What’s a holiday dish you love cooking?
Still on the grilling tip, my favorite way to prepare turkey is to grill it. The smokiness with that dark delicious rich turkey meat is just such a good combo.
You have $20 to spend at the farmers’ market. What do you buy?
Whenever I go to the farmers’ market I definitely walk end-to-end before I make a purchase and that way you can see what’s abundant, what everybody has, what’s coming in or out of season. And then I really buy the thing that looks the best to me. I know that’s vague, but I like shopping without a list, and buying something that makes me hungry or inspires me to cook. It could be anything—it could be a big cluster of mushrooms, it could be a little, tiny watermelon, it could be multicolor eggplant.
What do you listen to while cooking?
We pretty much have WNYC on all day, and then we switch over to a music playlist when we sit down. I have a 12-year-old and a 17-year-old, so it’s a wide range. We like a lot of 80s/90s R&B and hip hop, we like some soul, we might listen to a good jazz mix, Frank Ocean might sneak in there, and my younger son really loves Queen and The Who. It’s eclectic!
What’s an edible impulse-buy you can never resist?
I probably gravitate over to the cheese counter, charcuterie. I love sheep’s milk cheeses, and I love finding a cheese i haven’t had before. I like to snack around and talk to the cheesemonger.
What does comfort food mean to you?
Night cereal, which is cereal you eat at night! Bread and butter—that’s what my mom would bring to me when I was sick in bed. Rice is a big comfort food, for sure. Steamed rice that you can put broth into, grate parmesan cheese into. I always have furikake in the house, which is a rice seasoning. They’re all very starchy.
What’s your kids’ favorite meal that you cook?
Definitely pasta. They’re good eaters when it comes to what kind of a sauce is on the pasta, but if there was one thing that everyone would get really excited about it would be a ragu or meat sauce.
What thing gets the most use in your kitchen?
There’s a section in That Sounds So Good called 10 Tools You May Not Have But Could Definitely Use. That’s where I think about specialty items that are so multi-purpose. Wire spiders or metal skimmers—I have a six inch one and an eight inch one—and I use them every day. I use them to get pasta out of the boiling water and into the sauce, yesterday I blanched some corn kernels and I used that to strain them. They’re great for edamame, they’re great for any noodle, even lowering or lifting out eggs from hard boiling or making jammy eggs. I use them more than I use my colander. There are fancy ones that have stainless steel handles, but the ones that I like and find indestructible have the bamboo handle and the kind of woven—it looks like a —metal mesh. I think they cost like eight dollars, and they’re gonna last you 10 or 15 years.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
There’s a few creators who just inspire me so much. One of them is this woman named Tuệ, her handle is Twaydabae. She makes reels where she talks straight to camera and makes incredible Vietnamese food. There’s another woman, her handle is Dobydobap—her signature thing she says when she starts every video is “Don’t yuck my yum.” She makes traditional Korean dishes, and it’s always really beautiful and delicious-looking.
What’s your go-to hostess gift?
I like to ask if there’s anything specific I can bring. But if not, I’ll bring a bottle of wine or some chocolate bars. Or if it’s a big party, like a holiday party, one of the best things you can bring is a bag of ice. It’s the thing you don’t think about and you always run out of.
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter.