In the last elimination challenge before the finals in the first season of Top Chef, a panel of judges including some of the most accomplished and discerning chefs in the country chose Dave’s truffle & cognac cream macaroni & cheese, filet of beef, and collard greens & radicchio as the winning dish. The filet and greens were criticized for being “afterthoughts” to the macaroni & cheese, which itself was the favorite dish of all the judges. Why did macaroni and cheese capture the imagination of experienced chefs and critics of high-end cuisine? Continue reading
I like to cook. Really, I do. It’s just that I don’t seem to actually do it very often during the week. I come home late from work and don’t feel like making anything more complicated than a hotdog or peanut-butter sandwich. And when I do come home ready to cook, I often have nothing to cook, because I haven’t gone to the grocery store. I was looking through the cupboard trying to find something other than pasta and tomato sauce to eat when I noticed a can of black beans. I like refried beans, and thought a smoother, more liquidy version would be good as a pasta sauce. Then I ordered a pizza.
But I eventually came back to the idea, and here’s the result. It’s low fat, yet tasty and satisfying. With the beans and whole wheat pasta, it’s a good source of fiber and complete protein. Everything except the yogurt can keep for months, so it’s forgiving of my grocery shopping lapses. Continue reading
An Italian seafood stew – works easily as main dish or as starter course in smaller servings. Continue reading
A Bulgarian salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, and feta. Continue reading
This was the tiered cheesecake at our wedding reception. I couldn’t find my cheesecake book when it was time to go grocery shopping, and couldn’t find a recipe that looked like what I wanted, so I modified one. I didn’t have time to test it, and it was our guests’ good fortune that it turned out to be the best cheesecake any of us had ever tasted.
I made three batches total – a double batch for the 14″ tier and a single batch divided between the 10″ and 6″ tiers. But they were pretty short – you could probably pour a whole batch into a 10″ (3″ high) pan without it overflowing. Be sure to do the banging on the counter bit – if you don’t get out all the air bubbles the cake will crack.
I saw this very briefly on a tv cooking show and went off to find the recipe. Of course, it wasn’t available online unless you paid $35 for a 6 month subscription (yeah RIGHT!) so I made it up as I went along.
The seemingly disparate flavours combine amazingly well, and the sour cream seems to pull it all together at the end.
Of course, it could be made non dairy by leaving out the sour cream (and optional butter)and I think it would still work. If you were to do this I would cut down the heat in the relish, as the cream acts to tone this down at the end.
This is not as much work as it seems – while you need to prepare some stuff ahead of time (the marinade, the relish) it’s a perfect recipe if you’re going to home for an afternoon doing other things anyway. Also, the relish will keep in the fridge for at least a week, so you can always make extra and serve with other dishes.
These quantities serve 2. Continue reading
Takes 5 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven, no preheating necessary. The batter can be made in advance, so long as it is covered and refrigerated. Then, come morning, voila! Puffy crisps of steamy souffley magic. Yummy with honey, strawberry jam, or a nip of chocolate. I hear tell they go well with a good bite of cheese, too, especially if you mix chives into the batter.
Many thanks to Joe Fiorito's _Comfort Me With Apples_ for the recipe. He credits Marion Cunningham's edition of _The Fanny Farmer Baking Book_ for the revolutionary step of starting the popovers in a cold oven. I would agree that this change makes breakfast-in-bed popovers much more feasible.
[And a woman who will here go unnamed has found that one can measure the flour in the wineglass, dump it into a bowl, then measure the milk, dump it into the bowl, and then microwave a chunk of butter in the wineglass. Dump it in along with two eggs and a dash of salt, and you've just about got the easiest cleanup ever.] Continue reading
A spicy Mediterranean lamb dish. Goes well with tzadziki. Continue reading
Yummy, tart, and so very easy. A small slice will do, it's so rich. Save the egg whites for an omelette or put one in each section of an ice cube tray and freeze until needed for something else. Also, if you use a crust with "2 extra servings" just double the rest of the ingredients. Continue reading
An Indian dish — now thoroughly Americanized in our version — made with cubed chicken marinated in spiced yogurt and covered in a yogurt-tomato sauce. Best served over jasmine rice or naan. (But if you can do good naan, you don’t need our recipe for tikka masala, I’m sure.) Continue reading