Adam in the Bible was good at naming things, Adam the food blogger, not so much. I first called this “Caramelized Cauliflower Frittata with Onions, Cheddar and Nutmeg” then thought it was weird to emphasize the nutmeg, even though that gives you a clue as to the flavor profile. Next title was “Caramelized Cauliflower Frittata with Onions” which makes it sound very oniony though, actually, it is quite oniony: golden brown onions in with the eggs, pickled onions sprinkled on at the end. Finally I settled on “Caramelized Cauliflower Frittata” because that’s really what this is, a chance to use up leftover cauliflower on a weekend morning. And you know what? It’s one of the best breakfasts I’ve made in a long time.
If one day I go on trial for food crimes, I think I’m getting 20 years added to my sentence for the following: during my 3 months on New York’s Upper East Side, I never once–not ONCE–visited the famous Kitchen Arts and Letters, one of the city’s (and the country’s) greatest cookbook stores. I still hang my head in shame.
Thankfully, when I went back to New York recently for a few book events, I remedied this most outrageous crime. And my visit there became a highlight of my trip.
It’s considered a hard and true fact in the food world that baking is a precise discipline and that cooking–sauteing, roasting, salad-making–is looser, freer, more of a vehicle for personal expression.
Why does that always have to be the case? Isn’t it possible that, if you know a thing or two in the kitchen, you can whip up a batch of cookies with as much freedom and joie-de-vivre as you might employ while making am omelet? I decided to challenge the status quo yesterday by making a batch of cookies without following a recipe.
Sunday Morning Oatmeal is not your average, every day oatmeal. It’s an oatmeal that, if you ate it every day, might kill you. But on Sunday morning, death is the furthest thing from your mind; you’ve got the Sunday Times Magazine crossword puzzle open on the table next to you (you look for all the food clues first, naturally) and Bon Iver playing on iTunes (well, Craig does, I just liked it and asked “What is this?” and he said “Bon Iver.”) There’s no set formula for this Sunday Morning Oatmeal, you just wing it as you go. But it’s best if you start the night before, right before you go to bed.
There are certain readers of my blog–and I know they exist, I’ve met them in real life–who see the food I make as aspirational. Instead of thinking, “Oooh, that’s easy, I can make that” (as many of you think when you read my posts), they think, “Oooh, that looks tasty, I wonder if someone will make that for me?”
To those readers, then, who think these recipes are outside of your reach (and, again, I acknowledge that I’m not describing most of you) I have a recipe for you. It’s Penne with Brown Butter, Nutmeg and Parmesan and I used to write about it all the time on the blog when I was a bachelor; it’s a dinner you can whip up easily for yourself after coming home from work. All you need is a pot, a pan, a box of penne, a stick (or less) of butter, whole nutmeg (so much better than the pre-ground stuff), a hunk of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. This is comfort food with a sophisticated flair.