Broken clouds
Broken clouds
75.2 °F
August 29, 2015
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

Relish Every Day

Up in my grill

Nothing says summer like firing up the barbeque, though all this rain is threatening to put a crimp in our grilling. But inclement weather could never stop me from making my favorite Thai-style grilled chicken. (Full disclosure: My husband is usually the one standing over the coals.) The inspiration comes from a much splattered copy of “Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia,” by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford. It’s a seminal work filled with highly authentic regional dishes carefully collected mainly from home cooks.  Read more

Herbal essence

On the heels of my recent trip to Lebanon and Greece, and my return to a garden lush from summer rains, I have fallen in love (again) with herbs. Throughout the Mediterranean, green herbs play an important role in many dishes, but especially in the assortment of mezze (shared plates) that serve to awaken the appetite. Among the bounty of traditional salads I ate was an Armenian specialty of lightly dressed sprigs of freshly picked oregano.  Read more

Get your licks in

Is there anything better than a big bowl of ice cream on a hot day? Inevitably, it conjures up memories of childhood, when all those exciting flavor possibilities were almost overwhelming. The dreamy swirls, the little puddles that formed around the edges and the tantalizing drips were all part of the grandest treat ever. Whether you grew up eating rich, eggy frozen custard or icy, fruity sherbet, you’ll remember the excruciating choice between cup or cone and the delicious dilemma of hot fudge versus sprinkles. Don’t wait for summer to make your first batch.  Read more

Mother’s little helper

There are so many established days of commemoration that between Siblings Day (April 10th), World Mosquito Day (August 20th) and National Cat Day (October 29th) it can be difficult to rouse sufficient enthusiasm on all these notable occasions. But few among us would dare to dismiss the second Sunday in May as just another manufactured celebration. For on that date every year, we pay tribute to the sainted creature who ushered us into this world. Why not honor her with a day off from cooking?  Read more

The good egg

An egg is quiet perfection. Elegant in form, its smooth shell breaks open to offer the yin-yang of golden yolk and airy white. That yolk serves to thicken and enrich, while the white, when whipped, adds volume and lightness. Together and separated, these allied elements lend themselves to a seemingly infinite array of preparations, from lofty drifts of shining meringue to velvety dollops of lemon curd, from the crisp, lacy edges of an egg fried in olive oil to the cool, spongy sweetness of a Japanese omelet.  Read more

Gone to potpie

The potpie, that comforting American classic, dates back to the days of the Roman Empire, when all sorts of meats were tucked under burnished pastry crusts to serve at elaborate banquets. Nowadays, four-and-twenty blackbirds have been replaced by somewhat more prosaic options, like chicken and beef. If you include enough vegetables, the potpie becomes the perfect one-dish meal to enjoy on a cold winter’s eve.  Read more

Finger on the pulse

A few months ago, yet another large and important study was released with irrefutable evidence that 30% of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease could be prevented if high-risk individuals switched to a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, beans, fish, fruits, vegetables and olive oil. But where’s the beef? Let me reassure you that eating for health doesn’t mean you have to eliminate pleasure. But it’s a good idea to start thinking of meat as a kind of delicious flavoring rather than the focal point of the plate.  Read more

A dry season: celebrating without spirits

Though few would argue with the notion that the holidays can drive you to drink, there are those who make it through them without a single tipple. Pity the poor soul who has to nurse a glass of tepid seltzer while the rest of the party is quaffing frosty craft beers and champagne punch. At this time of year, when the festivities are all about fellowship, no one should feel left out, so the best hosts put some muscle into creative nonalcoholic options. This means drinks neither cloying nor insipid but refreshing, nuanced and thoughtfully presented.  Read more

The aftermath

In the wake of all that feasting, it’s hard to believe stomachs will growl once again. But a new day dawns and here come the barbarian hordes, clamoring for their lunch. Leftover turkey? Bring it on! Many people actually prefer that mile-high sandwich (loaded with cranberry sauce and even a layer of stuffing) to the original Thanksgiving line-up. With any luck, no fit of weary pique caused you to discard the carcass of that big bird. There’s gold in there! A pot of turkey soup with wild rice and kale on Friday makes an ideal counterpoint to the orgy of carbs on Thursday.  Read more

Let them eat cake

Apparently there is no evidence whatsoever that Marie Antoinette actually uttered such a callous statement in response to her subjects’ bemoaning their lack of bread. But it has stuck to her shoe for centuries. And cake has henceforth retained its slightly grandiose aura. We do not eat cake every day. It is reserved for special occasions and celebrations. But there is cake of the gussied up, layered and frosted ilk, and there is the more rustic, less labor-intensive stuff. Leaving aside the former to professionals and obsessive amateurs, let’s focus on the latter.  Read more

Syndicate content