Monday, July 16, 2012

Cream Cheese Pinwheels: Yes You Canape!

Normally, gentle reader, I feel a bit ripped off when a food magazine/blog or TV chef offers up a “recipe” that is in essence a glorified sandwich in disguise (*darts sidelong glance in Rachael Ray’s direction*). But did we mention the thing of how it’s, like, 105 degrees in Brooklyn right now? So I’m sharing what-passes-for-a-recipe for the light and refreshing lunches I've been making myself recently. This cream cheese pinwheel is a take on the kind of canapé a 1950s suburban hostess might serve at a Tupperware and/or cocktail party.

This works great to pack for lunch a night in advance, since the cream cheese acts as a buffer to keep the wrap from getting soggy (as regular readers may recall, non-soggy sandwich preparation techniques are a bit of an obsession of mine). You can pack the segments in a plastic take-out container so they look like a cute little suburban-America version of a sushi bento box, and they’re easy to eat at your desk without getting your keyboard too disgusting (also a recurring struggle of mine).

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chilled-Out Cucumber-Asparagus Salad

This, gentle reader, is the time of year when Brooklyn girls without central A/C or outdoor spaces with grills do not want anything to do with cooking. Thus it happens that I have not set foot in my kitchen (other than to get a cold beer out of the fridge, of course) in, oh, three weeks? However, I managed to prepare a light summer meal tonight without actually turning on the oven, and induced only a minimal amount of brow perspiration.

The entrée consisted of pan-grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts (an extremely rare choice for me, as BSCB tend to get dried out easily and lack flavor) that I had pounded flat(-ish) in a Ziploc bag along with garlic cloves, and then marinated overnight in said bag, with a coating of olive oil flavored with salt, paprika, and said garlic cloves. Fairly ho-hum, right? That’s why this post is focused on the side dish, a super-easy cucumber-asparagus salad—chill to make, in both senses of the word—which would not-so-coincidentally be cheap and easy to multiply and bring to a 4th of July cookout/picnic/barbecue. (And yes, gentle reader, I actually prepared a dinner that did not contain carbs…it’s that hot!)

So, here's how this works.

I made something weird!

Hello readers!
So it's hot out. It's so hot that it seems ridiculous to call it hot. It's... Heht. So it's not really cooking weather I get it. It's "if I have to cook I don't want to heat up the kitchen, so let's fire up the grill" heht. Which is why it was so strange that tonight, in the heat, I felt like throwing something together that would require the stove top. And, like I said in the title of this post, I made something weird. I'm going to call it potato leek pasta, and you can just suspend your disbelief while I take you through it, because it came out pretty good!