Never entered my mind's Blog

A 20 something culinary school graduate. Lover of la cuisine, style, coffee and travel.

Month: January, 2012

The Godfather & Vegetarian Chili

“Come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you may have to cook for 20 guys some day. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil, you fry some garlic, then you throw in some tomatoes, some tomato paste, you fry it, you make sure it doesn’t stick, you get it to a boil. You shove in all your sausage and your meatballs, add a little bit of wine, and a little bit of sugar — and that’s my trick.”

Clemenza to Michael, The Godfather

It snowed. A lot. Not quite enough for a snow day, but enough so that when classes were over and the work day was done, there was still a feeling of being snowed in which gave way to rich, hearty comfort food and long classic movies with a plot equally as rich. The Godfather is one of those trilogies which turns the most pleasant, peace-keeping person into a hot-tempered, Italian wanna-be with a thirst for vengeance. Even if you know vengeance can’t bring Don Vito’s son back from his swiss cheese death.  The first 1972 movie is beyond a doubt a classic, as Tom Hanks rightfully puts it,  “The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question”. The 1990 film, on the other hand, is best left forgotten. I am one of the vast majority who believes watching the GIII is much like finding yourself in the weeds during dinner service on a Friday night- dreadfully painful but you just can’t help it. Unfortunately, when you’ve committed yourself to a movie marathon, you’ve got to see it through till the end. And see it through we did, with the help of a spicy cremini and zucchini chili. It wasn’t quite Clemenza’s tomato sauce, but with added kick of smoked paprika and cumin, I’m sure this chili would be an offer even he couldn’t refuse.

Cremini&Zucchini Chili
Smoked paprika and cumin
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large yellow onion, small dice
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 zucchini, small dice
8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp dried oregano/ thyme
1 can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water, or enough to thin till consistency

Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Add onions, carrots and celery and sweat for 2 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini and mushrooms and continue to cook over medium heat. Add spices and beans, stir and cook out the flavors and add tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour and adjust seasoning. Serve with some grated edam or mozzarella, a dollop of sour cream, or some guacamole.


Words I Like

“Slowly the meadow filled with people and fireflies and laughter—just as my father had imagined—and the lambs on their spits were hoisted off the pit onto the shoulders of men, like in a funeral procession, and set down on the makeshift plywood-on-sawhorse tables to be carved. Then the sun started to set and we lit the paper bag luminaria, which burned soft glowing amber, punctuating the meadow and the night, and the lamb was crisp-skinned and sticky from slow roasting, and the root beer was frigid and caught, like an emotion, in the back of my throat.”

Blood, Bones, and Butter excerpt, Gabrielle Hamilton. Photo via ohpioneer

A summer affair.

These photo’s were taken at my parents home, out in the country, on their 25th wedding anniversary. My dad built a bar stand, where my younger brother played bartender. My mom set out her wedding dress, strung lights through the trees, and invited our closest family and friends. I catered the event, sending my little cousin and her friends out with canapes throughout the night. We made crab cakes with red pepper jelly, goat cheese&caramelized onion puff pastry, sliders with salmon and dill, and flank steak and garlic aoili. It was a beautiful evening, and I felt so blessed by the love and commitment between my parents, and the wonderful life and community they’ve built together.

All photo’s by Lucy Bruni.



Eggs in a basket.

The Chemex coffee brewer.

My daily two eggs on toast&french press.

Lemon ricotta pancakes.