NYT Things You Should Make, Not Buy

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies. Yum. source

As the title of my blog says, there are four things I keep up with on a daily basis: food, booze, Internet, and Japan. I love the Internet as much as I love food and booze. Oh. And Japan too. But I really love the Internet — it’s an addiction. So much so I forced myself to detox.

Fast forward about seven months, I’m back online. The time I waste trolling the Internet isn’t as bad as it used to be but, I am still constantly on Twitter and Instagram. Since I follow a lot of food related accounts, I sometimes post Internet finds here, tagged under ‘Internet Finds‘.

The greatest find this week, was a NYT’s article: “20 Things You Should Make, Not Buy”. The Times only linked their recommended recipes but there are a few recipes I am 100% sure are (sorry not sorry) better than the ones in that article. (Sidenote: I cook a range of foods, not just Japanese.)

Here are a few:

Marinara Sauce — NYT shares a recipe from Julia Moskin. I am sure her recipe is delicious but this marinara recipe is easily in my top three of all time.

In 2010, I lived in LA when Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, “the Frankies,” did a kitchen takeover at Animal Restaurant. With the dinner, each guest received a signed copy of: The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual and it is now one of my go-to cookbooks. Their marinara sauce takes four hours, requires good olive oil and pricy canned tomatoes but definitely worth it. I found their recipe online here.

I also shared some tips to roasting vegetables from The Frankie’s cookbook way back in 2010 here.

Mustard-Shallot Vinaigrette — NYTimes’ recipe is again by Julia Moskin but I am convinced Ina Garten’s Vinaigrette is king! Her recipe calls for champagne vinegar that may sound all fru-fru. But for lazy people like me, the light, tangy and subtly acidic champagne vinegar is far suited than red/white wine vinegar to drizzle over roughly chopped vegetables or, on a presentable salad to serve guests. I shared the recipe here.

EMP’s Granola source

Eleven Madison Park’s Granola — funny timing. I just posted about trail mix and was contemplating if I should do a granola round-up but this particular one is sooooo delicious by the time I get around to actually collecting my favorite recipes from around the internet, sitting down and writing out a blog post, you still won’t be sick of this one.

EMP is the famed Eleven Madison Park and their granola, like the restaurant, is a bit uppity but extremely addictive. I prefer the Serious Eats’ rendition with cherries, pistachios, and coconut flakes. The recipe is here

Hummus — hummus is astonishingly simple to make and Mark Bittman’s recipe is my favorite. This is his recipe on epicurious, taken from his book The Best Recipes in the World. Since it’s so short, I’m pasting it into the body.

  • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste), optional, with some of its oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often find I like to add much more lemon juice). Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit more cumin or paprika and some parsley.

I am a cumin fiend so paprika makes zero appearances in my hummus! Also, if you’re more of a baba ghanouj person, I have my version with tips of roasting eggplant here.

And of course, from the top photo: Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies via epicurious from Laurie Colwin. There are hundreds of Katharine Hepburn brownies floating around online. But this one, edited by Ruth Reichl and taken from A Harried Cook’s Guide to Some Fast Food by Colwin is the authority. Mainly from bias — Colwin and Reichl are two of my favorite writers.

No one can compete with Colwin’s closing paragraph to the recipe:

You can cut these brownies into squares, once they have cooled, and eat them out of the pan, but it is so much nicer to pile them on a fancy plate, from which people are going to eat them with their hands anyway. If you want to smarten up your act you can put a square of brownie on a plate with a little blob of créme fraîche and a scattering of shaved chocolate.

The full brownie recipe is here.
See the NYT’s piece and the rest of the recipes here.



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