Fall is one of the best times of year for cooking. The last of the summer produce lingers while squash, apples, and pears are in abundance. When the weather gets cold, it’s the perfect time to fire up the stove.
The legendary Paula Wolfert has a new book called Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. She must have an amazing publicist (or be one herself) because her clay pot recipes are everywhere, from Food & Wine to today’s LA Times. Paula has a knack for my favorite kind of cooking, the slow braise. And, when it comes to Moroccan food, her recipes “roc” the house (ugh, that was bad). Her recipe for Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Melting Tomatoes and Onions is probably best cooked in an earthenware tagine but if you don’t have one, try an enameled Dutch oven, like a Le Crueset. The flavors in this dish will not only taste amazing but the smells in your kitchen will immediately transport you to North Africa. The bonus? With the exception of the pinch of saffron, these are ingredients that wont break the bank.
Always a huge fan of any recipe by Mark Bittman, the Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Figs, in today’s NY Times, caught my eye in an instant. Fresh Brussels sprouts are having their day right now, see if you can find them still on the stalk-very fresh and, frankly, they look damn cool. The combo of salty, sweet, and crunchy in this recipe might just convert those Brussels sprout haters out there. I couldn’t leave the Times without a peak at the Leek Bread Pudding recipe too. I love savory bread pudding, kind of like rich, creamy stuffing. The recipe is adapted from Thomas Keller’s new Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. It is part of a lovely article on how Thomas has evolved over the years, making me very anxious to get my hands on this book.
All this talk of savory food has me craving something sweet. This year I have noticed dozens of articles and blog posts about apple cider doughnuts. Mary Risley, of Tante Marie’s Cooking School, posted a recipe for an apple cake on her web site too (I’ve tried it and it is amazing). In today’s Washington Post there is a great looking recipe for Apple Cider Doughnuts. If you’ve never made homemade doughnuts before, they are not hard at all. Just be prepared with a bit of time (the dough needs to rise), a lot of oil (remember, this is just for cooking the doughnuts-you don’t actually consume it all), and some hungry eaters. Fresh doughnuts are best eaten right away. What a treat for Halloween!
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking.