Sugar Tulies from the Kennedy Kitchen

kennedy-kitchen

The death of Senator Edward Kennedy was terrible news to wake up to, wasn’t it ESers? And while I don’t know much about Sen. Kennedy’s personal kitchen habits, I do hope to glean some information from the Kennedy clan original matriarch’s personal chef Neil Connolly.

In the Kennedy Kitchen is Connolly’s tribute to this most influential and iconic American family.  Rose Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s mom, hosted many a large family gathering in her time with the help of her—by all accounts—superlative chef Neil Connolly.  In honor of the family he served for so long, Neil Connolly’s book is filled with photos, memories and recipes.

Amazon.com Review
The famed compound at Hyannisport was the Kennedy family’s favorite place to relax, and Rose Kennedy’s kitchen was the central gathering place. Everyone—including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, JFK Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver, and Arnold Schwarzenegger—came wandering in the back door to visit Rose. Her chef, Neil Connolly, always made sure there was lobster salad, potato salad, and a platter of roast chicken in the fridge, and in this book, he brings these and other favorites to your home. Included in this cookbook are Kennedy family photos and anecdotes collected personally by Neil.

Here he shares an exclusive recipe from the Kennedy kitchen with us:

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Perfect Pattypans

chickpea-pesto

Hey ESers, did you miss me? I missed you!  I’m afraid I’ve been gallivanting about for about a month and I have severely neglected ES in the meantime (and cooking in general).  I’ve been back for a week, and I must admit that my brain is a bit rusty and my cooking thus far has been less than inspired.  Does that ever happen to you all after a long time away from your kitchen?

I mean I was missing my kitchen the entire time I was gone, but my cooking muses seem to have expired during my brief journey, leaving me with only enough energy to cook a few stir-fries and throw together some salads.  Ugh….  Cookers’ block.

However, lucky readers, before I left for travels, I was struck by no such affliction.  In fact, just before I left I hosted a dinner party for which I pulled out all the stops. With my favorite summer ingredient at the ready  I made my most delicious  and complex pattypan dish yet:  Chickpea and Pesto Stuffed Pattypans:

stuffed pattypan with chickpeas topped with pesto

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Return of the Pattypan

pattypan

There she was… gleaming and yellow in the morning sun, delicately curved, coyly beckoning at the bottom of the squash crate…. Who could resist her?  The rest of the farmers’ market bounty blurred around her scalloped edge. I was completely enchanted. In a word: transfixed.

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Paul and Yoko Break the Ice — Over Food

Yoko Ono and huzband

Press people the world over are in quite a lather about the historic reconciliation of Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono.  The two frenemies were brought to the bargaining table around (what else?) food.

article400_meatfree_yoko_ap-420x0

Yoko and PaulMac reunited just to plug the Meat Free Mondays global campaign. Okay fine, they probably reconciled eons ago; I don’t really follow the Yoko v. Beatles feud, I just know I’m on her side. I personally have always loved the eccentric, feisty, ethereal Yoko more than John Lennon’s band members.  If she can stomach PaulMac to join him in promoting the idea of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by reducing our consumption of domesticated critters, then more power to her.

Paul and Yoko’s idea is to slowly pull the meat-eaters of the world into the land of vegetarianism by urging people to go meat-free one day a week.  The Meat Free Mondays site is chock full of recipes I need to try (as if I can follow a recipe…), food porn, and (oh yeah) information about the effect of excessive meat-eating on the environment. Like PETA, MFM also tries to lure us into vegetarianism with a list of celebs who don’t dig on flesh (Judi Dench, who knew?)

What do you think, ESers? Are you carnivores willing to give up one day of meat to save the planet from extinction? And what about you hard-line veggies? Are Paul and Yoko sell-outs for telling eaters they can just give up meat once a week instead of going the full monty? And yea or nay on Yoko’s hat?

(Pics: Frank Barratt/Getty Images via Black is the New Black and Sydney Morning Herald)

What’s the Deal with Eggs?

Is the Verdict STILL out on eggs?
Is the Verdict STILL out on eggs?

Have you all noticed the recent trend of medical professionals/nutritional scientists overturning the findings of other medical professionals/nutritional scientists? It’s kinda driving me batty. For instance, a few years back “they” all encouraged us to drink a glass of wine a day to ward off heart disease and obesity and to increase our longevity, but now “they” say as little as a glass of wine a day can lead to certain cancers in women. Granted, neither study influenced my wine intake one way or another, but I get peeved when “they” give me such a good justification for my propensity to sip a glass of Pinot with dinner only to yank away my pro-wine-imbibing talking-point willy-nilly, without the least consideration for my feelings on the matter (or the havoc that this news might wreak on my ability to persuade my tea-totaling family members to join me in a toast).

But the wine thing isn’t the controversy I want to hash out with ESers.  My concern stems from the GREAT EGG DEBATE. And where better to discuss eggs than ES?

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We Can Have the Mango!

Saturday Night Live – Mango: Garth Brooks

Just like Garth Brooks, Romeo can’t have the Mango.  He used to be able to consume the divinely delicious fruit to his heart’s delight, but he OD’ed on mango during a tropical hiking trip some years back (in which at every pit stop he picked mangoes from low-hanging branches, peeled and devoured them.)  Legend has it that on that journey Romeo ate a full 15 mangoes in the space of 12 hours.  Romeo’s lovely face swelled up to twice its original size, he ran a dangerously high fever, and he developed painful blisters inside his mouth.  Some thought it was an allergic reaction to the mango.  Others suspected Romeo was the victim of a chupacabra or a voodoo curse.

Unfortunately, it was the Mango. Romeo has tried mango and mango products since and always suffers similarly grotesque results (never quite as bad as the first time).  Out of deference to Romeo’s sensitivity I do not partake in mangoes around him (I even forgo that nectar-of-the-gods commonly known as the mango lassi in subcontinental restaurants when we dine together) and I restrain myself from preparing dishes featuring mangoes in our kitchen.  Ah, the sacrifices we make for love.

But when I was invited to an island-themed potluck recently, on a night when Romeo was otherwise occupied, I couldn’t resist the temptation of the mango.  I CAN have the Mango damnit, and so can you! Sorry Romeo ?! (And sorry Liza, I know how much you hate it when a fruit is the MVI of a dish.)

mango-salsa-1

The easy, delicious,  and refreshing mango salsa recipe for the rest of us after the jump….

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Is Organic Always Good?

organic market

We all know Gansie is a huge proponent of farmer’s market/local produce, and that the nation’s First Lady has recently been a prominent supporter of vegetable garden fun. A lot of my friends belong to this CSA or that CSA. And everyone I know seems to be buying or farming organic these days. Organic is one of those words that often gets bandied about in the local-foodie/farmer’s-markety circles. I was reminded of this fact when ES fan and new ES commenter NeeNee, who also happens to be one of my best friends from undergrad, recently reported to me:

I’m getting my green thumb on. I’ve had a severe problem at garden stores this spring, but we hope to be totally overflowing with veggies this summer. However, good plants grow in good dirt, and our dirt is friggin terrible. It has no organic matter, and we can’t possibly make enough compost to make it good. I’m ashamed to say that I’m not a very organic farmer….

Sorry, NeeNee, I didn’t ask for your permission before I broadcasted your addiction to gardening to the whole world via the interwebs! But as I was saying, I recently read this Huffington Post article on organic farming, Organic vs. Conventional: Have you been robbed?, that led me to question whether organic is really all that good. Now I’m not sure that NeeNee has all that much to be ashamed of. The author of the afore mentioned article,Makenna Goodman, a sustainable-living blogger and free-range egg farmer from Vermont, describes the reason she chose not to farm organic eggs, but instead opts for feeding the chickens cheaper grain and letting them roam free on her bucolic Vermont farm. Makenna argues:

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