Lamb shanks — Tacolicious-style.
Few of us are lucky enough to score a dinner invitation to San Francisco Magazine writer Sara Deseran’s house.
Because if we did, we apparently would find ourselves chowing down deliriously on “Lamb Adobo Taco with Spices and Oranges.”
For Deseran, co-owner of the Bay Area’s Tacolicious restaurants with her husband, Joe Hargrave, this is one of her go-to dishes when entertaining.
Fortunately for us, she’s sharing that recipe in her newest cookbook, “Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails, and More” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook features the seasonal, bright flavors of Tacolicious at its best in such recipes as “Shrimp Cakes with Corn-Basil Salsa,” “Albondigas in Tomato-Chipotle Sauce,” “Lone Star Breakfast Taco” and “Pineapple-Coconut Aqua Fresca.”
After one taste, I can see why this dish is such a favorite of hers. Lamb shanks braise in a rich, dark sauce that resembles mole but is far easier to make. It’s one of those sauces that announces itself immediately with boldness and deep complexity, as well as a kick of heat that starts off slow and gentle, then builds the more you eat of it. The taste is very earthy, with a touch of fruitiness from the chiles, and just the merest hint of tanginess.
Miso-glazed black cod to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Got a tub of miso lingering in the back of the fridge? And a great piece of fresh, fatty fish you just picked up at the market?
Then, you have the makings of a restaurant-quality dish at home in no time.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dining at a Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant, you probably know one of his signature dishes quite well. Miso-marinated black cod is one of those dishes you can’t help but order again and again. It’s just that good.
You have rich, succulent fish fillet coupled with the umami bomb known as miso. The fermented soybean paste gives the fish a powerhouse of meaty, salty savoriness that’s downright craveable.
Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.
I adore hearty salads like this.
The type that can be a meal in and of itself.
Or a side dish.
And can keep well for days in the fridge so you can enjoy it for lunch, dinner or a midnight snack, again and again.
“Cauliflower Salad with Eggs and Anchovies” is from the new cookbook, “French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries & The Beautiful Food Along the Way” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. The book is by Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Lurton Moulle. He was the executive chef of Chez Panisse for more than three decades. She founded Domaine de Bordeaux, a company that distributes Bordeaux wines in the United States and Canada.
The very personal cookbook takes you from their first meeting on a street corner in Berkeley in 1980 to their being married six months later. The book is not full of fancy chef-y recipes. Instead, these are dishes that they cook at home, full of old-world French flavors and sensibilities.
Of course as an alumni of Chez Panisse, Jean-Pierre knows his way around vegetables. But this recipe actually comes from his wife. Growing up in Bordeaux with its long winters, her family relied on sturdy vegetables to take them through the harsh season. This salad was a staple her mother served often.
A lemony lamb fricassee that spans the seasons.
It’s hard to believe it’s fall, isn’t it?
Halloween around the corner? How can it be?
But Jamie Oliver makes the change of seasons easier to swallow with his “Incredible Lamb Fricassee My Way.”
Even in the Bay Area, where the days are still pretty summer-like, a big leg of lamb is not the first thing that pops to mind to sit down to at this time of year.
But Oliver’s lamb dish is a great one for easing into the slightly cooler nights. That’s because it’s made with a big handfuls of lettuce that soften and melt into the yogurt-fortified sauce, lightening the dish so that it doesn’t feel too heavy right now. Fresh dill and a generous amount of lemon juice also give the dish a liveliness. Plus, it cooks on the stove-top, so you don’ t have to turn on your oven for hours just yet.
Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.
I think of sauce as jewelry.
It adds that extra bling to lift something from ordinary to extraordinary.
Like fastening a bold, statement necklace over the neckline of a plain black dress, adding a fabulous sauce to a mundane chicken breast or steamed broccoli turns it into something special and worthy of taking notice.
That’s what I love about “The Sauce Book” (Kyle) by Paul Gayler, former executive chef of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. The book, of which I received a review copy, includes 300 sauces from all over the globe. Find everything from the classic Bearnaise (for steak) and Porcini Cream Sauce (for veal or chicken or gnocchi) to Peruvian Aji Sauce (for shrimp), Wasabi and Ginger Dressing (for shellfish), and Toffee Sauce (for ice cream).
I was drawn to the Agliata, an Italian sauce that is sort of like pesto’s distant cousin.