Cooking Deliciously for Two!

Bow Ties with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and HazelnutsMy good friend and fellow author, Carla Snyder, has the answer for empty nesters who are bored with their everyday fare and in search of new ideas for weeknight meals. Worry no more! In her new book, One Pan, Two Plates:Vegetarian Suppers, Carla has assembled a collection of irresistible main courses crafted to serve just two! As I thumbed through the book, I found myself turning down page after page. Should I make the Mushrooms with Polenta and Taleggio? Or, what about that Moroccan Chickpea Stew, or those Latkes with Rutabaga, Rapini, and Parmesan? So many tempting possibilities!

In the end I chose Bow Ties with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and Hazelnuts, and One Pan, Two Plates Vegetarian Suppers coverwasn’t disappointed, and nor was my husband. He raved about his bowl of pasta with verdant pops of color from Brussels sprouts and plenty of crunch provided by toasted hazelnuts. But, it was the simple Gorgonzola sauce that won him over—a prefect foil for the bow ties and the Brussels sprouts. This dish took only half an hour from start to finish, but looked and tasted as if much more time was required.

If you’re cooking for more than two, you can easily double this recipe so that it feeds four. I like it so much I’m thinking of increasing the recipe and serving it to company! Continue reading

Two Favorite Thanksgiving Sides

At our house there would be a revolt if I didn’t roast our Thanksgiving turkey slathered in herb butter and serve it with shallot pan gravy prepared from the drippings. And, our clan definitely expects me to make Southern cornbread and leek dressing to accompany the bird. Where I get some leeway, though, is with the sides for my family leaves those choices up to the chef (moi!). This year I’m turning to two favorites–Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Bacon as well as Roasted Butternut Squash and Pears with Blue Cheese.

Striking with their vibrant autumnal hues and robust flavors, either or both of these dishes would make a delectable accompaniment to your bird. Each recipe serves six, but can be doubled if needed.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

 

Cooking Like A French Chef- Bien Sûr!

Sauteed Scallops and Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Polenta 1When in Paris, I make a point of going to small, new bistros, most of which are overseen by young French chefs. I book these tables because nowhere is the food more inventive or reasonably priced. These gifted cooks, who buy fresh seasonal ingredients and pair them in unusual ways, know no boundaries when it comes to creativity. My mouth still waters when I think of a perfectly sautéed cod fillet served on a gratin of potatoes laced with bits of ham and Gruyère that I sampled one cold winter night. At another bistro in mid-summer I savored every bite of that same fish set atop a colorful ratatouille. Succulent slices of roasted rib of beef offered with batons of blanched celery root and a garnish of crisp baby romaine leaves caught my eye and my palate on another visit.

In my kitchen, I often follow the philosophy of these talented cooks, combining seasonal ingredients simply but in unexpected ways. One such dish—Sautéed Scallops and Shaved Brussels Sprouts on Polenta–has become a favorite of my husband, and recently got high marks from two of my discerning (make that very picky!) assistants. Continue reading

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, and Leeks

Okay, you’ve eaten way more than you planned during the holidays, but who could resist all those homemade sweets, and who wants to think about diets when Christmas and New Year’s feasts are set in front of you!

It’s now January, though—that month in which everyone makes a resolution to be kind to their bodies by shedding a few pounds and eating better. So, here’s a recipe to get you started. Brussels sprouts, carrots, and leeks are coated with some olive oil and then roasted until just slightly browned and tender. A small addition of diced pancetta provides a robust and indulgent accent. Continue reading