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Hot Stuff

Chile Rellenos (Stuffed Poblano Peppers) with Rojo Sauce

September 26, 2022

Chile relleno, that egg-puffed, cheese-filled, roasted poblano marvel, is what I order when we get special Mexican food-to-go. But stuffed peppers taste best when they’re minutes out of the fryer, and to-go anything is often lukewarm by the time you get it home. So last week, finding great green stacks of perfect poblanos next to the tomatoes and garlic at the farm stand, I headed back to the kitchen to make this dish. Continue Reading…

Vintage Veg

Spinach Souffle

September 9, 2022

As a child, the dreaded words, “Eat your spinach!” had me pushing the boiled mass around on my plate, trying to figure out how to slip it into a napkin and beat a hasty retreat before being found out 🙂 But as an adult, I learned spinach could be quick sauteed with garlic (delicious!) eaten fresh in a salad, swirled in a soup, tucked into spanikopita, or folded in a fluffy omelet. So much better than boiled! This gluten-free souffle is another way to work spinach magic and is a more lightly textured alternative to creamed spinach.  It does have 1/3 cup of half-and-half in it, but that scant bit of dairy is balanced out by 12 cups of fresh spinach and there is no egg yolk, flour or cheese in the recipe. Three whipped egg whites give the souffle its lift. As it bakes, the souffle will puff up a bit, and crown. It makes a good side dish with poultry or roast beef. I like to make it in 2, two-cup casserole dishes, but you can put it all in one 4-cup baking dish if you prefer. Continue Reading…

Baked Treats

Peanut Butter + Banana Muffins

September 3, 2022

When I was in kindergarten, my best friend’s mom—a prima ballerina from Australia, took it upon herself to teach the girls in our class ballet. We may have been her biggest challenge yet! But I loved leaping across the dark wooden floorboards in my pink leotard, (my tights forever bagging at the knee and ankle,) doing my utmost to transform into a swan. Afterward, Yvonne’s mom would make us toasted peanut butter and banana sandwiches at their apartment. Those flavors together still bring me back. Here, they are combined in a delicious muffin recipe adapted from baker Jessica Grossman’s original, with swirls of peanut butter cream cheese frosting on top. Continue Reading…

Cake Walk

New York Crustless Cheesecake with Candied Lemon Wheels

September 3, 2022

I’ve made many cheesecakes over the years, but this one is Dad’s favorite—perfect for his 96th birthday! Smooth and creamy, with a little lemon in the batter and glistening wheels of candied lemon on top, it is both pretty to look at and delicious to eat at special gatherings. Made the day ahead of your event and chilled overnight, you’ll add the garnishes right before you serve.

When ready to begin, set all of your ingredients out for ½ hour or so to bring them to room temperature. To speed prep, I use two mixing bowls for my stand mixer, one to beat the sour cream and eggs, the other to whip the cream cheese and butter to a perfectly smooth consistency. You’ll combine the two mixtures with a bit of cornstarch, lemon and vanilla and pour into a 9 x 3-inch springform pan. Set in a pan of boiling water, the cake takes 2 and a quarter hours to bake, and another 12 hours to restfully chill.  Note: An added bonus with this recipe? Save the lemon-simple syrup after making the candied lemons! It is delicious in a cocktail, or with your iced tea. Continue Reading…

Rice Entrees

Asian Salmon, Rice + Egg Bowl

September 3, 2022

When I have the chance to make a special breakfast or brunch, this is my favorite. Perfectly sauteed fillet of salmon, over short grain sushi rice, with a little soy/rice vinegar sauce, toasted seaweed laver, sizzled green onion, and a sunny egg with toasted black sesame sprinkles. A garnish of freshly shredded carrot and red and white cabbage adds a bit of crunch. Note: I toast the sesame seeds and prepare the rice (using a rice cooker) ahead of time to streamline prep. You’ll need just one pan for everything else. Continue Reading…

American Classica

Southern Squash Casserole

September 1, 2022

Squash casserole is a classic Southern comfort dish. Nearly every community cookbook south of the Mason-Dixon line has a version—most with mayonnaise in them and many telling you to boil the squash, which can easily overcook it. So, I was delighted to see the New York Times’ give it a go. Their recipe mixed the traditional cracker crumb topping right in with the squash—a great way to soak up the excess liquid rather than having to strain it out. But, theirs also had you boil and puree the squash, for a result that was disappointingly pudding-like. For ours, we kept the lovely squash texture by cutting the veg into small cubes. We left out the old-school mayonnaise, included some home-pickled cherry peppers, and gilded the dish with a toasted brioche crumb topper. It is SO good!

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Soup's On!

Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup

August 8, 2022

Each week the farmers market brings new delights. I love both cauliflower and leeks and came home with an abundance of both–plus some pretty red potatoes. This quiet Sunday seemed the right day to put them together in this comforting, simple soup. Continue Reading…

Grilling

Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Currant Marinade & Sauce

August 3, 2022

Fresh currant berries are the culinary pearls of the fruit family. Actually a member of the gooseberry family native to Europe, currants also grow here. While black currants make delicious juice, fresh, I like white or red currants. Each tiny fruit pops with a burst of tart sweetness, with flavor a bit like cranberry, but brighter. Thinking those flavors would be very nice with meat, sent me to the kitchen to work up both a sauce, and marinade to prepare for nice, fat grilled bone-in pork chops. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

July 27, 2022

Hand pies take a person back. To fourth grade, maybe (or even earlier,) when you’d bike to that corner grocery store with friends after school, finding the rack of pies, wax-paper-sleeved, sugar slicked, and skimpy on the filling, but easy to grip in one hand as you wheeled to somebody’s house before piano lessons. We’ve built on that nostalgia with better flavor and fresher fruit. Our pies are full of fresh-picked sour cherries, in a tender, oven-baked butter crust with optional sugar glaze. A bit of almond flour and red wine vinegar in the dough adds to the texture and flavor. Continue Reading…