Guest edited, prepared & photographed by Bonnie Berry
There is something about Gwyneth Paltrow that makes me want to hate her. She is just too perfect. So when she came out with a cookbook two years ago I balked at buying it. But buy it I did, and boy am I glad. It is a great cookbook, especially for families. There are a couple of recipes that have become standards for us. Then she came out with a new book a few weeks ago and I bought that one too. The timing was perfect. I had just finished an elimination diet and have found that I do better eating less dairy and grains and more protein and fruits and vegetables. And this cookbook delivers on that score. So I made the grilled steak and it was delicious. The four of us were practically fighting over it and that included the kids. It is a pricey piece of meat, but so worth it for a treat every once in a while. The first time I made it, I grilled it and that is how I would suggest you make it if you can. The dish pictured below was done on the stove a few days later because we ran out of propane (go figure!) and although it was yummy, I missed the caramelization that seems to magically happen on the grill. Oh, I also have a thing for sweet potatoes and when I saw this Bon Appétit recipe it had me at bacon. So make them together or separately, just make them… And I will continue to try not to hate Ms. Paltrow, if for no other reason than she is helping me feed my family well.
Four 6-ounce pieces of beef tenderloin, at room temperature
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
8 good-quality anchovies
Leaves from a leafy sprig of rosemary – very, extremely, super-finely choppe
Rub the steaks all over with just enough oil to coat and season generously with salt and pepper. Let the seasoned steaks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
Make sure your exhaust fan is in good order if you’re cooking inside, then heat a cast-iron pan or a grill over high heat.
Place the steaks in the pan or on the grill and cook until nicely charred on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them over. Cook until the second sides are nicely charred, another 2 minutes. This will give you medium-rare steaks. Cook them longer if you prefer your steak more well done.
Remove the steaks to a warm plate or a cutting board and let them rest of at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring with a spoon, until they dissolve into the oil. Add the rosemary and cook for just 1 minute to let it bloom and lose its woodsy edge.
Slice the steaks, spoon the anchovy mixture over them, and sprinkle it all with a bit more salt.
Dig in immediately.
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
6 medium sweet potatoes (6–8 ounces each)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons white miso* (fermented soybean paste)
1 2/3-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated (about 2 teaspoons)
2 1-inch pieces scallion (dark-green parts only), thinly sliced lengthwise
*White miso, also called shiro miso, can be found at Asian markets and Amazon.com.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Cook bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered and bacon is starting to crisp. Transfer bacon to a sieve set over a small bowl; reserve drippings.
Return bacon, 1 Tbsp. drippings, sugar, and sesame seeds to same skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar turns the color of milk chocolate, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread out evenly; let cool. Break brittle into shards. Can be done 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400°. Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, 45–55 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Working over a large bowl, scoop out flesh from 8 halves, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick layer inside skins. Place potato halves on same foil-lined baking sheet. Scoop flesh from remaining 4 halves; discard skins. Mash flesh with a whisk; add eggs, butter, miso, and ginger and stir until mixture is smooth. Spoon or pipe filling into reserved skins. Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
Bake potatoes until the tops are lightly puffed and golden brown, 30–35 minutes (potatoes will take longer if they’ve been chilled). Top potatoes with bacon-sesame brittle and scallions.
I skipped the whole skin presentation thing. It looks beautiful, but frankly it was too much work for me. So I just put all of the potato flesh (mixed with the eggs, butter, miso etc) in one big casserole dish and baked it like that. It was delicious.
It’s been more than 70 years since the Eameses began experimenting with molded wood, using their “Kazam! Machine” to press thin sheets of wood veneer against a heated membrane that was inflated by a bicycle pump. As the designers pushed the material as far as it could go, they continued to explore and discover, surrendering to the design process that ultimately led to their Molded Plastic Chair. In its longstanding commitment to the Eameses’ vision of continued exploration, discovery and refinement, Herman Miller introduces the Molded Wood Side Chair. Creating the classic shell chair out of wood was made possible by today’s revolutionary 3-D veneer technology, whereby the wood is sliced into spaghetti-thin strips and then glued back together. The composite’s flexibility allows it to bend, curve and mold into shape, and because the technique reduces the thickness needed for the veneer, the result is an elegant yet strong and durable shell. This is an authentic Eames product by Herman Miller, and is available via Design Within Reach.
We adore this classic chair that blends just as well with mid-century modern as it does with traditional interiors. What’s your take on it? Love it or leave it?
IMAGE CREDITS | copy & images via Design Within Reach
For the specific fabrics used in Palette No. 15, please subscribe to CLOTH & KIND’s emails. Details for each textile are provided exclusively to our email friends. Happy Friday!
Hi. My name is…
My company is…
Quilts of my own design, all one-of-a-kind, with bits of things I find traveling or old clothes, vintage, or found fabrics.
Something you need to know about me is…
When I made my first quilt, around 2004, I had never even used a sewing machine. I had no fabric so I just went around the apartment cutting up stuff – literally the sheets, curtains, clothes. I still try to emulate that spirit nowadays.
Here’s how this company came to be…
I had been struggling to work as an actress in New York for over ten years and the idea of letting that go started brewing in me. I took off to join my boyfriend in Asia where he was working, and I just took the time to sew and develop my quilting style. He bought me a foot-pedal table sewing machine and we dragged it home in a tuk tuk. When I got back to the states I started to sell pieces, to supportive family and friends, making them on the kitchen floor. I made a logo, did my tax registration stuff, did a gallery show in LA, and slowly started to get some press and some stores and I’ve been chugging away since then. I started without any kind of business plan, so that’s a big focus right now – media packets, market research. look book, etc – stuff I was too afraid of before but now its clear I owe it to myself in order to really play ball!
My absolute favorite thing we sell right now is…
Well, I get sentimental about certain quilts sometimes – since each little bit of fabric in them has a story to me. Right now my favorite thing is a quilt (below) that’s in the wonderful store, Beautiful Dreamers, in Brooklyn. Its made from these old silk shirts of my dad’s from Paris and some worn out tribal jackets and indigo from Vietnam and Laos – stuff I foraged for. It’s a real roots piece for me and embodies that essential quilt philosophy on the re-use of things to make other new beautiful things for ourselves. I’m half a mind to call them and get it back everyday, but its in the right place there!
Here’s a sneak peek of something we’re working on now…
A lot is happening right now! I did my first design job with a big company – a quilt and some pillows for the home department at Anthropologie – available early winter. I’ve been recently cold-calling some of my favorite clothing and textile designers and saying hey, I want to make a quilt from your scraps and I am thrilled to have a few collaborations in the pipeline. I’m always playing around with talented friends – doing some pieced accents on clothes, bags and furniture – seeing what is fun and interesting and marketable.
I’m most proud of…
My decision to make this a job. With this work, I get to look at what is in front of me everyday, work with my hands and make something. Its a new dream. Its feels like a second chance at creative fulfillment.
Planning! I have a ridiculous sense of the timing for this work! I guess no one ever said making quilts was quick and easy but I forget the creative time is important too. I think I can finish something a given day and then a month later I’m still arranging the puzzle pieces, stitching, tweaking… I’m learning to factor in the creative process, not just the construction time.
I could never have done it without this person…
I had/have major wonderful support from my family – both financially and emotionally. In terms of the nuts and bolts of actually making a company happen, that would be my man, Chris. His practicality and clarity of thought and vision have been imperative to this process, as I can often get lost in future, the past, or just lose track of what the next action at hand is. He also holds the bar really high from a design perspective and I can bounce ideas off of him or he will challenge me with questions about composition or color. Having to be responsible for my decisions helps me really get behind my own work – it helps me feel proud. I’m not ashamed to say he has been a real backbone to this company!
I consistently read these for inspiration…
I love Pinterest of course, mouthwatering. Love Fibercopia and CLOTH & KIND for education. I read some design/fashion blogs – Design Sponge, Design for Mankind, Remodelista, The Sartorialist – the usual suspects. I read them because they are so well curated but it’s not really the world I exist in. I like Blondehaus, Weird Friends, Bleach Black – for a balance from the edgier side of the spectrum. I’ve got piles of books full of quilt history which are fun to drool over. NYT crossword keeps me fresh – I’ll do that when I need to break my brain from a piece I’m working on. I also have some old school reference books which I need sometimes. Since I’m self taught, I have to learn little tricks wherever I can.
I would like to share the limelight with…
Other quilters! There are a lot of young people making quilts – which is really inspiring and exciting to me. People like Meg Callahan, Ashley Thayer, Gina RockenWagner, Maura Grace Ambrose - they are all doing interesting things with a really old practice.