Tuesday, August 30, 2011
August, while full of sunshine and long, warm days, can can be a very long month for shellfish lovers.
As the old rule goes, oysters are best in the "ber" months -- September, October, November, December -- the later in the year the better. In August, with water temperatures right where bacteria like them, fans of raw bivalves often find themselves looking for alternative ways to fulfill this craving.
The good news is, all hope is not lost -- right now is the best time to indulge in littleneck clams. Silver-dollar sized, these morsels of fresh brine and milky flesh are a great way to add life to any meal. Best of all, in late summer they're safe to eat, cheap (about four dollars a pound if you know where to look), and, using this recipe, ready to eat in minutes.
Let's get right to it.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
For most people, Summer means time for fresh, locally-grown produce.
(Not to rub it in, but out here in California, we get the good stuff year round. And there's no humidity. And you can ski and swim in the ocean in the same day. Sure, I'll wait while you book your plane tickets.)
And when it comes to that produce, no vegetable is as prodigious in July and August as the mighty zucchini (a.k.a. summer squash). Sold for cents on the pound, it's a versatile and welcome harbinger of warm weather wherever it appears. Have you had the little two or three inch ones, boiled in salted water and covered with fresh, green olive oil? Or what about the big baseball bats, sliced into long thick strips and thrown on the grill, as meaty and juicy as the best sirloin? Heck, you can even eat the stuff raw.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
There are few chronological spans more enjoyable than the one that sits between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Living in the Land of Eternal Summer (a.k.a. Southern California), I've become a bit of an expert when it comes to surviving these sultry months. The most important weapon? A tall, cold glass of . . . well, pretty much anything.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
"In a pickle." Goodness knows Lafayette (pictured above) finds himself in one quite often.
A phrase with quite a bad connotation, etymologists suggest that it came up from the process of making pickles -- that to do so, you would "stir, confuse, and mix" vegetables, or meat, or eggs in sour broth, and in doing so, preserve them in that particular state. Similarly, when we speak about someone "in a pickle," they are stuck, are bound, are in a state from which they cannot escape.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
It's been forever since I posted here, I know. Admittedly, law school has reduced my free time down to a mere pittance; I'm lucky enough if I have enough energy to make a delicious dinner, much less photograph it.
Nevertheless, I decided to put up a recipe this week for two reasons:
(1) This recipe couldn't be easier -- it's a treatise on the fact that if you get your hands on flavorful, good quality ingredients, put them in the same dish, and stay out of the way, you can still make magical things, even on a school night.
(2) Relatively speaking, this is a surprisingly inexpensive dish.
Don't believe me? Read on.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Fall has always meant one thing to me: Apples.
Apple picking, apple cider, apple pie. Of course, without the picking, the cider and the pie usually don't happen, so it was with trepidation that I entered into my first September here on the West Coast. With the workload that comes with being a 1L, I wondered, would I have the time to get out to an orchard? For that matter, are there apple orchards in Southern California?
Sunday, September 5, 2010
If there’s a flavor for whom appreciation only arrives with age, that flavor would be bitterness.
That’s not to say that most people become bitter with age; I would certainly hope not. Rather, I’m speaking about the flavor profile – astringent, sharp, piercing…shocking, even. And yet, so many of life’s more adult (and particularly liquid) pleasures – a well-brewed cup of coffee, the tannic finish on a glass of feisty red, the quinine snap of tonic water – are built if not focused on this unusual sensation.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
At long last, things have settled in here a little bit. The Pasta Burner and I have finally gotten our kitchen in order, and with it, there's a chance to really start exploring the California bounty at our fingertips.
I've been inching to make a pie for a while now. Yes, yes, I know, there have been more tarts on this page than in the wives' seats at the World Cup, but there's just something different, something luscious, indulgent, and summery about pie that other pastries -- including my beloved tarts -- just can't touch. In short, think of it this way: If Tarte au Citron is Grace Kelly, Blueberry Pie is Jayne Mansfield.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
It goes without saying that posts have been coming slow and without ceremony recently.
The thing is, the Pasta Burner and I are still in transit -- not the transit of sic transit gloria, mind you, but rather a steady and continual progress towards finishing the renovations on our lovely new home, a place where we hope our fortunes will only continue to get brighter with time.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It was what -- March? -- when I gave you all a glimpse at this recipe. Three months, six kind comments requesting an expanded post, and three-thousand miles later, this considerably overdue recipe is finally here.
The truth of the matter is that it's absurdly simple, and it utilizes techniques that we've already featured on this website with previous posts. The filling, a simple lemon curd, is a variation on the filling for our Grapefruit Curd Tulips, while the crust is taken straight from our French Fruit Tart with Vanilla Crème -- and to be honest, if you cheat and use a frozen pie crust...well, I'm not going to tell anyone.
Let's get right to it.