Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

The Joy of Summer Tomatoes and Bread

Add ricotta to your equation of bread plus tomatoes for a summer treat.

Add ricotta to your equation of bread plus tomatoes for a summer treat.

 

Few things are as simple and sublime in the summer as tomatoes on bread.

Be it as a grilled cheese or Catalan-style with the ridges of grilled bread rubbed with garlic, then smeared with the juices of a cut tomato, it doesn’t get better than that.

“Quick Pickled Grape Tomatoes on Ricotta Toast” offers up another way to enjoy that delightful duo.

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Just Cook It!” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Justin Chapple, of which I received a review copy.

just-cook-it-justin-chaple-blog418

Chapple is the deputy test kitchen editor at Food & Wine magazine and the host of “Mad Genius Tips,” the magazine’s video series. He’s all about time-saving tricks and clever hacks to get recipes perfect, such as browning beef for “New-School Beef Bourguignon” in a rimmed baking sheet all at once rather than in batches in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. It’s faster — and less messy.

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Why Just Have A Regular Burger When You Can Have…

A shu mai dumpling turned into a burger instead. You know you want this.

A shu mai dumpling turned into a burger instead. You know you want this.

 

A shu mai burger.

Oh, yes, I did just type that.

And it’s as divine as it sounds.

Leave it to Mark Bittman to come up with this pork-shrimp burger that tastes just like your favorite Chinese dumpling.

It’s from his new cookbook, “How To Grill Everything: Simple Recipes For Great Flame-Cooked Food” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

And when Bittman says “everything,” he means everything. This cookbook features 1,000 recipes and variations for everything from appetizers to seafood to meat to vegetarian dishes to condiments to breads to desserts.

It’s enough to make you want to stock up on charcoal or propane.

HowToGrillEverything

Bittman also covers the in’s and out’s of both types of grilling, too, as well as grilling tips that are useful no matter if you’re a novice or a pro.

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Get Your Mojo Working with Sweet Potatoes with Mojo Picon Sauce

Jazz up your summer barbecue with sweet potatoes tossed with almonds, pumpkin seeds and a smoky Spanish dressing.

Jazz up your summer barbecue with sweet potatoes tossed with almonds, pumpkin seeds and a smoky Spanish dressing.

 

A chef of German heritage recently told me she was flabbergasted upon immigrating here to discover that Americans, for the most part, only cook turkey once a year — on Thanksgiving. In her native country, turkey is enjoyed with gusto year-round.

I often think that about sweet potatoes. We bring them to the table with great fanfare for Thanksgiving, and even Christmas. But after that, we kind of lose interest until November rolls around again.

Why not have them in June? I just did, and am so glad I did.

Because “Sweet Potatoes with Mojo Pican Sauce” is one of those great side dishes that feels right anytime of year. Heck, I even paired them with smoked baby back ribs, and they were a phenomenal accompaniment.

The recipe is from “The New Spanish: Bites, Feasts and Drinks” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by Jonah Miller and Nate Adler, native New Yorkers and childhood friends who opened Huertas in the East Village in 2014.

NewSpanish

Their food is Spanish to be sure, but flavored with their own twists. “Tortilla de Calabazi” adds butternut squash and fried sage to the traditional egg and potato tortilla; “Spanish Kimchi,” a European twist on the Korean staple with swett and hot pimenton; “Arroz Al Chino,” fried rice with saffron, bacon and shrimp; and “Flan de Maiz,” the classic flan turned on its head by the use of fresh corn.

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Who Can Resist Candy Pork?

The most appropriately named Candy Pork.

The most appropriately named Candy Pork.

 

If there were two things that my Dad loved, it was candy and it was pork.

After all, when you are of Chinese ancestry, pork is practically in your DNA.

And when you live most of your life in San Francisco, where boxes of See’s Candies are apt to be offered up as gifts for most any occasion, you can’t help but develop a fondness for all things sweet.

That’s why if my Dad were still alive this Father’s Day, I would cook up a batch of “Candy Pork” for him. Because it’s like the best of both of his favorites combined into one.

The recipe is from San Francisco food writer extraordinaire Jessica Battilana’s new cookbook, “Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need” (Little, Brown and Company), of which I received a review copy.

Repertoire

After collaborating with chefs on a half dozen cookbooks, this is her first cookbook filled with her own recipes. After she and her wife had two kids, Battilana’s life became so time-pressed that her style of cooking had to change. The result is this cookbook of 75 recipes, most of them completely do-able on a harried weeknight, and others not that much more involved for weekends or special occasions.

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Syrian Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Sumac

A simple chicken with sumac, onions and pine nuts, for the times.

A simple chicken with sumac, onions and pine nuts, for the times.

 

I know this may sound sexist and simplistic, but I truly believe if more women were in charge there would be fewer wars and conflicts.

Women just have a natural tendency to want to talk it out — rather than use their fists or other weapons — to resolve situations.

Just imagine if a woman were the head of state of Syria rather than the long-standing brutal male president whose crimes against humanity have left this once beautiful country devastated beyond imagination.

Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi know only too well the tragedy that has befallen the country. Azzam was born in Syria and moved to the United Kingdom in 2011, where she’s produced theater productions with refugees, as well as the Peabody and BAFTA-winning documentary series, “Exodus: Our Journey to Europe,” which chronicles the migration crisis.

Mousawi, who grew up in Baghdad, produced and directed “Terrestrial Journeys,” a theater piece devised with Syrian women living in Beirut’s refugee camps.

OurSyria

Through their nonprofit theater project, avid cooks and friends, Azzam and Mousawi met dozens of Syrian women refugees. As they got to know one another, the conversation naturally turned to food.

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