Monthly Archives: March 2010

Leftover Mashup!

Leftover Mashup! The only downside to buying Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a specific recipe is that you rarely use the entire can for that recipe. So I’ve got a few little tricks for making sure these guys don’t go to waste.

Using the rest of the roasted chicken from earlier in the week and mixing some of the adobo sauce with greek yogurt, I made this Spicy Chicken Sandwich! It was ridiculous.

But I still had a lot of the Chipotle Peppers and adobo sauce left over, so I made a Chipotle Barbeque Sauce and poured it into canning jars to save for a sunny day BBQ!


  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 8 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 chipotle chiles, plus 2 Tablespoons Adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/3 cups coffee
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar


Combine all of the ingredients, except for the cornstarch, in the food processor or blender. Add cornstarch until sauce reaches desired thickness. Stores in canning jars in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

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Filed under Chicken, sandwich

The Peter Berley Roasted Chicken

Peter Berley knows more about food than almost anyone I’ve met. But even I was a skeptic when the former executive chef of Angelika’s Kitchen (a vegetarian spot) recommended this approach to roasting a chicken. Knowing it was a variation of the old school Thomas Keller approach, I decided to give it a try. And, Chef Berley was right, this is the easiest and most delicious chicken I’ve ever made.

Two things you need to know about this technique. You need to prep the bird at least 12 hours before you begin cooking and you will need a skillet or roasting pan that can go in the oven and on the stove top.

Here’s the recipe:


  • Kosher Salt
  • One 5-7 pound chicken
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Juice


  • Measure out 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt per pound and rub all over chicken
  • Place chicken in fridge, uncovered, for a minimum of 12 hours and up to two days
  • Remove chicken from fridge and truss it.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. After the oven has been at 450 for 30 minutes, place chicken into pan and cook on the stovetop over medium/high heat until it starts to sizzle.
  • Put the chicken into the oven and leave it for 50 minutes.
  • After 50 minutes, turn the chicken over and let the juices run out. Throw in herbs, garlic, lemon juice or any other aromatics you want to use and baste it with the juices.
  • Cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Notes: Because I’m a food nerd, I asked a lot of questions about this technique. And these are two little nuggets I picked up:

  • Keeping the chicken in the open air better enables the salt to draw the moisture from the chicken. Water is what bacteria needs to survive so, essentially you are curing the chicken. The proteins start to tenderize and when the cells open back up during cooking, they reabsorb all of the juices.
  • Adding fat to meat while roasting encourages steam which is counterproductive to the roasting process. This was a “duh” moment for me because I understand the mechanics of roasting and the role fat plays in cooking but never thought about this little fact with regards to roasting.

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Chipotle Orzo Tarts

These tarts are perfect addition to pork, beef, and chicken. They also could be served as a vegetarian main course if paired with a green vegetable and maybe some roasted beets!


  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo, prepared according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in chipotle pepper
  • Add orzo and onion into the liquid, mixing until well coated. Add the cheese.
  • Fill the prepared muffin tins until three-fourths full with mixture and bake for 20 minutes
  • Let stand for 5 minutes and remove tarts from pan by running a knife around the edges and gently lifting them out

Notes: This recipe serves 12. Leftover tarts can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days and reheated at 350 for ten minutes.

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Filed under Pasta, Side Dishes

Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Peas

I made this last week as a dry run for tonight’s Oscars dinner party. It turned out really well and is an easy and impressive dish to prepare. Two things to remember. First, the risotto should be firm but creamy, not mushy but not raw. I know that isn’t very descriptive but it works for Tyler Florence so it works for me. The other tip is that you should season the risotto with the herb blend little by little as you add the broth to maximize the flavor.

Anyway, here is the recipe:


  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Leaves from 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. assorted mushrooms (I use the dried mushroom blend – portobello, crimini, and chanterelles)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated asiago cheese


  • Combine parsley, thyme, salt and pepper into a small bowl
  • Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and drizzle with one Tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Toss in the mushrooms and herbs and cook down until the mushrooms lose their liquid and are lightly browned. Season with two large pinches of the herb mixture.
  • Add the rice and stir for a minute or two until grains are well coated and opaque. Add two more large pinches of seasoning
  • Stir in the wine and cook until the alcohol evaporates, about 2 minutes. Pour in one and a half cups of the warm stock. Stir with wooden spoon until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  • Continue adding stock one cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next cup.
  • Fold in the peas, butter, and Parmigiano cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

And here is how I served it last week. Tonight, I’m serving it with filet mignon.

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Rosemary-Truffle Focaccia Recipe


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 cup minus 1 Tablespoon lukewarm (105 – 115 degree F) water
  • 2 cups plus 4 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • White Truffle Oil
  • Kosher Salt


  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • In a food processor, combine the salt and flour. With the machine running, scrape the yeast through the feed tube and process until dough forms a ball.
  • Knead the dough by pulsing 20 times
  • Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; place the dough (which is really sticky) into the bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Flour your hands and punch down dough. Form the dough into a ball. Place it on a non-stick baking sheet and press into a 10 inch circle.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft free place until is doubles in volume about 30 minutes. (I usually turn the oven to 350 degrees and place the dough on top of the stove to make sure the environment is warm enough for it to rise.)
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips; brush the dough with truffle oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place between 10-12 rosemary sprigs into the dough between the dimples.
  • Bake on center rack in over until browned, about 20 minutes.

Notes: This is an adaptation to a Weight Watchers recipe. Without the truffle oil, it is 2 points for 1/12 of the loaf.

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Salad Nicoise

I came across this today while looking for something else. This was my favorite photo from my least favorite day of the French Technique Cooking Class. I was in charge of this dish which would have been perfect had it not been for the know-it-all teaching assistant that insisted that I sliced the potatoes before boiling them.

Even though I knew it was the wrong approach, I did what he said (his knife was bigger than mine) and the result was over-done, mushy potatoes. So I made potato salad, found a way to plate it presentably, and put a new twist on the Salad Nicoise.

Lesson Learned: When a teaching assistant gives you mushy potatoes, make potato salad!

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Blue Cheese & Walnut Crackers

These Blue Cheese & Walnut Crackers are the perfect appetizer for a dinner party. They are so lovely with a glass of Prosecco and won’t fill your guests up before dinner. Whenever I have leftover blue cheese, I make a batch of these and store them in the freezer for emergency entertaining purposes. I’ve also tried them with Cheddar which is good, but there is something magical about the Blue.

I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but it is all Ina.

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Momofuku Cookbook Made Easy (or at least Easier)

If you’re a NYC foodie, then it is safe to say you’ve experienced David Chang’s magic at one of his Momofuku venues. If you’re a foodie outside of NYC, it’s likely you’ve heard about the Chang magic and want to try to reproduce it at home. And now you can, using the Momofuku Cookbook as a guide.

I bought this cookbook when it released last Fall and found myself reading it as if it were a novel. The snarky tone and autobiographical nature in which the stories and recipes are written gives the Momofuku fan a trip into David Chang’s mindset and a better understanding of him as a person. I’m grateful for this insight as I fear had I not understood his journey, humility, personality, and self-deprecating humor, I would have written both Chang and Momofuku off upon meeting him earlier this year…a story for another day.

As a home cook, I found this cookbook to be extremely challenging. The recipes are long and involved and, quite often, require other recipes in the book to have been made ahead of time – sometimes by a week or two. Having made a number of the dishes in this book, I can offer some suggestions that may make the process a little easier.

First, make sure you have the following ingredients on hand as they are required for many of the recipes:

  • Usukuchi (Light Soy Sauce)
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • Konbu (explanation)
  • Ginger
  • Shiro Miso
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Scallions

Second, check out this grid I created. It basically takes the recipes in the book and maps them to the other recipes. If you want to make something in the left hand column, you can see the other recipes you’ll need to make/have made marked with an X. I created this tool after the fifth time I read a recipe only to learn I needed to have made another recipe the week prior.

Finally, here are five suggestions for getting started:

  • Make the Ramen broth (pg 49). It’s in at least 10 other recipes, it freezes well and is very delicious.
  • Make the pickling recipes (pgs 64-74). They are also in many other recipes but I’ve found myself using them in a pinch to jazz up another dish.
  • Make the Scallion Sauce (pg 57) and put it on whatever you have in your fridge…meat, cheese, veggies, mixed with mayo as a spread… Actually make all of the sauce recipes. They are easy and pair well with many other dishes.
  • Try the Bo Ssam recipe. You will use the all of the sauces and it makes for a very fun dinner party. NOTE: Don’t try to double the meat until you get it right. I know from experience this isn’t a good idea!
  • As soon as Summer corn hits the stands, buy it and make the Roasted Sweet Summer Corn Recipe (pg 93). If you follow my first two tips, this should be a piece of cake. And I bet you’ll make it every week until Fall.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you’ve got some tricks I missed! Or need help getting through any of the recipes!

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Cheddar and Chive Scones


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, plus 1 Tablespoon for brushing
  • 1 cup grated White Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • Freshly ground peppercorns


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  • Stir in 2/3 cup cream. Add Cheddar and chives and use your hands to combine; the dough should be crumbly.
  • Knead the dough a couple of times until it comes together and gently pat it into a ball
  • Flatten slightly into a 1-inch thick disk. Slice into quarters, then cut each quarter in half
  • Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the tops with remaining cream and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden

Notes: The recipe above makes eight, large scones. I like to make these into smaller scones. The easiest way to do so is to split the dough four ways before patting it into a ball. Create four balls and cut into fourths after flattening. Also don’t substitute for the heavy cream. It doesn’t come out the same! (I’ve tried)

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Celery Root & Mushroom Lasagna

This is one of the most amazing recipes I’ve made in a long time. The combination of flavors and textures is umami at its finest! The recipe, adapted from Food & Wine, is extremely long and takes about an hour and a half to assemble for baking but it is well worth every minute of preparation time.


  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup country ham, diced
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 sage sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 pound celery root, peeled and finely diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, finely chopped (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 pounds no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese


  • In a small, heatproof bowl, soak the porcini in the boiling hot water until softened, about 30 minutes until slightly cool. Drain, reserving the liquid and coarsely chop the porcini.
  • In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the white mushrooms and the porcini, season with salt and white pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil to the saucepan. Add the ham and shallots and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Using kitchen string, tie the bay leaf, rosemary, sage and thyme sprigs into a bundle. Add the herb bundle and the celery root to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery root is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until the celery root is tender, 5 minutes longer.
  • Return the mushrooms to the saucepan and stir over moderate heat until hot, 2 minutes. Add the Marsala and cook until evaporated, 5 minutes. Pour in 2 cups of the chicken stock and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the cream; simmer for 3 minutes longer, until the mixture has reduced to 5 cups. Season the ragù with salt and white pepper.
  • In another large saucepan, combine the remaining 2 cups each of cream and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the Garam Masala and 1 1/2 cups of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Whisk in the eggs. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Set 1/2 cup of the sauce aside.
  • Pour the reserved mushroom liquid with 1 cup of water into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cook the lasagna noodles for 2-3 minutes and tranfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Line the bottom with a single layer of noodles, overlapping them slightly. Spread one-fifth of the vegetable ragù on top, followed by one-fifth each of the sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil. Repeat to make four more layers, ending with a layer of noodles (you won’t use all the noodles). Top with the reserved 1/2 cup of sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, mixed with the shredded Mozzarella.
  • Bake the lasagna until bubbling and golden, about 1 hour. Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
  • Cut a slice and enjoy every bite. Then set aside an hour during the next day for a serious workout!

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