Gluten-free cooking is a particularly interesting challenge for me. I don’t know how far you all have read back in Twice Cooked, but if you know anything about me and my relationship to food, you’ll know that I’m a little like bread flour: I form strong gluten bonds. I can be pretty judgmental toward folks for whom gluten-free eating is a diet fad. And I am given to rant, if folks will let me, about the con-artist industry that has grown up around selling vulnerable people expensive bread substitutes by playing on their fears about industrial agriculture’s handling of wheat.
Bread, it seems to me, is one of our oldest, most enduring signifiers of civilization. And there is a way in which gluten-free diets are about undermining bread not just as a food, but as a thing that encapsulates the bonds of community that hold us together in relative peace.
This is a recipe that I’ve been meaning to share for months. I had planned, in fact, to include it in my post about Madeira wine and the sea back in November. But then that post got too long with all its history and its drinking recommendations. And then the research involved in it tired me out on delicious nautical wines for a while. And then one thing led to another and — oh, look at that! — it’s almost February.
But please don’t take my tardiness on the Madeira braised chicken front to mean that I don’t absolutely adore it. That would be the exact opposite of the truth. And if you were to pass over this recipe just because it was a long time coming, it would make me — personally — very sad for you. Because this is, I think, the single best chicken recipe I’ve posted here at Twice Cooked.
Ever since Elizabeth and Hana each made their posts about foraging last summer, I have been unable to turn off the part of my brain that notices interesting mushrooms. This one I found poking out of some leaves along Philadelphia’s Forbidden Drive. I have no earthly idea whether it is edible. But I wouldn’t.
A thing called caramelized pork bits may, at first blush, seem a bit off the beaten path. But it makes perfect sense if you understand how it came about.
It used to be, occasionally, that I would pop out here with a recipe that was meant to be a weeknight dinner. I would make fried rice, or pasta with collards, or macaroni and cheese — stuff that could be thrown together, all filling and comforting, in something less than an hour from start to finish. It was the pickling that initially distracted me from making those kinds of posts (and so many others, too). And then — as Sarah likes to tell me — I got sidetracked from the whole project of making any kind of entrées for the blog at all.
The urge to collect attractive natural things has always been part of my psyche. Pine cones, interesting seeds and leaves, and unusual rocks often make their way into my pockets. Even though I live in Manhattan, I am constantly finding things to collect — especially edible things.
I have had great luck in the city with mushrooms and berries. Greens (mustard, mint, herbs, etc.) tend to grow in places where dogs pee, and there is always a question of what pesticides may have been sprayed. Roots (burdock, carrot) are often not large enough to be worth digging and can be contaminated with pesticides or other soil pollution, too. Digging also can draw attention to an activity that is technically illegal in New York City.
The satisfaction of growing one’s own food can almost – not quite, but almost – be matched by the satisfaction of finding one’s own food.
For me, it began with the raspberries. Indeed, raspberries are perhaps my rampion: like Rapunzel’s mother, I crave them above all other foods. The first thing we did when we bought a house, before we painted a single wall or moved a single stick of furniture, was to build a raised bed and plant three raspberry canes. They all died by summer’s end, apparently of ennui.
My post about fried rice, it seems, has gotten me thinking about weeknight food. It’s gotten me thinking about those fast, easy recipes that serve when time is at a premium, but also that more than serve: that please, that offer comfort, that turn into favorites in a peculiar way that more elaborate, once-in-a-while dishes […]
Fair warning: this way leads to pasta with a cream sauce. If you object to considerable quantities of dairy fat, you may want to find a different food blog to read choose a healthier recipe from the queue — like this one for kale pesto. Alternately, you may want to leave the cream and nutmeg […]
When is he going to make another post about collards? I know, I know — that’s the question that’s been on all of your minds. You can’t resist those broad leathery leaves, dark green in both look and smell. You can’t resist that bitter taste, or that extensive history, or that big shiny 1000 on […]