Crispy bacon turmeric slaw with fennel, hopefully.

 

Like most of you I enjoy carving time out, so to speak, to cook a nice meal. But when pressed, I love making morsels in minutes: simple and speedy with few ingredients, usually for lunch… like a couple of egg whites— if they happen to be hanging around in the back of the fridge.
Had I made aioli last night I’d have a couple and I’d get them and I’d put them to work pronto: whip them into shape and call them a Vietnamese omelette. Lunch sorted. Continue reading “Crispy bacon turmeric slaw with fennel, hopefully.”

On Beans and Bay Leaves

 

adding chopped parsley at the end adds a welcome touch of color…

My last dispatch was about braised lamb shanks. You’ll find it archived beneath this one. We ate them with these creamy white cannellini beans simmered with a base of diced carrots, celery and leeks; with oversized wedges of fennel that softened with the beans over time, and lots of bay leaves. The recipe follows, but first— a word on bay leaves. Continue reading “On Beans and Bay Leaves”

Another winter salad

 

winter roots and leaves…

With weirdly warm weather for December in Denver you might be fooled into fixing yourself a light summer salad.

and grilled cauliflower…

But tomatoes are a sorry season now. Trucked in hard as a golfer’s balls and green as limes, held sub rosa in holding facilities on the edge of town, gassed repeatedly with ethylene, they emerge vacant and shadowless, they taste of nothing, or next to it, but at least they are red. Continue reading “Another winter salad”

Dolmas

 

Dolmas with hummus, pickles, beets, hard-boiled eggs, molded shredded kohlrabi and carrots, and a green salad…

When the heat kicks in ’round these parts, Ionah’s response, lately, has been — along with sipping San Pellegrino water on ice with a splash of coconut vinegar and a lime wedge — to browse the internet for real estate listings in Maine. A beautiful country in the summer. Cheaper than Colorado, but those massive wood piles out back scare the Charlies out of me. My response is to take a leaf from the Greeks, who know their heat, and make a batch of dolmas — stuffed grape leaves. Continue reading “Dolmas”

Pipian Verde

 

author photo: Ionah DeFreitas…

When Greens Cafe opened in the mid eighties, one of our signature dishes was grilled chicken breasts with tomatillo sauce. We made the sauce by chopping onions, tomatillos and cilantro, which we blitzed with cumin, salt and chicken stock. It was good and tasty, but, I later realized, a little one-dimensional.

blacken tomatillos and onion on a hot comal…
chiles blistering on an open flame…
suffocate them in their own steam in a plastic or paper bag to loosen the skins…
removing the charred skins…

Years later, while traveling in the Yucatán, Ionah and I had a memorable Sunday lunch in Mérida, in a grand but crumbling old colonial hotel, with toucans and giant palms in the dining room, which was a kind of exotic bird house open to the sky. I kept my hat on and she wore a colorful scarf. Continue reading “Pipian Verde”

Mint pesto with Asparagus, parmigiano-reggiano and a poached egg…

 

Spring time in Denver can be a precarious time, especially if you happen to be a sensitive flower. If someone planted you within the last couple of weeks, during the recent tee-shirt and sandal spell, you would now be a wilted thing and sadly, out of luck: destined to be turned over and forked under the cold, soaked soil, because we just had a late mother of a snow storm. Continue reading “Mint pesto with Asparagus, parmigiano-reggiano and a poached egg…”

Spaghetti with broccoli

I love simple, inexpensive, delicious food, and much of that comes from the resourceful kitchens of southern Italy. Ionah’s mother Euza, who’s from Brazil, but whose veins pulse with vibrant Italian blood, is an excellent cook and tango dancer extraordinaire. She has a talented weakness for all things Italian and one of those things is a simple family dish that we call spaghetti with broccoli.She used to make it for the family when they were kids growing up in Rhode Island. Ionah continues the tradition, and whenever the pasta pot comes rolling to a boil around here, it’s often spaghetti with broccoli that fills it up. Continue reading “Spaghetti with broccoli”