WTF Have I Been Cooking Lately

Now that it’s somewhat known that a chef’s knife is my second favorite non-corporeal hand appendage next to a pen, a question that I often receive is, “So, whatcha been cooking lately?” To this, I respond with a 10-second “uhhhhh” before excusing myself to use the bathroom where I scroll through the 'gram to recall the most monumental things that I’ve whipped up in the kitchen recently. This is a rare instance where I find social media to be of actual good use, in that it acts like a notepad of trial-and-error, but also makes me hip with the children. 

For example, I referenced this photo (right) of a sub-par poached egg when I attempted to make one again the next day, but with an overall better quality.

This photo also reminded me of the joy that I feel when I discard of water that's been tinted red cabbage because it runs out and into the sink like a purple waterfall of unicorn semen. Colored vegetable water will also be a great trick for me to use on my future nieces and nephews* when it’s time to commemorate Green Eggs and Ham day by using kale.

*Note that the use of “nieces and nephews” is my idea of a practical placeholder for “children” because, if things go my way, this holiday will be considered non-Kosher. I promise I’m trying, mom.

But listen — here's the thing, Alec Baldwin. Not everything that I make makes it to the 'gram even if it is 'gram-worthy because I prefer to eat hot food rather than taking pictures of it. A lot of it is delicious though, which is why I want to share with you some of the better recipes that I've tinkered with over the past eighty-leven days that I think you might like, unless you're among the minority that find boiled hot dogs to be haute cuisine.

Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole (via Bon Appétit)

Have you ever looked at an old friend and thought, "God, I love you so much but I also wish that you could temporarily be a different person that I don't know like my right middle knuckle?" This is how I feel about pasta e fagioli, a pasta and bean soup that I've eaten since I was a child. Here, BA takes the old classic and replaces ditalini pasta with squares of lasagna noodles. I used fava beans, boiling them in the same way that the recipe decribes with the Parmesan rind. This was an excellent decision.

Oven-Roasted Kimchi Chicken (via Bon Appétit)

I TRICKED MY PARENTS INTO EATING KIMCHI. I AM AN EVIL GENIUS AND CREDIT BACON AS MY ACCOMPLICE.

Duck Fat Sweet Potato Steak Fries (via All Recipes)

I was gifted a jar of duck fat  at this thing that I went to and had three sweet potatoes in my fridge. I burned all three potatoes because I was negligent with the oven. Sue me. You won't.

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Chops (via Bon Appétit)

I made two batches of pork chops on this particular evening because my mom lives by the phrase, "If there aren't leftovers, the meal did not count." The first batch was with this hoisin sauce. The second was with standard salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil. Hoisin chops were infinitely more tender and juicy. Three cheers for tahini!

Salmon Niçoise Salad (via Bon Appétit)

My dad is kind of on a diet. By this, I mean that he and his co-workers are battling against each other in a Biggest Lose competition. Thus, he has taken to using SlimFast to combat his hunger. As he so describes, "I drink a shake about an hour before I go to lunch. That way, when I get my Chinese food, I don't eat as much!"

Delusion is key to success.

Anyway, he was delighted to eat a salad for dinner that was comprised of 89% real foods, 10% lettuce, and 1% love. I had neither frisée nor mâche and found that shredded romaine lettuce is a fine pedestrian substitute.

Braised Chicken With Artichokes and Olives (via NYTimes Cooking)

This. Is. Bomb. This. Is. BOMB. Don't be intimidated by trimming prickly artichokes: you will be fine if you just believe. I swapped in equal parts halved button mushrooms for the cherry tomatoes because we had eaten stewed tomatoes the night prior, so I had reached my Tom Brady nightshade quota for the week. I also substituted thyme for rosemary and nothing exploded.


Analyze & Discuss:

What have you been cooking lately? Let me guess... is it meth??