Category: cooking

Vegan Lobster Rolls

So I was in Union Market the other day and saw some lobster mushrooms for sale. These odd looking fungi are mottled orange and very firm, and smell strongly of seafood. I picked some up, as I am wont to do with items I’ve never used before. I sent out a call for help on twitter, asking what i should do with the mushrooms, but did not receive a single reply. It’s okay though, I decided I would try to make lobster rolls with them, and realized it would be fairly easy to make them vegan. So here’s what I did.

I sliced the mushrooms into thin strips, and browned them in some olive oil with some salt. As they were browning I mixed some Vegenaise (a vegan mayo alternative) with some fresh lemon juice and some chopped scallion greens. I removed the browned mushrooms directly into the “mayo” and mixed thoroughly.

Lobster rolls are traditionally served on split-top hot dog buns, but those usually contain dairy. Instead I bought a loaf of simple yeast bread and created my own split-top roll. I loaded the mushrooms into the split and garnished with some more chopped scallions.

The aroma of the lobster mushrooms made me fear that they would have a strong seafood flavor, but they actually had a great, earthy mushrooms flavor. I also made a vegetarian version, in which I browned the mushrooms in butter, but I actually preferred the vegan version.

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What To Do With: Tomato?

Tomato & egg over rice

Summer maybe over but there are still loads of tomatoes to be eaten. Here are some of our favorite ways to cook and eat tomatoes.

Tomato and egg over rice, a total comfort food meal.

A quick and easy tomato sauce. Howard used canned tomatoes but fresh tomatoes should work just fine.

And once you got your tomato sauce down, you can totally add other ingredients to it. For the tomato and capers with linguine, I used tomato paste but go ahead and substitute it with your freshly made tomato sauce.

Howard cooks tomato and linguine his way.

How about a tomato gratin dish?

Tomato, eggplant and smoked mozzarella make a great side dish.

And for the adventurous people, freeze your tomatoes and grate them over everything!

“Dirt Candy: A Cookbook” Reviewed


All art by Ryan Dunlavey

Although I’ve only eaten at Dirt Candy twice, I feel a real affection for the restaurant. I fell in love with their stone ground grits on my first visit, and I have kept up with all of the doings related to the restaurant. After we wrote about the restaurant in 2009 we got an email from Chef/Owner Amanda Cohen, and we wrote back and forth a few times. All these years later I got an email from Cohen asking if I wanted an advance copy of their new cookbook, due out this week from Clarkson Potter. I knew the cookbook was coming, and I knew that it was in graphic novel form with art by Ryan Dunlavey (illustrator of The Comic Book History of Comics and others), and of course I gratefully accepted my free advance copy.

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Grilling on Fire Island

Reader, you are looking at the best meal I’ve eaten all year. I’ve said before that the company you keep while eating makes a big difference, and the atmosphere does as well. A few weekends ago my friends Jeff & Eva invited me out to join them at their summer rental on Fire Island. I had never been there before, and was not prepared for how quiet, isolated, and relaxing the day was. I had picked up some eggplant and some summer squash from the farmer’s market on the way out there, and we grilled them up with some olive oil and sea salt for lunch.

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The Best Way To Cook Mushrooms

A lot of people tell me that they don’t like mushrooms, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they just haven’t had them cooked properly. Its true, sometimes mushrooms can turn out slimy (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but cooking them so that they are deliciously crunchy and chewy is actually really easy. All it takes is some patience. I picked up some beautiful mushrooms while in Brighton Beach the other day, and I’ll show you just how easy it is.

Find out after the jump…

Easy, One Pot, No-Fry Eggplant Parmigiana

I brought home a couple of beautiful eggplants from the Greenmarket the other day, and although I usually fry them, this time I immediately decided to cook them in the oven. I discovered how easy it was to make a no-fry, eggplant parmigiana in one pot, in less than 45 minutes. You just need five ingredients, so they’d better be high quality. I used my cast iron pan, but you can use any oven-safe pot.

Find the full recipe after the jump…

30 Second Vinaigrette

30 Second Vinaigrette from Eat to Blog on Vimeo.

There are certain foods that you should never have to buy; one of them is salad dressing. I know that the term “vinaigrette” may sound intimidating, but it’s easy to put one together in 30 seconds using ingredients you (should) already have in your pantry. All you need is vinegar, mustard, salt, and oil, plus a container with a tight lid.

You are probably thinking to yourself, “Where are the measurements?” The beautiful thing about this is that you don’t need to be precise at all. Depending on how much dressing you need you can make more or less, using rough approximations of amounts. A traditional vinaigrette uses a ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar, but as you can see in the video above I didn’t worry too much about that.

For the record, I used red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, kosher salt, and olive oil. Once you know the technique you can customize the vinaigrette however you’d like. Try using lemon juice instead of vinegar. Add some finely chopped herbs. There’s no limit to what you can do.

The video was shot by Donny and features a cameo appearance by our friend Louie. Enjoy!