Duck Fat Potatoes with Preserved Lemon

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Dinner, Musings, Quick Meals, Recipes | 0 comments

I had the best duck fat cooked potatoes of my life around this time last year, in an out of the way café tucked into the side of the Atlas Mountains, a few hours outside of Marrakesh. After days of eating richly spiced tagines, feather light couscous and a myriad of vegetables salads, I was surprised to find duck confit and Pommes Sarladaises on the menu of this high desert restaurant, surrounded by date palms, fruiting prickly pear cactus and massive agave plants. It was the special of the day. I ordered it, ready for something simple and familiar after the exotic, palate-awakening flavors of Morocco. When the plate arrived, it was just that – a mahogany brown...

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Onion-Gruyere Gratin

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Dinner, Musings, Recipes | 7 comments

I come from a Southern, onion-loving family. My mother loved Vidalia onion sandwiches. She made them on Roman Meal bread with a smear of Hellman’s mayonnaise and a thick slice of the sweet, raw onion. In her later years, she took to eating the onions like apples. My brother won the ramp-eating contest in Waynesville, North Carolina not long after he moved there in the mid-70s from Atlanta. I’m sure those well-seasoned locals were taken by surprise when this city kid showed up and mowed through a record number of those gut-searing raw, wild onions with hardly a wince of pain. He gave me one once, fresh out of the ground, and the burn lasted for hours...

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Chanterelle Tartiflette

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Dinner, Recipes | 1 comment

In anticipation of rain and cooler days ahead, I have been thinking about Tartiflette. Classic French comfort food, this savory, creamy potato dish with smoky bacon and caramelized onions fuels Alpine skiers in the winter. It’s not bad for those who want to lounge around a crackling fire, either. Traditionally, the potatoes, onions and bacon are topped with a whole wheel of Reblochon which has been sliced in half crosswise. As it cooks, it melts into the layers below making for a cheese and bacon lover’s bonanza. But the appearance of chanterelles with recent rains made me want to try something different with the Tartiflette. That, and the news that one of my...

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Lemon, Anchovy and Garlic Butter

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Dinner, Recipes | 3 comments

When my mother brought home the thin, little T-bone steaks from the A&P, we knew it was a special occasion. It was my father’s job to cook them. Heating the well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat, he seared them on both sides until they curled at the edges, a sure sign they were done. His finishing touch was a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. It took a liberal dousing of Worcesteshire and a big glass of milk to wash those steaks down, but I still remember them fondly. These days, I prefer a rib eye or New York, grilled or pan-seared to just medium rare and allowed to rest. I’ll finish it with a few grinds of fresh pepper, a...

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