Tuesday, September 1, 2009

memory, remixed.

Last night, after a long day, I wanted comfort food. Something easy. Something good. There was a slight chill in the air, and my couch was beckoning me.

Growing up, when my mom was really tired and needed to feed her starving child (that's me!), our favorite lazy food was leftover Cuban white rice with two fried eggs on top and a smidge of hot sauce. My mother and I were never fans of runny yolks, but for this meal, we allowed it. We would chop up the egg and stir it around the rice, so that every morsel of the rice had a touch of yellow and a delicious fried white tidbit to boot.

I was delighted when I remembered that I had a huge batch of risotto that I had cooked with Stella Artois the night before with bits of garlic and onion. I decided to try to make poached eggs successfully (my first attempt ever at making them was the day before. total egg fail.) and serve it with my risotto. I made two perfect poached eggs, over my warm and creamy beer risotto, and served it with a drizzle of piri piri. I made a side of heirloom tomato salad in a sherry vinaigrette.

It was perfect.

Just like mom used to make....but better. Sorry, mom.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unclever Number 4

I think I have finally recovered from Friday's dinner. Yes, it's Sunday morning. Between the lot of us, we killed 12 bottles of wine, and probably half of my working brain cells.

The Menu:

ground cherries
baguette w rosemary butter
cherry tomato, 5 olive mix, feta and fresh basil w lemon vinaigrette
grilled fava beans
scallion risotto
creme brulee

The creme brulee was supposed to be of the key lime persuasion, however, was unable to find the juice. I was smart enough, however to buy butane in advance from what could possibly be my new favorite store on earth. Therefore, there was freshly scorched creme brulee. Had to do the 'tap tap crack' with a spoon on top and everything. So good.

I must say, sometimes I think, oh what's the point of doing these dinners, whatever I make is going to be terrible. I stress out about time management and getting the right seasonal ingredients. Then people get here, and everyone is so gracious, and open to meeting new people, and visibly and audibly enjoying what I've made them. I'm exposing them to something new sometimes, or revisiting an old favorite. It makes it all worthwhile.

At the end of every dinner, as people are kissing their goodbyes, phone numbers are being exchanged, facebook additions are being talked about, I sit back and my heart warms a little, because this is what my family and life in Brooklyn is like. And I wouldn't change a thing.

I'm already thinking about the next one...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who Knew?

Last night was the third gathering of the Unclevery Named Eating Society.

On the menu:

Mesclun, cherry tomatoes, pepitas, cucumbers, cotija in a chipotle-lime vinaigrette

Build your own tacos!
Cuban style black beans with sherry vinegar
Chile lime shrimp
Grilled Zucchini

Vanilla bean creme brulee w fresh cherries

I blew my own mind with the creme brulee, no lie. It would have been perfect if I would have purchased butane for my torch, but we used the broiler and it worked just fine. Juuuuuuust fine. I still have two in my fridge. Not for long! I've never been a dessert maker, but I'm learning that I can actually pull it off! Will wonders ever cease?

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Life is starting to feel a little more normal now. Just got back from a much needed vacation. Tomorrow is the first day back to work. However, what I noticed that I missed the most lately, (besides Brooklyn in general) was my kitchen. Sure, I cooked while I was in Florida....but it wasn't MY kitchen, with ingredients that I picked, and no ingredient restrictions. And it's been years since I cooked on a regular stove. Literally, about 6 years. How does one cook properly on a non gas stove? Egads.

I also realized how spoiled I am with food. I had to give up and not think about where my food was coming from, or what it was cooked in, and how it was going to ravage my body. I hated it. After living in Miami for 26 years, and thinking I was so healthy and eating so fresh, then coming to New York and discovering what it was like to really eat, and what was really fresh, and what really mattered, it was jarring. Not to say, that you can't find fresh food in Miami. You can, of course. But you have to dig like all bloody hell. It's not like there's a farmer's market in every neighborhood. Going to Publix, an event that I used to look forward to so much, made me so sad. Sure, they have an "organic" section, but, ew, really? That's what you call asparagus? That's what you call fennel? That's an heirloom tomato?

Needless to say, I cooked a lot today. I made dinner, and then a vat of wheatberries w cinammon and cranberries for breakfasts throughout the week, and I also made a spicy lentil soup for lunch and dinner. I have some Satur Farms bok choy that could use a little flash saute and would be fab on top of the soup. I'm thinking of a zucchini torte, a fingerling gratin, key lime creme brulee....the mind reels. Oh, to have real food again, what bliss.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Red Lentil Soup w Fried Radishes and Snap Peas

Today is Father's Day, and while all my dear sweet husband wanted today was just to relax, I wanted to at least make him a special dinner.

I had a few left over things from our first CSA share pick up yesterday, and some gigantic radishes from the market earlier in the week and a shitload of lentils, so I decided on soup. I didn't have any vegetable stock or bouillon handy, so I had to improvise. God knows I love some MacGuyver cooking. I kept evolving the recipe in my head as I was cooking, adding a little of this and a little of that. I was ecstatic with my results

All ingredient amounts are approximate, as I do not measure and prefer to eyeball it.

2 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cup of red lentils
pinch of cumin
sherry vinegar
chili oil
4 cups of water
1 cup of wine
4 jumbo radishes
handful of snap peas
olive oil
splash of milk

Roughly chop the shallots and garlic in oil, pepper, and cumin. When they're nice and brownish add the lentils and stir around for about a minute or two. Add the water and wine and bring to a boil. After about 20 minutes check for tenderness. If they're soft enough, go ahead and add the salt, sherry vinegar and chili oil. I use piri piri which is a Portuguese chili that I am obsessed with. Use a hand blender to thicken the soup, adding a splash of milk if necessary.

Seperately, slice the radishes into discs, but not too thin. In a heated pan with oil, add the radishes with salt and pepper. Let the radishes caramelize a bit on each side. When radishes start to brown, add the snap peas and maybe a splash of chili oil too for fun. Once the radishes are fully cooked, serve on top of yr soup.

Surprisingly amaaaaazing.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Coming Attractions

Part of the reason why the blog is so wordy and not so picture-y, is because I have an unfortunate computer. It tries my patience, and it wins daily. However! I will be rectifying that situation soonish. So there's that.

Hazard as a Blog is going to also get a facelift. I keep experimenting with this and that, but it's still not quite the way I'd love it to look.....so I've got some creativey types working on some more aesthetically pleasing situations.

Finally, I'm contemplating changing the name of this blog. When I first started, I intended this to be more of a mommy-centric blog. However, as much as I love motherhood and as much as I love my son, this blog has grown to be more about my selfish goodies...more of what mommy wants, less of what other mommies should do. It has evolved, as I have, into something a little more organic and substantial. I'll always fondly recall my days as a Hazard, (and yes, sometimes she does magically reappear after a few too many martinis) but Hazard is all grown up now.

Got a name suggestion? Holler at your girl.


Saturday, May 30, 2009


Lately, I've been doing a whole lot more reading than writing. Good news is, I'm so inspired and have so many ideas wandering around in my head. Bad news is, I have no time and I'm a bad blogger.

I've decided to share some of what's been moving me....hopefully, it will do the same for you!

Simply Photo - my friend Jen's blog. Her pictures make me weepy. No lie.
Simply Breakfast - I want to eat breakfast like Jen.
Not Eating Out in NY - I wish I had time to not eat out.
Pink of Perfection - So cute!
101 cookbooks - Everything I've ever made by her is amazing!
Smitten Kitchen - You can make brilliant food in tiny kitchens. Highly recommended!

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse - Astonishing how much of an impact one person can make.
Super Natural Cooking - Heidi Swanson's physical counterpart to her website, 101cookbooks.com

Spain...On The Road Again - Full confession, this show has made me stop hating Gwenyth.

I'll be going crazy for the next few weeks, but soon I'll be posting pics from our last Uncleverly Named Eating Society meal, and letting you know what's on the next menu.