Monthly Archives: July 2014

Haste Makes Waste

A friend called in the distress the other evening, after hitting the handle of the pot filled with vegetable soup she’d just made and stored in the refrigerator.  As a result, the soup spilled all over the floor and splashed way beyond the confines of her kitchen. I regret to say that she has white carpeting in her dining room. The accident created a colossal cleaning job, and all her effort cooking that fine soup was wasted. She never even got to eat a bowl.

Another day I held my breath as I watched a friend measuring vanilla extract directly over a bowl of batter. Measuring right into the tablespoon could have caused a disaster, but this time she got away with it.

I’m terribly prone to doing things the easy way, so I was happy for these reminders that skipping steps doesn’t pay. Why transfer soup to a container when you can just reheat it in the original pot and not have to wash two vessels? Why pre-measure the vanilla and have to wash another dish? I think you know the answer.

Salad Timesaver

If you’re making green salad with vinaigrette dressing, you can speed serving and reduce clean up by making the dressing right in the bowl. I learned that tip in a cooking class I once took, but recently read a useful amendment.In their article “Salad Days,”(June 2014, Bon Appetit) authors Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, of the food magazine Canal House Cooking, say once the mixture tastes right, “cross serving spoons in the bowl and pile the lettuces on top; this holds the greens above the dressing until it’s time to toss it all together.”

Hooray for Radishes!

It is radish season, high time to rethink this underrated root. Most Americans only cut them into salads. That’s what I always did, that is until I learned that they make the simplest hors d’oeuvres and also a delicious side dish when they’re roasted.

As a cocktail nibble, a chef friend set out a plate of radishes with a bit of their stems still attached and accompanied it with a dish of sea salt for dipping. The French layer slices (usually of mild breakfast radishes) onto rounds of buttered baguette and sprinkle them with Fleur de Sel. Roasted radishes are the real surprise! Try tossing them with a bit of oil, salt and pepper; put them on a sheet pan into a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes or so. If you like, add butter and herbs before serving.

A quick Google search will turn up lots of other possibilities.