Popovers are magical. Golden-crisp outside, airy and delicately egg-y inside, these savory treats soar into towers from a thin, leavener-free batter. They also have the power to lure groggy teenagers out of bed on a Monday morning. Amazing!
I used to think I couldn’t make worthy popovers without a special popover pan. (Many recipes say it’s OK to make them in muffin tins, but to expect a lower rise and denser texture.) So I bought the pan. It did make beautiful, lofty popovers, but I always struggled to get them out of the pan – no matter how much butter I used to grease the cups. Plus, I’m not a fan of single-use kitchen tools that clog drawers and cupboards. Thus began my quest for a simple popover recipe that would produce beautiful results in a regular ol’ muffin tin – and le voilà!
Maybe it’s all the hype around PyeongChang and the Winter Olympics, but I am now officially hooked on the sweet/spicy/zingy/umami-rich flavors of Korean barbecue sauces and might need an intervention. It all started when I discovered We Rub You sauces while cruising the international aisle at WholeFoods. Continue reading →
It’s a well-known fact (just ask Oprah) that eating more vegetables is the key to a healthier diet. (We won’t talk about the specter of lectins here. Long live the tomato!) Vegetables = fiber and vitamins with fewer calories. Ergo, by stuffing a ton of zucchini into these cute little chocolate-laced muffins, you get a healthy yet tasty treat. WINNER! Maybe even the next “Too Good to Be Healthy” winner? Let me know what you think. PS – If it seems like I’ve gone link crazy, blame it on theSkimm. Continue reading →
Raise your hand if you love Brussels sprouts but only cook them once a year? That used to be me. For one, I was the only sprouts eater in the house. Then there’s the prep – what a pain it can be trimming the dried ends off all those little cabbage balls! Finally, there’s the issue of getting the texture just right. To me, Brussels sprouts should be soft, no matter what your method of cooking. So many times I’ll see them on a “Harvest Specials” menu in a restaurant and order them thinking they sound good (i.e. “crispy roasted with bacon”). Then they arrive at the table all hard and unappealing – often tasting of nothing but bacon grease. One day I was rooting around the freezer case at the store, looking for frozen bags of brown rice, when I discovered the answer to all my Brussels sprouts issues: Continue reading →
Or loca: I’m crazy for these produce department newcomers, ataulfo mangoes. For anyone who loves the floral/tropical flavor of mangoes but can’t stand the fibrous, get-stuck-between-your-teeth nature of the common mango, be sure to stock up on these golden beauties before they disappear for the season.
True story: Back in my Didn’t Know Better days, I used to whip up cauliflower tempura in my tiny studio kitchen on a near-weekly basis. It was always a huge mess – cornstarch dusting every inch of formica and vinyl, Wesson oil splattered all over the white Hotpoint stove. It was indulgent, and totally worth it. I especially loved the browned bits of cauliflower that would sometimes show up, having slipped out of their batter blanket and been allowed to sizzle directly in the oil. If only I had known about roasting cauliflower! I could’ve had that same caramelized delicacy with much less mess and many fewer calories.
Roasted cauliflower is the star of my new favorite salad, which I adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking. It’s full of contrasting-yet-harmonious flavors and textures, and is dressed with my super-versatile lemon garlic vinaigrette. I use this same dressing for Caesar salad, and even as a marinade for chicken and shrimp. But back to the main event: Even if you don’t make this salad (though you should!), you owe it to yourself to try the roasted cauliflower. Now we all know better. (And yes, the same can be said about perms, blue eye shadow and shoulder pads.)
Love this dip! Easy, healthful and exotic. (My food trifecta!)
If you can find any late-season eggplants at the market, grab’em. Throw them on the grill with whatever else you’re cooking. Let the eggplants get nice and charred, and then wrap them up until you feel like making this irresistible dip. (Even mid-winter, you can make this in the oven with grocery store eggplants.) Continue reading →
Bring on the heat! A little oil and a quick char from the grill or hot oven caramelizes the zucchini and enhances its otherwise bland-ish (sorry, zucchini) flavor. Maybe you already knew that part? (Especially if you’ve tried oven-roasted broccoli.) So the other secret, then, is . . . Continue reading →
Don’t let your Game Day appetizers fall flat! These spicy, cheesy olive balls are pumped full of flavor and go great with beer or cocktails. This retro recipe is all over the internet (and in several of my cookbooks), though usually it calls for paprika instead of cayenne pepper. Boring! Also, all of the recipes I looked at failed to mention the key step of drying the olives before wrapping in the cheese dough. If your olives are wet, your dough will get slimy and sticky. You do not want sticky balls! Continue reading →