Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chili Dogs


Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium jar ketchup, about 2 1/2 cups
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 all-beef hot dogs (recommended: Ball Park)
4 hot dog rolls
1/2 cup grated Cheddar


Put a skillet over medium heat and drizzle in a 2-count of olive oil. When the oil gets hazy, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until it is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, and cook until nicely browned, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the ketchup, chili powder, and mustard and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

While the chili is cooking, get the grill going. Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small
amount of oil on the paper towel. Then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick grilling surface.

Bring a pot of water up to a simmer and parboil the dogs for about 5 minutes. Take them out of the water, pat them dry, and grill them just long enough to mark them. (That'll give them a grilled flavor too.) Brush the insides of the rolls with olive oil and lay them face down on the grill; cook until toasty. To serve, put a dog in each roll and top with the chili and some Cheddar.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Broccoli, Parmesan and Lemon

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 3 heads broccoli (about 3 pounds)
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
* 1 lemon, juiced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim about 1 inch off the ends of the broccoli stalks and cut the
broccoli lengthwise into spears. Arrange the broccoli on a nonstick
cookie sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and season with a little bit
of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to
coat evenly. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and sprinkle the cheese evenly over
the top and bake until the cheese melt and forms a crisp shell over
the broccoli, about 10 minutes. Lift the broccoli out onto a platter
with a spatula and drizzle with fresh lemon.

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Cook Time: 20 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings


* 2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
* 1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 cinnamon stick


Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer
until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20
minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the
cinnamon stick before serving.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bittersweet Chocolate Cloud Cake

Recipe courtesy Tish Boyle

Cook Time: 35 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62 percent) finely chopped
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brandy
3 large eggs, separated plus 3 egg whites
1/3 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position rack in the center.

Pour 1/2 -inch water into a large roasting pan and place in oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, cut to fit. Butter the paper. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Put 1 cup of sugar and the coffee in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from the heat add the chocolate and return to low heat. Keep stirring over heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Add brandy. Whisk in the egg yolks until no trace of yolk is left. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk the flour into the chocolate mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the 6 egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat on high until peaks are almost stiff.

Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into chocolate mixture (no need to fold at this point). Then gently fold in the remaining whites, 1/3 at a time, until no streaks of white remain. Pour into pan and smooth top. Bake in water bath for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Place cake on wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Remove sides of pan and carefully invert cake onto cardboard cake round or flat plate. Chill for at least 2 hours before glazing.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, covering it completely; spread evenly with a metal spatula. Serve the cake immediately or refrigerate. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey

Put chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Whisk in the honey. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

New York Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy Scott Bieber, Executive Chef at Taste

Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
Level: Difficult
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 5 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 6 tablespoons melted butter

* 24 ounces cream cheese
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest (recommended: Meyer lemon)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 5 eggs, separated
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons sugar

* 12 ounces creme fraiche
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* Cherry Confit, recipe follows
* Special equipment: a 9-inch non-stick Teflon coated spring form pan
* Serving suggestion: with a dessert wine (recommended: Alsatian Riesling).


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and using a mixing cup press the crumbs into the base. Using your fingers gently press crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.

In a food processor, cream the cream cheese and the sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla, Blend until smooth. Add 5 egg yolks and heavy cream, pulse until smooth. Pour into a large clean bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a soft froth forms. Add 2 tablespoons sugar slowly to the egg whites and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese, a little bit at a time until fully integrated. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight and serve. Best served at room temperature.

Serve with Cherry Confit.

Cherry Confit:

1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split
2 sprigs thyme (tied with string)

In a medium non-corrosive saucepan place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and thyme. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cherries and simmer for 1 hour. If more liquid is needed add water. Continue to simmer until the cherry mixture is thick and the cherries are soft. Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Yield: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes


Peach-Blueberry Pie

Cook Time: 1 hr
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


* 1 recipe Basic Pastry Pastry, chilled 30 minutes, recipe follows
* Flour, for rolling
* 2 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced
* 1 pint blueberries
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 lemon, juiced
* 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
* 1 egg, beaten with a drizzle of water
* Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Move the oven rack to the bottom
third of the oven.

Divide the dough in half and set one half aside; cover it with a towel
or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. On a lightly floured work
surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Loosely drape the
dough round over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan.
Press the dough over the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges
to about 1/2-inch.

Toss the fruit with the sugar, lemon, and cornstarch. Pile the fruit
into the pie shell and dot with the butter. Roll out the reserved
dough to a 9 to 10-inch round and lay it over the fruit. Trim, and
crimp the edges. Cut 2 or 3 (2-inch) vents in the top of the pie and
brush with the egg glaze. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake until
the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the
vents, 50 to 60 minutes. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they
brown too fast. Cool on a rack before serving. Serve with vanilla ice

Basic Pie Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the
mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water and
work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food
processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients,
then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.) Check the consistency
of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and
forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the
dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If
it's still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk
and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at
least 30 minutes.

Yield: enough for 1 double-crust pie or crostata
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: none
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: intermediate

Truffle Tarts with Raspberries

Prep Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 servings


* 1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (from Oreo cookies or
chocolate wafers)
* 6 tablespoons melted butter
* 1 recipe Dark Chocolate Truffles, recipe follows, whipped but
not shaped into balls
* 6 fresh raspberries, plus extra for serving


Use a fork to mix together the chocolate wafer crumbs and butter.
Spray the cups of a 6-muffin tin with a vegetable spray. Line the cups
with strips of parchment or waxed paper, cut so that they are as wide
as the diameter of each cup and long enough to overhang the sides
(you'll need this overhang to remove the tarts). Use the bottom of a
small glass to press the crumbs over the bottom and sides of the
muffin cups, building the sides up to only about 1 1/2 inches. Place a
raspberry in the center of each crust and with a pastry bag or small
plastic bag with the corner snipped off, fill the tarts with the
truffle mixture. Smooth the tops and refrigerate until set, about 2

Dark Chocolate Truffles:

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder, for dusting

In a saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer over low heat. Pour
the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and let stand about 10 minutes
to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Set
aside to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Then beat the chocolate
at medium speed until it gets thick and light colored. Spread over the
bottom of a baking dish and smooth the top. Refrigerate about 2 hours,
until firm.

Pour the cocoa powder onto a deep plate or shallow bowl. Use a melon
baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of chocolate; place
them on the plate with the cocoa powder and roll between 2 forks to
completely coat with the cocoa powder. Then use the forks to carefully
transfer them to a parchment or waxed lined baking sheet.

Yield: 15 to 20 candies, depending on size
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hours
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

Ultimate Fried Chicken

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken, cut up into 10 pieces
* Kosher salt
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 2 tablespoons onion powder
* 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
* 2 teaspoons cayenne
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 quart buttermilk
* 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce (recommended: Srirachi)
* Peanut oil, for frying
* 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
* 3 big sprigs fresh rosemary
* 1/4 bunch fresh sage
* 1/2 head garlic, smashed, husk still attached
* Lemon wedges, for serving


Put the chicken pieces into a large bowl. Cover the chicken with water
by 1 inch; add 1 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water used.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

In a large shallow platter, mix the flour, garlic powder, onion
powder, paprika, and cayenne until well blended; season generously
with salt and pepper. In another platter combine the buttermilk and
hot sauce with a fork and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the chicken and pat it dry. Dredge the pieces, a few at a time,
in the flour mixture,then dip them into the buttermilk; dredge them
again in the seasoned flour. Set aside and let the chicken rest while
you prepare the oil.

Put about 3 inches of oil into a large deep pot; it should not come up
more than half way. Add the thyme, rosemary, sage, and garlic to the
cool oil and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350 to
365 degrees F on one of those clip-on deep-fry thermometers. The herbs
and garlic will perfume the oil with their flavor as the oil comes up
to temperature.

Once the oil has reached 350 to 365 degrees F, working in batches,
carefully add the chicken pieces 3 or 4 at a time. Fry, turning the
pieces once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes.
Total cooking time should be about 30 minutes. When the chicken is
done, take a big skimmer and remove the chicken pieces and herbs from
the pot, shaking off as much oil as you can, and lay it on a tea towel
or brown paper bag to soak up the oil. Sprinkle all over with more
salt and a dusting of cracked black pepper. Repeat with the remaining
chicken pieces. Once all the chicken is fried, scatter the fried herbs
and garlic over the top. Serve hot, with big lemon wedges.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 servings


* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
* 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
* 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
* Pinch sugar
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 cup dried bread crumbs
* 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
* Freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente


Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the
oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir
for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some
hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like
tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce
is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower
the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little
assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board
and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts
with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the
flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and
pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine
the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a
plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large
oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets
in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat
completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread
crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4
minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with
mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15
minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
* 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 2 carrots, finely chopped
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 1 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1 1/2 pound ground beef
* 2 cups milk
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 2 cups dry red wine
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound dry tagiatelle pasta
* Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
* 1 handful fresh basil leaves
* Fresh ricotta cheese


Reconstitute the mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes until
tender, drain and coarsely chop.

Puree the mushrooms, pancetta, onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic,
together in a blender.

In a heavy-bottomed pot add olive oil, bay leaves, herbs and cook
gently until fragrant, then add vegetable puree and continue to cook
for a further 5 to 10 minutes.

Raise the heat a bit and add the ground pork and beef; brown until the
meat is no longer pink, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the milk and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 10
minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, and wine and season with salt
and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and cover.
Slowly simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring now and then, until the
sauce is very thick. Taste again for salt and pepper.

When you are ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a
boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet
firm (as they say in Italian "al dente"). Drain the pasta well and
toss with the Bolognese sauce.

Serve with a good scoop of fresh ricotta cheese and garnish with some
shredded basil, grated Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil

Halibut and Cioppino

Cook Time: 45 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Halibut and Cioppino:

* 5 links chorizo
* 1 large onion
* 2 garlic cloves
* 2 ribs celery
* 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, drained, hand-crushed with juice
reserved (recommended: San Marzano)
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 cups dry red wine
* 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
* Salt and pepper
* 2 fresh Dungeness crabs (2 pounds each), cut into 6 pieces
* 16 littleneck clams, scrubbed
* 16 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/4 bunch Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
* 4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Extra-virgin olive oil

Sourdough Garlic Toasts:

* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 loaf sourdough bread, cut in slices but still connected


Place the chorizo, onion, garlic, celery, and tomatoes in a food
processor and process until the pieces are small and well ground up.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the ground chorizo and
vegetables to cook until well colored and fat is rendered. Once the
ground chorizo and vegetables are cooked, add the flour, thyme and bay
leaves. Saute for a further 5 to 7 minutes (this forms the base of a
roux). Then add the red wine, reserved tomato juice, and chicken
stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper and then cover and simmer
for 30 minutes. With 10 minutes to go, turn the heat up and add the
crabs and clams to the broth and steam until open, discarding any
un-open ones. Reduce the heat and just prior to service add the shrimp
and shut off the heat so they don't get over cooked. Remove and
discard bay leaves.

While the cioppino is cooking, prepare the halibut. Season the fillets
with salt and pepper and fresh thyme. Heat a large nonstick saute pan
and add a 2-count of olive oil. Cook fillets 4 minutes on 1 side then
turn once briefly before setting on paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine, garlic, butter, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir
to combine. Smear the inside of the bread with garlic butter and toast
on a sheet tray in the oven. Reserve any left over garlic-butter to
serve with the cioppino.

To serve, set garlic sourdough toasts in the bottom of a flat bowl.
Top with halibut then ladle over cioppino. Top with a spoonful of
reserved garlic butter. Garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley and

Monday, December 15, 2008

Horseradish And Garlic Prime Rib

Cook Time: 2 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prime Rib:

* 1 (3-rib) prime rib beef roast, about 6 pounds
* 5 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 2 heads garlic, halved
* 1/2 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradish
* 1/2 cup sea salt
* 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 2 parsnips
* 1 red onion, halved

Wild mushrooms:

* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake,
chanterelle, or white, trimmed and sliced
* Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
* 1/4 cup reserved beef broth (drippings from roast) or low-sodium
canned broth
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down. (The
ribs act as a natural roasting rack.) In a small bowl mash together
the garlic, horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste.
Massage the paste generously over the entire roast. Scatter the
vegetables and halved garlic around the meat and drizzle them with a
2-count of oil. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 1
1/2 to 2 hours for medium-rare (or approximately 20 minutes per
pound). Check the internal temperature of the roast in several places
with an instant-read thermometer; it should register 125 degrees F.
for medium-rare. Remove the beef to a carving board and let it rest
for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to
rise by about 10 degrees. Remove the vegetables and set aside. Pour
the pan juices into a fat separator or small bowl and set aside to
allow the fat and beef juices to separate. Pour off and discard the
fat. You will use the tasty beef juices for the mushrooms.

Place a clean skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and a 2-count
drizzle of oil. When the butter starts to foam. add the mushrooms and
thyme; and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a
few minutes. Add the red wine, stirring to scrape up any stuck bits;
then cook and stir to evaporate the alcohol. When the wine is almost
all gone, add the reserved beef juices. Let the liquid cook down and
then take it off the heat. Stir in the cream and chives, and season
with salt and pepper.

Crispy and Creamy New Potato Pie

Cook Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 pounds potatoes, washed and halved
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish (or prepared)
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup chives, chopped
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and boil potatoes in salty water with bay leaf until fork tender.
Drain potatoes and mash along with horseradish, sour cream, and
chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Put mixture into a 10-inch skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and
bake until golden and crispy. To serve, invert onto a plate and cut
into pieces.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Roast Loin of Pork with Baked Apples and Cider Gravy

Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 8 servings


* 2 (5 pound) pork loin roasts, rib bones attached, back bone
(chine) removed
* Small bunch sage, leaves chopped
* Small bunch thyme, leaves chopped
* 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 lemon, juiced optional


* 8 Gala or Golden Delicious apples
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 or 2 large corn muffins crumbled (1/2 cup), reserve some for
sprinkling on apples
* 1/2 cup golden raisins
* 6 sage leaves, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup hard cider
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the pork roast in a roasting pan with the ribs facing up, braced
against each other. Add sage and thyme to olive oil. Brush the pork
roasts with oil mixture and season with a generous amount of salt and
pepper. Roast the pork loin for 2 1/2 hours, until the skin is
crackled. (Put the apples in the oven along with the pork roast in the
last half hour of cooking.)

Remove the pork roast to a cutting board and let it rest for 15
minutes before carving. Pour out some of the excess fat from the
roasting pan and put it on the stove over medium-high heat. Sprinkle
the flour into the hot pan juices, stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook and stir the roux until its
light brown. Add the cider and continue to stir to incorporate. Pour
in the chicken broth; boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is
thick. Check for seasoning - add lemon juice if necessary. Serve the
cider gravy with the pork roast and baked apples.

To make the buttered apples: Core the apples with an apple corer,
making a good size cavity to hold the stuffing. Douse the cut sides of
the apples with some of the lemon juice to prevent them from browning
while you make the stuffing. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened
butter, muffin crumbs, raisins, sage, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and
pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities of the cored apples;
stand them up, side by side, in a baking dish and sprinkle the tops
with the reserved muffin crumbs. Pour the cider around the apples and
bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees F, until soft when pierced
with a knife. Place the warm apples in the center of a round serving
dish. Spoon the cider sauce around the apples and serve with the pork

Friday, December 12, 2008

Roasted Turkey Gravy

Cook Time: 2 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 3 cups


* 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large, smoked turkey wing or 2 small ones
* 1 medium onion, quartered
* 2 carrots, chopped
* 1 ribs celery, chopped
* 1 head garlic, split through the equator
* 4 stems fresh sage
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 6 parsley stems
* 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 6 cups chicken stock
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high
heat. Add the wing, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs, and
cook for 5 minutes. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove
from the oven and place over medium heat. Remove the wing and set
aside. Add the flour and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock
and simmer until it has reduced by about 1/4, about 15 minutes. Strain
the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lemon Yogurt Berry Swirl with Homemade Granola

Recipe courtesy Mark Dissin


* 4 cups oats (NOT quick-cook or instant)
* 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, shelled, but skin still on
* 1/2 cup flax seeds
* 1/2 cup light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil (canola)
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups raisins or dried cranberries
* 1 cup diced dried apricots
* 1/2 cup dried banana slices


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix oats, almonds, flax seeds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a
bowl. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla
extract. Pour the honey, oil, vanilla mixture over the oat mixture and
mix gently, but well. Mix with spatula and eventually your hands.
Spread out onto a sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes (stir after the
first 20). Cool and break up any clumps. Mix in dried fruit.

Yield: about 9 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Lemon Yogurt and Berry Swirl:

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


Berry swirl:

* 3 cups mixed berries (any combination, strawberries,
blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) frozen
* 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 lemon, juiced

Lemon yogurt:

* 1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla yoghurt
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Add berries, lemon juice and confectioners' sugar in a pan over medium
heat. Cook until the berries break down and mixture becomes syrupy, 10
to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the yogurt, zest and juice in a mixing bowl and stir. To
serve, set up glasses and layer with granola, yogurt and berries.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chicken Satay

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 20 skewers


* 1 cup plain yogurt
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon curry powder
* 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
* 20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
* Vegetable oil, for grilling
* Butter lettuce leaves
* Fresh cilantro leaves
* Peanut sauce, recipe follows


Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow
mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt
marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken
marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer
in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays
in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush
it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken
satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked
through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and
cilantro; accompanied by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.
Peanut Sauce:

* 1 cup smooth peanut butter
* 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
* 2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 2 limes, juiced
* 1/2 cup hot water
* 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar,
and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While
the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce,
you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl
and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.

Yield: 3 cups

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Champagne Lemonade

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 8 cocktails


* 1 cup sugar
* 3 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
* 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
* Thin lemon slices, for garnish


Put the sugar and 1 cup water into a small saucepan and bring it to a
boil. Cook for 1 minute until the sugar has dissolved, turn off the
heat, and allow the sugar syrup to cool.

In a pitcher combine the cooled sugar syrup with the lemon juice and
remaining 2 cups water and mix well. Fill a Champagne flute halfway
with the lemonade and top with Champagne. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Roasted Tomato Soup

Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry,
vine and plum tomatoes)
* 6 cloves garlic, peeled
* 2 small yellow onions, sliced
* Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 2 bay leaves
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
* 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes,
garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry
tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the
vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and
pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.

Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer
to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later).
Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil,
reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has
reduced by a third.

Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an
immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low
heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock,
if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black
pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a
splash of heavy cream.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Cook Time: 1 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1 cup milk
* 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
* 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 cups heated Pomodoro Sauce, recipe follows, or good quality
jarred tomato sauce
* 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
* Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil
* 1 pound spaghetti


Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Heat 3
tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the
onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but
still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let

Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak
while the onions are cooling. Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add
the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Use
your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to
the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture. (Hang onto the pan -
you'll need it to cook the meatballs.) Gently combine all the
ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together.
Don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough. Divide into 10 equal
pieces and shape them into 10 nice looking meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a 3-count of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the
meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes. Put them into a baking dish
and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over. Shower with the
mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put the meatballs in the oven
and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente,
about 8 minutes. Drain and put it onto a large serving platter. Pour
on the rest of the sauce and mix well. Spoon the meatballs on top of
the spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately along
with extra cheese.

Pomodoro Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and
crushed by hand, liquid reserved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the
onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5
minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes)
and about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and season with salt and
pepper. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Taste and
adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring for a
few minutes with a wooden spoon to further break up the tomatoes.
Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the fresh
basil and season again.

Yield: 4 cups

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Potato Chips Dusted with Chili Powder

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 large sweet potatoes
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


Blue Cheese and Chive Dip, recipe follows

Peel sweet potatoes and discard skin. Using the vegetable peeler or a
mandoline make long thin chips by peeling/slicing lengthwise from top
to bottom. Place in a bowl of ice water and chill for 1 hour. Drain in
a colander and layout on paper towels and pat dry.

Combine chili powder, garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne, cumin and
salt and pepper.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot to 375 degrees F. Fry the potatoes
in single layer batches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Lift
chips out with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with
the spice mixture and serve immediately. Serve as an appetizer with
Blue Cheese and Chives dip.

Blue Cheese and Chive Dip:

* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup mayonnaise, store-bought
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
* 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 bunch finely chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, blue cheese, honey and
chives in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with
chives. Serve with spicy and sweet potato chips.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: about 8 to 9 biscuits


* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in
the shortening using a pastry blender or your hands or a stand mixer
fixed with a dough hook until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center and add 1 cup buttermilk. Using your hands,
quickly fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk until a sticky
dough forms. You may need to add more buttermilk.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently fold the dough over
itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Press the dough out to 1
1/2-inches thick and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Lay the
biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with
buttermilk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crisp Chicken Wings with Chili-Lime Butter

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 4 pounds chicken wings
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 big, fat rounded tablespoon Thai red curry paste
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1 lime, halved
* Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse the wings under cool water and pat dry. Put them in a bowl,
drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to
coat with the seasoning. Then spread the wings out on a baking sheet
and roast about 25 minutes until the skin gets crisp and brown, and
the meat is tender.

While you wait, throw the butter, red curry paste honey and soy sauce
into a blender. Season with salt and puree. Scrape into a big bowl.
When the wings come out of the oven put add to the bowl with the curry
butter. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the wings. Give it a toss
and you're done. Garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oven Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter

Cook Time: 3 hr
Level: Easy
Yield: 10-12 servings


* 1 (12 to 14) pound fresh turkey
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing, recipe follows
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Sage Butter, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven.

Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry
with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt
and pepper. Stuff the cavity with stuffing and, if required, truss the
legs. Cover the turkey with olive oil and season well with salt and
pepper. Push the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, being
careful not to puncture the skin.

Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, and into the oven.
Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the
meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will
run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes
per pound). If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting,
cover them with foil.

Sage Butter:

2 sticks butter, softened

1/4 cup chopped sage

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing:

2 tablespoons butter

2 onions, chopped

6 large cornmeal muffins, cubed

Handful fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 egg

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions
and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until soft and
caramelized. Add sage and scrape into a large mixing bowl. Add the
cornbread pieces, season well with salt and pepper, and give it a good
toss until it's well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the
egg, cream, and stock, and pour that over the cornbread. Stir the
stuffing together and stuff the cavity of the turkey. You could also
spoon it into a buttered baking dish and put it in the oven along with
the turkey. Bake until hot and crusty on top, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tyler's 1000 Layer Quesadillas

Cook Time: 20 min
Yield: 8 quesadillas, 4 servings


* 1 pork tenderloin
* Salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 lime, juiced
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
* 4 ears corn, husked
* 12 10-inch corn tortillas
* 2 cups crumbled blue cheese
* 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
* 4 tablespoons canola oil
* Sour cream, to garnish
* Salsa, for garnish
* Guacamole, for garnish
* Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


Preheat a grill or grill pan. Season the pork loin with salt and
pepper. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic,
oregano, onion powder, lime juice and canola oil and mix to form a
paste. Rub the paste all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 2
hours. Place the onion and the corn on the grill and grill until
tender and slightly charred. Remove and set aside. With a knife,
remove the kernels from the corn. Remove the pork from the
refrigerator and place on the grill. Grill to medium, about 4 minutes
per side. Remove from the grill and slice into thin slices. Wrap the
tortillas in a damp paper towel or clean cloth and place in the
microwave for 20 seconds to soften. Place 4 corn tortillas on a flat
surface. Place 1/8th of the cheese on each tortilla and top with 1/8th
of the pork, onions, corn, and jalapenos. Top with another tortilla
and another 1/8th of the cheese, pork, onions, corn, and jalapenos.
Top with another tortillas and press down firmly with your hands on
each stack. Brush the tops of each stack with some of the canola oil
and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 10
minutes, or until the cheese melts and the tortillas are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and garnish with sour cream, salsa, guacamole,
and cilantro.

Mango Strawberry Snow Cones

Prep Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
* 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
* 1 lime juiced, plus wedges for garnish
* 8 cups ice
* Mint leaves, for garnish


Put the mangoes and strawberries into a blender or food processor.
Squeeze in the lime juice and puree.

Crush ice in a food processor or blender until it is very fine, like
snow. Pile the crushed ice into dessert dishes; pour the fruit puree
over until you can't see any more white. Garnish with lime wedges and
mint; serve immediately.