— Tips —
Below are some of my favorite resources and recommendations for recipes, wines (vignerons and importers), and general tips to maintaining a mostly fancy lifestyle! Cheers!
my Favorite Cookbooks
French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson - This cookbook will make you gain a million pounds just scanning the recipes. It’s indulgent, yes but also the bulk of the recipes are really easy to execute. A few recipes call for some specialty ingredients that you won’t necessarily find at your average grocery store (chestnut flour, foie gras, Porcini mushrooms) but the internet makes a lot of things easy to find and follow your instincts and make substitutions when needed or desired. Recipes of note: Croque Madame; Chestnut Bread; Quail Stuffed with Foie Gras; and Poulet Chasseur. The pictures in this book are stunning and you feel like you are right there in a Chateau in Bordeaux.
Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One by Anita Lo - Not only a useful cookbook if you’re looking to cook for just yourself or for two (recipes are easily doubled) but it’s also a good read and a guide on how not to waste food, several recipes tell you how to use leftover ingredients (ie. if a recipe calls for just egg yolks, she lets you know how to not waste those egg whites in another recipe). Recipes of note: Pineapple Cinnamon Drink; Tofu Salad; Barbecued Shrimp; and ‘Singapore’ Noodles with Shrimp.
Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden - This cookbook is loaded with tips on cooking seasonally. It’s veggie-forward but does have meat in the mix. I adore the approach of cooking what is in season, it’s a very smart and satisfying way to cook and eat. Let’s face it, tomatoes in January are no one’s friend. This is also a great reference for new ideas to prepare humble veggies and to discover new veggies and herbs that you’ll find at Farmer’s Markets. Recipes of note: Artichoke and Farro Salad with Salami and Herbs; Pan-Roasted Carrots with Carrot-top Salsa Verde, Avocado, and Seared Squid; Lemon Cucumbers with Onion, Papalo, and Lots of Herbs; Farro and Roasted Carrot Salad with Apricots, Pistachios, and Whipped Ricotta; Kale Sauce with Any Noodle; and Onion and Pancetta Tart.
My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl - I read this cookbook front to back in one day. The story is a captivating one, after the shutdown of Gourmet magazine, Ruth Reichl who was Editor and Chief had a lot of self reflection. Her recipes have a ‘cook to cure what ails you’ vibe, not only physically but certainly mentally. I relate to this, as cooking in my kitchen is like a sort of therapy and the recipes in this book are all soothing somehow. Recipes of note: Shirred Eggs with Potato Puree; Anchovy Bread; Fresh Apricot Jam; and Real Fried Chicken.
All About Braising by Molly Stevens - This is a book of comfort. Molly Stevens recipes are easy to follow, produce consistent results and she includes advice on shopping for ingredients. In Vermont, you need comfort food for 8 of the 12 months when it’s either cold, wet, and often, both. Also Molly (a woman after my own heart) includes many wine pairing suggestions. Recipes of note: Fennel Braised with Thyme & Black Olives; Braised Celery with Crunchy Bread Crumb Topping; Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives & Preserved Lemons; Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale with Maple-Rosemary Glaze; and Sausages & Plums Braised in Red Wine.
Wines to love
You’d be hard-pressed to find a style of wine that I don’t enjoy but I certainly have some favorites. As I’ve tasted more and more wines, met winemakers, importers, and distributors I can now identify those who present the best quality, value, and taste. To be blunt, my average grocery store just doesn’t have the kind of wines I’m looking for (most of the time), instead it’s worth going to boutique wine shops where not only is the selection more exciting, but there are people to help guide you. Life is too short to drink shitty wine, so don’t. Below are a few of my go-to wineries, winemakers, and importers*, seek them out, they are worth it.
Onward Wines (winemaker Faith Armstrong), Birichino, Broc Cellars (winemaker Chris Brockway), Failla Wines (winemaker Ehren Jordan), Neyers Vineyards, Lieu Dit, Railsback Freres, Vallin, and Forlorn Hope (winemaker Matthew Rorick), Day Wines (winemaker Brianne Day), Inconnu (winemaker Laura Brennan), Iapetus (winemaker Ethan Joseph), Kivelstadt Cellars (winemaker Sam Baron).
Clos Ste Magdeleine (Provence), Domaine Tempier (Provence), Domaine Champalou (Loire), Chateau D’Epire (Loire), Domaine Pepiere (Loire), Catherine & Pierre Breton (Loire), Daniel Chotard (Loire), Domaine du Closel (Loire), Paul Bara (Champagne), J. Lassalle (Champagne), Moncuit (Champagne), Domaine de Cherisey (Burgundy), Domaine Robert Denogent (Burgundy), Domaine Pierre Guillemot (Burgundy), Jean Manciat (Burgundy), Jean Foillard (Beaujolais), Domaine des Terres Dorees (Beaujolais), Chateau Thivin (Beaujolais), Lionel Faury (N. Rhone), Domaine Monier (N. Rhone), Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux (S. Rhone), Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe (S. Rhone)
A. & G. Fantino (Piedmont), Cascina degli Ulivi (Piedmont), Azienda Agricola Ioppa (Piedmont), Villa di Geggiano (Tuscany), Sesti (Tuscany), Montesecondo (Tuscany), Arianna Occhipinit (Sicily), Vino Lauria (Sicily), Tenuta delle Terre Nere (Sicily)
Petroni, Abbatucci, Clos Canarelli, Yves Leccia, Marquiliani
*Importers to seek out… Turn the bottle over. You can learn a lot by looking at the back of the bottle of wine. And use the internet! Many importer websites give you great info about producers, how the wines are made, and the story behind the wineries and winemakers.
Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants, Louis Dressner Selections, Grand Cru Selections, PortoVino, Massanois, Jose Pastor, De Maison, The Sorting Table, Selection Naturel, Rare Wine Co., Rosenthal Wine Merchants, David Bowler.