Corn and Fennel Chowder with Crawfish Salad
July 02, 2009

CornFennelChowder Asked to bring a soup dish to a dinner party, I decided to take a play from an old playbook and give it a new twist.  Seven years ago this week I made my first corn chowder right here on this blog.  I was so proud!  It was a good recipe: a cold, pureed corn chowder with sun-dried tomatoes.  It went through a lot of incarnations over the next couple of years, becoming a cold lemon-driven soup, then a spicy unpureed crab chowder with whole kernels.  Then I dropped it altogether.  I haven't made it in nearly five years.

Lately, though, I've been obsessed with the flavors of corn and fennel.  I've been using fennel as a bulbiferous replacement for onions, since Rebecca is mildly allergic to the latter.  And although a lot of people don't like licorice per se, anise is a fantastic accent flavor and can be the X factor in many great foods (for example, my beloved Sazerac).  

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July 2, 2009 by orion | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Yellow Mustard, Orange Carrots and Red Communism
May 03, 2009

MustardCarrot1 Before getting in to this latest carrot exploration, I need to explain that my personal history with mustard is short.  I was a mayonnaise girl in my youth. And I did think you had to be one or the other. For some reason, my childhood was filled with these imagined food dichotomies: you either liked mayonnaise or mustard, but not both. Chocolate or vanilla is another good example. The sensible among us spread mayonnaise on our sandwiches and ended a meal with vanilla ice cream. In the cold war era, I felt like these choices were akin to being a loyal patriot for democracy versus becoming a communist. Imagine my concern when I noticed my father spreading mayonnaise and mustard on his sandwich and that my mother added vanilla extract to chocolate cookie dough. What are they, anarchists? My aversion to mustard continued well past the point I'd overcome the majority of my other pickiness, which was of course also long after the cold war ended. These days, I don't go so far as to special order my Croque Madam without mustard, but I also don't actively spread mustard on sandwiches of my own making.

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May 3, 2009 by rebecca in side_dishes, vegetables | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A Big Bag of Carrots and a Dream
April 21, 2009

Carrots2 Unfortunately, I decided to learn to cook vegetables in the late fall. With the winter vegetable season trudging along, I've begun to feel like a one-trick pony with quite seriously only three recipes in my repertoire that can make use of the meager offerings in the produce section these days. Though I suppose that makes me more accurately a three-trick pony, I still strive toward that elusive carrot on a stick that is the ability to eat veggies every night of the week without repeating and without feeling the need to compare myself to a diminutive ungulate.

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April 21, 2009 by rebecca in side_dishes, vegetables | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Confabulista
April 05, 2009

MacNChee1 So here's the deal: this isn't Orion writing, it's Rebecca. I've been lucky to have long been the cook-ee and not the cook-er. And while that sentence would make no sense if said aloud, suffice it to say that I've gotten rather used to being cooked for. While still unarguably spoiled, I do help out where I can, performing my duties almost entirely under direct supervision from Master Chef Orion. He tells me to stir something and I ask, "how fast?" Some might call me a kitchen submissive, but I've sworn to exert myself more. In the spirit of good nutrition and better health, I've taken it upon myself to amass an armada of vegetable side dishes that can help to tame even Orion's often decadent main courses. I get ahead of myself though; I should introduce myself first.

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April 5, 2009 by rebecca in misc | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)