Mark Bittman’s Raw Butternut Squash with Warm Edamame

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Mark Bittman's Raw Butternut Squash with Warm Edamame - 10th Kitchen

I love finding new ways to look at something. Obviously, this is helpful with life’s problems (this is not a zit on my forehead, it’s an age spot–a young age spot, heyo).  A fresh pair of eyes, though, is especially fun when it comes to food.

Mark Bittman's Raw Butternut Squash with Warm Edamame - 10th Kitchen

One of my favorite food writers is Mark Bittman (my new bff), because he’s constantly bringing us new ways to eat things, and new ways to think about the things we eat. Like the savory oatmeal I mentioned in my Instagram post there–I went on a soy-sauced (sometimes curried) oatmeal bender last winter, you guys. I think I’m going to go on another one as soon as I hit “publish” here.

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Pumpkin-Thyme Polenta and Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs

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Pumpkin-Thyme Polenta and Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs - 10th Kitchen

Odd question, but how are your ribs these days? Hungry? Windswept? Chilly? Maybe they’re just bored, because The Bachelor is a rerun again? Or perhaps they’re otherwise in need of a meal that’ll stick to them?

In any case, I think this will do. You got your carbs, you got your autumn flavors, you got your beer, and you got your tender, falling-off-the-bone meat. A little browning, a little braising, a little boozing, a little let’s-throw-pumpkin-in-our-polenta-because-we’re-not-total-grinches-and-’tis-the-season.

Pumpkin-Thyme Polenta and Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs - 10th Kitchen

If you make this meal before heading out to brave whatever it is you brave in the wet drizzle, it’ll make you feel invincible. If you make it after you’ve gone and conquered whatever it is you set out to do—even if it’s just retrieving a bunch of those Bed Bath & Beyond coupons from your mailbox—it’ll make you feel alive again. You can’t lose. 

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Apple and Pear Pie with Thyme and Brandy

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Apple and Pear Pie with Thyme and Brandy - 10th Kitchen

Hello from Portland, dears! I’m here, moved, in one piece, and I’m happy to say that all of my kitchen-related items survived the journey. Whoever the patron saint of fragile glass dishes and 12-hour journeys in giant rental trucks is… Thank you. And also, you don’t get nearly enough credit, in my opinion. (I mean, St. Anthony who? What has that guy done for us lately?)

Apple and Pear Pie with Thyme and Brandy - 10th Kitchen

…I was supposed to be Catholic, so I’m allowed to say things like that. Not that I should, but. PIE.

This was the last thing I made in the good old kitchen numero 10. It’s the most bittersweet fruit pie I’ve ever had–but it probably won’t be the case for you if you make it. It will just be sweet, full of soft, bubbly fall fruit, and just a hint of booze and herbs, because that’s how it goes around here. 

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Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pomegranate Molasses and Candied Walnuts

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 Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pomegranate Molasses and Candied Walnuts - 10th Kitchen

 

This soup was inspired by muhammara (that delightful Middle Eastern red pepper, walnut, and pomegranate molasses dip), which is really just a more refined way of saying that I wanted to find a socially acceptable way to eat a bowl of the stuff. The heart wants what it wants, darlings, and the way to mine (one of them, at least) is paved with roasted red pepper, cumin (which I’m obsessed with enough to put into a cocktail), and pomegranate molasses (This cake, you guys. This. Cake).

Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pomegranate Molasses and Candied Walnuts - 10th Kitchen

So here’s what we get: sweet, brilliant red, a little spicy, a little tangy, a lot delicious. Minus the pretty swirl of dairy product, it’s vegan. There are a couple of extra steps involved to roast the peppers and made candied walnuts, but both of those are easy shortcuts you can take in aisles 5 and 9 (I am guessing but if I’m correct, I’ll take a high five).

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Tahini, Honey, and Apple Coffee Cake with Sesame Streusel

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Tahini, Honey, and Apple Coffee Cake with Sesame Streusel - 10th Kitchen

If you were obsessed with the idea of making tahini and honey cookies, and they turned out cakey, you’d take the hint and accept that it’s not meant to be, right? Well, friends, I am not you. I can sometimes be, to put it delicately… Not Smart. Adapting and adjusting is for SUCKERS and I can WILL the right texture into existence by sheer DETERMINATION. (Spoiler alert: that doesn’t work.) 

So, yes, I’ll try it again, and maybe one more time, just to make sure. Eventually, though, I learn–cakey-type things go into cake. 

Tahini, Honey, and Apple Coffee Cake with Sesame Streusel - 10th Kitchen

Look at how happy the ending to this story is. By “happy,” I mean light as air (figuratively), fluffy like a cloud (ditto), and not too sweet, with a very noticeable, toasty sesame flavor.  And that’s just the cake itself–we haven’t even discussed the chunks of warm apple studded throughout, or the crispy, buttery streusel top. 

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Chicken and Tarragon Hand Pies

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Chicken and Tarragon Hand pies - 10th Kitchen

I had exactly two bad meals in France. Considering the math — three squares, over 10 days — I’d say that’s impressive. One of them was essentially a dare I made for myself, so it almost doesn’t count. If you see tacos on a French menu, don’t do it. I did it, so you don’t have to. You’ll get a sad pile of tortilla chip crumbs with diced tomatoes and half-melted cheddar. I don’t regret it though, because now I have proof that the French don’t know everything. Smuggest pile of sadness I’ve ever eaten, my friends.

Chicken and Tarragon Hand pies - 10th Kitchen

Bad French Meal No. 2 was chicken in a tarragon cream sauce. Correction: Bad French Entree No. 2. I was really too busy with the bread and the wine and the pate and people-watching to have had a bad meal that night. And to be clear, I’m not whining about it now, over a year later. It’s just that it reminded me of one of life’s great combinations: chicken, tarragon, and cream. I’m not saying I carried this out better than that one particular chef de cuisine on that one particular soir . . . Oh wait, I guess I am. Sorry, not sorry.

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