It’s Snack Time
I think I’m starting to hate cooking. Or at least I’m starting to hate cooking for myself. (I became prone to small emotional outbursts, in the throes of which I dramatically declare that I “hate cooking” before returning to the kitchen.) was not entertainment or relaxation. And while I am very happy for everyone who finds solace in meditative gravy and reflective baked goods, I usually feel a little drained by the time dinner draws near.
I suspect I’m not the only one. Even if your source of income doesn’t depend on thinking about food or preparing it, making dinner takes energy, and there are many energy-draining forces at work right now. At times like these, it is important not to set too strict food rules and remember that “dinner” is a constructive decision. We should all have snacks for dinner, that’s what I’m talking about.
Snack lunch / dinner is definitely not what I came up with, but it is what I accept. Snack boards, cheese platters, and large bowls of popcorn are all I can make for a week, but – thanks to years of practice – I’ve nonetheless turned a snack lunch into an art. Snacking is easy, but it’s also fun, and I bet you’ll want to have a little fun.
Start with cheese and meat
Planks are arguably the most iconic lunchtime dinner and the most socially acceptable. Whether you’re working with cheese, meat, or anything in between, the key to creating a good board is balance: all five flavors must be activated in one way or another, and there must be a variety of textures for your teeth. …
However, the variety doesn’t require a trip to a local cheese counter or grocery store. In fact, you can create a cheese board around a single cheese with these simple combinations :
Dubliner (or Really Spicy Cheddar) + Apple Slices Tart + Fried Baguette Slices: Dubliner is a hard, aged cow’s milk cheese, spicy, sweet and nutty with delicious little crystals scattered throughout. Because it has such a complex, strong taste, I like it when the bread should be simple and the fresh, vibrant fruit purifies the taste. (I’ve found that green apple slices keep your mouth from being oversaturated with dairy, which means you can eat more cheese over a longer period of time.)
Cambozola (or any funky blue) + Fruit Chips + Honey: This combination of French soft ripened triple cream cheese and Italian gorgonzola is exactly what you might think of, with a softer blue flavor and a whole bouquet of creamy character. … I love to eat these chips with figs and olives , but cranberry chips are fine too. I’m also a big fan of drizzling honey of any kind of blue cheese, and this is no exception.
Parmigiano Reggiano + really good balsamic: I got this idea from Bon Appetit, who also have some really great ideas for single cheese platters, which is good . Use real thick aged vinegar for pouring and dipping and you can forget about the carbide feeding system altogether.
If you have a slice of brie, fry it . If you have several pieces of cheese, stir them in a food processor with a little oil, garlic, and a little wine. When you have cheese, consider adding one or two animal proteins. If you need a project, you can make a sous vide terrine or chicken liver mousse ; If you want something that takes effort but doesn’t require any effort, you can make this spicy prosciutto pasta . If you don’t want to do a damn thing, that’s perfectly acceptable – even encouraged! – buy quality jerky and put it on the board next to the cheese, or waffle prosciutto chips if you feel hot.
Then branch out
Of course there are many snacks besides meat and cheese. Inspired by the German practice of evening snack (s), this board can be filled with any kind of snack . Some of my favorites include:
- Potato chips with crème fraîche and caviar
- Bubble shishito or padron pepper
- Endive with a spoonful of blue cheese pasta
- Pickled or stuffed eggs
- Green onions fried in bacon vinaigrette
- Whatever fruit is in season, plus grapes, because grapes are the best fruit for a snack.
- Dried fruits, especially figs or dates, spread with goat cheese and possibly wrapped in prosciutto
- All pickled and pickled vegetables (if you’re stumped, start with gherkins, olives, and pickled mushrooms).
- Fish in banks
- Radish with butter and Maldon salt
- Hummus and really good pita bread
- Nduja, or this nduja-like namaz
- Labne sprinkled with olive oil and sprinkled with Kalamata olives
- Pimento cheese, pub cheese, forte from fort , smoked salmon mousse or any creamy spread
- Any of these failures
Sump in the fridge looking for unnecessary things.
All good planks need brine, fruity notes, and honey, so open the refrigerator and see what’s going on. A snack dinner is perfect for those last few olives, gherkins, or spoonfuls of jam. If you feel compelled to cook something, you can turn soft pears into a paste , pickle some vegetables in beer or aquavit, or ferment garlic in honey (although this takes a few days). To preserve freshness, add raw shallots to a bowl.
Or just say “hell” and make a big bowl of popcorn.
Many people justify eating popcorn for dinner by pointing out that it’s a whole grain, but these days I really don’t feel the need to justify anything . Popcorn is easy to make and fun to eat, and that’s enough for me.
To keep the corn crispy, make sure you use enough oil – I ‘m talking about 1/2 cup oil for 1/3 cup unopened kernels. It may seem that this is too much, but this is just the right amount. (If you have a bunch of rosemary that you don’t know what to do with, toss it in the oil while it is heating to give it a flavor.) Then identify your seasonings and chop them so that they really stick to the fluffy kernels. … Some of my favorites:
- Fried herbs
- Old bay
- All bagels condiments
- Nutritional yeast
- Provencal herbs
- Cinnamon and sugar (beat the sugar by itself first; cinnamon is good enough already).
- Black pepper and citrus peel
- Seasoning for ramen
- Parmesan and pepper
- Bonito flakes
- Macaroni and cheese powder
Also, don’t sleep on complex butter: soy sauce oil and miso butter are really good, and whisking them with melted butter ensures that the flavor is evenly distributed.
If you can’t decide between a plank of appetizers or a bowl of popcorn, make both. Of course, there are no rules against this. And even if there were, now is the time to ignore the rules.