Madhur Jaffrey’s Smoky Eggplant (For the Graffi White Pinot Noir)

Or, Let baigans be baigans. I’ve got another wine to pair with food for Raffi and Margaret over at Tuscany Distributors.  This week, it’s the Graffi white Pinot Noir, which has a pleasant, apple-y taste and scent, and a nice crispness when we drank it at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is maybe 20 minutesContinue reading “Madhur Jaffrey’s Smoky Eggplant (For the Graffi White Pinot Noir)”

Aioli Chicken (for the Bonacchi Chianti Borgo Antico)

A quick procedural note: this entry will begin a series of recipes commissioned by my friends Margaret and Raffi, who run the Ohio arm of an Italian wine distribution company.  They gave me and Carolyn a rather staggering quantity of wine, and in return, I’m going to write a series of recipes that pair eachContinue reading “Aioli Chicken (for the Bonacchi Chianti Borgo Antico)”

Mushroom Powder

And its multifarious uses! I adore mushrooms.  I love shiitakes stir-fried with strips of flank steak, I love the earthy funk of fresh morels in cream sauce, I love porcini-and-pea risotto – I even love the unjustly-maligned white button mushroom (which is, you may not be aware, the exact same thing as a brown criminiContinue reading “Mushroom Powder”

Four Friends Chai Spice Mix

Or, I Did It Chai Way. There’s a resale shop in Chicago – actually, there are a few of them – whose proceeds benefit the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, the premier GLBT health services provider in the Chicago area.  It’s called The Brown Elephant.  I go there whenever I can, because A) ItContinue reading “Four Friends Chai Spice Mix”

Improv Dinner I

It didn’t start out this way. Adam and Zev wanted to have a cooking double-date with me and Carolyn.  I would, based on their prompting, come up with a couple of recipes based on their suggestions, and then we’d all hang out in the kitchen and cook together.  We’d judge whether or not I’d doneContinue reading “Improv Dinner I”

The Shroom

Or, “You’re Tearing Me Apart, Lisa!” Butter. (What?  Oh.  You’re making a reference to a dumb movie?  Okay, cool.) Oh-my-god that movie’s so magnificently stupid. ANYWAY.  Those of you whom I have not yet alienated: hello!  By some stroke of fortune for me, and a stroke of misfortune for him, my roommate David’s brother wasContinue reading “The Shroom”

ABC Soup: Apples, Butternut Squash, and Chevre

After a recent pizza party, I ended up with a surfeit of goat cheese in my fridge.  One of the many distinct advantages to hosting a pizza party is that when everyone goes home, you’re left with a staggering amount of leftover unused toppings.  All the chopped onion, roasted red peppers, smoked and cured meat,Continue reading “ABC Soup: Apples, Butternut Squash, and Chevre”

Take Me to the Pie-lette

I am but a stranger. I’m not even going to try to convince you that pie is better than cake. I’ll just tell you that no pie-eating nation can ever be permanently vanquished, and that “in our own glad and fortunate country the seasons are known by their respective dominant pies.” We set our clocksContinue reading “Take Me to the Pie-lette”

Cincy Mac

  There used to be a place near my apartment called Cinner’s – it closed a few months ago, but before it did, it broke open my conception of what chili was.  Just, wham – broke it in half and filled the empty space between with a nest of spaghetti.  The restaurant was billed asContinue reading “Cincy Mac”

Essential Stovetop Mac and Cheese

So, with the onset of the colder months, like I’ve been saying, I think it’s time to hunker down.  The winds of winter are going to slice through the cracks between the wall and the windows, shred through your clothes, and freeze your blood, so you might as well fill yourself with food that keepsContinue reading “Essential Stovetop Mac and Cheese”

Justifiable Applecide

Depending on what part of the country you’re from, there are probably apples yet on the trees, hangin’ like a promise and achin’ to be picked. More than likely, though, there’s a bounty of apples on the ground, too.  These are called windfalls.  Some of ‘em are ugly.  Some of ‘em are bruised.  But areContinue reading “Justifiable Applecide”

Spaghettigeddon

or, Preparing for the End Times the Tastiest Way I Know! Probably you are tired of this by now, but I’m not: WINTER IS COMING. A gorgeous and long-awaited fall has graced Chicago, and consequently I am girding up for winter’s terrible onset.  Actually, I’m excited.  Carolyn is terrified, and already misses summer.  I scoffContinue reading “Spaghettigeddon”

Naanakopita: Delicious Pockets of Cross-Cultural Blasphemy

The Whole Foods by my girlfriend’s apartment used to sell Sukhi’s Naanwiches, or at least, the kind she liked – the kind with spinach and potato and tofu.  She’d keep them in her fridge, and hurl one into the oven for dinner if the mood struck her.  I had one, once, and liked it.  IContinue reading “Naanakopita: Delicious Pockets of Cross-Cultural Blasphemy”

The Taste of Disillusionment

or An advanced lecture in alienating your audience. I’m in Iowa. I won’t be by the time I post this, but, for now, as I write this, I’m in Iowa. Cedar Rapids, to be precise – the second-largest city in the state. It’s about four hours west of Chicago, and my cousin Beth invited meContinue reading “The Taste of Disillusionment”

The Further I Slide

or, Moribund the Hamburgermeister One of the many marvelous things I acquired on the single greatest day of garage sale-hunting in American history was a meat grinder.  Not a hand-cranked jobbie, no: I’ve got one of those – an ancient piece of work from the 1930s.  I’m sure it works, but it’s more decorative thanContinue reading “The Further I Slide”