Gazpacho with Green Tomatoes
Recipes Gazpacho with Green Tomatoes

As the family legend has it, on the night before I was born, my mother cooked a pizza topped with sliced green tomatoes, and the next morning, pop! There I was. (Though, truth be told, it may actually have taken a bit more effort than I’m leading on…) I won’t go so far as to call green tomatoes some kind of folk remedy for inducing labor, but perhaps they provide a good incentive for anyone taking their sweet time in the womb.

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Summer Ceviche Salad with Fresh Papalo
Recipes Summer Ceviche Salad with Fresh Papalo

The vendor had noticed us ogling her herbs. “It’s papalo! Here, take some with you,” she chirped. “I’ll write the word down for you. It’s from Mexico. Use it like cilantro.” At the next stand over, we scored some gray sole and returned home with arms full of tomatoes, onions, lettuces, cucumbers and this unfamiliar herb. A quick web search revealed that papalo is indeed native to Mexico, and it grows like a weed across the Southwest US as well as Central and South America.

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Recipes Day 9: A Holiday Halva

*This post marks Day 9 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I find it really interesting that the Christmas season is supposed to be about the birth of Christ, and yet modern-era Christmas celebrations don’t feature anything that calls to mind the early Christian-era foods… that is, the foods of the Middle East. Rather than eating something like pita with hummus and baba ganoush or Spiced Ground Lamb, we feast on roasted turkey or baked hams for the holidays.

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The Mysteries of Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho
Recipes The Mysteries of Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho

I’ve known those who salt their watermelon, and those who sugar their tomatoes. I once thought these practices were madness. After culinary school, I become more flexible in my appreciation of these summer flavors. Yes, watermelon could get along happily in a savory salad. Yes, tomatoes could represent the sweet aspect of a dish. Once I’d gotten past the prejudices of my youth, I learned that tomatoes and watermelon could be great friends in salads.

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Recession-Proof: Spicy Ginger-Peanut Sauce for Salad, Soba or Slaw
Recipes Recession-Proof: Spicy Ginger-Peanut Sauce for Salad, Soba or Slaw

I feel a great sauce is like a person’s most reliable suit or nicest basic dress. It proves its thrift and usefulness again and again. In culinary school, you learn about “mother sauces,” from which most other sauces are made, but to be honest, they also focus heavily on the French method, and the French really weren’t into peanuts, so I feel like they missed out on this one. A spicy peanut sauce turns out to be one of those elemental sauces.

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Recipes No stove, please. I’ll have ceviche.

Bah! Cooking… Who needs it? With the temps the 80s and high humidity all week, I just can’t get excited about turning on the oven when I come home from work. Raw-food diets suddenly begin to seem more attractive. J and I try to maintain a Fish n’ Film Friday dinner (it’s a great mnemonic device to keep fish in our diets), but the thought of turning on the stove last week was just… too… much.

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Recipes Day 5: Sugarplums!

*This post marks Day 5 of Miss Ginsu’s 2007 Advent Calendar. Two years ago, I wrote about sugarplums. Oh, how time flies when you’re busy food blogging… It’s the right time of year again, and it seems proper that we attempt to introduce a new generation of kids to one of those things they keep hearing about in holiday Christmas carols and are unlikely to have ever actually tried. (Figgy pudding and chestnuts roasting over an open fire will have to wait patiently at the sidelines for another post.

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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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