I know what some of you are saying. “Two soups in a row? What is this?!”
Friends, I will tell you what this is. This is called February in
the Arctic Chicago. It’s really cold. All the time. Not the kind of duh-it’s-winter cold, but the kind of cold that precludes you from leaving the house some days and makes you want to hibernate on your couch until March. Or April, more likely. It’s weather that calls for a lot of soup. Continue reading
You may have noticed that I don’t have a whole lot of breakfast recipes around here. It’s not that I have anything against breakfast, or that I don’t like to cook it. It is true, however, that I have no interest in things like blueberry cheesecake stuffed french toast or cinnamon roll pancakes with cream cheese-butter-maple-syrup icing. Those things sounds delicious, but, in all honesty, I think if I ate them for breakfast I think I would either pass out from the sheer force of sugar or, at the very least, not make it til nap time.
I don’t know about where you live, but around Chicago it’s been a pretty freakishly hot summer. I’ve been effectively using the baby as an excuse not to leave the air-conditioning pretty much since June, and I’m sorry to say that my poor garden has gone completely neglected. The tomatoes were left cage-less (hmmm… cage-free tomatoes, maybe there’s a marketing spin there…) , there was not a chip of mulch to be found until last week, and everything is looking fairly sad and withered-looking. Except of course, the mint and parsley, which I’m convinced could grow out of the cracks in our sidewalk. As sad as I am about the lack of beautiful homegrown tomatoes, which I’ve been looking forward to since we finished the last of the tomatoes last year, there is a bright side. And the bright side is this quinoa tabbouleh.
Tabbouleh is a middle-eastern herb salad typically made with bulgur. I’ve always really liked tabbouleh, ever since my mom would buy it at the fancy-pants grocery store, Treasure Island, when I was a kid. This was back in the early nineties, and things like tabbouleh weren’t exactly available in the usual chain grocery stores, so it was a treat. And I kind of felt pretty grown up eating it. Something about the fresh herb flavor with a hint of garlic and lots of big lemony tang still brings back memories of the stuff mom used to buy at Treasure Island. However, I’m sure this is so much better than that stuff ever was. Continue reading
Where to begin… where to begin… there are so many great things about this salad, I don’t know where to start.
First, it as fennel in it. Raw fennel. And some of you may recall that I was pretty sure I hated fennel until I made this, when I decided that maybe I only hated raw fennel, because fennel baked in cream was probably one of the best things I’ve ever had. But now I’ve made this salad, and it turns out I don’t hate raw fennel either. So if I don’t hate cooked fennel and I don’t hate raw fennel… hey, I don’t hate fennel! I actually like it. If I can like fennel, that means you can, too! For some reason, this feels like a huge milestone for me.
Every time I try a recipe from the now-defunct Gourmet, I get a little sad. It was such a lovely magazine, and I have so many all-time favorite recipes that came from it’s colorful, inspiring pages. Sigh. What is the world coming to when there isn’t enough room for both Bon Appetit and Gourmet in our hearts and newstands? One of my only consolations on this issue is that epicurious.com still has all of the best Gourmet recipes online, so all is not lost.
That is exactly where I came across this recipe for chutney. For those of you who are wondering, a chutney is a Indian/Pakistani concoction, basically a spread or paste, which is made (generally) with a combination of fruit, vegetables, spices, vinegar, etc. Basically a spicy relish. For the history of chutney (for those of you who care to know), check this out. Now, I’m not pretending that this chutney is even in the slightest bit authentic. For some reason, I have the feeling that in India, they don’t make their chutney with “curry powder” from McCormicks. So while I doubt that they’re slathering crackers with Mango and Red Onion Chutney in New Delhi, that doesn’t make it any less delicious for me, in Chicago. Continue reading