Wine

Summer Ginger Apricot Wine Coolers

July 14, 2011
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I never knew what all the hype was about fresh apricots until I moved to Switzerland. My grandmother used to talk about apricots that she would eat when she was growing up in California, and I never quite understood her fascination with them because well, New England (where I grew up) just isn’t known for […]

47 comments

Crêpes with Rabbit Ragù

October 30, 2010
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I think half the fun of life is in embarking on adventures you’ve never done before, just to see what they would be like. Sometimes those are the scariest moments (like say, moving halfway across the world to a country where you knew nothing of the local language? ha), but sometimes they are also the moments best suited for growth and development. Not just in technique/skills, but also a personal evolution. I like to imagine a plate as a canvas, just waiting for flavors to come together and blend into new colors to paint the palate on the tongue. Comfort is tasty, and the ritualism that comes with the cherished and familiar always works. But that’s the thing. It’s safe, precisely because of its familiarity. The adrenaline from the rush of doing the unexpected isn’t present in comfort food – it is the very definition of the expected, and there is immense value in that. However, if I only ever did what was safe and comfortable, where would I be as a cook? As a person? Someone who only looks to past successes becomes very boring very quickly.

23 comments

What’s in a Name? A Not-so-Italian Bolognese

October 6, 2010
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Bolognese, or at least the Bolognese I grew up with, is my mom’s pasta sauce (and no, this is not something she calls “California Style”). She makes it differently from me though. I love her sauce – she would make about 20 servings at a time, and then freeze it so we could pull it out and use it whenever we wanted. Perfect on top of pasta, with veggies, in lasagna, oh so many many delicious plates can be made with a simple bolognese sauce…I’ve played with her recipe a lot, and found that I tend to like it using fresh tomatoes, and adding in some wine – it’s still rich and tomatoey, I just like the flavor and texture a bit better this way. I hope she doesn’t mind :)

After reading a bit about bolognese, I’m pretty sure what I grew up with and this sauce are definitely not a traditional bolognese sauce. According to Wikipedia (obviously a most trusted source in all things culinary), authentic bolognese doesn’t actually have that much tomato in it. Not only that, but a traditional ragù from Bologna is made with milk! Actually, this sauce looks to be a pretty interesting hybrid of ragù alla napoletana and ragù alla Bolognese. Maybe I should call this an American ragù? Seems more fitting than trying to pass it off as an authentic bolognese. And just to go against traditions a bit more, I happen to like mine served alongside some creamy cheese polenta.

33 comments

Un Voyage en France: Julia Child’s Bourguignon, avec Canard

April 14, 2010

I love how serendipitous life can be.  Sometimes the most rewarding experiences come in the unlikeliest of places.  For example, my husband and I planned an entire weekend trip to a different country all because of a conversation on twitter.  There, I met a certain M. Jean-Charles Fagot, vintner and restauranteur in the heart of Bourgogne, […]

18 comments

"Osso Buco" Stew, Sorta OK Not Really

March 4, 2010

Yes, this is osso buco stew, not osso buco.  Why? Mainly because sometimes I am lazy.  I did not want to have to check it and baste it, especially since it was an amazing miracle that the pot I cooked it in even fit in my countertop oven.  Yes, I slow cooked osso buco for […]

23 comments

Beurre Blanc Poached Cod

February 23, 2010

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s -all those silly chalky conversation hearts that taste like Tums just don’t do it for me.  Most years it just feels like another “Hallmark holiday” – I mean, if you truly love someone, do you really need a special day during the year to tell them?  I […]

14 comments