Posts in Cooking
Fried Sage Leaves are Your New Best Friend

Some books really make you just want to trade places with the author and that’s how I feel about everything from Elizabeth Minchilli. She lives in Rome and Umbria and her newest book, The Italian Table, invites you in to her lush Italian world. It is divided into dinners across regions and seasons and it will have you wanting to book a flight to Italy pronto.

But one of the best things about the book is that it is full of delectable treats that are also easy. We decided to take on one of the simplest but most delightfully surprising - fried sage leaves. They are as simple to eat as an appetizer as potato chips or crudite but they have their only special uniqueness that will stop anyone in their tracks. Everyone will love them and everyone will be a bit surprised by their presence.

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The Perfect Spaghetti Dish

Sometimes simplicity can make for a perfect dish. And when it comes to spaghetti there’s nothing better than pairing it with garlic. But the trick to taking it to the next level is a few key ingredients and techniques. Gabe Thompson of L’Artusi stopped by to show us his recipe and it truly might be the perfect, simply spaghetti dish.

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The Indian-Ish Side Dish That Will Upend Your Weeknight

There are some books I can’t help but be instantly obsessed with, but my obsession with Indian-ish even predates its publication. I am lucky enough to have recipe tested for Priya Krishna’s new tome and I fell in love with it from first concept. Priya’s book is based off of her mother’s recipes that she made for her family when she moved from India to Texas. The book is called Indian-ish because of the adaptations that were made to create the recipes in the US - and as such it makes it one of the most approachable and fun books for a US audience.

I was lucky enough to live in India for a year so I am already predisposed to having an unhealthy love for any Indian cookbook that crosses my desk. But this one is special because it speaks to a uniquely American experience as well. For those who are intimidated by Indian cooking this is a good place to start - not just because the ingredients are more readily available but also because so many of the recipes are aimed towards the kind of weeknight cooking that Priya grew up with and we all tend to need in our lives.

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The Delectable Dhokla You Should Be Serving for Parties

There are few dishes that please everyone but a Dhokla might be that secret weapon recipe. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and nut free but also hearty enough and tasty enough to win over any meat eater. You can serve it piping hot as a side dish or as an easy room temperature party appetizer. You can add almost any topping from your pantry to make it even more delightful.

So what’s the deal with this magical dish? Niki Segnit came by to sing its virtues. The author of the beloved and celebrated Flavor Thesaurus has a new book coming this fall, Lateral Cooking, and it expands on her approach to cooking across cultures, science and history. And her view is that if you can cook cornbread, you can cook dhokla. It’s one piece of a book that encourages cooking as less of a regional plan and more of a global sharing of ideas.

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We Found Something Even Better Than Butter

It’s hard to beat butter. Plain, perfect butter can make almost every dish better.

But what if you could improve upon the classic? Josh Green founded Brooklyn Buttery on the notion that butter can be great on its own but also as a conduit for even more flavor. With a high quality butter as the base the addition of flavors like lemon or Sriracha can make for a surprising addition. It’s basically like an instantaneous sauce,

While you can buy the butters of Brooklyn Buttery we decided to have Josh over to give us a little lesson in compound butters - the name for butter combined with other flavors. He talked through the types of ingredients that work; how long you can keep different compound butters; and recipe ideas.

Watch the video and as a bonus we have the two recipes you see in the video, below

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Drown Yourself in Bread Balls

This time of year I start to get antsy for spring. February is over and it should be warm.- except it never actually is.

But the good news is that we can enjoy all the incredibly warming recipes of winter for a little longer. Luckily, we have just the recipe, from a book I am particularly excited about: Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South. If you aren’t familiar with Katie’s work then you just aren’t reading enough about Italy. The Rome-based journalist has written some of the best food and travel guides for the region. Her first book, Tasting Rome, is an engrossing love letter to the food of one of the world’s greatest food cities. And now her upcoming book explores the cuisine of Italy’s Southern regions.

I am so excited for this book (since my love of Italy is basically unsurpassed) and loved having Katie in the kitchen to showcase one of the book’s recipes. She shared her Polpette Casce e Ovo - essentially bread ‘meatballs’. They are doughy delights and perfect for staying inside and eating to your heart’s content.

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Can You Love a Vegan Sushi Roll?

Sometimes the proof is in the flavor, and it’s almost impossible to convey something through a video. That’s how I felt when I tried a Beyond Sushi roll - because as a huge sushi lover it was hard for me to believe I could also fall in love with a vegan version. But Chef Guy Vaknin came by to share his methods and explain that his plant-based take on the classic Japanese dish could have its own excitement. And while I might never give up the real deal, I am definitely a convert.

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You Need Carla Hall's Brilliant Shrimp Technique

Any time spent with Carla Hall is just pure delight, due to her being among the most genuine and charming people around. But it is extra fun getting to cook from her newest book - Carla Hall’s Soul Food - because it is such a beautiful personal exploration. The book takes a unique perspective on her own background and includes a lot of vignettes via a road trip.

But of course the recipes are what really draw us all in and I couldn’t wait to get her unique take on shrimp. Her Cracked Shrimp recipe is a twist on the cracked conch she saw when she worked in the Caribbean and it has completely shifted my view on cooking shrimp. Watch the video below to see her technique and get the recipe to try it yourself!

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