Aligot is the ultimate comfort food—think, ski lodge, by the fire, warming and filling you up. It’s kind of like a potato fondue: mashed potatoes whipped with melted cheese until it gets gooey and smotheringly delicious. I like eating it with just a light green salad alongside. Continue reading …
There’s a tea house in Paris called Ladurée. Maybe you’ve been there. You probably have because it’s nearly impossible to make it out of Paris without being stopped by their vibrant macarons and pastries. Continue reading …
My grandmother’s sister used to make the most amazing lemon chicken–a whole chicken, on the phone, with whole round potatoes roasted underneath. This is the working girls’, not retired aunt’s, version: chicken legs (yes, you can use breasts instead) and potato wedges, roasted together on a single foil-lined tray (no clean up!). The whole thing takes about 3 minutes of time to prepare, and then it’s a waiting game, until the chicken skin is golden and blistered and the potatoes are crispy and steaming hot. The oven really is magic.
Lemon Roast Chicken and Potatoes
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
Salt and pepper
1 thick slice lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 6
Lemon zest to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the chicken with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper, and then lightly dress by squeezing the lemon slice on the chicken. Rub the chicken with 1 teaspoon olive oil per leg. Toss the potatoes with the tablespoon of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange everything in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, and cook for 45 minutes.
I remember the first time I went to the circus, I thought it was a spectacle. It was all purple cotton candy and glittering acrobats and kneeling white horses. And then the last time I went, the man sitting behind me stood up, walked down the aisle to the center of the ring, got down on one knee, and proposed to the woman right behind me. Under the big top, with clowns grimacing behind him. Just call him the ringmaster. I wanted to turn around, and mouth at the woman “run!” It was certainly a spectacle. Continue reading …
It’s April, so no matter what happens, it’s officially spring. Pistou is a sauce from the south of France made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and sometimes cheese and tomato. It’s so garlicky that whatever pasta it finds itself wrapped around falls limp on the plate in garlic shock overload—in a good way.
I put a little twist on pistou by adding sweet peas. The sauce is whizzed together in the food processor while the pasta cooks on the stove. It’s pungent from the garlic (must have the garlic), sweet from the peas, and salty from the Pecorino Romano (not quite French, but a must). The thick pistou clogs the twists of the corkscrew pasta and gushes as you bite into it. And as a final oh-my-gosh, I add creamy fresh goat cheese, a big springtime ingredient, that melts its tanginess into ribbons that fleck the hot pasta.
You could eat this in a big bowl by itself or serve this with anything—next to baked chicken or grilled fish, or anything simple like that. You will certainly have a spring in your step after this one.
Pasta with Sweet Pea Pistou and Chèvre
serves 4 to 6
1 pound fusilli pasta
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound thawed frozen peas
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil, and salt the water. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, whiz together the garlic, basil, and pine nuts in the food processor until completely obliterated. Add the olive oil and Pecorino, and whiz to combine. Add the peas, and season with salt and pepper. Puree until completely smooth.
Spoon the pea pistou into a large bowl. Use a spider to lift the hot fusilli into the bowl, and toss. You will probably need to add 2 to 4 tablespoons of pasta water to loosen the sauce. When the pasta is thoroughly tossed in the sauce, crumble in the goat cheese, and toss it enough to warm it through, but you still want to see pockets of the cheese.
If your peas are still frozen, run them under hot water in a colander.