RECIPES AND MORE FROM AN URBAN KITCHEN

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall Uniform


After living in nothing but breezy floral dresses, tiny bikinis, my ripped denim Acne jacket, and flatform Marni sandals this summer, I'm finally feeling ready for a slightly more sophisticated dress code. Think perfect, dark basics with a classic, luxe watch and simple gold jewelry. And a crazy pink faux fur to go over it all, of course. Can't grow up too much. xo

*A faux fur to make you feel better about the end of summer by Shrimps
*Perfect black loafers by Newbark
*I've been eyeing this M2Malletier bag for ages. Time to bite the bullet.
*A classic Herm├ęs watch--can't go wrong.
*Beautiful, well-made basics are necessary and Protagonist seems to get it right
*Faded black skinnies to throw on everyday.
*Just a piece or two of cool gold jewelry keeps it tasteful. Love this cage ring by Gabriela Artigas.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wanderers


August has been a complete whirlwind of European adventures, and one of the best months to date. We've spent long, warm, sunny days in Norway (both Stavanger and Oslo), France (Cannes, Monaco, and Antibes), and right here in beautiful Switzerland, doing some hiking, lake-lounging, and wandering through the magical forests and wide open fields that seem to be everywhere. It's hard to believe there's just over a week left of summer, which is extra motivation to soak in and really appreciate every precious second. I'll be back in NYC by Labor Day, but not before a couple of jaunts to Barcelona and Amsterdam to cap off this hectic, perfect season.

Here are some favorite iPhone snaps from the month. They're in this order, if anyone's curious: Monaco, Antibes (at the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc), Bern, Stavanger, Oslo, Zurich, and Mount Pilatus. xo

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Pasta Salad


Some of my most favorite summer memories revolve around pasta salad. Pasta salad is to summer what turkey is to fall. Or something like that. I've been working from Zurich, Switzerland for the last couple of weeks, where the sun is shining and "lake life" is something that people here do on the reg. Lake Zurich is right in the middle of the city and it features icy cold, crystal clear water paired with many a grassy knoll to spread a blanket out on to while away whole morning and afternoons, and sometimes evenings too. It's not uncommon to see very serious-looking businessmen and women come meandering by after work, strip down, and jump right into the water. It's a good life out here.

With a body of water as good as that, one really needs a good pasta salad recipe, since one can rarely be persuaded to move one's ass once firmly planted lakeside. So, I went to the market, picked up a batch of the freshest, ripest summer tomatoes on the block and tinkered around in the kitchen until I came up with this beauty of a salad. It includes a lot of my most-loved ingredients including the aforementioned tomatoes, Lucques olives, soft goat cheese, and loads of herbs. I made a nice, big batch, most of which is sitting in separate tupperware containers in the fridge as I type, waiting for tomorrow, when I'll tote one of those babies with me to the lake to nibble on all day long. Doesn't get much better. xo

Summer Pasta Salad
Ingredients:
12 oz. of your favorite small pasta (i.e. penne, orecchiette, et al.)
3 cloves garlic, skin on
12 oz. (or a bit more!) cherry tomatoes, a mix of colors
6 oz. crumbled goat cheese (feta or any soft goat cheese)
1 handful of your favorite olives, pitted
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1 handful fresh basil
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Throw in the pasta and cloves of garlic, boil until al dente, drain and run under cold water to cool. Put the pasta into a large bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss to keep from sticking. Put the garlic to one side to use for the dressing.

Chop the tomatoes, olives, chives, and basil into pieces about half the size of the pasta and add to the bowl along with the goat cheese and mix all together. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and mash into a paste with the back of a wooden spoon. Place into a small bowl and add the vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle this over the salad and mix well.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

CA Creative on Career Contessa


Very honored to have been featured on Career Contessa! Read all about my digital agency, CA Creative, and other career stuff, right this way: CLICK ME!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vineyard Chicken


A couple of months ago, I flew to New Orleans for the wedding of one of my best friends in the world, and spent the majority of my time there eating. Surprise! I ran rampant around that gorgeous city chugging chicory coffee, plowing through a scary number of steaming hot beignets, nibbling on praline bacon, buying multiple bottles of hot sauce, and swigging Everclear slushies at inappropriately early times of day (when on Bourbon Street....).

By the time I left, I was thoroughly in love with the place, and convinced it was one of the greatest food cities on the planet. And so, of course, I picked up a spiral bound copy of River Road Recipes, the community cookbook compiled by The Junior League of Baton Rouge, and dedicated to Louisiana cooking. The book was first published in 1959, so the recipes in there reflect that time period, and are satisfyingly simple and, at times, downright odd (anyone in the mood for some turtle soup?). I'd forgotten how good old-school, homespun cooking could be, and how fun it was to read recipes that sound like they could've been scribbled on a piece of notebook paper by your grandmother.

This Vineyard Chicken, submitted by a Mrs. Ronaldo Coco, gets it's winsome name from the white wine that infuses it, and it is honestly one of the best chicken preparations in recent memory. It's also dead easy--the instructions don't exceed six sentences--yet, somehow gives you a batch of fall-off-the-bone tender chicken nestled in a delicious sauce made of wine, paprika, lemon, and butter. That sauce is like gold--spoon it over your rice or potatoes or whatever you may be serving this dish with.

You go, Mrs. Ronaldo Coco.

Vineyard Chicken
Ingredients:
1 3 lb. chicken, butchered into 8 pieces (or 3 lbs worth of legs and thighs)
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
3 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup minced parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place chicken, skin side down, in large casserole. Blend all other ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and discard. Turn chicken skin side up; increase temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, basting a couple of times. Increase temperature to 425 degrees for the last 30 minutes of baking time, basting a few times. Serves 4.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Favorite Things 07.07.14


I haven't done one of these posts in a while. Here are just a few of the things I've been loving lately, including one perfect denim jacket, milk bottles as glasses, an old-school radio with amazing sound, and a sleek backpack from everyone's favorite break-through brand.

1. This precisely ripped Acne jean jacket is the jean jacket of my dreams. So soft and oversized and comfortable.
2. Uribe is a new jewelry line out of London. I love their slightly skewed version of classic gold hoops.
3. Beautiful new cookbook from the gal behind Jewels of New York.
4. I've finally gotten the hang of the Fujifilm x100s (a photog favorite), and I'm loving it a lot.
5. Perfect backpack that will be coming with me on all summer travels.
6. Spontaneously purchased these bright-blue-lensed Ray Bans a couple of weekends ago, and they haven't left my face since.
7. Really good true red polish. Jin Soon is the best.
8. Recently discovered Orlebar Brown's swimsuits. Amazing fit.
9. Milk bottles as glasses.
10. Old-school kitchen radio with fantastic sound.
11. One of my favorite hand soaps in a great, beachy scent.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Herbed Creme Fraiche


Salmon is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite fish. I eat it smoked on a bagel, slathered with homemade sriracha and roasted, seared in golden olive oil, and wrapped snugly in a heavy-duty foil packet with a smattering of herbs and veggies and thrown into the oven. And if you stumble upon the good stuff--salmon that is fresh and fatty and in-season, it doesn't really matter what you do to it, it will taste like butter and please the toughest dinner crowds imaginable.

You'll want to shop for wild salmon because the wild stuff > farmed, every single time. Unfortunately, unless you live in Alaska or the Northwest, where fresh salmon will apparently jump out of the waters and into your bare, eagerly waiting hands, salmon is only in season from mid-to-late summer. Fortunately, that time is now, so carpe diem, and all that, because come fall, you'll be staring glumly at a glass case full of pale, farmed salmon serving as your only sad options. And you don't even want to think about the toxic, unsanitary conditions those poor little guys are raised in, believe me.

But back to happier times! Summer! Yay. Here is a new favorite way to utilize one of the best jewels of the season. This preparation takes a decidedly Nordic bent, and uses the brightness of fresh herbs mixed with a dab of creamy creme fraiche to season the fish, and pairs the whole thing with tender young potatoes. So good.

Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Herbed Creme Fraiche
Ingredients:
Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs small, waxy potatoes, scrubbed
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salmon and Assembly
1 1 1/2 lb piece of wild salmon, skin on
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, dill, and/or tarragon, plus tarragon and dill sprigs for serving

Directions:
Potatoes
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by 1"; season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15-20 minutes; drain and pat dry. Let cool slightly, halve potatoes and toss with oil; season with salt.

Salmon and Assembly
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place salmon, skin side down, on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet; rub with 1 Tbsp. oil and season with salt. Roast until medium-rare (mostly opaque but still slightly translucent in the center), 10-15 minutes. Break up salmon into pieces, removing skin if desired.

Whisk creme fraiche and chopped herbs in a small bowl; season with salt.

Spread herbed creme fraiche on plates and top with salmon, potatoes, and tarragon and dill sprigs; drizzle with oil.