Article

Roasted Poblano, Sweet Corn, Black Bean and Cheese Tamales

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Illustration: Tram Nguyen

 

I have a tendency to overcomplicate things. For a casual basketball-viewing party, I might throw together a simple vegetarian chili to feed the crowd. And of course, I would need something to go with that chili, so I’d decide to make cornbread. But not just any old cornbread. I would want to bake the most authentic, delicious, pedigreed cornbread recipe known to man—something to impress my friends (who, to their credit, couldn’t care less about such things). But then there’s the problem with tracking down an “authentic” recipe. My people are from Southeast Asia, and my experience with American quickbreads growing up was mostly limited to those paradoxically greasy-yet-stale pucks they call biscuits at Popeye’s. When you’re trying to recreate food that you have no history with, it can seem like an almost insurmountable task.

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Article

Turmeric Tonic

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Illustration: Tram Nguyen

 

Everyone is sick right now. This is a thing I have heard about before—the winter-to-spring transitional bug. Each year around this time, people talk about how “something is going around,” and that something is basically a cold or flu that is mysteriously related to the changing of the seasons. In the past, I cackled privately about this obviously fake phenomenon, because, as I like to brag about to people (because I am an asshole), “I just don’t get sick that often.” Read more

Article

Healthy-ish Granola Bars to Eat in the Future

Illustration: Tram Nguyen

 

Lately I have frequently found myself wide awake at 6 a.m., tired but unable to fall back asleep, frantically googling things like “what can a person eat with one hand?????” This is because my body is currently hosting a child and, did you know, it is impossible to sleep when you have a human fetus crushing your internal organsRead more

Article

Chocolate Tahini Shortbread Cookies

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Illustration: Tram Nguyen

 

I try not to post too many cookie recipes on here, because cookie recipes = cookie testing = cookies lying around the house, and frankly I have no willpower in the face of freshly baked cookies. I am not one to deprive myself of treats, but I suspect it is less than healthy to eat a full batch of butter/flour/sugar/chocolate in a single sitting by oneself more than, say, once a month, and recipe testing usually requires making lots of batches of something in relatively short order. Because my version of restraint is by most standards, uh, pretty modest, I do my best to not tempt fate too often.

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Article

Someone Please Tell Me What to do With Preserved Lemons. (Also, a Scofflaw Recipe)

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Illustration: Tram Nguyen

 

There’s a great little Middle Eastern market in my neighborhood where I go to stock up on fresh pita, whole spices, and spinach pies. A few months ago, I threw a jar of preserved lemons and pomegranate molasses in my shopping basket. I’d never used either ingredient, but I had vague Nigella Lawson/kitchen goddess-related aspirations and she uses them a lot in her cooking. I took the lemons and molasses home, envisioning exotically-spiced poultry and complicated tagines in my future. Maybe I’d start referring to eggplant as “aubergine.” Maybe I’d even stop hating eggplant.

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