Results tagged recipe from David Lebovitz

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam recipe

I was bequeathed an overload of strawberries from the Périgord – short answer: I bought four baskets and the vendor, whose booth I shop at often, threw in two extra for free, an unspoken equivalent of a carte de fidelité in Paris – so I’ve spent the past few days washing, hulling, cutting and cooking my unexpected bounty.

I’ve been making a number of things with them. And while I was chopping and thinking (which are probably the only two activities that I’m able to do at the same time), I realized that while I have a Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam recipe on the site, I didn’t have a strawberry jam. So here it is.

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Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe

I have to eat fruit every day. If I don’t, I wither away psychologically. When I was in New York for a while this winter, it was tough because there weren’t a lot of fruits available. I like apples and pears very much, but local pears had finished and while an apple a day may keep the doctor away, I needed something a little more exciting to keep myself as fit as a fiddle.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe

True, there’s usually citrus bagged up in the grocery stores. But being from California, I hate to be a snob (well, sort of…) but I missed all the lovely oranges, Meyer lemons, and tangerines that burst onto the scene each winter at the markets in San Francisco. And in Paris, we have plenty of clementines, oranges, and occasionally, Sicilian or Menton lemons, to tide us over until spring.

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Broccolini, Blue Cheese and Bacon Frittata

Broccoli frittata recipe with bacon and blue cheese
People see the outdoor markets in Paris and think that everyone does their shopping there. But if you work a 9-to-5 jobs, or whatever hours normal people work (ie: not me), it’s hard to take a few hours off to go leisurely pick out your fruits and vegetables – not including the time waiting in line behind madame, selecting the two figs she is buying as if they were royal bijoux, trying to muster a chuckle at the same joke you’ve heard a gazillion times, when you ask to buy “Five lemons,” and they respond – “5 kilos, monsieur?” – which was mildly amusing – perhaps once, but I’m pretty sure no one buys 11 pounds of lemons at the market. And catching up and chatting with my favorite vendors, as I like I do. Especially the sausage dude. #schwing

Broccolini frittata recipe with bacon and blue cheese

In spite of the time it takes to do your shopping, going to the outdoor market in Paris is something that’s very pleasurable for me. I take a good stroll around first, looking at everything before I make my decision. But I do have certain stallholders that I favor for certain things (including sausages), and I often tell visitors: Shop at the same vendors and places over and over again, because once they recognize you, you’ll be treated better. Ditto for going to restaurants and cafés.

One thing isn’t well-represented in Parisian markets are leafy cooking greens. Spinach and giant leaves of Swiss chard tend to be the predominate choices. When I was recently in the states, even in nondescript supermarkets, I saw bunches of kale, mustard, turnip and beet greens, collards, chard, and spinach piled up high in the produce department.

And in Brooklyn, due to the large Italian-American population, there’s broccolini, too, a broccoli hybrid with less bulky stems, and lots more texture and flavor. I love it and even the dumpiest pizza joint in Brooklyn would often have a pizza with wilted broccolini on it. It was tempting to order, instead of my usual pepperoni slice. But I managed to find ways to get broccolini into my diet without sacrificing a single wedge of pie with those crisp disks of spicy sausage baked on top.

Brocolli Frittata with blue cheese and baconBrocolli Frittata with bacon recipe

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The Martini


Martini Cocktail recipe
A number of decades ago, I was lured away from gin by other liquors; namely whiskey, bourbon, and other non-clear libations. There were no martinis and no gin and tonics in my cocktail repertoire. Back in the day, I used to go out and have 3 or 4 martinis, and have a good time. Sometimes, someone at work would bring a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin and we’d sit around the kitchen after our shifts ended, drinking cold martinis and eating leftover food from the evening service. (Actually, the line cooks only drank. After being around sugar, eggs, and butter all day, we pastry people gorged on anything that had vinegar, meat, or salt in it with our drinks.)

Martini Cocktail recipe

Other nights we’d go to places like the wacky Persian Aub Zam Zam where the owner would kick anybody out who: 1) Ordered anything other than a gin martini, and 2) Wanted to sit at a table. He thought, rightly, that you should only drink at the bar – and seated. To this day, I refuse to drink a cocktail standing up, and do whatever I can to sit at a bar when enjoying a cocktail. There was also a place in San Francisco called Bix, where martini glasses were upturned on a big silver tub of crushed ice, ready and waiting to be filled with ice-cold martinis that we liked as well.

Martini Cocktail recipe

I don’t remember exactly when I stopped drinking martinis but I do remember someone telling me that you shouldn’t drink gin if you ever plan on having plastic surgery because it does something to your skin. I know it sounds crazy, (that gin affects your skin, not that I would want to have plastic surgery…although I reserve the right to change my mind in the future) but that may have been a factor all the same. Another was that I started feeling not-so-great, and completely dehydrated, in the middle of the night after a couple of martinis – which is why I don’t drink much red wine anymore, because it has the same effect.

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Asian Ginger-Soy Sauce Chicken

Asian Ginger-Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe-7

Whenever I visit a foreign country, I go to the supermarket. I’ve found myself pushing carts through supermarkets in countries, from Mexico and Lebanon, to Italy and Portugal. Not only does it help with my vocabulary, and provide a little glimpse of how the locals actually eat, but I invariably find a number of things to stash in my suitcase which are better souvenirs than t-shirts and refrigerator magnets. (Although someone once gave me a set of wooden refrigerator magnets depicting French foods, like tubes of Dijon mustard and canisters of grey salt, that I kinda love.)

Even though America isn’t really a foreign country to me, it’s interesting to see what’s available in the grocery stores when I visit. Sure, there’s no shortage of cookies, snacks, and soft drinks, but it’s also nice to see things like goat milk from nearby farms, tomatillos and plantains, raw honey, live seafood in tanks, bundles of stewing greens, and locally roasted coffee. On my current trip, I found it interesting to also scan the meat aisle because every once in a while, when I’m writing up a recipe for something – like cassoulet or beef bourguignon, I need to know what’s available elsewhere so that readers outside of France can actually make it.

Asian Ginger-Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe-3

Although there still are butchers in some places in America, they’re not as common as they are in France. (There are three within a 2-block radius of my apartment in Paris, not including the ones that are at my outdoor market.) If you don’t know what you want, or don’t speak French, it can be intimidating to have to stand there and make a decision when people are lined up behind you.

No matter. I’ve learned to ask a lot of questions and engage with butchers, since it’s the only way to learn. And most people who are good at what they do are proud to help customers make the best selection, so I take my time and don’t worry about it. And I often compare waiting in line in France to the lines for the restrooms on airplanes: You wait and wait and wait. But your turn comes around, suddenly you have all the time in the world. And I take it.

Asian Ginger-Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe

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Coffee Cake

Coffee cake recipe

A few years back, all of us elderly ladies and gents who were blogging for a while were suddenly surprised (and delighted) at a group of young ‘uns, in their teenage years, who up and started food blogs. And let me tell you, it’s really nice to see young people doing something worthwhile with their time — like cooking and baking, for example.

Coffee Crumb Cake Recipe

My introduction to them came when I was in an elevator at a food blogging conference and found myself surrounded by 17-year olds when the door closed and we all introduced ourselves. One of them was Kamran Siddiqi, who created a beautiful blog, The Sophisticated Gourmet, then went on to write and photograph his own book, Hand Made Baking. I don’t know about you, but when I was seventeen, the last thing I wanted to do was be trapped in an elevator with some tired-looking man, who looked like he just got off a five thousand mile flight. Which I had.

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Orange Margaritas

Orange Margarita cocktail recipe-4

I don’t mind spending part of my winter this year in New York. Even though it was one of the coldest winters in history, and on the first day of spring, we had a snowstorm, the beautiful snow blanketed everything in a thick white layer, which reflects the light and kept my mood cheery and optimistic. It rarely snows in Paris and la grisaille (the gray skies, sans la neige — or without snow), can augment the sullen mood around town. And the only people who you’ll see braving the cold are the hardy smokers, God love ‘em, clustered in the doorways of buildings and businesses, trying to get as many puffs in as possible before they can’t take it anymore and head back inside to the cozy warmth, with the rest of us.

Orange Margaritas

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New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

If you’re not from a place, you don’t have the same nostalgic pangs for the foods, even if some of us invoke Proust when we bite into a madeleine, or get all bent out of shape when someone messes with a certain food from a particular country or region – even if we’ve never been there.

I’m not a big fan of creamy soups, but I am a staunch defender of New England clam chowder. The word “chowder” comes from the French word “chaudière,” a big soup pot or cauldron. Some say it may have been invented by Breton fishermen in France, who later brought the soup to Canada and New England. Although I am not sure about the Manhattan-variety of chowder, which to me is like adding tomato puree to the dressing for a Caesar Salad, and calling it a “Caesar Salad.” If you’re looking for a tomato-based clam chowder there are plenty of places to find one in books and on the internet. This isn’t one of them.

New England Clam Chowder

I grew up eating New England clam chowder, which we often enjoyed at Howard Johnson’s, the famed roadside restaurant (which was once the largest restaurant chain in America), where Jacques Pépin worked, coming up with recipes in the 1960’s.

The place wasn’t fancy, but it was pretty good; the orange and turquoise roofs were a welcome sight during long drives on the Massachusetts Turnpike. (Most New Englanders of a certain age will remember hearing the phrase; “Sorry, we don’t have Coke. We have HoJo cola. Would you like one?”

New England Clam Chowder

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