Sunday, January 27, 2013


A new favorite recipe...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Meatballs and Marinara

So comforting and just plain good! A terrific make-ahead meal.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

THE Kale Salad

This is my amalgam of three different popular recipes for kale salad:

1 bunch kale, washed well and drained
2 handfuls panko
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus adiitional for garnish
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of one large lemon (scant 1/4 cup)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the kale leaves away from the central ribs and discard the ribs. Slice the kale leaves into the thinnest possible ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour half the lemon juice over the kale and massage it in for a couple of minutes until it starts to wilt. Set aside.

Toast the panko until golden brown.

Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, the remaining lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves).. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste and adjust for seasoning and then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil. This is enough for maybe 6 people.

Broccoli Sub with Ricotta and Lychee Pickles

I love every single sandwich at No 7 Sub, but especially this one.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lamb Skewers with Green Olive and Mint Sauce

Great under the broiler, as well as on the grill.

Candied Oranges

I made these years ago, to give as gifts at holiday time. Luscious.

Best Blueberry Pie

This needed just a little bit more tapioca than called for in the recipe, but was otherwise spot on.

Doro Wat

With hot injera, one of my all-time faves...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Asopao de Camarones

I added achiote oil, pimentos, peas and three times the amount of sofrito (oh, and left out the chopped tomato and swapped chicken stock for clam juice) but otherwise (ahem!) made no major changes to this recipe. This was fantastic. Asopao MUST be served with buttered garlic toasts. I now officially make the best asopao in the world. Anywhere.

Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon with Port-Cherry Reduction

Rustic Plum Cake

Easy Apple Strudel

Magical Muhammara

Lowcountry Breakfast Shrimp

Creamy Stone-Ground Grits

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crispy Herbed Shrimp with Chive Aioli/Asparagus and Tomatoes

This dish caused a major sensation at my mother-in-law's book club luncheon. The asparagus/tomato side is a simple and delicious accompaniment.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cherry-Almond Focaccia

Even better than it looks.

The Perfect Poach

Monday, January 7, 2013

Yellow Split Pea Soup

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 pound yellow split peas
* 1 pound carrots, cut into 1½‐inch pieces
* ¼ pound celery, cut into 1½‐inch pieces
* 1 smoked ham hock
* 8 cups chicken stock
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Salt


1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium‐high heat. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium‐low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick and creamy, about 2 hours. Remove the ham hock, chop as much or as little of the meat as you like, and return it to the soup, discarding the bone.
2. Season with salt to taste. (You may not need any salt because the ham hock can be quite salty.)

Red Beans with Spanish Sausage

Mushroom Salad with Yuzu Dressing

Herb-Roasted Onions

* 2 red onions
* 1 yellow onion
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup good olive oil
* 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onion in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Mu Shu Pork

Serves six.
1/2 lb. lean pork, such as loin or tenderloin
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 cup dried cloud ears
1/2 cup golden needles (also called dried lily buds)
3 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
1 slice fresh ginger, about 1 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 lb. Savoy or white cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 scallion (white and green parts), cut lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, rinsed, drained, and sliced into a 2-inch julienne
1 tsp. salt
Mandarin Pancakes
Mandarin Sauce
how to make

Cut the pork into 1/4-inch slices. Stack the slices and cut them into thin strips. In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, cornstarch, and rice wine. Add the sliced pork and toss to coat. In separate small bowls, soak the cloud ears and golden needles in warm water for about 10 min. Drain and rinse well. Cut off the stems from the cloud ears and golden needles. Cut the cloud ears into small pieces and the golden needles in half.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger slice, cook it until sizzling and fragrant, and then remove and discard it. Add the eggs and scramble them, breaking them up into small pieces when just set. Remove the eggs from the wok and reserve. Heat another 1 Tbs. oil in the wok until very hot. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until about halfway cooked, about 45 seconds. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, until transparent, about 1 min. Add the scallion, cloud ears, golden needles, bamboo shoots, and salt; cook, stirring constantly, about 3 min. Return the scrambled eggs to the wok to warm them. Mix well.

To serve, spread some sauce on a pancake, add some stir-fry, and then wrap and eat with your hands.

From Fine Cooking 31, pp. 54-57

photo: Sloan Howard

Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Chicken and Pancakes

Chinese Pancakes: Bok Bang
Recipe adapted from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, The Chinese Chicken Cookbook, Simon and Schuster, 2004
There is nothing better than eating freshly made pancakes with hot mu shu chicken.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, enriched, bleached (recommended: Pillsbury Best) plus 1/2 cup for dusting
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
Hoisin Sauce, recipe follows
Cantonese Fried Chicken, recipe follows
White parts of 6 scallions, shredded into 2-inch lengths

Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the boiling water and stir in 1 direction with a wooden spoon. When the flour absorbs the water and cools, knead the dough into a ball and then place it on a work surface dusted with flour. Knead for about 2 minutes, until the dough is thoroughly smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

On a flour-dusted work surface roll the dough into a 12-inch sausage and divide into 12 (1-inch) pieces. Flatten each piece with your palm, using more flour to dust if the dough is sticky. While working, cover the dough not in use with plastic wrap. Working with 2 pieces of dough at a time, wipe 1 side of each piece gently with sesame oil and place 1 flattened, oiled piece atop another. Roll them together into 7-inch rounds. The result is a 2-layer pancake. Repeat until 6 (2-layer) pancakes are made.

Heat a wok over low to medium heat for 1 minute. Place a double pancake in the dry wok and cook for a minute, until it begins to bubble up. (The heat in the dry wok must be carefully controlled. If it is too high, the pancakes will burn.) Turn the pancake over and cook until a few brown spots appear. Remove from the wok and separate into 2 layers. You will have 2 pancakes, each browned lightly on 1 side and white on the other. Repeat until all the dough is used and you have 12 pancakes.

Before serving, steam the pancakes in a stack for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft and hot. Brush the pancake with hoisin sauce, place the chicken slice in the pancake, add some scallion, and fold up the bottom to create an envelope closed on 3 sides but open at the top. Serve immediately.

Hoisin Sauce:
1/3 cup sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shao-Hsing wine or sherry

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Cantonese Fried Chicken

Poaching Liquid:
3 whole eight-star anise
1/4 dried tangerine skin (about 2 inches long)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 slice ginger, 1-inch long, lightly smashed
10 cups cold water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Chinese white rice wine or gin
1 whole nutmeg

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds), cleaned thoroughly and dried

1 1/2 tablespoons honey melted with 3 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons Shao-Hsing wine or sherry
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese white rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoons cornstarch

6 cups peanut oil (for frying)

Combine the poaching ingredients in a large pot (preferably an oval Dutch oven) and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Raise the heat to high and return to a boil. Place the chicken in the pot, breast side-up. Cover. When the pot begins to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and repeat the process.

Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to sit in the liquid, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a rack that has been set into a platter and allow to drain. Pierce the skin with a fork to help the draining. Discard all the ingredients from the pot. Reserve poaching liquid for later use.

Mix the coating ingredients, and with a pastry brush, coat the chicken thoroughly with the mixture. Allow the chicken to dry completely, about 6 hours. During this time, turn the chicken, taking care not to mar the coating. (An electric fan can reduce the drying time by half.)

Heat a wok over high heat for a minute. Add the peanut oil and heat it to 375 degrees F. Using a large Chinese strainer, lower the chicken into the oil, breast side up, and deep-fry for 3 minutes. Use a ladle to pour oil over the chicken to ensure uniformity in frying. Turn the chicken over by inserting a wooden spoon in its cavity, and deep-fry for another 3 minutes, ladling the oil as before. Repeat until the chicken is golden brown. Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken and allow it to drain. Place the chicken on a chopping board and slice the meat and skin together into pieces 1 by 2 inches.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Lamb Kofte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara

So much greater than the sum of its humble parts...

Pork Meatball Banh Mi

One of Bill's all-time faves.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Burmese Red Pork Stew

Stone Fruit Lattice Pie

Mushroom Leek Gratin

Nice with chicken. A bit fussy to make.

Pomegranate-Cumin Dressing

Perfect on a kebab.

Balsamic Jelly

With bread and butter...

Pickled Cherries

Perfect on a cheese plate, or tossed in a salad.

Lamb Chops with Lemon

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Leave out the onions, but observe the technique...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Meringue Stars

Seared Scallops with Herb Butter Pan Sauce

Sausage and Leek Ragu

Potato Gnocchi

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mango Kale Salad

The other yummy kale salad in my repertoire. Totally refreshing.

Hoppin' John

Please use smoked neck bones instead of ham hocks! Around the holidays, you can buy them off of the turnip/neck bone trucks on 7th avenue if you are lucky enough to live in Harlem. I finish them off with a little grated sharp cheddar for extra richness.

Tuscan Kale Salad

One of several luscious kale salads I've been making lately.