Unemployment=Delicious Food

Well, that’s a pretty unusual outcome, but it is only to be expected in my universe of unusual outcomes. With graduation behind me (time!), the onset of summer (beautiful produce!), and the abundance of hungry friends (friends!), I present to you, the first awesome meal of summer. This was to celebrate one of my favorite people, and we were joined by the two other favorite people with whom I reside. Come to our home for food. There’ll be cake here almost 87% of the time. I’m not sharing these recipes (all my own) because then you would have no reason to come visit me.

First course, yellow heirloom Gazpacho (with a lisp)

Salad course, Avocado and Grapefruit salad

Main course, super-salty goodness of a pizza. Potatoes, Mozz, Pecorino, and Spinach.

Finally, a strawberry clafouti. (Okay, that’s a lie. I made this a couple of weeks ago for brunch, and to be honest it was disgusting. But, it wasn’t my recipe, so whatever. And it photographed really well. In reality last night we had coffee ice cream covered in decaf freshly brewed espresso, that WAS my idea, and it was delicious. I commend me).

Bagwet (and a recipe!)

A boy in front of me at the bread line at the farmers’ market this morning asked the bread lady for a Bagwet (reading the sign very carefully and really wanting to say it right), and it was adorable. The market was crazy good this morning, so much so that I got a few things that I have never used/eaten (rainbow chard, parsnips with their greens (still to be explored)). I also got what is probably the last batch of rhubarb of the season, some good looking peppers, and a bagwet.

Food as still life

So what do you do with swiss chard? I didn’t know either. So I made a recipe up. Yes, I did. I don’t do this very often, and I was pretty worried about what will come of this experiment. But, luckily, the potentially disastrous frittata/crustless quiche came out delicious. Recipe follows at the end of the post!

It all starts with some “Woah! Double Rainbow” chard

and mushrooms

Sautee those babies together

While it was in the oven, I chopped some onions

Which went into the pumpkin-feta scone dough, for which there is also a recipe, though that wasn’t mine (I replaced chives with green onions, and made up my own “mixed spice” with some ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, but take it easy, this is a savory scone)

When everything was ready we sat outside

And had some pear, goat cheese, and spinach salad

and the frittata (recipe follows, keep scrolling!)

and the scones!

Sample plate 1

Sample plate 2

This meal made 5 girls very happy, but you could easily feed closer to 10 people (well, maybe not 10 men).

Double rainbow frittata
Preheat oven to 375
Sauté 1/2 onion in some olive oil
When onion is soft, add 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
Add the leaves from 6 stalks rainbow chard (just leaves, please)
And two handfuls of chopped mushrooms
Stir in some salt and pepper, and stir until the leaves are wilted, and most of the moisture of the mushroom and chard has evaporates
Let cool

In a bowl mix 3 eggs, a cup of half and half, salt, pepper, and a bit of nutmeg. To that add 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar and 1/2 cup shredded parmesan.

Mix in the veggie mixture into the batter, and throw in a 9″ round pan. Sprinkle some more cheese in top. Bake 35 minutes, let cool a little bit so it can settle, and serve. Nom nom nom.

Belated Rosh HaShana

This year I celebrated Rosh HaShana twice, once without any food but ample drinks, and a second time, belatedly, with my two favorite goyyim, true lovers of Matzah Ball Soup.

It all started with a trip to the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market, my new neighborhood market.

For snacking, I made my mom’s Moroccan tomato salad– it has Anaheim peppers, garlic, salt, and some canola oil. It’s super hot, but you can’t stop eating it.

Then making chicken broth (with some aromatics, carrots, onions and chicken)

Eventually some matzah balls went into that, too

By far the most exciting thing that I made were stuffed zucchinis. These are my grandma’s recipe, and are my favorite. In fact, I like them so much, that I have always dreaded making them. But, after I saw those round little zucchinis at the market, I couldn’t resist.
I got some grass-fed beef

Emptied the zucchinis

Stuffed them with a mixture of meat, onion, potato, and parsley, then egged and bredded them and pan fried them

Finally I cooked them in a sauce made of onions and the cores of the zucchinis. They cook a long time on low heat, and despite being slightly labor intensive, are incredibly delicious. Can’t wait to make them many more times in the winter.

For dessert we had a peach cobbler, and that was also a hit.

In fact, it was so good that we got distracted and forgot to photograph it before devouring it

My guests were a bit late, so I also got to take this picture:

Shana Tova and Happy Eid to all who were celebrating this weekend. I hope your year is filled with friends, family, and delicious food.

Summer loving

Years ago, when I first went to the New Haven’s farmers market, and first saw heirloom tomatoes, I ended up putting them on a pizza, which I still remember vividly. Luckily, I have found an heirloom (and otherwise) soulmate in the lovely Ms. Kate House, with whom I made this heirloom laden meal last night. She is a fantastic sous-chef, a friend of the first rate, and a soon-to-be guest blogger.

I forgot my nice lens at home, so these aren’t the best pictures, but you get the idea.

Portrait of Duke Thunderpaw and heirlooms

These beautiful raspberries were crushed with some nectarines (not pictured) and this deliciously colorful mash then went in the bottom of champagne glasses and covered with Prosecco. A House+Hillá original. Highly recommended.

We also made some actual food, like this incredibly delicious but poorly photographed salad.

The inspiration came from my very good friends Liba and Micah’s wedding. The two are delectable foodies, and at their wedding they served an incredibly blood orange and avocado salad. We replaced the citrus for red grapefruit, threw in some shallots, salted and olive oiled, and voila, you have what is quite possibly the best summer salad out there.

I’m ashamed to admit that we used store bought dough, but I will say that of the few things that I feel are okay shortcuts, Trader Joe’s pizza dough is one of them. We made 2 pizzas (to accomodate some lactose intolerance), one with goat cheese:

One with farmer’s cheese:

Heirloom plenty

Milking it

I attempted to make a dairy meal (in celebration of Shavuot) for 8 people in 1 hour. The phyllo kicked my butt, and I forgot to make at least half the things I planned on. The pictures are therefore not the best, but the food was actually okay, and there are RECIPES.

Ricotta Pesto Quiche (very successful, from Country Living via the Kitchn, one of the most fun food blogs out there)

Quick tomato salad

Pear and goat cheese salad

Some other things, including mac n’ cheese

And, of course, cheesecake. For some reason, I have yet to learn how to best photograph cheesecake, and I used my kit lens instead of my nice new macro low light lens. Any bright ideas, anyone? How can cheesecake taste so good, and yet photograph so poorly.