Carol Han's delicious blog, Milk & Mode, is definitely one of our favorite guilty pleasures. Whether she's featuring her latest outfit (she's partial to short skirts, knee socks, high heels) or one of her drool-inducing recipes, we're always hungry for more.
Actually, we've been reading Han's blog entries ever since the day she began blogging for ELLE.com years ago–before she was scooped up as the Fashion Director for StyleCaster. Now at the head of her own creative consultancy agency (CA Creative, which she founded with her best friend, Alex Weiss), Han helps fashion brands cook up (and execute) original online initiatives and programs designed to get their name, products, and story out to the rest of us. She's worked with many great companies including Club Monaco and What Goes Around Comes Around, has hosted numerous fashion video segments, and truly is one of New York City's girls about town. And somehow she still finds the time and energy to cook–and cook well!
We sat down with Han to discuss how she first got into cooking, her favorite restaurants, and also to get her recipe for Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup. Enjoy!
StyledOn: When did you first get into cooking?
Carol Han: My mom owned restaurants while I was growing up and was always an avid home cook, so I grew up in the kitchen watching her at the stove. Food and cooking have been huge parts of my life ever since I can remember.
SO: What kind of dishes are your favorites to make?
SO: What makes for a great meal?
CH: Delicious food, great friends, good conversation, and Suz Monster (my puppy) waiting for leftovers at my feet.
SO: If you had to chose one: fashion or food?
CH: That would be a heartbreaking choice to make! I think it would have to be food, if only because I literally couldn’t survive without it!
SO: Favorite restaurants or chefs?
CH: Marlow & Sons, Egg, Ippudo, all the Momofuku restaurants, my friend Angelo Bianchi’s new Italian place Rubirosa, the dearly departed Lassi (which I just heard is reopening soon, thank god!), and I do love a good steak from Peter Luger’s once in a great while.
SO: How will you be spending Thanksgiving?
CH: I’ll be flying home to Hawaii to spend the holiday with my family. I’m so excited.
Carol Han's Recipe: Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup
Adapted from Gourmet Quick Kitchen
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb chourico or linguica (smoked Portuguese sausages), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups water
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves thinly sliced
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown sausage, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to fat in pot and cook onion and garlic with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper over medium heat, stirring often, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add potatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Mash some potatoes into soup to thicken, then add kale and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook until just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
Note: Soup can be made a couple of days in advance. Just cover it and stick in the refrigerator. The kale will lose its vibrant green color, but the soup's flavor will get even better. Reheat slowly, uncovered, thinning with additional water if necessary.
All photos of Carol Han taken by Mark Iantosca
Photo of the Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup by Carol Han
Are you getting excited for Thanksgiving? What will you be cooking and what will you wear?