"The BBQ oysters were inspired by cookouts I’d have down in New Orleans. My friends and I would pull oysters out of the Gulf, crack them open and throw them on beach fires, and add all kinds of different sauces. Then, when I brought the recipe up to New York, I also was making this BBQ bacon sandwich. I thought, these two would be great together, so I combined the BBQ with the bacon and with the oysters." - Chef Paul Gerard, Exchange Alley, NYC
Oyster Barbecue Sauce:
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chilies
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/8 cup tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pimenton…smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
Brisket is such a versatile meat. I like it best, slow cooked. I make it in the winter time, slow roasted with red wine, orange marmalade, orange zest, garlic and dried herbs. Yet, in the summer and fall months I like to make it BBQ style and serve it on delicious french bread with a side of Asian Cole Slaw.
The recipe calls for jarred BBQ sauce. Yet over the past few years I have really become even more conscious of what I am feeding my family. I have never bought a jarred salad dressing (even in college). Two reasons why: 1) they taste lousy and 2) there are way too many things in the ingredients list that I can’t pronounce.
And if I can’t pronounce it, I am not going to eat it. I have come to the conclusion that BBQ sauce is no different. I have decided to make my own. I make a big batch of it and use it for grilling, marinating, roasting and my kids like to dip their oven baked chicken nuggets in it.
Strawberry Shortcake seemed to always mark the beginning of summer when I was growing up.
Although we get strawberries almost year round in California, they always taste best in early summer. We always made our “shortcake” with biscuits.
This is a pretty foolproof method. When you stir slightly cooled melted butter into cold buttermilk, the butter will clump.
Although this might look like a mistake, it's one of the secrets to this recipe.
When summer temperatures go up, my appetite goes down. I want less to eat and more to drink. Homemade lemonade with mint is a great favorite. Iced tea in a tall glass filled with cracked ice is a great way to cool down. On a recent trip to Spain, I rediscovered sangria, which might be the best remedy for double and triple digit heat waves.
In the summer, the Iberia Peninsula bakes under an unforgiving sun. Spaniards long ago learned that the best way to beat back the effects of hot weather is to eat small plates ("tapas") and drink wine flavored with fresh fruit.
When I was served a glass of sangria in a bar in San Sebastián, a small resort town on the coast of Northern Spain, I loved the way fresh fruit added flavor to the wine. Fortified with brandy and sugar, sangria goes well with small sandwiches, salads and snacks.
Visit Spain and you'll see sangria pitchers. Wide at the base, the large pitchers have a spout narrowed at the end. When the pitcher is made, the potter gently pinches the spout to narrow the opening, allowing the wine but not the fruit to enter the glass.
We usually go to Chicago once a year to see my husband's family. We
rarely get into the city since they live in the suburbs, but this time
around we got the chance to spend a few days downtown, much to my
delight. However, we didn't have a lot of tourist time because we had
volunteered to help friends of ours pour their wine at the Windy City
Wine Festival, which was a 2-day, all day into the night affair. We
had one free lunch, so to speak. After watching Rick Bayless on Top
Chef Masters I wanted to go to one of his restaurants, but once he won
I knew getting in would be fairly impossible, especially on our tight schedule. However, it's because of
him that we went to Terzo Piano. I follow him on Twitter and one of his
fans asked where he likes to eat in Chicago and this modern cafe
located in the Art Institute was one of his favorites. I figured if the
Top Chef Master likes it, it had to be good. It's location made it perfect since we had already planned on visiting
the Art Institute – a must see when in the city – to check out an
exhibit about the History of Wine. I know, I have a one-track mind.
Spring brings many colorful bounties, but the best of the season comes in green. This time of year farmers' markets are brimming with tender, young vegetables. That's why my friend Caroline and I decided to take a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket this past week to see what dish we could create together.
With all the beautiful salad greens available at the market, we naturally decided upon making a salad. After browsing all the produce to see what was the freshest and most appealing, we found some beautiful spinach for our base. We also gathered baby fingerling potatoes, baby red onions, and radishes. Caroline had the perfect idea, to flash pickle the radishes. And for a lean protein, I suggested a steak, which we picked up at the nearby Whole Foods Market. Once we had all our ingredients, we were ready to cook—and eat.
What we achieved was a colorful and healthy salad with a combination of earthy vegetables that encapsulated the flavors of spring.
We’re all bound to go overboard during summer and you know what? That’s fine with me. Because if any season speaks to me about the bounty of food it’s certainly summer.
What I love most about summer cooking is that it gives us certain cooks a pass on formality. A little of this, some of that, it’s a good time to veer just a teeny bit from the exact science of cooking. Perhaps this is because the cooking wildcard known as The Grill can’t be controlled but coaxed, befriended but never bossed.
I’m sure some folks with expensive built-in outdoor gas grills may have better luck with this but me? I don’t have that. I’ve learned to love a flame that acts like a mischievous child — give it the right upbringing and it behaves. Ignore and neglect it and it”ll disappoint you and disappear.
When I head outdoors to cook I’m usually armed with very little other than food & tongs. There might be a spray bottle near to keep flare-ups down but I like to keep it simple during summer. Those big and bold warm-weathered flavors don’t really need a lot of fuss.
Canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce are simply very ripe jalapeno peppers that have been dried, smoked and packed in a sauce of tomatoes, vinegar, paprika, oregano, garlic and onion. If you’ve never cooked with them before, you’ll be shocked at what a shortcut they can be when wanting to add flavor to loads of recipes.
And, to make sure those flavors, and a couple of other ones in this marinade, really travel to the deepest parts of the chicken, buttermilk is a miracle...
Cooks in the south, like the ones I grew up with, always used buttermilk to tenderize and moisturize fried chicken...The acid in buttermilk helps break down the protein strings, which makes the bird more tender and succulent, while carrying those flavorful spices and herbs into the deepest part of the meat.
And this spicy version of the marinade those smart cooks have used for generations makes this chicken just as delicious and juicy…even though it’s grilled and not fried!
What do Jerusalem artichokes, horseradish and dandelion greens have in common? You'll never guess. Each has a name that is an English version of a foreign name. The Jerusalem artichoke is a variety of sunflower, and the name is derived from "girasole" which means sunflower in Italian. Horseradish is "meerrettich" in German and because "meer" sounds like "mare" the English called it horseradish. Dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion" or lion's tooth, in reference to the jagged leaves of this bitter yet tasty weed.
Like horseradish, dandelion has quite a bite to it. It can be eaten raw or cooked and like other leafy greens, it is a good source of vitamin A, calcium and iron. But frankly, I'd never cooked with it until this weekend. I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for a potato salad using chopped dandelion greens and I also heard raves about a potato salad with chopped fresh mint, so I decided to combine the two.
by Cathy Pollak
Daddies, avert your eyes, because this is what your family will be serving you in bed on Sunday morning (Father's Day). However, it's so good, the kids might help you eat it all. And Mom, it's so easy to make, the kids can take all the credit...they will love that.
A few months ago, I didn't even know what Biscoff spread was. I kept seeing it...
by Susan Salzman
I always have leftover bread. Challah, french bread, sour dough. Generally, I make bread crumbs. But my freezer is full of bread crumbs. So, I am forced to cook and create. With all the rain we have been having, I am happily staying indoors. The weekends can sometimes be filled with way too many commitments. However, this past weekend, it...Read more...
by Susan Russo
Perhaps it's their association with English tea and ladies' garden luncheons that make scones so deliciously feminine. Since they're one of the easiest baked goods to make and are always well received, they're an ideal addition to your Mother's Day breakfast.
These Apricot, Ginger, and White Chocolate Scones are a new creation of mine -- the...Read more...