Picnic-Ready Mustard Eggs: Cooking With the Devil
Recipes How to Picnic-Ready Mustard Eggs: Cooking With the Devil

I like to take deviled eggs to picnics. They’re delicious, impressive and actually easier to transport and assemble than you’d think. Read on, and I’ll show you how to do it. But first, I have a story that goes along with my deviled eggs and that’s about one of my more embarassing moments… On a Pennsylvania-based business trip for work, I met and interviewed an Amish family. We were hoping to bring their free-range eggs into our business, so we got a tour of the facilities before being invited to sit down for lunch in their home.

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Plantain Bread & The Wonder of Quick Loaves
Plantain Bread & The Wonder of Quick Loaves

For some reason, I especially love recipes that turn old or ugly fruit and vegetables from trash to treasure. It’s almost like getting something for free. Rubbery zucchini? Zucchini Bread! Black, squishy bananas? Banana Bread! Dented Eggplant? Make Baba Ganoush! Bruised apples or strawberries? Perfect for a quick fruit sauce. When we had two soft, black plantains that were surplus to requirements for our Cuban dinner, I assumed they’d be a good addition to a quick bread, and I was more than thrilled with the result.

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Mission: The Ice Cream Smorewich
Recipes Mission: The Ice Cream Smorewich

As the last big weekend for summer grilling approaches, what’s America’s ultimate summer dessert? The ice cream sandwich? The s’more? I had a thought this week… why not combine the two? Behold: The Ice Cream S’morewich! I’ve done a bit of (very tasty, very chocolaty) experimentation, and I’m here to tell you, there is a fast and easy way, and then there’s also the hero’s path: the longer (but rewarding) way.

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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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How to Stuff a Zucchini Blossom
Recipes How to How to Stuff a Zucchini Blossom

With so many fruits and vegetables available year-round, it’s rare in the modern world to enjoy a food that’s really, truly a limited-time offer. You can get an apple in June, when, by all rights, all the apples from the previous autumn should already be a fuzzy memory. But it seems it’s always apple season somewhere, and we’ve come to rely on that constant availability. But due to a brief season and great delicacy, the zucchini blossom (or courgette blossom, as J would say) is what I like to think of as “now or never” foods.

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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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Vive la Clafoutis!
Recipes Vive la Clafoutis!

Ah, the 14th of July! The season of fresh, local cherries. The celebration of Bastille Day. The time to bake a fruity dessert for this week’s Dessert Corps project. Oh, hey… look at that. It’s like a cosmic alignment of forces telling me it’s time to make a cherry clafoutis, the traditional custard pudding of Limousin in the heart of la belle France . As it happens, the fantastic Dessert Corps volunteer crew provided me with a half-dozen eggs and more than a pound of gorgeous, blushing Rainier Cherries — sweet, fragrant and fresh from the Greenpoint farmers’ market.

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Recipes The Tunacado Salad: You Can’t Tuna Fish!

When it comes to a surplus, some foods are easier to wrangle than others. Extra apples become applesauce and apple butter. Easy. Extra peaches become preserves. No problem. Extra cabbage becomes sauerkraut or kimchi. Cucumbers, beans, onions and carrots become pickles. But what happens when you come across a great sale on tuna? Well, as it turns out, that, too can be preserved. J and I are huge fans of the oil-packed tuna that typically comes in jars from Spain and Italy, but those are not cheap .

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Recipes Chocolate Fondue the Lazy Way

Feeling rushed this week? Broke? Out of ideas for something special you might want to do for the Valentine’s Day holiday? Consider the Lazy Cook’s Chocolate Fondue , a recipe that’s easy, cheap, fun to do, a little out of the ordinary and supremely decadent — all at the same time. The nice thing about this recipe (other than the fact that it’s dead simple, cheap and reliably tasty) is that it’s so very flexible .

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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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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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