We are huge fans of Ming Tsai in this household, so when I found his latest cookbook at a deep discount at our local (and sadly, closing) Borders Books, I grabbed it. The book, Simply Ming One-Pot Meals is chock full of Ming's trademark East-West recipes that are simple enough to cook on any given weeknight…huzzah.
Archives for November 2011
If any of you are like me you won't need to eat for at least a week following the massive Thanksgiving food-fest you just enjoyed. But, when your hunger returns, you've worked your way though all your left-overs and you finally need to start cooking again, this is a bowl you'll really enjoy.
This dish is my adaptation of a recipe I recently found on The Kitchn, and is exactly the type of thing I like to make on a Sunday night to provide us a quick and nutritious hot breakfast over the course of the week. It is also the kind of dish I encourage my students at Cooking Matters to consider making for their families as well because it can be made ahead of time in bulk, is really tasty, and SO good for you. Many with younger kids might want to pass on the pumpkin puree and spices here as they may appeal to a more sophisticated palate, but the idea of having a batch of pre-made oatmeal in the fridge that requires little more than 40 seconds in the microwave, some dried fruits and nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup to start your day on the right foot, is a great one.
Whew….I just put the finishing touches on our menu plan for Thanksgiving Day, and I'm pretty excited about the spread we have planned for our gang of twenty this year. For the most part, we have guests bring all our hors d'oeuvres and desserts so that we can concentrate on everything in between. I'm lucky my family is loaded with great cooks who are eager to pitch-in so I can cross a good chunk of the planning and prep off of my list to concentrate on the bird and side dishes.
I like switching things up year to year and trying new recipes, so long as they fit within the general parameters of what my family expexts from a traditional Thanksgiving feast. By that I mean that we always have a turkey with gravy, some sort of potato dish, a green veggie side, creamed or glazed onions, dressing (I don't stuff our bird), some sort of a squash dish, and cranberry sauce. As long as I offer up something in each of those gategories, I feel free to experiment and have fun.
So , what are we having this year?
HA….we're on a roll now. This tasty treat turned out to be the perfect foil for a 1/2 used jar of Trader Joe's Apple Butter hogging space in our fridge, and as easy as that the inventory of our refrigerator condiment museum took another hit. Perhaps we should craft a song for the occasion…."50 bottles of condiments in the fridge, 50 bottle of condiments….you take 1 out, and put it to use, 49 bottles of condiments in the fridge" Ugh, with 47 bottles left, this could take a while…..
Every year around this time I am sure to find my wife standing before our open refrigerator slowly shaking her head side to side, shoulders slumped forward, already wearied by the enormity of the task ahead. You see, my wife is big on advance planning, and about three weeks before Thanksgiving she starts to concern herself over the ability of our fridge to handle the seasonal onslaught of cooking that accompanies our holiday entertaining.
These rugelach are a terrific cookie to add to your holiday dessert platter, though we like them so much we serve them year-round. Rugelach generally come in one of two forms, either shaped like a crescent roll, or prepared the way we have here, like a strudel. I've always liked them this way because it's easier to get a thicker layer of filling using this shape (hey….who are you calling a pig?), but if you prefer the look, or dough to filling ratio of the crescent shape, then by all means roll them that way.
I’ve never had the opportunity to eat in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant (Santa, are you listening?), but I do own a few of his cookbooks, and while I’m not a rabid fan of his TV shows, I’ve enjoyed a few episodes over the years. I know lots of people hate the guy, or at least the personality he puts forth on TV, as he berates contestants on Hell’s Kitchen or The F Word, but I have to say that I appreciate his approach to cooking.
He may be an challenge to work with, but his application of classical technique to the very best ingredients he can find, and his ability to conjure bold, yet approachable flavors for his guests, has earned him a spot among the very best chefs in the world. I’m a fan.
Here is yet another Thomas Keller recipe that we at Oui, Chef can wholeheartedly endorse. As you all must know by now, we are big fans of braised chicken, as we’ve cooked this dish, this one, and this one over the past couple of years. We love these dishes not just for their bold, deep flavors, but for their economy as well. It really is hard to beat chicken for feeding a crowd on the cheap.
This braise marries some of our favorite flavors, sweet fennel, briny olives, and bright, fruity citrus. All of these elements combine with the rich, moist thigh meat and meld into a truly satisfying meal. As with most of his recipes, Keller offers up a trick for this dish that will change the way I finish all chicken braises in the future.
I've been making this soup for years in one form or another, but until now had never written out a recipe for it. Truth be told, even though this version was quite fantastic, the next time I make it I'll probably tweak it again and come up with a slightly different twist on the bugger.