When it comes to putting a new spin on hummus with the unlikely additions of chocolate, caramel, or even cake batter, for the life of me, I just cringe.
But leave it to Melissa Clark to come up with a novel and genius use for hummus that actually makes sense.
She takes portobellos and stuffs their generous-sized caps with homemade hummus, then crowns them with chickpeas, before roasting them.
If you’ve been there, done that with classic itty-bitty stuffed button mushrooms filled with chopped mushrooms, butter, cheese, and toasted bread crumbs, this more sizeable riff will make you see them in a whole new way.
“Stuffed Portobellos with Creamy, Lemony Chickpeas” is from Clark’s newest cookbook, “Dinner in One” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.
The book’s release was delayed this year, after its shipment was purportedly lost at sea during a rough storm in January. Thankfully, a new shipment finally made it to our shores, because the arrival of a Melissa Clark cookbook is always an occasion to celebrate. That’s because her recipes always tempt, and always work.
Even though I can never resist handmade pasta on a menu, it’s only once or twice a year that I actually clear off my countertop and screw in the pasta sheeter attachment on my KitchenAid to make a batch at home, myself.
Because while it’s not a complicated process to make your own pasta from scratch, it is a production.
Like making bread, there’s just no getting around the fact that it’ll take an entire afternoon to make. And that’s just for the pasta, itself. Add on another hour or two for the sauce, and, well, you see what I mean.
So, for my annual — or bi-annual — undertaking, I figured I’d attempt a recipe by a chef with such prowess with Italian food that she’s won two Michelin stars and countless other accolades.
I’m talking about Missy Robbins, the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Lilia and Misi restaurants in Brooklyn.
Gin & tonic has always been one of my favorite cocktails, even — ahem — before I officially turned 21.
We’ll keep that between you and me, of course.
Evocative of a walk through a spring meadow, it’s a sip that’s light, bright, and so refreshing that it’s nearly impossible to resist — even when you’re 20 3/4. Or, uh, something near that.
Now, South American chef Francis Mallmann has taken the classic up a notch by incorporating a bit of fire.
“Gin and Tonic with Burnt Lemon and Cucumber” is from his newest cookbook, “Green Fire” (Artisan), of which I received a review copy. It was written with co-writer Peter Kaminsky and collaborator Donna Gelb.
If you’ve ever watched any of the late-great Anthony Bourdain’s shows, you’re probably already familiar with Mallmann, who owns Siete Fuegos in Argentina, Patagonia Sur in Buenos Aires, El Garzon in Uruguay, 1884 Restaurante in Argentina, and Los Fuegos in Miami.
Usually, he’s shown cooking over an immense live-fire grill with enough adjustable racks and levers to make it resemble some sort of medieval rack.
While some of his previous books were especially challenging because few — if any — of us are equipped to grill quite like that, this one thankfully is not. In fact, the recipes offer options for cooking the dish indoors, too, such as on a cast-iron pan or griddle on the stovetop.
When it comes to people, what’s on the inside is paramount.
But when it comes to this quesadilla, it’s what’s on the outside that truly rocks.
That’s because “The Cast-Iron Quesadilla That Will Change The Way You Quesadilla” (and yes, that is the actual name) boasts a flamboyant crispy-crunchy crust of cheese that entirely smothers its top tortilla.
Made with not one, not two, but three kinds of cheese, it will spoil you for any other quesadilla from now on.
It sets out to answer 100 questions about food and cooking that are designed to make a home cook better and smarter in the kitchen. Answers and info are provided for each question, along with a recipe to put it all into practice.