Food Horoscope: Aries

Happy birth-month, Aries folks! Aries, the Ram (March 20 - April 19) Now, I’m merely a cook, and not an astrologer, but here’s my advice for your foodcast: You’ve heard the old cliches and expressions regarding patience? Of course you have. I’d bet that just every culture on the planet has one (or more). I think it might be a good year to meditate on whichever patience mantra speaks to you.

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Recipes Smorgasbord: A Defense Against Doldrums

The stale, crusty edge of winter lingers forever, it seems. And while I know Shakespeare called April the “cruelest month,” I feel February is a strong contender for the title. What’s to be done with these days in which citrus season is closing and spring shoots and greens are still weeks away? I’ll throw in my vote for that greatest of Swedish traditions… and no, I don’t mean IKEA, I mean the Smorgasbord .

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Recipes A Wintery Short Rib Braise

I’m always thrilled to find something that’s so satisfying and nourishing, it becomes a new addition to the lineup of household favorites. That’s a rare occasion. But I think we have a winner, folks. This is a braise made up of beef short ribs, mushrooms and the hearty winter greens of your choice. There’s a little fuss involved in browning the short ribs before they head into the oven for a slow-cook, but it’s worth it for the rich flavor and falling-off-the-bone tenderness.

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Recipes Not the Lunchlady’s Goulash

At the tender age of six or seven, I had a clear moment of decision in the school lunchroom. As most epiphanies are, this revelation was heartfelt and simple. Though I’d traditionally devoured nearly anything that crossed my path — poisonous or not — I discovered a newfound hatred for goulash. Little did I know that the bland hamburger-macaroni combo they’d scooped onto my plastic tray and billed as goulash was actually a low-rent impostor.

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Barbecue for a Thousand People
Barbecue for a Thousand People

It’s not every you get to play with 600 pounds of meat and a smoker the size of a Humvee. I’m going to back up for a second and tell you this: Every year at work — and this is a food company, mind you — we’ve eaten the same classic American cookout menu: Burgers, hot dogs, chips and watermelon. I mean it’s good, but we’re a food company… shouldn’t we make more ambitious food?

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Recipes Grilling Your Steak, Trouble-Shooting Your Marinades

My brother called me up the other day and left a message. It went like this: “Hey! How you doing? I’m having a barbecue on Friday night and I was wondering if you had some ideas you could give me. Maybe something special? Drop a line and let me know. Thanks!” Ay yi yi! No information about guest preferences. No information about his protein of choice… pretty much no information.

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Recipes Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Cool Cucumber Tzatziki

Filled with lots of tangy citrus and yogurt flavors and plenty of cool cucumbers, the foods of the Middle East seem particularly suited for warmer weather. I first encountered spiced ground lamb as a Turkish kabob, but I discovered that the whole operation with the stick seemed like just a bit too much fuss for regular use. Why not just make spiced lamb meatballs? They’re fun to make, not too fussy and are even very nice when munched as cold leftovers for your midnight snacking needs.

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Recipes Recession-Proof Recipes: Lamejun

As long as there’s been flour, there’s been flatbread. And about as long as there’s been flatbread, there’s been folks tossing sauces and tidbits atop their flatbreads. Much later of course, such things were called “pizzas,” (there’s really no point in denying the lengthy, pre-Italian pizza history…) and now, pretty much any old cracker, bagel or tortilla with sauce on it is freely referred to as pizza . But let’s not forget those tasty flatbread precursors in our current age of pizza mania.

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Recipes Cassou-lazy: A Cassoulet for Working People

In some book somewhere, Julia Child has a fantastic quote about cassoulet. I can’t locate it at the moment, but it’s something about cassoulet being a food ideally suited for a lumberjack. In Manitoba. In January. Like I said, it’s awesome. And it’s hidden deep inside some text that apparently isn’t part of Project Gutenberg. In the readily indexed Larousse Gastronomique, we find that cassoulet is “A dish, originally from Languedoc, which consists of haricot (navy) beans cooked in a stewpot with pork rinds and seasonings.

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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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