January 27, 2013 – February 2, 2013

Drunk Blondies

A paler version of your classic brownie, Drunk Blondies earned their name with a couple spoonfuls of bourbon and two cups of brown sugar. Mixing in toasted coconut, pecans and chocolate chips yields a recipe that does the Back in the Day Cookbook proud. More

Charles Phan's Lemongrass Beef Stew

Braised short ribs are one of those no-brainer wintertime comfort foods. Easy to prep, slow to cook, and luscious to eat, the well-marbled cut of beef tastes great simmered in just about anything--from tomato-based Italian broths to beer and beef broth. In Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking, Phan presents a French-influenced stew laced with lemongrass, ginger, star anise, and Thai chiles. Alongside the short ribs, he braises (not-surprising) carrots and (more curious) daikon radish to add sweetness and texture to the beef. And a bonus? The brothy, rich sauce is wonderful on its own should you "accidentally" eat all of the beef out of the stew first More

Open-Face Cheeseburger Sub

Part cheesesteak, part meatloaf, part cheeseburger, the elusive cheeseburger sub is likely a staple in more than one college town. This version is cooked on homemade ciabatta garlic bread, which gets soaked through with juices from the meat during cooking. More

Green Ghost

This tasty drink highlights the Chartreuse and will impress anyone who likes a pretty drink because unlike many pretty drinks, this one has flavor to match its beauty. More

Charles Phan's Roasted Eggplant and Leek Salad

The name "Roasted Eggplant and Leek Salad" in Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, this dish has eggplant and leeks, but no, it is not a roasted salad. (Unless, of course, you count grilling as roasting.) If you happen to live in a wondrous state with no real winter (cough, California, cough), grilling in January is a non-issue. In other parts of the country, however, it may be necessary to bring the dish indoors and under a broiler. Either way, this silky smokey salad should go on your to-make list, stat--soft eggplant meets pleasantly squeaky leeks in a vibrant sauce of soy, chiles, and cilantro. What's not to love? More

Peaches n' Cream Mousse Pie

Wintertime can wear out its welcome right about now, still months away from the growing season for berries and stone fruit. When I pine for the flavors of warmer months, I turn to frozen fruit to satisfy my cravings. The light, airy peach mousse in this pie utilizes frozen peaches for flavor that's summery, any time of year. More

Rouge Tomate's Amber Palmer

The tea lover's spritzer, this spirit-free cocktail from Rouge Tomate in New York City trades sweet lemonade for tangy rosemary-grapefruit juice. Feel free to experiment with your own blend of teas. More

Creole Brownies

Simple but smart, these fudgy brownies from the Back in the Day Cookbook are coated with a decadent ganache infused with chicory coffee that takes them from clever to Creole. Cocoa nibs give them a "crunchy, yet tender" texture. More

Charles Phan's Black Bean-Glazed Pork Spareribs

The name "steamed ribs" may not be particularly appealing to many of you. Perhaps this fact is why Charles Phan left out the adjective when naming the Black Bean-Glazed Pork Spareribs in his cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking. But consider this: When cooked properly, steamed fish, dumplings, and vegetables take on a silky smooth and supple texture. Why not apply the technique to pork ribs? More

Kimchi Frito Pie

A quick sauté or stir-fry of ginger, garlic, beef, and chopped kimchi goes remarkably well when poured atop a pile of Fritos. While some may see this version of Frito Pie as sacrilege, I see it as a nice change of pace for your Super Bowl party. More

Raisin Tea Cake

It's always nice to have something alongside a good cup of hot tea. Sandwiches, cookies, and buns are all great choices, but to me a nice slice of tea cake and butter is hard to beat. This is a simple cake, dotted with raisins soaked in tea—but put it next to a pot of tea, and take a moment to read a newspaper or stare out a window, and you'll be ready to get back to the real world feeling satisfied and invigorated. More

Charles Phan's Green Papaya Salad with Rau Ram, Peanuts, and Crispy Shallots

Phan's version is relatively simple; crisp green papaya slivers mingle with pickled carrots, fried tofu, cucumbers, and celery. A dressing of potent fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, and chiles brings the vegetables together, and then the whole caboodle is topped with fried shallots and roasted peanuts. You will, of course, have find a good way to julienne a giant papaya, pickle carrots, fry both tofu and shallots, and mix it all together before dinner. It is no last-minute side dish, but you'll be happy to have put in the time. More

Spam and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

When Spam and eggs are wedged into a toasted Hawaiian roll slathered in jelly (pineapple, mango, and even strawberry, all work well), it makes for an epic breakfast sandwich that might even sway the harshest of Spam critics (one could only hope). The sweetness of the rolls and the jelly balance the salty Spam and the rich, runny egg yolk. Oh, and a squirt of Sriracha never hurts either. More

Charles Phan's Hoi An Wontons with Spicy Tomato Sauce

As Charles Phan explains in Vietnamese Home Cooking, Chinese cuisine has a strong influence in certain places in Vietnam like the port town Hoi An. There, much of the food is a mash-up of cultures (including even Japan), so serving fried wontons is not a major leap, cuisine-wise. Phan's fried wontons use the same filling as his wonton soup--mainly shrimp, pork, mushrooms, and chestnuts--but here they are sealed like ravioli (no tricky folding!) and fried in canola oil. The richness of the dumplings is balanced by serving them with a spicy tomato sauce spiked with fish sauce. More

Upgraded Lynchburg Lemonade

The Lynchburg Lemonade was the center of a legal battle between a restaurant owner and the Jack Daniels Distillery. While that drink was much ado about nothing, this version is worth fighting over. More