I love the show and the dishes you feature are always amazing and simple. So maybe you can help me. My bf recently went on a trip to Alaska with family and is bringing back fresh halibut and cod. How can I best cook these fish that I'm not familiar with?
Not knocking your advice or anything, but a quicker way to gain thickness in a tomato sauce is to add some pureed tomatoes along with the chopped ones. That way, you get body as well as texture. Also, tomato paste helps.
Here’s the recipe for the caponta Brendan & I made yesterday for our Garden To Table cooking demos at the New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Garden. This caponata makes wonderful bruschetta as an appetizer; a delicious sandwich on thick foccacia; or a wonderful topping or side for grilled fish, steak, or lamb.
I recommend using tiny fairytale eggplants for their mild flavor and simpler preparation, and cherry tomatoes, but conventionally sized eggplants and beefsteak, heirloom, or even canned or boxed diced tomatoes will work fine, as well. See my notes following the recipe for tips on how to prep larger eggplants and tomatoes.
Farmer’s Market Caponata
Ingredients for 6-8 appetizer-sized servings:
1 lb fairytale eggplants, trimmed and halved lengthwise, larger specimens cut into 1” cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium Spanish onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained, or thinly sliced caperberries
1 Tablespoon Cernigola or other meaty, mild olives, pitted and diced
1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley
1 cup loosely packed basil
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
1/3 cup dried currants
2 Tablespoons dried hot pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or about 6 discs of unsweetened or very dark (at least 75%) chocolate
16 oz fresh mozzarella, diced into 1” cubes
1 baguette or crusty Italian ciabatta, sliced thin, drizzled with olive oil, and broiled or grilled until lightly brown on both sides.
coarse sea salt
Recipe: Heat 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and season with a pinch or two of salt. Cook the eggplant, about 5 minutes, or until eggplant just begins to get soft but not brown. Set the eggplant aside in a bowl. Add a little fresh oil to the pan, if necessary, and add in the celery and onion. Cook for 1-2 minutes, and then add in garlic. Season with salt and sweat, about 5 minutes, until translucent but not caramelized. Add tomatoes to the pan and let them cook until the skins begin to burst. Pour in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Do not let boil. Once liquid has reduced by about 1/3, stir in 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of vinegar. Bring back to a simmer and then add the eggplant back to the pan. Sauté until eggplant is soft and the liquid has reduced significantly, 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat to medium or medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning: you may need more wine, more vinegar, or more salt. Once the caponata has begun to resemble a stew, stir in the currants, capers or caperberries, olives, and hot pepper flakes. Stir in the chocolate. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook a few more minutes, and then fold in the herbs. Fold in the cubed mozzarella cheese and let melt, then remove from the heat. Serve the caponata on the bread. Top with a little fresh basil, parsley, or even mint, if desired. Variations
For larger eggplants, cube and then sprinkle heavily with salt. Let stand in a colander, about 15 minutes, then rinse and drain to remove bitterness.
For larger tomatoes, core and dice. If tomatoes are watery, you might want to add a little tomato paste to the caponata. You may also want to use a little tomato paste if using canned or boxed diced tomatoes with their juice.
Red wine and red wine vinegar work just as well as the white. If using sherry vinegar, either red or white wine will work.
Halloumi is a wonderful substitute for the mozzarella. Slice the halloumi into 1/4” thick slices, lightly oil, and caramelize on a grill pan, about 3-4 minutes per side. Layer bruschetta with the toasted bread, then the halloumi, then the caponata.
Burrata is also a wonderful substitute for the mozzarella. Spoon caponata onto toasted bread and top with a 1/2 teaspoon of the burrata while the caponata is still very hot.
The entire dish can be made on the grill using a grill-proof pan, vegetable basket or tinfoil packets. If using foil packets, cook the eggplant separately from the tomatoes, and cook the celery, onion, and garlic together.
You can ride your bike, drive, or take the subway to the Gardens. For a $3.50 CityTicket, you can also take MetroNorth to the Botanical Gardens stop on the Harlem line - only 20 minutes from Grand Central.
Seriously, please come, because I am so afraid I’m going to screw up and I’d rather do it in front of friends than total strangers.
Almost a year ago, Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn reviewed our then-fledgling show. Today, they followed up on Working Class Foodies…click through to see what The Kitchn thinks of us, nearly 1 year later.
And a big thanks to Dana Velden of The Kitchn for not one but two great reviews!
Heyo! Amazing posts you got there, followed and recommended! Keep up the wicked work, hope to see your updates soon! im new to this site, joined couple days ago. I posted several photos, do you mind taking some time out to check it out? :-)
Thanks! Your photos are great, I love your use of color and exposure. Keep up the great work!
On your last episode you made the fruit preserves... what is the processing bath for?
Whoops! Better late than never, right? The processing bath hygienically seals the filled jars. Be careful getting the jars into and out of the bath, and make sure the lid fits tight (no popping up and down) before you store your preserves! If the processing bath failed to create a strong seal and the lid does pop, store your preserves in the fridge and use within a week.
any suggestions for homemade bread crumbs? Thanks!
take any loaf of stale bread. you can remove the crust or keep it on; i like to keep the crust on. toss your bread in a blender or food processor and grind away until you like the consistency. pop the crumbs into a clean pint or quart container, label with the date, and store ‘em in the freezer. enjoy!
A viewer emailed us this recipe, so I thought I’d share it with all of you. Mmm, cake!
Here is a recipe I learned from a Mormon family in Idaho (old friends of ours). It’s very simple, VERY rich, and sinfully delicious. Plus, I’m particularly fond of this recipe because of its versatility. You can use just about any kind of cake batter that you prefer; I’ve just always made it with chocolate.
Ingredients (party sized, can be cut in half):
1 can condensed milk 1 jar caramel topping (or melt some soft caramel candies with a little bit of oil to make them pourable) 2 boxes of cake mix (the easy way, or you could mix up your own cake batter) whatever ingredients you need for the cake mix (ie. eggs, water, oil - I usually substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil)
Preheat oven to 350-375 (however the box/cake batter recipe instructs you).
Prepare half the cake batter and pour it in the dutch oven; this will be the bottom of your cake
Place the dutch oven (covered) in the oven for half the amount of time needed to completely bake the cake. Pull the pot out when the cake looks as though the top is solidifying. During the time that the first half is cooking, prepare the second half of the cake batter.
Pour about half the can of condensed milk evenly across the top of the cake (if it looks like its sinking a bit into it, that’s fine). Do the same for the caramel.
Pour the rest of the cake batter on top and pop the pot (uncovered) back into the oven. Cook for about 3/4 of the original cook time (however long it would take to normally prepare just one portion of the cake batter) or until the top looks about halfway done.
Pour the rest of the condensed milk and caramel evenly over the top and serve warm. It’s delicious with some good French Vanilla Bean ice cream.
So, definitely not a healthy dish. But who’s counting calories at a party?
Do you love carnitas tacos? do you? Then you should make this carnitas recipe from Serious Eats. They figured out the best way to make them (you can check their work here) and produced a simple but flawless recipe.
We made it this weekend and were very excited with the results. The only suggestion I would add would be to substitute their salsa verde with my mom’s own salsa (recipe here) which can be made after you put the pork to roast in the oven- it will be perfectly cooled in the fridge and ready to go by the time the carnitas are done.
Go forth and make delicious tacos.
Elsa is straight-up rad and she’s also an awesome designer. Do what she says: make these tacos and top ‘em with crazy amounts of her mom’s salsa.
Here's a mini-challenge. All my life I've heard about how absolutely delicious hummus is. Here's the problem: I'm allergic to sesame seeds (and the tahini). I've looked up recipes and most of them call for a good amount of it so if I just skipped the tahini altogether I'm sure I wouldn't get a satisfying result. Do you know of anything I could use to make a hummus that won't kill me?
I spent 6 weeks in Israel when I was 16 and I learned a lot about hummus while there. First law being, do not ever buy hummus at a grocery store in America, because, well, it’s about as close to the real thing as Jack-In-The-Box is to Pat LaFrieda.
(Which has nothing to do with your question, admittedly - except, okay, to sort of jump off into saying that, you know, you’re not necessarily missing out if all people ever shove your way is Sabra. FWIW, Tribe is a lot closer to the hummus I had everywhere in Israel.)
Tahini gives hummus a looser, smoother texture and a slight smoky flavor. A combination of high-quality olive oil, lemon juice, and a little water will loosen up your hummus, and some smoked sea salt will lend it tahini’s subtle depth. But don’t stop there; use your allergy as motivation to experiment and be creative. Cook white beans, then puree them with a little of their cooking liquid and stir that in to your hummus. Spike it with an obscene amount of roasted garlic. Dust generously with paprika. Roast up some eggplant, scrape out the flesh, and whip the slimy greenish goodness in for a hummus/babaganouj mashup. Top with lentils, roasted red peppers, or as many jalapenos as you can handle.
What would be a good homemade tomato based pasta sauce recipe? I just finished making one with canned tomatoes and it came out watery. It still tasted good, but I wanted it to have the consistency of jarred tomato sauce.
For a thicker sauce, cook your tomatoes down longer. Use good-quality canned whole tomatoes - look for actual San Marzano tomatoes from Italy - NOT the San Marzano brand, it’s actually from California. I also like the Pomí chopped tomatoes that come in vacuum boxes. Simmer for at least an hour or two, or all day if you’ve got the time, with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and half an onion (no need to chop) or a few cloves of crushed, but not chopped, garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook cook cook until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens, and stir occasionally to keep it from burning.
My mom used to make a kale/vegetable soup that she used as superfood for us children (and anyone who came around with a cough) when we were sick. What do you guys cook to cure the common cold (or any other sickness that may pop up)?
Matzoh ball soup in homemade chicken broth, homemade unsweetened apple sauce, and an all-fruit ice pop will cure just about any ailment. And, yes, a hearty, nutrient-rich vegetable soup is the perfect equivalent for vegetarians or vegans.
so far the only good thing I can make for lunch is a grill cheese sandwich and I'm going to college. What can I throw in to make it taste better that won't break the piggy bank?
any one or combination of the following will brighten up that grilled cheese: - fried egg - bacon - proscuitto (any cured meat, really) - fresh tomato in the summer - salt & vinegar potato chips - your favorite pickle (sour, dill, garlic, bread&butter) - arugula, watercress, or any other snappy salad green - grilled veggies (onions, carrots, zucchini, fennel) - dijon mustard - olive tapenade - fresh herbs (thyme, tarragon, rosemary, chives, etc) - avocado
keep in mind that most of these items are pantry staples that will keep in your fridge for weeks and weeks (the exceptions being fresh vegetables and fresh herbs, and cured meats after a point). that means that you can stretch the cost of the ingredients over a couple of lunches, and eventually, experiment beyond grilled cheese sandwiches as you gain confidence (i recommend starting with an omelet stuffed with proscuitto, olive tapenade, and fresh mozzarella, and topped with arugula and fresh basil).
EDIT: adventuresingreen pointed out that I forgot about FRUIT: apples, pears, figs, dates, apricots, etc are also a completely refreshing way to spice up a grilled cheese sandwich. Thanks, adventuresingreen!