Showing posts with label Food and Wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food and Wine. Show all posts

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seamus Mullen's Herbed Lamb Meatballs with Rich Tomato Sauce

         Seamus Mullen’s name would give you no clue as to this particular chef’s specialty.   Chef Mullen is the chef/owner of two wildly popular and critically acclaimed restaurants specializing in modern Spanish cuisine.  The first, Tertulia in Greenwich Village (359 6th Avenue, NYC 10012 Tel: 646-559-9909) has the stars to prove it.  The second one, El Comado, is located in the Gotham West Market, a food court unlike any other in the city.  For one thing, it’s at 600 11th  Avenue, a neighborhood so far west in Hell’s Kitchen, the owners of the apartment building above it conceived the place as a way to draw tenants.   Otherwise these poor souls would have to walk blocks before they found anything to eat.  Instead, they can go downstairs to 8 highly original food destinations.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turkey Meat Loaves with Red Pepper Sauce

         I first wrote this post way back in 2010 when the blog was still quite new.  This year, Memorial Day put a crimp in my writing as we were up to our ears in gardening and celebrating the start of our being in the Hamptons more and more. So when I went searching for something to share with you today, I came across this recipe. It surprised me to see that it never attracted an audience because it really is worth making.  Even if you, like me, have very little fondness for ground turkey.  I’ll grant all those who extoll its low-fat virtues that it’s about as low as you can go, but to me it’s also low on taste and low on juice and low on my list of things I love to cook.  But an article in an old Food and Wine intrigued me.  It was entitled “French food that won’t make you fat”.  Now there’s something I can sink my teeth into.  And it has a very solid pedigree.  Its inventor is the chef Sandro Gamba who cooked under Joel Robichon and Alain Ducasse, was Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chef of 2001.        
        Apparently tired of rendering French classics at Nomi, in Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel, Chef Gamba quit his job and began to look for a place where he could cook “cleaner” and healthier versions of his mentors’ specialties.  He landed at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, CA which welcomed his healthy approach at all five restaurants on the property.  Unfortunately, visa problems sent him back to France where he spent two years at Sofitel headquarters as their Corporate Chef.  From there he went on to Geneva where he was the Food and Beverage director at the Intercontinental. Now, and for the last two years, he's been the Executive Chef at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.  I have to wonder if he's introduced his staff of 300 (!) to the virtues of his turkey meatloaf.  But I do know I'd like to re-introduce it to you.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sauteed Trout with Lemon-Chile Butter adapted from Food and Wine Magazine

Sauteed Trout Photo Courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine
Brook Trout 
I try to serve fish once a week.  Its health benefits are well known and even its fat content is healthy—it comes in the form of Omega-3 fatty acids which not only protect your heart, they also raise your good cholesterol level.  And almost nothing  is as easy to cook in as little time as a piece of fish.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed but salmon and tuna prices are hitting the roof—especially if you’re like me and prefer wild-caught fish.  So you can imagine how pleased I was to discover that Trout is amazingly affordable.  I bought a whole fish for $9.20, which the fishmonger filleted and skinned for me to give me the two beautiful filets I needed.  I had to break my rule against farmed fish but I learned something about trout fish farming in the process.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicken, Sausages and Sage: One dish cooking at its best.

In the roasting pan, a one dish wonder!

         The bones for this recipe came from a famous English cook and television personality who shall remain nameless.  It’s not that I don’t devour the prose in the cookbooks the chef’s written.  It’s beautiful and seductive.  But when it comes to the recipes I’ve tried, I am sure the chef in question would request anonymity.  In my experience, they’ve led to some seriously flawed dishes.  A curry that was swimming in more liquid than Lake Ontario comes immediately to mind.  A cake that collapsed, on not just the first attempt at baking it, but the next as well.  I am not sure what the cause is.  Translating metric ingredients into cups and ounces?  Un-tested recipes?  So you may ask why then would I tempt fate again?  I was seduced by a photograph showing deeply golden chicken and perfectly browned sausages.   The dish not only looked fantastic, it had been vetted at the kitchens of Food and Wine Magazine under the supervision of the great Grace Parisi, for whom I have undying respect.  So I tossed aside worries about its principle author and made it for a Sunday supper, adding a few ideas of my own.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vinegar-Braised Chicken on a bed of Leeks and Peas adapted from Grace Parisi of Food and Wine Magazine with Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

      Ms. Parisi

                              Last weekend, I wanted to start to move away from summer favorites and start enjoying some of the pleasures of fall. For me this means a great braise with a flavorful sauce. I found one in this amazingly light stew, a medley of leeks and the greenest of peas topped by crispy-skinned chicken cut up so everyone can choose their favorite pieces.   With this, I kept late summer on the table with an Heirloom Tomato and Burrata. They yielded a dinner that is so simple to make and takes so little time, Grace Parisi, Food and Wine’s Senior Recipe developer and one my culinary heroes, uses it for weeknight dinner parties. The chicken is browned, the sauce given the tang of a shot of white Balsamic vinegar and then enriched with crème fraiche. The tender leaks and sweet peas contrast subtly with the sauce. The whole effect is a wonderful cross between sweet and tender, tangy and creamy.   After 25 minutes in a hot oven, it’s ready to be served which I did straight from the pot. It’s a triumph of French bistro cooking and if anyone knows how to cook Chicken, it’s the French. But first, about that chicken and those heirloom tomatoes. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Asian Noodles with Roast Pork

Sandra Lee with another plate of
SemiHomemade food 
         My friend Barbara gets practically apoplectic when she hears the name “Sandra Lee”.   Whether this has anything to do with the “Semi Homemade” hostess’ debacle over something Ms. Lee called her “Kwanzaa Cake”, I am not sure.  But given that Anthony Bourdain referred to the recipe as “an edible hate crime”, it very might well be.  Ms. Lee’s confection consisted of an angel food cake with chocolate and cinnamon flavored vanilla icing, corn nuts, popcorn, pumpkin seeds and apple pie filling.  One reviewer told the tale of taking the cake to a party only to have her fellow guests gag and spit it out.  And Mr. Bourdain of the ‘edible hate crime’ label said “The most terrifying thing I’ve seen is her making a Kwanzaa cake. Watch (the video clip) and tell me your eyeballs don’t burst into flames. It’s a war crime on television.  You’ll scream”.  Apparently, it still makes Barbara scream every time she hears the woman’s name. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mario Batali’s Pollo Agrodolce or Sweet and Sour Chicken a l’Italiano

         I was recently involved in a Television program.  Every time I used a phrase that was French, (as in the expression “A certain je ne sais quoi”), the director would stop me and ask me to translate whatever I was saying into English.  He claimed that no one in America would understand a word I was saying. So I spoke English.  But even there I got into trouble using certain words.  Apparently, no one in America knows what a ‘cynosure’ is.  Or ‘grommets’.  Or ‘clerestory’.  I once read that the New York Times is written for an 8th grade reading level.  So why should I have been the least bit surprised that in Food and Wine magazine's February issue, they'd renamed Mario Batali’s classic recipe for Pollo Agrodolce "Sweet and Sour Chicken".

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buttery Crab Bread Pudding from The River Cottage Fish Book

A far nicer photograph from Food and Wine
@Kate Mathis
         When I came across this recipe in February’s Food and Wine, I tried to resist it.  With its glorious crabmeat peeking out from layers and layers of French bread and creamy egg-y custard, I though it would be far too rich, far too full of carbohydrates and just far too all the way around.  But then when I pointed it out to Andrew, he too had glommed onto the irresistibility of the dish.  So I made it.  And I am so glad I did!  It is not heavy at all. Its richness comes from the crab and not the custard.  Lemon juice lightens the whole dish and I confess to cutting back on the butter and using a delicious whole wheat baguette to cushion the carb count.  It was simply delicious served with a green  salad.  There were leftovers, which I brought to a friend and disappointed Andrew who was looking forward to another delicious go at it.  And where did this delicious concoction come from?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Melissa Clark’s Chicken Dijon

Melissa Clark 

I love Melissa Clark and not only because she has the 5th most popular post on Chewing the Fat...see    She consistently creates truly accessible recipes for readers of her  New York Times weekly column “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite”.  And I love her because she shares my passion for dark meat chicken.  She adores the thigh for its flavor but, according to this recipe, her true love is the drumstick.  She is a huge fan of how easily drumsticks brown and how juicy they are.  And she’s advocate of cooking one chicken part per dish when she can.  Chicken is notorious for cooking unevenly which explains why dried out breasts are often accompanied by undercooked thighs.  When you confine yourself to one chicken part, you largely eliminate that possibility. And if you, like me, are a Costco shopper, you’re likely buying packages of various chicken  parts including those containing 5 lovely drumsticks

Monday, October 24, 2011

Curry-and-Yogurt-Braised Chicken adapted from Grace Parisi of Food and Wine Magazine

Food and Wine's
Grace Parisi
         We love a good curry at our house.  It’s warming and satisfying on all levels.  This particular recipe is the product of that master chef at Food and Wine magazine, Grace Parisi.  What Grace has achieved here is a melding of flavors that would lead you to believe that the dish has been happily percolating on the stove for hours.  Actually, the whole thing takes a little over a half hour to make.  What you end up with is a creamy curry rich with the tang of Greek-style yogurt.  And Grace has blended in tomatoes, corn kernels, Serrano chile, ginger and curry powder for a truly flavorful dish.  Surprisingly, even with the addition of the Serrano chile, the curry comes off as mildly spicy with just enough heat to add interest.  I adapted this recipe slightly with some ideas I think are worth sharing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Duck a l’Orange adapted from Jacques Pepin’s recipe in Food and Wine

         Duck a l’Orange lives in our memory as one of our first introductions to restaurant food.  In Montreal, where we lived, it was fairly ubiquitous on the city’s better menus.  We loved it for its sweetness and its crunch.  For the dark duck meat and the crispy skin. For the orange sauce with its taste of Grand Marnier.  We remember feeling sophisticated just ordering it…although we likely didn’t know what the word sophisticated meant at the time.  At any rate, when this month’s Food and Wine arrived, an article written by Rux Martin, the editor of the soon-to-be-published “Essential Pepin” Jacques Pepin’s soon-to-be-released cooking anthology, intrigued us.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Peruvian Steak and Potato Stir-Fry Or Lomo Saltado courtesy of Grace Parisi of Food and Wine

At the Mercado Central in Santiago,
you can dine on all the fresh seafood
 from the market...
even if you're not entirely sure what it is.

         I’ve had the good fortune to travel to South America several times.  But I have only touched down in Peru. On my way back from Santiago de Chile, our plane made a stop there.  I must confess that Chilean food left me a little cold.  The Chileans will basically eat anything that comes out of the sea. While that befits a country that is a sliver of land an average of 110 miles wide with a 2653 mile Pacific coastline, it leads to eating all manner of sea creatures. Many of these look strangely like barnacles.  In fact, I think it would be possible to eat an entire seafood dinner at the famous Marcado Central without being able to identify a single thing on your plate.  The only meal I relished in Santiago was at a Brazillian steak house.  By the time we got there, I was dying for some bife.  I should have gone next door…to Argentina. Now there’s a country that is a fantastic place to eat – especially if you’re mad for meat.  I am a complete carnivore but after my last trip, I had an appointment with my cardiologist who asked what in god’s name I’d been eating.  Apparently I’d had at least one beef empanada too many.  But when I saw this recipe for a dish with Peruvian roots, it had some important things to recommend it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Crab Louie

        While I was making this terrifically easy salad, I winced.  It was so ladies-who-lunch, I half expected to have to put on a large hat to eat it.  But it was beautiful to look at and so perfect for right now, that I realized it doesn’t have to be confined to the lunch hour.  It would be a perfect supper.  And aside from the hard-cooked eggs, it involves no cooking.  It uses great fresh produce that’s to be found everywhere at the moment.  And you could pick up everything you needed on your way home tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jamie Oliver’s Steak with Herbed Salsa and a recipe for Sweet English Peas

        Food and Wine devoted their entire March 2011 issue to Healthy Recipes.   And I’m happy to say, they also included something called “A Week of Healthy Wines” in which their Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle, set out to spend a week of healthy wine drinking.  Some of his findings: A 2008 analysis of 40 European table wines showed everyone of them contained pesticide residues, including known carcinogens.  Isles managed to find Organic wines from $11 to $30 all of which he praised highly.  Then he went on a Resveratrol binge.
Donut or Wine?
Donut or Wine? 
Resveratrol, found in red wines, prolongs cell life which of course leads to the belief that you can prolong your life by drinking wine with plenty of the stuff in it. Pinot Noirs from cool climates are particularly high in resveratrol.  This finding led into a list of 5 Willamette, Oregon, Pinot Noirs running $20 to $ 30 each.  You can see them all at their website:

But the chart that  thrilled me the most was the one comparing calorie counts for Fast Foods vs Wine.   A Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnut at 190 calories equaled 1 2/3 glasses of Pinot Blanc.   Bye Bye, Krispy Kreme.  A large fries from MacDonald’s loaded 500 calories onto your tray.  No thanks, I’ll take the 4 1/3 glasses of Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon.  And that Taco Bell Taco Salad with salsa?  I’d much prefer the 1 ¼ bottles of Charles Krug Chardonnay I can have in its stead.  But back to Jamie Oliver…if I can find my way after all that wine.  
It’s no surprise that Jamie Oliver would land in any magazine featuring healthy recipes.  If you watched “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”, you’ve seen how he took on school lunches in the most obese city in the US, Huntington, West Virginia, and transformed them into healthy meals.  Now he’s back for a second season, this time centered in Los Angeles. But if you thought things were bad in Huntington, just wait until you see what kids in LA get to eat.  It's really revolting.  Serving children the worst unidentifiable food-like objects, the Los Angeles Unified School District just plain refuses to have Jamie in any one of their schools.  So Jamie is taking his campaign to the people...the very few people in Los Angeles who apparently care at all what is making their children diabetic and unhealthy and obese. Jamie appeared crushed in his first show.  Let's see where this goes.  But if you care about kids and what they eat, this eyeopener is on NBC Tuesday nights at 8 pm.  My guess is that if anyone ate the delicious steak recipe I'm about to give you, they'd jumped on Jamie's bandwagon fast.   

Today’s recipe is one of the most satisfying ways I’ve eaten healthy in a long time.  It features a wonderful piece of lean beef topped with a terrific salsa.  There’s something very spring-like in the flavors.  The acidity of the salsa with its lemon, mint and cilantro overtones is a perfect complement to the char of the meat.  I can scarcely wait to try this on a charcoal grill but I got a great results using a cast iron pan and cooking the steak on the stove top.   It’s quick too—you can get it on the table in 30 minutes flat. 

The second recipe is one for English peas.  Right now, Trader Joes has bags of shelled peans.  Because of the way the store is laid out, the check-out lines pass the vegetable section.  I’ve stood watching as the line moves along amazed at how irresistible shoppers find these peas.  I was one of them.  I took them home, vividly remembering when I was a very little boy picking peas with my Grandfather, then shucking them and then handing them over to my Grandmother who cooked them smothered in cream and butter.  They were delicious but they hardly qualified as “healthy”.  So I looked for a recipe for English peas.  I quickly found one attributed to Paula Deen,  the doyenne of Southern cooking on the Food Channel.  Now I have nothing against the woman but I am “just not that into her.”   And when I show you her precise recipe, I think you may understand why:

    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    2 cans (14 1/2-ounces) English peas, drained
Melt the butter in small pot and add the peas. Cook over medium heat until peas are warm.
Much more fun than this recipe were the comments posted by people who’d tried it. “I think I got your recipe mixed up [probably because it was too complicated] I used 2 cans of butter and 1/4 cup of peas and I suffered a mild heart attack. I hope you will improve this recipe to make it clearer and simpler for those of us who didn't go to culinary school. Other than those complaints, it tasted fine.”  I mean does this really constitute a recipe? I think not.

        I was able to find a recipe that was wonderful.  It was submitted to by someone calling themselves “TrueBrit”.  It let you use fresh peas or small frozen ones. It has a wonderful flavor that Andrew raved about.   I liked it very much too.  That was until I spied a frozen package of peas in Trader’s Joe’s freezer “ Minted Peas, tender green peas in a minted butter”.  I took those home and quite honestly they were every bit as good as fresh.  But here, for those of you far from Trader Joe’s is the recipe.

Recipe for Sweet English Peas
1 lb tiny peas
2 ounces butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh       mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook peas in a small amount of boiling, salted water, until tender (if using frozen peas, follow package instructions).
2. Drain, and set aside.
3. In another saucepan, heat the butter, and add the peas, mint and sugar.
4. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, tossing to mix.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Recipe for Jamie’s Oliver’s Steak with Herbed Salsa

Jamie’s recipe called for flank steak.  I used New York strip steak instead which was cut to about ½ - ¾ inch thick.  “Tomatoes on the vine” are reliably red and ripe at this time of year here.  I wouldn’t wait til the local varieties arrive.  This is like a taste of Spring on your plate.  And lord knows we could all use some Spring. 

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One 1-pound flank steak
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


1.   Light a grill or heat a grill pan. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes with the scallions, cilantro, mint, jalapeño, garlic and lemon juice. Season the salsa with salt and pepper.
2.   Rub the steak with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until nicely charred outside and medium-rare, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a carving board; let rest for 5 minutes. Top with salsa and serve.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lauren’s Roast Chicken and a side of Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Horseradish Dressing

       They say that the mark of a good cook is whether they can deliver a perfect Roast Chicken.  Perfect…as  deeply juicy and tender meat covered with the crispest and crunchiest skin.  Frankly, I have never been satisfied with my Roast Chicken.  I’ve tried everything from Marcella Hazan’s very simple recipe of stuffing a bird with a lemon and an onion.  I’ve tried sitting the bird atop a medley of onions, carrots and shallots.  I’ve buttered and herbed under the skin.  I’ve rubbed chickens with canola and olive oils.  I’ve cooked them at every temperature imaginable from 325 to 550 degrees.   I have brined birds, cooked kosher ones and free-rangers and organic offerings.  Never have I cracked the Roast Chicken code. Until now.  And I did it with Andrew’s sister Lauren’s recipe.  And it’s insanely easy. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Chef’s Diet Secret: Turkey Chili

      Quite honestly, to me ground turkey is one of life’s bigger turnoffs. In order to achieve its undoubtedly low calorie profile, every possible bit of fat has been given the heave ho leaving the cook desperate for ways to make it palatable.  Have you noticed how often Turkey Burgers are covered with cheese and all manners of ‘special sauces’ to make up for their lack of taste?  Of course, this completely defeats the purpose of eating the stuff in the first place.  But there are ways to add flavor and still keep the calorie count under control.  One of them is Turkey Chili.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chili-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado

        The last time I was in Paris, I went the Atelier des Chefs cooking school for a lesson.  There are actually six locations around the city where you can take a class that lasts anywhere from an hour to 3 hours.  I chose to go the school itself on Rue Penthievre which is right behind the Place de la Madelaine.  It was a great class, all in French, and all female with one glaring exception…L’homme Americain.  I  had the good fortune to have been born in Montreal where you learn French from a very early age and it's stood me in good stead all these years.  So I was very at home at the school.  Included among the students was a beautiful young girl and her equally elegant “Grandmere”.   Apparently it was the “Grandmere” who had received the classes as a Christmas gift and not, as I’d imagined, the pretty young bride!  I guess you really are never too old to learn.  

I was told they had sessions in English and in fact, I was asked by my instructor if I’d help her with some phrases for a class she was giving that night.  But on their website, , I can’t find any reference to them. But if you are familiar with what used to be called “Montreal Kitchen French”, you’ll get along just fine.  It’s all about watching and mimicking which doesn’t exactly require a LaRousse to do.   This is all a very roundabout way of getting to my purchase from their kitchen shop.   There was sale on stainless steel rings, the ones that make perfect rounds on the plate and make everything look remarkably professional.  Needless to say, I had to immediately buy 6 of them.  When I got home to Bridgehampton, they went into a drawer and hadn’t emerged ever until I found the perfect way to use them…in this wonderful salad!  And if you happen to be without your Matfer Bourgeat rings, you can still make it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Coriander Dusted Roast Beef

When I was growing up in Canada, Sunday was almost invariably the day when a giant roast beef would appear at the dinner table surrounded by crisp, brown roasted potatoes.  My personal preference was to eat as much rare roast beef as my father would give me.  And I also loved to consume the crisp layer of fat on the roast. Heavily salt and peppered, it was among my favorite things to eat.  How my arteries survived the amazing amounts of beef fat I consumed before I left home, is likely some kind of medical miracle.  But once out of the house, a roast the size of the one consumed by my family, was relegated to major holidays, Christmas in particular.  This was nothing about eating healthier, it was much more a matter of economics.  It was just too rich for my blood.  Then along came this recipe from Grace Parisi.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Quick and Easy Weeknight recipe: Orecchiette with a Veal, Caper and White Wine Sauce.

There are plenty of people I’d love to spend time cooking with:
My heroes like Tyler Florence, who seems to make everything I like.
Ina Garten, who makes everything look so effortless.  Thomas Keller who makes everything look well, so, complicated.  But I’d have to say that Grace Parisi is near the top of my list.   And this fantastic recipe is a reason why all by itself.