Anh-Minh

Anthology Issue 19 Cover Even if the spring-like weather hasn’t quite arrived where you live yet … The spring issue of Anthology is coming soon! The subscription mailing is getting under way, and we’ll be shipping to stores soon, too.

The theme for Issue No. 19 is Inside/Outside—and I am especially crazy about this cover, which features the Miami home of event designer David Stark. There are plenty more shots of his interior in the pages of the new issue, along with other wonderful stories. This online preview includes just a sampling. As always, we hope you enjoy it!

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Umami Grain Bowl

by Anh-Minh on March 20, 2015

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I admit: Sometimes, when I’ve got deadline after deadline, I don’t eat as well as I should. Thankfully, Melina Hammer is back on the blog today sharing a recipe that will help get me back on track! —Anh-Minh

This recipe is a continuation, in a way, of the elemental eating created for the start of this year (with the Aromatic Poached Salmon recipe). Centering delicious eating around simple foods can be a challenge, but is hugely rewarding, if done well. With spring officially having arrived (what!?), the vibrant foods we’ll all soon have available don’t need much to make them shine. This kind of meal means we can all eat well, with carefully chosen ingredients that make for a special resonance together.

Added to this is my continued play with flavor superstars like anchovies, seaweed, and bottarga. I tackled anchovies a few years ago after vehemently hating them for years. At some undefined point, I realized I probably didn’t know what a good anchovy experience was and so started to explore. I’ve been in love for a good while, and I add anchovies to any foods where an extra punch of flavor seems like a good idea. (um, hello everyday) The secret is in using good quality anchovies, and the right proportions for the other flavors of whatever it is you’re making.

Same with the other umami stars. In an effort to demystify exotic (to me) ingredients, as well as to adapt them to my own cuisine preferences, here’s the scoop: After roasting my own seaweed for another project—so easy to do, it turns out—I’ve wanted to put it on everything. It’s like potato chips from the sea …  So good. And good for you.

Bottarga is my newest foray into “weird food.” Bottarga is the cured egg pouch from mullet (or tuna), and is briny, tangy, and basically delightful. Like caviar but served shaved or grated—more fruit leather than jam, if that makes any sense. In the Mediterranean, bottarga is a traditional food, but it has also gained a widespread gourmet popularity thanks to chefs and foodies.

General rule of thumb with each of these flavor stars: A little goes a long way. You don’t need to be knocked out by these flavors, unless you like that type of thing. But, a little “Mmm … What is that??” as you eat, is a good thing. Taste a tiny bit of each. Get familiar. Then taste as you go, to season appropriate to your own preferences.

This tasty grain bowl can be eaten warm, but the nice thing about it is that it doesn’t have to. Each element can be cooked in advance and allowed to cool to room temperature, or refrigerated and then pulled from later. Which, because you didn’t have to sweat doing it all at once, makes the layers in color, texture, and flavor even better! Perfect for getting out to enjoy this much-anticipated spring.

Umami Grain Bowl

Serves 4

for the bowl

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups veg or chicken broth (use homemade for better flavor)
  • 2 handfuls broccolini, woody ends of stems trimmed
  • 2 heads radicchio, cut into wedges
  • 1 cluster beech mushrooms, ends trimmed and separated into smaller clusters
  • 2 farm eggs
  • olive oil, for sautéing
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

for the vinaigrette

  • 3-5 anchovies (buy jarred so you can see if they are still pink—a sign of freshness)
  • 7 cloves roasted garlic (sometimes I roast heads of garlic, but this time around I bought a ready-made jar of roasted garlic to simplify)
  • 1-2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • juice from half a lemon
  • pinch red pepper flakes

to garnish

  • bottarga
  • roasted seaweed, cut into thin strips
  1. Make a paste of the anchovies and roasted garlic in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, use the flat side of a knife to flatten and smear each on a cutting board. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, pepper flakes, parsley, and olive oil, and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.
  2. To cook the rice, pour the broth and rice in a saucepan. Heat on high to bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for a half hour or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice al dente. Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and then carefully lower in the eggs. At a gentle boil, cook the eggs for 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel away their shells. If you’re assembling the bowl later, refrigerate the eggs after the ice bath, and wait to peel the eggs until that time. The cooked eggs will keep 5 days refrigerated.
  4. For the attractive vegetable piles nestled on top of the grain, I prepared each veg in separate sauté pans. You don’t have to for practicality’s sake, but if this presentation appeals to you, do the same.
  5. Over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. A small sprinkle of sea salt and pepper is okay here, but keep in mind the salty-savory flavors you’ll be adding and hold back the usual salt.
  6. Even more briefly, sauté the broccolini in a little olive oil. Add a splash of remaining stock or water, just to soften the membranes a little. As soon as they have become shiny and bright green, remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Over medium-high heat, get the skillet nice and hot and hard sear the radicchio wedges in olive oil. Three minutes a side is a good starting point. Transfer to a serving platter.
  8. Toss the rice and vinaigrette together. Portion out the rice into bowls. Add a cluster of the mushrooms and some broccolini. The natural curve of the broccolini stems makes a perfect home for a half custardy 6-minute egg. Either allow people to add the radicchio to their plates table side (they are dramatic arranged on a plate for everyone to appreciate), or waive ceremony and nestle a couple wedges beside the other veg.
  9. At the table, Use a microplane to grate a little bottarga over the earthy mushrooms and bitter-sweet charred radicchio. Add a cluster of seaweed strips over top, and dig in. The sweetness of the broccolini, the custard egg, the flavorsome rice, and all the other flavors make for a punchy symphony that is incredibly satisfying.

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P.S. If you’re looking for more great springtime recipes, I recently shot the dishes for Mark Bittman’s The New York Times feature on California produce. They’re as delicious as they are beautiful!

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Lena Wolff x Erica Tanov Fabric

by Anh-Minh on February 26, 2015

ericatanov_openerIn our 4+ years of producing Anthology, designer Erica Tanov‘s home remains one of my all-time favorites. We featured it waaay back in Issue No. 8, and then posted some outtakes from our shoot. (The image above, taken by Kelly Ishikawa, is from the published story.)

I’ve been familiar with Erica, her work, and her Bay Area shops for years—I remember working on Fourth Street in Berkeley when I was in grad school and popping into the outpost there during my lunch breaks and just marveling at all of the beautiful things she purveyed. Right now, I’m coveting the fabrics in her collaboration with artist Lena Wolff.

My mom taught me how to sew when I was a kid, and it’s one of the crafts that I’d like to take up again. And this line of graphic fabrics just might be what finally motivates me to bust out the (no doubt dusty) sewing machine!

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{ Top image by Kelly Ishikawa for Anthology. Remaining images via Erica Tanov. }

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Nightwood NY

by Anh-Minh on February 20, 2015

ag_nightwood_issue18I’ve been working in Park City, Utah, this week and woke up to a flurry of snow today. It got me thinking about Anitha Gandhi’s home, shown above and featured in Issue No. 18 of Anthology. It may seem odd that I associated wintry weather with such a colorful abode—unless you know Anitha’s approach to her décor:

No matter what the conditions outside, she could at least conjure an interior that transports her to a warm destination. “I wanted it to feel like the Caribbean, with super saturated colors,” Anitha says.

Anitha worked with Nightwood NY, a Brooklyn-based furniture, textile, and interior design duo. Ry Scruggs and Nadia Yaron were responsible for so many of the pieces in Anitha’s home. I couldn’t believe how much they designed, built, or sourced! Below are a few more images from their portfolio.

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The next time I’m in New York, I’d love to visit Nightwood’s showroom, which is open by appointment only. In the meantime, I’ve been checking out their online shop and have got my eye on the totem weaving.

P.S. If you’d like to see the full feature on Anitha’s home, be sure to pick up a copy of Issue No. 18 from one of our stockists.

{ Top image by David A. Land for Anthology. Remaining images via Nightwood NY }

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Olive Oil Cake with Compote

by Anh-Minh on February 13, 2015

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I woke up this morning to news story after news story about the last-minute Valentine’s Day rush to buy things. But I didn’t pay much attention because I knew I had this ace up my sleeve: Melina Hammer‘s latest recipe for Anthology. Staying in and enjoying a slice (or two) of this cake and compote sounds like a great way to spend any Saturday night. —Anh-Minh

This story is for lovers of all kinds. Valentine’s Day is literally right around the corner, and last time I checked, everyone loves cake.

For Valentine’s a year ago, I went over the top and re-created the cake I ate at my wedding. It was worth the effort, and totally delicious. This year, I decided on something less over the top by all appearances, which also happens to be considerably less effort. There is no chocolate to be seen—and I’m a chocolate girl—but this cake is completely, utterly satisfying. And did I mention, it’s a feast for the eyes, too?

I’ve been wanting to make an olive oil cake for a while. Versions I sampled over the years, with their endless moist crumbs, solidified olive oil cake on the bucket list. In choosing to make this cake for my Valentine’s feature, I considered a few things:

  1. If you’re jaded by past loves, you can make the smaller cake for yourself. And for friends if you’re willing to share once you’ve sampled your amazing creation.
  2. If you are coupled and want something totally lovely, you can choose to make the larger cake and gorge on it together over the coming days. (Maybe in bed!)
  3. If you just love LOVE, make both. Because, there’s always someone who could use a little cake. Sharing the love by sharing this cake will endear you to many, and for all the right reasons.

I made a large cake and a smaller one. I have two sets of friends expecting babies in the next week or so, and homemade food helps make the challenges of a new baby at home a whole lot better! Plus, making the cake is super easy. Bizarrely so.

As for the compote, the adorable kumquat gets a sultry blush in the juices of heady blood oranges. A few cardamom pods impart a little extra something special, but if you don’t care for cardamom, you can omit them and not lose the spirit of this not-too-sweet jewel-toned goodness.

Olive Oil Cake with a Kumquat, Cardamom & Blood Orange Compote

Cake recipe adapted from Maialino

Makes one 9-inch and one 7-inch cake. I used springform pans for easier release, and for taller cakes. If you choose to make one cake or the other, and not both, think 2/3 and 1/3 the recipe, proportionately.

for the cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups organic cane sugar
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 2/3 cups good extra virgin olive oil (I used arbequina)
  • 6 pastured eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups pastured whole milk
  • 3 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • butter, for greasing

for the compote

  • 2 cups kumquats
  • 4 blood oranges, juice and flesh to be used separately
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised with the flat side of a knife
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar

Start the compote a day ahead (so today if you want to make this for Valentine’s Day).

Rinse and scrub the fruit under cold water. Cut off ends from blood oranges. Set orange cut-end down for easy work and slice off the peel and outer membrane, following the curve of the fruit as you slice. Squeeze any juice from ends and peel segments into a small bowl to use for later, then discard. Carefully remove the orange segments—a.k.a. supremes—by slicing along the connective membranes. Do this over the bowl you squeezed the peels into to catch the juices, and squeeze the leftover membrane of its remaining juices before you discard. You should end up with 1/2 cup or so of blood orange juice. Place the supremes in a bowl and set aside.

Slice the kumquats into quarters and remove the seeds. Wrap seeds in a piece of muslin and secure with kitchen twine. Place the kumquats, supremes, muslin-wrapped seed bundle, sugar, lemon juice, and blood orange juice into a saucepan. Give the mixture a stir and bring to a bare simmer over low heat. Cook, covered, on low for a half hour. Remove from heat, then pour into a glass dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight once cooled.

The next day, remove any loose seeds and pithy elements using a small spoon. Empty the fruit-seed-syrup mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Skim any foam which may come to the surface. Bring heat to medium-high, and gently stir as the mixture bubbles, for 5 minutes.

Remove muslin bundle, pressing it gently between two spoons to express any juices (careful, it is hot!). Stir some more as it cooks for another 5 minutes. Return to a rapid boil for a minute or two and then remove from heat. Pour compote into a glass dish and refrigerate once cooled a bit. The compote will thicken as it cools. Refrigerated, the compote will keep for a few months, but it is so good it won’t last that long!

Prepare the cake while the compote cools. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients—zest goes with these—in another large bowl.

Grease the two springform pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

Add dry ingredients gradually to wet and whisk until just incorporated. Pour the batter between the two pans, set onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Check the smaller cake for doneness by giving it a jiggle. The center should give a little (similar to cooking custard), while the outer circumference should be deeply golden. Continue to bake if not done, checking back every few minutes. The larger cake will take 15-20 minutes longer. Check for doneness in the same fashion as you did with the smaller cake.

As they each finish baking, cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then slide a thin knife along the circumference of the ring before removing. Cool inverted on a baking tray (so as not to mar the surface) until at room temperature and discard parchment.

Store any leftover cake in a container, between layers of parchment, in the refrigerator. Cake can also be frozen (wrapped tightly in cellophane, then foil, then a resealable bag) for later indulging.

Serve this cake at room temperature in wedges, with a spoonful or two of the luscious compote on top.

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{ Recipes and Photography by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }

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