Archive for January, 2012

From Dish Erin:

There’s a well-known adage that you can judge French restaurants by their omelets. I tend to agree. Egg dishes, be it omelets, frittatas, quiches, etc are simple on the surface but there are a lot of important tips that go into preparing them that make it really easy to mess them up. The key to making a good omelet and frittata is to not over beat the eggs. A couple quick whisks of the hand, and then that’s it. The other key is to cook them slow and low. High heat will dry our your eggs—and there’s nothing worse than dry eggs.

On the upside, there is nothing better than breakfast for dinner!


8 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
3 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta

Preheat oven to 400°.

Whisk first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in egg mixture. Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over top.

Cook until frittata begins to set, about 2 minutes.

Place in oven; bake until just set, 7-9 minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter. Cut into wedges; serve hot or at room temperature. I served with sautéed fingerling potatoes with paprika, salt & pepper, and an arugula salad with tomatoes and a lemon vinaigrette.

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From Dish Nicole:

This past weekend was very chilly one in NYC. It was the kind of weather that makes you stay in your apartment, watch an entire television series on Netflix and eat nothing but soup. Let’s just say, mission accomplished. My laziness aside, I have been dying to make a Tom Yum Goong soup that would rival my favorite Thai restaurants. Many times my attempts to recreate my favorite Thai style dishes have fallen a bit short of the mark, but not this time. I think I just might have found the perfect mix of sweet, sour and spicy. Here is what you will need:

To start you will want to make the stock:

The shrimp heads and shells (from about 1 pound large shrimp)
2 onions- roughly chopped
2 stalks celery- roughly chopped
2 limes- halved
2 teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon whole peppercorns
3 quarts water


Removing the heads, peeling and deveining the shrimp isn’t the most glamorous part of this recipe but probably the most important part of the process. Place the shells and heads aside. Keep the shrimp tails on and keep them cool (I made an ice bath). Place a large stock pot on the stove with the 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the shrimp heads, shells and the rest of the stock ingredients. Once everything is in the stock pot, turn the heat back up to medium and allow the flavors to infuse for at least 30 minutes. You will notice that the stock is turning a slight red color. That is the fat from the shrimp that tints the stock; it is also what gives the stock flavor. After 30 minutes remove from heat and strain the stock into another soup pot and place back on the stove over a low heat.

Soup ingredients:
2 stalks lemongrass sliced at an angle (2” pieces)
4 kaffir lime leaves
4 pieces of galangal (a type of ginger) I was unable to find fresh but Thai Kitchen has a dried version
2 red or green chilies diced or sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 lb shrimp with tails
1 cup mushrooms (I used portabella mushrooms diced but most recipes call for canned straw mushrooms)

Bring the stock back up to medium heat and add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and chilies.

Let this simmer for about 10-15 minutes allowing the spices to infuse. Next add in the mushrooms, fish sauce and sugar. Add in the shrimp and cook until they turn pink (approx 6 mins). Do not overcook the shrimp otherwise they get tough. Remove the soup from heat and add in the cilantro. At this point you should taste and add more salt, sugar or lime if needed for the proper balance of spices. When serving try to avoid the lime leaves and the lemongrass, they are for flavor only, not to eat.

Now that the soup is done and ready to eat, I think another episode is in order. Ahhh I love a lazy weekend.

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From Dish Jodi:

It’s that time of year in California when citrus is going overboard. There are more types of oranges at the markets than different vegetables themselves. In an impulsive moment, I bought 8 pounds of grapefruit…it was so cheap! I couldn’t say no! Now I have to figure out how to use them all. Replaced lemon juice and zest with grapefruit in basic lemon bars for a big hit this weekend. TONS of citrus salads – grapefruit chunks over arugula with a little almond oil — yum. And these simple sugar cookies.

For Cookies:

2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp finely grated grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

For Glaze:

1/3 C Grapefruit Juice
3 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and zest. Meanwhile, in a mixer, beat butter and sugar til light and fluffy. add egg, 2 T juice, and vanilla and beat until combined, then add flour mixture and combine until everything is moist. Drop heaping teaspoons on cookie sheets and bake until edges are toasty about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Once cookies are cool, whisk together powdered sugar and remaining juice until smooth. Dip cookies in glaze and let dry, or spoon or drizzle glaze over them.

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From Dish Rachelle:

Some dishes are brilliantly simple, but are nonetheless impressive. I had an entree similar to this one at my 30th birthday dinner with my family and I was pleased with the harmony of the plate, its nicely unfussy preparation, and the way it allowed such terrific fall ingredients to shine. We ate at an upscale downtown restaurant and as I was enjoying my food, I was also thinking, hell, I can do this. Salmon is such a versatile fish and it works with the earthy potatoes as well as the sweet apples and beets. I call them “pink” potatoes because as the hash cooks, the beets sweat juice that then absorbs into the potato pieces.

This recipe is forgiving and flexible. It can be prepared after work for a healthy, satisfying dinner, or it could easily be served under more formal circumstances. Paging the butler…

To serve 2, you’ll need:
1 beet
a bunch of small potatoes
1 apple
2 salmon filets
Olive oil

Start with three ingredients:

Cut the potatoes and beets into small squares, all of approximately equal size. Don’t cut the apple yet because you don’t want it to brown while it’s waiting for its turn in the frying pan.

Heat about 2 tbsps of olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the beets and potatoes. Lower heat and let cook, about 20 minutes, until both are close to fork tender. For the last 10 minutes, add your apple — cut (you guessed it) to the same size as the other ingredients.

While the apples are cooking, remove any skin from your salmon filets and season them. Cook them over medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare fish.
Season the hash with salt and pepper and plate it with the fish, and a dollop of creme fraiche.

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From Dish Paige!:

Happy New Year, SLD-ers!!!!!! 2012 has already been pretty adventurous for me so far; my spicy-side and I took a road trip to Mississippi, so in about 1 week, I experienced more of the United States than I had seen in all my previous 30 years. Also: Adult Superstores are a big thing in Virginia and Tennessee. Not so much in Kentucky and West Virginia. But I digress…

I’ve been wanting to do more ambitious/exciting/out-of-my-wheelhouse Saucy Little Dishes for a while (e.g. I’ve been talking about Baked Alaska for years and I should just DO IT ALREADY), so I’ll call that a resolution and here’s my first one. I made cheese; no big whoop.

For Paneer:
1 quart milk
Juice of 1 lemon
A splash of vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin (I only had whole cumin seeds, so I put them in a sandwich bag and then whacked them with a hammer)

You will also need cheese cloth or a clean dishtowel that has been laundered with unscented detergent and without fabric softener.

For Saag:
1 onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 10-oz bags of spinach, stems removed, washed, and chopped
1 cup plain yogurt
4 oz. buttermilk
1 cup half and half
2 teaspoons red chili powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt (or however much or little to taste)

To make Paneer:

Pour the milk, salt and cumin into a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, set cheese cloth or a dish towel into a colander, and place that over a large bowl. Remove the simmered milk from the heat and start to slowly stir in the lemon juice and vinegar. The milk will begin to curdle, and slowly, you’ll see curds and whey developing. Once the curds are thick, and the whey is slightly cloudy (you might need to add a little more lemon juice to get this to happen), pour everything into the cheese cloth and squeeze out the excess whey. Pick up the cloth, and form it into a rectangle. Place the cloth on a cutting board (or back of a cookie sheet), and then put something large and filled with water on top of it (I used a really big Tupperware container) and let it sit there for a few hours, to make sure all the excess liquid has been squeezed out. Viola! You’ve made cheese.

Cut it into cubes to use for the dish.

For Saag:

In a large sauce pan, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, yogurt, buttermilk, chili powder, garam masala and turmeric, and bring to a simmer. Slowly add the spinach, wilting it before you add more. Add salt here as needed. Simmer the spinach for about 30 minutes and then mash with a potato masher. Add the half and half and simmer for another 10 minutes, until it’s creamy. Add the cubes of paneer and simmer another 5 minutes.

Serve with rice and/or flat bread.

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Ed’s note: SLD is very proud to announce that two of Dish Amelia’s SLD recipes have been published in the Edible Brooklyn Cookbook! Take a moment to look back at Wanna Get Lucky? Eat Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens and OMG Appletinis!. Congratulations, Amelia!

From Dish Amelia:

The past few weeks have been filled with special food. All food you make at home can be special in its own way of course, but holidays can include some additional dishes that are more prestigious due to their complexity, valuable ingredients, or timely significance. For Christmas I made a ham. That week I also made Gypsy Stew, and then for new years day I made Black-Eyed Peas. (There was also salad, cake, cookies, mashed potatoes, pierogies, borscht, and more cake, and more cookies.) So there’s been a lot of food in the fridge, and eating has been more of a game of how to reassemble the current pieces into an equally nutritious and interesting meal as the ones before, until everything is accounted for and put to use. And man, the ham has really gone far! So instead of one recipe, or the several mentioned, here is how they met for breakfast.

These Huevos Rancheros use the ingredients listed, placed on a plate in this order:

Tortilla (some decent storebought wheat ones) (heated for a few seconds on a pan or zapped)
Potato (1 large one, grated, squeezed and forgotten periodically in a cast iron pan until crispy)
BEP’s (with ham and green chile)
Red chile sauce
Fried egg (C’mon now)

The Black Eyed Peas this year featured frozen and canned ones, and chopped green chile left over from the Gyspy Stew, and cooked with the Christmas ham (which included whole grain mustard, maple syrup, and Riesling). This makes so much sense I can’t believe I never thought of it before. The ham was the smallest one they had, a real nice fancy 3.25 lb Hudson Valley smoked one. I based my ham on this recipe from Bon Appetit. Also, I loved discovering that I could slice superthin curls from my now frozen ham and then dice it into tiny geometric pieces that would not have been possible at room temp. The ham was wonderful with pan juice gravy on Christmas, as ham sandwiches all week, giving smoky backbone to the BEPs and to a soup — which I’ve yet to make.

And speaking of that, here’s to the future! I wish you health, happiness, love and luck in 2012!

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From Dish Gwen:

Can two wrongs make a right? I think so. Crappy red wine + a cheap, undesirable cut of meat can equal an amazing meal if put a little elbow grease into it. This recipe takes a few hours but it’s well worth the time. It’s a dish you can dress up for a fancy occasion or serve to the masses during the Super Bowl. Make it for your family on Sunday or for a big party and either way you’ll have folks licking their fingers and gnawing at the bones to get every last scrap of meat.

– 2 lbs short ribs (one lb per person)
– 1 tbs garlic, minced
– 1 tbs salt
– 1 tbs olive oil
– ½ to a whole bottle of cheap or old red wine
– water
– 2 tbs brown sugar
– 1 tsp cardamom
– 1 tsp red pepper flake

Saute the garlic and olive oil in a large pot (2-3 quarts) on medium/high heat. Once the garlic begins to brown, add the ribs and brown them on all sides. Add the salt, and toss the ribs and garlic for a couple of minutes to build up the amount of brown crispy caramelized goodness in the pot.

Pour in the wine so that the meat is completely covered with liquid (if there isn’t enough wine to cover the meat that’s fine – just add water until the meat is swimming). Bring the liquid to a boil then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low so that it continues to simmer but doesn’t boil over. Allow the brew to simmer like this for an hour and a half to two hours.

Using tongs, pull the ribs out of the pot and place them in a shallow dish in the oven at 250 degrees. This will dry them out and continue to cook and tenderize them. Leave the pot uncovered and continue simmering the wine mixture on the stove, and leave in any bones that come loose from the ribs. Bake the ribs for an hour, and while they bake, cook down the liquid on the stove top to make a thick barbecue sauce. Add the brown sugar, cardamom and red pepper, and stir the mixture with a whisk. Taste the sauce to make sure it’s salty enough (and if it’s not, add salt!).

Take out the ribs every 20 minutes or so to turn them with tongs and brush on the sauce. If you don’t have a food brush you can just spoon on the sauce. After an hour has passed, remove the ribs from the oven and brush them with sauce one last time.

Serve the ribs with greens and a grain, mashed potatoes, or just with some beers, chips and football. I served mine over a bed of couscous and arugula and it was magnificent.

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