Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

Black, White and The Grey — And Green Cabbage

A book so worth getting not just for the recipes like this braised cabbage with tomatoes, but for the story of two people who persevered to build their dream restaurant.
A book so worth getting not just for the recipes like this braised cabbage with tomatoes, but for the story of two people who persevered to build their dream restaurant.

If you have time to read only one book about restaurants or chefs this summer, make it “Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant” (Lorena Jones) by Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano.

It’s not only a compelling memoir about a unique restaurant with a formidable sense of place, but it includes some delightful recipes, as well.

The Grey opened in December 2014 in Savannah, GA in what was once a segregated Greyhound bus depot. The restaurant is the vision of entrepreneur businessman Morisano, who had no previous restaurant experience whatsoever, and Bailey, who formerly cooked at Prune in New York, but had never opened her own restaurant before.

Morisano, who is white, and Baily, who is Black, formed a partnership to bring a new inclusivity to this once-divided symbol of the South, and in so doing, also elevated the region’s cuisine with fresh vitality. It proved a critical success, earning Executive Chef Bailey the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Southeast” in 2019.

For the two business partners, though, it was anything but a smooth road. That makes the book all the more commendable for its candid look at the sweat, tears and fortitude it took for them to understand and trust one another in this arduous project. With America’s reawakened reckoning with racism this past year, this book couldn’t be more timely. It touches on the here and the now, demonstrating how our present is vastly shaped by our past, much of it hard to forgive.

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The Best Southern Baked Beans

These beans may not look like much, but they are some of the tastiest I have ever made or had.
These beans may not look like much, but they are some of the tastiest I have ever made or had.

This is one of those times when a photo just doesn’t do justice to a dish.

But trust me when I say that these “Southern Baked Beans” are one of the very best bean dishes I’ve ever tasted.

And they are a cinch to make.

This keeper of a recipe is from “Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes” (Ten Speed Press, 2020) by Joe Yonan, the food and dining editor of The Washington Post.

I am not the biggest fan of traditional baked beans. They’re just way too sweet, and frankly, I’d rather save the sugary part of my meal for dessert.

What makes these Southern baked beans so miraculous is that they are not cloying at all, but deeply, profoundly savory with just a whisper of natural fruity sweetness from tomato paste. In fact, it’s rather astonishing the depth and complexity they take on, given how few ingredients are used.

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Espresso-Marinated Flat Iron Steak

There's no time like Fourth of July to try this espresso-garlic marinated flat iron steak on the grill.
There’s no time like Fourth of July to try this espresso-garlic marinated flat iron steak on the grill.

Don’t just sip that morning espresso. Use it to marinate steak for a sensational supper.

“Espresso-Marinated Flat Iron Steak” is definitely a recipe worth saving some of those coffee beans to try. It’s from the new cookbook, “Table with a View: The History of Recipes of Nick’s Cove’ (Harry N. Abrams) by Dena Grunt, the owner of Nick’s Cove, the picturesque restaurant and resort overlooking Tomales Bay.

Originally built in the 1930s, this historic resort features charming waterfront cottages, a rustic bar, and a restaurant where Chef Kua Speer showcases local seafood, cheeses, and produce, including vegetables, fruits and herbs from The Croft, the resort’s own garden.

Leafing through the book is like taking a vacation unto itself with beautiful photos of brilliant-blue Tomales Bay. You’ll definitely work up an appetite, too, spying recipes from the resort for “Dungeness Crab Cakes with Spicy Paprika Mayo,” “Rabbit Sugo Papparadelle,” “Tomales Bay Clam Chowder,” and “Lobster Poutine.”

Flat iron steak is so named because it’s thought to resemble the shape of an old-school metal iron. Cut from the chuck (or shoulder), it has quite a bit of marbling, unlike the much-leaner flank steak of which it bears a resemblance.

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Knives Out — For Fanciful Carrots

Carrots that make you sit up and take notice.
Carrots that make you sit up and take notice.

Get that sharp chef’s knife at the ready — for hasselback carrots.

Yes, the technique that’s all the rage for potatoes can be used just as easily on carrots.

“Hasselback Carrots with Pimenton and Roasted Lemon” is a recipe from the new “Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food” (Harper Wave), of which I received a review copy.

It’s the newest cookbook by the ever-popular Julia Turshen, the New York-based veteran cookbook author, and host of the podcast “Keep Calm and Cook On.”

The book includes 110 recipes that are accessible and far from fussy, such as “Fancy Weeknight Salmon Salad,” “Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Sweet & Sour Eggplant,” “Breakfast Nachos,” and “Coconut Marble Loaf.”

Turshen also includes her trademark lists, such as “Five Things That Are Always in My Refrigerator” (such as kimchi), “Seven Kitchen Organizational Tips” (including the use of turntables in cupboards and refrigerators), and “Seven Ways to Use Left Over Egg Whites or Egg Yolks” (like using extra whites to make spiced nuts).

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Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce

Pistachios and prunes make up the filling and the sauce for this simple pork tenderloin roll.
Pistachios and prunes make up the filling and the sauce for this simple pork tenderloin roll.

This is one of those dishes that looks like you slaved over yet is really as simple as it gets.

“Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” may have only seven ingredients, but it delivers on flavor and presence so much that it’s definitely worthy of being served to company.

This recipe is from the new “Tuscan Women Cook: Nonnas. Memories. Recipes.” (self-published), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Coleen Kirnan with Rhonda Vilardo, who run the aforementioned Tuscan Women Cook, a culinary immersion program in Italy, in which students learn authentic, time-honored dishes during hands-on, week-long classes.

The recipes in the book are inspired by the family recipes and culture of the Val d’Orsia region of Tuscany, just south of Siena.

Recipes such as “Zuppa di Stracci” (“Stracciatella Soup”), “Ravioli di Ricotta ed Erbe Aromatiche” (“Ravioli with Ricotta and Herbs”), and “Melanzane alla Parmigiana” (a lighter version of “Eggplant Parmesan” that forgoes breading and frying) are sure to appeal to any Italian food lover.

“Filetto di Maiale con Prugne e Pistachio” or “Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” makes use of a mix of pistachios and prunes (yes, dried plums) in two ways.

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