What do you do when a neighbor kindly gifts you a 3 pound zucchini? You make zucchini bread. Lots of zucchini bread. And if you’re me, where is the first place you look for a zucchini bread recipe? Smitten Kitchen, of course. Continue reading
A good amount of the disk space on our Tivo gets taken up with cooking shows. Food Network, PBS, I like to mix it all up. When I watch them, I frequently experience kitchen envy. Seriously, have you seen Paula Deen’s or Ina Garten’s kitchen? Dreamy. Multiple cooktops, deep fryers, and refrigerator drawers. Best of all are those professional stoves. 48 to 60 inches of high btu muscle with double ovens. They are the kitchen equivalent of the Ford Mustang in Steve McQueen’s Bullitt. High revving, rubber burning, wild horses. I so wish I could have one of those. My kitchen, in comparison, is more like a Honda Accord. It’s reliable for getting you where you need to go but would never win in a drag race.
Not that having fancy, expensive equipment means anything when it comes to serving up good food. Deb, who I heart, from Smitten Kitchen turns out the best food from a teeny, tiny New York City apartment kitchen. Think your kitchen is small? Try working in a 24 square foot space. That’s smaller than my closet. And yet, without the aid of fancy equipment, she turns out all sorts of baked, fried, and roasted goodness.
Like anything else, your equipment is a tool that either you know how to use or you don’t. That 48 inch Viking isn’t going to magically transform a bad dish into a good one. So work with what you have, find its muscle, and make it work for you. Your kitchen may not burn rubber like Steve McQueen’s Mustang, but it won’t need new tires as quickly either.
Oven Roasted Salmon
I added paprika and chili powder, not original to the CI recipe.
- 1 skin on salmon fillet, 1 3/4 – 2 pounds (I used two individual skinless fillets)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Chili powder
Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. If using skin on salmon, make 4 or 5 shallow slashes about an inch apart along the skin side of each piece, being careful not to cut into flesh.
Pat salmon dry. Rub fillets with oil and season with salt, paprika, and chili powder. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees and remove the HOT baking sheet. Carefully place salmon skin side down on baking sheet. Roast until centers of thickest part of fillets are still translucent when cut into with paring knife or instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of fillets registers 125 degrees, 9 to 13 minutes. Transfer fillets to individual plates or platter.
Pineapple Avocado Salsa
The Washington Post
- 4 ounces fresh or canned pineapple, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice (1/2 cup)
- Flesh of half a medium avocado, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
- 1 scallion, white and light green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (2 to 3 teaspoons)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 to 2 limes (1 tablespoon)
Combine the pineapple, avocado, scallion, salt, and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
In my childhood, a container of Country Time mix was the closest we ever got to homemade lemonade. You remember Country Time, don’t you? It “tastes like that good old fashioned lemonade”, or so they say. I say it tastes like: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Maltodextrin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Calcium Fumarate, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Tocopherol (Preserves Freshness). How’s that good old fashioned lemonade? Call me silly but I thought lemonade was lemon juice, water, and sugar. Continue reading
Short ribs. Braised short ribs. Lovely bits of meaty goodness bathed in a flavorful broth. Beef that falls apart as soon as you look at it.
My initial foray into the world of short ribs was courtesy of the Washington Post. They raved about Mahogany Short Ribs. So I gave them a shot. And they were awesome. But I can only fit so many pieces into a crockpot. So that recipe got filed away to be tinkered with. Only the tinkering never got off the ground. Continue reading
The holiday season finds many of us making the same things. And I’m always interested to see a different approach to a recipe that I’ve coaxed out of my kitchen. Like those Spiced Nuts I made before Christmas.
They had all been packaged and shipped and I’d already moved on to the next recipe on my list when I saw Deb at Smitten Kitchen had blogged about them as well. Her take on Candied Nuts employs egg whites and the oven while mine are constructed entirely on top of the stove.
But you know what? Her’s looked more like I wanted mine to look. All sandy and nubby with the spices. Not shiny.
And I like that hers is straightforward in the sweet/salty/spicy mix and only uses three flavors. The more complicated the flavor palette, the more chance for things to go wrong.
So although it’s absurdly early to say this is definitely what I’m going to make next holiday go round, it is at the top of my list. Hope it finds a spot on yours as well. I’m not going to post her recipe here because reading her post and drooling over her photos is half the fun!
Deb, of Smitten Kitchen, is the kitchen goddess I aspire to be. Her blog has the power to unleash the Seven Deadly Sins from her home kitchen.
Lust is usually thought of as excessive thoughts or desires. Take one look at her photos and you will be consumed with the desire for a taste of whatever she’s making. Doesn’t matter if you like the particular ingredients, you will be mesmerized by the pictures. Yes, this is food porn at its finest.
Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over consumption of anything. Seriously, would one taste of the Peanut Butter Crispy Bars be enough for anyone?
Greed is a sin of excess. Greedy behavior, including hoarding of materials or objects, is one possible side effect of making her recipes. Would YOU really share the Peanut Butter Crispy Bars? Be honest. It’s ok, I wouldn’t either.
Sloth is a sin of laziness or indifference. Like after you’ve eaten the entire batch of Crispy Bars, you will be completely indifferent to whether or not you shared them with anyone.
Wrath is a tricky one. It may be described as feelings of hatred and anger and is not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest, although one can be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy. As in you did choose to share some of those Crispy Bars and the jealousy you experience over knowing you won’t be able to enjoy ALL of those tasty treats is overwhelming.
Envy, like greed, may be characterized by an insatiable desire. On a daily basis, I am envious of what Deb is able to accomplish in 80 square feet of kitchen space AND her ability to capture such stunning pictures of it all.
Pride is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others or excessive love of self. I can attest that when I was able to get an edible loaf from her Bread Without A Timetable recipe, I was feeling all kinds of important and prideful. Not pretty, I know, but it’s the truth.
You’ve been warned, Smitten Kitchen is some powerful juju. But in moderation, and with deliberate thoughtfulness, its powers can be harnessed for good, instead of evil.
Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of pressure. Expectations are high and people come to the table HUNGRY. So when dishes don’t quite hit the mark, it can be disappointing. I’ll give you an example. Actually, I’ll give you three. Continue reading