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 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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The Most Stylish Meal of the Day

I couldn’t help but notice that Esquire is into breakfast right now. I caught sight of their March issue, which contains a sixteen-page food porn spread of home-and-away brekkie delights chock-full of sexy, oozy breakfast glamour shots… so ya know, that’s kind of a tip-off. And why shouldn’t breakfast be trendy? It’s wintertime, and breakfast is comforting. Breakfast is important for good health. It’s the most important meal of the day.

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Recipes Dangerously Spicy Chocolate-Chili Fudge 2.0

Rich, dark and spicy. Is there a homemade treat for Valentine’s Day that’s more thematically appropriate than my Dangerously Spicy Chocolate-Chili Fudge? I’m doubting it… especially now that I’ve gone through and improved the recipe. I whipped up the first version of this fudge two years ago, but I thought the texture was slightly less than perfect. It was just a bit too chewy . In this new & improved version, I’ve added more butter (which makes it creamier) and I’ve replaced the nutmeg with vanilla, which improves the overall flavor in a magical way.

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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 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 Wild Rice Porridge 2.0

Last January, I posted my personal take on the Mahnomin Porridge that the groovy Minneapolis restaurant Hell’s Kitchen makes for their funky brunch menu. That recipe was pretty rich, and it takes a while to make, so it’s not exactly easy to produce on chilly midweek mornings. Thus, I’ve made a new version that’s more quick and flexible. The secret, as with many things, is planning ahead. If you cook the grains for this porridge in the evening (maybe do it while you’re making dinner), it’s easy to wake up all zombie-like the next day, scoop it into bowls and microwave for a quick and hearty whole-grain brekkie.

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Recipes Day 19: Cookie o’ the Week… Peppermint Snowflakes

*This post marks Day 19 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I recently ran across the coolest snowflake cookie cutter set; It included tiny pieces to help cut out the decorative bits on the arms of the snowflakes. Pretty slick, but I had no real need to buy it. Then it occurred to me that such a thing would be just the ticket for a new take on that stained glass cookie that’s made with a basic cut-out recipe and crushed candy that melts into the open spaces.

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Recipes Day 18: Warm Gingerbread w/ Bourbon Custard Cream

*This post marks Day 18 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I really wanted to make a Warm Gingerbread Bread Pudding, which seemed like it’d be a decadent holiday dessert for the snowy, blustery days leading up to Christmas. But in order to make a bread pudding, one really needs stale bread. And honestly, who has a bunch of gingerbread laying around getting stale? So I gave up that idea for quicker, more simple — but still truly tasty — Warm Gingerbread with Bourbon Custard Cream.

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Recipes Day 17: Sweet & Spicy Candied Nuts

*This post marks Day 17 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I’ve been trying not to fixate on financial news, but I recently read a prediction that if bad news keeps rolling in, people may want to want to burrow into their homes and watch movies on the couch. They think the pricetag on going out might be a bit too dear for a tough year. If that’s true, and we’re all turning down the thermostats and stuffing ourselves into our living rooms, I hope we’ve all got good company and tasty snacks as we watch our Netflix or pay-per-views or whatever we happen to be watching.

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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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