There are still plenty of heirloom tomatoes in the greenmarket, their crimson and sunset skins swooping into beckoning ellipses. They will get drizzled in good olive oil and sprinkled with flaky salt and I will never get bored of this for all of eternity. But the cute fairytale eggplants are gone, and the peaches and plums and pluots are making way for sticky sweet pears, and chummy apples, and concord grapes.
I love fall in New York. It makes me swoon. It breaks my heart. Jackets, boots clomping purposefully, jaunty, swingy scarves. Back to school, the Jewish New Year, fresh starts. My birthday. Thick, juicy magazines. Lipstick in no-joke red. New York’s beauty astounds me, the trees turning their shades of burnish and bronze, the magnificent light at dusk.
It makes me want to cook. Not just salads and pesto but soul-satisfying, tummy-filling, hot dishes to stay home and savor, maybe wrapped in a super soft blanket. But I’m getting ahead of myself…my AC is still at full blast. Soon it will get chilly, and I will turn on my oven, and you can find me in my narrow blue Harlem kitchen cooking up these things.
Better than Sex Short Ribs
I don’t really think these are better than sex, but a few of the people who have shared these have made the claim. They’re so easy, and carnal, and steamy.
Marinate beef short ribs in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and star anise. You can add a glug of orange juice, or if you have fresh oranges, chop them up and toss them in. If you are type-A and do this the night before, you get a gold star, but an hour or so will do the trick just fine.
Sear the fat ribs until they’re prettily browned on all sides. Then place them back in the juicy marinade and cook them up in a slow cooker, or in a 325-degree oven for about three hours, until the meat is savory and falls apart and makes you tear up a little.
Brussels Sprout Hash
Brussels sprouts make me so happy. They’re so earthy and nutty and full of personality. I love them roasted, but maybe I like this hash even better.
Sauté a whole pile of shallots in good olive oil until they’re soft and golden. Add a glug of apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar, so the shallots get all glazed. Set the yumminess aside.
Halve Brussels sprouts lengthwise, then slice into thin slivers. Sauté until they just start to brown, then add some butter and some water, and keep cooking until sprouts are tender but still bright green. Then toss the shallots back into the pan, and season generously, and rejoice.
Healthy(ish) Apple Crumble
Cut up some Pink Ladies, or Fujis. Leave the skin on, cause why not. Toss with a bit of cinnamon and some lemon juice and zest. If you have vanilla extract or fresh vanilla beans, go for it.
Make a topping: mix rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Don’t be lazy, shave the nutmeg…inhale, so worth it, so fragrant. You’ll need a little butter, or cold pressed coconut oil if you’re into that sort of thing. Walnuts are optional and delicious.
Spread the crumble atop the apples. Bake at 350 til your apartment smells like fall and your crumble is bubbling happily and golden. A scoop of vanilla ice cream will diminish the healthiness, but, c’mon…