Sunday Supper: Fast Avocado Soup

It’s the weekend after the 4th, it’s hot, and you’re still stuffed with meat. Check out this unbelievably refreshing (and quick) avocado soup from How to Cook Everything. There’s no cooking required, but if you have any leftover cooked shrimp or crab lying around, definitely try the variation.

Fast Avocado Soup

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 10 minutes, plus time to chill

Creamy, with a gorgeous color, this soup couldn’t be simpler. If you like, dress it up with chopped cherry tomatoes, sliced scallion, chopped chervil or mint, or a dollop of crème fraîche (or any of those in combination). Or see the variation for some seafood additions.

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Posted in Mexican, Recipes

The Last Luncheon

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By Kerri Conan 

When house guests first arrive the kitchen is filled with promise. I’ve shopped, baked, and gardened. The over-stuffed pantry is mapped in my mind, and select jars of homemade canned treats have been moved to the fridge to chill along with the wine. 

These preparations—which undoubtedly include advance menu planning via email—are a lot more fun than changing the sheets and scrubbing the bathrooms. But their thrill is just as fleeting. Before you know it, the suitcases are lined up by the door and we’re all gathered around the table for the farewell meal.  Continue reading

Posted in American

What Are Your Five-Minute Fixes for Rice?

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It’s not a recipe, exactly, but it’s a revelation, or it was when my roommate Judy showed it to me 40 years ago (scary, but true; it was 1970). There was something daring, creative, wonderful about it.

What was it? Lemon rice. Lemon, black pepper, cooked rice. Fried rice with lemon and pepper. Whatever you want to call it, it’s hardly exciting now. Continue reading

Posted in Behind The Scenes

Beverage Notes: Moxie

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By John Thorne 

If you’re not doing anything else today, you might consider driving to Waldoboro, Maine, to help celebrate Moxie Day. The Moxiemobile will be there and other Moxie-intensive excitements, plus free samples of that beverage for everyone. Despite the fact that, before the Great Depression (I mean the earlier one), Moxie was America’s bestselling soft drink (okay, I don’t believe it either, but it does seem to be a fact), most people south of the Maine border have never heard of the drink, and the few who have, more than not, have refused to sample it again. Among them I count my doctor, who favors diet Dr Pepper, a drink which in any form should never have been allowed to cross the Mason-Dixon Line. (We already have it in New England; we call it cough syrup). When I suggested he might try diet Moxie, he reacted as though I had suggested he sip iced sewage.  

Moxie’s popularity in Maine is genuine. Checking online to confirm the Waldoboro event, I discovered that there are other Moxie Day celebrations in Maine this summer — in Lisbon Falls, Kennebunkport, and Union. I mention this only in passing, since my interest is in the beverage, not the “famous” Moxiemobile, Moxie memorabilia, or even Moxie ice cream. Even so, that these things actually exist gives me that comforting feeling you have when you discover you’re not alone.   Continue reading

Posted in American, Uncategorized

Politics of the Plate

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By Barry Estabrook 

Lubricated Crab Larvae

It had to happen sooner or later. Oil has officially contaminated the Gulf of Mexico’s seafood chain.

Last week Geoff Pender of the Sun Herald, a newspaper serving the Mississippi coast, reported that scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University had found droplets of oil in the larvae of blue crabs. While the oil’s presence is no immediate cause of concern for those craving a summer evening Cajun crab boil ,it is a harbinger of bad news. Small fish such as menhaden feed on crab larvae, and as they say, big fish eat little fish. “I think we’ll see this enter the food chain in a lot of ways,” Harriet Perry, director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, told Pender. Continue reading

Posted in Food Politics, Seafood

Bocadillos [Help Please]

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These, according to the sign in the bake shop in Buenos Aires, are bocadillos. Vegetable-egg-rice-cheese-potato fritters, or rounded pancakes, made in many different ways, as you can see. And quite good.  

Now before you tell me that they’re not, that bocadillos are sandwiches, I know. I’m just reporting: This is what the sign said. And if I’d known that identifying them would be such a challenge I would have a) paid more attention and b) grilled the saleswoman about the weird name.  

But as I’m not going back to BsAs (as they say) any time soon, and as I’d like to make these, I’m wondering if any of you know what they are, exactly?

Posted in Mexican

From Inventory to Dinner II: Scallops, Peas, Beans and Pasta

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By Edward Schneider 

As I said the other day when a menu board outside a raucous saloon provided the magic word (“chowder”) that defined that evening’s dinner, we turned out to have bought more than one meal’s worth of scallops. There were also plenty more peas and herbs, and we didn’t use the fava beans at all. 

So we needed a dish that was the same but different: some of the same core ingredients, but new flavors and textures, and a new staple to replace the potatoes. The same options as the day before remained open: risotto or other rice variations, for instance. But on my contemplative walk home I remembered that in the freezer was a pint container of egg-pasta disks: a while before, we’d made some kind of ravioli/tortelli/dumplings, and the filling had run out before the pasta, so we’d laid the extra disks out on a paper-lined tray, froze them and stored them in the container. Never again would they work for ravioli (once defrosted they would probably get gummy), but thrown, frozen, into boiling water they’d be kind of like Ligurian corzetti, except eggier than most and without the stamped decoration. Continue reading

Posted in Produce, Seafood

Decent Food at 30,000 Feet, Seriously

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By Andrea Nguyen

[Andrea discovers decent airplane food, and converts it to an appealing recipe. – mb)

Airline food is rarely something that you want to replicate at home. On a recent press trip to Asia, though I was treated to business class flights. We kicked off our long-haul back to the States with a 2-hour leg from Hanoi to Hong Kong; it was late morning and I’d breakfasted on pho noodle soup and croissant, thinking that I wouldn’t eat until the afternoon when we reached Hong Kong.

But we were served a full lunch, and I suddenly felt hungry when I got a whiff of the meal that the flight staff was reheating. It smelled comforting — garlic, soy sauce, maybe fish sauce too. Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Travel

Sunday Supper: 4th of July Menu

In honor of the long holiday weekend it seems only appropriate to offer up more than the usual Sunday dish–so here you go: a few ideas for a classic 4th of July celebration. All adapted from How to Cook Everything.

No-Work Smoked Pork Shoulder or Spareribs

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Time: About 4 hours, largely unattended

A gas grill works best here (though an oven will do for the first variation). You’ll be amazed by the ease of this low-and-slow technique and downright shocked at the result: The meat can be served straight off the grill, with no more than a squeeze of lime and a few drops of Tabasco, or with any salsa or chutney. Or your can refrigerate the whole thing, slice the shoulder or cut between the ribs, and put it back on the grill—this time over direct heat—to add a crisp steaklike char over the super-tender insides. Continue reading

Posted in American, Recipes