Bitter Orange Cocktails
Recipes History Bitter Orange Cocktails

What do you do with bitter/sour oranges? Due to their acid, they’re probably not anybody’s favorite fruit to peel and eat. But that abrasive personality makes them ideal for marinades, marmalades, salad dressings, sauces and spreads, homemade bitters and cocktails. Like other citrus, the bitter orange is native to southeast Asia, but it spread to Spain in the 10th Century and later to Mexico and the Caribbean as a side effect of colonialism in the new world.

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Updating Tom and Jerry
Recipes History Updating Tom and Jerry

My mother owns a Tom & Jerry punch bowl and the accompanying traditional mugs (as seen here). All of these are pulled out for making Tom & Jerrys at Christmas, and for the rest of the year they hibernate quietly in cardboard boxes alongside the other festive holiday decor. In my (now quite fuzzy) childhood memories of the ’70s and early ’80s, the adults in my life were young and long-haired.

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Mom’s Homemade Pizza & The Joy of Memory-Making Meals
Recipes Mom’s Homemade Pizza & The Joy of Memory-Making Meals

Today’s post is an homage to the pizza that mom makes, but like many Americans, I grew up with a broad spectrum of different foods that were all called “pizza.” At the far end of the thin-crust spectrum, we see things like the cracker-thin Neapolitan-style pizzas, light on toppings and baked to bubbly, lightly blackened pies in ultra-hot wood or coal-fire ovens. On the other end, you see emphasis on crust thicknesses rising all the way to the casserole-like excess that is Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, which can be so overloaded, it’s like an entire meal in a single slice.

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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 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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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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