Condiments

By Riki Shore Last week we upped and moved from LA to North Carolina. There are so many positives: trees other than palms, birds other than wild parrots, weather other than hot and dry, to name a few. But there are downsides also. Almost all of my cookbooks are in storage. Actually, almost all of my belongings are in storage. Because we’re moving to St. Andrews, Scotland, in July, we chose to rent a furnished home and store most of our things. In theory, this will make shipping them via a container ship easier this summer. Right now, I wish […]

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This recipe is so simple I almost don’t want to post it. But I get so many compliments on this guacamole and it’s a snap to make…why not share it? The key here is to use ripe avocados, and add a lot more salt and lime juice than you think you need. Really. You need more salt and acid to kick up the flavor of the avocado. You don’t need garlic, cilantro or tomatoes. These will just detract from the natural creaminess of the fruit. The salt and acid, on the other hand, will accentuate the delicious texture and flavor […]

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By Riki Shore I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t really like New Year’s Eve. I don’t like to drink. Or stay up past midnight. Or party with a big group of people. Basically, I’m a buzzkill on this holiday. I read once that you New Year’s Eve is a harbinger of things to come in the new year: you should spend it how you want to spend the coming year. So if you want to travel to exotic locales, you should spend New Year’s Eve at a resort in Fiji. If you want to overhaul your […]

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By Riki Shore Inspired by the late peaches at our farmer’s market, I scoured my cookbooks recently for a peach recipe that wasn’t a dessert. I wanted to combine the sweetness of the fruit with something savory, spicy and even a little acidic. Deborah Madison’s wonderful cookbook Local Flavors has a recipe for Spiced Peaches that contains just a tablespoon of sweet balsamic vinegar. I decided to use this as a starting point, adding a few more ingredients and cooking the mixture longer to break down the peaches. The resulting chutney is delicious. We’ve spooned it over grilled chicken and […]

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By Riki Shore In April of this year, Andrea Reusing published her first cookbook, Cooking in the Moment. Reusing is the chef and owner of the Chapel Hill, NC restaurant Lantern, one of my favorite places to eat in the Triangle, so I was eager to try out her recipes. The whole book is worthwhile, but the most interesting section for me was the one on pickling fruits and vegetables. I couldn’t wait until the end of summer to try these pickled figs. Figs seem to grow all over the place near my house. The bakery right next door as […]

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By Riki Shore What the heck is confit? How do you pronounce it? And what does it have to do with tomatoes anyway? Tomatoes are at their sweetest this time of year in southern California and, while I don’t like eating raw tomatoes, I love them cooked, stewed, and sun-dried. I came across this recipe from one of my favorite professional chefs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He consistently makes the most flavorful food with the fewest ingredients – which is not to say that all his recipes call for five or six ingredients. Some of them have a list a dozen, or […]

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By Riki Shore Compound butter is butter flavored with herbs, spices, salt, lemon, miso or yes, even anchovy. Especially anchovy. Most American butter is about 80% fat, and fat is a substance that allows flavors to bloom. Strong flavors, like anchovy, do well when mixed with butter. The flavor intensifies, but the fat in the butter softens the mouth feel and makes a strongly flavored food even more appetizing. The first recipe below, thyme-lemon butter, is delicious on grilled chicken and salmon. It’s inspired by Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food and is open to your interpretation. You can […]

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By Riki Shore Kumquats are tiny oblong fruits shaped like olives, but with the skin of oranges. They are expensive, full of seeds, and very sour. The best thing is if a friend has a kumquat tree and gives you a big bowl of them and you’re wondering how in the world to eat them. This recipe, adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, uses the natural pectin in the fruit, which helps the marmalade set, and matches it with sugar and tangerines for increased sweetness. Pair this marmalade with cheeses and charcuterie, or use it as a glaze […]

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By Riki Shore This is inspired by a Bon Appetit recipe that appeared in print more than two years ago. I’ve been making riffs on this chimichurri and serving it with all cuts of steak since the original recipe was published. I like to pair it with skirt steak since you can make the chimichurri earlier in the day, let it rest at room temperature, then just grill the steaks quickly for a crowd. If you really don’t like olives, you can leave them out; just be sure to adjust the recipe for saltiness before serving. Heat in a small […]

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