First Courses

White Bean, Artichoke, and Tomato Gratin
Posted on March 27th, 2014 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
Any recipe devoted to artichoke hearts involves the terribly boring and even slightly dangerous job of bending back and pulling off those prickly leaves. After wrestling with some artichokes during the first test of this recipe, Andrea Hagan, the backup recipe tester on this book, said, “Why don’t we just steam the whole vegetable and then use the part we want from then on?” Brilliant. It’s so much easier—and less injurious—to pull off the leaves after they have been cooked.… more »


Three Mushroom Tart
Posted on March 6th, 2014 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
When I developed the original version of this recipe for a Gourmet column on mushrooms in the mid-eighties, porcini and enoki mushrooms were considered very exotic; the white button mushroom was still king. These days you see all sorts of once exotic mushrooms in the supermarket—portobello, shiitake, chanterelle, etc.—and they don’t cost nearly as much as they used to. I am wild about mushrooms of all kinds and encourage you to substitute your favorites for the ones I’ve built into… more »


Esther’s Chicken Fricassee
Posted on February 19th, 2014 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes « Uncategorized  |  Submit Comment
Esther Adler, my mother-in-law, gave birth to three sons in less than three years (yikes!) and a daughter three years later. All four kids had hearty appetites, and all four turned out to be fairly strapping individuals. I’ll confess that I’ve often wondered how in the world she managed to feed them. This recipe is one answer. Esther’s wonderful chicken fricassee was a relatively rare treat. She served it only about once a month, because that’s how long it took… more »


Italian-style Onion Soup with a Poached Egg and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Posted on January 22nd, 2014 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
One of our favorite neighborhood restaurants used to be Beppe, where Chef Cesare Casella had created a menu bursting with the big sunny flavors of his native Tuscany. He made a mean lemony fried chicken, succulent spareribs in tomato sauce, and French fries fried with fresh herbs. But I was particularly partial to his onion soup with a poached egg on top. My version is much simpler, but very satisfying nonetheless. If you can’t find pancetta (unsmoked Italian bacon) in… more »


Creamy Lime Corn Soup with Cumin Salted Tortilla Strips
Posted on September 4th, 2013 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
Here is a luxuriously thick soup that is very low in calories, especially if you leave out the tortilla chips. You really boost the corn flavor by adding cobs to the broth. Indeed, anytime you have leftover cobs kicking around, especially at the end of the summer, you might want to cook up a corn broth and salt it away in the freezer in anticipation of those long, cold winter months. Then it’s a snap to make this soup using… more »


Mexican-style Street Corn
Posted on August 1st, 2013 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes « Side Dishes  |  Submit Comment
Grilled corn slathered with mayo and coated in grated cheese is a well-loved staple of Mexican street fare. Several years ago Gourmet… magazine ran a recipe for this tradition using shredded cotija, a crumbly aged-cured Mexican cheese. At the time, it occurred to me that it might be a hit at an American backyard barbecue if the cheese called for in the recipe was good old one-size-fits-all Cheddar. Sure enough, I tried it out on my kids, and they loved more »


A Summer Salad from Paris
Posted on June 26th, 2013 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes « Side Dishes  |  Submit Comment
Cory Van Horn sent me this photo along with an e-mail saying “I made your ‘Summer Salad from Paris’. . . . This recipe is delicious! I loved how all the flavors scream summer.” You can find more of his work at www.culinarycory.com. Janis Adler is my sister-in-law.  When I went to France to do an apprenticeship in the late Seventies, Jan made the trip with me and we had a lot of fun banging around for a few days… more »


Smoky Fish Chowder
Posted on June 10th, 2013 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
There are two things that my dad makes, one is scrambled eggs (especially on Christmas) and the second is fish chowder which he must have learned from his Mom, Ruth Moulton, who was a wonderful ye olde New England cook, or possibly from a guide on one of his fishing trips to Grand Lake Stream in Maine (where he still goes to fish every year). This is my modern cheating version of fish chowder. Makes about 9 cups, 4 servings… more »


Tonnato-Stuffed Eggs
Posted on May 22nd, 2013 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Featured Recipe « First Courses « Hors d'Oeuvres « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
One of my husband Bill’s favorite dishes is Vitello Tonnato. Cold sliced veal with a tuna sauce. It is an Italian version of surf and turf. Trying to imagine another recipe on which to use this tasty sauce, I thought of eggs. I love stuffed eggs. My mom has never stopped making them, even when the food police declared them taboo. Fortunately, as of October 2000, the position of the American Heart Association is that an egg a day is… more »


Chicken Liver Pâté with Port
Posted on December 10th, 2012 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Featured Recipe « First Courses « Hors d'Oeuvres « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
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
Posted on November 12th, 2012 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
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
Posted on October 29th, 2012 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
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
Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
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
Posted on July 3rd, 2012 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  2 Comments
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. Serves 4 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
Posted on June 25th, 2012 by Sara Moulton  |  Filed under Entrees « Featured Recipe « First Courses « Recipes  |  Submit Comment
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 »