The Things We Cooked: Snowzilla 2016


Words and photos by AJ Dronkers and Susan Able, EdibleDC

You asked and here they are...the links to recipes we made over the weekend. The prep for #winterstormjonas was real, we envisioned being homebound and what what we wanted to eat. So we shopped and stockpiled and handled the epic storm with some great food. We ate well, we shoveled and ate more!

Roasted Shrimp with Feta from Ina Garten

This Ina Garten recipe has become a favorite, from her 2010 book, 2010 Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? and this link will take you to the recipe on the Food Network. This dish is very easy to put together, we used a paella pan, but you can use any pan that can travel from stove top to oven to table. Note that we skipped the Pernod, and substituted Sambuca which we got in the "nip" size at the liquor store


Buttermilk Waffles with Blackberry Sauce and Maple Syrup

We used the "classic" recipe from King Arthur Flour's website and fired up the waffle iron for this one. Frozen blackberries from the peak of summer were tossed in the food processor with some honey and a little orange zest and pureed into the most delicious sauce. Local bacon done crispy and local butter from Nice Dairy Creamery rounded it all out.

Cauliflower Cake

from Yotam Ottolenghi's

Plenty More

This has become one of our favorites for brunch. It is just such a visual standout and so delicious, you've got a crowd pleaser that is really not that hard to put together. We love so many recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi's books, we've cooked our way through dozens. It was really thrilling to see him speak last year at Sixth & I, there is something special about seeing the chef in person who has inspired so many of your great meals.


Red Lentil Soup with Lemon from NYT Food

We saw this in the New York Times Food section and it caught our eye and made the "blizzard" list. This lentil soup took almost no time to put together. We wanted a really hearty soup, so we actually skipped the water it called for and just used a vegetable stock. (Making your own stock is so easy, we had some tired vegetables and onions that we pressed into duty and made a quart of stock in no time that was 10 times better than anything from the store!) We also tweaked the spicing--we've got a heat lover--so we took it up one notch with the chili pepper, but nothing that would create drama. The lemon juice really brightens the flavor, this was a keeper and as mentioned, a cheerful soup--not murky like a lot of lentil soups.


On our larder-stocking runs, we did a swing through Union Market and picked up pasta and sauce from Cucina Al Volo--have you tried it? Delicious fresh pasta, sauces and pesto. So good, so easy--and what could be better for a snow storm than a sausage sauce with a smoked paprika pasta? Nothing! We love it. They are at Union Market, and also sell at some farm markets in the summer and there are plans to start a home delivery service. Sign us up.


And finally, we made snow ice cream. We did the easiest way possible with just great milk from Nice Farm Creamery and maple syrup. It was kind of amazing, the picture may look like oatmeal, but trust us, it was good stuff.

Soup for Syria

Syrian Child
Syrian Child

By Susan Able with photographs by Barbara Adbeni Massaad, courtesy Interlink Publishing Group.


It was the winter and Barbara Abdeni Massaad couldn’t stop thinking about the Syrian refugee families she had read about who were sleeping in tents.

The president of Slow Foods Beirut, who is also a well-know cookbook author, writer and photographer, visited a refugee camp in Zahle, Lebanon, and saw the struggles first hand. Massaad knew that good food could make an impact in the lives of the refugees. With a friend, she started making soup for the Hamra refugees. She took pictures and interviewed the refugees about their experience and the idea for a humanitarian cookbook was born. The Soup for Syria project began.

Just released in October, Soup for Syria is a gorgeously photographed book with 80 soup recipes contributed by famous writers and chefs such as Mark Bittman, Anthony Bourdain, Alice Waters and Paula Wolfert. Other recipes were contributed by Massaad’s friends and supporters of the project. In a contributor’s statement Bourdain said that “soup is elemental, and it always makes sense, even when the world around us fails to.”

100% of the U.S. sales of Soup for Syria will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide food relief.

In a CNN interview, Massaad said, “I would always tell the refugees, ‘Had I been a barber, I would have cut your hair for free. I am not a barber, but a photographer and food writer, so I will take photos and write about food to help your cause and send a message to the world.’”

She added, “Each kind gesture towards another in need is a step forward for humanity. Use what you know best to help others.”

Spicy Clam Soup with Basturma

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 11.26.35 AM
Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 11.26.35 AM

By Garrett Melkonian /Serves 4-6

3-4 tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-4 tablespoons red pepper paste

Cilantro, a small bunch finely chopped, plus additional for garnish

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds manila clams, rinsed of sand and drained

3 cups chicken stock

3 1/2 ounces basturma (Turkish air-dried beef, or substitute pastrami), diced**

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Grilled or toasted bread to serve with soup

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, pepper paste, cilatnro, cayenne, cumin, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula, don't use a whisk.

Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add the tomato mixture, and cook until the mixture becomes fragrant that tomatoes begin to break down about 1-2 minutes.

Add the clams, stock and bastruma and bring to boil oer high heat. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook, shaking the pot occasionally  just until all of the clams have opened, Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to serve in bowls, leaving the broth in the pot. Add the butter to the broth and check for seasoning. The basturma and the calms carry a good deal of salinity, and the soup may not need salt. Ladle the broth over the clams, garnish each bowl with cilantro leaves and serve with thick slice of grilled bread.

**Many of our area markets with Middle Eastern products carry basturma including Mediterranean Gourmet Market in Alexandria, (703) 971-7799.

Soup for SyriaEdited and photographed by Barbara Abdeni Massaad. Interlink Books, 2015. 208 pages. 

Pumpkin Soup from Mi Comida Latina

Illustrator Marcella Kriebel Shares A World of Colors and Food

-From Edible DC's Fall Issue. Story by Marcella Kriebel, special to Edible DC.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.23.51 AM

It is a great time of year for buying fresh local pumpkins. There are so many heirlooms varieties of squash and pumpkin that are great for cooking, that choosing one is half the fun. We're sharing "Locro de Zapallo" from illustrator and cook Marcella Kriebel as an inspiration for a fall soup. The other recipes she mentions can be found in our digital issue here at!

I’ve been blending the concepts of travel and art for most of my life. I remember making my first journal—actually, a sketchbook full of illustrations—documenting a family car trip to Yellowstone when I was 8 years old. It must have been fun, because I’ve been doing it ever since.

Fast-forward 10 years to college, where I majored in studio art and anthropology with a minor in Spanish. Since graduation, my interests and educational background have come together in a complementary way; I’m actually using my education and have been fortunate to earn a living from it.

My cookbook, Mi Comida Latina, is comprised of 100 hand-lettered, illustrated recipes inspired by my travels throughout Central and South America and documents the recipes I collected while cooking with Latin American home cooks and chefs. I found that cooking with the locals was the best way to understand their unique cultures and form friendships. The cookbook allowed me to share their recipes in an authentic way, beginning with family and friends and now to a wider audience.

I’ve always enjoyed exploring art in just about any medium, and especially drawing. I carry a sketchbook most everywhere and wouldn’t consider traveling without one. Whenever I learn a new recipe, I sketch little images in the margins to complement it. As I worked on the final cookbook illustrations, I used watercolor to illuminate the pages, as I do in my travel sketchbooks. I used one little two- by six-inch watercolor set for the majority of the cookbook, and discovered how versatile it truly could be. It was also fun to hand letter and vary the type of text for each recipe. I considered each page from a design standpoint; it’s always a challenge to have the recipe look colorful and visually appealing while including the technical information needed to make a truly tasty dish.

I didn’t necessarily set out to be a food illustrator, but I do enjoy drawing and painting food, whether it’s a beautiful Salade Niçoise or a portrait of the vegetables in the nightshade family. In 2014, I challenged myself to produce a daily illustration and called it Art Every Day, featuring all kinds of foods, from a single artichoke to a steaming bowl of udon noodles. These paintings form the basis of my current print collection of over 60 designs available in an open edition. So I’m still growing and learning both about food and cooking and illustration, and it is a process I love.

I chose the following recipes to share from Mi Comida Latina. The first is Causa, which is a variation on classic Peruvian dish. Salsa Roja is one of the many, many methods of making a classic Mexican tomato salsa, but the key is to blacken the tomatoes, which lends a tremendous flavor to the salsa.

Finally, Locro de Zapallo showcases pumpkin, but can be made of a variety of ingredients. “Locro” simply means stew; this was an Ecuadorian version but others can be found throughout South America—every home cook has his or her favorite recipe.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.30.04 AM