Recipes Vibrant Green Coconut-Mint Chutney

I tend to eat lamb year-round, but for many, springtime is prime time for lamb roasts and chops. And I must admit, I’m not sure why mint jelly is the traditional accompaniment. I mean, it’s fine, but I just don’t think it’s quite as tasty or complex in flavor as my Coconut-Mint Chutney. This bright, fresh-tasting sauce is very similar to one I learned while working with Chef Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Bombay Kitchen.

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Recipes Stuffed Eggplants

I’ve been off on a bit of a Claudia Roden kick for the past couple of weeks, and I must admit it’s an awfully tasty kick to be off on. In case you don’t know who she is, let me just put in a word for her classic The New Book of Middle Eastern Food — an impressive culinary resource. I love the way she breaks down recipes to discuss how ingredients and preparations differ a little in the different cultural versions of the same dish.

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Recipes How I Fell in Love with Brussels Sprouts

I grew up with Brussels Sprouts prejudice. My dad didn’t like ‘em. He’d only ever known the sprightly sprout under poor conditions — namely, my grandmother’s vicious habit of boiling veggies into submission. They were bitter and mushy at the same time. Wretched pale lumps. I didn’t blame him for loathing them, and with his opinionated introduction, I never even considered experimenting with sprouts. Later on, (much later, to my great dismay these days) I discovered the Brussels Sprout the way it was meant to be: roasted.

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Recipes Recession Proof: Rumsford’s Soup

If you read much food writing, you may have encountered writer MFK Fisher’s notes on thrifty cuisine. In her 1942 recession-proof tome, How to Cook a Wolf she wrote of an inexpensive, nutritious meat-grain subsistence loaf (writer Jeffrey Steingarten later taste-tested that very recipe in The Man Who Ate Everything). But far earlier than that, in the late 1700s, a remarkably multi-talented scientist/inventor named [Benjamin Thompson](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Thompson “Wikipedia”) (later known as Count von Rumford) was also interested in nutritious subsistence food, which led him to the creation of Rumford Soup.

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Recipes Day 16: Almond & Olive Oil Cake

*This post marks Day 16 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Compared to cookies or layered bars, or — heaven forbid — strudle , a basic cake is such a simple, lovely treat. Just a few steps. Just a little time in the oven. Just a few ingredients. Cake is essentially just flour, butter, sugar and eggs, right? Well, as I discovered on last summer’s foray to Rome, sometimes cake is flour, olive oil, sugar and eggs, which is both delicious and a good option for people who need something dairy-free.

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Recipes Six Ideas for Beets: Put it Down on the Big Beet

I’m thinking they should have called beets “groundhogs” and called the animals something different. Why? Well, beets really are the swine of the vegetable world. Hogs and beets share big flavor, big character and you can utilize every little bit of both of these tasty foodstuffs… nose to tail, as they say. I’ll start at the top — though most folks don’t. Every time I go to my farmers’ market, I see people asking to have the tops chopped off their beets, and it just about breaks my heart.

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Recipes Demystifying Mussels

Here’s a mystery: Mussels are cheap, tasty, plentiful, fast-cooking, low in mercury, a lean source of protein and a good way to get your omega-3 fatty acids. Early humans were big on ‘em. With all that to their credit, you might think they’d go like gangbusters. You’d think those little black shellfish would be flying out of fishmongers’ shops, so to speak. But no. You’d be wrong. Home cooks tend to shy away from cooking mussels.

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Recipes The Problem with Chickpea Masala

You know what the biggest problem with my Chickpea Masala is? It smells great. It tastes wonderful. It looks… homely. Oh, sure. I can toss some chopped cilantro or some parsley over the top of it. But come on… that’s just putting lipstick on a pig. (Or is that a dog? Who knows these days?) But we can say with certainty that curry is really not a photogenic dish. This is really the problem with all the bowl-foods.

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Raising a Glass to Brazil: The Blackberry Caipirinha Cocktail
Recipes Raising a Glass to Brazil: The Blackberry Caipirinha Cocktail

I just want to take a moment to say “thank you” to Brazil. Why? Well, although the country has some challenges (poverty, etc.) those lovely Brazilians export a lot of wonderful things to the citizens of the rest of the world. Bossa nova, samba, capoeira, jiu-jitsu, feijoada, churrascaria, The Girl From Ipanema… all things evocative of sensuality and living life with verve. So thanks very much, Brazil! I raise a caipirinha to you.

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Dear Miss Ginsu: I Need A Brine for Pickling Green Beans
Recipes Dear Miss Ginsu: I Need A Brine for Pickling Green Beans

Dear Miss Ginsu, We have a huge bean harvest — got any recipes for pickled beans? Yours, — Swimming in ‘em Dear Swimmer, Oh, how I loove pickled green beans! They’re so very tasty. And texture-wise, I think I may even prefer them to pickled cucumbers. In fact, I hope there are still some CSA or farmers’ market beans on the way. Now if I can only keep from boiling and eating them straight away, I’m inspired to get some into jars.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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