Subcontinental Brunch: Yogurt Tart

Yogurt Tart

Breakfast desserts are a wonderful venue for experimentation. With this treat I took some morning time favorites and reframed them with an eye toward the tart/pie family. The crust is an oatmeal crumble, the body a tremble of yogurt set with gelatin, and the top is crowned in fruit. A joy eaten in the morning and a secret eaten at night, this tart will become a staple in your repertoire once you've tried it. Any fruit on top will do, I swap it out as the seasons shift. My new favorite? Fillets of mango spiraled around the yogurt. 

Subcontinental Brunch: Coconut Creamed Chard

Coconut Creamed Chard

My pursuits of the perfect Saag have taken me far and wide. I’ve tried many a recipe in my kitchen, some my own, some belonging to those far more well-versed in Indian cooking. My efforts have brought forth this dish, reminiscent of the saag at my favorite Indian restaurant, but tweaked for my Brooklyn kitchen. Instead of spinach I used rainbow chard because it was local, fresh and calling to me with jewel-toned legs amidst the shrubbery of the produce aisle. Two bunches may look like a lot when you stick it in your cart, but chard (like every leafy green) cooks down to nothing. Ergo, buy more than you think you need. 

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Subcontinental Brunch: Tamarind Apple Salad

I'm not a fan of the hotel fruit salad, a jubilee of unseasonal and underripe cubes with little or no thought to structure and shape. And so, when I set out to make a fruit salad it must have perspective, maturity, and reason. You'll never find a tumble of melons, citrus, berries, and grapes on my table. Our brunch was in close enough proximity to Passover that my brain subtly injected this reference to Charoset. Chopped apples, dates, and cashews, dressed with lemon and tamarind. It's a Southeast Asian take on my Jewish roots, and I'm eagerly awaiting a repeat performance. 

Subcontinental Brunch: Samosa Potatoes

Samosa Potatoes

Beginning with an Indian inspiration I tore the insides from mental samosas and packed them into a casserole dish. The result is a tray of scoopable, spiced, tender, and crusty potatoes, perfect as the bed for some fried eggs. I add a lot of peas to my potato mixture, feel free to adjust the proportion should you be pea-averse. 

An Italian Winter: Lemon Garlic Cabbage

Yes, I'm making a lot of cabbage this winter. Truth be told, I'm trying my best to cook from local ingredients and at my market this is the only vegetable I can find that is grown even remotely close to NYC. But, necessity is the mother of invention and I've been keeping my tummy full with delicious variations on this hearty vegetable. Tonight's presentation is tarted up with lemon rind and given a kick in the tongue with some dried chilies. Golden garlic rounds out the flavor wheel, making the dish a new staple in your repertoire.

The Morning After: Kale Chips

It's downright irresponsible to have a late breakfast without some sort of vegetable on the table. Though it may run counter to your upbringing, the breakfasts of my young adulthood have always featured something green to accompany my meats and starches. But I'll cut you some slack here, it is the morning after, after all. Have a bunch of kale in your fridge? Is it starting to wilt? Yes, of course it is. Well strip the leaves from the stems and let them crisp up in the oven. Everybody loves a good chip.


The Morning After: Banana Cornmeal Pancakes

Whether or not you had an inadvertent overnight guest, take a few minutes and flap some jacks this morning. Pancakes aren't complicated, and if you make them a semi-regular part of your morning routine (say, perhaps, a weekend tradition) you'll find you know the formula by heart in no time. I threw some bananas into the mix, but if you don't have any on hand, skip 'em. Pancakes ahoy!

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Practice Date: Caraway Smashed Potatoes

This date night meal needed some heft (I intend to put my dear friend into a food coma) and what adds more power to a meal than the humble potato? Boiled, smashed, and pan fried, this potato has everything: a tender center, a crisp skin, salt, garlic. It was only missing one thing: intrigue. Enter caraway. You think of it as the flavor of rye bread, and it's the perfect compliment to a smashed potato.

Practice Date: Red Cabbage and Cider

In an effort to serve foods with a natural blush for my practice date I picked up a head of red cabbage at the market. Cabbage has a bad rap for being smelly, cheap, and mushy, and the fault for such a reputation sits heavily on the shoulders of mid-century cooks. Cabbage is a riot of color and texture, the tender leaves contrast mightily with the crunchy veins. I toss mine with apple cider vinegar and miso for a punch of acidity and flavor. No mush over here.

Chinese New Year Recipe: Fu Gwa with Shitake

Do yourself a favor and scour Chinatown for veggies. You'll see things you never knew existed. Like this, Fu Gwa. It's known as Bitter Melon in America and the name is no joke. Be prepared for an intriguing taste at your table. The texture is close to zucchini, but firmer. Chop it up, stir fry it with some shitake mushrooms and put it on the table. It'll be gone in no time.

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