culinary review

What One Cooks When It's Fall

Last Modified: 11/05/11
First Published: 11/05/11
Views: 467

There has been quite a few recipes made lately, all of which can be placed in different categories. One thing these dishes all seem to have in common however is the theme of fall. We've had the pleasure of having beautiful fall weather basically up to now, however in some ways it doesn't much matter in terms of food does it? Because if it's cold and sunny, then soup, stews, bread and crumbles sound good, because it's fall, right! And if it's windy and pouring, then soups, stews, bread and crumbles sound even better, because it's fall, and cold too!

Well, there was an attempt to make vegetarian chili which turned out rather well, flavor wise. The thing with vegetarian chili is, I don't actually mind meat in my chili; well slow cooked meat always add tremendous flavor, and if you're talking authentic chili, then you definitely need meat. But when your fridge stares back at you empty and there is no chuck in sight, then I like the idea that you can make something that captures the essence of good chili (smokey adobo, heat, cumin, tomatoey goodness and heartiness) without having to make a trip to the store.

By using a few different types of legumes you can actually get a lot of structure and a good base. I used red lentils, lentils de puy and black beans which balanced out the dish nicely and didn't give the chili an overly strong "bean taste."

There has also been a few adventures in terms of bread baking, namely a banana chocolate yeast bread that could use some tweaking but which basically turned out well. I'm still trying to wake my sourdough to life after a long state of hibernation in a dry state. The sourdough is proving stubborn and apparently doesn't want to properly awake, but I haven't given up yet.

bread rising

Easily Amused

Last Modified: 10/23/11
First Published: 10/23/11
Views: 561

With so many different squash and pumpkin varieties these days at well stocked grocery stores and farmer's markets, it's difficult not to become carried away. Gleaming with bright colors and featuring unusual shapes, I really feel like buying one of each, just to see what each one tastes like. Butternut, spaghetti, delicata, buttercup, weird looking red ones etc…! I buy one, or maybe two and almost hope for a complete flavor surprise, something unexpected and unusual, however in the end it seems like most of them tastes rather similar, and I can't help but to feel a bit disappointed.

The want to discover new foods seem to be limited to a portion of the population. Lots of people are very happy cooking dishes using the same old recipe with the same ingredients and don't see any reason why you should ever change it. Perhaps there are only a few of us out there whose heart's pump a bit harder when we see something we haven't already tried. Beautiful, large red speckled beans that you have no idea what to make with at first sight, however your mind starts running wild with the various possibilities. Who cares if the price tag is higher than pinto beans, that seems like a small price to pay for the sake of discovery. Or how about the array of cabbages out there? Even though I tend to end up buying old fashioned green or red cabbage (mainly because I can't resist that low price tag - it just seems like such a bargain), I can't help but wondering what all those varieties would taste like. Sometimes I pick up something new when I visit the supermarket, and it becomes sort of a game, a treat if you may.

Perhaps I should be happy I'm this easily amused. Would I care for a Prada bag or Marc Jacobs shoes? Sure, but I am just as happy (or almost anyway!) when I have a new vegetable to play with in my kitchen…  

Thoughts From The Kitchen

Last Modified: 10/23/11
First Published: 10/23/11
Views: 427

On my windowsill I have a few flowers and a few herbs (disregard the dusty window and focus on the sweet basil). At this window I do my dishes and think about food, flavors, ingredients, weird combinations and so forth. The purchase of some green kale and white beans can lead to a sort of obsession where the possible combinations of these few things take up way too much of my mental time and focus.

I very much enjoy when this happens and I can't stop thinking of the possibilities that white beans and greens together have to offer, or whatever the focus might be. And isn't it wonderful when so simple things can make you thoroughly happy and content?

Hopefully this corner of the Culinary Review will be filled with thoughts from my kitchen. Relevant, irrelevant and sometimes pretty ingenious if I were to say so myself...

2011 October