Republique’s Fig-Tahini Cookies

These fig-tahini cookies are not only pretty to look at, but have a wondrous chewy texture.
These fig-tahini cookies are not only pretty to look at, but have a wondrous chewy texture.

Mochi, gummi bears, springy noodles, and ideal chocolate chip cookies.

What do they have in common?

A certain chewiness that I can’t resist.

And “Fig-Tahini Cookies” possess that ideal attribute in abundance.

It’s evident not only in the consistency of the cookie, itself, but also in the chopped dried figs hidden throughout.

The recipe is from “Baking at République: Masterful Techniques and Recipes” (Lorena Jones Books, 2019), of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook is by Margarita Manzke, co-owner of Republique restaurant and bakery in Los Angeles. The book, written with former Los Angeles Times food writer Betty Hallock, features all the favorite pastries, cookies, cakes and pies from this fabulous bakery that’s a must-stop whenever my husband and I drive to Los Angeles.

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Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces

Saucy and sensational black cod.
Saucy and sensational black cod.

Are you salivating yet?

You should be — because “Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces” is one of those gifts of a dish.

It’s incredibly easy, made with a succulent fish that’s forgiving should you accidentally overcook it, and amped up with a compelling sauce that’s a whirlwind of ginger, honey, garlic, chili paste, hoisin and soy sauce.

In short, it eats like classic Chinese steamed fish with ginger and green onions — but has a much more powerfully tasting presence.

The recipe is from Henry’s End restaurant in Brooklyn via Epicurious.

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Paella, Anyone?

My chicken, broccolini and spring garlic paella that I made with the help of Teleferic Barcelona's paella kit. With it, the restaurant's to-go red sangria.
My chicken, broccolini and spring garlic paella that I made with the help of Teleferic Barcelona’s paella kit. With it, the restaurant’s to-go red sangria.

If you’re craving some saffron-scented paella — and want to put your cooking skills to the test — Teleferic Barcelona makes it easy to do so now.

The Spanish restaurant, with locations in Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, is now selling paella kits that you can pick up or get delivered.

Choose from kits that serve 2 or 4, and are designed to make traditional paella, squid ink paella or fideua. The kits are priced from $43 to $72.

The Palo Alto restaurant in the Town & Country Village, which has its own little merkat or market attached, invited me last week to test drive a kit on the house.

Teleferic Barcelona's kit that I used.
Teleferic Barcelona’s kit that I used.

The $48 basic paella kit comes with a paella pan, bomba rice, olive oil, Spanish crushed peppers, paella seasoning mix, and the restaurant’s own jarred sofrito. Just add your own stock or broth, as well as vegetables and protein.

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Maida Heatter’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples

Made with a chocolate dough and a peanut butter dough, no two look quite exactly alike.
Made with a chocolate dough and a peanut butter dough, no two look exactly alike.

In my household, there is a clear division of labor.

My husband is responsible for mowing our minuscule lawn, unclogging drains, and figuring out which smoke detector in the house is causing that incessant beeping.

Me?

I make sure we always have a stash of home-made cookies on hand.

It’s an important job, and one that I take seriously.

Oh sure, my husband will indulge my whims to bake cookies with ingredients such as cardamom, rose water, chicharrones, corn nuts, or five-spice — as long as I don’t neglect the mandatory chocolate on a regular basis.

That’s why “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples” appealed so much. After all, when I practically have to hide all the mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from him until after Halloween, I knew this cookie would be right up his alley.

It’s a recipe from “Cookies Are Magic: Classic Cookies, Brownies, Bars, and More.” Have truer words ever been printed?

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A Different Take On A Tuna Noodle Dish

A Japanese-style noodle salad with canned (or jarred) tuna at its center.
A Japanese-style noodle salad with canned (or jarred) tuna at its center.

You can teach a person to fish.

Or you can hand them a can-opener to wield upon tins of tuna.

These days, the latter may be much more practical, given how canned (or jarred) tuna ranks right up there now with toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, and fabric masks, as commodities we apparently most value when we think the world is coming to an end.

If you’ve already had one too many tuna sandwiches or casseroles, then you’ll surely welcome this novel tuna dish into your arsenal.

“Japanese-Style Tuna Noodle Salad” is from Sam Sifton of The New York Times. He adapted this from a recipe from “The Tinned Fish Cookbook: Easy-to-Make Meals from Ocean to Plate―Sustainably Canned, 100% Delicious” (The Experiment) by Chef Bart van Olphen.

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