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hot and sour soup

hot and sour soup

For someone who was all “Harrumph! Cacio e Pepe Does Not Contain Cheddar Cheese.” a few weeks ago, I have some nerve telling you what I’m going to next, which is that I’m pretty smitten with an unapologetically “100% Inauthentic!”-boasting cookbook, the celebration of American-Asian cuisine that is 101 Easy Asian Recipes from the editors of Lucky Peach magazine. There are recipes for “Mall Chicken,” for Rotisserie Ramen, Dollar Dumplings, Miso Claypot Chicken (No Claypot), and then, the recipe in the dessert section that’s going to make you shut the book and never look back again, that for sliced oranges. You know, like the kind they put out at Chinatown restaurants at the end of a meal.

what you'll need, plus some eggs
prepped out

But wait, hear me out. The miso claypot chicken can be made in a rice-cooker, as in, while you are at work, ready when you get home. In fact, the rice-cooker is one of only two specialty cooking items they recommend, that and a wok, and you can make all of the dishes with neither. The rotisserie ramen makes use of not just the pickings, but the carcass of a storebought bird to make a more robust broth. The dollar dumplings, guys, they’re hilarious: “Even if your first dumpling is fugly, the fortieth will be respectable looking, and by your hundredth you’ll be muttering under your breath in Chinese, wondering when the mah-jongg game is gonna get started.” Oh, and, “Sauceless dumplings are like the crying-on-the-inside kind of clowns; they look the part but something important is missing.” The orange slices? Apparently, this is more of a thing than I thought; Joanne Chang steps in to explain that meals with company were always ended with fruit. Baked goods are for daytime meals, with tea.

pork, scallions, ginger, garlic, yes

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to hot and sour soup | 37 comments to date | see more: Chinese, Meat, Mushrooms, Photo, Quick, Soup


miso black sesame caramel corn

miso black sesame caramel popcorn

This began pretty harmlessly; my husband told me recently that whatever magic they roll buffalo wings in (basically: a lot of butter and Frank’s hot sauce) was unquestionably one of his favorite flavors on earth. (I put the jar of Nutella in the cabinet on notice.) A few days later, I spotted an ode to buffalo wings in the format of caramel popcorn and sent him the link, joking that I’d probably regret it. I shouldn’t have joked. It quickly became clear that to know that this popcorn existed and to not make was an act of cruelty; why so mean, Deb? Is writing a cookbook, running a website, occasionally cooking dinner and mashing up sweet potatoes for the little sweet potato really a higher kitchen calling than buffalo wing popcorn? And so I made it, but it looked rather sad and lonely in the bowl by itself so then I made some blue cheese dressing on the side with celery to dip into it and, lo, it was wonderful and the story should end here.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to miso black sesame caramel corn | 59 comments to date | see more: Candy, Photo, Snack


taco torte

the taco torte

I have forever seen recipes on TV and around the web for something called Mexican Lasagna, a giant layered casserole that contains pretty much everything we love and cannot get enough of — tortillas, beans, salsa, cheese and then some — but couldn’t bring myself to make one because I make bad decisions based on trivial things, such as the name, which made me cringe (must we blame the people of Naples or Mexico for the unholy ways we Frankenstein their cuisine?) and the fact that I hadn’t exactly run out of excuses to eat tortillas, beans, salsa and cheese yet and thus didn’t need to enlist another one. Don’t worry, Deb is going to see the error of her ways in the next paragraph.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to taco torte | 88 comments to date | see more: Appetizer, Beans, Photo, Tex-Mex, Vegetarian, Weeknight Favorite


banana puddings with vanilla bean wafers

banana pudding with vanilla bean wafers

A year ago, I made what I called Bananas Foster Puddings — individual puddings in which the bananas had been lightly caramelized in butter, brown sugar and rum before being layered with vanilla custard and kind of mediocre homemade vanilla wafers before being topped with a tuft of broiled meringue. The evening I made them, I managed to spill a pint glass of water (full, I mean, of course) right next to my laptop, which led to all sorts of drama including the loss of the photos and recipe, in case you’re wondering why nobody’s going to be mistaking me for a lifestyle guru anytime soon.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to banana puddings with vanilla bean wafers | 124 comments to date | see more: Bananas, Photo, Pudding


spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper

spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper

If you didn’t have a nonna to do so when you were a wee lucky thing, it’s more than likely that Marcella Hazan was the person who introduced you to the concept of a spaghetti frittata, a cozy mess of leftover spaghetti, scrambled egg, some butter, parsley and a fistful of parmesan, cooked in a skillet and cut into wedges. It’s unfancy food at its best, as should be no surprise from the woman who was very distressed by complicated chefs’ recipes, wondering “Why not make it simple?”

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper | 124 comments to date | see more: Casserole, Italian, Pasta, Photo, Vegetarian, Winter


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