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I think I might explode.

8 Mar

Whoa. I finally got around to cutting the fresh bacon slab I ordered from Arganica last week.

(For those of you in the DC area, an Arganica membership is worth it just to get this meat; if you live in Pennsylvania, then you can just walk your sweet ass over to Schmidt’s – assuming you can find Steelton, PA – and pick up a slab.)

And yes, you heard me correctly: the bacon arrived fresh in a slab, meaning it was uncut. That’s why it’s extra fun and super special.

Tonight I hacked the pound into “lardons” (see THIS for an explanation if – like my sister – you think a lardon is a hard-on caused by bacon), and decided to fry up a few to make a Salade Paysanne for dinner. I haven’t had a true Salade Paysanne since I lived in France, but tonight’s meal brought it all back. If only I’d had a glass of Cotes du Rhone to go with it, my memory would be complete.

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Recipe: Roasted brussel sprout slaw

9 Dec

One of the ironies I appreciate about myself is that I love to cook (and fancy myself a pretty good one), but 80% of my diet is crap.

Let’s take today, for instance. Breakfast? A plate of microwaved Geno’s Pizza Rolls. Lunch? Microwaved cheese enchiladas from “Amy’s Organics.” (Purchased NOT because it’s organic, but instead because it was cheesy.) Afternoon snack? Leftover crab dip with fried pita chips from last night’s work party – and a stack of chocolate covered pretzels, also from the party.

Sadly, the only thing exceptional about today’s meals was the number: I usually eat about six meals a day.

Which brings me to NOW. I’m sitting in my recliner, kicked back next to the fire listening to the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” while in my oven, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are roasting.

Yes, the same girl who regularly consumes 3000 calories in simple sugar each day also craves brussel sprouts.

And as a holiday gift to you, my lone reader, I offer up this suggestion:

Shred some bussel sprouts so they’re the consistency of coleslaw. Add some small cauliflower florets. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until brussel sprouts begin to brown. Eat.

Pair with a Stouffer’s French Bread Pepperoni Pizza for optimal results.

You’re welcome.

Someone could have told me “salsa verde” means “sticky tomato.”

9 Aug

I went to the U Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday and spent $30 on beautiful produce. Of course, I always have lofty thoughts of all the cooking I will do upon returning home with my treasures, then generally lose steam once it comes time to wash and prep everything.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to cook and (if I may flatter myself) think I’m pretty good at it. But something about prepping veggies just takes the steam out of me.

This weekend, facing a week without travel (how novel!), I decided to be a bit adventurous. So in addition to the staples (garlic, onions, potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, basil, bell peppers, arugula, nectarines, and blackberries), I went for a wildcard: tomatillos.

I couldn’t help it. I’m a huge fan of salsa verde, and I’ve never cooked with these little fellas. Plus, they were clearly in season, so if ever there WERE a time to experiment, it was now.

I laid waste to the rest of my finds almost immediately, cooking up shrimp pesto, garlic crostinis topped with bruschetta and a blue cheese heirloom salad on the side for my friends Mike and Betsy. But these damn tomatillas have been hanging out, taunting me with their papery husks, screaming, “Do me! Do me!” like an annoying 1990s rap song.

So tonight, I decided to do them.

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