A two-part dish of feta-filled peppers and saucy Greek shrimp is a lively main course, but it doubles as party-friendly first-course fare.
December 2, 2012 – December 8, 2012
Classic crispy potato pancakes flavored with shallots, pancetta, and thyme.
Spicy dressed tofu is a five-minute light meal or appetizer, fragrant with chili oil, vinegar, and Sichuan peppercorn.
If you've ever been to a fair-to-middling dining establishment, you recognize these mints. The resemblance doesn't extend to flavor, however; buttery, sweet and rich, they taste like little bites of frosting.
This is a seriously impressive easy holiday dinner for two: roast pork loin coated in fennel seed and fresh thyme, served with soft, sweet roasted fennel and red onion, and a balsamic drizzle.
A chipotle and orange reduction creates a potent sauce that adds a heavy sweet, smoky, and spicy to a juicy grilled pork loin.
Warm riesling is delicious when steeped with honey, lemon, and cardamom.
Everyone's favorite breakfast pastry, now in cocktail form.
Any form of nog is truly a meal in a glass, and this egg-based cocktail is perfect for brunch. Here, it's jazzed up with chocolate and bourbon.
Despite its restaurant-quality presentation, Linton Hopkins' Sauteed Georgia Trout with Watercress Puree and Mandarin Salad featured in Adam Roberts' Secrets of the Best Chefs, is a relative breeze to prepare (for a chef-y dish) and worth any extra minute of effort. The trout is simply salted and seared, skin-side down for a crisp crust and barely-cooked flesh. A puree of watercress, leeks, and cream forms the base of the dish, and the whole kaboodle gets topped with a bright, bracing salad of mandarin oranges, fennel, dill, radish, and parsley. It's a beautiful plate of food, and tastes even better than it looks.
A direct frozen version of our favorite holiday drink, spiked with just enough bourbon to keep it interesting.
Little, sweet baby carrots simply prepared in a savory, spiced glaze of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper is perfect for the holidays.
Umami-rich ingredients add meaty flavor to this lower fat version of a classic bolognese.
It'd be a shame to pass over a described as a "masterpiece." Full stop. In Secrets of the Best Chefs, Adam Roberts is totally enamored of Melissa Clark's recipe development process. And his adoration is most evident in his headnote to Clark's recipe for Seared Duck Breast with Garam Masala and Grapes. It's a relatively simple recipe (duck breast gets an hour-long rest with garam masala and salt before being seared, finished in the oven, and topped with a pan sauce of grapes, cinnamon, and balsamic vinegar) with show-stopping results.
Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo in NYC shared this rye cocktail with us, and it's a winner, spicy with lots of fresh ginger and bright from a bunch of fresh lime.
This cocktail came to us from John Evans of NYC's Black Market. It features a rich pear syrup to soften the bite of rye whiskey. Evans calls for Old Overholt rye, but Bulleit works fine, too.
This maple-sweetened rye cocktail was created by Erik Adkins of Heaven's Dog and the Slanted Door in San Francisco, and appears in Left Coast Libations, which is an excellent collection of cocktail recipes from West coast bartenders. If you tend to like cocktails from the family of Sours, this one will be right up your alley.
This variation on the classic Brunswick cocktail from Ehren Ashkenazi of The Modern in NYC features fresh grapefruit juice along with rye whiskey. Ashkenazi uses Lillet Rouge to balance it out, but we like the richness of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth instead.
This cocktail was created by Leo Robitschek of The Nomad and Eleven Madison Park in New York City. It spices up apple cider with rye and Amaro Abano, an amaro that's a bit more bitter than Averna, and a bit less mentholated-tasting than Fernet.
To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Perfectly cooked, butter-basted steak with a deep brown crust flavored with aromatics.
These decadent brownies have three layers of peanut butter: a peanut butter brownie base, peanut butter chocolate frosting, and a peanut butter chocolate ganache.
Raw shredded kale makes a nutritious and tasty salad, especially when paired with toasted pine nuts, currants, and shaved Parmesan. It also holds up well, even with the dressing, so you can make it ahead of time.
Served as is, or dipped in melted butter, warm roasted chestnuts are indeed creamy, nutty, and sweet. And when paired with a snifter of brandy, or even a shot of whiskey, roasted chestnuts can make for a wonderfully warming winter snack.
Broccoli and cauliflower are staple vegetables in my kitchen, so I assumed I'd eaten these brassica in just about every way possible. But Daniel Patterson's recipe for Grilled Brassica with Dandelion-Green Vinaigrette in Adam Roberts' Secrets of the Best Chefs proved me wrong. Patterson grills an assortment of brassica--including vibrant romanesco and leafy rape and cicco--until well-charred and tender. He plates the vegetables with plump bulgar wheat, a squeeze of lemon, and (best of all) a verdant, bitter dandelion vinaigrette.
The uniquely herbaceous nature of sage brings fond food memories of soup, stuffing, and general warmth. Incorporating it into a skillet cornbread lets it shine.
Browned butter adds a distinct richness and overall nuttiness that melds with and compliments the apples and cinnamon to make this an applesauce a step above the rest.
Fudgy chocolate brownies studded with pieces of creamy white and bittersweet chocolate peppermint bark.
Tender chunks of pork shoulder braised in a chili-based liquid. Perfect for tacos or burrito fillings.
Broccoli and brussels sprouts quickly stir-fried in a hot wok or skillet.
Crisp bitter greens and tart crunchy apple in a savory anchovy dressing.
The idea to add noodles to the classic Chinese dish of clams with black bean sauce isn't exactly a huge leap from the original, but it takes some effort to achieve the right balance between the sauce, the shellfish, and the noodles. It wasn't until I added some bok choy that it really worked.
These crispy apple rings by Chef Donald Lockart of Cusp restaurant in La Jolla, California are like a sweet spin on onion rings.
An intensely pumpkin-flavored soup accented with brown butter and thyme.
The holidays aren't an easy time for those of us on a gluten-free diet. But this lemon layer cake is good enough to make you forget about that. Tart, fluffy and sweet, and made as cake or cupcakes, make or bring this to your next holiday party.
This recipe for mulled wine is adapted from Jerry Thomas, with the important addition of rum added to each glass.
"We ended up with a perfect compromise between the dryness of the sherry and the richness of the rum," he says. "Toss a little nutmeg on top for garnish and you have winter Tiki. Boom!"
Much as he loves the smoky flavor of peated scotch, Lane acknowledges that an entire cocktail made with it is pretty aggressive. To avoid having that smoke be all you can taste, Lane cuts the flavor with a bit of spicy rye.
Armagnac plus the honey-sweetness of Drambuie and a splash of dry sherry makes for a boozy but balanced drink, "a great pre or post-dinner tipple," per Lane's recommendation.
A favorite on Lolinda's cocktail menu, this winter gin-and-aquavit drink was created by the restaurant's original cocktail menu designer, Lane Ford.
Alice Waters has built her reputation on simply prepared, fresher-than-fresh produce-based California cuisine. When Adam Roberts visited her in Berkeley while writing his Secrets of the Best Chefs, she spoke of salads and cheese tacos; but it was her Olive Oil Fried Eggs with a Crown of Herbs that left the greatest impression. She gently fries up to six eggs at a time in an ample pool of olive oil showered with upwards of half a cup of chopped herbs. The eggs turn a bit crisp on the bottom, but stay velvety on top--crusty, garlic rubbed bread is all that's needed to accompany the simple dish.
A celebration of the original adult milkshake with a cognac and rum foundation.
These light Danish pancakes are filled with sweet-tart lingonberry jam.