Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

Lamb Kheema — From A James Beard Best Chef: South

A hearty, versatile and easy-to-make lamb kheema that's like the Indian version of American sloppy joe's.
A hearty, versatile and easy-to-make lamb kheema that’s like the Indian version of American sloppy joe’s.

Arguably, there has come a time in every ethnic person’s life, when they’ve been asked “Where are you from?” and cringed.

It may be an innocent-sounding query from the most well-meaning of people, but it invariably brings up the notion that you’re forever an outsider who’s never fully accepted.

Vishwesh Bhatt has a triumphant answer to that: “I Am From Here”

That is also the title of his new cookbook (W.W. Norton & Co.), of which I received a review copy.

Born in India, Bhatt has lived in Oxford, MS for more than 20 years and has been the executive chef of Snackbar there since it opened in 2009.

As he proudly and fiercely writes in the intro, “I want people to see me as I see myself: an immigrant, a son of immigrants, who chose to make the South his home, and in doing so, became a Southern chef. I claim the American South, and this is my story.”

Read more

Relishing English Muffin Bread

Not individual English muffins, but English muffin loaves.
Not individual English muffins, but English muffin loaves.

I am a sucker for English muffins with all their crisp nooks and crannies.

I’ve even made my own from scratch. While they’re divine, they are a laborious process that will occupy most of an afternoon.

But “English Muffin Bread” from Cook’s Country magazine streamlines that by forgoing making individual rounds for two loaves instead. You don’t even need a mixer, either.

Read more

Cauliflower with Raisins — Indian-Style

Embrace the raisins in this dish.
Embrace the raisins in this dish.

Admit it, we all have our unusual food predilections.

My husband doesn’t enjoy sour foods, but loves ceviche. He is not fond of raw carrots, but will happily chomp on them if they’re cut into sticks.

Me? I am typically not the biggest fan of coconut. Yet I dream of Tom Douglas’ famed coconut cream pie, and the coconut layer cakes I devoured in South Carolina. Neither am I usually a fan of raisins in baked goods. Yet I somehow adore them in savory dishes.

Go figure.

That’s why the recipe for “Cauliflower with Raisins” stopped me in my tracks in the best of ways.

It’s from the new “6 Spices, 60 Dishes” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. Ruta Kahate, a veteran cookbook author who own Ruta’s, an Indian cafe in Milwaukee.

Kahate recognizes that the intoxicating array of spices that makes Indian cuisine so exciting can also prove intimidating to a home-cook. With this book, she demonstrates that with only six spices in the pantry — cayenne, coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, and asafetida — you can make 60 vibrant and distinct dishes that aren’t taxing.

Read more

Stuffed Mushrooms Get A Makeover — With The Ingenious Addition of Hummus

New-way stuffed mushrooms showcasing portobellos filled with hummus and chickpeas.
New-way stuffed mushrooms showcasing portobellos filled with hummus and chickpeas.

When it comes to putting a new spin on hummus with the unlikely additions of chocolate, caramel, or even cake batter, for the life of me, I just cringe.

But leave it to Melissa Clark to come up with a novel and genius use for hummus that actually makes sense.

She takes portobellos and stuffs their generous-sized caps with homemade hummus, then crowns them with chickpeas, before roasting them.

If you’ve been there, done that with classic itty-bitty stuffed button mushrooms filled with chopped mushrooms, butter, cheese, and toasted bread crumbs, this more sizeable riff will make you see them in a whole new way.

“Stuffed Portobellos with Creamy, Lemony Chickpeas” is from Clark’s newest cookbook, “Dinner in One” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

The book’s release was delayed this year, after its shipment was purportedly lost at sea during a rough storm in January. Thankfully, a new shipment finally made it to our shores, because the arrival of a Melissa Clark cookbook is always an occasion to celebrate. That’s because her recipes always tempt, and always work.

Read more

Missy Robbins’ Chickpea Pappardelle with Chickpeas, Rosemary, and Garlic

Wide, fluted ribbons of pappardelle made from scratch, then tossed with chickpeas, garlic, rosemary, and plenty of lemon zest.
Wide, fluted ribbons of pappardelle made from scratch, then tossed with chickpeas, garlic, rosemary, and plenty of lemon zest.

Even though I can never resist handmade pasta on a menu, it’s only once or twice a year that I actually clear off my countertop and screw in the pasta sheeter attachment on my KitchenAid to make a batch at home, myself.

Because while it’s not a complicated process to make your own pasta from scratch, it is a production.

Like making bread, there’s just no getting around the fact that it’ll take an entire afternoon to make. And that’s just for the pasta, itself. Add on another hour or two for the sauce, and, well, you see what I mean.

So, for my annual — or bi-annual — undertaking, I figured I’d attempt a recipe by a chef with such prowess with Italian food that she’s won two Michelin stars and countless other accolades.

I’m talking about Missy Robbins, the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Lilia and Misi restaurants in Brooklyn.

Her book, “Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of italy’s Greatest Food with Recipes” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy, was co-written with Talia Baiocchi, founder of the media brand, Punch.

The book will guide you through making most every kind of pasta dough and shape imaginable, and show how to spotlight them in both regional classic and modern classic dishes.

Read more
« Older Entries