Friday, September 26, 2014

Smoked Paprika and Saffron Mussels at Anthology, Spaghetti and Meatballs and a Fantastic Choucroute at the New York Times

These are a few of my favorite things. Plump mussels shipped to me overnight by my friend (an oyster, salmon, and seafood expert) Jon Rowley. A richly fragrant broth in which to serve them. Conveniently morsels of crusty bread to sop up every drop. And, friends gathered close to revel in just how plump and juicy mussels can be, when they are harvested from clean waters at just. the. right. time.

I could make a list a mile long of favorite things, no doubt. But this is a good start. And the meal was so good. If you choose to make this savory, juicy dish, please follow back and tell me how much you loved it! See the full story and recipe at Anthology.

Many things have come to print since my last post here, so I'll use this as an opportunity to share the wonderful work I've done most recently for the New York Times, out on Wednesday.

This super no-fuss meatballs and spaghetti story, by my no-nonsense favorite, Mark Bittman -

That's me!

Also from that story, a much more labor intensive - but worth every moment - choucroute preparation -

This was so good I've made it twice since. SO good.

The pork shoulder is pasture-raised heritage Berkshire/Tamworth breed, by my friend Farmer Brad at Mountain Song Farm, and the wonderfully tangy sauerkraut is from my farmer friends Lindsay, Pete, and Benford at Harvest Roots Farm and Ferment. Support your local farmers and eat well.

Here is a wonderful spin on pan-fried fish, served with an asian ragout that offers both crunchy and velvety notes -

the red snapper I used for the story

There's more. But I am being stared at by the next to-dos on my lists. Those left undone stare at me, and whether or not I've crossed a bunch off in a day, those which remain bore holes I cannot bear…. Some of those to-dos include tasks to prepare for a trip: I am traveling to Norway next week!!!

If you have recommendations of places to go and things to do, please tell me in the comments. Thank you!

It will be splendid. I know I cannot conceive to what extent. But I am certain this travel will provide much inspiration. I plan to tuck real and experiential pieces into my bag to bring back and share with you all…. For in-the-moment beauty on this adventure and everyday, follow me on Instagram.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Garden & Gun, a Story About Me, Lots of Fun at New York Times, and the Summer Disappeared

This past springtime, the flurry of activity really took hold. I went so far as to map out each day from start to end so that I could keep track of timing: the dizzying myriad projects underway, along with new ones, all clamoring for space. The time has come where many fruits of that labor have ripened, in and amidst my steady work with the fine people at Anthology and The New York Times.

Where Women Cook, a Southern quarterly, asked to feature me. It tickled me so! Not just to produce recipes that I thought would translate into beauty on the page (and of course be dynamite tasting), but to have those recipes be my own creation; what I deemed relevant and lovely. All that, accompanied with my story. Talk about humbling.

I love the results. The newest issue can be found at Barnes and Noble. Pick up a copy and tell me what you think!

portrait by the wonderful Jim Lafferty

Here are some of the photographs featured, and some favorite outtakes -

beetroot cure ingredients that comprised the above finished dish

Grinding nuts into a powder to incorporate

This crumb-topped apple crostada is certifiably amazing
During that same time frame, my editor at Garden & Gun had an ambitious story she needed turned around in record time, and of course I said 'no problem!' The idea: the best southern breakfasts. One could write volumes I imagine. So off I went to Oxford Mississippi to capture breakfasts done big by none other than Chef John Currance, at the original Big Bad Breakfast. Needless to say there were grits involved, and lots of bacon-related elements…here's the online version - check out the full story in the magazine, out now.

Other fun and colorful stories of note, The New York Times has been using my skills at cooking, styling, and shooting on the regular. This great piece was printed last month and took up most of the front page - wahoooo!!! (Online story, here.)

Not only did my piece grace Page One, but I was right beside an equally great story about none other than Betty Fussell. She's been writing up a storm - and of the no-nonsense variety - for the last five decades. Betty is also an amazing human. I am blessed to call her a friend, and I even interviewed her here a while back, for my Luminary series. Available online, both articles are worth having a good look at.

In other NYTimes news, there's this indulgent sweet corn risotto. Insanely yummy.

Also, a story about Basque recipes for the under-appreciated green pepper, like this Piperade. Savory and a delight (but I still prefer red or orange peppers most any day…)

Did you see this yummy piece about these brown butter and coconut financiers? Holy moly they were good.


This comprises work that's out in print right now. More g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s stories soon to debut! I hope these will keep you sated, at least for the time being. ;)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Twelve Months with Anthology

I am brought to reflection on various milestones this year, and this one adds to the list of sweet accomplishments added to my day-to-day. Yay for this anniversary! 

I picked these figs from trees heavy with fruit one evening before going on set, with the fermented fragrance of more, too quickly ripening to all be plucked, heavy around me. So many different types of fig trees to wander through. It was my quiet weeknight rendez-vous as I prepped this story, at the urban teaching farm known here as the Jones Valley Teaching Farm. It's only 10 or so blocks away from my home, and what a beautiful series of gardens they have.  

To mark the occasion of this anniversary, I've made a delectable fig-bourbon vanilla-almond brittle-pistachio honey-gingersnap ice cream cake. Perfect for the still-hot weather here, and a fun bite worthy of most any celebration. I hope you love it. Full story and recipe now at Anthology.

Pennants to add to the celebratory note….

The cake melts, but that's part of the fun! The mess of those delicious layers….This simply means you have to invite friends over to gorge with you, or get savvy at parceling out and freezing the leftovers.

To revisit the last twelve months of Anthology stories, here are some of my favorite images and their respective recipes….

The gorgeous - and still very relevant - panzanella salad.

One of the three salads for summer staples I created, from this story.

The extraordinarily satisfying strawberry-rhubarb crostadas to herald in spring.

Simple and colorful: my kind of daily eating. This crunchy and flavorsome slaw is where it's at. 

A ridiculously easy and delicious apple flognarde. What else matters when you have this?

That amazing layer cake I did because people like layer cakes. And because this was basically my wedding cake and I wanted more of it.

The savory meat pies to keep you comfy. Warm buttery crust and herby meat filling. What better way to bear down and cope with winter?

A favorite of mine: savory slow-cooked lamb shanks and melted onions. I get hungry just reading those words aloud….

Classic apple tarts tatin. Half the work of pie and just as pleasing as if all the effort was exerted. Dig in.

Best-ever cheesecake, made with muscadines. Newly to the south, I discovered an easy way to make a mark with these brightly sweet southern orbs.

And for my first post, this as-awesome-as-ever pesto-not-pesto. Nutty, savory, addictive. You'll pretty much want to put this on everything. 

Do you have a favorite? Please let me know! As I breathe life into the second year of posts, I want to hear from you which recipes and stories have really stood out, and why. Thank you.

And thank you all for following these adventures. I couldn't do it without your enthusiasm, your hunger for details, the back-stories, and wanting to see a peek into the what's next. And as to what is next, there are a bunch of beautiful things getting cooked up.... 

If you haven't seen the new Anthology Journal, here is an excerpt with my grandmother's heirloom recipe story. You can find a copy for yourself by clicking here

Happy eating. Make something delicious for yourselves! xxx