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crispy peach cobbler

crispy peach cobbler

I cannot resist a recipe that promises an odd outcome. To wit, prior to stumbling upon this curiosity in the wonderful A Boat, A Whale and a Walrus, an assembly of recipes and stories from restaurants on the other side of the country that I am now extra-sad I haven’t been to (yet! Like maybe in 5 or 18 years or so?), I understood cobblers to be more or less baked fruit topped with a soft cake batter or plush biscuit, while crisps had clusters of oaty and sometimes nutty cookie-like crumbs giving them their namesake texture. [Let us save comparisons with crumbles, grunts, fools, pandowdys, sonkers, bettys, buckles and slabs for another delicious day.] Crisps were not soft; cobblers were not crisp.

it was hard not to eat these all
into thick wedges

But not this one. Here, in technique that Renee Erickson, the author and chef, says she was handed down from the original owner of one of her restaurants, The Boat Street Café, a rather simple flour/butter/sugar/milk batter is beaten for longer than any proper cake recipe would usually advocate, spread thinly over unpeeled peaches that have been dressed only with lemon zest and juice — no thickeners, spices or sugar — coated with more sugar and then drizzled with hot water. In the oven, the batter develops a crisp lid that is as fun to impatiently tap your way through as the best crème brûlée.

batter, prepped peaches

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to crispy peach cobbler | 55 comments to date | see more: Crumbles/Crisps, Peach, Photo, Summer


angel hair pasta with raw tomato sauce

angel hair with raw tomato sauce

The internet might be loaded with a ga-jillion recipes, but finding the great ones can still be a little bit of a needle in a haystack. My favorite way to find new recipes is to ask a random person what their cult favorites are. Bonus points if they claim to hate cooking, because these are the people who are only going to be excited for dishes that work with airtight reliability that are unquestionably worth your time. I have found so many gems this way; Marion Burros’s Purple Plum Torte (which, if you have not made yet, shut this browser tab and get to it, please), Cook Country’s Chicken and Dumplings, Jeremiah Tower’s Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin, this crazy simple beef braise and Ina Garten’s Lemon Cake. (If you ask me about mine, I might also up this curious tuna salad from the New York Times Magazine, this zucchini and almond saute). In more recent memory, it’s from asking around that I learned a lot people have a very deep fondness for a raw tomato sauce for a 2006 issue of the late Gourmet Magazine.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to angel hair pasta with raw tomato sauce | 82 comments to date | see more: Italian, Pasta, Photo, Quick, Summer, Tomatoes, Vegetarian


frozen hot chocolate

frozen hot chocolate

At the outset of this summer, I had only a few things on my agenda: a baby (check!), a garden (check!, but oof*) and as many frozen desserts that do not require an ice cream maker as possible. And sure, from toasted marshmallow milkshakes to swirled berry yogurt (breakfast) popsicles, saltine crack ice cream sandwiches, strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie and raspberry crushed ice, it’s been a good time. But as summer isn’t over, I’m not done yet either.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to frozen hot chocolate | 135 comments to date | see more: Chocolate, Ice Cream/Sorbet, Photo, Summer


raspberry crushed ice

raspberry granita

Among frozen summer desserts, granitas are a hard sell, not matter how you rename them. A coarse, grainy sorbet, they’re the shaved ice of the Italian food world. Sure, they’re insanely refreshing, require no churning and are probably the kind of thing you ought to be cooling off with on a very hot day, but who’d choose them over hot fudge sundae cakes, toasted marshmallow milkshakes, saltine crack ice cream sandwiches or key lime pie popsicles? Nobody we’re going to be friends with, for sure.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to raspberry crushed ice | 71 comments to date | see more: Blackberries, Gluten-Free, Ice Cream/Sorbet, Photo, Raspberries, Summer, Vegan


takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber

takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber

Is there anything more inspiring than a farmer’s market at the height of the summer, piled high with funky heirloom tomatoes, eggplants from fairytale to freakishly large, crinkly peppers, bi-color corn as far as the eye can see and stone fruits in every color of the rainbow? Wouldn’t this be a great time to cook with all of them? Isn’t it almost a moral imperative to fill our systems with as much of summer as we can before it passes and we spend the rest of the seasons pining for its return? Probably, I mean, yes, of course. But cravings are cravings, and what I’ve really been dreaming about is so-called Chinese food, like, the terrible stuff that comes unceremoniously in white boxes with an embarrassment of chopsticks (because they thought you were ordering for a dozen people, and not just the three of you). I’ve long accepted that if I don’t at least occasionally indulge cravings, they’re never going to pass.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber | 148 comments to date | see more: Chinese, Cucumber, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Photo, Quick, Summer, Vegetarian


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