October 2014 Desktop Calendar

At the beginning of every month in 2014, I am offering a new wallpaper to apply on the desktop of […]

  • 0
  • October 1, 2014
Green Romesco Sauce

I recently tweeted about my recipe for muhammara, this sumptuous Middle-Eastern dip of roasted bell peppers and walnuts that I […]

  • 19
  • September 10, 2014
Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad

Charred broccoli is fast becoming one of my go-to vegetable options, especially at lunchtime when I need something quick and low-effort. […]

  • 30
  • September 17, 2014
Sourdough English Muffins

Due to my ever-widening enthusiasm for breadmaking, I have become a close follower of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge, wherein […]

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  • Favorite
  • September 29, 2009
Roasted Mustard Mackerel with Fennel

Longtime readers may remember the post I wrote about sustainable seafood a few years ago. The issue is still very […]

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  • Favorite
  • May 7, 2013
Apple and Maple Yogurt Cake

A year ago today, my sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy; the next morning, Maxence and I were […]

  • 65
  • Favorite
  • March 17, 2009

October 2014 Desktop Calendar

At the beginning of every month in 2014, I am offering a new wallpaper to apply on the desktop of your computer, with a food-related picture and a calendar of the current month.

As a new feature this year, the desktop calendar is available in two versions: a US-friendly version that features Sunday as the first day of the week, and a French version (shown above) that complies with international standards, featuring Monday as the first day of the week.

Our calendar for October is a picture of my jar of granola, which I make a little bit differently each time, but always following this basic formula. And when it comes to granola, of which I cannot get enough, I have more than one recipe up my sleeve: see this raw buckwheat granola, this savory granola, this paleo granola, and these granola bars.

Instructions to get your calendar are below.

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September Favorites

Some of my favorite finds and reads for this month:

~ Ever wanted to get a food-related tattoo? Here are a few temporary ones you can test-drive.

~ A simple recipe for yogurt popsicles. I’ve been tempted to get some pop molds and this may push me over the edge.

~ Who makes the best pain au chocolat in Paris?

~ What kids’ school menus look like in Japan.

~ How to make chocolate chip cookies exactly how you like them.

~ The Eater site publishes its list of banned words.

~ You have until January 3 to go and see this Paris exhibition on the fascinating history of the spoon.

~ I love the tip at the bottom of this post on how to properly dip chocolate-coated shortbread.

~ Why you are better off refrigerating your tomatoes — in some cases.

~ How about a little photo tour of my neighborhood?

~ “Just so you know, food arrives when it’s ready.” This service trend has yet to arrive in Paris, and it’s one I hope doesn’t.

~ I should make temaki sushi more often.

Soy Sauce Roasted Cashews

I love the bulk section at my local organic store.

I love that it allows me to cut down on the packaging, as I strive to bring back and reuse the same paper bags until they give out in exhaustion. I love that I pay less for the exact same products or ingredients, and I love that it gives me an opportunity to purchase sample-size amounts of new foods without committing to a whole package.

This is how I recently got ahold of some shoyu roasted cashews from Jean Hervé — an all-around fantastic brand for nut butters — that proved all kinds of good, crunchy and toasty and salty but not overly so.

I found myself reaching for small handfuls that soon turned into bigger ones while preparing dinner, and sprinkling them over my lunch salads as well, and soon enough my sample was gone.

Of course I could have just gone out and bought more — oh, how I love pulling down on those levers! too! — but when I compared the price of plain cashews with the soy sauce roasted ones, I calculated that they were charging 30% more for the soy sauce marinating and the roasting, which seemed like steps I could very well accomplish myself.

And it was indeed a most straightforward process: you simply pour soy sauce over the cashews, and let them soak it in overnight before roasting in the oven, where the cashews will crisp up as the soy sauce dries up and caramelizes.

These you can nibble on with a pre-dinner drink — I like to present them on the adorable mini cutting boards that Earlywood now makes — or snack on during the day (word of warning: very. hard. to stop.), or sprinkle over your salads, or package up and present as a low-effort but well-received edible gift.

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Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad

Charred broccoli is fast becoming one of my go-to vegetable options, especially at lunchtime when I need something quick and low-effort.

My enthusiasm for it started as an offshoot from my beloved Roasted Cauliflower à la Mary Celeste, in which broccoli can be used with good results. But in truth, roasted broccoli isn’t an exact substitute for cauliflower: the tops of the florets become a bit drier and quite a bit crunchier when submitted to high heat, so roasted broccoli seems to call for a creamier treatment.

The trick to this salad is to not be shy about roasting the broccoli.

And what creamier companions than an herbed tahini dressing and a cubed avocado tossed in? Also: what tastier, more satisfying trio?

I usually eat half of this salad warm the day I make it, and try to contain my excitement until lunch the next day, when I can finally have the other half; it’s best to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating.

The trick to this salad is to not be shy about roasting the broccoli: you’ll get the most vibrant flavor and most interesting texture contrast from broccoli that is frankly black at the tips.

The only damper on my charred broccoli enthusiasm these days is that is it harder than one would think to find glowingly fresh broccoli at the organic stores around me. You can tell broccoli is fresh when the heads are firm, with tight florets that take some effort to separate. Yet more often than not, a quick pat on the heads stocked in the produce bin reveals soft heads with distracted florets. I did learn recently that you can revive those heads by cutting a slice off the tip of the stem and putting it in a glass of water as in a vase, and I plan to try this next time, should my craving become too strong.

Join the conversation!

Do you share my love of roasted broccoli? What’s you favorite way to serve it?

Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad

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Green Romesco Sauce

I recently tweeted about my recipe for muhammara, this sumptuous Middle-Eastern dip of roasted bell peppers and walnuts that I wish more cooks knew about. This prompted Pami Hoggatt, of A Crust Eaten, to remark that it looked similar to Spanish romesco sauce.

Salsa Romesco is most commonly a sauce of roasted peppers, mixed together with nuts, olive oil, and vinegar.

I was very pleased that she did, for romesco sauce had somehow flown under my radar all this time and I was delighted to make its acquaintance: a Spanish specialty from Catalonia, salsa romesco can take on various guises, textures and flavorings, but it is most commonly a sauce of roasted peppers mixed together with nuts, olive oil, and vinegar. Different recipes will add different ingredients to that basic formula, but that’s the gist of it.

Pami pointed me to the recipe that she herself uses, and coincidentally, right around the same time The Kitchn ran a cute tiny video for what they appropriately call their “happy sauce”, which is in fact a romesco sauce.

I happened to have a collection of tiny bell peppers in various shades of yellow, green, and black-eye green sitting in my fridge, and it didn’t take long for me to enroll them into this wonderful green romesco sauce.

Small bell peppers

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