Out and About it

November 22, 2010

We’ve made some interesting culinary journeys recently. We hadn’t visited our standby, Bela, for a long time, and our meal made us think we should come back more often. We had tempeh and kale with a delicious miso-sesame-chili sauce. It was spicy, sweet and savory and so satisfying.

We also had a great meal at Sacred Chow in the West Village. Nicole and I both opted for the “small plates” entree and sampled a lot of tasty dishes.

Traveling to New York again a few weeks later, we visited Angelica Kitchen, which has been successful and vegetarian since the 1970s. It shows, too. Nicole made an apt comparison to Moosewood. It’s good food, but vegan and vegetarian cuisine has moved beyond their oeuvre. We want and expect more from our food, especially when we go out in the City.

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Cold Comfort

November 3, 2010

It’s been too long, but I love the fall, especially for cooking. It’s time for comfort food. To me, that means squash, beets, turnips, soup and Octoberfest. Abiding by this primal need or just my cravings, we’ve cooked and eaten many squashes in many forms.

We made a delicious squash and pear soup with sage, which surprised us with its robustness. Chunky and rich and satisfying. One of my favorites of the season. I love turning on the oven and roasting vegetables from the previous day’s harvest or Farmer’s Market. We did this with our potatoes and fennel (from the Co-Op), too. We also made a creamy butternut squash pasta with sage and nutmeg, a pear-squash soup and an acorn squash pie with a cider and Grape Nut crust. The flavors of the fall really speak to my palate.

For Labor Day weekend, we traveled to Jersey to see our people, and made plans for a dinner to impress. Radicchio is also a fall friend. And artichokes, tofu sausage, preserved lemon and pasta never go out of season, so we made a memorable meal from these ingredients that included a creamy lemon-white wine pasta with sage, sausage and grilled artichokes. The accompanying salad, which was inspired by a visit to Hope & Olive last year, was comprised of grilled radicchio, almonds, carmelized onions, lettuce mix and a great balsamic dressing.

Speaking of Hope & Olive, my sister took me there for a birthday party, and we ate well once again. We shared a radish and turnip salad and each got a tasty grilled miso and pickled veggie sandwich. I wish we could afford to go there more often (and that it was closer).

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