Pretty Darned Near Absolutely Perfect Bagels
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
1M ago
One of the challenges with making bread is that I want to bake more bread than my husband and I can eat. At best, it takes us a week to get through a loaf, slicing, freezing, thawing and toasting our slices one by one. When the sliced bread in the freezer piles up, I make breadcrumbs. Even with that, we still struggle to finish up what’s in the freezer before I want to bake bread again. My reason for not eating as much bread as I make is that I’m always on a diet. This is not the issue for Mr TBTAM, who can eat as much bread as he wants and still weighs the same as he did the day I married hi ..read more
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Za’atar
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
3M ago
I’m excited about this season’s Za’atar, because its almost entirely from foraged or home-grown spices. We picked the sumac along a dirt road in Northern New Hampshire in late June. It was the most luscious, oil-packed, fragrant sumac I’ve ever encountered. (Read about how to find and dry sumac here.) The oregano and thyme hailed from Pennsylvania and New York City, grown in sis Rosemary and friend Paula’s container gardens, as well as my own window box in the mountains. I dried the sumac by laying them it for a couple of weeks on a cooling rack atop a baking sheet, and the other herbs in the ..read more
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A Trio of Mushroom Dishes for a Trio of Mushrooms
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
7M ago
If you’re ever in the Lake Winnipesaukee area, as we were last month visiting family, stop in at the New Hampshire Mushroom Company in Tamworth. If you’re lucky, the mushroom-growing rooms will be open to the public when you visit. Unfortunately, most of the crew was out giving a mushroom foraging tour the day we visited, so no back room tour for us. Nonetheless, we still managed to score a HUGE box of gorgeous shrooms – Lion’s Mane, Chestnut and Blue Oyster. I was a bit worried we’d never manage to use them all, but my fears were ungrounded, as we had several occasions the following week to ..read more
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Banana Bread (with Chocolate Bits)
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
8M ago
I’m generally not a fan of bananas eaten anything other than in vivo, ie., peeled and popped into the mouth, fresh but not too ripe. I don’t like them in ice cream, oatmeal, cereal, cakes or even in fruit salads. Certain foods, in my opinion, just need to be enjoyed one-on-one, you know? But last week, in my mother-in-law’s kitchen, a few over-ripe bananas were calling out not to be wasted, so my daughter and I decided to make banana bread. I figured that since others were there with us that evening, I would be under no obligation to eat the thing I was making, and my daughter and I would hav ..read more
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Ode to a Smoked Trout Lyonnaise
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
11M ago
Moving to Philly and being retired means I get to visit Valley Green as often as I want. So, last week I met Susan for lunch at Brunos and a post-prandial walk along Forbidden Drive. There, we encountered a battalion of rubber-booted fisherman standing in the stream and parade of pickups and cars following a small tanker truck along the path. Yes folks, it was trout-stocking day on the Wissahickon. Which got me remembering the time Lou caught some gorgeous trout in the Loyalsock River, which we brined and smoked on the Weber in the back yard at our cottage. Gotta’ get Lou back up to the moun ..read more
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Late Winter Poem
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
1y ago
Foretelling If you skirt shadowed sidewalks and keep to the sun, You will think that the worst of the winter has passed. Breezes with warm tones of spring days to come Brush your cheek with a promise that says this will last. At park side, a witch hazel catches your eye With sparkling jewels studding nature's gray weave Its flowers a happy late winter surprise Portending forsythia's bright yellow sleeves. Hold the breeze to her promise, Hold the light to the day, The forsythia blossoms are not long away. Margaret Polaneczky 2/14/2023 Last updated 02/14/23 ..read more
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Chicken with Dried Mushrooms & Tomatoes
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
1y ago
When it comes time to figure out what to make for dinner, I love the internet as much as anyone. I usually head straight to the NY Times Cooking section, or to Epicurious, Saveur or Food 52 for ideas and inspiration. But one weekend this past year, with our Philly travel plans cancelled by an upcoming storm (there is nothing worse than the Jersey turnpike in a thunderstorm with tornado and flood warnings), I had the unexpected luxury of free time on a Saturday morning. Sitting with a cup of coffee, I opened Biba’s Taste of Italy, a cookbook whose spine I had yet to crack in the year since it ..read more
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Roast Cauliflower with Vadouvan Butter
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
1y ago
In the “How did I not know about this before?” category, allow me to introduce you to vadouvan, a delicious Indo-French curry spice mix that will blow your taste buds and your mind. Thanks to bro Joe for turning me on to vadouvan, though the real credit goes to the French colonists in seventeenth century Pundicherry, India who created the spice mix as they blended French and Indian cuisines. Vadouvan is complex and piquant but milder than traditional curry, and a truly exotic treat for your taste buds. Joe learned about Vadouvan from his buddy Mourad, the modern Moroccan chef whose book Moura ..read more
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Gougères
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
1y ago
Gougères. The perfect appetizer for the holidays. So impressive, so fancy, so French. And yet, they are so easy to make. Even better, they can be made ahead and frozen, then simply reheated in the oven when your guests arrive, as they are best served warm. Gougere are simply a savory cream puff. I first learned to make cream puffs in college, when I spent my summers in the dessert kitchen of a sleep away camp in New Hampshire. My boss, whose late husband had been a French-trained chef, brought his recipes into the camp kitchen and ran the place like it was the French Laundry. She taught me ho ..read more
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Moroccan Baked Beans àla Mourad
The Blog That Ate Manhattan
by Margaret Polaneczky, MD
1y ago
In my continued quest to cook as much as possible from my pantry, I honed in on two cans of Great Northern Beans, originally bought to stock our summer cottage larder, but never used. I suspect that they were several years old, and had made the trip up and back from NYC to Pennsylvania at least twice, if not more. (We empty the larder at the cottage when we shut things down for the season.) Canned beans have a shelf life of 2-5 years, so I knew I was on safe ground using them, and I was determined they were not going to be traveling anymore, unless it was to my kitchen table. Also calling to ..read more
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