Glugg? Gloog? Glerg? “Ö” is a difficult letter for me to pronounce, so when it comes to asking for this sweetly-spiced, Scandanavian mulled wine, I sometimes simplify my request to “I’ll have some of what’s simmering in that crockpot.” While spending the winter in Stockholm a few years ago, I regularly indulged in 3 pm glögg-fikas (glögg-themed coffee breaks), 5 pm jul-glöggs (glögg-themed Christmas parties?), after-work mugs-o’-glögg (i.e. happy hour)…and so on. It seemed that my Swedish friends were exceptionally good at coming up with reasons to drink glögg— reasons bound in traditions which were justified by statements like “Because. That’s just what we do.” Hard to argue with that when you can’t even pronounce an “ö” . And in the interest of keeping with tradition, you could always count on there being a plate of crispy, crunchy pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) at the table to nibble on as you sipped your beverage. Let’s just say is was a gluttony of glögg. Continue reading
The other day I got an alarming series of texts from my friend Camille. She had just baked a batch of muffins, cooled them, and set them on the countertop in ziploc bags while she stepped out to run some errands. Upon returning home, she entered her kitchen and glanced around. Something was wrong. Granola crumbs littered the floor. She heard a rustling, and surveyed the room. It was then that she locked eyes with her intruder— a fat squirrel, having entered through the open window, now huddled under the kitchen table, seemingly trying to calculate the probability of successfully dragging a Ziploc baggy full of muffins and a package of sprouted chia-goji berry granola out the window without being eaten/killed/captured and/or losing his loot.
Halloween may be long over, but those little decorative pumpkins, the sugar pie variety, are still gracing the table tops and window sills of homes and shops around the neighborhood. You could send your leftover pumpkins to Teddy the talking porcupine, or you could throw them in your oven and transform them into something delicious. On a recent visit to Brouwerij Lane, after extolling my love of squash and shamelessly touting my cooking skills, I was granted 4 little pumpkins from their personal stash of decorative vegetation. I brought them home, set them on the couch and stared at them. Four pumpkins. They stared back. Four pumpkins. They weren’t talking. Tell me what to do with you. Silence. No clues. I decided I’d just roast them all and create something new and pumpkin-y each day.
Ingredients for a Community Cookbook:
1. An awesome neighborhood (i.e. Greenpoint)
2. A variety of fun and delicious recipes — be them Italian, Polish, Nigerian, Israeli, Korean, Colombian, Japanese…the more the merrier!
3. Cooks that would like to share their favorite recipes with their neighbors
Greenpointers is compiling a community cookbook and — friends, neighbors, home cooks — we need your recipes! Send them in to us by January 1, 2014 through this easy form. The book will be available to purchase by late spring 2014. More info to come as the date draws nearer.
I’ve had Balinese food on my mind ever since a recent dinner at Selamat Pagi, near McGolrick Park. I’m in love with their menu, maybe in part because what they offer is so different than anything else I’ve found in Greenpoint lately—bursting with notes of galangal and lemongrass, spicy and herbaceous, with sweet, funky fish-sauce undertones. These flavors bring me back to Chicago, where I first tasted Lula Café’s Tineka Sandwich, a grown-up, savory take on the classic PB, made with Indonesian-spiced peanut butter and layers of juicy, crunchy, bright vegetables. A memory quickly turned into a craving, and so I created this rough approximation of the Lula original, starting by mixing up a spicy peanut butter, spreading it on whole grain bread, and then topping with some veggies and herbs I had on hand. Easy, delicious, and unusual. If you’re not used to imagining peanut butter without the jelly, it’s time to think outside of the jar. Peanuts are a great base ingredient to build on, and can easily go in directions both sweet and salty (Pad Thai, anyone?). So give this sandwich a chance, tiger.
Clams have feelings too, you know…maybe? Disturb them and they’re liable to spit right in your eye. Such an action, so uncouth, so impulsive, warrants a long vacation in the soup pot, if you get my drift. What I’m saying is Ahoy! It’s time to make chowdah. And I’m not talking about that silly Manhattan version that some people have to mention when the word “chowder” comes up. You don’t live on that island across the river, do you? So why would you make a stew that bears its name? The choice is clear (actually the choice is opaque, but whatever). This week’s recipe, New Amsterdam Clam Chowder, will keep you pleasantly fortified, as you brave the cool and craggy Brooklyn coast line. It has all of the traditional New England version’s flavor, but less of the cream—using more broth and potatoes to attain that silky-smooth texture. And while your simmering, maybe you can make some of these too, for dunking. Otherwise, a nice, hearty slice of Balthazar multigrain boule works perfectly as an accompaniment. Continue reading
Nothing is easy. Especially not figuring out what to make for dinner, which can actually feel like sort of a chore if you cook a lot. Having said that, I’ll admit that few things make me as happy as cooking…so I ought to stop complaining and celebrate the fact that last week I received a gift of somewhere around 30 bulbs of fresh garlic from the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival! Weehoo! What to do with such a generous harvest? Well, there is one thing in cooking that IS easy AND satisfying. Two words: roasted garlic. I learned how to roast these lovely alliums over a decade ago and still it’s totally magic to me how a little heat and a drizzle of olive oil can turn something so pungent and crisp as raw garlic into something this mellow, sweet, and smooth. Continue reading
I’ll admit it. My spice cabinet is a bit of a mess. And it seems the more cooking I do, the greater into disarray my cache of seasonings falls. A six-year-old, nearly untouched jar of marjoram rests atop a pillow of unlabeled ziploc bags filled with heaping spoonfuls of unidentified yellow and green aromatic powders. Towards the back of the cupboard, a tub of oregano the size of a house cat mocks me. Too much of this, too little of that, and what to do with it all, assuming the old stuff still has pungency? Greenpoint’s Tara Suan, has come up with an idea to combat these common kitchen conundrums.
A friend of mine and I were just discussing which of our senses we could live without. After a bit of thinking I had settled on smell— a decision directly related to living in a city where ambient smells are cheap, plentiful, confusing, and often punishing as summer wears on. But it’s autumn now, thankfully, and the air is crisp (or it’s going to be soon? Next week? By Halloween?), and if I couldn’t smell I’d miss some of the best things about this season…leaf piles, wood stoves, hot apple cider, and fresh concord grapes!
Following Jen’s lead on Monday, I’ve got more love here for The Bounty, plus a recipe! On my last visit there, surveying the menu my eyes immediately closed in on the dessert section. Sour Cherry Far Breton? Could my eyes be deceiving me? I can’t recall ever seeing a Far Breton on a menu in Brooklyn, but it is this dessert about which I dream. I had hit the jackpot.