Month: July 2010

Escarole Salad, Walnuts, Red Onion, Pecorino

Escarole is most commonly eaten cooked.  After first having it raw and cold in a salad at Otto a few years ago, I knew I had discovered another wonderfully crunchy, hearty, and crisp salad green–similar to romaine, but with more umph and bitterness.  At Otto, Mario Batali’s kitchen prepared it simply with a lemon & olive oil dressing, Marcona almond halves, curls of parmesan, and peeled Jerusalem artichokes, raw, and sliced thin.  Since Otto, I also discoverd an escarole salad at Centro Vinoteca (which is now off the menu) that Anne Burrell prepared with pickled red onions.  She generously shared that recipe on the Food Network, and I chronicled that recipe here. I purchased a gorgeous head of escarole at the farmers market over the weekend and wanted to try a different salad recipe.  I recently picked up a copy of the Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual, after falling in love with their Caesar Salad recipe, which I also chronicled here.  When browsing through the salad section of the book, I found this …

Tex-Mex Turkey Enchiladas

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved Mexican food.  It all started when I was a child and my father prided himself on the fact that his daughter liked spicy food.  I didn’t insist on hot dogs and chicken nuggets… no, I wanted cheese enchiladas cooked in spicy red chile sauce.  This made him very proud.  Over the years, I have gotten away from cheese enchiladas, mostly because of all of the fat.  Instead I’ve replaced them with tons of tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and margaritas.  I suspect that I’ve probably replaced cheese enchiladas with even more calories and fat by doing so, but alas, here I am.  The truth is that I’ve never met a Mexican food I didn’t like.  A few months ago, I got that craving and started checking my go-to recipe sites.  I figured I would go back to my enchilada roots, but make them with ground beef and a lot less cheese.  Then I decided to swap in ground turkey (mostly because that’s what I had in the freezer.)  …

Keste Pizza

Not all pizza is created equal.  Yes, I am of the belief that even bad pizza is good pizza.  But excellent pizza is another story all together.  New York is riddled with excellent pizza: Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s, Pepe’s (Yonkers counts!), John’s, Joe’s, Artichoke, the list goes on and on.  The latest pizza joint I’ve been hearing about is Keste, located on Bleecker Street (interestingly right across the street from John’s.) Keste is not brand new, but it was brand new to me.  My friend Marcy and I decided to check it out the other night, and while we walked towards it, I saw a familiar Manhattan sight.  A line of people standing outside.  Two things immediately jumped into my head: 1) Great… we have to wait for a table.  2) This place must be really good. Once seated, we were not disappointed.  The staff was wonderful–all Italian young men that move the seatings along, but have the just-right amount of charm that’s all over Italy.  We started with a few glasses of vino and a wonderfully …

MC’s Bacon Pancakes

No, there aren’t pieces of bacon on top of these pancakes.  So where’s the bacon?  INSIDE and ON THE SIDE. Bacon makes good pancakes.  These aren’t low fat… these aren’t the pancakes you find in a diner.  They’re not as wide as your plate, and they don’t come served with eggs and hash browns.  They’re served with bacon and cooked with bacon grease and in my mind, they don’t even require syrup.  They are THE BEST pancakes I have ever had.  They’re simple and delicious in their pork fat-kingdom.  I challenge anyone to eat these and say they aren’t the best pancakes EVAH.  (Note: MC is my mom.  However, to avoid being called a biased blogger, I have taste-tested these pancakes on my devoted taste-tester-extraordinare, who we’ll call GIADA, and Giada is just as crazy about these pancakes as I am.)  Cheers to you MC, and all of your bacon-grease-genius. So let’s get started.  First, you have to cook the bacon.  Not sausage, not turkey bacon, REAL pork bacon.  Fry it up and save the …

Voodoo Doughnuts: Portland, Oregon

Sometimes I have to live vicariously through other bloggers–especially when they hit the road!  In this case, the gang at Serious Eats checked out Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon.  I am a devoted patron of Doughnut Plant in NYC, but these just look so darn fun, they just might garner a visit one day. Thank you Serious Eats for the awesome photography.  Check out the full slideshow. And if you live in Portland or plan on visiting Portland, check out: Voodoo Doughnuts 22 Southwest 3rd Avenue Portland, OR 97204-2713 (503) 241-4704

Grandma Gerome’s Meatballs

Meatballs come in all shapes and sizes.  Some go in a sub, some over spaghetti, some in a slider bun, some on the end of a toothpick.  No matter how they appear, they’re always delicious and fun to eat.  I’m very fortunate to be marrying into Nick’s Italian family.  One of the big perks of his family is access to his grandmother’s recipes!  And no one does meatballs better than an Italian grandmother.  On a recent trip to Cleveland to visit with the new family, Nick’s brother Peter made his grandmother’s meatballs for me.  This recipe serves as a reminder that the best food is always made with love. First you start by slicing the crusts off the bread (great scraps for making homemade croutons) and chopping fresh parsley. Then the fun part: soaking the bread in wine.  I recommend that you soak the bread with red wine (any kind will do) as it adds an amazingly rich flavor.  If pink-soaked-bread freaks you out, you could substitute beef stock or even water.  Make sure you …

Romaine Hearts with Caesar Salad Dressing

 I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like a cold, fresh caesar salad.  Few things go better with steak or a big bowl of pasta.  Most bottled caesar dressings are more vinegar & oil based versus the real deal which is made with eggs, olive oil, anchovies, and other wonderful bits.  I’ve experimented with different authentic caesar dressing recipes over the years, and I find they never turn out quite right.  Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of the 1/2 cup of oil they call for… or I worry that my eggs aren’t fresh enough.  So when I stumbled on this version, deliciously served at a fabulous restaurant for years, I had to try it.  The secret ingredient: mayo and no eggs.  And it’s full of other surprises (like using grated pecorino romano NOT parmesan.) I slightly modified this recipe to suit what I had on hand and to keep the calories down.  I also included my quick homemade croutons recipe below. First some minced garlic and a teaspoon of anchovy paste (you can substitute 2 minced …