As I talk on my “About” page, this blog began life as an LGBT blog with the occasional post about food. Most posts back then, circa 2007 and 2008, had more to do with restaurant food blogging than home-cooked meals. When the recession hit, sometime in mid to late-2008, I started shifting the focus more to home-cooked meals; by then, the blog was a full-on food blog with only the barest mention of “LGBT” material. Funny how things change.
The reason why I bring this up is because, lately, I’ve come to the realization that a large part of what draws people to food blogs, is not so much the recipes or the photography but the writing. It could be writing about ‘the beauty of food’ or what happened at the farmer’s market, but more often than not, the big draw is — readers want to know what’s going on in your life — because then, your posts have ‘personality’. That is why, my lovelies, why men are from Mars and women are from Venus. It won’t be the first time I have been called ‘clueless’, that’s for sure.
Going forward, you will be seeing a little bit of movement here at Simple Kitchen Seasons. Oh, it will always be a food blog — that part will never change — with a focus on good, delicious food made with seasonal, organic/antibiotic-free/free-range/mostly local ingredients. No, what I mean is, I’ll be revealing more of myself and my daily life in posts on this here food blog website thingy, or at least as much as I’m comfortable at the moment. People who are familiar with me in my offline life know full well that I am an intensely private person. I self-edit all the time, especially on Facebook and Twitter. “Openness” is not a quality that comes easily to me, compared with the current generation where you only have to blink, and there is your neighbor’s breakfast in all its glory, in 140 characters or less.
The other challenge I have — and this is kind of something I’ve always thought was limited to just me, but maybe it isn’t? — is that my life tends to be boring. Oh, you live in New York City where anything can happen at any time; how can life be boring? That’s the common refrain I hear all the time. You have airplanes crashing into skyscrapers, world leaders giving speeches at the United Nations, and live television every Saturday night … I wouldn’t call that boring. Well, trust me, it can be (at least with respect to my own life), and it frequently is.
Wish me luck, because I think I may need it.
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Spaghetti con granchio e pomodoro — adapted from this recipe by Chef Michael White, currently of Nicoletta (New York), Ai Fiori (New York) and Al Molo (Hong Kong), amongst others.
1/2 lb. lump crab meat
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 cup fish stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 lb. dried spaghetti
sea salt, to taste
crushed dried red pepper flakes, to taste
In a large skillet, add garlic and olive oil to the cold pan; gently warm olive oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. The garlic should have begun to turn a pale gold by this point. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Add the stock and the tomatoes. If you don’t have any fish stock, you can substitute 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white wine, but it won’t be the same because you won’t have that extra layer of flavor that stock provides in the background. Cook until the tomatoes have broken up, thickening the sauce and the liquid’s volume has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti according to package directions. (Ideally, the pasta should be started at roughly the midpoint of cooking the sauce.) Cook the spaghetti until it becomes al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Add the unsalted butter to the sauce and stir until melted. Add the pasta and crab to the sauce and stir until the crab is warmed, about one minute. If the pasta sauce seems too dry, add reserved pasta cooking water tablespoon by tablespoon until a sauce-like consistency is formed. (Note: You shouldn’t need too much though.) Taste for salt.
Spoon pasta onto warmed serving bowls, top with parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Serve at once.
Time: About 25 minutes, including prep.