June 3, 2011
Growing up, I firmly believed two things. First, I would one day be the starting power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers. Second, vegetables are bad. As I've gotten older, I've realized I lack both the height and the array of post moves to make it as an NBA starter. But the years have only affirmed my instincts about vegetables. The herbivore camp will point to the various health benefits of consuming leaves, stems, and roots. But these pale compared with the emotional, physical, and monetary costs.
April 5, 2014 |
Plant peas and tomato seeds this weekend. Because peas take about two months from seed to harvest, early April is the latest you can plant them and still get good results. Peas like cooler temperatures, so plant them outdoors in the ground or in a container that's about 12 inches deep. I chose edible-pod Burpee 'Super Snappy' Pea this year, based entirely on the claim that they would produce huge peas, something I can't wait to taste. As for those tomato seeds, there's no time to waste.
March 17, 2011
A proper red-eye gravy gets its bold richness in part from a dose of strong black coffee. Shawn Sollberger, chef and co-owner of the new Northern Liberties pub Gunners Run, combines his grandfather's technique for chicken-fried steak with his North Carolina neighbor's red-eye gravy recipe. Instead of adding ham to the gravy, as is the norm, Sollberger crumbles bacon into the oil he uses to pan-fry the top round steak. He deglazes the pan with coffee. It's served with sauteed spinach and black-eyed peas.
March 12, 2009
Happy St. Patty's Day Simple is better. Ask chef Ben McNamara what goes into his luxuriously rich shepherd's pie at St. Stephen's Green, the Fairmount pub, and he's a bit incredulous at the suggestion that it's more than it is. How fancy can it get? He starts with mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion), adds 90-percent-lean ground sirloin, roux, tomato paste, beef stock and peas. Then he pipes fresh potatoes whipped with heavy cream and butter on top. - Michael Klein Shepherd's pie ($12)
May 10, 2012 |
12 ounces frozen tiny green peas (preferably organic) 24 ounces chicken broth 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked off, stems discarded 6 sprigs fresh chervil or Italian parsley, leaves picked off and stems discarded 5 ounces fresh spinach, washed and stems removed, chopped Salt and white pepper to taste 1. Place the frozen peas in a medium saucepan, and just cover...
January 22, 1989 |
Even though St. Patrick's Day, the traditional date to begin spring planting, is still a couple of months away, it's time to get out the soft pencil and graph paper to rough out a plan for the vegetable garden. Before actually drawing a design, however, think back to last year's garden and assess its successes and failures. Did the tomato crop, for example, come in when you were on vacation? If so, check out the dates you expect to be away this year; perhaps you can plant a variety that will mature before you leave or after you return.
March 5, 1995 |
Imagine chunks of chicken and vegetables in a smooth, herb sauce. Then, add to that vision, a golden, flaky crust. It's the all-time great: chicken pot pie. Don't look to your freezer case for the perfect pot pie. What you'll get there is about as soggy as a rainy day. This is one dinner you'll have to make to appreciate. The traditional recipe, with a pastry crust and filling, is more time- consuming and requires more effort than many cooks can afford on weeknights, so I created a delicious quick version using phyllo dough.
July 29, 1998 |
PEAS, PLEASE Compulsively follow directions? Stifle yourself next time you pull out the frozen peas. Sure, the directions on the bag tell you to boil them. But think about it: Those tiny, defenseless spheres already were cooked before freezing - why do you want to cook them again? Here's what you do, according to "Vegetables: The Most Authoritative Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking" ($35, William Morrow and Company): Thaw, then heat briefly in butter, olive oil or a little broth.
March 6, 1988 |
I welcome March with mixed feelings. On one hand, I'm delighted at the prospect of planting peas, setting out onions and, toward the end of the month, starting some tender crops inside. On the other hand, I know the beginning of gardening season signals the end of any spare weekend time for other pursuits. Before you get ambitious this month and dig up the whole yard to hold all those luscious plants you've seen in seed catalogues, think about your leisure time. There's nothing worse than a beautiful garden in May that is a wreck by August because you can't get around to weeding or harvesting.