Have you ever cooked with broccoli rabe (usually pronounced "rob", also known as rapini)? It sort of looks like broccolini or Chinese broccoli, with longish stems, small green florets, and lots of leaves. It's actually more related to turnips than to broccoli, and tastes a little like mustard greens, slightly bitter but more nutty. Slightly bitter usually that is. The first time I cooked broccoli rabe it must have been really late in the season, because those greens were so bitter none of us (hardened bitter greens eaters that we are) could take more than one bite. Several chefs I questioned about the bitterness suggested blanching the rabe first to take the edge off the bitterness. So I've done that here, though if you like the bite of rabe, or you are working with tender young plants, you can skip that step. I also mixed in some slightly caramelized onions, to add some sweetness to balance the bitter of the green. Hmm, all this talk of "bitter", I'm not doing a great job sellingRead More »from Broccoli Rabe with Caramelized Onions
Oh la la. This is not your grandma's broccoli cheese casserole. Ever since Christopher Kimball challenged people to Google broccoli casserole, insisting they would be disappointed with what they found, I've been meaning to post a killer broccoli casserole. And dear readers, this is it. The ingredients? Broccoli of course, then bacon, flour, milk, cream, eggs, cheddar cheese, a little Dijon, salt, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. The tricks are to pre-cook the broccoli florets a bit so they cook up tender in the casserole, use bacon because bacon makes everything taste better, and spice it up with black pepper. Just simple freshly cracked black pepper. Use as much as you can stand; it will make your broccoli casserole sing.
Many thanks to the new love of my culinary life, Dorie Greenspan, who provided the inspiration and basic structure for this recipe with a fabulous cauliflower gratin in her cookbook Around My French Table (hint, buy this book for yourself and allRead More »from Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Braised onions are the side of choice with beef Bourguignon but they are also wonderful with roast beef and other stews. Trader Joe's sells a pack of multi-colored pearl onions that cook up beautifully as braised onions. The catch? You have to peel them, which requires blanching first, then cutting off the ends so you can slip off the peels. You can of course skip this first step by using pre-peeled frozen pearl onions. I can tell you that if you do choose the blanche and peel approach, it is well worth it. These onions are delicious.
You can prepare braised pearl onions two ways - "brown braised" in which the onions are first sautéed in butter to brown, or "white braised", in which the onions are simply braised then cream is often added and reduced.Braised Onions Recipe Add to shopping list
- 1 pound pearl onions, about 1 inch in diameter
- Chicken stock or water (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
- Salt and pepper
- Sugar (for
Fennel is one of those vegetables that until recently, I didn't really cook or eat that often. It seemed to me to be kind of precious, something unusual, not an everyday veggie like broccoli or green beans. At first the only thing I would do with it is slice it thin into a salad. (So good with Parmesan.) Then I discovered roasting it. With some balsamic? Yum. And then I found out how good it was in a tomato sauce with seafood.
See a pattern developing?
Yes, I am slowly becoming addicted to fennel. This braised fennel recipe is the latest incarnation of The Fennel Experiments, and I have a confession to make. I ate the whole batch. Yes, it serves 4. Normally. Yes, I could have saved some for my family. I didn't. Too bad. What they don't know won't hurt them. Now that they have the recipe they can make their own. (I can just hear my dad now, "et tu, Brutus, et tu?" He can be a bit dramatic sometimes.)
So, back to the braised fennel. It's lovely. I recommend it as a sideRead More »from Braised Fennel
This website is terrible. You should be looking to meet someone because of a nobler reason, like they inspire you. I don't deny your piece about nabbing Prince Harry has some elements of truth, but they are twisted. First, you shouldn't have to change yourself or your habits to make someone love you, this will only end terribly with feelings of betrayal and shame. Second, those who are following these rules don't care about him at all. He never truly had a normal childhood, nonetheless life, how was it not expected for him to rebel against the standards that came with his birth? Most people whom are hindered by rules and expectations rebel against them in one way or another, some more drastic than others. Therefore, by aiding in his rebellion you are shaming yourself in that you hurting your own health and reputation, and shaming him in the same way. Third, being superficial will most definitely not bring you his or his family's favor in any way. You are the only person who mayRead More »from The Women of This World Are Hopelessly Shallow
In California winter can transition to spring in a flash. It seems like yesterday we were beset by chilly storms while the forecast for this week is all sunny and 70s. Daffodils are blooming, as are cherry trees, and the truest test of spring, asparagus in the market can be found for less than $2 a pound. I just couldn't resist these at the market today, and cooked them up into a creamy risotto. This recipe is a a classic asparagus risotto recipe. You can easily dress it up with some lemon zest, lump crab meat, green onions, truffle salt, fresh thyme or chopped mint.
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 35 minutes
If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, use vegetable stock or water instead of the chicken stock.Add to shopping list
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 3 Tbsp water)
- About 4 cups chicken stock
Although for the most part we can get asparagus all year long, I usually only get them in the spring, when they are in season. How can you resist, when you see hundreds of them in the produce section, saluting you like bundled, upright green soldiers? "Hello m'am. Please cook me." So, we buy asparagus, and more asparagus. Here is a recipe for what to do with our long green friends, when you're tired of everything else. (Thank you Whole Foods deli section for the idea.)Grill them or roast them (grilling will taste better if you can do it), and toss them in a simple salad with marinated artichoke hearts, shallots, and grape tomatoes. Carry on...Asparagus Artichoke Salad Recipe
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 12 minutes
Thick asparagus spears are easier than thin to roast or grill without becoming too dry or over-cooked.Add to shopping list
- 1 large shallot, sliced thin (can sub a few thin slices of red onion or some sliced spring onion)
Selland's market-cafe in Sacramento is an uncommonly good café and often a source of inspiration for foods to prepare. Recently I had some of their asparagus and loved the texture - slightly crunchy (definitely not mushy!) - and the hint of lemon flavor along with the olive oil and Parmesan. Upon inquiry I was told that the asparagus had indeed been parboiled for 2 minutes and then tossed with Parmesan, olive oil, and some lemon zest. So easy!Asparagus Recipe
- Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
- 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated lemon rind
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.
2 Fill a medium sizedRead More »from Asparagus
It occurred to me a while ago that the site was missing a Quiche Lorraine recipe. Hah! An opportunity to cook bacon! (Like we don't get enough of those around here?) Culinary trends took an odd turn in the 70s when quiche gained the reputation of being a Ladies-who-lunch type of dish. Must have been because they took the bacon out and started putting everything else in (asparagus, goat cheese, mushrooms, heck, they even took out the crust.) But the mother of quiche recipes is the Quiche Lorraine, a light custard with lots of bacon in a buttery crust. In this version we've included some chopped chives because as of this writing it is springtime, and the chives are flourishing in the garden.
If you've never made a quiche before, don't worry, it couldn't be easier. Especially if you're working with a prepared frozen crust. If not, it's still easy, it just takes more time and planning.Quiche Lorraine Recipe
Onions or shallots can be used in place of the chives. Use about 1/2Read More »from Quiche Lorraine
I saw a tasty salad on Ben Trott's Vox page and just had to make it. It is a traditional French salad, called Salad Lyonnaise, made with frisée or curly endive, hot bacon, and a freshly poached egg. Not one to have torn up bread with it when one could easily make buttered croutons, I made some croutons for it as well. Okay, bacon, eggs, and buttered croutons and it counts as a salad? I inhaled it.Poached Egg and Bacon Salad - Salad Lyonnaise Recipe Add to shopping list
- A handful of fresh frisee lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 strips bacon
- 1 teaspoon chopped shallots
- 1 slice French or Italian bread and a little butter to make buttered croutons
- 1 Poached egg
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
1 Cook two strips of bacon on medium heat until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let drain of excess fat on a paper towel. Once cool, chop.
2 Cut aRead More »from Poached Egg and Bacon Salad - Salad Lyonnaise
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