If you want a show-stopping vegetarian dish for an upcoming holiday party, this is it. Vegetarian pâté is new to me—I might not be old enough to have experienced it in its heyday, which I’m guessing was the eighties, and I admit I’ve never thought to look up a recipe—but I now understand the appeal. It’s such a striking addition to a feast, such a validating reward for some hard work in the kitchen, and it’s delicious, too, sliced up into thick, cold slabs and smeared on crackers or bread.
Jeanne Lemlin’s Simply Satisfying is a book I’ve had in my kitchen for a while now. My friend and editor, Matthew Lore, loaned me his copy of the first edition, which was titled Vegetarian Pleasures, published in 1986, and one of the recipes I found there inspired the corn soufflé in Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry. Then I had the pleasure of working on the photo shoot for this recent reissue (with photographer Cara Howe and stylist Maria del mar Sacasa), in which the title changed to Simply Satisfying, and sampled many of the recipes firsthand.
Good morning, here’s a quick post from the road. I’m writing from Reno, NV, on my annual family trip. With the three-hour time difference working to my advantage, it’s very easy to be up by 6:30 AM, whipping up a batch of muffins for the later sleepers. I made these two mornings in a row, working from a favorite recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. They were a hit among the quinoa skeptics—rich, sweet, a little bit crunchy, and they send an intoxicating sweet aroma from the oven, which is nice to wake up to.
It was great to have some company in the kitchen for a change.
This week I found myself with a funny challenge in my refrigerator: about 10 cups of leftover cooked bulgur. (The “how” isn’t that interesting—I overdid it preparing for a demonstration at the wonderful Pine Island Farmers Market over the weekend.) I was at a loss. What would you do with this much bulgur? That’d be a lot of tabbouleh to eat, let alone my Bulgur Salad with Kale and Feta, which was its original purpose.
In my quest to use it up (I’m still not done), I tried a few things: I sautéed some scallions, ginger, and garlic in olive oil, then added broccoli and kale and bulgur for something of a bulgur pilaf. I made a quick sauce from garlic, harissa, olive oil, and crushed tomatoes and stirred in the bulgur in the end, and then finished it off with a plop of yogurt and a drizzle of bright green olive oil. Then the other morning I made a twist on halwa—I stirred the bulgur into a bit of browned butter (ghee would have been more appropriate) and added some warm spices and white raisins and served it for breakfast—per Elaine S.’s recommendation on Twitter. All of these were great, but they didn’t put much of a dent in my supply. I needed to get creative. Continue reading
I remember the 3:00pm slump being the biggest challenge of the 9-to-5 work day. Energy is low. I’ll have been working for more than half the day, but, with plenty of work still to do before the whistle blows, I won’t seem very close to going home. No matter what my productivity had been like, no matter how much I jostled between various pressing needs and priorities, at that very moment only one thing is on my mind: I must take a nap.
But sadly, a nap isn’t an option, at least it wasn’t for me. The next best is a snack and some fresh air. But during your quick walk around the block, be careful not to succumb to one of the more lucrative snack traps, which is a candy bar or some kind of pastry that will weigh you down and put you back in the mood for nap time. Continue reading
When I was a kid, cinnamon toast was one of my favorite after-school snacks. We had a little crock that we kept the cinnamon sugar in, and it came with its own little ladle. I took special pride in being the one to make more of it whenever it ran low—I’d just fill up the crock with mostly sugar, and then mix in ground cinnamon until the color was right. Then I’d toast up a slice of bread, spread a thin layer of . . . spreadable margarine (this was the 80s after all), shower it with my cinnamon sugar, and eat it in front of daytime TV (pre- Rosie O’Donnell Show, this included Matlock, Murphy Brown, and/or Designing Women, listed here in order of preference).