Crisp Cucumbers with Fresh Mint and Lime

May 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Salad Course

Here’s a verdant quickie to brighten up your dinner.


Cukes, striped-peeled, seeded.  Fresh mint (from the new urban garden!). Lime zest and juice.  Let’s get to the knife.


Drizzle of good olive oil, crack of fresh pepper.  Throw of sea salt.  Call it a monochromatic salad.



Toasted Almond Mint Pesto

May 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Side dish, Summer Meal

Here’s a little something-something to smear over a bite of your juicy grilled lamb chop…


Almonds, oven or stovetop toasted.  Chopped garlic. Cracked pepper, sea salt and fresh lemon juice.  A big fist of mint. All smashed together with a mortar and pestle.  Well, actually it’s the molcajete we use for guac, but same diff.  Stir on in a good pour of fruity olive oil and call it a pesto.  


A great addition to a lamb dish.  Or tossed in fresh pasta, smeared on crusty bread, mixed into a salad dressing…..  




Urban Herb Garden

April 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Cravings

The Tot and I headed up Harlem way today to the Urban Garden Center. Garden stuff was plentiful and fun to explore.  Even better was the unexpected sweet sounds of 70’s music – vinyl spinning on a real turntable.  And ice cold beer with wood fired Korean pork bbq, all nestled in the open air right under the Metro North mid-Park Ave at 116th-117th.   Could have stayed all the day long.  The stated purpose of the trip, however, was to populate the patio with a small urban herb garden.   So here is day 1 of the effort:


Thyme, rosemary and mint.   And here’s a pork kebab from the Urban Garden Center hot off the fire, with some homemade pickles and spicy slaw:




Hit Me With The Fish Tacos

April 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Cravings

Can I get a fish taco and a cold Modelo please.


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These tacos should happen to you.  The challenge: executing simple things well.  A good quick beer batter fish fry.  Balanced fixins’ – spicy guac, rough chopped ripe mango salsa.  Chili citrus crema and a lime slice.  Now hear this – toast your soft tacos directly on the flame. Directly on the flame!  

p.s. You could do some shredded cabbage here too.  But then you are left with 9/10ths of a cabbage that will sit in your fridge guilting you until someone else in the house throws it out.


Lamb Roast Dinner

April 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Dinner party, Holiday Meal

Settle on in for a spring Sunday dinner.  Roasted boneless leg of lamb, rainbow baby potatoes and roasted broccoli.  Pinot and cracked pepper pan sauce.  That’s about right.  


Let the lamb come to room temp, rubbed with smashed garlic, olive oil and fresh chopped rosemary + thyme.  Into 500º oven for 15 mins, then down to 325º until internal temp is 120-125º for rare.  This one’s more on the medium side per my ladies’ preference.   Click here for the slicing video.  

Asparagus might have been more appropriate but we love us some roasted broccoli.  And pass the Pinot please…


The Bomb Brunch Bowl

March 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Brunch



A little riff from BA’s great brunch idea (click here).  One of those recipes you read and need to make immediately.  Cheesy grits with wilted greens, oozy soft poached eggs and crispy bacon lardons.  A few pickled jalapeños for some heat and color.  Crusty country bread, toasted and smeared with salted European butter.  


Shake up a nice spicy bloody and call this a lazy Saturday afternoon…


Olive Oil Poached Baby Potatoes

March 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Dinner party

Baby potatoes, just covered in good olive oil.  Fresh thyme, peppercorns and sliced shallot.  A bay leaf or two and a few cloves smashed garlic.   Slow and low until tender, click here for the video.


Drain, saving the oil for another use (now infused with the aromatics).   Lightly crush potatoes, set aside.  When about ready for service, add a bit of the olive to a pan and crisp them up.


Here, served with a 2 bone medium rare ribeye roast.  



Blistered Shishitos, Chilled Oysters and the Perfect Cocktail Sauce

January 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Appies, Brunch, Cocktails

Here’s an appy course to rock your New Year.  Pour a nice glass of cold Sancerre.  Fire up some blistered shishitos, tossed with some S&P and a bit of garlic powder.  Shuck a fat icy plate of chilled oysters — maybe some Bluepoints and Montauk Pearls.   And however gauche, I’ll still own me a touch of spicy cocktail sauce….


The perfect cocktail sauce- you don’t buy it.  Two good squeezes of ketchup.  Juice from a quarter lemon.  Spoonful or two of hot horseradish. A few drops of Worcestershire, and a couple three shakes of Tabasco. Taste and adjust to your liking.  

Blistered shishitos go surprisingly well alongside oysters.  If you don’t recall the shishito gig, click here.   

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Happy New Year, all.  Hope your 2106 is filled with good food, fun and family.  





Standing Rib Roast with a Cabernet Peppercorn Sauce

December 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Dinner party, Holiday Meal

The same cut that rib-eye steaks come from, with the bone and left in one big piece.  “Standing” because it stands on the ribs when cooking- no rack required!  There’s controversy over how best to cook  – low and slow vs. high and fast.  I had a smaller cut – just 2 bones – so I went with a fast method.  For a larger cut I might go the other way.

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Rub with plenty of salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Sear with a touch of oil in a hot pan 4 mins a side- then into 425° oven until internal temp hits 125°.  This one took about 35 mins.  Remove from oven and let rest at least 20 mins before service.

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For the sauce – sauté chopped shallot and celery in a bit of butter with S&P, flambé with a shot of brandy or cognac.  Add in 2 parts stock (chicken or beef) with one part red wine, reduce with a bundle of thyme, a bay leaf, some green peppercorns and a smashed garlic clove.  Before service, strain out solids, add a touch of cream and some of the pan drippings from the roast.  Thicken with a slurry of stock and cornstarch if you want a little more body.


Fresh Egg Pasta with Sage Browned Butter

December 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Family Meal, Kids

Fresh pasta – easier than expected.  Particularly when you have the kid make it.   Flour – two cups.  Eggs – two whole plus four yolks.  A good pinch of salt.   Make a well with the flour – eggs and salt in the middle. Beat with fork, slowly incorporate.  Knead a few times once it comes together.   Wrap it up and let rest in the fridge for a few hours.  



Cut in quarters.  Roll out a bit, dusting with some flour.  Send through pasta machine’s thickest setting a couple times, then fold the ends into the middle and do it again.  This helps keep the shape right.  Now crank through the successively thinner settings.  Roll into a log and slice to desired thickness  —  see that happen in this video on my Instagram. Set on a cookie sheet and cover with damp towel while you do the other quarters.  


This cooks really fast. Brown some butter in a pan, keep warm.  Pasta into boiling salted water for just a minute or so, drain and toss with the brown butter on the stovetop.  Add some chopped fresh sage, cracked pepper and some crushed red pepper.  Then a good handful of grated parm, which plays the salt role.  


I serve this topped with some fried salted sage leaves, which I hide until service or they all disappear.  


A fun dad/daughter kitchen project indeed.