Month: December 2011

Kale, radicchio, and apple salad with pecans and pancetta

  I’ve caught the kale bug.  As more and more kale varities become available at grocery stores everywhere, so do more recipes emerge making delicious use of this superfood.  Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  WebMD calls it the ‘queen of greens’ and is a true cancer-fighter.  If you’re not familiar, read more on the benefits of kale here.  As with most leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, escarole, and spinach, people tend to cook them to soften their texture and serve alongside a protein and starch on their dinner plate.  Trouble there is that some of the vitamins and nutrients are lost when cooked–leafy greens sometimes are better consumed raw or juiced.  Kale has a somewhat tough and waxy texture when eaten raw.  However, I’ve found that when sliced really thin, the texture is much better–and perfect for a salad. I served this kale salad to my family in Cleveland as part of Christmas dinner, to rave reviews.  What’s not to love?  Leafy greens, refreshing apples, sweet and spicy pecans, and …

Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake with White Chocolate + Pecans

I’ve learned a lot about food, wine, and cooking from my parents.  My father has been making cheesecakes for well over a decade.  At one point, he even sold them to restaurants for resale.  Lemon, cherry, chocolate, you name it–he’s made them all, and every single one of them has been a hit for all that were lucky enough to get a precious bite.  Because they were so relatively common, I’m not sure why I found the idea of making one so intimidating.  I think the fear of an under-cooked gooey center or a faulty spring-form pan might have been two potential reasons. My husband Nick had never had the opportunity to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes, so for Thanksgiving this year, cheesecake was the simple dessert choice.  I mean, you have to have a dessert for Thanksgiving, and Nick HAD to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes eventually.  That whole two birds, one stone thing… yeah, it’s an expression for a reason.  So we went for it–together.  I figured if I watched my …

Table for 1: Pepper Bacon & Egg Strata

One of the best parts of the weekend is weekend breakfast.  I don’t have to run out the door, instead, I can relax with my coffee and enjoy a cooked breakfast for a change.  Inspired by my mother-in-law’s awesome egg strata she recently served for an army of 12 men, I decided to do a version just for me.  I scaled down the ingredients to serve one, and I substituted egg whites for some of the eggs.  The result was so fluffly and savory.  It was like an entire hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast rolled into one dish.  And all just for me. Pepper Bacon & Egg Strata  Ingredients 1 egg 3 egg whites 1/2 cup milk 1 slice of bread (any kind will do), torn into bite-size pieces 2 slices of pepper bacon salt & pepper  Directions 1.     Cook the bacon, drain from fat, cool, and chop into 1/2 inch wide pieces. 2.     Spray cooking oil spray over the surface of a ramekin or other individually sized baking dish.  Spread bread pieces …

Apple Kimchi Salad with Maple Labne and Bacon

David Chang is a genius.  I know, I know, I’m not the first person to say that about this chef.  I’m probably not the thousandth person either.  It’s pathetic to admit how long I waited to try one of his restaurants–blame it on fear of potential 2 hour waits and an overall inability to get a reservation.  Chang is the brilliant chef behind the Momofuku empire, including Ssam Bar, Noodle Bar, Ko, Ma Peche, and 4 Milk Bar locations in NY.  Excuses aside, I finally managed to walk in the doors of Momofuku Ssam Bar on a Friday night with friends Marcy and Sarah (I know, FRIDAY night no less!) with a 30-45 minute wait.  Best part was that I was able to give the hostess my cell number so she could text me when our table was ready.  One glass of vino later at nearby Bar Veloce, we were in.  Of course, 6 amazing dishes later, I was beyond embarrassed to admit to the fool I’d been waiting to try it for so long.  …