Italian sausage burgers with garlicky spinach

December 21, 2012 § 17 Comments

sausage burgers 1

I imagine, if you are like me, what you need right now is not another cookie or another cup of punch.  What you need is the world’s quickest and easiest tasty dinner, so you can be well fed between the events, between all the time commitments demanded by crafting the elegant meals and trays of cookies required for the days that are the events, between the traditions that can’t be monkeyed with.

And on some days, you may want that meal to be something other than spaghetti.  Nothing against spaghetti.  I love spaghetti.  I went through a phase of hating it because I thought we ate if far too often during my childhood, but now I understand why we ate it so often.  I 110% understand why because now that I’m the one making dinner, we eat it just about as often, though usually with spaghetti squash these days rather than actual pasta.  But, even with that understanding, there are only so many days in a row one can stomach spaghetti.

Which is why these burgers are such a great find.  I’m pretty sure the idea came from Food & Wine, or else Bon Appetit.  It was one of the various food magazines that I was reading on one of my several recent work trips at any rate, and the idea stuck with me.

spinach leaves overhead « Read the rest of this entry »

Grilled chorizo and flatbread with charred vegetables

August 9, 2012 § 14 Comments

Ok, I’m going to come out and say it.  There’s a certain point every summer at which I start to get a little annoyed by the sheer bounteousness of summer produce.  I mean, I love it, I really do, but it’s just so freaking beautiful and abundant.  It’s kind of like that person you know who is really smart and talented and beautiful and then they’re nice on top of it, and and eventually you’re like, “come on!  Can’t you at least be neurotic?!”  I get a little bit that way about summer vegetables.  (Please tell me this doesn’t make me a horrible person, though, clearly, I have issues.)

We put summer produce on sun-soaked a pedestal, cooing over it and the way it needs only a little sprinkling of salt, maybe a drizzle of good olive oil.  We rhapsodize perfect garden tomatoes or fresh sweet corn like we do our first love.  And it’s all true, and completely deserved.  Fresh summer produce is miraculous.  It really would be a shame to do much more than serve it in a minimalist state, an ode to the garden.  And the essays that have been written on the subject, well, I have nothing to add to them that hasn’t been said. « Read the rest of this entry »

“Em’s Buns

September 26, 2011 § 6 Comments


…They’re cheeky! (TM)”  That’s the name and slogan of my imaginary company. In my mind I even have caps and aprons with this printed on them, along with a little line drawing of a rotund bun speckled with sesame seeds. You see, when I threaten to drop out of my PhD program, (which happens at least once a week, if not more. The threats increase with the approach of each deadline and then subside after successfully achieving said deadline.  It’s kind of one of my ways of pretending like I’m rebellious, and of asserting my sense of autonomy – and the word on the street is almost every PhD student under the sun does something similar, well except for the part to follow) my plan for what I will do next is to start a bicycle-pulled food stand from which I will sell little stuffed buns as an afternoon snack from 2:30-5pm.  And, it’s my idea, so don’t steal it!! 🙂

The idea for afternoon buns was inspired by the buns they have at the St. John Hotel. I’ve never had their afternoon buns, but I read their description of them as “warm little buttock-like buns” and I thought it was the most hilarious and ingenious thing ever. Basically everything Fergus Henderson does is genius.

A little stuffed bun is exactly what I want as a snack in the afternoon every day. So, I decided I absolutely had start working on making them.

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Pasta with Butternut Squash and (optional) Sausage

February 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

Here’s another one, like that cabbage, that I have been meaning to write about for a while and somehow have kept not getting around to, even though it’s really good.  I don’t know what the deal is with that.  I think it just takes a bit of turning things over in my mind before I can think of anything to say about them, since I do keep trying to be remotely interesting.  I’m kind of like Mr. Collins who delights in spending some of his spare time in devising little compliments to pay the ladies, but tries to give them as unstudied of an air as possible (obscure Pride and Prejudice reference – I’m afraid I’ve read that book more times than I can count; I’m a hopeless romantic/geek).  That is to say, I often think for a while about a food or a subject to try to come up with at least one amusing (well, at least to me) thing to say about it, and then I’ll suddenly sit down and write in a stream of consciousness.

So now, after ample amounts of time to muse on the topic of pasta with butternut squash, what earth shattering insights do I have to offer?  Er, um, well, none, really.  Except that it’s just really, really delicious.  According to Joel, it’s one of the best things he’s ever eaten (unfortunately for my ego, this was in reference to a version that a friend of ours made, oh well).  It’s a great fall-ish dish for when butternut squash has just come into season, but it’s also cozy and warming in winter when you suddenly discover that you still have a box of butternut squash stored very cleverly under piles of aprons, grocery bags, tupperwares, and other miscellany in your pantry (I take a cue from squirrels, hiding things so “cleverly” I forget about them and can’t find them if I’m looking for them).  Sweet, mild butternut squash is so good with a little sharp cheese and olive oil tossed with pasta and salty, rich Italian sausage (sweet or spicy).  I’m sure it would be good with bacon or pancetta bits instead of sausage.   And, if you don’t eat meat, it’s just as good without it too.

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