What I’m Reading Today

The last day of school-really?!  Where the time goes I’ll never know but, with summer staring me right in the face, it’s time to host a few BBQs, try lots of new recipes, and hit plenty of farmers’ markets. 

For those of you in the Bay Area or Seattle, a few notes about some upcoming events for Cooking from the Farmers’ Market:
July 11th I’ll be doing a short demo followed by a book signing at Williams Sonoma in Bellevue Square, 10am.  Hometown folks-I expect to see you all there!
July 19th I’ll be shooting a segment for local SF television show View from the Bay.  I believe it airs live but stay tuned for confirmation on that one so you can be sure to set that DVR (if you’re not in SF I’ll post a link from my site after the show).
July 20th I’ll be signing books at Book Passage in San Francisco’s Ferry Building.  The event is at 6pm and we’ll definitely have tastes to sample from the book.  What better place to sign books about the farmers’ market?!
July 21st I’ll be doing a short talk followed by a book signing at Berkeley‘s Books, Inc.  The event is at 7pm and, again, tasty treats for all!  If you’re over in the East Bay, come by and say ‘hello’.

OK…on to what I’m reading today:

The humble Caesar Salad must have hired quite a publicist.  I’ve been reading all about it lately and I have to admit, I’ve always been a fan.  In today’s New York Times there is a Green Garlic Caesar Salad with Anchovy Croutons.  Green garlic is the lovely young garlic we’re seeing in markets for a short window right now (regular cloves work in a pinch if you can’t find it).  This is the real deal version, made with eggs to keep it creamy and anchovy for that depth of flavor.  For all you anchovy haters out there, give them a shot here.  You’d be surprised how naked your Caesar tastes when you leave them out of the dressing.  They should never make the salad taste fishy but rather create a deep, salty, savory flavor that is iconic for this dish.  For a few more variations you can read this article from last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle.  It’s not recipes but a field guide to some of the best restaurant Caesar’s in San Francisco.

I love this headline:  “The frittata: an omelet on slo-mo”.  After making dozens of frittata for my “eggs” book, I have to agree that this is the perfect description.  Just know “slo” in this case is really not that slow at all.  A frittata is essentially a (very easy) baked omelet, a brunch staple when it comes right out of the oven but also perfect as part of an antipasto platter when you serve it at room temperature.  While it shouldn’t be a vessel for everything in the kitchen sink, the frittata can definitely withstand some bold ingredients.  The variation in today’s Chicago Tribune is a Frittata with Goat Cheese and Vegetables, simple weeknight dinner if I’ve ever seen one.  For more variations, check out “eggs and look for Spinach, Tomato, & Feta, Sweet Onion, Mushroom, & Bacon,  Red Pepper, Artichoke, & Lamb Sausage and plenty more.

So you’re having a dinner party and those same old appetizers are just getting old.  You need something fun, crunchy, different, and seasonal…how about Crab Hush Puppies with Old Bayonnaise from today’s Washington Post?  If mayo + Old Bay = “Old Bayonnaise” doesn’t sell you, the crispy fritters full of crab and fresh corn certainly will.  This is one of those recipes to do in phases: the mayo can be made 2 days ahead, the batter will hold for several hours, and, while the Hush Puppies are best when they are just out of the oil, they will keep just fine in a 200 degree oven for about an hour.  I love appetizers like this when I’m having a casual party that inevitably ends up in the kithcne.  Your friends can hang out while you cook the fritters.  Heck, get them involved and show ’em how to do it.  Fun and tasty at the same time.

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!

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