Tag Archives: recipes

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In praise of long recipes


Two pieces recently make the case for long recipes. This one, directly: The Case for Very Long Recipes | TASTE. 

And this one, indirectly:  Jerk Chicken So Good I’ve Been Making It Every Summer for 25 Years – The New York Times

The first one makes the direct case that long detail makes for a better recipe, and I agree with that. If you just need a list of ingredients and short steps, go to allrecipes.com and you can find it. If you want to know why things are done a certain way and why certain ingredients are used and how they should be cooked, then a long recipe is preferable.

The second one, by Gabrielle Hamilton, makes the case indirectly. The recipe comes at the end of a long essay that explains the origin of it. You could just read the recipe, but you’d be missing out on so much if you just did that.

I get why people hate long recipes. Not everyone who writes a long preamble before a recipe can writes as well as Hamilton. But it would be a shame if cooks stopped trying.

One site that does this really well is BudgetBytes.com. She has a button at the top that let’s you jump to the recipe, which is in the middle of the piece. At the top of the piece is her thoughts on the recipe. Then the recipe. Then detailed instructions on how to prepare the dish. Smittenkitchen.com also does long recipes, and they are also really worth reading through.

Image from here.

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11 Easy Pesto And Salad Dressing Recipes | Chatelaine


If you find yourself in a cooking rut, steaming or sauteing the same basic meals, then here’s a suggestion. Make some of the pestos and dressing here (11 Easy Pesto And Salad Dressing Recipes | Chatelaine) and add them to whatever it is you are about to eat. A bowl of steamed vegetables or a plain pork chop transforms into a better meal. Later, you can mix some with mayo or yogurt and add it to a sandwich of your preference. Even a plain green salad is elevated.

(Image: Eric Putz, from a link to their web site)

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A great list of interchangeable ingredients to turn to when you are cooking, from Mark Bittman

Is this list.

Print it off, leave it in the kitchen, add your own items.

I often use sriracha for dried chilies, or even any hot sauce, for when you just need some heat. Likewise, if you don’t have jalapenos, you could also replace them with some of other heat source. (If it is a lot of jalapenos, you might use regular peppers with some chilies or other hot things to add the appropriate level of hotness.)

Finally, I’ve seen people suggest replacing creme fraiche with full fat greek yogurt.

Things you don’t need and the one thing you do

This struck me today: I had these two posts I found interesting, both starting with “You don’t Need”. This is good: I think I will stop pursuing something because I think I need something first. Recipes help. And have free time to make things helps. But don’t use things you think you need stopping you from doing what you want.

Here are the two pieces. The only thing you need is a desire to make things.

  1. You Don’t Need to Quit Your Job to Make
  2. You Don’t Need a Recipe – The New York Times

The joy of midnight pasta

If you are busy, or don’t feel like cooking much, or don’t have much in your fridge, then this pasta recipe is for you. It’s hard to believe something this simple could be so good, but it is. Lots of flavour with very few ingredients, ingredients you can have in your pantry.

Give it a try, especially when you are short of time, money, or food.

The photo is of the dish I whipped up one night.

Some recipes for late summer, early autumn, and more

Chicken Bulgogi
Mostly good recipes, but some pieces lower down on food

  1. Sauces made simple: The Five Mother Sauces Every Cook Should Know, Five Sauces Everyone Should Know How to Make for Endless Meal Options,  and 5 Sauces You Can Use on Everything – Cook Smarts.
  2. Good for fall:
  3. An Authentic, Maritime Fish Chowder | Laura Calder
  4. Lots of summer dishes here: Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less – NYTimes.com, here Caribbean Herb Grilled Fish and here 27 Summer Pasta Recipes
  5. Easy but great: Skillet roast chicken with veggies – The Globe and Mail
  6. A classic pasta recipe:  Sicilian pasta – Chatelaine
  7. These look yummyBaked Vegetable Chips – Hither & Thither
  8. From David Lebovitz, Chicken bulgogi
  9. For vegetarian or those that want to be: 21 Vegetarian Burgers, Wraps, and Sandwiches to Make for Meatless Monday | Kitchn
  10. More cool weather food: Classic French Cassoulet Recipe – Bacon is Magic – The Best Food Around the World
  11. More soups! Sweet Potato Minestrone | A Cup of Jo
  12. These look fantastic: belgian brownie cakelets – smitten kitchen
  13. More D.L.: Tangerine Sorbet Recipe
  14. Easy but looks professional. Also tasty: Stacey Snacks: Healthy & Delicious: Cod Provencal
  15. For fall and winter too: Easy French Hot Chocolate | Chocolate & Zucchini
  16. Eat more greens with better vingaigrettes:  An Easy Template for Citrus Vinaigrette, 5 Ways | Kitchn
  17. More Caribbean food from Chris: Roasted Tomato And Bacon Soup Recipe.
  18. Eat more grains: Apple Cider–Cooked Farro Recipe | Bon Appetit
  19. Make those herbs last: Why Freezing Is the Best Way to Preserve Cilantro | Kitchn

And now for some non-recipe related food links:

  1. What I learned not drinking for two years – Medium
  2. I hate food: For some of us, eating is just about sustenance – The Globe and Mail
  3. How to Start Cooking (Even If You Feel Doomed)

I have been fascinated by the idea of povera cucina. Here’s too links on it.

  1. POVERA CUCINA
  2. La Cucina Povera or the Kitchen of the Poor

(Image linked to is of chicken bulgogi from David Lebovitz.)

Low cost meals from Budget Bytes

Mac n cheese
If you are looking for a variety of low cost meals online that are straightforward to make — I am looking at you, college students — then I recommend the site BudgetBytes.com. Each of the recipes has a breakdown of the expected cost, how long it takes to make, as well as the typical information you will find in a recipe. Here’s a few I highlighted recently, in no particular order.

They have a wide range of recipes, and categories (e.g. chicken, vegetarian). The recipes are simple, the ingredients easy to find, and generally they look good. Give it a try.

Save money, eat better.

(Image from here.)