Cheesy muffins to fall for.
Is there anything better than ooey-gooey cheese, all melty and molten with bits that have caramelized and hardened to a lacy crisp?
These savory muffins have all that and more going on.
“Three Cheese and Tomato Muffins” are loaded with cheese, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.
The recipe is from the new “The Modern Dairy” (Kyle Books) by chef and food writer Annie Bell.
It’s definitely not a book for those who are lactose intolerant, as its 100 recipes celebrate milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and butter. Learn how to make everything from yogurt from scratch to “Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi” to “Butternut Squash Fries with Date and Mint Quark” to “Milk Chocolate Mousse.”
It’s all about the sauce — in this case a syrupy one full of cranberries, balsamic vinegar and honey.
Like so many folks especially in this part of the country, I appreciate being able to eat seasonally — to hone in on what’s best at each time of year to enjoy its peak flavor and revel in its often brief local appearance.
But there’s one item I keep in my freezer nearly year-round, even when its season is long gone.
Cranberries. Frozen ones to be exact.
I know, I know, they’re so fall and winter, you’re thinking. Why in the world would I want to partake of them in spring or summer?
Because their vivid color makes anything special. Because their sweet-sour fruitiness wakes up whatever they’re paired with. And because, how can I resist something that reminds me of the most festive, family-and-friend-filled convivial time of year?
There are people who stalk actors or politicians.
Me? I stalk chefs.
Not in the scary, restraining-order way.
But I admit to keeping my eyes peeled for them whenever I’m out and about.
So, it was with great pleasure that a few years ago while in New York, my husband and I spotted chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr waiting for a table at the same restaurant we were dining in. Hey, it’s a sure sign that a place must be good if other chefs are dining there on their nights off, right?
And Hanson and Nasr do have exquisite taste. After all, the co-chefs earned untold respect at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern. This month, they opened their new Frenchette in Tribeca.
Given their pedigree, when I spotted their recipe a months ago for “Lamb-Ricotta Meatballs Braised in Tomato Sauce” in the Wall Street Journal, I knew it had to be a sure-fire winner.
It hit it out of the park in every which way.
Easy home-made flatbreads with a flavorful butter you won’t be able to get enough of.
Every child, teenager and young adult should be taught how to cook. Period.
It empowers them, allows them to lead healthier lives, and makes them more resourceful, independent, and appreciative, not to mention even more popular with their friends.
If you can cook a meal for yourself, no matter how simple, you have a leg up on life.
I know some of my most cherished memories still revolve around stirring up scrambled eggs in a frying pan with my Dad when I could barely peer over the stovetop; and thumbing through cookbooks with my older brother to figure out which cookie recipe we would try out as he baby-sat me during summer afternoons.
Carolyn Federman of Berkeley knows the power and importance of such a life skill. She is the founder of the Charlie Cart Project, a nonprofit that provides resources for food education in schools through the use of a mobile kitchen. She previously led efforts by Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard Project and consulted on program development for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
Her new cookbook, “New Favorites for New Cooks: 50 Delicious Recipes for Kids to Make” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, will inspire you to get in the kitchen with your kids, nieces or nephews to get cooking.
Not your usual sweet-and-sour pork.
This is not your battered to oblivion, deep-fried, unnaturally red, gloppy sauced sweet and sour pork that’s a standard at Chinese restaurants.
No, this is a home-style version that eschews all of that — and tastes even better as a result.
“Sweet-and-Sour Spare Ribs” is from the new cookbook, “Chinese Soul Food” (Sasquatch Books), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Hsiao-Ching Chou, a Seattle food writer and cooking instructor.
She grew up in Columbia, MO, where her parents settled in 1975. At the time, there were no Asian markets there. In fact, the family had to drive 10 hours to Chicago to stock up on decent soy sauce and other Chinese provisions. Her parents eventually opened a Chinese restaurant in 1980, which lasted for 23 years.