Pan-fried Vegetable and Tofu Dumplings

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Once I’d discovered how easy spring rolls were to prepare, vegetable dumplings jumped to the top of my list.  These are a much more significant time investment than the spring rolls, but they freeze beautifully.  I made a batch of about 60 while watching an episode of Bones on my laptop (so 45 minutes, give or take).  My first try with dumplings, I followed this recipe for golden potstickers from 101 Cookbooks.  I always trust Heidi to carry me safely through any new recipe or technique with carefully crafted instructions.  I bought gyoza wrappers at Berkeley Bowl (same aisle as … Continue reading

Simple Vegetable Spring Rolls

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Isn’t it nice when something that seems intimidating turns out to be super simple? Turns out that if you can chop vegetables and roll a burrito, you can make spring rolls.  This is actually a “clean out the fridge” recipe in disguise.  That lonely carrot and half a head of cabbage?  They’ll go perfectly here.  Just chop your vegetables into similar sizes (I used the length of my tofu as a marker and went ahead and matched that), and roll them into these spring rolls.  We used some leftover peanut sauce from a spicy peanut noodle recipe earlier in the … Continue reading

Plum Jam

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When I first read the craigslist ad for our current apartment, I was seduced by all sorts of words and phrases, like “dishwasher,” “washer and drier,” and “backyard,” but the kicker was “fruit trees.”  Oh to live in a house with fruit trees in the backyard!  I was sold.  In reality, it was in our price range, conveniently located, and looked nice online.  But wouldn’t you love to rent a place just for the fruit trees? The plums come in one giant, speedy crop, dropping into our backyard over the course of a week.  That first year we missed the … Continue reading

Polenta from Fresh Corn

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Sometimes a recipe has to be well timed.  I come across dozens of recipes daily.  I pin a handful of them to make later.  If something especially strikes me, I’ll pin it to the “Dinner This Week” board which I consult when writing my grocery list.  This recipe reached out through the Internet and screamed “make me right now” very conveniently on Tuesday morning.  My local farmers’ market is Tuesday afternoon, so I carefully collected corn, tomatoes and eggplant along with my usual haul of eggs, peaches, strawberries and sourdough bread.   Yotam Ottolenghi wrote Plenty, a book which I … Continue reading

Asparagus and Mushroom Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

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When I was young, without fail, whenever my mom would ask what we wanted for dinner, my sister and I would chorus “tacos!”  Taco night was our favorite.  There was something about the self-assembly part of taco night that made it extra special.  I usually loaded mine up with extra cheese, only adding lettuce or tomato if strongly encouraged. I still love taco night, but these days vegetables play a starring role instead of being a simple afterthought.  I have written about taco night before, as it’s a favorite in our house.  While I love these zucchini and potato tacos, … Continue reading

Polenta Crackers

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I have a Pinterest board called “kitchen projects” where I save more in depth culinary experiments that I want to try.  In the past I’ve had good luck with a variety of projects, which is how I’m characterizing recipes that require a little more time or technique than is usually available on a busy weeknight.  Some of my favorite kitchen projects include homemade paneer, corn tortillas, and homemade noodles for this shiitake mushroom soup.  I’ve had a couple of cracker recipes saved for a while, and I finally decided to bite the bullet and see how hard cracker making could … Continue reading

Asparagus Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Hard Boiled Eggs

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In a rather convoluted way, this salad started with garlic aioli.  Months ago now, J and I were eating at Canary Square, a restaurant in Jamaica Plain.  We’d split an order of fries to start, and our waiter offered to bring us a second dip in addition to the house-made ketchup.  A side of garlic aioli came out with the fries.  As I dipped in my first fry, I had to summon massive amounts of willpower not to go at the little container of aioli with my spoon and then my tongue.  Silky smooth and garlicky, the aioli was a … Continue reading

Homemade Matar Paneer

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A block away from my freshman dorm was a restaurant called “Tamber’s Nifty Fifties.”  The décor was pure American diner, with the vinyl booths, jukebox, and just a touch of neon.  They served burgers and tuna melts and milk shakes.  Plus an entire menu of Indian food.  Truly a strange combination.  At the time, I just thought it was weird; I was far more obsessed with classes and grades than food at that point in my life (for days at a time I derived the majority of my calories from Annie’s shells and cheese).  Looking back on it now though, … Continue reading

Homemade Paneer

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I adore cheese.  I would say that I’d never met a cheese I didn’t like, but I truly have no use for mild cheddar.  Why bother?  I told a friend at the farmers’ market last week that I like my cheddar so sharp it bites back.  I also love some staple cheeses like parmesan, asiago, and feta, as well as some more specialized artisan cheese like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam.  While I’ve enjoyed cheese all over the country, including an epic hour long visit to the Cabot Cheese tasting room, after which I swore off cheese for five solid minutes, … Continue reading

Homemade Naan

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Most afternoons I come home to find a takeout menu hung on my door knob.  Usually the neon doortag is advertising pizza or Chinese and quickly finds a home in my recycling bin.  Last week the menu was for Indian, and instead of instantly tossing it, I stood on my front porch and perused it.  When I lived in Boston I walked by an Indian restaurant everyday on my way home from work.  Sometimes I’d pop in and order some naan to eat while walking home.  How can you go wrong with warm, fluffy bread?  Better yet, warm, fluffy bread … Continue reading