Over the weekend I shared a story on Medium about a “luncheon” that my mom threw, and her favorite cookbook Bound to Please. In that story, the quiche I describe is Mom’s go-to quiche—a quiche Lorraine, made with ham of course, but also with a Pillsbury pie crust and two different kinds of pre-shredded cheese. Here’s the one that I made myself on Mother’s Day.
There was a time when I thought it was a good idea to try to make quiche a little less dairy rich, more egg-oriented—”healthier.” But that might have been the last time I made quiche (it’s been a while). Since then I’ve come to recognize it for the decadent dish it is and rather than trying to tweak it to be marginally less rich, I think I’d rather just eat it less often, reserve it for special occasions.
I stumbled on these muffins when I was flipping—well, scrolling—through old issues of Feast by Lukas and I remembered how good and easy they were. Sturdy but tender, and just under-sweetened enough sans glaze to pass as breakfast, but with it, you’ve got a casual dessert. And like most muffins it’s a simple process of stirring the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then popping them into the oven. I made them with walnuts last weekend, but hazelnuts and almonds are also great.
I’ve just returned from a quick-but-long trip down the west coast, from Vancouver (BC), to Seattle, to San Francisco. Quick because it was only a week and a day, but long because it felt like much more—which is how I think trips ought to be. In Vancouver, Creative Director Steve and I saw the next issue of Jarry printed. (Above is the cover, fresh off the press, featuring Nik Sharma in a portrait by Patrick Byrnes.) There wasn’t a lot of free time to eat, but lunch at Nelson the Seagull was a standout.
For Seattle and SF I got a lot of enthusiastic recommendations from friends and colleagues. I thought I’d share some of the highlights here, gallery-style. I’d wanted this trip to be as much about the eating as possible, so it’s got a decadent slant. (It turns out I don’t really have the stomach for this style of travel, because at many points I craved only a smoothie, but I persevered. There are times in life to indulge and this, I decided, was one of them.)
L to R: Charred baby leeks with lime and dried yogurt at Bar Ferdinand (Seattle); pancake decadence topped with ricotta and lemon curd at Talullah’s (Seattle); 2 scoops of ice cream from Kurt Farm Shop, tomato jam and Flora’s Cheese (Seattle).
“I brought you a cake!” Is there ever a time when that isn’t a nice thing to hear? This cake is that offering, for your friends and loved ones and hosts and hostesses. It’s something of a “little black dress” (LBD) cake, but in my case more of a “slick little sport coat” (SLSC) cake: perfect for any occasion, quick to throw together, and effortlessly flattering. Think Amanda Hesser’s mother-in-law’s almond cake, which I love as much as the rest of the internet—but quicker, and without ingredients like almond paste and sour cream, which I rarely have on hand. It’s rich and buttery, with prominent almond flavor, a deep caramelized crust, and sturdy structure so that you can eat it out of your hand. It also keeps for several days (is even better by day two or three) and travels well.
The recipe comes from my most favorite desserts cookbook, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich. I realize now that no one on the internet needs another gift guide, but for the cook in your life, this cookbook is the one to give them. I’ve been an evangelist for Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts since I bought it a few years ago. It contains no duds—it’s full of SLSC recipes. One of my favorite things about throwing a dinner party is that I get to pick something to make from this book. It’s a title that I refuse to loan out—you need to get your own copy, I say. Continue reading
Filed under Baking, Recipe
Now is the time to put your Friendsgiving on the calendar. I suppose Thanksgiving is coming up, too, but Friendsgiving is so much fun. If you, like me, enjoy cooking and also control (over the menu, and every other detail), you may have found that for a holiday so devoted to food, Thanksgiving can fail to satisfy. That’s where Friendsgiving steps in. No need to travel, no mandate for sticking to traditions . . . risks are encouraged. I treat it as a food-lovers co-opting of Thanksgiving.
Today’s greens galette is a contribution to the #jarryfriendsgiving “virtual potluck,” and I hope you’ll join us! We’ve got lots of recipes and inspiration over on the Jarry website, including a favorite side dish of mine: Grilled Raddichio with Sharp Cheddar and Toasted Hazelnuts.
In July or August, when we shot a Friendsgiving feast for the first issue of Jarry, it was hot outside, and months away from the appropriate time for the holiday food. Fun, but not quite right. So last weekend I had a Friendsgiving in earnest. A potluck-style feast, with no marshmallow-topped casseroles or, come to think of it, even stuffing, or mashed potatoes, or gravy—but so many exciting vegetable dishes: cardamom-and-coconut-spiced mashed sweet potatoes by Crista; a salad of shaved kohlrabi and apples, chocolate mint, and hazelnuts by Andy; pomegranate-spiked kabocha squash salad by Cathy; Marion Cunningham’s First Prize Onion Casserole by Noah; a medley of purple carrots, acorn squash, and cauliflower by Paul; slow-cooked sweet potatoes topped with garlicky labneh and chives by Ben. Then we had braised chicken in place of roasted turkey; applesauce cake instead of pie . . . and somehow a lot more food. This greens galette was one of my contributions.
Every year, I look forward to making my own birthday cake. A few years ago there was an orange blossom and cardamom scented angel food cake with a drippy dark chocolate shellac. Before that, a pink, double-layered sugar-butter bomb from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread. Last year I tried out zucchini and hazelnuts in a different cake format, as a two-layer thing frosted with Hervé This’s Chocolate Mousse. That was fine, but—and maybe this is something that happens as one gets older—it was a bit much. I guess I’m getting picky.
Filed under Baking, Recipe
Do you have a bottle of mirin in the back of your fridge or cupboard? Do you remember what you bought it for? I used to forget about my mirin until a recipe like Heidi’s Black Sesame Otsu came along, and then afterward I’d let it get pushed back into the shadows all over again. Thank goodness it takes a very long time to go bad. But over the past year I’ve been reaching for it a bit more frequently and experimenting with it in some less obvious ways.
That’s right: More! Salad! I eat at least one salad a day. I love an elaborate, unusual one like Crack Salad or a Salad Treat, but most often it’s something simple, just some greens topped with whatever vegetables, nuts, and crumbles or shavings of cheese I’ve got lying around. Thus it was a pretty obvious subject when I started organizing the next issue of my digital magazine, Feast by Lukas. “Season’s Salads” has a melon salad spiked with ginger and fresh chilies, a smashed cucumber salad with a nubby sesame dressing, a pear and greens salad topped with savory granola, a torn tortilla salad with tomatoes, avocados, and a chili-lime vinaigrette, and several more.
This is the 4th issue of Feast by Lukas, which completes the first volume! It’s been so much fun and I feel like it’s starting to click. I hope you’ll check out Season’s Salads issue—the app is free to download in the iTunes store, and within it subscriptions and individual issues are available for purchase ($3.99/issue, or $13.99 for a yearly subscription). And if you’ve read it and like it (or don’t like it, that’s fine and fair), would you…. I hate asking for this, but…. give it a rating and/or review in the iTunes store?