This August, we are collaborating with Short Stack Editions, a publisher of small-format cookbooks, for two classes on Peaches and Tomatoes. (Also, two of summer’s greatest hits when it comes to seasonal produce). Short Stack Editions began as a side project for founder Nick Fauchald, who was looking for a distraction from reality. Since its inception in 2013 as a Kickstarter campaign, Short Stack Editions has caught the attention of home cooks and acclaimed ones alike, eager to share their most prized ingredient and favorite ways of using it with readers. Next up for Short Stack? Its first-ever large-format cookbook and a line of paper goods.
Tell us about Short Stack Editions.
Short Stack Editions is a series of small-format cookbooks about inspiring ingredients. That's our tagline. They fall somewhere between a cookbook and a magazine, and are meant to serve as an analog alternative to Googling around for recipes. Instead of coming home from the market with an amazing head of broccoli or pint of strawberries and first searching online for "broccoli recipe" or "strawberry pie recipe," you reach for this little book that's full of recipes developed by one of the best recipe creators in the country. These recipes are created specifically to showcase the ingredient they know and love best. Isn't that a lot better than rolling the dice on the Internet?
What did you do before you started Short Stack?
Short Stack has always been a "little" side project for me—for all of us involved—but I've been working in food media one way or another since college. I started in magazines, moved to the web, and now I'm focusing on books and products at my new company.
What inspired you to create Short Stack Editions?
Kaitlyn Goalen, Short Stack's editor, and I had worked together at Tasting Table and on some digital projects after. Frankly, we were jaded and burned out by the digital publishing world. We needed an antidote or distraction to keep us from losing our minds—something simple and tangible with actual utility—and we ended up with Short Stack. A lot of our inspiration—aesthetically and format-wise—came from the funky little recipe pamphlets that food and appliance brands put out back in the 1950s and ‘60s.
What are your favorite things to cook for summer entertaining?
Any supremely fresh vegetables, raw or lightly cooked, along with some well-charred protein.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
Extra-thin-crust pizza with pepperoni and onions from Domino's. It's the greatest-worstest food I eat, and only when my wife's away.
Last thing you read, saw, or heard that inspired you?
While typing these answers, one of our Short Stack authors, and one of my favorite souls, Jessica Battilana, sent me a link to this song. It's the best when someone knows you well enough to send you a song that grabs you right away.
Three websites you read daily.
TheRinger.com to catch up on sports/music/TV culture; ffffound.com for a quick hit of design inspiration; CabinPorn.com to remind myself that I should be living somewhere else.
Favorite part about your job?
Geeking out about favorite ingredients with our authors. There really is a higher plane of creativity that comes when you've spent your entire life eating, cooking with and thinking about a specific ingredient. Everyone has at least one ingredient that they can identify with this way, and it's fun to get people talking about their favorites.
What has been your favorite Short Stack to date and why?
C'mon! I can't name a favorite edition. What's your favorite finger? But I can say this: I've cooked from every edition, and each one has given me at least one recipe that has become part of my kitchen repertoire.
If you wrote a Short Stack, what would the ingredient be and why?
Black pepper. I'm fascinated that this spice has become so ubiquitous in so many cuisines. Why peppercorns and not cumin or urfa on every table? Maybe this is too academic to be a Short Stack (though I love adding a lot of pepper flavor to much of what I cook), so my backup answer is celery. What an underappreciated vegetable.
What do you see in Short Stack’s future?
The three founders—myself, Kaitlyn Goalen and Rotem Raffe (aka my wife)—regularly ask ourselves "Are we still having fun?" As long as the answer is “yes,” we'll keep publishing these things. At this point we've got enough authors (and their chosen ingredients) lined up to take us well into the 2020s. Oh, and we have our first large-format cookbook coming out this fall! And a line of paper goods following that.
Photos Courtesy of Short Stack Editions
Fourth of July celebrations typically include some form of picnic, parade, and pyrotechnics. The three-day weekend allows for the opportunity to return to tried-and-true traditions with loved ones, or to branch out and try something new. A few members of the Haven’s Kitchen team shared their way of celebrating Independence Day below.
Culinary Director David Mawhinney has one go-to July 4th recipe that allows him to stay cool in the summer heat and is sure to be a hit at any party.
“I always carve up my watermelon and make a lime and mint mix in my blender and pour it back into the watermelon. Then I take it to the park. You can add mezcal to it to make it adult. It's easy to make and my kids help carve the outside of it.”
Watermelon and Mint Cooler
¼ cup lime juice
4 to 5 sprigs of mint
Using a serrated knife, trim a small amount off of the bottom of the watermelon so that it can stand upright. Then, with a paring knife, cut a five-inch diameter hole at the top, angling your knife toward the center of the hole to prevent the top from falling in. Using a large spoon, scoop all of the pulp into a blender. Blend until smooth. The juice should total about 2-3 quarts. Add ¼ cup lime juice and a few sprigs of mint leaves to the watermelon juice. Again, blend until smooth. Work in batches if necessary. Pour all back into watermelon. Refrigerate for three hours before serving.
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Events Director Halle Heyman celebrates July 4th by taking to the grill and sipping on a local brew.
“Any opportunity to grill chicken is a good one, and if I find myself near a grill in some suburban oasis, I bring my poultry shears to spatchcock a chicken. This technique allows for a faster cooking time, while providing full on flavor. However, this Fourth of July, I'll be enjoying a Great Lakes Brewing Pilsner alongside some BBQ chicken with bowls upon bowls of one of my hometown Ohio-proud favorites, Jeni’s ice cream.”
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Founder and owner Ali Cayne is taking this three-day weekend to rest, relax and recharge without a worry in the world.
“I am planning on doing nothing. Actively and consciously nothing. All of my kids are on their summer programs and it's the first weekend in a year I can just sit on my stoop and read Hana Yanagihara’s A Little Life. At some point, I'll pop by Lupe's East LA Kitchen and drink some tequila and eat a taco.”
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Barista Samuel Flax is celebrating Independence Day on the waters this year, taking in the ocean breeze while enjoying great family recipes and even better company.
“I will see the Fourth from the middle of the Long Island Sound. I will carry aboard my mother’s secret recipe for potato salad—sliced almonds, halved fresh grapes, curry powder. The meal I look forward to the most? Cool rosé in a can.”
This week's #hknyCSA Diaries comes from teacher Ashley Bare. Besides being an excellent cook, she is an expert in DanceBody and has impeccable style.
Summer. Is. Actually. Everything.
Until pretty recently, I didn’t love summertime. Summer always equated to a sweaty slowdown that I just couldn’t get down with—a constant study in free time productivity and aimless direction. I honestly would have loved to stay in school most summers because why stop for three months? It didn’t make sense to me then, and maybe that precise hustle is what initially attracted me to New York City—ultimately, prompting me to make the move. I thought it was my “sleep-when-you’re-dead” mentality and FOMO inclination that kept me in this rat race of a town for so long. But as it turns out, it might actually be summer—its long, beautiful daylight hours and colorful produce are all to blame and praise!
The vibe in New York City is so different in summer than between the months of September and May, where the energy is decidedly more intense and thick with pale-skinned, black-wearing tension. But in summer, the entire city is on vacation. I assure you some of us are still working, but for three months most of us beach weekly, take time to relax, and enjoy a lull in the normal city scamper (dreading the moment it will all begin again).
Against my dear colleague, Lauren Margolis's urge for us to turn on our ovens, I really wanted to honor this week’s CSA share with unexpected preparations and different applications for summer’s most popular, raw, fresh condiment: salsa!
Juicy little black cherry tomatoes, lovely scallions, and cilantro all came in my bag this week, and I challenged my own salsa instincts and pushed myself to exhibit more creativity. Instead, I used the tomatoes in and added scallions to this recipe for green papaya salad by Julia Moskin, which I vaguely followed. I subbed my CSA zucchini for the green papaya. I also added Thai basil and cilantro leaves from my bag.
For my salsa challenge, I rifled through my bag to spot the pièce de résistance! The cantaloupe! The greatest produce gift from summer is always, I repeat always, the fruit. Cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots — well, all the stone fruits, all the berries, and all the melons — should only be consumed during the summer. In order to make the cantaloupe salsa, I decided to pair the cantaloupe with some of the Thai basil, a Thai red chili pepper, and some lemon zest and juice.
As a tip, I suggest having things like lemons and limes, chili peppers, and even canned beans on hand for those “make something out of nothing” moments. The pantry staples are what help every home cook.
To make a complete dish to accompany the cantaloupe salsa, I used the Japanese eggplant—a sweeter, thinner-skinned and more flavorful cousin of its Italian counterpart—from my bag, I cut it into “scallops." A curried yogurt sauce finishes the dish and ties everything together. While this dish is entirely vegetarian, you can add a pan-seared piece of fish or chicken. Or keep it simple with a side of tortilla chips.
While I wouldn’t fire up the oven, I will gladly fire up the grill. Cue the three bottles of rosé, please. Hot dogs, brats, and burgers are quite delicious on their own, but why not dress those simple dishes up with a touch of chunky freshness? A cucumber and corn salsa is more reminiscent of a traditional pico de gallo. So, while this duo of vegetables is definitely not the most revolutionary of all combinations, it is a great alternative use of these summer vegetables.
Make a tartine from your grilled goods. Grill slices of bread next to your meat, smear some mayo on, or try ricotta, and top with sliced sausage, steak, or chicken and your choice from your two new favorite salsa recipes.
makes about 2 cups
2 cups small diced cantaloupe, from about one small cantaloupe
1 red Thai chili, sliced thinly, more if you like spicier
¼ packed cup Thai basil, thinly sliced or chiffonade
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 scallion, thinly sliced on bias, optional
Gently mix all of ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Cucumber + Corn Salsa
makes about 2 cups
1 ear corn, shucked and kernels cut from cob
1 English cucumber, small dice
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
½ small red onion, minced
¼ packed cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 lime, zested
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Gently mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Last week our CSA shares included beets, parsley, cilantro, scallions, squash, Swiss chard, lettuce, zucchini, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. Mariana, your faithful CSA coordinator, and I joined Shaina and Erin, who you met in previous posts, in Shaina’s backyard for another night on the grill.
Simplicity was the word of the hot, hot night in Brooklyn. Everything we made was grilled or raw. We grilled beets and Swiss chard – seasoned simply with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon – and a salad of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grilled romaine, and basil with wholegrain mustard. Erin brought two lightly smoked pork chops from Heritage Meats that we grilled as well.
Funny enough, the star of the menu was an overlooked head of Napa cabbage that was sitting alone in my refrigerator for two weeks. Cabbage keeps well so it was relatively unscathed by my negligence. Erin cut the cabbage into quarters and seasoned it with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon. Shaina grilled the quarters until they were well marked and just tender throughout, while Erin made a vinaigrette from mashed raw garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Dinner was delicious and simple – clean, bold flavors and wonderful textures from mostly raw and lightly cooked vegetables. The charred flavor from the grill enhanced the earthy sweetness of the beets and Swiss chard, so nicely. The acid in the cabbage salad cut the flavor of the grill and the garlic came straight through, creating a flavor evocative of anchovies in Caesar salad. The menu was a nice reminder that grilling is actually an excellent application for utilizing typically raw items like lettuces, greens, and cabbage.
As we passed and ate, we rehashed the triumphs and misadventures of cooking in some pretty exceptional New York kitchens. Stories of discipline, teamwork, and perfectly seasoned mushroom purées, far outweighed ones of hard services and wrist burns. Some of us miss it, others not so much, but one thing is for certain – these girls can cook.
GRILLED CABBAGE SALAD
1 head Napa cabbage
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ea lemons, zested and juiced
2 ea garlic cloves, finely grated
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Quarter the cabbage and trim the end and core.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
3. Grill over a medium flame until the cabbage achieves grill marks and the remaining core is just tender.
4. While the cabbage is on the grill, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
5. Remove cabbage from the grill, onto a cutting board. Allow to cool for a minute a two, then cut into 1½” pieces.
6. Add cabbage to vinaigrette and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.