Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Beef Stew


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bottle good quality dry red wine (recommended: Burgundy)
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
  • 1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Horseradish Sour Cream, recipe follows, for garnish
  • Toasted Peasant Bread, recipe follows, for serving


Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves andbeef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of Toasted Peasant Bread, half way submerged in the stew.

Horseradish Sour Cream:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives, finely chopped, as garnish
Combine sour cream, prepared horseradish and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the mixture on top of the stew and garnish with chopped chives.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Squares (Bon Appetit February 1995)

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unsalted, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds (about 2 1/4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Using an electric mixer beat sugar and eggs in a large bowl until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Beat in the melted butter and almond extract. Add flour and stir until well blended. Stir in cranberries and pecans.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Puff Pastry Pinwheels Filled with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello


  • 1 (8-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Finely ground black pepper
  • 1 (17.3-ounce) box puff pastry (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1/3 cup pesto, store bought
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Drain the sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a small skillet, letting the oil collect in the skillet. Roughly chop the tomatoes and reserve them in a small bowl. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme and let it crackle in the oil for about 10 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Pour the warm oil over the reserved tomatoes. Stir to combine the ingredients well.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 sheet of puff pasty on each baking sheet. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 individual squares, each about 3 by 3 inches. For each square, use a paring knife to cut from each corner toward the center, stopping 1-inch from the center. You will have a 1-inch circle in the center of each square, and all of the corners will be cut in half. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of pesto in the center of each square and spread it into a 1-inch circle. For each square, lift one half of a corner and fold it toward the center of the square, gently pushing the point into the pesto. Continuing around the square, fold 3 more corner halves toward the center of the square, and gently press all 4 tips together to form a pinwheel shape. Draining away most of the oil, place about 1 teaspoon of the tomatoes where the tips meet. Brush the dough with the beaten egg. Bake at 350 degrees F until the dough is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BLT Steakhouse Gruyere Popovers

BLT’s Popovers
Yields: 12 to 14 popovers 

4 cups milk (warmed)
8 Large Eggs
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 1/4 cup grated gruyer cheese

1. Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to   350F.
2. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside.
3. Whisk eggs until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside.
4. Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add this mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth.
5. Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is slight warm or room temperature, fill each popover cup about 3/4 full.
6. Top each popover with approximately 2 1/2 Tbsp. of grated gruyere. 
7. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking. 
8. Remove from the oven, immediately remove popovers from the pan and serve immediately.
About 20 minutes into baking

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

Recipe curtesy of Guy Fieri (


  • 4 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup blackening spice (recommended: Paul Prudhomme's Chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cooked fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Dredge the chicken breasts in the blackening spice and place in a cast iron skillet over very high heat. Blacken both sides of the chicken and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Slice in strips on the bias and set aside.
In a saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add garlic and lightly caramelize. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken slices. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the heavy cream, increase the heat to a simmer, and reduce the cream sauce by half.
When the cream sauce is to desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and pasta.
Nest the pasta on large rimmed plates, pour sauce over pasta, and garnish with scallions and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Blackening Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Combine the garlic, black pepper, salt cumin, onion, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika and chili powder in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cafe Misto Tomato Bisque

1 zucchini (medium sized, chopped small)
1 squash (medium sized, chopped small)
1 carrot (medium sized, chopped small)
1/2 onion (medium sized, chopped small)
1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups diced tomatoes and their juice
4 cups tomato puree
8 ounces heavy cream

Saute all of the vegetables until tender. Add the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning and cook for 25 minutes. Blend to a thick  sauce like consistency.

Add the heavy cream and stir consistently for 10 minutes over a low flame.

Top with croutons, pesto sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spicy Hunan Beef with Scallions and Sweet Red Peppers

Spicy Hunan Beef with Scallions and Sweet Red Peppers

1 pound round or flank steak, trimmed of fat and gristle

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn or peanut oil

The Sauce:
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
¾ teaspoon of sesame oil
8 whole scallions
1 red pepper, cored , seeded and cut into thin strips
2-3 teaspoons of finely minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
2-3 teaspoons of finely minced fresh ginger
½ to ¾ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
cannola oil 
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar

·         Prepare beef and marinade. Holding cleaver or knife at angle, cut beef against grain into long strips about 1/8 inch thick and ½ inch wide. Cut strips crosswise into 2-inch lengths.
Using fork, blend marinade ingredients in large bowl until smooth.  Add beef and toss well to coat each slice. Seal and refrigerate. Remove 1 hour prior to preparation.
In small bowl stir to combine the sauce ingredients.
Trim wilted tops and root ends from scallions. Cut on sharp diagonal in thin ovals about 1 inch long.
Core and seed pepper. Cut lengthwise into thinnest possible strips.
Combine garlic and ginger and dried red pepper flakes in another small bowl.
.   1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan.
    2. When oil is hot, stir fry beef until mostly cooked.
    3. Remove the meat to a clean bowl.
    4. Wipe out the wok or frying pan.
5  5. Add a small amount (2 TBS) of oil to wok or frying pan and heat oil
    6. Add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes and stir fry for about 10 seconds.   
    7. Add pepper strips and stir fry for about 10 seconds the sprinkle with salt and sugar
    8.  Stir the sauce mixture, and then add to the pan, stirring to combine. Raise heat slightly to bring mixture to the bubbling point. Add beef and toss briskly to coat with sauce, about 5 seconds. Add scallions and toss briskly to combine and glaze with the sauce about 5 seconds.
    Serve with white steamed rice.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Mole Torta











Recipe from Jeff Mauro (The Sandwich King)


Chicken Mole:

  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)

Sandwich Build:


For the chicken mole: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho chiles and bake for 5 minutes. When cool, roughly chop and set aside.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, a couple pinches of salt and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved ancho chiles and minced chipotle. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, almond butter, raisins and sesame seeds. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Place the mole into a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the mole back to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken in the sauce in one layer, making sure each breast is entirely coated, and gently simmer, flipping once during cooking, until the breasts register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside off the heat and let rest.

Using your hands, remove the skin and meat from the bones and discard. Shred the chicken into smaller chunks and place back into the mole to keep warm. Season if necessary.

For the sandwich build: Heat the refried beans in the microwave until warm. Spread on the bottom of the bolillo rolls. Place the chicken on top of the beans with a little extra mole. Place some queso fresco on top of the chicken, slather the top bun with sour cream and adhere the lettuce. Top with the pickled jalapenos and cilantro and drizzle with the Tomatillo Salsa. Close, cut sharply on the bias and serve with fresh lime wedges. Two hands, bite hard.

Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into thirds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss the tomatillos, garlic, pepper and onions with the olive oil and place evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until the tomatillos and onions are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. If necessary, remove the garlic sooner to avoid scorching. Remove the stem, ribs and seeds from the jalapeno (or keep them in if you want it hot). Add roasted vegetables, fresh cilantro and lime juice into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and transfer to a bowl.

Chicken Tikka Masala

From Cooks Illustrated
Serves 4 to 6.   Published September 1, 2007.  

Why this recipe works:

Our goal was to develop a simple chicken masala recipe with readily available ingredients. To get there, we rubbed the chicken with a mixture of salt, coriander, cumin, and cayenne, then dipped it in yogurt mixed with oil, garlic, and ginger. For a year-round tikka masala recipe, we chose the broiler rather than the grill and cooked the chicken in large pieces to prevent it from drying out.
This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala. The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.


  • Chicken Tikka
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
  • 1cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • Masala Sauce
  • 3tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon garam masala (see note above)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 2/3cup heavy cream
  • 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. 1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
  2. 2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. 3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  4. 4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.


Chicken Tikka Masala
1. RUB: Coat chicken in salt and spice mixture and refrigerate.
2. MAKE SAUCE: Prepare creamy tomato-masala sauce.
3. DIP: Dunk chicken in protective coating of yogurt and oil.
4. BROIL: Broil chicken, then allow to rest.
5. COMBINE: Cut chicken into chunks and add to sauce.


Key Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala
All of the ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala are available at the supermarket. Here are notes on what to buy.
Crushed Tomatoes: Crushed tomatoes form the base of the masala sauce. Muir Glen was highly rated in a recent tasting.
Garam Masala: This combination of warm spices seasons the masala sauce. McCormick won a recent test kitchen tasting.
Plain Yogurt: Whole-milk yogurt forms a protective barrier on the chicken. Brown Cow is our favorite brand.
Chicken Breasts: Lean white meat pairs well with the rich tomato-cream sauce. The test kitchen prefers Bell and Evans.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives, and Thyme

 8-10 chicken thighs or 4 whole legs
1 tablespoon olive oil with a pat of butter
2 preserved lemons, cut into strips
6 ounces cracked green olives
1-2 teaspoons dried thy me or oregano

For the Marinade:
1 onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
Pinch of saffron threads
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Put the chicken thighs or legs in a shallow dish and coat thyme in the marinade, rubbing it into the skin. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Heat the olive oil with the butter in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and brown them in the oil. Pour over the marinade that is left in the dish and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the chicken pieces. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 45 minutes, turning the chicken from time to time.

Add the preserved lemon, olives, and half the thyme to the tagine. Cover again and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and sprinkle the rest of the thyme over the top. Serve immediately from the tagine.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blood Orange Marmalade



            3 BLOOD ORANGES
            4 CUPS OF WATER
            3-4 CUPS OF SUGAR, AS NEEDED







Monday, August 29, 2011

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach









  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard


Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the goat cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.
Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.
Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Spoon some sauce over the pork before serving.