More Summery Sour Cream Recipes

June 25, 2016

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I keep finding fascinating recipes in this beautiful vintage cookbook.  Here are some of Merle Armitage’s suggestions for using sour cream; it turns out to be a mini-theme in the book.

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Things I Love: Sour Cream (and a great way to use it)

June 24, 2016

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On this dreary Brexit morning, it seems necessary to find reasons to rejoice.

It’s a little thing, but when I opened this container of Sidehill Farm sour cream (new to me), I discovered a remarkable substance.  It is unlike any sour cream I’ve encountered in the past.  Almost yellow, it has a rich full lively flavor; you think of green meadows filled with spring flowers.  Piled onto the just-picked strawberries I bought at the farmstead down the road, it made me happy to be alive.

Later, I think, I’ll make this Borscht Salad.  It’s the perfect vehicle for great sour cream.


Borscht Salad (adapted from a Fergus Henderson recipe)

Shopping list: 3 beets, ½ small red cabbage, 1 green apple, 1 orange, sour cream

Staples: 1/2 red onion, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt.

Serves 6.

Peel 3 raw beets and grate them.  (You might want to use rubber gloves, or your hands will be magenta for quite a while.)  Peel and grate a green apple and stir that into the beets.

Slice half a small red cabbage as thinly as you can. Do the same with a small red onion. Toss them with the beet/apple mixture.

Squeeze an orange and measure out 2 tablespoons of juice. Mix it with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto 6 plates and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.






A Few Interesting Recipes From A Most Beautiful Book

June 22, 2016

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I can’t stop turning the pages of this beautiful book by the fascinating Merle Armitage.  It’s filled with so many interesting recipes (including about a dozen ways to cook kidneys).  Some are clearly absurd, but I find a lot of them very enticing.

Leafing through the recipes by famous folk, I was very taken by these from Aline Bernstein (the costume designer).  Never seen anything quite like them.

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And then, these rather madly appealing recipes from the great man himself…

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The Perfect Father’s Day Dinner

June 19, 2016

046_Reic_9781400069989_art_r1 This recipe, an interpretation of my favorite dish at Lupa, is from the winter section of My Kitchen Year, but it could not be more perfect for this season.  Easy and spicy, it’s just the thing when you want crisply cooked chicken – but don’t feel like going to the trouble of firing up the grill.  And on this sunny Father’s Day – well, it really fits the bill. I have yet to meet the man who doesn’t like it.

Chicken Diavolo

Shopping list: 1 chicken, quartered, 2 large jalapeno chiles, 2 serrano chiles, 2 lemons.

Staples: olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper.

Serves 3-4.

Make chile oil by chopping the jalapeno and serrano chiles, and putting them in a small saucepan with ¾ cup of olive oil.  Add a couple of tablespoons of hot paprika.  Grind a fair amount of black pepper into the pot and steep over medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Let it sit overnight (or all day).  I prefer making my own, but if you’re in a hurry you can simply buy a bottle of chile oil.

Put a strainer over a large bowl and strain the chile oil. Slice a couple of lemons and add them to the bowl. Season with salt.  Submerge a small, quartered chicken in the oil and let it sit for at least 4 hours (and up to a day).

Heat a cast iron skillet until it’s quite hot (about 5 minutes). Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Meanwhile remove the chicken from the chile oil and pat it dry.  Sprinkle it with salt and shower it with freshly ground pepper; you need a lot. Slick the bottom of the pan with olive oil and put the chicken, skin side down, in the hot skillet. Cook until the skin is crisp and golden, which should take 8 to 10 minutes.  Turn the chicken over so it’s skin-side up.

Put the skillet in a pre-heated 500 degree oven and roast about 20 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 170 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. 

Sprinkle with lemon juice, grind more pepper over the chicken and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving. 


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