Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination. They’re sweet and sour, bright and luxurious, irresistible as dessert, or as jam, or in just about any other context that I can rattle off. David Lebovitz recently extolled their virtue, cooked together with sweet wine and honey, as a compote.* And in the rhubarb entry of The Flavor Bible, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg place strawberries in bold caps with an asterisk, signifying that this is one of those “Holy Grail” pairings that are the most highly recommended by the greatest number of experts.
But then, you don’t need some fancy book to tell you that. One needs only look at the critical mass of strawberry-rhubarb pie recipes out there (a quick Google search yields more than four million results) to figure out that this is one of the most beloved flavor combinations in world cuisine. Continue reading
You may consider this, dear readers, act two in the three-act May drama that I’ve come to think of as rhubarb-stravaganza. The tragedy, or perhaps the ecstasy, of being interested in seasonal cooking is that when the window opens for an ingredient — especially if it’s a relatively short window — one must take advantage.
The rhubarb window is open, folks. And here I am, milking it for all it’s worth. Continue reading
Here are two things about rhubarb that you might not know, that you might find interesting, but that might put you off of using that red, tart, delicious celery lookalike:
Thing one is that the use of rhubarb as food is a relatively recent innovation, dating back in Europe only to the seventeenth century, according to the Wikipedia. Until then, rhubarb was used medicinally — as a laxative. Apparently, in Europe, in China, in the Middle East, and elsewhere, if you went to the doctor complaining of being stopped up, a strong dose of rhubarb was the cure. Continue reading
It feels like it’s been forever since I made a post, here. Forever. And many, many miles. When I last put fingers to keyboard, the saurian hulks of gourmet food trucks dotted my neighborhood’s landscape. There was music in the air. And from underfoot, children and darting drunkards threatened to lurch and leap out into traffic.
Since then, I’ve had a birthday, a concert, a road trip, and a stay in a hotel. I’ve had a protracted bout of the flu (complete with fever, chills, and a full set of aches). Continue reading
When I was a child, steamed artichokes were my very favorite vegetable. Bitter and creamy, almost meaty at their heart, you could give childhood me an artichoke and a little puddle of butter, stand back, and watch in amazement as I picked it clean of all the parts you can possibly eat.
My mother made them on a fairly regular basis. Steamed artichokes were easy and could be done a day ahead. And my own partiality for them aside, both she and my father would devour them with visible pleasure, and sometimes go back for more. Continue reading
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for almost a week, now, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because I haven’t quite been able to figure out how to make it work for this space.
Here’s the problem: last week, with Easter close at hand, with Elizabeth’s post about carrot soup newly live, and with my recent enthusiasm for savory pastry, I made the decision that my next post here at Twice Cooked was going to have to be a rabbit pie. It appealed to my sense of impropriety — a rabbit for Easter! — and it appealed to my sense of propriety, too — a classic early-spring meal, timed just right for the early spring. Continue reading
It’s been a while, it seems to me, since I’ve offered you all a quick and easy weeknight meal. I recall that there was a period in there where I did a pasta with greens and a fried rice, and told you, with some conviction, that this is really the essence of what it means to cook. I believe I wrote that while baked goods are nice, and elaborate dishes are all well and good, they offer paltry savor indeed, Continue reading
If my 2012, folks, began with the afterglow of visiting Spain — with dry sherry, fresh seafood, and melt-in-your-mouth jamón — it has ended with the afterglow of Kentucky. It has ended with the memory of bourbon, amber and oaky, filled with notes of caramel and corn, vanilla, char, and spicy rye — with a vision of giant copper stills, and the delicious smells of sour-mash fermentation and barrel aging firmly implanted in my nose. Kentucky — to clarify — Continue reading
Please don’t misconstrue what I’m about to tell you. I do in fact think that sour pickles are great. I make them. I eat them. Like many of you out there, they were my introduction to fermented foods. And I even have a recipe for them here. But the thing is: cucumbers aren’t really the best candidates for lacto-fermentation. Consider, for a moment, the properties of a good pickle: it’s tangy, salty, juicy, infused with delicious spices like coriander and Continue reading
It’s been a few months since I’ve made a soapbox post — like this one about Kiva, or this one about Creative Commons. This post, I would say, falls somewhere between that, an impromptu pictorial, and free advertising for a Philadelphia business that I admire quite a bit, and that I patronize as often as I possibly can. Philadelphia’s Fair Food Farmstand, at the Reading Terminal Market, feels like an institution, despite the fact that it’s relatively new. The farmstand Continue reading