French home cooks always seem to have a dozen wonderful things up their sleeves to make on the spur of the moment. Great ideas to use up leftovers come awfully naturally, as well, and they all appear to know about how to feed 6 people with a cup and a half of milk, 3 eggs, a bit of ham, and a handful of grated cheese. How DO they do it? These folks are always frying croutons, whipping up homemade hot chocolate, baking an apple tart using apples from the backyard tree, simmering cream soups or vegetable pastas, stirring up something tasty with canned tuna … or even making quiche! How is it that even carbs aren’t a problem for them? This is proven routinely by the unending ubiquitous photos of yard-long baguettes being carried home by slim citizens riding bikes down tree-lined sunny Paris streets. (Well, right now they’re limited to an hour out a day and can’t go far from home. Sigh.) Over the years I’ve been writing the blog, I’ve read and seen quite a lot about this phenomenon, but staying in France for two weeks a couple of years ago gave me a much more complete and definitely personal insight. I’m finding it all definitely useful in today’s cooking world.Continue reading
Just a quick post this morning…
There’s always something precious stowed away in the fridge after a holiday. I won’t dare call them leftovers, as that word has a nasty connotation to a lot of people who, in fact, frequently state, “I don’t like leftovers.” Think about a ham bone that will soon grace a pot of bean soup, Thanksgiving pumpkin pie waiting for Friday’s sweet breakfast, or the Christmas roast beast chilled and ready for late night sandwiches.Continue reading
above: braised, cooled, chilled overnight, sliced and covered in its sauce right before warming in oven for serving the second day
Lamb, the meat of any-time-of-the-year special occasions, happy summer grilling, and winter warming stews, is the quintessential meat despite the infamous quote from, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,”
I know. Chicken-Corn Chowder — the salty-cheesy kind with bacon and lots of soft potatoes– is what you’re thinking. I love that, too, and can remember the very first time I ate it in the kitchen of Woodlawn Planation. But this is a tad different and works to do that sad? but stupendous thing folks sometimes find so difficult–
use up the leftovers.
Did you eat too many chocolate eggs over the weekend? A bit more ham than you planned on? Have a refrigerator full of boiled eggs? (Scroll to bottom for a scrumptious idea on that.)
In Alyce’s Kitchen: SHEET PAN CLASS UPCOMING MAY 22: 10 AM-1PM. $40. Message me or leave a comment if you’d like a spot. Includes lunch! Will repeat in June as needed since a few of you already can’t make that date, but want to make sheet pan meals with me. Can’t wait to cook with you!
Dorie Greenspan and I are in total agreement over one thing: quiche must return to the everyday American table on a regular basis! Not that I know Dorie personally– though we’ve exchanged a few comments here and there on social media–but when I read her recent column about quiche in the Washington Post, I felt my heart strings pull just a little tighter. I know an ally when I read one. YES!
Upcoming cooking classes: see above, top right corner-CURRENT CLASSES. Come cook and eat. No shopping and no cleanup. I promise.
NOTE: After this post, More Time will be on vacation for a wee while. I’ll see you when I get back!
About once a year I invite folks for a slow-down-your-life, stay and chat Sunday brunch for which the menu is short and sweet: a few quiches–each different, all made ahead and warming as folks have a first drink, a big bowl of fresh fruit cut up and maybe mixed with some fresh mint, a basket of muffins and/or rolls or a skillet of crispy potatoes (recipes below), and a choice of “osas” (OH-sahs)—MIMosas, POMosas, Bellinis, CRANmosas, and so on (choose your own juice or fruit and top with sparkling wine.) A big pot of coffee is turned on just before guests’ arrival, brunch music is tuned in, and everything is laid out on the table or counter all happily self-serve. Plates are at the start, food in the middle, and flatware is wrapped and tied in napkins, placed in a basket at the end of the buffet so no one must juggle plate, flatware, and dishing up food all at the same time. Drinks are set-up in their own stations and guests sit wherever they like, moving around at will, as conversations wax and wane, or when they’re hunting seconds.
Recipe for Blueberry Muffins from my book (below)
This class, taught at Mountain High Appliance (formerly Shouse) in the Jenn-Air Kitchen (or at home if I have just four students!) focuses on the main portion of a basic make-ahead brunch that you can embellish (i.e.muffins, coffee cake, green salad, bloody marys), but also gives you the happy opportunity to create your very own breakfast sausage and a warm, boozy bread pudding for dessert–which, according to Ina Garten, is what people will remember anyway. (I think people will remember the comfort of being together.) The Menu, then, which can be divided between guests for potluck, looks like this: Continue reading
I might love brunch more than any meal...perhaps I like the laid-back time involved or the old-school approach. There’s barely a noted beginning –sitting around drinking coffee as the food is put out — and there needn’t be any end. (Movie with the coffee and brandy??) It’s almost always a group. Nearly certainly a special occasion. More fun at home than at some swanky, pay-through-the-nose, eat-til-you-drop place, I think. Even the dogs are at ease.