February 27, 2000 |
I'd like to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite vegetables: fennel, a.k.a. sweet anise, Florence fennel, finocchio. If you've never cooked fennel or crunched on a mouth-tingling wedge of raw fennel, now is the time to start. This superb vegetable has a cleansing, light licorice flavor and a crisp, biting texture. Fennel seeds are considered so cleansing to the palate that people in India chew them instead of an after-dinner mint. Its flavor is similar to anise, though lighter and less persistent, becoming even more delicate and elusive when cooked.
January 24, 1999 |
Fresh fennel can be a cooking conundrum. Sometimes the supermarkets label it "anise" or "sweet anise. " But it's not. Sometimes, because of its feathery, dark green tops, folks think it's dill. But it's not. No wonder fennel rookies are confused. Often hiding between the leeks and the cabbage, it's the green-tinged-but-almost-white bulb with celerylike stalks sprouting at the top. The stalks are adorned with delicate, fernlike, dark green leaves. It may look a little wacky, but once you've eaten fennel and savored its gentle sweet flavor, reminiscent of mild licorice, you'll never be misled by erroneous labels again.
March 19, 1997 |
What's cooking in men's spring fashion? In a word: Color. We decided to give the owners and chefs in a few of the city's most fashionable restaurants a chance to demonstrate the trendiest new looks. Many guys find it difficult to digest anything brighter than say, navy blue. But this season brings an appetizing way for men to display their bright side. The trick is to use color as an accent in much the same way that a chef might enhance the appeal of a special dish with a raspberry glaze or a slice of kiwifruit.
January 8, 1997 |
Yo, Chefs! I had the best lentil soup at Ozzie's. Would you get me the recipe? Diana D'Angelo Philadelphia Dear Diana, The recipe follows, but first a few words about Ozzie Gallelli, the owner/chef for 22 years at Ozzie's Trattoria, in South Philadelphia. Gallelli and his cousin, Toto Schiavone, owner of DiLullo's, came over from Calabria, in southern Italy, to work at the old Pavio's in the Northeast. Gallelli started out as a busboy. Even though he now owns his own place, he's still a hands-on cook.
January 11, 1996 |
The Earth is covered with white and you've been eating. The car is buried to the windshield wipers and you've been eating. You're cooped up, craving warmth and a little comfort, so you've been eating. And, let's be honest, the snack of choice hasn't been celery. Ovens everywhere have kicked into high heat, roasting and browning and baking. There's something about a snow storm that triggers the appetite. It's a fact, psychologists and diet experts say. The kids are home and there's been an endless cycle of brownies and pies and banana bread.
May 22, 1994 |
Buffalo is famous for more than having a team that loses the Super Bowl. In the competition for best bar food, it has no challengers. Buffalo chicken wings - hot, spicy and, yes, a little greasy - are a winning dish. Especially when paired with blue- cheese-stuffed celery. This dish has a number of contrasts that our senses find appealing. First the flavors: spicy chicken and tangy blue cheese. Then the temperature: hot chicken and cold celery. Finally, the texture: chewy chicken and crunchy celery.
December 22, 1993 |
"We were given some brandied fruit last year during the holidays and loved it. It was great as a dessert topping for cake and ice cream," wrote Emily Barr of Chester. "Unfortunately, I never got the recipe. Now I'd love to make some but don't know where to start. Can you help?" Here is an elegant combination that could be the hit of your holiday parties. As you said, it makes a wonderful dessert topping as well as a warm fruit compote. BRANDIED FRUIT WITH HONEY 1/4 cup muscat raisins 1/4 cup golden raisins 8 dried apricots, chopped 1/3 cup hot water 1/3 cup brandy 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger 1 tablespoon melted butter 2 peaches, pitted and sliced, or 2 cups canned peach slices In a saucepan, soak the raisins and the dried apricots in the hot water, brandy and vanilla for 30 minutes.
July 14, 1993 |
Travel the world this summer . . . in your skillet. Even if you're stuck home, dinnertime can be a passport to culinary adventure. Sultry days don't have to be spent slaving over that hot stove to produce flavors from around the world. Quick skillet cookery works for easy meals that borrow inspiration from other cultures while leaving the unwanted fat and excess calories behind. VIETNAMESE FRIED RICE 2 cups boiling water 1 cup long-grain rice 1 cup chopped celery (3 ribs)
March 17, 1993 |
If you've ever wondered why it's so tough to cut federal spending, consider the lowly broom snakeweed. Or the celery fusarium. Buried deep in this year's $1.5 trillion budget are $200,000 to fight the pesky snakeweed in New Mexico and $39,000 to combat the celery fungus in Michigan. On the immense scale of national priorities, these items don't register. They are blips among hundreds of similar home-town goodies that altogether barely exceed one-tenth of 1 percent of all federal spending.
August 12, 1992 |
When you hold that first, fragrant, sun-ripened garden tomato - heavy with juice and heady with flavor - there are only two proper ways to eat it: 1. right then and there, or 2. with a fork and maybe some salt. Why detract from its essence with other ingredients? But now that tomatoes are in abundance (maybe overabundance, if you're a gardener), we can use tomatoes with abandon and play with ways to use them creatively in a variety of dishes for every meal. The sweet-plus-acid flavor of tomato adds its own special synergy to a main dish; it's a flavor that just can't be duplicated with canned tomatoes or bottled tomato sauce.