Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Mayonnaise – if you haven’t made it, you haven’t enjoyed mayonnaise. It is quite a bit thinner than store-bought but James Peterson, a “sauce expert,” suggests “[adding] a small amount of bottled mayonnaise to the egg yolk at the beginning [of the recipe] to act as an emulsifier.” Sounds like something to try. But even so, there really are few things nicer than home-made mayo.


Yields a bit over a cup of mayonnaise.

1 whole egg
1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon style mustard
1 clove of garlic, chopped small (optional but ARE YOU CRAZY?)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (use white if you object to speckles of black pepper)
1 cup vegetable or olive oil

I have a one-pint jar that has a screw-on lid that makes measuring, making and storing super easy. If you don’t have such a thing, use a close approximation. You want to use a container that is narrow and deep so that there is not a lot of space around the immersion blender.

Toss everything into the jar.

Stick the immersion blender to the bottom of the jar, turn it on, and verrrrrry slowly pull it up. Voila! You have mayonnaise!


Read Full Post »

It all started with “generously buttered noodles, sprinkled with just a quarter cup of parsley for color and freshness, are the perfect blank canvas for practically any stew or braise,” and we were off to the races for the thing I can make RIGHT NOW so I can enjoy some generously buttered noodles, sprinkled with just a quarter cup of parsley for color and freshness, as the perfect blank canvas for practically any stew or braise.

So, here we go.

Mushroom Stew

Wild Mushroom and Beef Stew

The good old standby – Pot Roast

Mmmm, Chorizo and Potato Stew – noodles might be overkill but, hey, live dangerously, I say.

Read Full Post »

Candied citrus peel is one of life’s small pleasures. I am especially fond of lemon. I have never candied limes, so I don’t know what the equivalent number is but I am sure you can figure it out.

4 large oranges OR 3 grapefruit OR 6 lemons
3 cups sugar, divided

Basically, you want to remove peel from flesh while keeping peel free of holes. Scrape away any stringy pith, don’t worry about the rest. You can use the flesh to make grapefruit curd. I haven’t made it myself but I don’t see how it wouldn’t work. Microwave curd seems like a good thing to try.

Cut the peels into quarter-inch strips and throw them in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and return peels to pan with 4 fresh cups of water, then repeat twice more, using fresh water each time.

After the final plain water boil and dump, add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to the pot with the peel, bring to a boil and cook until peels are soft and translucent – about 30 to 40 minutes for oranges, 20 to 30 minutes for lemon/lime, about 40 to 50 minutes for grapefruit. Drain and transfer peels to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet to cool for about 15 minutes, until they are tacky but not wet.

Put the remaining cup of sugar in a large bowl, add the tacky peel and toss to coat, laying the sugar-coated peel in a single layer on a rack or waxed paper to dry – 4 to 12 hours, then store in an air-tight container. I have kept peel in ziplock bags in the fridge for as long as two months and it is perfectly delicious.

If you want sour candied peel, you can 2 tablespoons of citric acid to the final sugar used for coating. Personally, I am not into sour, so I haven’t done this.

Read Full Post »

Adapted from Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer – a wonderful, basic cookbook that helped me feed myself the first few years I lived on my own. This baked rice is so easy and flavorful, pairing wonderfully with a pan-fried steak, broiled pork chop or chicken.

2 tablespoons butter or oil
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (or more – I usually put in about 1/3 cup)
1 cup long grain rice rice
2-3 shakes of Tabasco Sauce (original red)
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Melt the butter or heat the oil in an enameled cast iron pot, or an ovenproof saucepan with a lid. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.

Add the rice, then cook, stirring, till the rice turns white and opaque, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, tabasco, bay leaf and salt, and bring to a boil. Give it one last stir to roust any rice sticking to the pan bottom, then cover and put it on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 18 minutes and remove from the oven.

If you just set the pot aside without lifting the lid, it can sit for 10 minutes while you finish preparing the main course or your steak rests.

Toss the rice with a fork and remove the bay leaf before serving.

Voila! The best rice ever!

Read Full Post »

Yay, Pizza! Making pizza at home is so easy, and if you live in a food desert like I do, it’s the only way to get good pizza.

This is a big baby – a full sheet pan of Sicilian Pizza just like you can get in New York City.

Read Full Post »

This is a variation of a sour cream coffee cake that I learned to make when I could barely reach the kitchen counter. I love the top “crust” on that one – you mix chopped walnuts with sugar and cinnamon, then press it in the bottom of the pan, pouring the batter on top, then more nut/sugar, then the rest of the batter, turning the completed baked cake out so the bottom is the top. But that’s not what we’re here about – we’re here about this sour cream coffee cake which, (obviously) uses pecans, is not turned upside down, and the top of the cake is a crumb rather than a nutty, sugary crust. Whichever way you cut it, delicious!

For the Crumb:
1-1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed light (or dark – your choice!) brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Cake:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick of softened, room-temperature butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 9×9-inch baking pan.

Thoroughly mix the chopped pecans, sugars, cinnamon, salt and melted butter in a bowl until all components are coated with butter.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda).

In a larger bowl, blend the butter and sugar. Add the egg, beating just until incorporated, then add the second egg, beating until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract and sour cream, then add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mixing just until the flour disappears but do not over mix.

Spread half of the batter evenly into the bottom of the buttered 9×9 pan. Scatter half of the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the batter, then evenly top with the rest of the batter while trying not to disturb the crumbs. Sprinkle on the remaining, gently pressing the crumbs into batter.

Bake in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 30 to 35 minutes

Cool slightly before serving. You’re welcome!

Read Full Post »

I don’t know if that’s true but they sure are tasty! As far as the farting, I’ve read that if you eat beans regularly, your body processes them more easily, producing less gas. I don’t know if that’s true either but it would be a delicious experiment.

Spicy salmon and black bean salad is adaptable to enjoying in a pita, with greens or by itself.

I love me some Cuban Black Bean Soup! This recipe uses dried beans, so it requires preplanning.

Using canned black beans, you can be a bit more spontaneous in making spicy black beans and rice.

This recipe uses cream cheese to up the creaminess factor – and there’s corn! One-skillet creamy chipotle Mexican rice and black beans.

The recipe is titled “tacos” but it’s really quesadillas. I don’t care what you call it – it’s delicious! Crunchy black bean tacos.

Chickpeas are beans! Curried tomatoes and chickpeas over salad greens is so tasty!

Feeling fancy? Seared Lamb With White Bean and Mint Salad is gorgeous on your plate and in your mouth.

Ground beef taco casserole – serve it on top of salad greens or tortilla chips or rice!

Breakfast, lunch or dinner – steak, eggs and saucy beans!

Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup sounds like a plan!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »