Friday, May 05, 2023

Cinco de Mayo

 Nothing to add to the picture. It speaks for itself, one of our favorite holidays!

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Chicken With Caramelized Onions and Croutons

Chicken With Caramelized Onions and Croutons is a winner! This is an easy and delicious dish. It was made all the better by my home made Croutons! To us it is a derivative of Zuni Chicken, that we remember so fondly from San Francisco. The recipe in the New York Times is interesting because it gives NO  ingredients or steps. I think this is a wonderful idea for them to occasionally challenge their readers to improvise and figure out for themselves what to do in making this dish.

Hint: We added Raisins soaked in a mixture of Water and Sherry Vinegar, Shallots, Balsamic and Pistachios to the mixture along with small pieces of potatoes. I am ready to make this dish again! It was fantastic!

Chicken With Caramelized Onions and Croutons

New York Times


This is a no-recipe recipe, a recipe without an ingredients list or steps. It invites you to improvise in the kitchen.

This idea came to me from the great New York Times food reporter Julia Moskin. Scatter a bunch of sliced onions and shallots across the oiled bottom of a large pan, then put a bunch of chicken thighs on top, skin-side up. Season the thighs with salt and pepper, then slide the pan into a 425-degree oven to roast until the chicken is crisp on top and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Shake the pan every so often, and add wine or stock if the onions are browning too fast. Meanwhile, make some croutons from good, chewy olive-oil-tossed bread, toasting them until golden in a pan or in the oven alongside the chicken. They can be cut or torn up — no matter. Put the croutons on a warm platter, dump the contents of the roasting pan over the top and arrange the chicken on top of that, mixed with bitter greens. Boy howdy.



Monday, May 01, 2023

Porchetta and Fava Beans

A few months ago I was in McCall's Meat and Fish and saw a beautiful Porchetta all rolled up and ready to cook. I love Porchetta, I knew I wanted it but we had planned several dinners and didn't want to make it. It froze beautifully and every once in a while I would think of it, and think "This is the time to make it". That time finally arrived. We defrosted it for 2 days in the Frig and then baked it to perfection. It was great with fabulous Crackling Skin. It severed us for several nights, then sandwiches and damned if our finicky cat Parsifal did like it also! You can find the recipe for the Porchetta on our blog of Feb 24, 2014. Click the date to get the recipe.

It was spring and we had lots of beautiful Fava Beans available at Cookbook, so in addition to the Fava Beans we were going to cook with, I got extra pods to make a Fava Puree which was absolutely delicious on Toast Points. They were perfect for cocktail hour! You can find the recipe for the Fava Bean Puree (and pictures of us shelling them) on our blog of: April 26, 2013. Click the date to get the recipe.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Ginger-Scallion Steamed Fish


We made Ginger-Scallion Steamed Fish with Halibut. We served it with Rice and Snap Peas. Cathy added Garlic and Agave (in place of sugar to sweeten the sauce) to the sauce. We liked it and will make again.

Ginger-Scallion Steamed Fish

New York Times


Connie Chung wanted to add steamed whole fish — a dish served at the Cantonese banquet meals of her childhood — to the menu at Milu, her restaurant in New York City. But to make it work in a fast-casual setting, she needed to make some changes. She wanted to keep the tender fish heady with soy sauce, ginger and scallions, but it had to hold up during delivery and be easy to eat. She landed on steaming cubed fish with soy sauce and a ginger-scallion stock, a forgiving method that isn’t stinky or splattery and results in deeply seasoned, buttery fish. While any firm fish works in this adaptation, Ms. Chung uses salmon, her mom’s suggestion. At Milu, this dish is served with rice, charred broccoli, a watercress-cilantro salad and a ginger-scallion oil, but would also be great in a nori hand roll, over salad greens or tossed with ramen.



Yield: 4 servings


  pounds firm fish, such as salmon, halibut or haddock, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry

1     tablespoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt or 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt

4     scallions

1     (1-inch) piece fresh ginger

2     tablespoons soy sauce

1     tablespoon granulated sugar, plus more as needed




1.    In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup water with the fish and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. (This quick brine will help the fish stay tender.)

2.   Meanwhile, slice the scallion whites and light green parts into 1-inch-thick segments, then thinly slice the greens for garnish. Peel the ginger and cut into thin matchsticks.

3.   In a large pot or skillet with a lid, combine ½ cup water with the scallion segments, ginger, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook until reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes.

4.   Reduce heat to low, then use a slotted spoon or your fingers to transfer the fish to the pot. (No need to pat it dry first.) Stir to coat in the soy mixture, then shake into an even layer. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.

5.   Taste the sauce in the pot and if it’s too salty, stir in a pinch of sugar. Divide the fish among bowls, including the sauce, ginger and scallions, and top with the thinly sliced scallion greens. It’s good warm, at room temperature (you can leave out up to 2 hours), or cold from the fridge (store it for up to 1 day).



Tuesday, April 25, 2023

One-Pan Pork Chops with Feta, Snap Peas and Mint


One-Pan Pork Chops with Feta, Snap Peas and Mint is an excellent dish. In the spring Snap Peas are at their best. If you like Pork Chops this is a recipe that you should make!

One-Pan Pork Chops with Feta, Snap Peas and Mint

New York Times


Brawny and golden brown, these seared pork chops make a hearty one-pan dinner that’s rounded out by sweet sugar snap peas and loads of fresh mint. The feta, added at the end, melts into the pork and peas, spiking the sauce with its brininess. Be generous with the fresh lemon juice at the end; this rich dish gains a lot from the tang.



Yield: 3 to 4 servings


2       (1¼-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (about 1 pound each)

Kosher salt and black pepper

1       tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1       tablespoon unsalted butter

4     scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced, plus more for serving

2     cups sugar snap peas, trimmed

½    cup chopped fresh mint or basil, plus more for serving

Large pinch of red-pepper flakes

½   cup crumbled feta

Lemon juice, for serving




1.    Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high until shimmering.

2.    Add the pork chops to skillet and sear, without moving, until dark golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Lower heat, cover pan and cook the pork chops for 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.

3.    Return the skillet to the stove and reduce heat to medium. Add butter to remaining oil in skillet, then add scallions and cook until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add snap peas, mint, red-pepper flakes and a pinch of salt, stirring everything to coat with pan juices.

4.    Making space in the skillet, return pork chops to pan, surrounding them with snap peas. If necessary, you can mound snap peas on top of pork, but make sure the meat sits directly on the bottom of pan. Scatter feta over pork and snap peas. Cover and cook over low heat until pork chops are just cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes longer.

5.    Drizzle or squeeze lemon juice over the dish and sprinkle with more mint, scallions and black pepper before serving.


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Seared Fish with Creamed Kale and Leeks

Seared Fish with Creamed Kale and Leeks is a good recipe. We used Halibut. Cathy modified the recipe by replacing the Kale in the recipe with Baby Spinach. We aren't a fan of Kale and actually wonder why anyone is! We served the dish over Rice.

We started with one of our favorite new appetizers. Setas con Huevos. You can get the recipe for this delicious Mushroom appetizer on our blog of March 29, 2023. Click the date to get the recipe.

New York Times

This satisfying weeknight meal involves three simple components — fish, kale and rice — and builds flavor from just one versatile element requiring a little labor: leek-infused cream. Sauté leeks, garlic and thyme in butter until softened, then simmer with heavy cream until thickened. Strain the mixture, saving the leeks to add flavor to cooked rice, polenta or pearl couscous, then combine the fragrant cream with blanched kale and a little mustard. Season the skin of your fillets early to help them develop a particularly crisp, crackly crust. If you can’t find fresh char, any mild fish fillets will work well in their place.



Yield: 4 servings


4       (5- to 6-ounce) Arctic char or other mild fish fillets, such as salmon

Kosher salt and black pepper

1½    pounds curly kale

3       tablespoons unsalted butter

1       large leek (about ½ pound), trimmed, white and pale greens quartered lengthwise then thinly sliced

6       large fresh thyme sprigs

3       garlic cloves, minced

1       cup heavy cream

1½    teaspoons Dijon mustard

1       teaspoon chicken or vegetable stock concentrate, like Better Than Bouillion

Cooked white rice or pearl couscous, warmed, for serving

2       tablespoons olive oil



1.            Prepare your fish: Pat the fish dry, then salt the skin side to help draw out moisture. Set on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered.

2.            Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Prepare your kale: Pull the leaves off the stems and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash vigorously, drain, then set aside.

3.            In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium. Add the leek, thyme and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 7 minutes.

4.            Stir in the cream and bring to a boil over high. Continue to cook on high until thickened, about 5 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve set over a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, strain the sauce, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible. (You should have about ½ cup sauce.) Set aside the solids and return the sauce to the saucepan. Whisk in the mustard and stock concentrate, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

5.            Discard the thyme sprigs and stir the cooked leek mixture into cooked rice, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6.            Once the sauce is done, blanch the kale in the boiling water until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain and rinse under cold water. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid. Add to the strained cream, then season with salt and pepper. Cover, and warm over low, stirring occasionally.

7.            Cook the fish: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Pat the fish dry a second time, then season the skin with pepper, and the flesh with salt and pepper. Add to the hot oil, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is crispy and golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and cook until the outside starts to turn golden, but the thickest part of the fish is still slightly translucent, about 3 minutes.

8.            Divide the rice (if using), creamed kale and fish among plates and serve immediately.


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Scallop Risotto

We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants: Republique. We ordered delicious Santa Barbara Spot Prawns that were in a delicious spicy sauce. I asked if we could take our empty shells home to make a Shrimp Stock. The waiter was surprised, I guess many people wouldn't ask for them! I simply add a couple of quarts of Water to the Shrimp Shells and simmered for several hours. It created a very flavorful Shrimp Stock.

We love the taste and texture of Scallops. It was time to make Scallop Risotto using our newly minted Shrimp Stock. We followed our standard recipe for making Risotto, using our Stock. You can find the recipe on our blog of April 21, 2009. Click the date to get the recipe. We halved, Salt and Peppered the Scallops and Sautéed in Butter in a separate frying pan when the Risotto was almost ready. It only takes a minute or two on each side. We then layered the sautéed Scallops onto the Risotto and served. It was sublime.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Gochujang Buttered Noodles and Shu Mai Burgers

Shu Mai Burgers are a favorite for us. We make them several times per year. You can find the recipe on our blog June 30, 2010. Click the date to get the recipe.

To serve with the Shu Mail Burgers we made Gochujang Buttered Noodles. It was one of noodle dishes that was both Sweet and Spicy. This was a surprise of a dish for me, I didn't think I would like it, but we did liked it and would make it again. Be sure to try the Shu Mai Burgers!

Gochujang Buttered Noodles

New York Times


These garlicky, buttery noodles are perfect for when you need a stellar pantry meal lickety-split. A packet of fresh or even instant ramen speeds up the meal prep and is ideal when cooking for one (see Tip). Honey and sherry vinegar round out gochujang’s deep heat into a mellowness that’s at once sweet, savory and tangy. The brick-red butter sauce, emulsified with a splash of the pasta cooking water, coats spaghetti here, but you can use whatever noodles you like.



Yield: 4 servings


1       pound spaghetti or other long pasta

6       tablespoons unsalted butter

12     garlic cloves, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)

Kosher salt and black pepper

¼      cup gochujang paste (not sauce; see Tip)

¼      cup honey

¼      cup sherry vinegar or rice vinegar

Finely chopped cilantro or thinly sliced scallions (optional)



Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the spaghetti and return to its pot.

While the pasta cooks, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-low. Add the garlic and season generously with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to soften but not brown, 1 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the gochujang, honey and vinegar, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reduces significantly, 3 to 4 minutes; when you drag a spatula across the bottom of the pan, it should leave behind a trail that stays put for about 3 seconds. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the sauce to the pot with the spaghetti and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Vigorously stir until the butter melts. Add splashes of the pasta cooking water, as needed, to thin out the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Top with the cilantro or scallions (if using) and serve immediately.


To make a single serving, follow the recipe using 4 to 5 ounces fresh or instant ramen noodles; 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter (1 tablespoon to fry the garlic and ½ tablespoon for the sauce at the end); 3 garlic cloves; 1 heaping tablespoon gochujang; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or rice vinegar. Decrease the cook times throughout by 1 to 2 minutes.

Be sure to purchase plain gochujang paste, not gochujang sauce, which often includes additives like vinegar and sugar. To easily measure out gochujang, swipe the inside of a measuring cup with a little neutral oil, which will get it to slip right out.


Friday, April 14, 2023

Spring Extravagance - White Asparagus and Dungeness Crab

I can't think of anything more extravagant that Fresh Dungeness Crab flown in from San Francisco and the White Asparagus flown in from Europe. White Asparagus is very different from the Green American variety. It is White because it is grown underground. It really needs to be carefully peeled because the outside is quite tough. The center however is creamy in texture and wild in flavor. We purchase pre-cooked whole Dungeness Crabs, all I have to do is clean them and Crack them to make it easier to eat with your hands. This is decadent fabulous Spring Dinner. We love it! We order the Crab, Asparagus and Morel Mushrooms via Four Star Seafood.

We also made a fabulous Pasta with the Morel Mushrooms. We didn't have fresh Peas (they are still growing in our back yard) so we left them out.

Pasta With Morels, Peas and Parmesan

New York Times


Morels are expensive, but a few go a long way and there is nothing quite like them for flavor and texture -- chewy, meaty and that aroma, earthy and exotic. Even at $30 a pound, $7 or $8 seems well worth the price.



Yield: 2 servings


Salt and ground black pepper

½      cup fresh shelled peas

4       tablespoons butter

¼      pound morels, about 8 medium

8ounces pasta

1       cup finely grated Parmesan


1.            PREPARATION

2.            Bring to a boil 2 pots of water, one small and one large, and salt both. Cook the peas for 1 minute in the small pot; drain and cool quickly by submerging in ice water.

3.            Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a skillet. Cut the morels into 4 pieces each, the long way, and brown them lightly in the butter, seasoning them with salt and pepper.

4.            Cook the pasta until it is nearly done. Just before draining, toss the peas and remaining butter with the morels and turn the heat to medium. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the morels and peas, adding a little water if necessary to make the mixture saucy. Toss with the Parmesan and lots of black pepper and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Sheet-Pan Miso Chicken With Radishes and Lime


Sheet-Pan Miso Chicken With Radishes and Lime is a good recipe for Chicken. It is easy to make and the Chicken is moist and crisp. It is combination we would never have thought of. Cathy made the dish with a deceptive twist: she added Fingerling Potatoes to the dish. When you were served until you popped the fork in your mouth you didn't know if you were getting a Radish or a Potato because they looked very similar when roasted.

Sheet-Pan Miso Chicken With Radishes and Lime

New York Times


This vibrant dish is adapted from “Keeping It Simple” (Hardie Grant, 2020), a book of weeknight recipes by the food writer Yasmin Fahr. Miso and ghee are tossed with radishes and rubbed underneath the skin of chicken thighs before both are roasted on the same sheet pan. Fresh scallions, sesame seeds and lime juice provide a bright finish. If you don’t have ghee, regular unsalted butter will do just fine. And if you’ve never had roasted radishes, you’re in for a treat: High heat eliminates the vegetable’s bitterness, coaxes out its sweetness and leaves the lovely pink color behind




Yield: 4 servings

4       bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds total)

2       tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

1       tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter, at room temperature

1½    teaspoons white miso paste

1       pound trimmed radishes, halved, if large

1       lime, cut in half

2       scallions, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced

Black or white sesame seeds, for sprinkling (optional)




1.    Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place one rack in the middle of the oven and another about 6 inches from the broiler.

2.    On a large baking sheet, drizzle the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon oil, then season all over with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, mash together the ghee and miso until combined. Lift up the skin on one chicken thigh, carefully creating a space between the skin and meat, and place about ½ teaspoon miso-ghee mixture inside. Close the pocket, then lightly press on top of the skin to spread it around. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs, adding ½ teaspoon miso-ghee mixture to each. Massage another 1½ teaspoons mixture all over the chicken, leaving about 1 teaspoon miso-ghee mixture remaining in the bowl.

3.    Arrange the chicken skin-side up, evenly spaced apart, and roast on the middle rack for 15 minutes.

4.    In the same mixing bowl, toss the radishes with the remaining miso-ghee mixture and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.

5.    After the chicken has roasted for 15 minutes, scatter the radishes around the chicken and cook until radishes are tender and lightly browned and chicken is cooked through (the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh should reach 165 degrees), another 10 to 15 minutes.

6.    If the chicken skin is not as browned as you’d like, broil on the rack near the broiler until the skin is crispy and golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

7.    Squeeze the lime juice over chicken and radishes, then garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds, if using. Divide among plates and serve.



Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Lamb on the Run

Our good friend Kashmera invited us to her new home for dinner. We said we would make the main course and bring it with us. Kash made all of the other foods and appetizers.  Cathy modified Tandoori Spiced Leg of Lamb. You can get the recipe on our blog of: February 14, 2014. Click the date to get the recipe. All the food was excellent and we all had good fun, breaking in Kashmera's home with her first dinner party!