue reading

Creamed Spinach and Cheese

creamed-spinach-1

I’ve got some bad news for you. You can follow this recipe exactly as written; you might even like what you end up with. But whatever you do, your ultra-’50s creamed spinach—a.k.a. frozen greens mixed with gloppy canned soup; tres chic—won’t be as good as the dish I made for Thanksgiving last month.

Why? Because barring some sort of crazy cosmic coincidence, chances are that your spinach, unlike mine, will not be hand-squeezed by a Moo. Continue reading