Posts Tagged ‘Dish Rachelle’

From Dish Rachelle:

The Boy and I recently joined a CSF (Community Supported Fishery), on the recommendation of former Dish Jess who, with her husband, runs Fair Share CSF in San Francisco.  I’m bummed we can’t support her business but we’ve fallen in love with the Village Fishmonger! Once a week we get a small bundle of fish, anything from Yellowfin tuna, to monkfish, to trout, to clams.  As adventurous eaters and pretty capable cooks, we love the challenge of working with a surprise ingredient every Monday.  It’s like our very own episode of Chopped.

I like ceviche but this is my first time making it at home, in part because I’ve never before had access to a seafood source that I trusted enough to go raw.  But week-after-week of beautiful fish convinced us to take the leap – and I’m still very much alive to tell the tale.

This simple recipe is pretty free form, and you can substitute any of the ingredients for others, if you prefer – lemons for lime, cilantro for parsley, etc.  However, if you’re going to use another fish, do a little research.  Fluke can (and should) be tossed in the marinade and then served almost immediately; if you let it soak in acids too long, it will get tough.  However, if you use raw shrimp, for instance, you’ll need to let it sit overnight before serving to get the texture right.


Serves 2-4


2 medium fluke filets, sushi grade

½ ripe avocado, diced

Juice of 2 limes

Juice of 2 blood oranges



Fresh jalapeno slices

Chopped scallion

Sliced radish

Chopped parsley

Olive oil

Sea salt


Make your marinade.  In a large bowl, combine juices, salt, a pinch or two of oregano, some jalapeno slices (to taste), some scallion – and anything else your heart desires.  Taste it to make sure the salt levels are right and it’s something you want to eat.


Let stand for about 15 minutes so that flavors combine.


Just before you’re ready to serve, slice your fluke into bite-sized pieces.  If there’s a little lag time between slicing and serving, put it back in the fridge – you want the fish as cold as possible.

When you’re ready to eat, toss the fish and avocado in the marinade, stirring to combine.  Let stand for 3-4 minutes so the flavors soak in, then plate, garnishing with scallion, radish, parsley, a sprinkle of olive oil and some sea salt.


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From Dish Rachelle:
Clam chowder
I’m pretty sure that in my lifetime I’ve done some serious damage to the clam population of the Northeast. Some of my favorite dishes – and my family’s favorite dishes – center around this one simple ingredient. I grew up eating fried clam strips with tartar sauce with my Mom at Howard Johnson’s at brunch on Sundays and at fish fry places on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. I always ordered the chalky New England clam chowder at Friendly’s when I was little (and we know what a big part Friendly’s played in my childhood). I’ve known my father to cook three dishes, and three dishes only: 1) “Cheese eggs” (aka scrambled eggs with American cheese) 2) Linguine with white clam sauce and 3) Baked clams (see the bottom of this post for a neat trick he taught me). I love Zuppa di Clams and even raw ones on the half shell with cocktail sauce. This is really just starting to sound like a survey of New Jersey restaurant menus.

I’ve made Manhattan clam chowder before (“red”) but never New England. I was very pleasantly surprised. Sorry, clams – this might become another go-to.

Ingredients (makes 2 entrée-sized portions or 4 appetizers)

18 raw whole clams, shells on
2 strips bacon, chopped
Olive oil
½ large yellow onion, chopped
splash of dry white wine
1 large baking potato, diced small
clam stock (see below)
1/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
Ground pepper

Start by steaming your clams open. In a large, deep saucepan, place rinsed clams (shells on) in about a half-inch of water. Cover and steam over medium-high heat, giving the pan a shake every few minutes. Cook until the water looks foamy and the shells are all wide open, about 10 minutes.
Steamed clams
With tongs, remove the clams to a bowl. Do not drain or discard the clammy water at the bottom of your saucepan, because this will become the base of your stock! Remove the clam meat from the shells and reserve for later. Place the empty shells back in the saucepan and add about a pint and a half of water, covering and bringing it up to a simmer. Let this cook while you prepare your other ingredients.
Coming out of their shells
Clam stock
Cook the chopped bacon in a soup/stew pot over medium heat. When it looks about done, add the onions and a little bit of olive oil so they don’t stick, and soften. Deglaze with the white wine and add the potatoes.
Diced potato
Return to your clam stock and taste it. It will likely be very salty. Remove shells* and pour the liquid through a cheese cloth to remove any sand or grit that has come from them, and then pour the strained liquid straight into your soup pot. Add some fresh water if necessary to cover ingredients and dilute the salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, mostly covered, about 15 minutes.

Check your potatoes and make sure they’re done. If so, roughly chop the clam meat and add to the pot along with any liquids that emerged. Add the corn and stir. Cook, mostly covered, over low heat for another 5 minutes.
Chopped clam
Add heavy cream and if you prefer a thicker soup, the cornstarch (you can dissolve it in a little bit of warm water first to make a paste so that it’s not gritty in your mouth). Plate and season with ground pepper.

*You can toss them, or rinse and save them for another use. My Dad used to make baked clams using canned clams – easy, but without the benefit of shells for easy baking and nice presentation. No problem: when he ordered clams casino at a restaurant, he used to ask the waiter if he could keep the empty shells so that the next time he felt to urge to make baked clams he’d have them on hand.
Mutual admiration society, clam edition

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From Dish Rachelle:


I love brunch but on a chilly January Sunday, sometimes I love lounging in my sweatpants even more. What’s a Dish to do?

The answer’s surprisingly obvious: if you can’t bring the people to the croque madame, bring the croque madame to the people. To be honest, this isn’t my go-to brunch order (I’m more of an omelette or pancakes kind of girl) but I recently saw two internet recipes that inspired me to give this gourmet ham, egg and cheese another shot.

The first is this breakfast sandwich post from Ideas in Food, one of my husband’s favorite cooking blogs. He sent it to me because he knows there’s a special place in my heart for “Egg in the Bread” aka “Toad in the Hole” because my parents used to make it for me when I was little and I still cook it for us every once in a while.

The second is Ruth Reichl’s grilled cheese recipe from her How to Make it Better series for Gilt Taste. I incorporated many of her suggestions here and as promised, my sandwich was better for it.

I’m not going to get overly precise in my measurements here because seriously, it’s brunch – if we can’t be laid-back before noon on a Sunday, then really, when can we be?

Also: do you know how to make ANYTHING better? Add cats.
Ingredients (serves two)

4 slices country bread

butter for spreading

shredded gruyere cheese (start with about a cup – if you need more, go for it)

1-1 ½ tablespoons chopped shallot

black pepper

2 slices of ham

mayo for spreading

more butter for cooking

2 eggs

Diet food, this isn’t:


Start by layering one slice of bread on top of another and creating a hole in the center using a cookie cutter. Extra points if it’s cat-shaped. Repeat for second sandwich.


Mix together the grated gruyere with the chopped shallots and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.

Butter the inside of each slice of bread. If the butter’s too cold and/or the bread’s too delicate, warm it in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Butter side up, sprinkle a healthy amount of the cheese mixture on two slices of bread (one for each sandwich). Avoid the hole in the center.

Cover the cheese with a slice of ham, tearing it into pieces if necessary to arrange it around the cat.

Sprinkle just a bit more cheese over the ham and then close the sandwich, lining up the holes. Spread a thin layer of mayo on the outside of the bread and flip, carefully, to repeat on the other side.


Once both sandwiches are closed, melt a tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Carefully place your sandwiches in the hot butter and crack an egg in the center of each one.

Cook on one side until golden brown, about 4 minutes, and then flip. Cook until bottom side is golden brown and the egg has reached a desired level of doneness.

Serve immediately, with a nice helping of dressed greens, Brooklyn brunch style.


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From Dish Rachelle:

You know what’s awesome about Thanksgiving food?  We take generally healthy ingredients – poultry, potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, cranberries – and find a way to douse them all in butter, sugar, fat and salt.  It’s indulgent, it’s American, and it’s amazing.  My Mom makes some of the best turkey and stuffing I’ve ever tasted and her cousin always brings a great broccoli and cheese casserole, which is fluffy and rich and makes broccoli taste like junk food.

For this post, I tried to make a side dish that’s decadent enough for a Thanksgiving table, but also might be served at a dinner party year-round.  That meant no frizzled onions and no condensed soup or soup mix (1950s-era staples that I generally avoid but are totally acceptable on holidays).  I call this Broc’n’Cheese because it came out tasting like that all-American pasta classic – but with broccoli.  Perhaps it could be a good alternative to mac for a gluten free guest?

This recipe can be doubled or tripled or gazippled for Turkey Day…


2 large heads broccoli, florets only

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups milk

½ cup grated good-quality extra sharp cheddar

½ cup grated gruyere cheese

pinches of the following spices: nutmeg, garlic powder, paprika & mustard powder

½ cup breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350.

Cut and rinse your broccoli florets.  (Reserve the stems for another recipe.)  Steam the florets until bright green and cooked al dente.  Let stand, uncovered, while you prepare the béchamel.


Melt 1½ tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan and add flour, whisking quickly to create a very light roux.  Lower heat to medium and add milk, whisking away the lumps.  This is your béchamel sauce – keep whisking as it gets hotter and thickens, making sure the sides don’t scald.  When it starts bubbling slowly, bring the flame down to low and add dashes of the spices (less than a teaspoon of each) and S&P.  Add cheese and stir until melted and all the spices are combined.

Spread the steamed broccoli out into a baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over it.  Quickly melt the last ½ tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan and add the breadcrumbs.  Toast in butter 1-2 minutes and then pour it evenly over the broccoli and cheese.  Bake the casserole for about 15 minutes or until cheese sauce is bubbling.

Let stand a few minutes and then serve!  You won’t feel guilty about trying three different pies because you ate your broccoli – drenched in cheese, butter and milk, of course.

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From Dish Rachelle:

I’ve found that a dish, no matter how accurate the recipe, never comes out exactly the same way twice. That’s part of the fun of cooking — the element of surprise involved when one tiny substitution, whether it’s the freshness of an ingredient or the mindset of the cook, can make a world of difference. Sometimes I bite into a meal I’ve made a hundred times before and can’t believe how good, and new, it tastes. Unfortunately, sometimes this works in the opposite way, too. A tried and true recipe can still go sideways every once in a while.

Case in point: this Moroccan Chicken. It’s based on a highly rated Epicurious recipe and the first time I made it for a guest we declared it a Keeper. I couldn’t wait to have it again and when we made plans to host Dish Erin and her spicy side, it was the first dish that came to mind. My husband and I shopped for ingredients, dreamed up side dishes, and since I’d been so successful the last time, decided that I would head up the prep. I started, and something didn’t feel quite right. Then I realized I had planned an olive-centric meal for a man who hates olives. It got worse from there.

The Moroccan chicken – which had been so savory and fragrant and balanced the last time – came out BITTER. Our guests were kind enough to chow down anyway (wine helps) but I knew that the dish was imperfect. Here’s what happened: the dish simmers for about 25 minutes, when the chicken cooks through and the flavors come together. I realized, about 20 minutes in, that the flame had been too low and the chicken was barely cooked. It then had to go another 20 some-odd minutes, during which time the lemons started breaking down, releasing the bitter pith into the stew. By the time I realized and removed the lemon rings, it was too late. Gross.

On the bright side, I learned a new rule: never simmer lemons for more than a half hour.

But seriously, make this dish. It’s awesome when it’s awesome. I’ve made it twice now, which allows me to write the recipe exactly how I would prepare it.

Serves 4
4 good-sized chicken thighs, seasoned with S&P
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, 1 sliced into 8 rounds and 1 juiced
1/4 cup green olives, pitted and sliced (assuming nobody hates them)

Set the lemon juice aside.

Heat a tblsp of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or crock and add chicken thighs, skin down. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate. Add the sliced onions (and more olive oil if needed) season and saute until translucent. Add spices and garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add white wine and turn the heat up to cook off the fumes. Deglaze the pan.

Add chicken stock, lemon slices, and the browned chicken back into the pot.

Bring to a boil and the lower heat to a simmer. Cook mostly covered for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it to a plate again. Add the olives and lemon juice and turn up heat, reducing the sauce for about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper and add chicken back in. Serve with a smile, even if it’s not your finest moment in the kitchen — it’s not the recipe’s fault, I promise!

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From Dish Rachelle:

I’m not going to lie, this has been a very exciting – and anxiety-provoking – time (two sides of the same coin, at least for me). My first book comes out THIS TUESDAY and it’s the culmination of many years of hard work. Writing is a solitary process and over these past few weeks, the onslaught of reviews and write-ups has forced me to confront the thrilling and sometimes terrifying reality that the book has passed through my hands and is now public property. It’s a dream-outcome as well as a big adjustment. And what does this have to do with food? Well, in many ways this feels like a transitional moment in my life, when uncertainty rules, and homey touchstones are keeping me sane. So, cooking some Asian-style comfort food and goofing off in the kitchen with my husband is basically perfection.

For the shrimp (serves 2):
16 40 count uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (adjust portion size if shrimp is bigger/smaller)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. miso paste
1 tbsp. soy sauce
a splash of mirin

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl with clean, fresh shrimp (I used to my hands). When ingredients are evenly distributed, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until ready to grill.

Meanwhile, start the risotto:

3/4 cup arborio rice
Olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
2 qts. chicken or vegetable stock (you won’t use all of it but good to have it handy)
1/4 dry white wine
Greens of two scallions, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen

Dish Danielle has given us some great instructions for preparing risotto. Basically, it needs to be coddled. Heat some olive oil in a large, flat bottomed saucepan and saute onions, garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt to prevent browning. In a separate saucepan, heat a quart of stock and keep a ladle handy. Add risotto rice to the onion mixture and stir to combine, 1-2 minutes. Start ladling warm stock over the rice, a few ladles at a time, and stir frequently, watching the rice expand. Add the white wine and get a little tipsy off the fumes. When the risotto begins to dry, add more stock – if you finish the first quart, you know where to find more. Continue 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked to al dente. Stir in scallions, lemon zest and peas and keep over heat until everything’s warmed through. Season to taste.

Spray a grill pan with cooking spray (if you don’t have a grill pan, but are lucky enough to have access to a real grill, feel free to use it. You can also cook the shrimp in a frying pan, you just won’t get the nice little grill marks.) Arrange shrimp in a single layer and cook, about a minute and half per side, until they’re pink all the way through.

If you’d like to serve this dish with asparagus – or any other green vegetable – steam it while you’re cooking the shrimp. For extra points, use a particularly fat asparagus stalk as a microphone.

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From Dish Rachelle:

I have a problem: I’m kind of obsessed with ramen but I hate waiting in line for my food, which seems to be par for the course at NYC’s most popular ramen spots: Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Ippudo. I’m pretty sure Ipuddo’s bowl is my number-one-favorite, but I’m not entirely convinced, since the only time I braved the requisite hour-and-a-half wait I ended up drinking two lychee martinis before my meal on an empty stomach, which inevitably dulled my palette (and generally made me eat like a monster-face). Momofuku is amazing too, and it’s almost worth battling the crowds for the one-two punch of the steamed pork buns and a hot bowl of noodles (oh, the steamed pork buns!). But here’s the real rub: there are countless second-tier ramen bars around the city but they pale in comparison to these two heavy-hitters. Does anyone have a favorite diamond-in-the-rough spot? Help an addict out – or, just swing by my kitchen.

OK, we all know that the best part of ramen is the noodles, but unfortunately I haven’t learned the fine art of making them from scratch. No matter: the very close runner-up – the second-best part – is the STUFF, like roast pork, eggs, Asian veggies, and sriracha. This is a meal the Boy and I concocted and it’s basically an Asian-inspired soup with ramen-style stuff. What a mouthful.

Feel free to substitute your own favorite stuff, like beef, chicken or fish instead of pork, or baby corn instead of bamboo shoots, or broccoli instead of asparagus…

Here’s what we did (serves two):

Cook one cup of brown rice according to package directions. This is more than enough for two bowls of soup so plan to make some fried rice in the near future. When the rice is cooked, season with salt, sesame seeds and about a tsp. of rice wine vinegar.

Bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil and add ½ cup of dry bonito flakes and a stick of kambu.

Take the stock off heat and let the ingredients soak for 15 minutes or more. After they’ve soaked, the broth should look cloudy. Drain out the bonito and kombu and discard. Season the broth with soy sauce.

Preheat oven to 400. Mix up a teriyaki sauce and marinate your meat – we used a ¾ lb pork loin that yielded some fat slices for both of us plus some leftover (which I used in the fried rice, mmm). After marinating, cook pork loin for about 45 minutes, until firm, glazing periodically with the teriyaki sauce. When it’s cooked, let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

Steam any green vegetables (we used asparagus, cause we had it in the house) and be ready with other garnishes: bean sprouts, canned bamboo shoots and sliced scallion, in this case.

Just before serving, soft-to-medium boil two eggs and slice them in half.

Pour broth over a small pile of rice and arrange all of your ingredients in the bowl.
Decorate with sriracha, scallions and a strip of dried seaweed.

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