Waiting for spring.
I usually think of polenta as a winter meal (tomato sauce, braised meat, mushrooms, etc etc) but this recipe has me dreaming of still-cool-but-bright-and-promising early spring days.
I don’t want to forget to make this recipe. It reminds me of a quick meal that we sometimes make if we’re pressed for time and craving something a little indulgent—ravioli with butter and sage. This lasagna with butternut squash and sage would make a great dinner for guests in the fall. I don’t have anything against tofu or cashews, but I’ll probably use ricotta because…cheese.
In case you missed it, here’s a link to the NYTimes’ article about Thanksgiving recipes across America. Filled with commentary by some familiar names (Sam Sifton, Melissa Clark), the article is a treasure trove of unique autumnal recipes. A few of my favorites:
Pecan Pie Bites with Gravy (yikes)
Pumpkin Soup with Ancho and Apple
“Thanksgiving Cookies” filled with cloves, dates, and pecans
Sweet Potato Cornbread (I can’t WAIT to make this!)
Traditional Indian Pudding
Sourdough Stuffing with Kale, Dates, and Turkey Sausage
Buttery, crispy, doughy donuts (“doughnuts” on Not Without Salt) for a frigid day. This isn’t the type of recipe that I would ever actually make at home (oil is a precious commodity over here, plus, I mean, they’re only really good on the first day…how many donuts could I eat in one day, realistically?) but the photography is so delectable that I had to save it somewhere. Despite the chilly temperatures I think I will plan a trip to our favorite donut shop this weekend. I love their pumpkin spice/maple glaze cake donut and the brown butter hazelnut crunch yeasted donut. Dreaming of donuts.
Dark and Spicy Pumpkin Loaf. What a wonderful description! It sounds exactly like what I want to eat in the late afternoon with my cup of coffee. The most delicious, most wonderful quick bread of all time (whoa, hyperbole, like I could ever decide) is a gingerbread loaf that my mom makes: it has so much molasses in it that it comes out of the oven black, shiny, and so sticky that it clings stubbornly to the knife when you try to dole it out. As such, we’ve come to call it ‘sticky gingerbread.’ Anyway, tangent. The bread that Megan makes here is actually a recipe from Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours (even more reason to make it), and I dig the addition of buckwheat flour. I’ll probably sub something for the white rice flour, but apart from that…dark pumpkin? Spicy pumpkin? Sold.
Do you know about Serious Eats? Their articles are always snappy, fun to read, and informative. Case in point: this guide to roasting winter vegetables. I think I forwarded it to half of my email contacts (sorry guys) because it’s so damn useful! Parboiling was always a mystery to me (why would you add an extra step? I don’t care if they take longer in the oven) but the author convinced me to try it with sweet potatoes, and boy does it work.
Serious Eats used to have an awesome subsection for Boston filled with restaurant reviews, cheap food roundups, dish and pastry highlights…it was great. You can still find the articles if you search ‘Boston.’ Here are a few of my favorites: 1. 2. 3. plus articles on Bagelsaurus (!!) and Flour.
Photo from this article
These days, I’m making a concerted effort to make lunches that don’t depress me as soon as I pull them out of our work fridge. I went through too many iterations involving tuna sandwiches (celery, mayo, yogurt [??], radishes, mustard…) before I reached this conclusion. The time has come. No more tuna! No more sad sandwiches! (Happy sandwiches, fine. In that vein, I made myself a crispy grilled cheese to dunk in homemade apple sauce for dinner last night, and it. was. outstanding.)
Anyway, last week I made chicken burritos, but without the burrito wrapping.
The meal involved beans, chicken, farro, corn, avocado, and a heaping pile of grated cheddar cheese.
To make the beans, I set a small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat, added some olive oil, and sauteed a garlic clove and half a yellow onion. Into the pot went 1/2 tsp of cumin. I then cracked open two small cans of beans, added them to the oil/garlic/onion, reduced the heat to low, and forgot about it for the next 20 minutes.
To make the corn…I added a little water to a plate and microwaved it for 6 minutes. I know, I know. The stove was full, and microwaving it is so easy! When the corn looked plump and yellow, I removed it from the microwave, set it on its end, and cut the kernels off (see this video for tips!)
The farro was easy: before I started on the chicken, I heated up a pan of water and cooked an entire bag of 10 minute farro from TJoe’s.
For the chicken, I cut boneless skinless breast pieces (more expensive, yeah, but you pay for convenience) into 1/2 inch chunks. I greased a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, turned the heat to medium-high, and tossed the chicken in. As the chicken browned, I added about 1/4 tsp of both cumin and paprika, then grabbed the red pepper flakes and gave it a couple of shakes. We had some leftover chicken broth in the fridge, so I added about a quarter of a cup and let that simmer down.
To bring it to work, I grabbed a tupperware and layered the farro, black beans, chicken, and corn over one another, then cut up half of an avocado and grated a bunch of cheddar cheese on top. Microwaved for 2 min in the office kitchen and…good to go.
So, this is a week late, but I found this recipe for Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Soup last week. I made it that evening. I love creamy soups. I love all soups. This is a great soup.
I made a couple of tweaks (no pear, extra potato, no blue cheese garnish, a little less heavy cream.) Like Ella, I also prefer butternut squash soup, but dealing with squash can be kind of a turnoff. This recipe was totally breezy.
A few other delicious-looking recipes from her (beautifully photographed, often creative) site: