Swap-Box Hero: Riches-to-Rags Edition

Ropa vieja. Old clothes. And sure, a stew of shredded flank steak jumbled with strips of poblano peppers does look a bit like tattered rags. But my more romantic etymological theory is that this dish’s name derives from the ease and comfort of a favorite shirt. That’s right, the one Marie Kondo gave you permission to keep—even though…

August in January: Corn & Poblano Chicken Stew

Blanched-bright sweet corn. Deep green poblanos. Sungold tomatoes. Back in late August, I’d tucked vacuum packets of all these bits of summer into our freezer. I had no set plans for them, really, beyond having a bank of reserved sunshine to call on some bitter winter day. Yesterday wasn’t really all that bitter—sunny and 30s, actually,…

Scary-Good Hot Sauce

Bubble, bubble, a little toil, not much trouble. In mid-September, I chunked up a whole mess of hot, super-hot, and mild peppers, stuffed them into a couple jars, added salt water, and let them burble away on my kitchen counter. Fermentation, kickstarted by the the ambient yeasts and mild fall temps in my kitchen, worked its black…