Chicken Liver Pâté with Port
A couple of years after I graduated from cooking school I apprenticed at a one-star restaurant in Chartres, France. My apprenticeship lasted for only two months but it was pretty intense nonetheless. (Certainly it didn’t help that I was the only woman in the kitchen.) Still, I learned a ton, the most important thing being that the French do not waste anything. When I returned to my job as a restaurant chef in the States my food cost went down… more »
Mini-pumpkin Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Shaved Parmesan, and Fried Sage
For the longest time I thought those cute little pumpkins–no more than 3 or 4 inches in diameter–were nothing more than happy little fall decorations. There they’d sit on the side of the road at farmers’ markets and at well-stocked grocery stores, bright orange banks of mini-pumpkins bearing such ridiculous names as Jack B. Little.
One day I wondered if these little guys tasted as good as they looked. I cooked one up and was delighted. These are among the… more »
Escarole Soup with Meatballs
I was working at the Harvest Restaurant in Harvard Square in the late seventies when Peter Vezan, one of the managers, steered me to a little trattoria in Boston’s North End. It wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall, but it boasted some of the best down-home Italian food in the city. My favorite dish on the menu was an escarole soup with meatballs. It was very old hat to Italian-Americans—the equivalent of matzo ball soup to American… more »
Kielbasa and Celery Root Salad
When I came up with the idea for this salad I was focusing on the celery root part of it. Celery root, also known as celery knob or celeriac, is the thickened aromatic root of a variety of celery plant with a dense crunchy texture. In France, it is often julienned or shredded and tossed in a mustardy vinaigrette, which was my inspiration for this dish. I decided to start with another sharp flavoring, horseradish, and enhance it with mustard.… more »
Endive and Roquefort Spirals with Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette
This recipe transforms the elements of a classic Waldorf salad into a really elegant-looking appetizer. The Roquefort-stuffed Belgian endive spirals and walnut-oil flavored dressing are not hard to make, but the resulting arranged salad sure will impress guests.
For the salad:
3/4 cup Roquefort cheese
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large Belgian endives
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper… more »
Chopped Salad with Feta, Chickpeas, and Pita Croutons
I love almost any kind of salad—and the more ingredients, the better. “Chopped Salad,” a catchall for any salad boasting a rich variety of chopped vegetables, is my favorite. This recipe was inspired by a low-fat dish I first encountered several years ago in Gourmet. Created by Chef Ed Brown of New York’s Sea Grill Restaurant, its most interesting ingredients were chickpeas and diced dill pickles. As a big fan of crunch, I transported those two items to my everyday chopped… more »
Arugula Salad with Aged Gouda, Savory Praline, and Mustard Dressing
This is a guests are coming for dinner salad, fancier and more labor intensive than most, but the extra effort really pays off. My husband, the salad hater, scarfed it down so enthusiastically that I added extra arugula to the recipe to stretch it. All the parts can be made ahead, Just toss them together at the last moment.
I tend to prefer so-called bitter greens like arugula to milder ones like romaine and Boston lettuce—but if you don’t, just… more »
Soon after I started making spaetzle as a side dish at home on a regular basis, it occurred to me that you could dress up and sauce this German pasta much as you would any other fresh pasta—an inspiration that automatically promoted spaetzle from a side dish to an entrée. This recipe takes advantage of ingredients available in the spring—asparagus, peas, and fresh herbs—but I want to encourage you to take the basic spaetzle recipe and run with it. Toss… more »
Butternut Squash Soup with Gruyère Pesto
The generic recipe for winter squash soup or puree typically begins by calling for a scary amount of the squash “peeled, seeded, and cubed,” and then steamed or boiled. Have you ever tried to peel, let alone cut, even one of these hard winter squashes? There may be no easier way to cut yourself in the kitchen. And why bother boiling or steaming a vegetable, which makes it watery, when you can roast it and concentrate the flavor?
My favorite… more »
Cauliflower Soup with Caraway and Rye Croutons
What I love about vegetable soups like this one is that they boast the soul satisfying consistency of cream without actually containing any. Cooked and pureed, most vegetables are amazingly creamy all by themselves. (OK, some of them need to be pureed with potato to create the desired effect, but you get my point.) I love cream, but it is heavy and although it delivers nice mouth feel, it dulls the flavor of whatever you are eating. When you put… more »
Spanish-style White Bean, Kale, and Chorizo Soup
In the early nineties, I went on a weeklong press trip to Spain. Other than learning everything there is to know about olive oil—the stated purpose of our trip—all we did for a week was eat ourselves silly and drink many bottles of beautiful Spanish wine. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with Spanish cuisine. Based on impeccably fresh ingredients, it is gutsy, flavorful, and simple. Here is a soup to warm the last weeks of winter.
1/2 pound dried… more »
Gingery Chicken Broth with Wonton Ravioli
This soup combines two of my favorite recipes—Eileen Yin Fei Lo’s gingery Chinese chicken broth and Jacques Pépin’s chicken breast stuffing—with one of my favorite techniques, wonton as ravioli. Eileen introduced me to Chinese-style chicken broth when she appeared on my show to make recipes from her book The Chinese Way. In the comfort category, it is right up there with the Jewish version. In the healing category, how can you miss with not one but two major restoratives: old-fashioned chicken… more »
I was born and bred in New York, but my roots are in New England, so you might say that chowder is in my blood. My family has always made New England-style chowder by starting with whole cod or haddock on the bone, because the bones are the key to big, big flavor. On a weeknight in the twenty-first century, however, I know most of us just don’t have the time. So here’s a simpler version. (OK, this recipe requires… more »
Make this pie during the high tomato season and you just can’t lose; those big ripe local tomatoes will do all the work for you. After you slice and salt the tomatoes and roll out the dough, the rest is simple. (If you want to cheat, use a store bought pie shell instead of homemade dough. Just let it soften enough so you can ease it into the tart tin. By the way, feel free to substitute other fresh herbs… more »
Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Cashews
Haven’t you often wondered how they make the delicious citrus dressing that glorifies the Iceberg salads often served at sushi restaurants? The orange dressing in this recipe is my attempt at duplicating it, and I think I’ve come pretty close.
With the dressing in hand, I wondered just which ingredients—other than Iceberg lettuce—to dress. I came up with a refreshing combination of shrimp, avocado, and cucumbers. The chiles and mint also help to make this a lively entree or first… more »
Sara’s New Book
|In my newest book, I share more than 200 new family-tested, family-pleasing recipes. Whether you’re new to the kitchen or just looking for a way to spice up your recipe repertoire, my carefully tested quick and easy recipes will help you get dinner on the table every night of the week.