Category Archives: General

Most Excellent Sweet Potato Rolls with Miso

Sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and white miso make these rolls unforgettable.
Sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and white miso make these rolls unforgettable.

Imagine warm Parker House-like rolls, as soft and yielding as the plushest down pillow — only made anew with the additions of sweet potatoes, a touch of maple syrup, and white miso.

Yes, miso.

Slightly sweet, subtly briny-salty, sensationally savory, and brazenly buttery, they are everything you want in a roll — plus more.

“Sweet Potato Rolls with Miso” is from “Delectable” (Random House, 2022), of which I received a review copy.

It’s the latest cookbook by renowned Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming, a veteran of New York City’s Union Square Cafe, Montrachet, Tribeca Grill, and Gramercy Tavern, as well as Fauchon in Paris. It was written in collaboration with Catherine Young, a former Saveur editor, who has cooked at New York restaurants, including Tribeca Grill, where she and Fleming met.

Fleming is a pastry chef’s pastry chef, revered by those in the industry, but also beloved by home bakers for her straightforward, thoughtful, and do-able recipes.

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Andy Baraghani’s Salt & Pepper Cod with Turmeric Noodles

A tangle of rice noodles, a mound of tender fish, and a zesty-spicy Asian sauce make this an unforgettable dish.
A tangle of rice noodles, a mound of tender fish, and a zesty-spicy Asian sauce make this an unforgettable dish.

Like cilantro, dill can be one divisive herb.

You either love cherish its distinctive taste or avoid it all costs.

If like me, you’re in the former camp, then you will much enjoy “Salt & Pepper Cod with Turmeric Noodles,” which features more than one cup of the feathery herb with the unmistakable sweet, grassy, anise taste.

The recipe is from the outstanding cookbook, “The Cook You Want to Be” (Lorena Jones Books, 2022) by Andy Baraghani, the food writer, recipe developer, and former Bon Appetit magazine food editor who cooked at Chez Panisse.

Take it from me: The cook you want to be is the one who makes this straightforward Vietnamese noodle dish. It’s a riff on one Baraghani fell for in Hanoi, especially with its liberal use of dill and turmeric, flavorings so familiar to him from his Persian heritage.

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Sponsored Post: Pazazz Apple, Brown Rice, Cranberry & Almond Salad Perks Up Any Day

A hale and hearty salad with Pazazz apples that does a body and spirit good.
A hale and hearty salad with Pazazz apples that does a body and spirit good.

Nothing perks us up like a carefree walk through a verdant park, basking on a sun-warmed beach or pumping up the volume on a favorite tune.

Or best yet, simply biting into a gloriously crunchy and juicy apple.

Indeed, did you know that apples are full of antioxidants that fuel neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger the release of dopamine that boosts mood? All of that makes apples a veritable “happy” fruit.

This month, it especially pays to “don’t worry, be happy” by indulging in your love of apples, which not only can boost your mood, but also help protect against cancer.

After all, February is National Cancer Prevention Month. I’m proud to partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research and Pazazz Apples to help spread the word about how apples are high in fiber and antioxidants that can help reduce the risks of some cancers. To learn more about how nutritious apples are and to assess how your own lifestyle choices affect your risk of cancer, go to the informative health check here.

Crunchy-as-can-be Pazazz apples to enjoy now through June.
Crunchy-as-can-be Pazazz apples to enjoy now through June.

Then, head to Albertsons, Safeway, or Vons to pick up some Pazazz apples, now at peak flavor through June. These beautiful, large, red-skinned apples with yellow-green striations are full of snap, as well as sweet-tangy juice.

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Takeout Time: Palette Tea Garden

Iberico cha siu from Palette Tea Garden. And yes, this is the full amount.
Iberico cha siu from Palette Tea Garden. And yes, this is the full amount.

If you are seriously into quantity versus quality, then Palette Tea Garden in San Mateo’s Hillsdale Shopping Center might not be the place for you.

But if you’re craving top-notch dim sum made with premium ingredients — and don’t mind splurging a bit — then head here pronto.

That’s exactly what I did recently, intent on getting some superlative takeout dim sum in honor of the Lunar New Year.

Palette Tea Garden is owned by the same folks behind Koi Palace, which started in Daly City, and is the sister restaurant to Palette Tea House in San Francisco.

Siu mai, ha gow, and Wagyu black pepper seared buns.
Siu mai, ha gow, and Wagyu black pepper seared buns.

While I’ve enjoyed Palette’s xiao long baos before, I opted not to get them to-go, fearing they would not travel well. Instead, I opted for ha gow (four for $8) that were plump with shrimp, and siu mai (four for $7) that had a juicy filling of ground pork, shiitakes, and shrimp.

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A Pancake Of A Different Sort

Little more than water and chickpea flour combine to make this nutty-tasting, fluffy pancake.
Little more than water and chickpea flour combine to make this nutty-tasting, fluffy pancake.

It never ceases to amaze how little more than flour and water can combine to create a delicious and substantial base for a meal.

Be it bread, pasta, pizza or in this case, “Chickpea Pancake (Farinata).”

This quick and easy recipe is from “At the Table of la Fortezza” (Rizzoli, 2022), of which I received a review copy.

The recipes take inspiration from Lunigiana in the northwest region of Tuscany, where author Annette Joseph, a cooking and entertaining authority, renovated a medieval fortress, La Fortezza, with her husband.

She proudly follows a “zero-kilometer diet,” meaning most everything she consumes is local. With a culinary garden, vineyards, and nearby forests, her ingredients come from a mere 30-mile radius of La Fortezza, with the only exceptions being balsamic vinegar from Modena and Parmesan from Parma.

Bring a taste of this region to your own home with dishes such as “Rosemary-Smoked Branzino,” “Chestnut Ravioli with Chard and Ricotta,” “Braised Chicken and Porcini with Chestnut Polenta,” and “Limoncello Granita with Whipped Cream.”

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