Spicy Pork & Mustard Green Soup

Spicy Pork & Mustard Green Soup

from foxes love lemons and bon appétit


1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound ground pork

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 cups less-sodium chicken broth

1/2 bunch mustard greens (stems removed), torn into large pieces

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

8 ounces wide udon noodles


In large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, pork, ginger, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until pork is browned and cooked through, breaking up pork with side of spoon and stirring occasionally.

Add broth and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 8 minutes. Add mustard greens, onions, soy sauce and fish sauce. Simmer 5 minutes or until greens are tender; stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Divide noodles between 4 bowls and ladle soup over.

Napa Cabbage and Apple Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

Napa Cabbage and Apple Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

Adapted from Mara, elementalcustard.com

½ head of napa cabbage

1 sweet apple

¾ c dried cranberries

½ c roasted pecans, chopped

½ c chopped parsley

1 Tb Dijon mustard

1 Tb olive oil

1 Tb lemon juice

1 Tb honey


To prepare cabbage, lay on its side and slice through the stem to cut the cabbage in half. Remove the coarse stem by cutting around it. Place the cabbage, cut side down and slice into thin slices. Place in a large bowl.

To prepare the fennel, slice off the upper shoots, leaving the bulb only. Cut in half through the stem and remove the stem similarly to the cabbage. Place the fennel bulb cut side down and slice into very thin strips (or use a mandolin). Place in the bowl with the cabbage.

Core the apple and julienne into thin slices and add to the bowl. Add the parsley, cranberries and pecan pieces.

Mix up the dressing and add to the salad. Toss to combine.

Asian Greens with Shiitake Mushroom, Satsuma Mandarin and Soba Noodles

Asian Greens with Shiitake Mushroom, Satsuma Mandarin and Soba Noodles
This can also be prepared without the noodles and used as a bed of greens for fish or cooked with thinly sliced pork instead of mushrooms
Serves two
5-6 oz soba noodles (2 bundles)
1Tb (1/2 thumb size) shredded or minced ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tsp)
1 Tb tamari
1½ tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tb mirin, white wine, or better quality hard cider
1 Tb brown sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems diced finely, caps quartered
1 bag (½ lb) asian greens (mibuna, mizuna, hon tsai tai, etc.)
3 baby bok choi, sliced finely
1 satsuma mandarin, sliced with peel
Juice of 1 satsuma mandarin


Cook soba noodles in boiling water as directed by package. If water begins to boil excessively, add a small amount of cold water and continue cooking. Drain and set aside.
While noodles are cooking, combine ginger, garlic, tamari, wine, brown sugar and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
 Heat wok well, then add 2 Tb cooking oil, with shiitake mushrooms for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add contents of the small bowl, the asian greens and cook for 2 minutes.  Add bok choi and juice and slices of Satsuma mandarins, cooking for 1 more minute. Turn off flame, and stir in cooked and drained soba noodles. Serve warm or cold.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Candied Bacon and Chili-Dusted Pepitas

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Candied Bacon and Chili-Dusted Pepitas
2 stalks brussels sprouts
Olive oil for coating
¼ c hulled pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds – the green ones in the store)
1 Tb olive oil
1 Tb chili powder
10 slices bacon (8 oz.)
2 Tb brown sugar
Juice from half a lemon
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Pop brussels sprouts off of stalks and compost stalks. Cut larger sprouts in half, and coat all sprouts with olive oil in a casserole dish. In a small bowl, mix pepitas, olive oil and chili powder. Spread out on a cookie sheet or piece of aluminum foil. Line glass tray with aluminum foil and spread out bacon. Top with brown sugar. Set timer for 30 minutes and add brussels to oven. After 15 minutes, add bacon. After 22 minutes, add pepitas. In the last few minutes check to see if bacon or pepitas need to come out early.
Chop bacon and stir in with brussels sprouts, pepitas, and lemon juice to serve.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Leek Galette

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Leek Galette
Adjusted from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen
For the pastry: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1/4 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup ice water
For the filling: 1 small butternut squash 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do) 3 young leeks, roots and dark green tops removed, sliced thinly 1 teaspoon salt Pinch of sugar 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste 3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, thyme and rosemary leaves in whatever proportions you prefer.
Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined (for neatness sake) sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.
Caramelize leeks: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook leeks over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown. Stir in cayenne.
Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized leeks, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.
Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, leeks, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, leek and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.
Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Potato, Rutabaga, and Cabbage Bundles

Potato, Rutabaga and Cabbage Bundles
Adjusted from Gourmet, Mar 2004
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 head green cabbage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¾  teaspoon salt
¼  teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup water
¾  lb new potatoes
1 rutabaga, peeled
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
3 oz extra-sharp white Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 cup)
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
¾ cup coarse fresh bread crumbs from a country-style loaf
Special equipment: a nonstick muffin tin with 6 (1-cup) muffin cups; 12 (10- by 2-inch) strips of parchment paper
Accompaniment: Irish bacon
Cook onion in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Discard any discolored or damaged tough outer leaves from cabbage, then core cabbage and carefully lower into boiling water using a slotted spoon.
Boil cabbage, pulling off 6 leaves (to be used as decorative wrappers and eaten if desired) with tongs as they soften and leaving them with remaining cabbage, 5 minutes. Transfer large leaves to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Transfer remaining cabbage to a colander to drain. Transfer large leaves to paper towels to drain, then pat dry.
Lightly butter muffin cups, then put 2 parchment strips in a crisscross pattern in each cup. (You will have a 2-inch overhang.) Line each cup with a large cabbage leaf. Coarsely chop remaining cabbage, then add to onion along with garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and water and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender and browned, about 10 minutes.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.


Clean potatoes and peel rutabaga and cut into 1-inch cubes, then cover with cold salted water by 1 inch in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes and rutabaga until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, then set root vegetables in colander over saucepan to steam-dry, uncovered, 5 minutes. Mash potatoes and rutabaga in a large bowl, then stir in buttermilk, cheese, 1/2 stick butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until combined well.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook bread crumbs, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes.
Fill each cabbage leaf with about 1/2 cup potato-rutabaga mixture, then divide cabbage mixture among leaves. Top with remaining potato mixture, then sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Fold edges of cabbage in toward filling (do not completely cover).
Bake until heated through and edges of cabbage are well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer stuffed leaves to plates using parchment overhangs.

Red Cabbage with Caraway Seeds

Red Cabbage with Caraway Seeds
Altered from Saveur, Issue #22
1⁄4 lb. smoked slab bacon, diced 6 baby leeks, thinly sliced, roots and dark green tops composted 1 large head red cabbage, cored and shredded 2 tsp. caraway seeds 1 bay leaf 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced Salt and freshly ground pepper 3 1⁄4 cups dry white wine 1 tbsp. honey 1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
Cook bacon in a large deep skillet over low heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-low, add baby leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, then add caraway seeds, bay leaf, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium; add wine, honey, and vinegar; and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is soft and cooking liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour. (Add water if liquid evaporates too quickly and cabbage begins to stick to skillet.)
Remove cabbage mixture from heat, transfer to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. To serve, warm cabbage mixture over low heat, adjusting seasoning with salt, pepper, and vinegar if necessary.

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon
Altered from Regan Burns, chow.com
1 medium head red cabbage
6 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon or other smoked bacon, cut into lardons (about 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/4-inch pieces)
6 baby leeks, thinly sliced, roots and dark green tops removed
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut a V-shaped notch around the white core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside.
Place bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered.
Add baby leeks and stir to coat in the bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the edges begin to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the reserved cabbage, stir to coat in bacon fat, and cook until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and mustard.
Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add the chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan tightly. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and soupy and the bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If the cabbage begins to look dry, add more broth or water.

Pollan's Sauerkraut

from “Cooked”, by Michael Pollan
4 pounds Cabbage (2 heads Red and 2 heads Green)
6-8 teaspoons fine Sea Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Juniper Berries
1 tablespoon Caraway Seeds
Thinly chop or shred the cabbage into roughly 1/4-inch thick slices and place in a very large bowl or tub. Shredding the cabbage on a mandolin gives the best result. If using other fruits and vegetables, slice them to about the same thickness as the cabbage and add to the bowl. The rougher the cut, the better as more surface area is exposed to the salt.
Add the salt (1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons per pound of cabbage mixture) to the cabbage mixture, mixing it into the shredded leaves with your hands, squeezing the cabbage and pounding on the mixture as you go. (It’s best to start by adding 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt per pound and then adding another half or whole teaspoon extra per pound if needed.) Within several minutes, the salt will begin drawing water from the cabbage leaves. Continue to squeeze, bruise, or pound the cabbage to speed up the process. You can also place a weight on the mixture to drive out liquid.
Wait until the vegetables are dripping wet, like a sopping sponge. Taste the cabbage. It should taste salted but not salty. If it’s too salty, add more shredded cabbage or briefly rinse with water to remove. If it’s not salty enough, or not wet enough, add a little more salt. Add the spices, if using, and toss. Pack the mixture tightly in a glass jar or crock fitted with a lid that can hold at least 8 cups, making sure all the air is squeezed out and the vegetables are completely submerged in their liquid. (If you don’t have a large container, use two or three smaller containers, about 1 quart each in volume.) There should be at least 3 inches between the packed cabbage and the top of the jar. Push the vegetables down tightly using your fist. They should be covered in their liquid. Before sealing the jar, either weight the vegetables down with a small ceramic or glass jar or insert something nonreactive between the lid and the vegetables to keep them submerged in the liquid: a plastic bag filled with stones or PingPong balls works well or lay a large cabbage, fig, or grape leaf over the shredded cabbage and weight that down with clean stones or other heavy nonreactive objects. There should be enough liquid to cover, but if not add a little water.
For the first few days, store at room temperature, ideally between 65°F and 75°F, then move to a cooler location, such as a basement. If you’re making kraut in a sealed glass container, make sure to release the pressure every few days, especially the first couple of days, when bubbling will be most active. In a mason jar, you’ll know pressure is building when the metal top begins to bulge; open just enough to release the gas and reseal. Those old-timey glass crocks with the hinged tops held in place by a metal clasp work well since they will release pressure along their rubber gasket. Easiest of all is a ceramic crock designed for making sauerkraut. If at any point water seeps out of the jar during fermentation and the cabbage mixture is not fully submerged in liquid, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt in a cup of water. Add enough brine to keep the sauerkraut submerged in liquid.
Taste it after a week, then two weeks, and then weekly after that. When the level of sourness and crunchiness is to your liking, move your kraut to the refrigerator to put the breaks on the fermentation.

Butternut Squash and Bitters Soup

Butternut Squash and Bitters Soup
Adjusted from Ian Knauer, author of “The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food” Serves 4

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 young leeks, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp fresh thyme

1 butternut squash

2 cups homemade chicken stock (really makes the difference) or low sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

1 tablespoons Angostura bitters

1 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream

Peel and seed squash, then cut into two-inch chunks.
Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until hot. Stir in leeks and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are translucent, about six minutes. Stir in Add bitters and brown sugar, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes on a low flame. Add squash, stock, water, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook soup, uncovered, until squash is very tender, about 35 minutes.
Transfer soup to a blender and purée in batches. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve drizzled with cream and additional bitters.

Simple Roasted Radishes

Simple Roasted Radishes
A simple, but delicious way to bring out the sweetness in radishes.
1 bunch radishes
1 Tb Sesame oil
1 Tb Soy Sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove greens from radishes and trim stem and root end from each radish. Halve radishes lengthwise. Arrange the radishes cut-side down on a baking sheet and drizzle sesame oil and soy sauce on top. Briefly scoot around radishes to coat underside. Roast until caramelized and tender, about 15 minutes. 

Broccoli Rabe with Sausage

Broccoli Rabe with Sausage
Adjusted from foodandwine.com
½ pound broccoli rabe
 2 Tb extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces hot Italian sausage—casings removed, meat crumbled
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tb grated pecorino cheese
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the broccoli rabe until nearly tender, 2-4 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water. Squeeze and pat dry, then chop.
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil, the garlic and red pepper to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the lemon juice and toss. Serve with pecorino.

Crispy Kale Chips

Crispy Kale Chips

From foodnetwork.com

This is a simple recipe for a surprisingly delicious snack that Geoff's 7 & 6 year old niece and nephew had commented, “this is the kind of food we like to eat”. And they definitely aren't ones to get excited about vegetables.


1 bunch kale, washed and thoroughly dried
1 ½ - 2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, pepper, and/or red pepper flakes for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces. Put into a bowl and toss with olive oil and salt, etc. Lay on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes total. Cooking time can vary depending on your particular oven.


Rosemary Portabello Burgers

Rosemary Portobello Burgers

Bon Appétit, Jul 2001

Take note, you need to make a balsamic vinaigrette or buy some pre-made from the store for this recipe.

1/3 cup purchased balsamic vinaigrette

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 round crusty rolls, split (Co-op’s sun buns work great)

2 large portobello mushrooms; (about 5 inches in diameter), stemmed

4 slices mozzarella cheese

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 cup (loosely packed) arugula leaves

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk vinaigrette and rosemary in small bowl. Brush cut sides of rolls with vinaigrette. Place rolls on grill, cut side down. Grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to 2 plates.

Brush mushrooms on both sides with vinaigrette. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms on grill, dark gill side down. Close grill or cover mushrooms with small metal roasting pan; cook until mushrooms begin to soften, brushing with vinaigrette once, about 5 minutes. Turn mushrooms over. Cover; grill until tender when pierced with knife, about 7 minutes longer. Place 2 cheese slices on each mushroom. Cover; grill until cheese melts, about 1 minute.

Place 1 mushroom on bottom half of each roll. Top each with tomato, arugula, and top half of roll.

Basil Pesto with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Linguini

Basil Pesto with Potatoes, Green Beans and Linguini

from theitaliandishblog.com

½ lb. small new potatoes, sliced into 1/4 slices

2 handfuls of haricot verts, stem ends snapped off

8 ounces of linguini (or whatever pasta you like)

2 ounces of parmigiano reggiano cheese

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup pine nuts (or almonds)

2 cups packed fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper 

You only need one large pot to cook everything in!

Fill a large pot with water and the potatoes and add about 2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt. You want the water to be nicely salted to not only flavor the pasta, but to maintain the shape of the potatoes and the greenness of the beans.   Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are just done, about 13 - 15 minutes.  Take a slice out and poke it with a sharp knife to test.  If it easily pierces it, they are done.  Remove the potatoes with a strainer or spider and place in a large serving bowl.  Do not dump out your water. 

To the same pot and water, add the green beans and cook until they are just done, about 7-8 minutes.  Make sure they are done all the way, with no hint of a raw flavor.  Remove with the spider and add the beans to the potatoes in your serving dish.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook the linguini until just al dente - about 8 minutes.  Test for doneness. Remove with a pair of tongs and add to your serving dish.  A little bit of pasta water on the linguini is fine - this will help make a "sauce" of the pesto.

While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto.  Place the cheese and the garlic in a food processor and process until fine.  Add the basil and pine nuts and process. Start adding the olive oil through the feed tube until the pesto is all thoroughly processed.  You may have to use a spatula to scrape it down.  Taste the pesto and add a little sea salt if you like.

Add the pesto and a few grinds of black pepper to the serving bowl ingredients and toss well.  Add a tablespoon or two of the hot pasta water if you need help in blending the pesto.   Serve at room temperature.  

Leftovers the next day are great. 

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny Soup

altered from The Food of India: Authentic Recipes from the Spicy Subcontinent

In the book, the introduction to this recipe is quite funny: “The inspiration for this Anglo-Indian soup was southern Indian ‘pepper water,’ which certainly did not include apple, curry powder and chicken. This flavorful soup is still a favorite among the Westernized middle-class, who enjoy it in their private clubs.”

3 c water

2 Tb oil

2 chicken thighs, including bone and skin
3 inch piece ginger, crushed or finely grated
3 small cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced

2 Tb Bengal gram or chickpea flour (can substitute flour of your choice)

1 apple, diced
2 carrots, diced

1 kohlrabi, diced

1 heaped Tb curry powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

3 medium sized tomatoes, peeled (optional) and chopped

1 bay leaf

1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1-2 Tb rice (optional)

Lemon wedges


Heat the water until boiling. Heat the oil in a soup pot and add chicken thighs, cooking each side for a few minutes until browned. Add to water and boil for 30 minutes.

While chicken is boiling, add ginger and garlic to the oil in the soup pot. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the onion and sauté until the onion is transparent.

If you don’t want tomato peel, boil tomatoes in chicken water for 3 minutes, then remove and peel. Add the gram flour, apple, carrots, kohlrabi, curry powder, turmeric, tomatoes, bay leaf, pepper, and rice (if using) to the ginger-garlic-onion pot. Cover and simmer vegetables, setting a timer for 45 minutes. When the chicken is done boiling, remove chicken thighs from water and cool. Add the water to the soup pot, and continue simmering, covered. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones, and hand-shred or shred using a fork. After soup has cooked 45 minutes, you can blend it if you like more of a puree. Add chicken and serve with lemon wedges.

Vodka Sauce

Vodka Sauce

altered from foodandwine.com

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces pancetta, diced (optional)

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup vodka

1 tablespoon tomato paste

8 San Marzano tomatoes

Pinch of sugar

2 basil sprigs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and set up a bowl of ice water. Boil San Marzanos for 3 minutes, then transfer to ice water. Remove when cool, and peel skins off. Mash tomato flesh with your hands, a potato masher, or blend with a food processor.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the pancetta (optional), garlic and crushed red pepper over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with vodka. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the peeled and crushed tomatoes. Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic. Add heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce

from shesimmers.com

We just came across this peanut sauce and were pleased with how this tasted, for being such a quick recipe. We typically make our curry paste from scratch, but during this time of year, there’s no way. We’ve been enjoying this slathered on summer squash and chicken kabobs (satays) and as a dip for spring rolls with cucumber, carrot and cilantro.


One 13.5-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk

2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) of Thai red (mom’s preference and mine too) or Massaman curry paste (milder but flavorful)

¾ cup unsweetened (natural) creamy peanut butter (Do not use regular peanut butter or anything with added emulsifiers. It must be the type of natural peanut butter that comes with natural peanut oil on top and no sugar added. I often use Smucker’s.)

½ tablespoon salt

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else — not even rice vinegar)

½ cup water


Put everything into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.

Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.

Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature (or slightly warmer), and serve.


This peanut sauce keeps in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks. Refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably. All you have to do is thin it out with a little bit of water to desired consistency, reheat, and serve. The sauce also freezes beautifully. I prefer Maesri red curry paste. But you can also use Mae Ploy red curry paste (it’s hotter). A lot of people like to use massaman curry paste, and you can do that too. Originally, Mom used roasted peanuts, ground up in a mortar and pestle. For those who feel the use of natural peanut butter in this recipe is blasphemous, please feel free to go that route. But then, what is unsweetened, natural peanut butter if not roasted peanuts ground up into a paste? For those living in areas of the world where commercial natural peanut butter is not available, please grind up 12 ounces of roasted peanuts using whatever means most convenient for you. Then use the peanut paste in the same manner as peanut butter as directed.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

From Deb Perelman’s smittenkitchen.com

Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Either use them right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever. And for snacking.


Roasted Rutabaga and Shiitake Reuben

Roasted Rutabaga and Shiitake Reuben


Olive oil

1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into ½ thick slices

1-2 Tb butter

4-6 medium sized shiitakes, stems removed and sliced into fourths

1 dollop honey

Sauerkraut or sliced swiss chard to taste

¼ lb emmentaler cheese

Honey-mustard dressing to taste

½ loaf focaccia, sliced in half



Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat bottom of glass (or other) baking dish with olive oil. Add rutabaga slices, so there’s no overlapping. Brush more olive oil on top. Cook for 45 – 50 minutes, then set aside

Heat butter in a pan on a medium-low flame, and add shiitakes, careful not to burn the butter. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn off flame and mix in honey

Spread honey mustard on bottom cut focaccia, add rutabaga slices, shiitakes, sauerkraut/chard, emmentaler, then top with focaccia.

If you don’t have a panini press, use this method: Take 2 large pans, about the same size, preferably the smaller one being an iron skillet. Heat the smaller one until it’s hot. Heat the other pan on a low flame and add butter. Add sandwiches, smearing butter, and add a tiny bit of butter on top of the sandwiches. Drop the hot pan, bottom-side down on top, keeping it level. Add a weight of some sort if it’s not an iron skillet (otherwise, grab oven mits and some patience). The weight of the pan (or the slight pressure you apply) will slowly press the sandwich. After about 3-4 minutes, it should be pressed, the cheese melted. Lift top pan, careful not to take the bread with it, and transfer to plate. Serve with pickles.