Some folks' idea of comfort food is meat loaf or macaroni and cheese. Mine is oatmeal. It's creamy and warm, but, more than that, it's a food my dad made for me and my siblings when we were little.
In my zeal to try different types of pepper, I bought two big bottles of whole pink and white peppercorns -- the pricey Morton & Bassett kind. I wanted to try red peppercorns, but I figured pink was the same thing. It's not.
Chef Julian Medina advises on the uses of different types of peppercorns. Also, he shares his recipe for Hamachi Ceviche with Avocado Fries.
We're talking about sun chokes this week, but my head and taste buds are still with salt, our topic in last week's Last Chance Foods. Many have commented on artisanal salt seller Mark Bitterman's contention that the link between salt and hypertension are not as clear-cut as public health officials would like to have you believe.
Even though temperatures on Friday nearly reached 60 degrees, sustained warmth is still many weeks away. Sunchokes are a welcome addition to standard winter root vegetables like potatoes and carrots that dominate the farmers' markets. Get chef Erica Wides' recipe for "Sunchoke Veloute" here.
The Meadow in the West Village offers more than 100 types of gourmet salt. Owner Mark Bitterman takes on the sodium critics and gives a brief explanation of a few basic finishing salts. Also, get his recipe for Bali Rama Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
There have been several big "ah ha!" moments in my evolution as an eater. And now, through Mark Bitterman, I've discovered salt.
There are two sides to my eating style: There's the unconscious mode, where I can nibble through half a box of raisins while reading a recipe, and not even know it, and there's my hyper-aware mode, usually employed at very pricey or highly respected restaurants where I want to savor every mouthful and tease out every nuance of flavor.
Chef Amy Chaplin explains the safe and effective way to cut into and roast chestnuts.
Fourth-generation fish purveyor Louis Rozzo explains why more chefs are using small oily fish like sardines and mackerel. Also, try Marea chef Jared Gadbaw's recipe for Warm Mackerel Tartletta with Salsa Cruda and Aged Balsamic.
It was a very busy news day on the afternoon that Louis Rozzo came in to talk about mackerel and sardines for Last Chance Foods. The feds had unsealed indictments against 127 alleged mobsters and arrested 110 of them in early-morning raids.
I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, but when our latest Last Chance Foods guest, Carolyn Cope, suggested adding shredded carrots to homemade tomato sauce, I balked. Carrots? No way! Even the red onion, basil leaves and parmigiano-reggiano cheese rind she uses is far more than called for in my go-to sauce recipe.
Food writer Carolyn Cope discusses canned tomatoes, the concern over B.P.A. in can liners, and what kinds of tomatoes make the best Sunday sauce. Also, try her recipe for "New Old School Tomato Sauce."
Comfort food is much in demand in winter. Warm, not cold. Creamy, not crunchy. Thick, not thin. I can't eat my usual summer breakfast of yogurt and granola right now. I've got to have a daily bowl of hot, creamy oatmeal, with a big glob of butter and liberal chunks of brown sugar mixed in. Lentils are Vikas Khanna's ultimate comfort food.
Last Chance Foods continues exploring pantry staples with chef Vikas Khanna, who talks about lentils as the ultimate comfort food. Try his recipe for khichdi, or lentils with rice.
Last Chance Foods starts off the New Year with something completely different: "Forever Foods." Chow.com columnist James Norton ventures into the depths of supermarket shelves and freezers to weigh in on microwavable sushi, Hot Pockets and more.
Ava Chin explains why odoriforous ginkgo trees line city streets and how ginkgo nuts make for delicious seasonal eating.
Widow's Hole Oyster Company's Mike Osinski talks about why oyster size matters and why East Coast oysters taste brinier. Also, check out two recipes for cooking these infamous shellfish at home.
For the second of five holiday-oriented recipes from 2010 Last Chance Foods guests, farmer Annie Novak shares some kid-friendly recipes.
New York City farmers markets are hoping to reinvigorate grain growing in the Northeast by requiring bakers to incorporate locally-produced wheat flour in their baked goods. Try our recipe for Creamy Emmer Salad with Shaved Fennel, Beets and Radishes here.