Tag Archives: bon appetit

One-a-day Great Superbowl Recipes (Day 1)

28 Jan
Photo by Hans Gissinger

Photo by Hans Gissinger

Three-Cheese Pimiento Mac with Parmesan Crumbs

I created this recipe for Bon Appétit magazine and it became the cover photo. It’s a comforting, American-styled baked pasta loosely based on a southern favorite – pimiento cheese – whose red bell pepper-cheddar-y taste profile is totally satisfying. The secret ingredient is sweet-and-spicy peppadew peppers. The components can be prepped ahead of time, assembled, and baked 20 minutes before serving. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd and perfect for a Superbowl gathering.

1 large red bell pepper, 7 ounces
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
12 peppadew peppers, drained
1 tablespoon peppadew brine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder
5 ounces extra-sharp yellow cheddar, in small pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
4 ounces shredded whole-milk mozzarella
8 ounces gemelli or medium shells
½ cup panko
3 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Cut the pepper in half and remove seeds. Cut pepper into 1 inch pieces and put in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and 1-1/2 cloves garlic. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cover. Cook 15 minutes until peppers are very soft. Transfer contents (with water) to a food processor. Add the peppadews, brine, 2 tablespoons butter, chile powder and remaining ½ garlic clove. Process until smooth. Add cheddar and ¼ cup parmesan and process until very smooth.

Boil the pasta in salted water until tender, about 11 minutes. Drain under cold water and pat very dry. Toss pasta with the red pepper sauce. Stir in the mozzarella. Add salt to taste. Pack into a large soufflé dish.

Stir together the remaining ¼ cup parmesan and panko. Add the remaining tablespoon butter and, with your fingers, thoroughly moisten the crumbs. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle on pasta and bake 20 minutes until golden. Scatter basil on top. Serves 4

Tastes of the Week

22 Jan

Tastes of the Week
Jan. 16 through Jan. 22, 2012

Trend of the moment: Escarole — you heard it here first. You will find it braised, grilled, steamed, stir-fried, in salads, shredded, roasted, stuffed…everywhere.

I just love, love, love Bon Appetit‘s “faux shrimp” cocktail made with — no, not surimi — but with a head of fresh cauliflower, in the new February issue. Not sure why it tickles me so, but I can’t wait to try it. The recipe comes from Chef Kevin Roberts from “The Black Sheep” in Richmond, Virginia. According to the chef, it is a dead ringer for the real thing: Cauliflower florets are briefly poached in water seasoned with crab boil spices, onions, garlic and lemons, and then served with cocktail sauce. The recipe alone is worth the price of the mag.

We were entertaining out-of-town guests this weekend and decided to go to Junior’s in Times Square for a certain kind of New York experience. Before
going, New York food maven Arthur Schwartz mentioned that the hamburgers were awfully good. Would never have imagined but my burger was fabulous! A perfectly-cooked rare cheeseburger with smothered onions. Juicy beyond all get out, great flavor, affordable. Good beets, pickles, slaw and a very nice waiter. And while the cheesecake at Junior’s is excellent — and certainly famous — we were lunching with another famous baker… Anne Kabo from Margate, New Jersey.  It is her recipe for cheesecake that is featured in Radically Simple. Check it out; it’s sublime.

Am enjoying a crate of honeybell oranges sent to me by my friend Evan Nisenson. The oranges come from Florida and are seductively sweet, intensely perfumed and actually silky in texture. I can think of no finer gift in the middle of winter and I am very grateful. I eat at least one a day. (And I share them, too.) The season is almost over (Jan. 30th) so hurry, hurry.

The finest “bruschetta” in the world is found at abckitchen. It is chef Dan Kluger’s kabocha squash and goat cheese seasonal offering — and that is almost over, too. Hurry, hurry.

Had a lovely authentic “tea” at the Colony Club with a dear friend who is a member. Fireplaces and a wonderful harpist. It reminds me what a wonderful way this is to entertain and so I think you should consider it. Little sandwiches, wonderful scones and clotted cream, tiny pastries. Tea.  (Currant-oatmeal scones based on a recipe from Joanne Rosen, lawyer and baker extraordinaire- under January 2012 recipes)

Instant party: Go to Barbounia (corner of Park Avenue South and 20th Street) and order the grand mezze of dips and spreads with freshly-baked Middle Eastern bread (more like Turkish pide than pita) and olives. Drink some Greek wine or a Spanish txakoli (from the Basque region) like we did last night.

Good friends told us that they had an amazing meal on Saturday night at the Gentleman Farmer on Rivington Street on the lower east side: Rabbit cassoulet; venison bourguignon, and a lusty cod dish with a root vegetable puree. Ostrich, wild boar, snails, are available, too. 20 seats only.

Dying to go back to Tony Zazula’s Commerce restaurant (we had our Thanksgiving there) and to Drew Nieporent’s Corton. Also eager to try Danny Meyer’s newest venture — North End Grill with super-star chef Floyd Cardoz at the ovens. I want their Grilled Clam Pizza now!

Happy tastes of the week to you.

The Best Thing She Ever Ate

27 Apr

Morrocan-Inspired “Pastistio” with Spicy Lamb & Cinnamon

About one month ago, I received a very special email from a stranger whom I now consider a loyal friend.  She found me through my website and took the time to write. And what did she say?

Chef Gold: I am fairly sure the subject dish featured in a recent Bon Appetit is not only the best thing I have ever made (in +40 years of cooking), it may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Bravo!

It made me smile. I’m still smiling and decided to share this recipe with you. It originally appeared in the March issue of Bon Appetit in an article I wrote about baked pastas. It is a riff on the Greek dish “Pastistio.” According to Peter Minakis who writes a web-column called “Greek Food & Beyond,” pastistio is the Greek form of the Italian word pasticcio, which means hodgepodge (among other things).  It is simply a baked pasta dish whose three components include: the pasta (often bucatini), a meat sauce (a classic Bolognese finished with a pinch of cinnamon– a must), and bechamel (a thick creamy sauce made from butter, flour, milk, eggs and cheese.)

Like the traditional Greek pastistio, my version has a bit of cinnamon in it, but I ramp up the flavors with the addition of ras el hanout (an aromatic spice blend popular in Morocco), cumin, and dried mint — a hallmark of many Moroccan dishes. This can be assembled and baked early in the day and reheated before serving. (Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 18 minutes.) Try one of the terrific Greek wines (white or red) now available in many wine stores.

I raise a glass to Mary Bowler of Southfield, MI, for her lovely note. Keep in touch!

Morrocan-Inspired “Pastistio” with Spicy Lamb & Cinnamon

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping cup finely diced red onion
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound ground lamb
28-ounces plum tomatoes in puree
2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs, separated
1  pound  penne rigate
½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

Heat oil in a very large skillet.  Add onions and garlic and cook over high heat 5 minutes until soft.  Add lamb and cook 5 minutes until just cooked through.  Add tomatoes, ras el hanout, cinnamon, mint, and all but 1/2 teaspoon cumin.  Bring to a boil, stirring, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes until thick.  Add salt and pepper to taste

Meanwhile, melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Bring milk just to a boil in another saucepan.  Slowly add hot milk to flour mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.  Bring just to a boil, then simmer several minutes until thick.  Remove from heat.  Stir in feta, egg yolks and remaining cumin.   Whisk 1 minute until yolks “cook.”  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until just tender, about 12 minutes.  Drain pasta well and transfer to large bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons butter, egg whites and 1/4 cup grated parmesan.  Arrange 1/2 pasta in a deep 9-x-12 inch lasagna pan.  Spread the lamb sauce over pasta.  Top with remaining pasta and press firmly.  Spoon white sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.    Bake 40 minutes until bubbly.   Serves 8

A Kugel for Passover and Easter

1 Apr

With Passover and Easter just around the corner, here is an exciting side dish that fulfills the requirements for both celebrations.  I developed this cauliflower-leek kugel with its vibrant almond-herb crust for Bon Appetit when I was writing the “Entertaining Made Easy” column.  While kugels are typically “Jewish,” and most often connote “sweet,” this kugel is savory and, according to the editors at Bon App, tastes remarkably like artichokes!   You can find the slightly-altered recipe on Epicurious, but the recipe below is the original, where the almonds are more finely chopped and the filling more compact.  Part pudding/souffle in texture, it is a perfect offering for Passover as the dish is parve, with no dairy or any leavening in it.  The cauliflower “mash” is thickened with matzoh meal.  It is also perfect for Easter as the flavor screams “Spring” with its fresh burst of dill and parsley.  It is a wonderful accompaniment to roast lamb and equally delicious nestled up to pot roast or a golden roast capon.   It also fulfills the “entertaining made easy” requirement as it can be easily prepped and assembled and baked up to two days before serving.  I am imagining it now, on my palate, with rosy slices of garlicky-minted lamb and a puree of carrots flecked with fresh lemon thyme for Easter.  For Passover, I am licking my lips as I think about my slightly sweet-and-sour pot roast made with sticky dates.  Either way, try it.  You’ll like it.

Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb Crust

1 large head cauliflower, about 2 ¼ pounds or 1 ½ pounds florets
4 large leeks, about 1 ½ pounds
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 extra large eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons matzoh meal
½ teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic
1/3 cup whole shelled almonds with skins
½ cup packed flat parsley leaves
½ cup packed dill fronds

Wash cauliflower. If using whole head, trim leaves and cut into florets.  Cook, covered, in a large pot with ¾ cup water until tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Toss periodically and if necessary, add small amount of water.

Trim dark green leaves from leeks.  Cut remaining leeks down their lengths into quarters.  Then cut across the leeks into ¼”-1/2” pieces. Wash thoroughly.  Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet and add leeks with their moisture still clinging.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring, for five minutes, then lower heat and let cook slowly until soft and slightly brown, about 20 minutes.  Stir often.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain cauliflower and put in large bowl.  Mash with fork into coarse pieces.  Do not make mushy.  Toss well with leeks, beaten eggs, matzoh meal, salt and freshly ground black pepper.   Pour into 8 ½” soufflé dish.

Put garlic and almonds in a food processor: pulse frequently until finely chopped  and place in a medium bowl. Put parsley and dill into food processor and process until finely chopped; do not overprocess into a puree.  Add to almonds and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon water.   Distribute herb mixture over cauliflower then gently press down to flatten.  Bake 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Cut into wedges or spoon from soufflé dish.  Serves 8

Crunchy Salmon with Wasabi Peas & Lime

18 Mar

A few days ago, my friend Lauren C. was browsing the web and came across a recipe she was crazy about, salmon with wasabi peas and lime. It was a recipe from Bon Appetit from a few years ago. It turned out that the recipe was mine — one of the few times that credit was given in the Internet’s vast virtual cookbook –which delighted her (and me) even more. In the true spirit of radical simplicity, this is a dish that requires only a handful of ingredients and can be put together in less than 15 minutes. Wasabi-coated peas — the 21st century’s new snack food — once the darling of specialty food stores and now available in every 7-11, get crushed to smithereens and packed onto thick fillets of fresh salmon to form a crunchy topping. Whereas these little peas are searingly hot, their spiciness lessens as it cooks. At the same time the salmon roasts in a 400 degree oven, slivers of red cabbage and sugar snap peas get flash-cooked in an oil-slicked wok, to form a gorgeous bed upon which the salmon sits. It is at once beautiful and delicious. My 14-year old daughter is still a bit squeamish about eating fish but she loves to crush the peas in a small plastic bag and then smash them with a rolling pin. Alternatively, it can be done in a food processor. This is a great warmer-weather dish, one that is inherently healthy, and gets you in and out of the kitchen in a flash. All you need to do is cook up some fragrant jasmine rice and pour yourself an icy glass of sauvignon blanc.

Here’s the recipe:
Crunchy Salmon with Wasabi Peas & Lime

3/4 cup wasabi peas, about 3 ounces
4 6-or 7-ounce thick salmon fillets
1 large lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sugar snap peas, about 6 ounces
3-1/2 cups finely shredded red cabbage, about 10 ounces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the wasabi peas in the bowl of a food processor and process until powdery, but still with tiny pieces. Sprinkle the fish with sea salt. Pat the crushed peas onto the fish, making sure that the top is evenly coated. Grate the zest of the lime and sprinkle onto the top of the fish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place the fish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through but still moist. Meanwhile, trim the ends of the sugar snap peas. Heat the remaining tablespoon of the oil in a work or large skillet. Add the red cabbage and sugar snaps and cook over high heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the fish from the oven. Cut the lime in half and squeeze juice over the fish. Transfer the vegetables to 4 large warm plates and top with the fish. Serve with additional lime wedges, if desired. Serves 4

Tortellini Gratinati with Parsnip “Bechamel”

16 Mar

I’ve invented a lot of recipes in my day.  Thousands.  A portion of those were for restaurant consulting projects around the world — including hotels and supermarket chains.  The others were for the hundreds of articles and twelve books that I’ve published since 1993.   I was the first to create olive oil ice cream, pesto-pistachio salmon, had the first watermelon-feta salad published in the New York Times, became famous for cooking short ribs in a concoction of prune juice and teriyaki sauce, and for frying capers in olive oil to pour over roasted asparagus.  There are too, too many to mention here:  Some have become signatures and others have been hijacked.  No matter.  But this month’s article  published in Bon Appetit –that featured my five baked pastas — has received more attention than most.  Permission was just given to publish the story in an upcoming issue of South Africa’s House & Garden, and I was just asked to be on Martha Stewart’s radio show to talk about baked pastas using seasonal ingredients.

Several  blog readers have also made requests:  one in particular was keen to try my Tortellini Gratinati with Gorgonzola, Rosemary & Parsnip Bechamel.  For some reason, the title was changed in the magazine to Tortellini Gratinati with Mushrooms and Parsnip “Bechamel. ” For me, some of the romance and appeal of the dish had to do with the flavor profile of the gorgonzola and rosemary.  No matter.  The most exciting component of the dish is my parsnip “bechamel.”  I was thrilled that this nascent idea came to life and was so delicious.  This original spin, based on the classic French bechamel sauce, is as creamy and rich as the authentic recipe (ever more so!) but is fashioned from boiled parsnips which give a luxurious mouthfeel, a bit of sweetness, and lots of good nutrition.  The parsnip puree takes the place of the traditional butter and flour used in making bechamel.   It has already become a “new favorite” in my repertoire.  This “bechamel” can be used as a warm cushion for roast chicken, poured over roasted eggplant and mushrooms for a great vegetarian main course, or used as a filling for a big baked potato strewn with bits of crispy bacon.  Loosened up with a bit more milk or chicken stock, it becomes a wondrous soup.

Tortellini Gratinati with Gorgonzola, Rosemary & Parsnip “Bechamel”

The recipe can be made in quick stages then put together right before baking.  I use a combination of large and small cheese-filled fresh tortellini from the supermarket.  Small ravioli or fresh cavatelli may be substituted.

2 large parsnips, about 12 ounces
2 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly-grated parmigiano reggiano
3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in small pieces
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 ounces baby portabellos, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
1-1/2 pounds fresh cheese-filled tortellini or tortelloni, or a mixture
6 ounces imported gorgonzola dolce, in small pieces

Peel parsnips.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.  Place in small saucepan with salted water to cover by several inches.   Bring to a boil and boil 20 to 25 minutes until very soft.  Drain well.  Put in food processor with 1 cup milk and heavy cream and process until smooth.  With motor running, slowly add remaining milk.  Add ¾ cup parmesan, ½ to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on cheese) and pepper. Process until very smooth.  Return to saucepan.  Cook 5 minutes over low heat or until reduced to 3 cups.

Melt 2-1/2 tablespoons butter in large skillet.  Add garlic, mushrooms and rosemary.  Cook 6 to 7  minutes, stirring, over medium-high heat until soft.  Add salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add tortellini and cook until just tender, about 9 minutes.  Drain well and toss with remaining tablespoon  butter.  place in a 10-cup overproof soufflé dish or casserole.  Scatter mushrooms over pasta.  Pour béchamel over pasta to cover completely.  Dot with gorgonzola and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.  Bake 18 minutes until bubbly, then broil 2 minutes until golden brown.  Serves 6

Merci, Bon Appétit

24 Feb

This month’s Bon Appétit magazine, March 2011, has a cover story with lots of appeal.  On the upper left are big letters that spell out everyone’s favorite comfort dish:  MAC & CHEESE.  “Hands down the tastiest version we’ve ever made” — the editors agreed to comment on the cover.  “And other remarkably sumptuous baked pastas,” it goes on to say.  Those are great headlines, I have to admit, especially because that story is mine!  More than five months ago I was asked to write an article featuring baked pasta recipes.  I struggled with it more than most and even complained to my best friend, pasta-maven Arthur Schwartz, that it was difficult to put a new spin on not one, but five such recipes.

The reasons were plentiful: pasta continues to absorb liquid and tends to “grow” in the dish; there can be a “sameness” about the flavors of most baked pastas, and there are far fewer recipes for baked pastas in the Italian repertoire than you would imagine except for lasagna, baked ziti and cannelloni (when was the last time you saw that on a menu?).   It occurred to me that macaroni and cheese might fit the bill, and so I “amp-ed” up the classic by tossing pasta with my version of pimiento cheese!, then stirred three cheeses into its coral creaminess, and added a flourish of parmesan crumbs on top.  Simply baked until the topping gets crisp and the sauce is bubbling, this slyly named Pimiento Mac & Cheese is rather good.  Are you perchance thinking of making it tonight?  (Recipe below).  The four other featured recipes are Moroccan-Spiced Pastitsio with Lamb & Feta — perfumed with ras el hanout and dried mint; Rigatoni with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch; a lusty Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Bolognese, flavored with fennel seed, white wine and basil; and Tortellini Gratinati with Mushrooms & Parsnip “Bechamel.” That one may, in fact, be my favorite — flavored with fresh rosemary and grated nutmeg, I’m rather certain no one has ever made a parsnip bechamel before.  The root vegetable, cooked and pureed, takes the place of the butter and flour in the classic sauce, and adds a sweet earthiness of its own.  Hey, maybe the March 2011 issue should be named Buon Appetito!  Enjoy!

Rozanne Gold’s Pimiento Mac & Cheese
The mix of Parmesan, cheddar, bell pepper and sweet-tangy Peppadew peppers coats the pasta perfectly — and the panko topping adds great texture.

1 large red bell pepper, 7 to 8 ounces, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 cup drained Peppadew peppers in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved
1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
1-1/4 cups packed shredded extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1 packed cup shredded whole-milk mozzarella
8 ounces medium shell pasta or gemelli

Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and 1-1/2 garlic cloves to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cover; reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes. Toast panko in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm.  Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat.  Mix in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.  Transfer bell pepper mixture to processor.  Add Peppadews and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, ground chiles, and 1/2 garlic clove.  Then add cheddar and 1/4 cup parmesan.  Process until sauce is smooth; season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter an 8-cup baking dish,  Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite.  Drain; return to pot.  Stir sauce and mozzarella into pasta.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon pasta into dish.  Sprinkle with crumb topping.  Bake until topping is crispy and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes and serve.  Serves 6

%d bloggers like this: