Tag Archives: Cooking

Ovenless Turkey

A quick post as the beginning of a (hopeful) return to recipes.  To be honest, I was not ovenless this Thanksgiving;  I was in Connecticut at my parents’ house, using their beautifully equipped kitchen.  However, we gave some ovenless turkey a shot to see how it would work out.  How?  Sous-vide. Continue reading


Quickie: Vegetable Gravy

Great for an afternoon snack (and in no small way facilitated by my current spot — egg restaurant in williamsburg, bk) this veg. gravy is a good way to get you from a small breakfast to a late dinner.

We took whatever vegetables we had in the fridge, which included some leek, mushrooms, carrots, brussels sprouts, a little sundried tomato and spinach, and sauteed them together in a nice knob of butter.  When the veg got some color, we added about a tablespoon of flour and got it all incorporated, letting it sit on the heat for a minute, then pouring in a cup or so of milk.  We seasoned it with salt, a bunch of black pepper, and a little sriracha.  Let the pan sit on medium-high heat for a few minutes for the milk to reduce and thicken with the flour until you’ve got some tasty gravy.  We had a couple biscuits from the restaurant, you can find yours anywhere.


Biscuits and Gravy

Sauce: Pork Ragu

It’s been over a week since this recipe actually happened, and almost a week since we’ve posted anything here, so hopefully I can remember it in enough detail to make it work again.  I stopped at Los Paisanos Meat Market on Smith St. to take a look around and pick up a sausage for lunch (their lamb sausage on a roll with Newpond Farm cheese and red onions was delicious).  While I was there, I saw some cheap pork shoulder ($3.50 a pound, I believe) just asking to be braised, so I picked up a couple pounds and planned to make some pasta sauce.

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Meal: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

So when you’re legitimately uncomfortable walking around outside, in the middle of the day, without a light jacket or sweatshirt, it’s time to give it up:  fall is here.

A few days ago I stopped by Holbrook Farm in CT (I know we keep mentioning them; don’t worry, we’ll pass on a bit more info soon) and was lucky enough to grab a bag of their first Brussels sprouts of the season.  Though the first frost hadn’t hit yet (which always makes the sprouts sweeter) I was craving them.  I knew I’d sear them with cranberries, as I learned from John Holzwarth at The Dressing Room, but not quite sure if that would be all, or what I’d end up pairing them with.

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Meal: Striped Bass w/ Fennel

Your anxious awaiting slams to a halt: recipe number one from the Ovenless crew has arrived.

I was in the mood for fish on Friday afternoon, a clear day I spent working around the house and walking around the ‘hood.  Continue reading

The Importance of: Common Sense

One of my favorite cookbooks is the Bouchon cookbook by Thomas Keller.  Bouchon is a bistro-style restaurant out in Cali, but, as all things Keller, probably the best bistro you’ll ever go to.

He has short sections throughout the book called “The Importance of”, such as “The Importance of the Vinaigrette” or “The Importance of Onion Soup”, which delve into the mindset behind such things, rather than the step-by-step way to make them.

I’ve found that I love cookbooks, but I hate recipe books.  Those giant tomes (I’m sure there are small ones to) that do little but list ingredients and method and let the reader be.  I’d much rather pick up a cookbook and feel as if I’m being engaged by an author and a cook, instead of flipping to the index, finding a recipe, and going straight to the stove.  I like to sit for a minute, do some page-turning, and, when I strike something that sounds good, get up and start chopping.

For those of you who prefer the standardized-test version of recipes, we’ll post them here.  To start.  And, even then, maybe not really.  We may not measure in grams or quarter-teaspoons.  We may forget to mention a step here, or go off on tangents about variations, or music, or something we heard on the television while making dinner (by the way:  Obama peace prize…wow).

Cooking is not done with your eyes on a page, but with your eyes on a stove, your nose in a pot, and your tongue always the littlest bit burnt.  Read the recipe, and certainly glance back at it two or three times while you’re prepping or to double-check the ingredients, but use your mind as well.  Remember meals you’ve had, flavors you’ve tried separately but always thought might go well together.  It’s like learning to play an instrument, first working off a sheet, then being able to piece together on your own some songs you’ve learned in the past.

The Premise

So in the next couple of weeks we’ll really get going with recipes and ideas on the site.  At the moment, I’m scrambling to finish a Fulbright application, and Rachel is busy as ever at the studio and with her music  (keep your eyes out, by the way).

In case you’re not entirely clear on the premise here:

1) We live in Brooklyn.

2) We do not have an oven.

3) We might as well call the site Moneyless Brooklyn.

So the dishes we’ll be putting up here are going to be, aside from delicious, generally things you can make on a budget, though there’s sure to be the occasional splurge.  For example, we’re going to do something with fresh duck, since a couple of friends of mine, Lynn and John Holbrook at Holbrook Farm in Bethel, CT have been getting some great duck, capons, and chickens in at their farm recently.  And with Fall upon us, I’m craving some root vegetables and pink, succulent duck breasts.  Maybe some ragu made with the braised legs.

Since we officially began this thing, there hasn’t been much kitchen excitement, but sometimes the most straightforward meals are the best.  I made a burger last night, nothing special, but the bread was from Mazzolo’s on Henry and Union, which has some of the best Italian pastries and breads in the neighborhood.  There’s also, on a side note, a great cafe called Marius on the corner across the street.  According to the barista, the cafe has been there for a minute, but ownership just recently changed, and they’re doing a good job.  Free wi-fi, some coffee and bagels…all you really need.

On Wednesday I was craving that duck, since I’d had a chat with Lynn and John earlier in the day when I stopped back in Connecticut (side note: apple picking in Bethel tomorrow…can’t wait).  So on the way home I stopped at Trader Joe’s on Atlantic and picked up the closest thing to it:  chicken thighs.  They get a bad rep for being cheap and somewhat fatty, but that’s what I was looking for.  I think it cost me just over 7 bucks for the thighs and piece of butternut squash ($16 if you count the six-pack of Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale I grabbed while on line).  I’ll do a separate post with the ‘recipe’, but combined with some sopressata we had in the fridge, a little rosemary and sage, and some potatoes and turnips I had picked up from Holbrook that morning ($4? Maybe?), we had a pretty serious eat.

Note: Must give credit to the potato hash and eggs that gave me the strength for this post.

2nd Note:  Sriracha in hash browns.  Done.  (Credit to Rachel)