11/15/16 11:48am
You'll want to add at least one of these to your most-used cookbooks shelf.

You’ll want to add at least one of these to your most-used cookbooks shelf.

The holidays are upon us. We’ve already started spotting Friendsgiving photos on Instagram and Facebook and Thanksgiving is next week. Whether you’re looking for a dish to wow your family with, planning a dinner party, or just storing away recipes for the January hibernation, you’ll find something wonderful in one of these new cookbooks.

Dinner at the Long Table, by Andrew Tarlow and Anna Dunn

No restaurateur has shaped the Brooklyn dining scene quite like Andrew Tarlow. When he opened Diner on New Year’s Eve 1998, on a stretch of Broadway in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, it was one of the only places to eat in the area. The restaurant quickly became a neighborhood anchor, and the restaurants he’s opened since then have all served a similar purpose: to bring people together over food.

Dinner at the Long Table is (unsurprisingly) concerned with that same idea. The recipes in the cookbook, co-written with Anna Dunn, are collected into meals for different occasions. This is not a book organized by season or course. Instead, the celebration (with food as the star!) takes center stage–lunch for eight, a birthday dinner for 15, a Harvest Moon supper.

The recipes are wild: not in that they are untameable, but rather they feature the seasonal ingredients you’ve come to associate with the new Brooklyn cuisine: beets, tomatoes, fennel and herbs appear frequently. There is a Mediterranean streak running through it, too, with plenty of tapenade and green gazpacho. (more…)

01/12/16 1:42pm
Uzbek dumplings called barak were among several dishes we prepared during the five-hour class. Photo: Tom Mylan

Uzbek dumplings called barak were among several dishes we prepared during the five-hour class. Photo: Tom Mylan

I’ll admit that I was considering beginning this story with a vignette of a kindly and gracious Uzbek woman reading my fortune over a cup of tea,  amid a lavish feast of exotic foods from a part of the world I had scarcely thought about since my junior high geography class. But it seemed too smug, too quaint. I had a sudden vision in my mind of the ghost of Edward Said glaring at me with a stern face while quietly drumming his fingers on my dogeared copy of his landmark 1978 work Orientalism while a short French cigarette smoldered from his other clenched fist. I just couldn’t.

Let’s start over, shall we?

Let’s start over by rethinking what a cooking class can be. Let’s replace charmless stainless steel teaching kitchens with lived-in apartments in the outer boroughs, studded with family photos. Let’s replace culinary school graduates with an army of wives and grandmothers from parts of the world with deep food traditions that span centuries, if not millennia. Let’s replace dogma and exacting technique with care, love and generosity. (more…)

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09/29/15 11:19am
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The pepita brittle topping really makes Red Velvets pumpkin cake. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

I’ll admit to reacting with a fair amount of skepticism when I first heard about Red Velvet NYC. It’s a dessert-kit delivery service, like Blue Apron (or Plated or Kettlebell Kitchen or Purple Carrot–you get the idea), but for sweets rather than dinner. I just couldn’t see why there needed to be something in between Duncan Hines and homemade, and what else we could possibly need delivered to or picked up from our homes.

After whipping up the best pumpkin cake (really, one of the best cakes period, I’ve ever made), as well as a lovely lemon tart, I realized two things: Red Velvet desserts fall somewhere between homemade and something you would buy at the fancy bakery down the street, and yes, you want them, especially if you like to bake but aren’t especially confident in your skills, or if you’re just strapped for time.

I was especially skeptical about the pumpkin cake–I mean it’s cake, with cream cheese frosting, that’s pretty easy (more…)

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01/08/14 11:00am

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Wanna learn how to fence? Cook an authentic Indian curry? Throw a pot? Use Photoshop? Build a website? There are classes teaching all these skills, and thousands more, for the taking in New York City. This January, we say ditch the resolutions and instead spend your quiet winter months learning to do something new. To that end, we’ve teamed up with PureWow, Gothamist and CourseHorse to give one lucky reader $1,000 to spend on classes–that could mean one master class or a bunch of cool new experiences for you and a friend. It’s up to you.

The $1,000 is good for any of the 37,000 classes listed on CourseHorse, one of the best resources in the city for people who like to learn new things. There’s such a wide range of classes available, including workouts like spinning and yoga; professional and personal development like storytelling, meditation and public speaking; cooking classes spanning the cuisines of the globe, plus cheese and wine courses; languages classes galore; and art and craft classes ranging from architectural theory to digital design tools to introductory knitting and crocheting. In short, unless you already know how to do everything, there’s a class, or three, for you on CourseHorse.

When you enter to win, you’ll have the chance to sign up for two of our absolute favorite emails. Gothamist sends out a daily rundown of all the top news around New York City, and PureWow is always turning us on to some new service or strategy that makes life better. Pretty much every app we actually use was downloaded at PureWow’s suggestion, and we’re pretty sure that their new weekly money email is going to change our financial lives. So enter now and get ready to add underwater basket weaver to your already impressive resume.

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.

06/13/13 2:28pm


Chitra Agrawal, cook, writer, BB contributor and author of the excellent South Asian cooking blog, The ABCD’s of Cooking, has been sharing a few of her favorite recipes with us. “Raita is one of my favorite foods and I love how it is so versatile,” she writes about this recipe for radish raita. “You can make it with many vegetables–cucumber, tomato, potato, onion, but I feel that this raita is one I come back to over and over again. I also eat it in a variety of ways–as a side to a curry and roti, mixed in with rice, or just by itself.”  Sounds delicious for the steamy months ahead. The full recipe with detailed instructions is posted on her blog, or check out the recipes for South Indian carrot salad or yellow peanut rice she’s shared with us as well.