Monday, October 25, 2010

Lettuce Unwrapped

Learn from our mistakes, friends -- this is what happens when you get lax about your lettuce eating.

We cleaned out the fridge the other day and found five heads, plus a bunch of arugula and a giant Napa cabbage.

Dinner was all-you-can-eat lettuce wraps (unwrapped in the photograph), overstuffed with cooked shredded cabbage, Asian noodles, shredded carrot and daikon radish, and cilantro and mint, topped with house recipe peanut sauce.

Should you, too, be awash in leafy greens, a few resources:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frittering Away

And all week long your River City youth will be frittering away, I say your young men will be frittering! Frittering away their noon time, supper time, chore time too. Put the ball in the pocket, never mind getting dandelions pulled or the screen door patched or the beef steak pounded.

Here's my young man using the very last of the season's corn to make corn fritters (basic recipe). Fritters with a capital F that stands for fried -- these are the round, puffy, deep-fried, delicious carnival food kind of fritters.

There's another kind of fritter that's something more like a pancake, flat and vegetable-stuffed and cooked in a skillet. My basic recipe for those is Fresh Corn Griddlecakes (I still have the page torn from the Globe magazine a couple summers ago). And no corn here, but the Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters on Smitten Kitchen look pretty delectable.

(P.S. Once again, anticipating the NYT: Melissa Clark's fritter tips.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Retraction: Upside-Down Caramel-Apple Muffins

Don't make these muffins. I know I told you to, and sure, they look delicious (and actually they are), but now, having actually tried it, I retract the recommendation.

Do you ever get home from work after a long day and try to read a recipe and it just doesn't make any sense? At first, I thought it was the amount of butter (for which there was a printed correction) ... two sticks, really? ... or the order of the steps ... or my just plain pig-headedness about knowing better than recipes ... but it turns out that the caramel-apple muffins didn't have any apples in the ingredient list.


(I see the New York Times online version of the recipe is corrected to have apples now; here's what it looked like when I tried it, as well as another blogger's favorable review.)

So, anyway, I cut up an apple (one big one was more than enough for a dozen muffins, I don't know what you're about with your three apples, NYT) and cooked it in a pan with some brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of butter (not a whole stick of butter, what?) for the topping (bottoming?).

While I wasn't following the directions for the topping, I decided not to follow the directions for the muffins, either, and instead I made Dorie Greenspan's Great Grains Muffins (from this book), which have whole wheat flour and cornmeal and oatmeal, and in my personal version, also cinnamon and allspice and cardamom.

The other thing I wish the article would explain is how to serve upside-down muffins in a dignified fashion ... not that anyone here minded.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Carrot Cake

Sometimes people are all like, "I read the New York Times Style section and it was totally about you, Teresa." Not so much because of my sexy Skechers bike shoes, but because, for instance, I was tending a worm bin and living in a co-op long before the fluff section of our paper of record (the one we love to hate) told us it was cool.

So let me just say, I was not surprised at all when the carrot cake tackled by The Baker's Apprentice was the very same one I had made -- twice! -- the week before. I can't say enough good things about the baker, and I find her book infallible for baked goods. (Full disclosure: I did the production editing on her next book.)

Housemate Sara has been running her juicer recently, so I used about four cups of leftover mixed carrot-apple pulp each time, instead of the three cups of grated carrot called for in the recipe.

(Bonus for blog readers: a visual carrot cake recipe from the lovely hand-drawn contributions to Recipe Look.)

P.S. The next CSA-related treat I want to try? New York Times Upside-Down Caramel-Apple Muffins (related article).