CLARK MITCHELL PHOTO | Chicken paprikash.
With the reality of winter firmly setting in, my focus in the kitchen turns squarely to stewing and braising. Without the right seasoning, I find that many of these slow-cooked preparations can end up a bit on the bland side. Even a perfectly made beef stew can often leave the taste buds wanting just a bit more action.
I found my answer to this conundrum some years ago when I was invited to my friends’ parents house for dinner. His father was Hungarian, and that night we had paprikás csirke, or chicken paprikash. All I could say was wow. It’s since become my absolute favorite thing to cook in the winter. (more…)
DAVID LAPHAM PHOTO | Candied citrus peels.
For me, there’s something deeply satisfying about giving people homemade presents during the holiday season. Take canned tomatoes for example. Although I spend almost an entire weekend preparing them every September, they’re now readily available as presents for everyone from the mailman to my mother. Homemade gifts like this have a little extra spiritual heft, more than, say, a new toaster oven or set of steak knives. (more…)
DAVID LAPHAM PHOTO | Smoked Gouda and leek tart.
October and November are great months to live on Shelter Island, but you need to work just a little harder to find the good local stuff. With fewer people and the return of a more tranquil rhythm, most of my stalwart farmstands have all but closed up.
Nonetheless, I know there’s local produce out there. (more…)
DAVID LAPHAM PHOTO
Steamed vegetables of any sort never did much for me.
Steaming is certainly one of least caloric ways to prepare them, but if given the choice, I like to cook most vegetables with some type of fat.
I still have grim memories of my middle school cafeteria, where uninspired ladles of steamed, mushy cauliflower were regularly unloaded onto our Styrofoam plates. I also remember the face of the cook doling them out. (more…)
DAVID LAPHAM PHOTO | Savory corn soufflé
This is some time of year for corn lovers. Go to any good farm stand and you’ll find delicious stalks of the stuff in total abundance. Like asparagus in spring or pumpkins in fall, corn is one of those late summer foods that just doesn’t taste the same any other time of year. Basic steamed corn on the cob with butter, salt and pepper is by far the easiest preparation, but I think Island Bites readers are ready for something requiring just a little more finesse. (more…)