After a bitter-cold, snowy, season, every New Yorker I know is looking for Winter to come to an end, and soon! I was actually going to post this story on Saturday, but then it literally started snowing. Small, airy flakes started descending side-ways from the sky. So here, a story about the End of Winter. Hopefully this is our visual good luck charm for hustling Spring in, and sending old man Winter packing. Photographs by Christopher Testani. Styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart. Shot on location in Montauk, NY.
Grant Cornett and I have collaborated on cookbooks and editorial shoots in the past, and it’s always great to work with him!
Here is some recent work I spied of his… These images appeared in The New Times Magazine, March 1st, 2015 in the Eat Column, by Francis Lam. The story was titled “More Than a Name. Learning to cook a Ghanaian Spinach Stew in the Bronx.” The pic above is of Ghanaian Spinach Stew with Sweet Plantains. Photos by Grant Cornett. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop Stylist: Theo Vamvounakis.
Overcast skies of grey require warming, baked fruit… Here, Golden Delicious Apple, cored, stuffed with Honey + Butter + Cinnamon and baked till tender. Serve hot, with Ice-cream. #Melty #NoRecipeRequired Plate by @claykatceramics
Above: Chicharron, Radish, and Dandelion Green Salad paired with a Pinot Grigio Above: Butter Beans with crushed Tomatoes and Roasted Pork Belly, Beef Bone Marrow with Sweet Cream Butter and Grilled Bread, and Roasted Pigs Head paired with a Beaujolais. Above: Fried smelt with a Garlic Aioli.
I ran into the very lovely and inspiring food writer Melissa Clark last night and she graciously reminded me that I had not posted a single thing in about a year, and where had the blog gone? The answer is this: I’ve had an absolutely insane travel schedule and a thumping great workload which have put me on hiatus from keeping my blog up to date this past year, and it’s true, it’s been neglected and I’m truly sorry. But New Years’ resolutions aside (does anyone make those anymore? And besides… Eek, it’s March, so forget that idea!) I’ve resolved to keep my site up to date with food imagery, tips and cool food ideas and great talent that inspires me, on a much more regular basis. Let’s toast to that!
In that vein, here is a recent shoot from Photographer Justin Walker. It’s inspired by Fergus Henderson’s restaurant: St John, in London. Chef Jay Wolman, who works at Marlow and Sons & Diner, here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, created a memorable Winter Feast celebrating Nose-(or head!) to-tail eating, that involved crispy pig skin, beans and wonderful bone marrow. Inspired from Fergus’ 2013 book, which is not entirely a new concept, but certainly a reminder of the continued importance of eating the whole animal, and looking for ways to wrestle with the ugly bits, to ultimately not waste a single piece.
Justin Walker is a commercial and fine-art photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He specializes in food, travel, and conceptual still-life photography. A native of Durango, Colorado, he grew up hunting, fishing, camping, snowboarding, and spending most of his waking hours outdoors. His childhood always involved a family adventure in the making; from commercial salmon and halibut fishing in Alaska to ranching in southwestern Colorado. The natural world is a foundation of inspiration in much of his work. He now splits his time in between Brooklyn, NY and the Catskill Mountains. With a background in graphic design, his photographic style encompasses a similar clean cut graphic aesthetic.
Want to see my most recent work? I now have a separate section devoted to just this. Click Here. Or on the page tab at the top marked ‘Recent Work.’
Why would you seek out a Vegan restaurant during Winter, when you know that most of the peak produce available would be more plentiful in Summer?
I didn’t have high hopes. As a person who prides herself on trying the medium-rare all-beef burger as my measure for how good a restaurant is, I was expecting to fake pleasure at a cold carrot or oooh phony praise at a curry flavored lentil. I really had no idea.
Photographer Jason Varney met me at the train station. He’s one of my favorite people to work with ever; not least because he is a master at capturing the beauty of natural light, but his foppish, red beard shrouds the endearing qualities of one of the kindest men I’ve ever known.
And how was the food? Vedge restaurant didn’t disappoint, from the first extra strong coffee poured for us kindly by Kate, the co-owner, to the final red-wine soaked mushroom, and you can see the results and get recipes to try at home, in the March Issue of Cooking Light magazine. (On newsstands now.)
Photos: Jason Varney
Art Direction/styling: Dimity Jones
To subscribe to Cooking Light, click here.
PORK TO DIE FOR:
Memorial Day Weekend was spent on the Delaware River, upstate New York. I didn’t have a lot of time to figure out the menu, but inspired by a recent shoot I did for the upcoming issue of Cooking Light magazine, I grabbed a pork butt, (bone in) and started roasting… 3 hours at home on in my oven, and then I threw the pork butt, cooled, in a plastic bag and hauled it up the next day in a car with my son and some friends, to the house where we roasted the butt for another 4 hours. We built a fire, and when crackling and hot, roasted both Purple and Yellow potatoes, some fresh Asparagus and in another cast iron skillet some Boston Baked Beans. A perfect impromptu dinner paired with cool cucumber gin cocktails, sprinkled with powdered cardamon. And for dessert? S’mores and Mint and Chocolate chip Ice-cream. The next day we used the leftovers for pulled pork sandwiches with relish, BBQ sauce, and Cheddar on Brioche buns.
PORK BUTT: Take an 8 lb Pork Butt. Combine 3 tablespoons of Dark Brown Sugar, 2 big glugs of Chinese style Chili and Garlic Sauce, 1 teaspoon of Mustard Powder, 2 teaspoons of Salt, a teaspoon of freshly ground Pepper. Stab the raw pork butt and stud with slivers of Fresh Garlic all over. (Cut the clove in half, then insert). Rub the sugar/chilli salt rub all over the top. Preheat oven to 410, add pork butt in a baking dish, then reduce heat to 300, for 7 hours. Use an internal themometer, and when the inside comes to 135, and the pork is juicy but tender, remove. The pork will be mild in terms of spiciness, and able to stand up to robust BBQ sauces. Good for kids.
STOVETOP BOSTON BAKED BEANS: Start one day in advance. Let 1 pound of dried Pinto Beans stand in water overnight. Drain beans, set aside. Cook one diced slab of Double Smoked Bacon (like Schaller Weber), about 10oz until crisp. Drain bacon leaving fat and in the fat, fry 1 medium Brown Onion, finely diced. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of ketchup, 1/3 cup of maple syrup, 1/3 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup Dry Mustard, 2 tablespoons of Molasses or Treacle, 2 Bay Leaves, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped Garlic, 1 teaspoon of Salt, 1 teaspoon of ground Pepper. Pour the softened beans, the cooked onions and crispy bacon mixture into dutch oven or heavy based saucepan on the stove top. Pour over the ketchup sauce mixture, and then add 4 cups of Chicken Stock. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, as it becomes evaporated add slowly another 4 cups of Water, or enough water until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened, and reduced. About 4 hours. (You can make this ahead and just heat the beans before serving.)
Pics: Dimity Jones.
What happens when a food stylist and a food photographer get together for breakfast? They decide to shoot what their cooking! Photographer Linda Pugliese and Food Stylist Chelsea Zimmer got together to cook up a breakfast and decided to shoot their Charred Scallion + Asparagus breakfast dish complete with Eggs and Cream. Spring-like and oh-so yummy. A great idea for what to do with Ramps that are currently right in season.Thankfully they shared their shots and recipe with me. Thank you!
salt + pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 pounds yellow squash, coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
I got up this morning and made 2 dozen Buttermilk Biscuits. It had been weighing on my mind all night. They’re actually for a friends’ birthday party, a foodie-friend, actually the ex Creative Director of Martha Stewart (no pressure!) and while it was the first thing I thought about this morning when I woke, I literally got up, as in a trance, made coffee, and then grabbed a big bowl and started making, and they were done in 30 minutes. Sometimes its better not to think too hard about things and just do it! Begin the motions and before you know it, it’s done. 10 minutes to make them, 20 for baking time and within minutes the house was fragrant with the smell of fresh baked biscuits and I realized it wasn’t even 10 am and the task that was on my mind most of the night was completed. I used a special buttermilk this time and I think it made a huge difference. This recipe is from Alton Brown so it’s foolproof, and easy, and Oh-so-good… I highly recommend getting up tomorrow morning and making everyone a batch of these…. Hot Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, pile them high with lots of Unsalted Butter and Strawberry Jam, or Orange Marmalade which is my favorite… Heaven!
Have a great weekend everyone! x
HOT BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
Recipe from Alton Brown
The recipe makes 1 dozen, I doubled this to make my 2 dozen.
2 cups of flour (I used all purpose)
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt (I used kosher salt)
2 tablespoons of butter (I used Organic Unsalted)
2 tablespoons of shortening (I used Organic All Vegetable Shortening)
1 cup of Buttermilk (I used Amish Country Buttermilk with live probiotic cultures from Eco Meal)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Using your fingertips rub the butter and shortening until the mixture looks like thick crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky. Turn dough onto floured surface, and gently fold dough onto itself a couple of times. Press out to 1 inch think round, cut out biscuits with a 2 inch cutter, be sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reform scrap dough working as little as possible and continue cutting. (Note from Alton: biscuits from the second roll out will not be quite as light from the first but hey, that’s life.)
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top. 15-20 minutes.
Pics: Dimity Jones