Donut Peach Donuts

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By Cathy Erway

It was so silly I had to do it. When I read that I would be getting a pint of donut peaches in the newsletter of my fruit CSA this week, the idea took hold of me: must make “donut peach donuts.” I just saw Inception like the rest of our society has, it seems, so I know more than ever now that when an idea is planted, it can grow and grow to take over your rational thought. 
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I dreamed and deliberated about how to make donut peach donuts. My first idea had been simple: make a peach jelly with the fresh fruit, and squeeze it in the middle of some sort of homemade donutty thing. Yeast-risen dough or cake-like dough? Both involved tons of steps, especially the yeast, which is actually my preferred donut type. Do I coat it with powdered sugar after it’s been deep-fried and done? Yuck… I know it’s classic, but I could never stand that fine dust of super-sweet. Maybe I don’t really want to make donuts after all? I hesitated.

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Posted in Baking, Produce

Sunday Supper: Pasta with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Bread Crumbs

A great pasta dish to make during tomato season (now). Adapted from How to Cook Everything.

Pasta with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Bread Crumbs

Makes: About 4 servings

Time: 40 minutes

The trick here is incorporating crisp-cooked bread crumbs at the last minute. You must use fresh bread crumbs, most pieces about the size of a pea.

Salt

1 /4cup extra virgin olive oil (1/2cup if you’re omitting the pancetta)

1 /4cup chopped pancetta or bacon (optional)

1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

Freshly ground black pepper

2 small to medium eggplant (about 12 ounces), cut into 1/2- to 1-inch chunks

6 small or 3 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch chunks

1 to 2 teaspoons thinly sliced garlic, to taste

1 pound spaghetti, linguine, or other long pasta

Chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put half the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the meat if you’re using it, stirring occasionally, until just about crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring almost constantly, until nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes; sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper as they cook. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the remaining oil.

2. Add the eggplant, stirring occasionally and sprinkling with salt and pepper, until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. When it’s done, begin cooking the pasta in the boiling water until tender but not mushy. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the eggplant; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.

3. When the pasta is done, drain it and toss with the eggplant mixture, the bread crumbs, and the meat if you used it. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with basil, and serve.

 

Posted in Italian, Recipes

Fridge Pickles, Your Way

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By Kerri Conan 

Not to be confused with my shortcut brined-in-the-skillet version that ran on this page a couple weeks back. These are two quick refrigerated pickles backed by bona fides. The first comes from the book mentioned in that piece, my precious Quick Pickles. And then after the jump are Mark’s favorite kosher pickles, lifted verbatim from both the old and the new editions of How to Cook Everything. Another—totally different—winner. 

As long as you don’t mess with the proportions in the brine, the flavors and ingredients are totally customizable. 

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Posted in Produce

On Forgetting How to Cook, Part II

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MB

Another thing I seem to have forgotten: how to make bread. Specifically, how to make Jim Lahey’s bread, about which I somewhat famously wrote four years ago.

Then, at a benefit for the Truro Center for the Arts a few weeks ago, I met a woman named Judith Motzkin, who makes (among other things) ceramic pots specifically designed for baking Lahey-style bread. This roughly coincided with the arrival of an actual oven at the place I stay in on the Cape (until recently we had a weird kind of oven/microwave hybrid, which was inadequate to every task, from heating coffee to baking bread), and a pledge on my part to resume breadmaking. (The Outer Cape, notorious for bad bread, now boasts a “boulangerie” in Wellfleet which, from my pre-summer experience, seems pretty good, but right now it’s more than your life is worth to try to get anywhere near it. You might as well try to get into Mac’s Shack at 7pm on a Saturday.)  

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Posted in Baking

A Single Person’s Guide to Produce

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By Laura Virginia Anderson

[In which Ms. Anderson attempts to down the full allotment of her CSA share and then some. – mb]

Let’s say you’re a single person living in Brooklyn, and let’s say that a few months ago, you signed up for a full weekly CSA share containing vegetables, fruit, and eggs. Let’s also say—just for the hell of it—that you sometimes work as an assistant stylist on the set of your boss’s cooking videos, and that you often take home leftover vegetables from the set so that they don’t get thrown away.

My hypothetical question is this: Is it possible for you, single Brooklynite, to consume your CSA share, plus vegetables rescued from the set, over the course of the week without either throwing anything away or having a nervous breakdown?

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Posted in Produce

On Forgetting How to Cook, Part I

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MB

Anything you learn, you can forget, right? That’s how I figure it.  

I used to grill probably 100, 150 nights a year (I never counted, but that seems about right). I lived in Connecticut, which is not the ideal grilling location, but because I came from New York, where grilling is as illegal as right turns on red, to me it was so exotic that once the opportunity became an unlimited one, I took full advantage of it. One of the first food stories I wrote, back in the early 80s, was about grilling during winter. I had a tiny second floor porch, and I was out there every chance I got, almost regardless of the weather.  

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Posted in American

Politics of the Plate

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By Barry Estabrook

Fresh Express Bags Food Safety Trifecta

In the past three months, Fresh Express, a unit of Chiquita Brands International, managed to claim food contamination’s Triple Crown.

Sustainable Food News reports that earlier this month, the company, known for its bagged “ready-to-eat” salad greens, recalled nearly 3,000 cases of its Veggie Lover’s Salad mix because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

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Posted in Food Politics, Produce

Leftover Dueling Pork

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By Edward Schneider

When we had our dueling pork meal, even with eight people around the table there were leftovers, of course. The first round I mentioned in the post, but there were plenty more. So one evening Jackie and I had patties, or kotlety, or rissoles – or, as my mother used to call them, coquettes (how racy, had she but known). To make them, I chopped up the rest of the Ibérico pork and some of the Flying Pigs roast, mixed it with cooked (and cooled) onion, eggs, breadcrumbs and chopped dill, formed patties, breaded them and got them crisp and hot in clarified butter. Mushroom sauce (sautéed mushrooms, milk and cream, pureed then finished with lemon juice) on the side. They were deliciously porky. 

But wait, there were still more leftovers. And these became a stuffing for not-entirely-classic tortellini. The traditional Emilia-Romagna filling is made of some variation on cooked pork and capon or turkey, prosciutto, mortadella and parmesan, seasoned with nutmeg. It is quite a dry mixture, which makes it easy to form and keep the tortellini. For my variation, I used the remaining Flying Pigs roast pork loin (including all its fat), a chunk of prosciutto and some parmesan, all run through the food processor along with a little rosemary, and seasoned with ground fennel seed and black pepper. These flavors echoed the original seasoning of the roast; there was no point in fighting flavors that were already there in the name of some notion of authenticity that was already out the window.  

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Posted in Italian

Curry Fried Rice

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by Andrea Nguyen 

I typically walk to the market every day for groceries, but ever since I pulled my Achilles I’ve had to do a lot more cooking on the fly.  

The other day I limped to the fridge to figure something out for lunch. I found some leftover rice, a couple of eggs, blanched green beans, and sautéed mushrooms. I could have made an omelet and reheated the rice in the microwave, but fried rice came to mind. 

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Posted in Indian