Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Strawberry Santas - too cute of an idea...

I copied this from Blue Lotus' blog about life and cooking in Japan.

It's very good reading and she also takes photos of food that she cooks. I had to put this up for future reference, as it looks like a quick, easy and cute dessert idea...


Whipped cream
black sesame seeds for the eyes

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken

OMG, my good friend from way back, TKC sent me the Rao's Cookbook some years ago when she still lived in NYC. So far, this is my favorite recipe from it. Mr. K. proclaimed this the best chicken ever...

Two 2 and 1/2 - 3 lb. broiling chickens, halved
1/4 C. chopped Italian parsley
Lemon Sauce (recipe below)

To attain maximum heat, preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes before using.

Broil chicken halves, turning once, for about 30 minutes or until skin is golden-brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork.

Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a very sharp knife, cut each half into about 6 pieces (leg, thigh, wing, 3 small breast pieces).

Place chicken on a baking sheet with sides, of a size that can fit into the broiler. Pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half and do this in two batches.

Return to broiler and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute.

Remove from broiler and portion each chicken onto each of 6 warm serving plates.

Pour sauce into a heavy saucepan. Stir in parsley and place over high heat for 1 minute. Pour an equal amount of sauce over each chicken and serve with lots of crusty bread to absorb the sauce.

Lemon Sauce

2 C. fresh lemon juice
1 C. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. dried oregano
salt and pepper (to taste)

Whisk together juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously before using.

Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, February 17, 2007



Made of beef short ribs, cut into thins strips and marinated with soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, green onions and sugar, kalbi is grilled over a medium-hot flame and best served the way Korean restaurants do: cut into pieces right over the grill, usually with hefty kitchen shears, and then wrapped inside a fresh leaf of lettuce with a finger of steaming white rice, a dollop of spicy red bean paste (gochichang), a few slivers of raw or grilled garlic, and shredded strips of fresh green onion.


1 1/2 cups lite soy sauce

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup sesame oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

8-10 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed

6 large green onions, chopped roughly

4 pounds Korean-style short ribs *

Toasted sesame seeds

Combine the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and corn oil in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic and green onion and stir together. Put short ribs into large sealable freezer bag (you may need two). Pour marinade into bag and turn bag over several times to ensure all meat pieces are covered. Refrigerate for at least four hours, but preferably overnight. Turn bag at least once in the middle of the marinating process.

Heat grill to medium-high heat before adding the meat. Drain excess marinade off short ribs and grill them until medium, about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serves 6.

* NOTE ON RIBS: Korean-style short ribs can be found at most Asian markets. The cut is called "flanken," a strange word that refers to a strip of beef cut across the bone from the chuck end of the short ribs. Most short rib recipes call for individual bones cut into thick pieces. Kalbi is unusual in that it calls for 3 ribs, cut lengthwise across the bones, so that you end up with a strip of meat about 8-10 inches long that has 3, 1/2-inch rib bones lining the top.

You can also use the marinade for a traditional cut of short ribs, but this is best cooked by braising -– a crock pot is excellent for this type of dish. (My mother calls this version Mushy Kalbi because the meat falls off the bone and melts in your mouth.) You can also use the marinade on chicken.


The grilling technique for kalbi is the exact opposite of grilling a big American steak. Kalbi is much more of a hands-on dish. Because of its thinner cut, the meat cooks faster and requires constant attention and turning over, which is why it is so much fun to cook it at the table with a group of friends.

Like most Korean meals, kalbi should be served with panchan, an assortment of side dishes that might include marinated spinach, cooked bean sprouts, salt-cured fish and of course the ubiquitous Korean side dish, kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage or radish that people either love or hate.

Try kalbi once and you'll see what I mean about being hooked.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Neatloaf (veg meatloaf from Ananda Fuara)

I used to love going to Ananda Fuara for lunch, the calm blue walls with clouds and the hippie atmosphere is also very cool. The neatloaf is the best, the recipe also includes a zippy bbq glaze. The restaurant serves this with mashed potatoes and a mushroom gravy that I am on the prowl for.

I remember being very disappointed because the restaurant closes down for a week or so when the staff goes on a bi-annual pilgrimmage to see the bagwan (seems to happen when I had a particular craving for neatloaf).

4 eggs
2/3 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix (the whole packet measures 1/4 cup, so use slightly less or use the whole packet if you like the onion soup mix taste) - for vegetarian version substitute dry soup mix without beef bouillion
1/3 LB low-fat ricotta cheese
1/3 LB firm tofu (mashed into small pieces)
1/4 cup vegetable oil of choice
1/3 cup onions
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. rosemary (fresh is good)
4 cups (dry measured) Special K (note: this approximately equals 4 oz or 113 grams of the cereal by weight)
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic

1/2 cup ketchup
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (to taste)
Pinch cayenne ground pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 300F.

Sauté onions and garlic.

Beat eggs in a bowl, and then add all other ingredients except the Special K. Mix well and then add the Special K last. Put in pan that is sprayed with cooking oil.

Bake for 1hour. Pour sauce over loaf after 1 hour, and bake for 10 more minutes.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rose and Ginger Soufflé

This is so interesting, the idea of perfuming foods... I noticed during the past month that Macy's Union Square was holding a series of Food & Fragrance events with James Beard award winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini of Restaurant Jean Georges. The Chef explored the relationship between perfumery, science and the senses by pairing prestige fragrance brands with original dessert recipes inspired by the fragrance's sweet notes. Very intriguing... Anyways, got this from the Splendid Table website, love their podcast!

Excerpted from Aroma, The Magic of Essential Oils in Food and Fragrance by Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson (Artisan, 2004). © 2004 by Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson. All rights reserved.

Serves 8

This soufflé is based on yogurt instead of the traditional pastry cream, which gives the soufflé incredible lightness and a subtle tanginess. It is easy to make, and the aroma of the rose intermingled with the ginger is unforgettable.

The idea that soufflés need to be baked at a high temperature in order to achieve height is incorrect. Soufflés are best baked at a lower temperature because, like any protein, slower cooking allows the eggs to set more softly, creating a more delicate texture. The lightness of this soufflé makes it seem as if you are eating nothing but the pure aroma.

Unsalted butter, for buttering baking dishes
Sugar, for dusting baking dishes
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh blood orange juice (you can substitute regular fresh orange juice)
10 drops Moroccan rose absolute
13 drops ginger essential oil
1 cup large egg whites
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Butter and sugar eight 4-ounce soufflé molds or ovenproof ceramic cups. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, egg yolks, blood orange juice, and essences.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whites on low speed with half of the sugar and a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Add the rest of the sugar and continue beating until the whites form stiff peaks.

Carefully fold 1/3 of the whites into the yogurt base. Do not overmix. Fold in the rest of the whites until just combined and ladle into the soufflé molds. Fill the molds completely and then run your thumb around the top edge of the rim to create a slight indentation in the soufflé mixture. Bake until set but still moist inside, about 10 minutes. Serve hot in the soufflé molds.

Note: Log on to for information on the essences.

Shiso Crab Cocktail

Excerpted from The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor by Jerry Traunfeld (Morrow Cookbooks, 2005). © 2005 by Jerry Traunfeld. Used with permission.

6 servings

I'll admit not everyone falls in love with the flavor of shiso at first taste, but it doesn't take long to be charmed by its knack for enhancing certain foods. Traditionally, shiso is added to some types of sushi and used to flavor rice or pickled vegetables. Over the many years that I've cooked with it I've discovered it's the perfect counterpoint to fresh crabmeat.

If you don't grow shiso in your own garden you can find the fresh leaves in Asian grocery stores. There are both green and deep purple varieties. Choose either for this elegant crab cocktail.

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (sushi vinegar)
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped shiso (perilla)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces best-quality fresh crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Pulp from 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt if needed
Stir the onion, vinegar, and shiso together in a medium mixing bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to mellow the onion flavor.

Stir in the olive oil and then gently toss in the crab and avocado. Season the salad with a few grindings of black pepper and taste it; add salt if you think it needs it. Some crabmeat is already quite salty so the salad might not need additional salt. Spoon the salad into stemmed glasses and serve cold.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, Bette's Oceanview Diner

These delicate pancakes contain only a small amount of flour. Eggs rather than baking powder make them airy.


3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup flou
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
Oil for cooking pancakes


Beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Stir in ricotta. Add flour, salt and lemon zest, stirring just to combine. Put egg whites in a bowl and beat until stiff but not dry. Gently fold egg whites into batter until just combined.

Lightly oil a griddle over medium heat. Portion batter with a 2-ounce ladle onto hot griddle, leaving space between pancakes. Cook until bubbles cover surface of pancakes and undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently turn pancakes and cook until second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve with Plum-Raspberry Compote (see recipe), creme fraiche, sour cream or jam.

Yields 12-16 3-inch pancakes

PER PANCAKE: 40 calories, 3 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 43 mg cholesterol, 63 mg sodium, 0 fiber.
Plum-Raspberry Compote

If the compote is too juicy, strain off some of the syrup that forms and use it in cocktails or over ice cream. You can vary the compote by adding a small amount of red wine or liqueur such as Cointreau or amaretto before the fruit cools.


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean, split
2 pounds plums, pitted and each cut into 4-6 chunks
1/2 pint raspberries
Lemon or orange zest to taste


Combine sugar and water in saucepan and stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Split vanilla bean, scrape seeds into water mixture, add the bean, bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Remove vanilla pod.

Add plums. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until plums are soft but still hold some shape. Off heat, stir in raspberries and zest. Taste and add more sugar if desired; let cool.

Serve with Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes (see recipe) or other pancakes or waffles. Leftovers are good over ice cream.

Yields 3 1/2 cups

PER 1/4 CUP: 80 calories, 1 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 0 fat (0 saturated), 0 cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

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