Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

No-Cook Tomato Sauce Pasta For The Scorching Days of Summer

Beat the heat with this fresh, no-cook tomato sauce with basil and mozzarella over pasta.
Beat the heat with this fresh, no-cook tomato sauce with basil and mozzarella over pasta.

When it’s way too hot to contemplate cooking most anything, and your gardening-goddess friend Annie gifts you a bushel of home-grown tomatoes, what do you do?

You make “No-Cook Tomato Sauce Pasta.” And thank the stars that you did.

This recipe comes from Bon Appetit magazine. But I tweaked it a little by making enough sauce to coat not 12 ounces of spaghetti, but 1 pound, so it can serve four easily. I also added in a generous handful of diced whole-milk mozzarella to go with all the fresh, torn basil leaves.

Thanks to my friend Annie with the super green thumb.
Thanks to my friend Annie with the super green thumb.

The result is a fresh, bright tasting pasta that comes together in a cinch and tastes every bit like a Caprese salad with noodles.

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Light A Fire For Chicken Al Carbon

A family-style feast of chile-marinated chicken, grilled veggies and warm corn tortillas.
A family-style feast of chile-marinated chicken, grilled veggies and warm corn tortillas.

With backyard grills sure to be blazing this long holiday weekend, there’s no time like now to get your chicken al carbon going on.

This smoky spatchcock chicken with a spicy brick-red marinade gets plenty charred, so don’t be alarmed at the blackened edges. It’s the sugar in the orange juice that gives it a sweet citrus taste and makes it singe easily.

“Chicken Al Carbon” is from the new cookbook, “Tex-Mex Cookbook: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy. Loaded with recipes that fuse Texan and Mexican sensibilities, it’s by Chef Ford Fry, a native Texan with a slew of restaurants in Atlanta, including the El Felix and Superica; and food writer and native Texan Jessica Dupuy.

As the book’s intro states, “Tex” and “Mex” were at one time one and the same, with Texas and Mexico both part of the same Spanish colony known as New Spain in the 16th century. It’s no wonder that Texas’ food traditions borrow heavily from Mexican ones. In fact, many of the Tex-Mex specialties in this book will be quite familiar if you’ve dined regularly at Mexican restaurants in California and Texas.

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Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts — As Easy As It Gets

This dish comes together in a flash.
This dish comes together in a flash.

Now that the kids are back in school, and summer getaways have done come and gone, it’s time for quick-cooking dishes that require little thought but deliver way more than anticipated.

“Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts” is that kind of dish.

It’s from “Martha Stewart’s Grilling: 125+ Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small: A Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter), the new cookbook by the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, of which I received a review copy.

I’d already tried out one recipe from this cookbook that boasts more than 125 to choose from. Since it came out so delightfully well, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at another one before the grilling days of summer end.

This shrimp dish takes barely 10 minutes to put together. You’d be hard pressed to find another that cooks up faster with this much punch.

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Banh Mi Fried Rice (Yes, You Read That Right)

No bread needed -- banh mi fried rice.
No bread needed — banh mi fried rice.

If fried rice is an edible blank canvas, then get ready to channel your inner Jackson Pollock.

Fast, easy, and a perennial favorite, this homespun dish veers decidedly outside the box in the new “Fried Rice: 50 Ways to Stir Up the World’s Favorite Grain” (Sasquatch Books), of which I received a review copy.

James Beard Award-winning food writer Danielle Centoni, a former food colleague of mine she was at the Oakland Tribune and I was at sister newspaper the San Jose Mercury News, greatly expands on the notion of what fried rice can be.

The book includes globally-inspired 50 recipes. Of course, there are standards such as “Classic Chinese Fried Rice with BBQ Pork” and “Spicy Fried Rice with Chinese Broccoli, Ground Pork, and Szechuan Chili Oil.” But there is plenty more that you’d be hard-pressed to have considered before, including “Fried Rice with Halloumi, Pickled Onions, and Zhug,” “Carbonara Fried Rice,” and “New Mexican Chili Fried Rice with Queso and Pork.”

She also includes tips for making fried rice (always start with day-old cooked rice), proper water ratios when cooking rice, and ways to avoid pests growing in your stored rice (freeze it for three days first).

Her “Vietnamese Pork Meatball Banh Mi Fried Rice” has all the vibrant flavors of your favorite inexpensive Vietnamese sandwich, but its foundation is rice rather than a French baguette. That means this dish is gluten-free, especially if you swap out the soy sauce for tamari instead.

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Turmeric Grilled Sea Bass For The Win This Summer

Take a taste of Cassia restaurant's turmeric grilled sea bass -- in the comfort of your own home.

Take a taste of Cassia restaurant’s turmeric grilled sea bass — in the comfort of your own home.

 

There was a time when folks poked fun of the dining scene in Los Angeles.

Not anymore. Now, it’s not only the darling of food fanatics looking for authentic ethnic cuisines and exciting push-the-envelope places, but it’s also the location of choice for chefs around the country looking to open new ventures. That includes: San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco-Mexico City Chef Gabriela Cámara, New York’s David Chang, New York’s Christina Tosi, and New York-Mexico City’s Enrique Olvera.

“EAT. COOK. L.A.: Recipes from the City of Angels: A Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, captures Los Angeles’ dynamic dining scene with stories and 100 recipes from some of the area’s biggest names. Find everything from the “Egg Slut” by, yes, Eggslut; “Tomato Salad with Crispy Potatoes and Whipped Feta” from Sqirl; “Chanterelle Lasagna with English Peas and Parmesan Pudding” from Lucques; “Chinois Lamb Chops with Cilantro Mint Vinaigrette” from Spago; “Adobo Fried Rice” from Republique; and “Chocolate Sesame Cake” from Kismet.

EatCookLA

The book is by Aleksandra Crapanzano, a screenwriter and food writer based in New York, who is a regular food columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

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