March 9, 2013
By Marcy Roberts
Here’s a perfect recipe for a winter dinner party with a few friends. Six happy people recently enjoyed it over a potato and celery root purée with a crusty baguette to dip into the delicious sauce and a green salad to start.
5-6 lbs. bone-in short ribs
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
10-12 carrots, 2 peeled and chopped, 10 cut into 3” pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup tomato paste
2–3 cups hearty red wine
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
1. Season each short rib generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour or two if you can; they’ll taste better.
Coat a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven with a few glugs of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat on stovetop. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
3. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pot. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pot with a little fresh oil and add the chopped onions, celery and carrots, reserving 3” carrot pieces. Season generously with salt and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors.
4. Return the short ribs to the pot and add 2 cups water or enough to just about cover the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven for about 3 hours (yes really—you cannot overcook this!). Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water if needed. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the ribs over and add the remaining carrots. After 3 hours, the meat should be fall-off-the-bones tender. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees F. Remove the lid, add the olives and parsley and cook for another 20 minutes to get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. Spoon over the carb of your choice, sprinkle with more chopped fresh herbs (parsley and chives) and serve!
January 26, 2013
by Marcy Roberts
I love eating Chinese-style dumplings this time of year, but at most traditional restaurants you can really only get two kinds: veggie or meat. So I thought, why not combine them? Here’s my favorite (healthier) way to do it:
Serve these as an appetizer or make them a meal by adding steamed spinach and carrots to your plate—and don’t forget the chopsticks.
TURKEY AND PORK DUMPLINGS WITH BOK CHOY
Makes 24–30 dumplings
1 cup chopped bok choy stalks
2 cups chopped bok choy leaves
1 lb. ground turkey and/or pork
1/2 cup minced scallions
2-3 Tbsp. peeled and grated ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. white rice wine or mirin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. sriracha (optional)
1 package of wonton wrappers (you can find these in the frozen aisle in most grocery stores or Asian specialty markets)
SOY DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 scallion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. sesame oil
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the bok choy stalks and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the bok choy leaves and blanch for 1 minute or until the leaves turn bright green. Immediately remove bok choy and place into a bowl of ice water. Once the leaves/stems have cooled, squeeze out all excess water.
Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat and add the scallions, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
In a large bowl, place the bok choy, scallion mixture and all of the remaining filling ingredients. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. The longer it rests, the easier it will be to work with.
Arrange 4 wrappers on a work surface (keep remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel) and mound a tablespoon of filling in center of each. Lightly moisten edge of wrappers with a finger dipped in water. Working with one at a time, gather opposite corners of the wrapper around filling, pressing together to seal, then fold up remaining 2 corners into the point and seal all edges. You’ll make a square dumpling that looks a bit like an envelope. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling and you’ll end up making between 24 and 30 dumplings.
Generously oil bottom of colander-steamer insert and bring a few inches of water to a boil in pot so that bottom of insert sits above water. Arrange dumplings, about 1/2 inch apart, in insert and steam over moderate heat, covered, until dough is translucent and filling is just cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Enjoy with soy dipping sauce.
December 28, 2012
We’re still in the holiday mood, and nothing gets you in the spirit quite like eggnog. Our favorite way to indulge in this frothy treat? An old-school eggnog milkshake from Gray’s Ice Cream in Tiverton, Rhode Island. This local institution has been serving up homemade ice cream since the 1920s, when it was delivered in batches by horse and buggy to proprietor Annie Gray, who would then dish it out from the back window of her house.
These days, the charming three-window ice cream parlor stays open year-round and churns out more than 40 flavors, including their famous frozen pudding (a rum-based classic with apricots and raisons) and seasonal hits like eggnog. But if you can’t make it to Tiverton for their deliciously rich eggnog shake, here’s how to do it yourself:
1. In a blender, combine one cup of eggnog ice cream with one cup of whole milk. (Note: The fresher the ’nog ice cream, the better this shake will taste. If you can’t find a quality pint near you, tweak the recipe to use one cup of vanilla ice cream with one cup of top-shelf eggnog.)
2. Pour into a festive cup and top with grated nutmeg to your liking.
Want to add a little kick? Garnish your shake with a fresh cinnamon stick, sprinkle with crushed ginger snaps (yum!) or sweeten with shaved peppermint bark and whipped cream. Cheers!
December 1, 2012
by Marcy Roberts (Madewell)
Pizza has to be one of my favorite meals to serve at a casual dinner party: Everyone likes to get involved in the preparation, so you can spend more time chatting up guests. Plus, you don’t actually have to go through the trouble of making your own dough and waiting for it to rise; your local pizza place will sell you a delicious fresh ball, no problem (mine charges $4 for a large, which is enough for about three homemade pies!).
To keep things interesting, I always choose a few varieties—this time, the classic margherita, the potato pizza and the deliciously meaty prosciutto/taleggio/arugula pizza. Here’s how to recreate these tasty party treats:
October 28, 2012
One of our favorite Instagrammers, @baileybeckstead, shared this delicious-looking pic and we had to find out what it was. The answer? Chia seed powercake—and Bailey was even kind enough to share how she made it. Dig in below.
Chia Seed Powercake
1 packet instant oatmeal
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. ground flax
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 egg whites
grade A Vermont maple syrup (optional)
1. Prepare instant oatmeal according to package directions.
2. Add chia seeds, ground flax, walnuts and cinnamon and let sit for a few minutes to gelatinize.
3. Add two egg whites and beat until mixture feels similar to pancake batter.
4. Pour batter into a nonstick pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked through.
5. Top with grade A Vermont maple syrup and your choice of fruit.
October 22, 2012
All we can say is “thank you” to the sweet-toothed geniuses behind this awesomely designed and super-comprehensive map of the best doughnuts across all five boroughs of NYC. They did their research too: there are detailed descriptions of each baker, fun facts about the history of the doughnut hole, plus space to take notes on each store you visit. (Our weekend adventures are about to get a hole lot tastier.)
August 27, 2012
by Kari Molvar (Brooklyn)
I recently discovered a summery treat at Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg, Brookyn, that combines two Italian loves of mine: espresso and gelato. Dubbed the Affogato (which literally means “drowned”), this molten sundae is made with two scoops of Il Laboratorio del Gelato rum raisin gelato and a piping hot double shot of Blue Bottle’s rich Hayes Valley espresso. Should you care to whip one up yourself, here are some helpful hints:
1. Make sure your glass is thoroughly chilled to keep the temperature balance right.
2. Choose an especially flavorful gelato or ice cream. (Blue Bottle features local options like blackberry honey, toasted almond and chocolate stout.)
3. Prepare your espresso with a good deal of crema (the foam that sits atop an extracted shot). It adds the extra oomph.
4. Enjoy your sugar-caffeine rush!
August 24, 2012
by Marcy Roberts (Madewell)
It’s peak harvest season, so farmer’s markets are bursting with everything from tomatoes to herbs to beets to carrots to peaches to plums. And this past weekend, I decided to visit my local greenmarket for some dinner inspiration—and grabbed what turned out to be the makings of a delicious fish stew: littleneck clams, striped bass, yellow beans, Poblano peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, basil and a couple of onions.
Though concepting dishes isn’t my specialty, I’m really great at finding tasty recipes and tweaking them based on the contents of my cupboard. So after a little Googling, I dug up an amazing New York Times recipe for Provençal fish stew and put my own little twist on it. Here’s how to recreate it:
1 leek, chopped
2 Poblano peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pinch of saffron
1 14 0z. can peeled Italian tomatoes (pureed)
4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into fourths
1 lb. yellow string beans
2 dozen clams
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound fish fillets (striped bass, red snapper or cod)
1/2 cup chopped basil
1. Slice the leek and place it in a bowl of cold water. Rinse thoroughly to make sure all the grit is removed.
2. In a large pot, sauté the peppers, carrots and garlic in the olive oil with the pepper flakes until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes and about a cup of water. Add the potatoes and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
3. Meanwhile, scrub the clams. Heat the white wine in a large pan and add the clams, cooking over high heat until they open (about 6-10 minutes). Remove them from the pan as soon as they open their shells; otherwise, they will become tough. Strain the cooking liquid (I line a strainer with a paper towel to grab all the sand) and add it to the tomatoes and vegetables along with the saffron.
4. Cut the fish fillet into two-inch pieces and add to the casserole, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the clams just long enough to heat through.
5. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately (with a crusty baguette!).
August 20, 2012
by Sarah Z. Wexler (Portland)
Move over, cupcakes! The new boutique dessert on the block is the doughnut—and the best ones I’ve ever eaten in my life are from Voodoo in Portland, Oregon. A few friends and I recently shared a big hot-pink box of them so we could sample all the different kinds. The winners: the maple bacon bar and the Captain Crunch doughnut. Unfortunately, Voodoo doesn’t ship, so you have to actually make it to one of their shops to try these doughnuts. But the good news is you can get one (or three) anytime you’d like since the store’s open 24/7. Mmm.
July 23, 2012
by Sam Turner (Brooklyn)
As an ex-Floridian, I consider myself something of a key lime pie connoisseur—so I’m always a little wary of trying any that aren’t made in my home state. But this past weekend in Red Hook, Brooklyn, I spotted a big sign that read “Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie, Turn Left Here” and felt seriously compelled to investigate. And if you can’t tell from the photo above, I’m so happy I went. Creamy like pudding and tart like the perfect summer limeade, Steve’s pie was pure heavenly awesomeness. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, I highly suggest you treat yourself to one.