For me, September means hoarding as much Summer produce as possible before it's gone and savoring each day of beautiful weather — while we still have it— with pool parties, picnics, and fireside campouts. On the social front, this month also brings more political banter as we approach the presidential election. Here are five of my essentials for September.
Posts for September 2nd 2008
I adore shrimp, especially in the Summer, but ordinary cocktail sauce doesn't always do it justice. New Orleans rémoulade, on the other hand, has a bold flavor that transforms simple boiled shrimp into an impressive standalone meal.
Most people are familiar with the French version of rémoulade, a mayonnaise-based sauce made with Dijon mustard and capers. But Louisiana rémoulade — used primarily as a shrimp topping — is made with olive oil, celery, green onions, shallots, and parsley. The reddish tint comes from the addition of paprika and cayenne, and this Cajun condiment with a slight Italian flavor is full of spice without being too spicy.
Rémoulade can be prepared in advance, so try making the condiment on Sunday night then boiling the shrimp for an easy but gourmet Monday night dinner. I even used the leftovers the next day to make a sandwich, so stay tuned for that tomorrow. To learn how to make this simple sauce for shrimp rémoulade, read more
One of my favorite attractions at this weekend's Slow Food Nation was Slow on the Go, the tented market where vendors sold gourmet, ready-to-eat food. Like street food, the offerings were served out of carts and stands, but unlike typical fare, signs explained exactly where each ingredient was from. Here are a few of my favorite moments.
At the Slow Food Nation market this weekend, there were about a dozen vendors who sold "fast" slow food — that is, sustainably produced food that was already prepared and ready to eat. The stands served everything from tamales to rotisserie chicken with potatoes, and people were eating all around me.
I'm curious to know: When you go to the farmers market, do you buy food that's ready to eat in addition to stocking up on your usual produce items?
Persian for "bread," naan is a staple of Northern Indian cuisine as well as Pakistani and other Central Asian cuisines. The round flatbread is made of white flour, leavened with yeast, and cooked in a clay oven. The elastic dough can be mixed with ingredients, such as meat, potatoes, chickpeas, or spices.
With the end of Summer fast approaching, I made a Popsicle inspired by Mexican paletas, a mostly pureed frozen fruit dessert that's either ice- or cream-based. After chopping up a cantaloupe last week, I wanted to combine it with a crisp cucumber and spicy jalapeño to create a refreshing yet snappy paleta.
Zealous with my jalapeño, I chopped up an entire thing, seeds and all, and threw it in the blender. The result was too spicy for my taste, so I balanced the heat by adding a touch of sugar. Depending on your personal taste, I would recommend removing the seeds and the white flesh, the spiciest part of a jalapeño, before blending. These peppery paletas are perfect for a scorching hot day, so to learn how to make them, read more
- Into pickling? Here's how to choose the right vinegar. — The Kitchn
- What does "heirloom" mean really? — Chow
- The incomplete but oh-so-true guide to beachside eats.— The Epi-Log
- Don't these brownie chunk peanut butter cookies sound divine? — Baking Bites
- Bacon-cheese hot dogs: a brunch dish for the adventurous. — Serious Eats
- Use your old wine corks to make these cute trivets. — Sweet & Sticky
- Are you a health foodie? — FitSugar
- Bored with beer? Try getting creative with fizzy flavor blends. — Slashfood
When my friends and I go camping, the food planning comes first. Once we've figured out who's making every appetizer, cocktail, main dish, and dessert, we focus on other details like who's bringing bug spray and how to get where we're going.
So for this week's campfire fiesta, I'm forgoing invitations in favor of a flurry of emails to work out the logistics. September is prime camping time: It's just getting summery in Northern California, while the more scorching regions of the country are cooling off. This Mexican-tinged menu celebrates the last days of Summer by featuring lots of fresh produce.
To start, I'm offering tortilla chips served with a gourmet caramelized black bean "butter" and store-bought pico de gallo. Some chips will inevitably get crushed in transit, so we'll put those into the main dish — tamale chicken packets — which cook over the fire with little effort. I'll also be grilling corn, brushed with lime and feta cheese, and a jicama-mango salad that you can make in advance and assemble on site. To get the recipes, read more
If BBQ gurus Pat and Gina Neely were to make a Mexican burrito, it would probably look a lot like this dish. The filling is a simple mixture of ground beef, onion, corn, and bottled barbecue sauce. Instead of a salsa or guacamole topping, a heaping spoonful of crunchy coleslaw is placed atop the meat.
Although cheese isn't on the ingredient list, a sprinkling of cheddar cheese is a welcome addition. To look at the recipe, read more
While I love the fact that Teich Garden Systems, which built the garden, designed it for everything from schoolyards to backyards, I also wonder if it's really necessary to have a special gardening platform, since people have been planting gardens for hundreds of years without them. What do you think of the Good Food Garden?