Author Archives: Heather Platt

When Life Gives You Giant Yellow Cucumbers, Make Pickles: Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers

Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

I absolutely love pickles. Even when I was young, I would beg my mother to buy me a jar of sweet pickles at the grocery store.  They were like crisp tangy candies that I couldn’t wait to get home and crunch between my teeth.  Years later, as a twenty-something living in New York City, I discovered the Japanese versions of my favorite treat. And for many years, I couldn’t eat at a sushi restaurant without ordering a giant plate of Tsukemono to start.

My favorite place to eat Japanese food, however, is not any of the myriad of NYC spots I frequented over my eight years in the Big Apple. It’s my sister’s house in Massachusetts. She and her husband Takeshi have the most impressive artillery of Japanese sauces, vinegars, spices, and seasonings that an ingredient-hungry cook like myself has ever seen. They also, amazingly, are members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). So on a recent visit, when my sister reluctantly pulled out a huge bag of giant yellow cucumbers they had received from their farm-share, I knew just what to make. We served them Miso-Glazed Cod, white rice and an avocado salad and they were delicious!

Enjoy!

Heather

Japanese Pickles. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Nephew and Japanese Pickles. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers served here with Miso-Glazed Cod. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

 

Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers

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Filed under Dinner, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Lunch, Raw, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Best Burgers on a Bun: Turkey Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, Manchego, Avocado and Spicy Aioli

Turkey Cheeseburger. Photo Credit:  Heather Platt

Turkey Cheeseburger. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

I never thought I would be writing about turkey burgers. How boring. I’ve never ordered a turkey burger at a restaurant, or really like them that much.  The idea of a “healthy” version of anything that is normally delicious tends to make me roll my eyes. But on a recent grocery shopping trip, my husband suggested that we ( meaning, I) make them for dinner. Instead of turning my nose up to such a non-traditional burger idea, I saw it as a challenge. How can I make this low-fat concept into something completely mouthwatering and delicious? Homemade aioli, avocado, caramelized onions, bacon and a perfectly ripe California avocado came to mind. Oh, and don’t forget the toasted brioche bun.

Enjoy!

Heather

Turkey Burger. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Turkey Cheeseburger. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

 

Turkey Burger. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Turkey Cheeseburger. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

 

Turkey Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onions, Avocado, Bacon and Spicy  Aioli

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Filed under Dinner, Heather Platt, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Poultry

An Interview with the Cast: The Stars of “The Hundred-Foot Journey” Share Their Favorite Culinary Memories

If you like delicious food, stunning images of France, and a beautiful love story, then you are going to love The Hundred-Foot Journey. The film, which is based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, stars Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon. I recently sat down with these beautiful people to talk about their favorite food memories. I can’t wait to make Helen’s mother’s piroshki, Manish’s rice and dal and Charlotte’s steak tartare for Three More Big Bites!

 

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Filed under Heather Platt, Videos

Breakfast of Champions: Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame

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Easy Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

A few years ago, I had the privilege of contributing to my friend Rebecca Coleman’s extremely popular mom blog,  Cooking with My Kid. I had been Rebecca’s nanny for a stint and when I moved on to work in the restaurant business, she asked me to come back and help her come up with babysitter-friendly recipes. She named me The Savory Sitter, officially. Because, she reasoned, “NO ONE likes an unsavory sitter.” I agreed and we had a lot of fun making homemade pop tarts, ravioli lasagna and pirate ships made of melon and banana. Okay, that last one was her idea, but she gave me credit for it.

The best kind of eggs: farm fresh.  Photo Credit:  Heather Platt

The best kind of eggs: farm fresh. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

My favorite of the Savory Sitter recipes, though, was the Kid Friendly Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame.  I am a huge lover of the classic, French Croque Madame.  But when it came time to make it for Three More Big Bites, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that adorable kid version I’d made for Rebecca. This version is even easier. I forgot putting the ham in the middle and just placed the best kind of bacon, applewood smoked of course, on top of it.  I made it with my favorite bread on earth: the cinnamon raisin loaf from Green Rabbit Naturally Leavened Bread in Waitsfield, Vermont and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from Jasper Hill Cellars in Greensboro, VT. That being said, any delicious bread and good quality cheddar of your choice will do.

Enjoy!

Heather

Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-Hole Croque Madame. Pottery by Barbara Platt's Pottery. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-Hole Croque Madame. Pottery by Barbara Platt’s Pottery. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Heather Platt, Lunch

The End-of-Summer Blues: Classic Blueberry Muffins

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One of my all-time favorite summer activities is berry picking. And my favorite of berries are blueberries.  In August in Vermont, they are plumb and sweet. They are also the most fun to pick because they fall off of the shrubs into your hands in large clusters. My cousins and I, with the help of several enthusiastic teenagers, managed to pick eight pints of blueberries at Knoll Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont in thirty minutes. Which probably means we picked sixteen if you count the ones we popped in our mouths while picking. They are just so irresistible.

By the time we put the giant box of berries in the car, we realized that we had picked more than we would ever be able to eat. We spent the entire car ride home rattling off appetizing blueberry-centric recipe ideas.  Blueberry cheesecake, blue berry jam, blueberry buckle, blueberry cobbler were all in the running to be made that night. But at the end of the day, the classic, simple blueberry muffin won the contest. Sometimes it’s the easiest, simplest of foods that just sound the best. I baked two dozen muffins in the late afternoon and to my delight, half of them had already disappeared before dinner was ready.   “Heather! These muffins taste like fortune cookies and they’re delicious!” My fifteen-year-old cousin Will yelled from the kitchen. I smiled, entirely self-satisfied as I watched the sunset over the green mountains. I love cooking for teenagers.

Enjoy!

Heather

blueberry muffins

 

Even teenagers like to go blueberry picking!

Even teenagers like to go blueberry picking!

 

Molly with Blueberries

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Knoll farm

Knoll farm 2

 

Blueberries. Photo Credit:  Heather Platt

Blueberries. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

blueberries

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Heather Platt, In Season, Summer

Winner Winner Lobster Dinner: Steamed Maine Lobster 101

Steamed Lobster. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Steamed Lobster. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Despite growing up in a land-locked state, I have had the great fortune of having extended family who dwell along the seacoast in southern Maine.  Every childhood visit there involved a trip to the lobster pound to buy a dozen of the live little crustaceans followed by a casual family feast of the delicious delicacies. We sat around a table, excited with white plastic bibs tied around our necks and claw-crackers in hand. The Vermonters at the table would always ask the Mainers to show them how to efficiently extract the meat from the tail, claws, legs and torso. My cousin Ty would explain that her Aunt Wendy always ate the “green stuff” and as kids we would squeal with disgust and fascination. Now, like the legendary Aunt Wendy, I too eat the “green stuff.” This internal part of the lobster, called Tomalley, is actually the liver and pancreas of the animal. So that explains why I find it so flavorful, which it is, FYI. Aunt Wendy is a smart woman. A big bucket in the center of the table served as a sort of basket ball hoop for shells to be tossed after the precious meat had been consumed.

These lobster dinners, which were served with a 1/4 cup of drawn butter for dipping, toasted English muffins, corn on the cob and a fresh garden salad were all I ever knew of eating lobster. For many years I rolled my eyes at over-priced lobster on restaurant menus. In truth because I just couldn’t bear to eat it outside of this nostalgic familial context. And thanks to a recent tutorial from one of my favorite Mainers, I finally learned how to make it.

Enjoy!

Heather

live lobsters. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Live Lobsters. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Classic Steamed Maine Lobster Dinner

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Filed under Dinner, Fall, Fish, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Spring, Summer, Winter

Dinner Party for One: Lonely Girl Chicken with Quick Almond-Cherry Couscous and Parsley Garlic Sauce

 lonelygirl chicken 14Cooking is easy. I believe that anyone can make a delicious meal. Like anything in life, it’s a matter of desire. Clearly, I have no problem committing an entire day to ingredient sourcing, chopping, mincing, searing and slicing. It’s fun for me. I understand that it’s not for everyone. And even I have days when I really wish that a home cooked meal would magically appear on my plate. But even though we all differ in our cooking desires and abilities, one common thread remains; we all need to eat. And as far as I know, we would all prefer what we eat to be delicious.

 

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But why does cooking have to be so polarizing? It seems that people are defined as those who cook and those who don’t. There must be some happy medium, some comfortable place halfway in between slaving over David Chang’s braised pork butt and simply running to the neighborhood ramen restaurant for takeout. My column Perfect Pantry was created to tackle this problem. How to cook when you don’t feel like going to the store. But along with ingredients, we need recipes.

The most challenging of these I-don’t-feel-like-cooking times are the nights alone. We’ve all been there. You are in your kitchen, hungry glancing back and forth from your phone to your fridge. The only thing in your freezer is gin. Because if you’re like me, you’re not a frozen-dinner kind-of-person. Is it worth making a mess if it’s just for me? Is there anything here to make? A steamed pork bun just sounds so good right now…Okay, maybe that’s just me. But recently I was in this position. My husband, a musician, has been on tour for most of the summer. So when my favorite person to cook for is away, I can’t help but feel uninspired.

But then I got to thinking about how this whole cooking obsession began in the first place. And I see a single twenty-something girl in her East Village apartment, blasting Belle and Sebastian songs on her stereo and cracking open a bottle of Pinot Noir while she comes up with a purpose for the treasures she rounded up at the Union Square Farmer’s market that day. A girl who cured her own loneliness by regularly throwing herself a one-woman dinner party and in the process, learned how to cook. So eight years later, I decided to channel that inner single girl. And on a hot summer night in Los Angeles, made myself a Bee’s Knees cocktail with the aforementioned gin and started cooking.

Enjoy,

Heather

 

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Lonely Girl Chicken with Quick Almond-Cherry Couscous and Parsley Garlic Sauce
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Filed under Dinner, Fall, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Poultry, Spring, Summer, Winter