This chile relish has been a staple this summer. it brings the fast magic - adding depth, raisiny-chile flavor, color, and dimension to all sorts of simple preparations. I'll list off a number of my favorites here.
Newsletter love, and a wintery bean salad made with gorgeous Rancho Gordo ayocote negro beans, and pan-fried hedgehog mushrooms. You get crunch from toasted almonds, and sweetness from dried figs which works nicely to offset the acid in the shallot vinaigrette. There's also some shredded kale involved. It's a good lunch salad, and you can make a good portion of it in advance.
The new year is here, and so far it has been crisp air, clear skies, thickest softest sweaters, afternoon reads, and big stews. We made crepes New Years Eve, and celebrated fresh starts, optimism, and our hopes for the coming months - a simple night of sparkling wine, crepes, and a far-away view of the downtown fireworks.
A base of finely shredded Lacinato kale to which and abundance of toasted pecans, pecorino cheese, and shredded Brussels sprouts are added. A strong lemon-tahini dressing is leveraged to brighten things up and take the raw edge off of the kale.
This time last year I made a winter punch, it was prosecco and gin-based with seasonal citrus, ginger and rosemary. It was a recipe that bolstered my punch-making confidence, and got me excited to attempt a new one for 2014. Something in an entirely different direction.