I’ve wanted to cook in a tagine for ages and I mentioned this my friends Bill and Peter. Now they are both the soul of generosity and recently when we were at their house for dinner, Bill presented me with 3 Tagines that had belonged to his grandmother. Bill’s was no ordinary Grandmother. She was Eileen Gaden of Gourmet Magazine, who, with a writing partner named Ann Seranne, was the author and photographer of countless cookbooks starting in 1946 with “The Modern Sandwich, The Art of Sandwich Making for All Occasions” and continuing for the next 50 years to produce cookbooks on anything and everything. They even wrote for Proctor and Gamble: In 1956 they published "Creative Cooking Made Easy: The Golden Fluffo Cookbook". Then came “The Blender Cookbook”(1961) (which they later updated and called “The Food Processor Blender Cookbook” in 1981). In the intervening years they produced, “The Church and Club Woman’s Companion”(1964), “The Complete Book of Desserts” (1969) and high on my wish list: “1001 Ideas for Parties, Fairs and Suppers (1964). I keep hoping Bill has a mint copy of that one because Amazon lists its price new as $2432.64.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Monday, September 9, 2013
I love a good meatball. And that’s exactly what a boulette is in French. So I cached away David Tanis’ recipe for a North African version that appeared in the NY Times almost a year ago. You only have to look at the most recent posts here to realize it’s been a seafood summer. We’ve been cooking and enjoying fish and shellfish every chance we get. But last week, we decided to break our pescatorian diet and out came the City Kitchen article and recipe. Now Chef Tanis allowed as how he had created his recipe from many. But at their core, this is a meatball with its roots in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. All of these are former French colonies and if you’ve been adventurous in Paris and gone into Tunisian or Moroccan restaurants there, you’ve undoubtedly seem them in several guises on menus there. They’re often an appetizer, or a side dish but they reach their full glory in a fragrant main course ‘tagine’ accompanied by couscous. You can make these with beef or lamb and Mr. Tanis has even made them with ground turkey. I went with lamb because Lord knows we may have had a lot of fish this summer but we’ve also indulged in a hamburger or twelve. With our tagine, I served a simple red leaf lettuce salad with a dressing laced with cumin and pomegranate that was a perfect complement to the North African flavors of the boulettes and there’s a story there too.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Right down the street from us at 1900 Broadway, Daniel Boulud has carved a little fiefdom for himself. It consists of two restaurants—Bar Boulud, which leans heavily on charcuterie, and Boulud Sud, Chef Boulud’s salute to Mediterranean Cuisine. And then there’s Epicerie Boulud right on the corner between the two. To me, Epicerie brings back memories of my time in Rome where stand-up bars are the rule rather than the exception. So every time I stop by for one of their perfect Banh Mis, I feel as if I’ve gone back to Rome and lost about thirty years in the process. At Epicerie Boulud, the gleaming marble counters are at the right height for standing with a glass of wine and whatever you fancy from the menu from breakfast til 11:00 pm. Oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, and excellent selection of salads, sandwiches, charcuterie including the most amazing sausages which are served encased in French rolls. Among these are the spicy North African sausages, Merguez. These red beauties are made with lamb and beef, and heavily spiced with North Africa’s signature harissa, a chili based sauce, as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel, and garlic. One day this week, I decided that one lone Merguez sausage was not enough so I bought three of them and brought them home.