Roasted Turnip Slices

Horses and Figures in a Turnip Field by William Edward Millner

 

 

Roasted Turnip Slices

Roasted Turnip Slices

My favorite vegetable has always been fried potatoes.  Vegetables aren’t really something I’m crazy about especially if they’re braised, boiled or steamed. But roasted is another story. Roasting is almost as good as frying and roasted  turnip slices even look like French fries.

 

Roasted Turnip Slices

Roasted Turnip Slices

Preheat oven to 425o.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Peel the turnips, and cut into French fry-sized sticks, about 1/3 by 4 inches. Place into a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, paprika, onion powder to the bowl and thoroughly mix with your hands.  Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Bake in preheated oven until the done, about 20 minutes.

 


Roasted Turnip Slices

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Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce

(short ribs or flanken are beef ribs cut across the bone)

 

Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce

This sauce has an intense flavor for two reasons – first, the ribs with their collagen and marrow and second, the fond created by the meat and then the onions and tomatoes. Le fond is French for the caramelized bits of food that stick to the bottom of the pan. There’s even a very good restaurant by the name Le Fond. Deglazing removes the fond and reincorporates its flavors back into the sauce.

Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

Bring the ribs to room temperature and cut into pieces. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and brown in olive oil. Remove and set aside A fond should be beginning to form.
Add chopped onion to pan and sauté on low-medium heat. Add tomato paste and stir and coat the onions. Cook until softened and translucent.
Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

Add diced tomatoes and simmer uncovered on medium until almost dry (more fond is formed). Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan.Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

That’s not burnt – it’s fond


Add enough pasta water to thin the sauce. Return the meat, add the bay leaf and simmer on low for fifteen minutes.
Short Ribs and Diced Tomatoes Sauce

           after deglazing with wine                  after thinning with pasta water

Cook the pasta until almost done, drain and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Serve with grated Parmigiana.Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce
Short Ribs and Diced Tomato Sauce

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Excerpt from Hanging Out on A Sunday Afternoon

Excerpt from Hanging Out on A Sunday Afternoon

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“Hey, Sam the knish guy is coming down from Houston Street. Let’s go get one.”
An old Jewish man named Sam passed by with his cart just about every day selling hot potato knishes. Joe got his with mustard. Mine was plain. I knew it would take the edge off of my appetite for Sunday dinner but I couldn’t help myself.
Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon
Joe said, “Let’s go back to Dom’s and get a Lime Rickey to go with this. It’s funny; I like Lime Rickeys, which you can only get in the summer, but I can’t wait for colder weather when the sweet potato guy sets up his cart on Allen Street. I love those things.”

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“I know who you mean but I’m not too crazy about sweet potatoes,” I said.
Joe paid no attention to me. He was feeling nostalgic again.

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“But what I really miss is the old guy who used to sell jelly apples all winter outside the school at three o’clock. He’d dip them in hot jelly when you ordered one so the jelly would still be hot and soft as you ate it. And if you wanted, he’d roll it in coconut – no extra charge. I haven’t had a good jelly apple since the old guy died.”

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

We ate our knishes and talked as we walked to our building. I asked Joe if he wanted to have dinner with us. He declined but said he would stop by later. We climbed the stairs and he went into his apartment as I entered my crowded kitchen where dinner was being prepared. My mother, aunt and sisters were cooking. My father, although he didn’t help except to grate enough parmigiana cheese for the meal, often seemed to find reasons to pass through just to see what was going on. When we finally sat down to eat, the dishes seemed to just keep coming. There was someone constantly getting up to bring still more in from the kitchen.
Once, a high school classmate of my older sister joined us. She wasn’t Italian and asked for a knife to cut her pasta.
My mother sometimes took offense when someone simply asked to pass the salt, saying, “Why, I didn’t put enough salt?” But this time she said, “Hon, let me show you how to twirl your fusilli on a fork.”
Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon
Dinner ended with the inevitable question, “Who wants black or brown?” meaning espresso or American coffee. As the coffee was being served there was a knock at the door. It was Joe who wanted to see if I was ready to go out.
“Come in, Joe,” my mother said. “We’re just finishing dinner. Come in and have something to eat.”
“Hello everyone,” he said as he entered the dining room, “No thanks. I just ate.”
“Well, sit down anyway and have some coffee. You know everyone here. This is my cousin Gloria from Staten Island.”

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon

“I remember Joe when he was a little boy,” Gloria said. “Have a piece of Blackout cake. I got it at Ebbingers on the way over.”
“Honest, I’m really full.”
“All right, sit down anyway. Somebody cut him a piece of cake to go with his coffee.”
“OK, just a little piece.” Joe knew he couldn’t win.

 

Hanging Out on a Sunday Afternoon


Torte de Elote

Golden Cornfield with Row of Trees by Matthias Hauser


Torte de Elote

Torte de Elote

adapted from a recipe by Pati Jinich, Mexican Chef   

It’s like cornbread but moister. It’s more like a corn souffle but not exactly. You have to try it and you’ll see what I mean.

Torte de Elote

Place rack in the middle of oven and heat to 360 degrees. Butter a 9×12-inch pan. Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Slowly add 8 egg yolks, one by one, until incorporated. Add the cream, rice flour, salt and baking powder.
In a blender, process the milk with the corn kernels, then, incorporate it into the mix above. Place the mixture in a big bowl.
Separately, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Add 1/5 of the egg whites to the butter/corn mix and blend carefully. Slowly blend the rest of the egg whites until everything is mixed, it ‘s ok if the mixture looks streaky, don’t over work it or it will lose volume. Pour onto the baking dish.
Bake until torte is springy to the touch and lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Once it cools a little, cut into squares. It can be served either warm or cold; it can be covered and kept at room temperature for an entire day, or covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Torte de Elote

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Spatchcocked Chicken with Vegetables and Gravy

Spatchcocked Chicken with Vegetables and Gravy

Bring the chicken to room temperature. Put the oven rack in the center and preheat to 350o.
Spatchcock the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken salt and pepper and with the chopped rosemary.
Heat a cast-iron pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken.
Add the potatoes, carrots and onion to a bowl along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly until everything is coated with oil. Add the vegetables to the pan and place the chicken, skin side up on top of them.

Roast for about 60 to 70 minutes. Place the chicken on a cutting board covered loosely with foil to rest for 15 minutes. Move the vegetables to a bowl leaving any liquid in the pan.
Place the pan over medium heat. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced and thickened. Whisk in the butter and simmer for another few minutes. Pour the gravy over the vegetables.
Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the vegetables and the gravy. Sprinkle the vegetables and chicken with chopped parsley.

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Pasta Inchiummata 

Pasta Inchiummata  (pasta with pine nuts, currants and tomatoes)

With currants, nuts and mint pasta inchiummata  might seem like dessert but it’s very hardy Sicilian main course. It doesn’t take long to make and there’s no simmering.

Soak the currants in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Drain and discard the water; set the currants aside.  In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and red pepper. Stir in the garlic,  pine nuts and currants. Cook for 3 minutes.pasta inchiummata

garlic, pine nuts, currants


Add the diced tomatoes, basil, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, and then cook for 3 more minutes.pasta inchiummata

tomatoes, basil, parsley, mint


Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Cook until the pasta is coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and black pepper. Toss the pasta in the pan with the bread crumbs and serve.

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Pork Cutlets Piccata

Pork Cutlets Piccata

Pork Cutlets Piccata

This is right from a typical Italian-American restaurant menu. It’s usually made with veal but you can also use pork cutlets. Some people think they’re tastier.

Pork Cutlets Piccata

Pork Cutlets Piccata

Season cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Lightly brown in 2 tbsp. butter, oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.Pork Cutlets Piccata

Remove garlic from pan, add wine and deglaze.  Add stock and simmer until it’s reduced by half. Whisk in remaining butter, lemon juice, capers, and parsley. Add lemon slices and  bring to a boil. Check for seasoning. Pour sauce over cutlets and serve.Pork Cutlets Piccata

 Pork Cutlets Piccata

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Pasta Rosso con Broccoli

Pasta Rosso con Broccoli (Red Wine Pasta with Broccoli)

This recipe is a bit complicated, takes some time and can be expensive depending on the wine you use but it’s very pretty, tastes great and is worth the trouble. It’s also very spicy but it’s up to you how far you want to go with the pepperoncini. (if you don’t have whole dried pepperoncini, use dried red pepper flakes)Pasta Rosso con Broccoli

The pasta –

Pasta Rosso con Broccoli

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 crumbled dried pepperoncini (stem, seeds and core removed)
  • 3 or 4 anchovies
  • 1 bottle red wine (a moderately priced Chianti would work)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb short pasta
  1. In one pot heat oil, garlic, pepperoncini and anchovies. Add 3 cups of  wine and salt.
  2. In another pot add pasta to salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes after it starts to boil again. Drain and add to pot with wine and bring to boil. Keep stirring until wine is absorbed  and the pasta turns red– about 8-10 minutes. Add more wine as needed.

 The pepperoncini –Pasta Rosso con Broccoli
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 5 or 6 crumbled dried pepperoncini (stem, seeds and core removed)
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Heat the oil, add the garlic and pepperoncini. Keep the heat low and don’t burn it.
  2. When the peppers and garlic darken a little put everything, including the oil in a food processor (or mortar and pestle) with a teaspoon of salt and grind until it’s a paste.
  3. Put it back in the pan and heat until it dries.

The broccoli –

Pasta Rosso con Broccoli

  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
  • ¼ olive oil
  • 1 clove thinly sliced garlic
  1. Boil broccoli for about 5 minutes. Drain and toss over medium heat with garlic and oil.
  2. Turn off the heat, add half of the pepperoncini paste and stir.  If it’s too dry add more oil.

Put it all together –
  1. Pour the broccoli and pepperoncini mixture over the pasta and add a little of the pasta cooking water to make it moist.
  2. Serve with extra pepperoncini paste.

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Shaken or Stirred

Shaken or Stirred

There’s a fairly simple rule about when to shake and when to stir a cocktail. If there’s any fruit juice (even that mere ½ ounce like in the Oh Gosh), cream or egg, you shake. If all of the ingredients are clear, you stir – like the Martinez below. I can’t imagine why James Bond would ask a bartender to shake his Martinis but what the hell – he’s 007.

The Oh Gosh Cocktail  – shake

Shaken or Stirred

Shaken or Stirred

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette.

Shaken or Stirred


Martinez Cocktail – stir

Shaken or Stirred

Shaken or Stirred

Place all of the  ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir with a bar spoon until thoroughly chilled. Strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Shaken or Stirred