August 25, 2012
I did a little better making these than the aloo paratha debacle. But it was still quite a production. I wish I had someone on staff to make this stuff for me.
Like the paratha, this is a stuffed bread, only it’s baked naan with onions instead of fried flatbread with potatoes. I used Bittman’s recipe, which isn’t online, but it’s just a basic naan recipe with all kinds of spices stuffed inside. It turns out pretty spicy, which is okay, but I would have dialed back on the cilantro. I have a friend who thinks cilantro tastes like soap, and this recipe made me think she might have a point. (Apprantly cilantro haters are legion; read more about the raging cilantro debate here.)
August 13, 2012
Or Tlayuda. Bittman calls it “clayuda” in How to Cook Everything and “tlayuda with black bean purée” in his online column, so I don’t know what to tell you. Long story short, it’s Mexican pizza. And it’s very, very delicious. (I don’t think I’ve ever said that before about anything with “purée” in the title.) I couldn’t find chorizo, so I used chourico, a Portuguese sausage — they both start with a “ch,” anyway. The only thing that threw me a little was the cabbage on top. It was good … just unexpected.
August 7, 2012
Word on the street is “rarebit” is really just a bastardized pronunciation of “Welsh rabbit” that made its way down through the generations. Problem is, rabbit doesn’t make any sense either — not to describe an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich. Some say it’s a slur on the Welsh, implying their rabbit catching skills aren’t what they should be, so they’re stuck eating cheese. (Having been on the receiving end of Polish jokes my entire life, this hardly seems much of a slur.) Or could be the Welsh love cheese so much that they’d take it over Bugs Bunny. Whatever it is, their faux rabbit is spot on. My biggest concern with this food was the cheese, which is always a risky proposition. But this is melted cheese, so that’s a good sign. And I bought super mild cheddar, stacking the deck further in my favor. Plus the cheese sauce includes mustard, Worcestershire and, best yet, beer. Then you put it over bread and roast it until it’s all brown and bubbly and crunchy. Beats out hasenpfeffer any day.
July 22, 2012
Mark Bittman calls this a “New England classic,” but I had never heard of it. Wish I could have remained in ignorance. It’s a heavy, dark bread with cornmeal and molasses thrown in. (I used Bittman’s recipe, but here’s another if you want to try — might be better, since it goes easier on the molasses.) When I tried it I knew for sure that molasses is dead to me. It’s now firmly etched on the list of Niki no-nos, along with olives and eggs.
June 23, 2012
I draped some of this butterlicious sauce over a bourbon-marinated rib eye, mostly because Mr. Bittman said it was essentially béarnaise without the eggs. And I’m all for leaving those foul chicken droppings out whenever I can. This was just shallots, white wine, vinegar, butter — and a boatload of flavor. It was one of those evenings when my husband was grateful for this new-food experiment. But I’m not going to tell his doctor about the stick of butter I whisked into the sauce.