Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tomato and Basil Risotto
Recipe from New York Times

7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound tomatoes, grated
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white
1/2 pound additional sweet ripe tomatoes, finely diced (about ¾ cup)
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 to 2 ounces)

1. Put your stock or broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat, with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that it is well seasoned.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle. Stir in the grated tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and coat the rice, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often and when you do, stir vigorously. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy (al dente), in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning.

4. Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the additional finely diced tomatoes, basil and Parmesan and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pasta with Anchovies, Garlic, Chiles and Kale

Recipe from NY Times

1/2 pound pasta

3 tablespoons good olive oil, more for drizzling

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, to taste

2 to 4 fat garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 tablespoons drained capers

4 anchovy filets

1 small bunch kale, chopped (or use 3 large handfuls chopped kale)

Black pepper

Squeeze of lemon, optional

Grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

1. Bring a heavily salted pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in the largest skillet you have. Add chiles and a pinch of salt and toast until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add smashed garlic, capers and anchovies. Let cook until everything is golden, the capers look crisp around the edges and the anchovies have dissolved into the oil, about 3 to 4 minutes. (You can help anchovies dissolve by mashing them with a wooden spoon as they cook.) Add kale and 2 tablespoons water and sauté until kale wilts and cooks in the pan and is well coated with oil, about 5 minutes. You might have to add more water if the water evaporates before the kale finishes cooking.

4. Add drained pasta and toss well. Add more salt if necessary and plenty of black pepper, and serve drizzled with more oil and a squeeze of lemon if the dish needs a lift. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spicy Lamb Sausage With Grilled Onions and Zucchini

Recipe from New York Times


  • 3 pounds ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons mild paprika
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed to a paste


  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Cayenne, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  • 2 sweet onions, such as Vidalia, in 1/2-inch crosswise slices
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 medium zucchini, in 1/2-inch lengthwise slices
  • 2 heads bibb or other lettuce
  • 3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
  • Pita breads, optional
  • Plain yogurt, optional


To make the sausage, put ground lamb in a mixing bowl. Using a spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind cumin, coriander, black pepper (you can also use ground spices too). Add to lamb, along with salt, cayenne, cinnamon, paprika and garlic. Mix well with hands to incorporate. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight. Form mixture into 24 two-ounce patties.
To make the vinaigrette, grind cumin, coriander and caraway. Combine with paprika and a good pinch of cayenne in a small bowl. Add garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Whisk in olive oil.
Light a charcoal grill. The heat should be moderate. Grill sausages, in batches if necessary, for about 2 minutes per side, until just done. Keep warm. Paint onion slices with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until softened slightly, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with zucchini. 
Line a large platter with lettuce leaves and pile sausages in the middle. Arrange onions and zucchini around the platter. Salt the tomatoes and distribute. Whisk the vinaigrette, then drizzle over everything. Sprinkle with cilantro and mint, and serve with warm pita breads and plain yogurt if desired.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Eggs Baked in Avocado
Recipe from Serious Eats

4 avocados
8 eggs
2 limes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro

Sliced scallions
Sliced chilies and/or salsa o
Warm flour or corn tortillas

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 450°F.

  Cut each avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, scrape out the center of each halved avocado so that it is large enough to accommodate an egg. Squeeze lime juice over the avocados and season with salt, then place on baking sheet. Break an egg into the center of each avocado. Don’t worry if some of the white spills out as long as the yolk is intact.

 Bake in the oven until whites are set and yolk is runny, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro, scallions, and chilies or salsa. Serve with warm tortillas. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower with Red Chile, Cilantro & Lime
Recipe from REM Cooks

1 large head cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chile powder
1/2 tsp crushed dried red chile
1 tsp cumin seeds toasted and ground
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325 F. Separate the florets from the cauliflower.  Put them in a bowl with the garlic, chile powder, crushed chile, cumin, salt and olive oil. Toss gently to mix and coat well. Spread the seasoned cauliflower in a roasting pan. Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally. When done, remove from oven. Dress with lime juice. Finish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
Pinch of salt

For the Honey Lime Dressing:
Juice of 1 large lime

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

1 1/2 cups chopped mango

Extra chopped mint, for garnish-optional

1. Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature. 

2. To make the Honey Lime Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, and mint together until combined.

3. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Add quinoa, We used 1/3 the amount of quinoa cooked (you can adjust this amount to personal taste). Pour honey lime dressing over the fruit salad and mix until well combined. Garnish with additional mint, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Beet and Potato Salad
Recipe from New York Times

Yesterday was 80 degrees––warm enough to make you long for summer...and ribs and potato salad and eating outdoors. That's just what we did. This amazing Beet Potato Salad uses yogurt instead of mayo. The Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs not only lived up to their name, but were ridiculously easy to make.