Taste The Rainbow Chard Frittata

Craig and I have a routine we do on Mondays. He pours a glass of wine and asks, “Want some?” and I say: “I don’t drink on Mondays.”

It’s not that funny, but it happens almost every Monday. “I don’t drink on Mondays.” It’s basically my catchphrase. I say it because I do drink wine on weekends, and frequently on nights that aren’t Mondays, but on Mondays I give my body a break. That was until yesterday.

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The Miracle of Mustard-Brown-Sugar Salmon

Sometimes you encounter a recipe that’s so simple, it’s not even a recipe, it’s a mere idea… a notion. Such was the case when Sam Sifton linked to this recipe for “Roasted Salmon Glazed with Brown Sugar and Mustard” in The New York Times Cooking newsletter.

Listen how easy: are you ready? Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix mustard and brown sugar together. Put it on well-seasoned salmon. Roast. Eat. The end.

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Lots of Broccoli Rabe, A Little Pasta

As much as I like cooking for other people, I REALLY like cooking for myself. It’s a chance to really tap into how I’m feeling in a particular moment, what I’m craving, and then to give myself exactly that.

There’s an actual an art to knowing what you want (believe me, I talk about it a lot in therapy). And one thing that I almost always want is pasta. If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you’ve probably noticed that I make a lot of it. Why pasta? Why is that my thing? I think it’s a blank canvas deal: you can dress pasta up any way that you want. Craving meat? Make a meaty pasta. Craving cheese? Make a cheesy pasta. And on Saturday night I was craving vegetables, so I decided to make a veggie-heavy pasta.

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A Summery Steak Dinner

Sometimes people ask me if I barbecue and I say “no” and when they ask “why not?” I say: “Because I don’t really like my backyard.” And it’s true: we share one with our neighbors in our fourplex, and they’re all very nice, but it’s not very private and it also kind of looks out on to a gas station. So the idea of being back there for a long time with a pair of tongs and a brewski doesn’t really excited me much, even in summertime.

But that didn’t stop me last night from “grilling up” some steak. (“Grilling up” in quotes because, ya know, I wasn’t really grilling.) This dinner really was a triumph, if I do say so myself; I was welcoming Craig back from the Palm Springs Shorts Festival, where he spoke on a few panels. He was already glad to come home (Palm Springs is 105 degrees right now), but with this dinner he was even gladder. Let me tell you how I made it.

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One Mac and Cheese To Rule Them All

I’ve found it. I know you’ve been looking for it, but it’s here, you can end your quest.

My friend Diana makes the best mac and cheese that I’ve ever had. Not too long ago, I asked for her recipe and she told me it’s Martha Stewart’s as posted on Food52. I made it soon after for our friends Harry and Chris as a housewarming gift and they declared it the best mac and cheese they’d ever had.

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Three Smoke Alarm Chicken, Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe

As far as arrivals to one of my dinner parties go, last night was maybe the most dramatic of all time. I was making a chicken and sausage dish from Nancy Silverton’s under-appreciated cookbook Mozza at Home (I seriously consider it one of the best cookbooks to come out in recent years) and I’d cranked the oven up to 450, despite the fact that some of the liquid had spilled on to the oven floor. Well! That liquid sent PLUMES of smoke out of the oven, so much so that two things happened: all four smoke alarms in our apartment started going off; and the air became noxious with the scents of vinegar and burning. Which is exactly when our guests arrived.

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Toss Your Beans in Pesto

There’s a lot of treachery when it comes to substitutions in recipes. “Hide sweet potatoes in the brownies, your kids will never notice!” “These zucchini noodles taste just as good as real noodles but with half the calories!”

Me? I’m all for transparency when it comes to the things that I cook. And that’s why I recommend tossing your green beans in pesto. You’re not pretending that the green beans are anything they’re not — “If you close your eyes, they taste just like French Fries!” — what you see is what you get.

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Come Join The Fun on Instagram

Hello there, you’re probably wondering where I’ve been these first few months of 2018, and the answer is: INSTAGRAM.

If you’re not following me there, download the app and look me up: @amateurgourmet.

It’s just a much easier way for me to share my cooking adventures, and also much more exciting, especially with the stories feature where I shoot videos as I go. For example, last night I turned the spring risotto you see above (which I’d documented in Stories on Sunday) into risotto cakes by shaping them into patties and frying them in oil. The whole thing is captured in real time:

And the results were pretty stupendous.

So if you miss hearing my voice and seeing my pictures (and my mistakes), now you know where to find me. To reiterate: @amateurgourmet on Instagram. See you there!