Culinary Challenge: Bok Choy

bok choy

 

For many people, it's green peppers. For others, it might be the endless bags of spring lettuce or winter's never-ending supply of rutabaga. For us, it's bok choy.

 

If you belong to a CSA, you know what we're getting at. Even if you're a kitchen whiz, that weekly box is sure to contain at least one vegetable that'll prove to be your culinary Achilles' heel. When bok choy is in ours, we're stumped.

 

What's wrong with bok choy? Nothing really: it's green, it's crisp when not overcooked, it's not difficult to wash. But for some reason we're just never inspired by it. There are only so many times we can sauté those stalky leaves with garlic and ginger and drizzle them with sesame oil before getting bored—and we tend to get a whole lot of bok choy in our CSA boxes here on the East Coast.

 

So this week we decided to think outside the stir-fry and find an arsenal of... Read more >

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Recipe: Bay Scallop Ceviche with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and Asian Pear

Recipe for scallop ceviche with pumpkin seeds and Asian pear, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

Though scorching summer days have mercifully relented for the year, that doesn't mean you can't keep enjoying ceviche: the makes-itself convenience of this Latin American dish will serve you well any time.

 

Lately we've been digging this thoroughly Asian-focused ceviche from Jeremy Ford and Dean James Max of Fort Lauderdale's 3030 Ocean. They let bay scallops wallow in a bath of citron vinegar and lime and yuzu juices, then toss the "cooked" seafood with a complex confetti of diced Asian pears, toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro, and togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice blend.

 ... Read more >

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Recipe: Peach Crostata with Spiced Marscarpone

 

When Labor Day passes and hot days are on the wane, we always find that our trips to the farmers' market start to resemble a contact sport: everyone is urgently lunging for dwindling tomatoes and fruit, desperate to savor anything that hints at summer. And if we do manage to emerge from the chaos with some coveted produce, we want to use our haul in low-effort, big-flavor dishes that will hold us over until next July.

 

If you manage to snatch up some end-of-season peaches (or any other stone fruit, for that matter), this no-frills crostata from Mike Isabella is a more than worthy application. Isabella tosses peach slices in a spice mixture of toasted allspice, juniper berries, and black peppercorns, then nestles them in a pleated sheet of standard-issue pie dough. (Use your food processor to make it in minutes.) He then folds the remaining seasonings into whipped and sweetened mascarpone,... Read more >

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Recipe: Grilled Sardines with Roasted Red Peppers and Lemon Vinaigrette

 

When we detect the first whiff of autumn in the air, we want to make food that insists that summer isn't quite gone yet, like this elemental recipe from Peter Woolsey of Philadelphia's Bistrot La Minette. It features three seasonal mainstays that are about to retire for the year: simply prepared fresh seafood, vibrant vegetables, and a stamp of smoke from the grill.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Recipe Roundup: Chile Peppers

chiles

 

Get 'em while they're hot: it's chile pepper season and that means we're throwing thin slices of spicy, flavorful jalapeños, serranos, and habaneros into everything we cook. Here are a few ways other hotheads can get their fix:

 

Nantucket Bay Scallops with Jalapeño and Citrus

Use the highest quality ingredients you can find when making this simple but sublime scallop dish from Mario Batali.

 

Foie Gras Cuban Sandwiches

Unlike most Cuban sandwiches, this bite-sized version is stuffed with foie gras, spiced bananas, and a touch of jalapeño pesto.

 

Insalata di Zucchine e Menta

Think you don't like raw zucchini? This serrano-spiked salad will change your mind.

 ... Read more >

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Recipe Roundup: August 26, 2013

Recipe for Corn Madeleines with Crème Fraîche and Ratatouille, adpated by the James Beard Foundation

 

The blogosphere’s sprawling universe of recipes is inspiring, diverse, and—let’s face it—a bit daunting. Our recipe roundup does all the heavy sifting to single out recent, mouthwatering bites from our favorite blogs. Here are the dishes we're eyeing this week:

 

Gin-Marinated Olives [101 Cookbooks]

An irresistible hors d'oeuvre: warm, buttery Castelvetrano olives dressed with olive oil, lemon peel, Serrano peppers, and a splash of really good gin.

 

Corn Madeleines with Crème Fraîche and Ratatouille [JBF]

Cornmeal and fresh corn give these savory madeleine cakes a rich, summery flavor. Topped with a... Read more >

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Recipe: Grilled Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde

Recpe for Grilled Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

To make this summertime salad, Victor Albisu draws from Italian flavors and South American grilling culture. “The ingredients are reminiscent of an Italian dish, but the char adds a nuance that makes it uniquely Latin,” he says. For an eye-catching presentation, use heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Recipe Roundup: Southern Seafood Spectacular

Recipe for Cornmeal-Crusted Oysters with Sriracha Rémoulade, adpated by the James Beard Foundation

 

Make yourself a pitcher of sweet tea to sip alongside this Southern-inspired menu of fried oysters, sweet olive-oil poached shrimp, a spicy crayfish ragout, and a towering coconut cake. Porch swing not included.

 

Cornmeal-Crusted Oysters with Sriracha Rémoulade

You'll want to dip everything in your fridge into the spicy, lime-spiked mayo that accompanies these crisp fried oysters.

 

Poached Shrimp with Creamed Corn, Marinated Tomatoes, Butter Beans, and Basil

Butter beans are a Southern staple, but lima beans make a fine substitute.... Read more >

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Recipe Roundup: Summer Soups

Matthew Jennings's recipe Chilled Young Carrot Soup with Clotted Cream, Pistachios, and Mint, adpated by the James Beard Foundation

 

Chilled soup is a staple in our kitchen this time of year: it's easy to make, endlessly versatile, and an ideal showcase for our favorite seasonal ingredients. Paired with a loaf of crusty bread and a hunk of good cheese, any of these recipes would make a perfect summer supper.

 

Chilled Sorrel Soup with Jonah Crab Salad and Jerusalem Artichokes

Michael Lomonaco tames tart sorrel with sweet crab and Jerusalem artichokes in this cool, creamy soup.

 ... Read more >

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Recipe Roundup: Margaritas and More

margarita

 

This summery, light, and (mostly) easy Mexican-inspired menu starts with tart cucumber margaritas and ends with a decadent flan topped with roasted strawberries.

 

Summer Margaritas

Rick Bayless uses a cucumber-and-tequila base to make these smooth and dangerously drinkable margaritas.

 

Isthmian-Style Scallop Ceviche

Thinly sliced scallops are marinated in lime juice and then tossed with cilantro, ginger, and habaneros in this refreshing and super-simple appetizer from chef Ivy Stark.

 

Grilled Achiote-Rubbed Red Snapper

Achiote is a combination of crushed annatto seeds, vinegar, salt, garlic, and spices, and can be found at Latin markets and some... Read more >

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