Tag Archives: easy

Game Day Drumettes

2 Feb

photo(30)According to Claire Joyes, editor of Monet’s cooking journals, Monet had “perfected a ceremony” for his favorite fowl. He would remove the wings, sprinkle them with nutmeg, ground pepper and coarse salt, and hand them over to his cook to be flame-broiled. Since duck wings can be very tough, the James Beard Foundation blog has a recipe suggesting multi-step cooking.

Here’s a recipe that younger Super Bowl fans can help make. Not quite wings, but just as delicious.

Crazy-Leg Drumsticks (Drumettes)
From Kids Cook 1-2-3 (Bloomsbury, 2006)

The nice herby taste comes from pesto—an uncooked Italian sauce made from fresh basil, garlic and pignoli nuts. You can find it in any supermarket. A dusting of Parmesan cheese turns into a crispy coating.

1/3 cup prepared pesto
4 chicken wings and 4 drumettes
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spread pesto all over each chicken leg to cover. Sprinkle cheese all over leg (except the bottom where they will sit on the baking sheet—you don’t want the cheese to burn). Lightly press the cheese onto the chicken so it will stick. Add freshly ground black pepper.

3. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place legs on baking sheet.

4. Bake 35 minutes until chicken is crispy and golden. Makes 4 servings.

Recipes 1-2-3 Redux

30 May

61RS7HCMYMLYes, it’s possible to buy a cookbook today for 1 cent!  And it could be one of mine.  No matter, I love this review that just came in from “Sandy.”  The unexpected critique is of the first book in my 1-2-3 series, Recipes 1-2-3: Fabulous Food Using Only Three Ingredients, written more than 18 years ago.   The book was published in Turkish, Czech, Hebrew, and in metric for the UK and Australian audiences.  The simple concept gave rise to the Minimalist column in the New York Times which was based on this work.  Some of my favorite recipes from this book include Seared Salmon with Pancetta and Sage; Mahogany Short Ribs; Turnip and Havarti Torte; Chocolate-Banana Terrine; and Lemon Buttermilk Ice Cream.  Many thanks to Sandra Lee Smith for taking the time to rediscover a golden oldie.

RECIPES 1-2-3 by  Rozanne Gold is one of those cookbooks that will surely knock your socks off (or your oven mitts, at least).

There have been, you must have noticed if you automatically scan all the cookbooks in book stores and in particular, the flurry of cookbooks devoted to just a few ingredients—there are many great cookbooks on this topic.  Rozanne Gold was one of the first to take this concept a step further. First of all, RECIPES 1-2-3 is a beautiful hardcover cookbook by Viking Press, with photographs by Tom Eckerle.

“Time is not on our side,” explain the publishers. “Not only don’t we have time to cook, we often don’t even have time to shop for food. Imagine being able to choose from more than 250 dazzling recipes that contain only three ingredients.”

Rozanne Gold is the author of the award-winning “LITTLE MEALS: A GREAT NEW WAY TO EAT AND COOK”. She is also consulting chef to the Rainbow Room and the new Windows On the World. First chef to New York City mayor Ed Koch, she is now Culinary Director of the world-renown Joseph Baum and Michael Whitman Co., and if that were not enough, she is also culinary counselor for Dunnewood Vineyards in California.

In the Introduction to 1-2-3, Gold writes “Think of the transparent sound of a small chamber orchestra; or the compressive clarity of haiku. When it comes to the senses, less is often more. So it is with our palates and the way we taste. The Western vocabulary contains only four descriptors for how we experience a morsel of food: salty, sour, bitter, and sweet. The Japanese posit a fifth sensation, called umami, a beeflike essence of wild mushrooms.

It was this realization, she says, that led her to develop RECIPES 1-2-3. She says that in her twenty years as a professional chef, she has “imposed dozens of ingredients onto a single dish, used paintbrushes and squeeze bottles to decorate plates; piled food so precariously as to challenge gravity…”

To read the full review, please click here.

“Rozanne Gold is the leader of a minimalist sect, one that uses the fewest possible ingredients to produce dishes that are not just credible but delicious.”

–Mark Bittman, The New York Times

“Inspired recipes from three top-quality ingredients – it just couldn’t be easier or better than this!”

–Jacques Pepin

“Recipes 1-2-3 is fantastic!  It shows a pure understanding of how a great chef wants to and will cook at home.”

–Daniel Boulud

Rigatoni with Eggplant, Burst Tomatoes, and Basil-Pignoli Crunch

7 Oct

Photo Credit: Han Gissinger

This is a wonderful time of year for this lusty pasta dish, surely one Cristforo Colombo might have enjoyed today.  I created a version of this dish for Bon Appetit last year but have made some adjustments since. Now I make it with mezzi rigatoni (a shorter version) and fresh buffalo mozzarella.  Any fresh mozzarella will do, and provola (smoked mozzarella) is also pretty divine.

Happy Columbus Day.  Enjoy the long weekend– a great one for cooking.   To drink?  Try a high-end Barbera or re-discover Chianti.

1 unpeeled large eggplant (1-3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium yellow peppers, cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 cups grape tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup pine nuts
28-ounces whole tomatoes in juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound mezzi rigatoni
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet and add eggplant and peppers.  Cut tomatoes in half and add to baking sheet.  Using a garlic press, squeeze 1 garlic clove onto vegetables. Drizzle with oil and toss. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until vegetables are tender, stirring often, 35 to 40 minutes.  Combine 2/3 cup basil, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and 1 garlic clove in a processor. Blend just until crumbly and season with salt.  Blend tomatoes with juice, cream, 1-1/3 cups basil, and 1 garlic clove in processor until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally; drain.  Return to pot.  Toss with vegetables, sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan.  Transfer to a 13x2x9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with mozzarella and pint nut topping.  Bake 25 to 35 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes and serve.  Serves 8

A Radically Delicious Recipe for Mother’s Day

13 May

This is an unusual cake: It’s eggless, dense, and “fudgy” in a macaroon-y way. However improbable, it is a cinch to make and tastes delicious with a quick strawberry-rhubarb compote, with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, or a dollop of creme fraiche showered with freshly grated orange or lime zest. It’s a large cake that serves 16 or more and a great cake to make in advance as it “ages” well. You might thoughtfully garnish it with a handful of edible flowers. I adapted the recipe from a New Zealand winery called Gillan Estate.  Since it’s Mother’s Day, you might want to serve a glass of Sauternes or a special dessert wine. My friend, wine expert Carol Berman, suggests you try Niepoort, a 10-year tawny port from Oporto, Portugal; Quady Essencia, an orange muscat from California, or Lustau, Capataz Sherry, Jerez, from Spain.  Carol adds, “they are all wonderfully balanced with apricot and berry aromas, hints of orange peel and nuttiness.”  The average retail of each is under $25.00.  Here’s to mothers everywhere and love all around.

Coconut “Macaroon” Cake

15-ounce can sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons grated zest and juice from 4 large lemons
4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream of coconut, dried coconut, yogurt, and oil.  Add the lemon zest and 2/3 cup juice. Mix well. In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder until combined. Add a large pinch of salt.  Stir the flour mixture into the coconut batter, 1 cup at a time; the batter will be very thick. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake on the center rack for 1 hour and 20 minutes, until firm and dark brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Turn out onto a large plate; cool completely. Serves 16 or more

Asparagus: Two Radically Delicious Recipes

9 May

It is impossible not to marvel at the bountiful bunches of asparagus at the farmer’s market this week. In fact, they even look appealing at our supermarket. Here are two simple preparations:  Chilled Asparagus Tonnato with “Confetti” — perfect for a first course or side dish, and my rather unusual Truffled Asparagus Soup with Pineapple Reduction. The soup is asparagus to the second power, made from boiled stalks and garnished with roasted tips. But the real surprise is a syrupy reduction of pineapple juice. It all makes a compelling flavor match that is among my favorites. Note:  If you boil the asparagus “peelings” in salted water until just tender and shock in cold water, you will have a tangle of something that looks a lot like fettuccine. Sometimes I toss it with freshly cooked pasta or use as a garnish for a salad or cold dish.

Chilled Asparagus Tonnato with “Confetti”

The inspiration for this dish comes from vitello tonnato — the Italian preparation of cold sliced veal covered with a creamy tuna sauce and sprinkled with capers.  Here the tuna sauce is fashioned from oil-packed canned tuna, slices of lemon, garlic and olive oil, and pureed until it has the texture of thick heavy cream.

1-1/2 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5-ounce can oil-packed Italian tuna
1 large garlic clove
1 large lemon
handful of mesclun or edible flowers, torn into tiny “confetti” pieces
2 tablespoons large brined capers, drained

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil; fill a bowl with ice water. Place the asparagus in the boiling water. Cook until crisp-tender, 6 minutes. Drain immediately and plunge into the ice water; let sit 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and divide the asparagus among 4 plates. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Combine the tuna and its oil, the garlic, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 thin lemon slices with rind (without seeds) in a food processor or blender.  Process until very smooth, adding enough water and lemon juice so that the texture is thick and creamy.  Add salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the asparagus and sprinkle with the “confetti” and capers.  Serves 4

Truffled Asparagus Soup with Pineapple Reduction
Although there are several steps, this is a radically simple means toward a complex flavor profile.

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2-1/2 pound medium asparagus, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the juice in a small skillet and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside. Discard the bottom inch or two from each asparagus spear. Cut off the tips and place in a pie pan; toss with the olive oil. Roast 8 minutes, until just tender. Cut the asparagus stalks into 2-inch pieces. Place in a 4-quart pot with the butter and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and cover. Cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Process, adding as much cooking liquid as needed to make a smooth, thick puree. Add the truffle oil and salt and pepper and reheat. Ladle into bowls and top with the roasted asparagus tips. Drizzle with the pineapple reduction. Serves 4 to 6

Blog News: 1-2-3 Wins “Best of August”

9 Aug

The good news is that The 1-2-3 Collection was chosen by Apple as one of their Best Books of August!  Not only was it one of the top four books but the only cookbook named.  The launch of the book in late July garnered great interest from the media world and from “tons of excited users” who have given it a solid 4.5 star rating.  During the first week of the launch, various books in “The 1-2-3 Collection” occupied up to 4 of the top 10 paid  cookbook slots in the iTunes store.  The “Quick & Easy 1-2-3” books have been popular, especially “Mornings” and “Weeknights.”  Currently, the 1-2-3 Collection is available on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, and on sale in the UK, Australia, Germany and France, in addition to the US and Canada.

For cooks craving creativity and style, each of the 250 three-ingredient recipes are expressed in 140 words or less.  Each is customized for viewing on the iPad or iPhone in your kitchen and can be purchased at Apple’s iTunes store.  The award-winning recipes are curated sets of 10 recipes ($.99), 50 recipes ($3.99) and 250 recipes, including 62 mouthwatering photographs ($9.99).  Readers can choose between whole books or shorter form sets and chapters, to build their own a la carte cookbook and recipe libraries.  It is available at www.itunes.com/rozannegold

One enthusiastic user had this to say:  ” I’m loving the cookbook(s).  I made the “Sumac-Aged Hanger Steaks” and “Burst Cherry Tomatoes” last week and loved the whole experience, from browsing the book on my iPad, to picking up the bookmarks on my iPhone when I got to the grocery store, to cooking and, of course, eating. These are really beautiful, functional cookbooks.”

iMac2

29 Jan

As promised, here is another recipe for macaroni and cheese.  This is an unusual version and healthier than most.  It is also prettier.  This mac-and-cheese is studded with surprise nuggets of cauliflower and its gorgeous bright orange sauce is made from cooked red bell peppers and garlic that get pureed together until silky.  My daughter and her friends like making it because is looks like it’s oozing with cheese, but it has much less fat and is more nutritious than the more familiar stuff.  The secret is to use a very sharp yellow cheddar, artisanal if possible.  For dinner, you might partner it with a garlic-and-smoked paprika-rubbed rib-eye steak and open a bottle of shiraz.  Or if you feel like keeping-it-healthy, simply serve with a salad for a radically wonderful weekend lunch.

Mac-and-Cheese with Cauliflower and Creamy Red Pepper Sauce
5 ounces very sharp yellow cheddar cheese
2 medium red bell peppers, about 12 ounces
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
8 ounces ziti or penne rigate or elbow macaroni
5 cups small cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Shred the cheese on the large holes of a box grater and set aside.  Cut the peppers in half and remove seeds.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and put in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water.  Cut the garlic in half, lengthwise and add to saucepan.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the peppers are very soft.  Transfer the contents of the saucepan, including the water, to a food processor or blender.  Add the butter, honey, chili powder, and salt to taste and process until very smooth.  Return to the saucepan.   Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cauliflower and cook 12 minutes or until tender.  Drain well and shake until completely dry.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Heat the sauce and pour it over the pasta.  Add the cheese and stir well.  Add salt to taste and sprinkle with chives.  Serves 6

%d bloggers like this: