It’s a new year and cooking magazines, food sections, and blogs are swimming with articles about losing weight and eating well. Detox this, cleanse that…it all starts to sound the same very quickly. I like to focus on kitchen resolutions-things I can do more of v. things I have to take away. This year that means more entertaining at home (in the form of brunch), shopping at my favorite Asian market on a regular basis (both for culinary inspiration and saving money), and a prevalence of veggies all day long (not just the relegated side dishes at dinner). What about you?
Martha Rose Shulman, at the NY Times, writes a column on Wednesdays that should not be missed: “Recipes for Health”. It doesn’t sound all that sexy but I consistently find myself craving her dishes, not because they’re good for me but because they are full of flavors I love. Today she takes the often overlooked root, the turnip, and gives it a new life. My favorite recipe is this one for Rice Noodles with Stir Fried Chicken, Turnips, and Carrots. With the exception of the turnip I have everything else in my pantry or fridge right now. Like most Asian dishes, this comes together in no time flat but be sure to have everything prepped and ready to go. It’s a one pot meal that you’ll feel good about eating.
2011 was hands-down the year of the soup in my kitchen. I made pots and pots of every kind of soup imaginable. It’s my go-to meal when I need to make something ahead, clean out the fridge, or feed a lot of people. I’m not stopping this year either! My fire-red Le Creuset will continue working overtime and may just start with this Spicy Turkey Butternut Tortilla Soup with Lime Sour Cream from the Chicago Tribune. It’s made with leftover cooked turkey, which I don’t happen to have around, but I think grilled chicken breasts or thighs would be a fine stand-in. The only thing I’ll change is the recipes direction to pulse the onions in the food processor. I never do this-it’s a sure fire way to over power your dish with raw onion flavor. Take the time to mince them by hand, it’s well worth the few extra minutes.
Mario Batali has a new book called “Mario Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours“. He’s writing a companion newspaper column and I read it in today’s Seattle Times. I love the philosophy of his book, making time for family dinner has always been my soap box issue. His advice echos what I say in all my classes, start by tackling one day a week-gradually work up from there but don’t set unrealistic expectations. His recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Thyme should absolutely find it’s way to your table. The texture of the sprouts becomes crisp and the flavor caramelized. Even if you’re not a lover of Brussels sprouts, this cooking method may just win you, and your family, over.
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!