Creamed Finnan Haddie with Johnnycakes
The smoked haddock known as finnan haddie is a Scottish thing and therefore a New England thing. My Dad (pictured here with me on Labor Day 2001) grew up loving it for breakfast—almost always prepared in the creamed version detailed here—as a kid in Milton, Massachusetts.
I added the johnnycakes to the recipe. Corncakes made from stone-ground flint corn, johnnycakes are another New England family tradition. There is a raging controversy about whether johnnycakes should be thick and fluffy or… more »
I’m a big fan of the wonderful Italian pastry called cannoli – especially the filling of fresh ricotta, candied zest and chocolate. My dessert swaps the cannoli’s crunchy cylinder of deep-fried dough for a large succulent strawberry. I’ve also replaced the ricotta in the filling with low-fat cream cheese, because ricotta is too wet for this recipe. (You can use full-fat cream cheese if you want, but I think the low-fat is actually quite satisfying, and who needs the extra… more »
Slow-roasted Spiced Baby Back Ribs
One of my all-time favorite field trips for “Cooking Live” was to Memphis to cover the huge annual barbecue cook-off there. It is an astonishing event that attracts more than 200 teams from all around the country, from funky little crews of like-minded friends to heavily financed corporate outfits. Everyone competes not just for the best ribs but also for the best booth. Some of the so-called booths are two stories high and extremely elaborate.
Although most of the teams… more »
Orzo and Basmati Pilaf with Spring Vegetable Ragout
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta from Italy. Basmati is a fragrant Indian long-grain rice with a wonderful nutty taste. The two of them combine to make a great side dish, but you can top it with anything and turn it into a main dish. Here we’ve chosen asparagus, mushrooms, and either lima beans or fava beans. By the way, some of the American versions of basmati would work well here too. Texmati is one that’s pretty widely available.
Makes 4… more »
Chocolate Bits Pudding
On a shelf in the kitchen at my parents’ old farmhouse in Northern Massachusetts are metal file boxes filled with recipes written by my grandmother Ruth Moulton. I plucked this gem from one of those boxes. Using regular old chocolate chips, Ruth somehow concocted a very dense essence of chocolate pudding. Kids of all ages will love it, but I recommend serving it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream as a counterpoint to all that chocolate intensity.
6 ounces… more »
Mexican Chicken Salad
This is my favorite kind of salad because it has so many ingredients—and each with a different texture, from the creamy avocado to the crispy homemade tortilla chips. I have cheated here by using leftover or rotisserie chicken. It would work just as well with leftover pork, shrimp, or beef. And if you really want to speed up the recipe, here’s another cheat: Swap store-bought tortilla chips for the homemade kind.
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
Hands-on Time 15 minutes… 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 »
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Gingered Biscuit Topping
Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is so darn tart that it’s usually paired with a sweeter buddy, like the strawberry, in an effort to temper its tang. Try to find field-grown rhubarb. Darker in color, it has a much shorter season than the hothouse variety (late winter to early summer) but is more flavorful. In England rhubarb is often paired with ginger, so for a surprise crunch, I added some crystallized ginger to the biscuit topping of this springtime dessert from… more »
Three Citrus Flan
This delicious make-ahead dessert is perfect for entertaining. I learned the recipe from my pal Sandy Gluck when I was her sous chef at the Café New Amsterdam in New York’s West Village in the early eighties. We’d met in 1977, both of us fresh out of cooking school, both of us winners of a scholarship from Les Dames D’Escoffier, a national association dedicated to the advancement of women in the field. The scholarship was supposed to send us on… more »
Jelly Egg Cookies
Each spring I get requests for my Jelly Egg Cookie recipe; it is a perfect showcase for fresh unsweetened coconut and a good make-ahead dessert for Easter. Add some raisins and forget the jelly eggs and they are a good lunchbox treat all year round.
1/2 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2… more »
Vegetarian Chili Pie with Monterey Jack Cheese and Corn Bread Crust
Vegetable chili, like any stewed dish, is even better the day after you make it, when all the flavorings have had a chance to sink in. Of course, it’s also fine if you eat it the same day you make it. But whenever you make it, make a double batch and freeze the second half for another meal. Top it with the cheese and the cornmeal batter right before you pop it into the oven.
Serves 6 to 8
For… more »
Eggplant Rollatini with Four Cheeses
This recipe improves on the traditional eggplant rollatini by calling for roasted, not fried, eggplant. Consequently, it is easier to prepare (no baby-sitting the slices in the pan) and easier on your waistline (roasting requires far less oil than frying).
You’re welcome to stuff the eggplant with cheeses other than the ones I list; just make sure whichever ones you choose melt easily. Likewise, if you don’t feel like making quick tomato sauce, you can use your favorite store-bought brand.… 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 »
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.