One of the many benefits of living alone is that there is no one around to judge me for talking to myself in the kitchen. Sometimes I pretend I’m living the luxurious life of Ina Garten, whipping up dishes for Geoffrey and all my fabulous friends. (Seriously, the woman keeps a tab at her grocery store. What a life.) Other times I put on a bad British accent and pretend I’m curvy, gorgeous Nigella Lawson: I make recipes with decadent, creamy ingredients and lean forward more than is strictly necessary.
Most of the time though, I’m just Kamille, thinking out loud.
I sing little ditties to myself, cringing whenever I hit a bad note. I muse about the kinds of flavors that I want to incorporate into my food. I daydream about my boyfriend and shred way too much cabbage by mistake. No matter what, the time I spend over my stove or at my prep table is time for me to decompress.
I haven’t gotten enough of it lately. Like everyone else, I have been maddeningly busy — too busy to make food that requires any effort beyond a quick sauté. I decided to take some time on a recent sunny afternoon to treat myself to some much-needed kitchen therapy. I made this gochujang hummus, a Korean spin on the sriracha hummus that I first made back in September. Read more… →
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I’m a little bit obsessive. It’s genetic — my parents are obsessives too. Fun fact: my mom used to come in my room in the middle of the night and fix my bed. …With me still in it.
Anyway, it is in my nature to become fixated on things. Food is no exception. I’ll literally keep myself awake at night, mulling over recipes in my head. Yesterday I found a Post-It with an ingredient list stuck to the back of my yoga pants. Suffice it to say, I think about cooking a *lot*.
This morning, I woke up with spinach-ricotta pockets on the brain. I knew just how I was going to make them. I figured out the method in while I got ready for work: I would take square wonton wrappers, fill them with spinach and cheese, and bake them. Simple. Easy. Tasty.
I had a minor panic attack when I couldn’t find the wrappers in my freezer. I lose stuff in there sometimes — an occupational hazard of my ingredient hoarding. Fortunately, I found them and all was well: these spinach-ricotta pockets were meant to be.
This recipe is perfect for parties or potlucks. It’s easily doubled (or tripled!). Plus, you can assemble the pockets ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. The pockets are wonderfully savory and creamy on the inside, with crisp edges that provide that always-satisfying crunch. Dip them in a little marinara sauce for the perfect bite. Read more… →
Spring is officially here. Since today was still windy and cold enough for wool coats to be in order, I’m guessing no one mentioned this to Mother Nature. I’m hoping that I can summon warm weather with kitchen optimism. Case in point? These roasted baby artichokes.
Artichokes, like asparagus and sugar snap peas, are a sign of springtime. They require a little bit of work to trim, but the preparation is definitely time well-spent. Take some fresh baby artichokes, cut to them to their tender middles, and toss them with some olive oil and herbs. After a few minutes in the oven, it’ll hit you: that delicious, fruity aroma as the chokes caramelize on the pan.
These roasted baby artichokes are a beautiful side. I think they pair especially nicely with fish, like tilapia (my favorite budget fish) or sole. For an extra treat, you can shave a little parmesan or pecorino romano on top. Here’s how I put my roasted chokes together. Read more… →
I first had lotus root at a great little Korean restaurant in town. I had no idea what it was. My first thought? “…This may or may not be a cross section of ET’s pancreas.” Once I got over the initial shock, I began to appreciate the beauty of the plate. I took my first bite and was instantly hooked: the lotus root was delicious. It was tender and slightly sticky, simmered in soy sauce and something sweet. I’m still working out how to replicate that dish. During the course of my many (many, many) experimentations, I’ve found that lotus root makes a fantastic baked chip.
Lotus root is starchy — not unlike a potato, actually. After a quick, tenderizing boil in water and vinegar, I give the lotus root the same treatment I would give oven-cooked spuds. I grab a few of my favorite spices, season the lotus root liberally, and toss them in a hot oven. This simple process yields a lovely, flavorful snack. The baked lotus root chips are crisp at the edges and tender in the middle, a little chewy throughout. I like to eat them with a little bit of spicy-sweet gochujang on the side.
I usually use my favorite seasoning trio of chili, garlic, and onion powders, but you can change the flavors in a million different ways. The lotus root works beautifully with just about anything. Try it with garam masala for an Indian flair; for a Latin touch, try adobo or a mix of cumin, garlic, and parsley. If you like spicy North African flavors, harissa is a great choice.
Detailed instructions after the jump!
Read more… →
Ring-ring! “Hey girl, can I call you back? I’m making chocolate-dipped granola bars.”
“…oh my God, who ARE you???”
Apparently, I am a girl that bakes homemade granola bars in her spare time. Don’t be too impressed; it’s honestly not that big of a deal. Anyone who’s made their own granola before can tell you how cheap and easy it is. Turning that granola into convenient, portable bars takes just a few more steps:
1. Add something sticky and gooey to the granola.
2. Bake said granola.
3. Cut said granola into bars.
4. Dip bars into high quality chocolate.
The one trick is waiting for the granola to cool before you cut it — if you’re impatient and try to cut too early, you risk ending up with a (delicious) heap of crumbly clusters instead of the handy bars you intended.
Granola is especially substitution-friendly, so use whatever ingredients make sense to you. I used a mix of almond, pecans, and blueberry craisins here, but any another combination of nuts and dried fruit would work just as well. I used agave nectar to bind everything together; honey and maple syrup are great alternatives.
These sweet, nutty granola bars are the perfect energy-packed snack get you through a long afternoon. Recipe after the jump!
Read more… →