If you’re like me, you’ll probably include sweet potatoes as part of your Thanksgiving menu. But, you don’t have to turn to those predictable preparations of baked sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, or serve them mashed and seasoned with spices. There are far more exciting ways to use this versatile tuber. Continue reading
As soon as the leaves start to turn and the glorious fall season gets underway here in New England, our friends, family, and, yes, even just acquaintances, start calling or emailing to ask if they can come for an overnight to savor the gorgeous foliage. These visits usually include breakfast so I am always searching for new creations for the first meal of the day. This year, I’m in luck since I’ve just completed Sunday Brunch, which is due out in Spring 2012. Although there is a cornucopia of recipes in this collection, an espresso-scented coffee cake is one of my favorites. Continue reading
I grew up in the American South where pulled pork barbecue sandwiches were at the top of the food pyramid. My parents thought nothing of driving well over an hour to indulge in the best pulled pork in the region. The pork featured here could easily rival those of my youth. A boneless shoulder is rubbed with a handful of seasonings, then roasted slow and low until it is so tender it can be “pulled” apart with table forks. When ready to serve, you mound the pork atop soft hamburger buns, then slather on the simple homemade barbecue sauce.
Here’s a great side dish to use some of that ubiquitous corn which as the lyrics go is “as high as an elephant’s eye” at this time of year. Diced chorizo, the slightly spicy Spanish sausage, fresh corn kernels, and chopped leeks are sautéed, then combined with eggs, half and half, and sour cream. Grated Gruyère and fresh chopped parsley provide more flavor. When baked, the gratin boasts a golden crust that covers a creamy custard mosaically studded with bits of sausage, corn, and leeks. This dish would make a fine garnish to barbecued chicken, grilled steaks, or sautéed pork chops.
Is there a more quintessential summer dish than ratatouille? This Provencal mélange is prepared with a medley of the season’s most colorful and omnipresent produce. Last week I easily found everything needed for this dish at my local farmers’ market. Dark shiny eggplants, zucchini and bell peppers picked just that morning, tomatoes that were deep crimson inside and out, and bunches of fragrant basil all found their way into my straw basket. Continue reading
Sometimes a dish is so good that it remains in my memory long after I’ve tasted it. That’s the case with the special dessert featured here. Several years ago at Telepan on New York’s Upper West Side, I sampled a confection that grabbed my taste buds and wouldn’t let go. Scoops of quince sorbet, softly whipped cream, and toasted almonds were alternately layered in glasses, and then topped with a generous pouring of Prosecco. Later in the year, I returned to the restaurant and had a delicious variation prepared with lemon sorbet. Continue reading
For my latest version of this all-American classic, I baked these shortcakes with a hearty amount of cream instead of butter or shortening for a rich taste, and used cake rather than all-purpose flour to make the texture extra tender. Orange zest lends a fresh citrus accent to these little cakes, and orange juice is used to season the berries. The whipped cream topping is also scented with a hint of grated orange peel. The shortcakes, the berries, and the cream can all be prepared several hours ahead, so that all you need to do at serving time is to assemble these scrumptious summer confections.
Okay, it’s May, and that means it’s finally warm enough here in New England to pull out those grills that have been sequestered for months in the garage. We can start seriously cooking outdoors once again. And, I have the perfect recipe to initiate the new season. Lamb, Date, and Red Pepper Brochettes are easy, colorful, and quick to prepare. Continue reading
Among the more challenging dishes for home cooks is the ever-popular risotto. It requires patiently standing at the stove, slowly stirring simmering stock into a saucepan of sautéed aborio rice and onions. As the stock is added, a little at a time, the grains start to expand and soon absorb the flavorful liquid. For a typical recipe, you can count on about 20 minutes for this process. Continue reading
A friend of mine from long ago was a talented caterer who specialized in chocolate desserts. Less than 5 feet tall and tipping the scales at around 90 pounds, she openly confessed to me once that she weighed herself every morning just to see how much chocolate she could eat each day. I never weigh in, but over the years, I have indulged in some type of chocolate as a daily practice. Years of teaching have taught me that plenty of others share this habit. Continue reading