Apologies for the delay in posting!
After launching the Fresh 100 and continuing to expand and curate the #Fresh100 feed, I admit I’ve been neglecting my duties in the MAS Test Kitchen. But fear not, it’s MAS’ most favorite time of the year – BBQ Season!! – and, we’re determined to get into some culinary yolo this summer.
This weekend, I retired my winter parka to its rightful place in the back of the closet and slept with the windows open just a crack. It seems Spring has finally sprung here in NYC, which means so long to roasted root vegetables and hello to vibrant, colorful Spring produce.
My friend Jen is a classically trained baker and someone I turn to when looking for a little sweet inspiration. After various stints as a Pastry Chef in esteemed New York City kitchens such as Mario Batali’s Esca and the Upper East Side mainstay, Orsay, she now heads the pastry department at Citibank’s Executive Dining program.
At MAS, we love our vegetables. We love them raw. We love them sautéed. We love them steamed. We love them roasted. And, we especially love them pickled. Whether you need a light, refreshing side to pair with a rich, saucy protein or want to make use of some extra veg in your fridge, we guarantee this Quick Pickle Cucumber 7 Radish Salad will become a staple in your culinary repertoire.
I have distinct childhood memories of sitting around the kitchen table and watching in awe as my mother and grandmother would expertly transform a giant bowl of meat and these thin white skins of dough into magical meat pockets. They could churn out a hundred of them at a time, in a matter of minutes. These mandus, Korean for dumplings, would be shared amongst friends and family or stored away in the freezer for a special occasion such as the Lunar New Year. For Koreans, new year tradition calls for Rice Cake Soup with Mandu. Prepared as breakfast, this warm and hearty meal is meant to summon luck and prosperity for the coming year.
It’s seriously cold here in New York and locals are doing everything they can to keep warm. In my case, that means making hot soup (though, I think I benefit more from the heat my stove kicks off than I do from the soup…).
This recipe is a staple in the MAS kitchen. And, while you might come across versions of roasted cauliflower soup that call for cream or milk, this particular vegetable puree is rich and hearty without the necessity for dairy.
At MAS, healthy ingredients, clean flavors and simple preparations always prevail. It’s why we’re such big fans of Middle Eastern cuisine, and, why we were so excited when Sam Sifton’s recent NYT: Cooking newsletter featuring an easy to make Chicken Shawarma arrived in our inbox. This was a recipe we had to test.
I read a Kindle on the subway, listen to podcasts at work and once in a while give my eyes a break and listen to audiobooks. But when it comes to cooking, nothing beats a good old-fashioned analog cookbook. And, the best of them, just like great novels, are unexpected, compelling and always satisfying.
Within this genre, the work of Chef Yotam Ottolenghi sits above the rest. An Israeli chef, restaurant owner and author, Chef Ottolenghi is my flavor soulmate. And, I’m not alone. His books which include Ottolenghi, Plenty, Jersualem and most recently, Plenty More, have received high praise across the globe.
Preserved Lemon is an ingredient often found in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine. Essentially, preserved lemons are simply fresh lemons bathed in salt water. Once preserved – a process that takes about a month on the shelf – the ingredient is mainly used in dressings and sauces. Imagine rich lemon flavor without the tartness or mouth puckering acidity. Preserved lemon can be found at speciality grocery stores or can just as easily be jarred at home. But what do you do in a jam?
I’m not sure this has ever been done. In fact, I haven’t even Googled it yet, because I want to believe my weird snacking habits as a child have finally paid it forward.
This weekend, I decided to trust my culinary instincts. The result? A true MAS original inspired by my youth. While I can’t claim to have created the next Cronut, this sweet and savory mashup will definitely delight!