Anginetti Cookies – simple flavors that add to the joys of any Easter table

BY ELENA MANCINI

One of my fondest Easter memories growing up  Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were actually the days leading up to Easter and all of the treats that my mother, grandmother, aunts and family friends would exchange with each other’s families during Holy Thursday and Easter morning.

Staples among these were pizza rustica, Neapolitan Pastiera or Wheat pie–a recipe I have posted here in the past– and Anginetti cookies. Growing up, my Aunt Rita’s were always my favorite because she always  added a hint of Anisette liqueur to her delicious lemon glaze.  As with many nonne (Italian for grandmothers), her mastery is such that she would bake batches and batches of perfect Anginetti by counting on her ever unfailing eyeball measurements. 

Click on the plate of cookies below for an easy to follow recipe for Anginetti, courtesy of in pureprovender.com. Note: go ahead and double the doses. They’ll be sure to go fast!

Anginetti Recipe - courtesy of Alison McCarthy - pureprovender.com

Anginetti Recipe – courtesy of Alison McCarthy – pureprovender.com

Happy Easter – Buona Pasqua!

 

 

 

Award-Winning Daring Pairing: Short Ribs and Malbec- Recipe by Chef Gregg Drusinsky


Whether your looking for some bold original flavors for your next home-cooked dinner party or are seeking a rewarding culinary escape within the comfort of your own kitchen, Chef Drusinsky’s Five Spice Crusted Short Rib with Eggplant and Miso Black Garlic Jus Paired with Alamos Malbec can offer you just that.

This recipe recently won Chef Drusinsky first prize on ABC’s “The Taste.” Drusinsky and his co-contestant, Sarah Ashley Schiear recently hosted pop-up dinners at Old Bowery Station.

Check out http://openhouse.me/ to find out where fine dishes like this will pop up next.

Alamos

EGGPLANT:

 2 small eggplants

2 tablespoons sesame oil

Salt to taste

MISO JUS:

10 small shallots, sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup sake

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cluster maitake mushrooms

4 oz. smoked eel

2 tablespoons white miso paste

1 head black garlic, sliced

SHORT RIBS:

1 lb. boneless beef short ribs

2 teaspoons five spice powder

2 teaspoons smoked salt

3 tablespoons grape seed oil

GARNISH:

2 teaspoons ground bonito flakes

6 green onions, white end sliced, green tops cut in chiffonnade

½ bunch cilantro, small leaves picked

METHOD:

Char the whole eggplants over a flame until black and soft. Scoop out the insides from the skin and pulse in a blender with sesame oil; season with salt.

To prepare jus, sauté shallots and garlic in canola oil in a large saucepan until soft and aromatic. Add sake and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce heat and add eel; simmer for 10 minutes more. Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove solids. Place miso and black garlic in a blender. Slowly add the mushroom broth, blending until smooth.

To prepare short ribs, season meat with five spice powder and smoked salt. Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Sear meat on all sides; reduce heat and cook until medium rare. Set aside for 5 minutes then thinly slice.

To plate, arrange sliced short ribs over eggplant puree then drizzle jus around short ribs. Garnish with bonito flakes, scallions and cilantro. Serves 4-6.

 

 

 

Tennessee Whiskey for Lovers – Raising the Bar

BY CAROLYN ONOFREY

So George Dickel is trying to break into the New York market? I think it’s about time another Tennessee whiskey rode into town.

Literally “Raising” the bar @ Dickel’s SoHo Party

Literally “Raising” the bar @ Dickel’s SoHo Party

George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey hosted a party last week in SoHo for the top mixologists in town touting their new offerings as well as showing off their tried and true recipes. Their new campaign ‘Raising the Bar’, does just that. It raises the bar, not necessarily on Tennessee whiskey itself, but on what most people know Tennessee whiskey to be; an already syrupy liquor best served mixed with cola. Dickel’s repertoire of four varieties provides a crisp, small batch take on Tennessee whiskey it’s George Dickel Rye, the newest member of the family.

The whiskey was surprisingly versatile with featured cocktails from some of NYC’s best ranging from a mojito-like ‘shake’ by Giuseppe Gonzales (Golden Cadillac) to a vibrant punch from Julie Reiner of Clover Club and even a twist on the Sherry Twist no. 2 from TJ Lynch (Mother’s Ruin). While each was decidedly inspired by the subject matter, Dickel’s products run the gamut from smooth and aged to earthy and spicy – all while remaining true to strict Tennessee Whiskey guidelines.

What sets Dickel apart?

Each batch of Dickel whiskey is chilled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, double distilled, and filtered through a charcoal mellowing process before aging making each batch of Dickel the same as the last. With only a handful of people working at the facility, Dickel prides itself on being a small batch, hand-crafted distillery producing only a tenth of its capacity last year. John Lunn, master distiller for Dickel is only the 3 third set of hands Dickel has run through since its rebirth in 1958 ensuring that Dickel stays true to its roots.

George Dickel 2

Frozen Mint “Shake” – Photo courtesy of George Dickel Whiskey

Frozen Mint “Shake” – Giuseppe Gonzales

• 1.3 oz. Dickel 12

• .75 oz. Lime

• 1 oz. simple

• Mint leaves.

• 1 Dash of angostura bitters

Blend until texture is thick. Pour into baby coupes. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve with Long straw.

Glass: Coupe

Garnish: Mint sprigs

Tennessee Rose Punch - Julie Reiner

Tennessee Rose Punch – Julie Reiner

• 18 oz. lemon juice

• 6 oz. ginger syrup

• 12 ounces raspberry syrup

• 1 – 750ml bottle Dickel Rye

• 6 oz. Amaro Nonino

• 24 oz. Ruby Slipper tea (Serendipitea makes this)

• 18 oz club soda

Large block of ice

Tennessee Rose Punch – Photo courtesy George Dickel Whiskey

The Classy Mother – TJ Lynch

• 1.25 oz. Dickel Rye

• .50 oz. Gutierrez Colosia Oloroso Dry Sherry

• .25 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

• 2 dashes Regans orange bitters

• 2 dashes chocolate bitters

Stirred and served up

Flamed orange peel and Luxardo cherry garnish

 

 

Recipe for Thalassa’s Grilled Octopus

Recipe by Ralpheal Abrahante,
Executive Chef at Thalassa, NYC

 

Grilled Octopus at Thalassa, NYC

 

5 Pounds of Cleaned Octopus
3 Cups Red Wine Vinegar
10pc Black Pepper Corn
2pc Wine Corks
2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Pre Heat Oven to 350 F Place octopus, vinegar, pepper corn, corks, olive oil in a deep pan.
Cook at 325 F for an hour. Check tenderness with a fork at the skirt
(the part of the octopus that is between the tentacles and the body.) 
If the octopus slides off the fork then it’s ready.

Depending on size and origin, the octopus may need to cook as much as 30 minutes longer.
Remove octopus from liquid and let it rest on a plate for 30-45 minutes.
Heat a charcoal grill to medium hot. Briefly grill the cooked octopus until char marks appear
and the thinnest parts are crisp, about 5 minutes each side. Remove to a cutting board and cut octopus into 1-inch pieces. Put pieces into a serving bowl, and add sundried tomatoes, capper berries, fresh chopped parsley, dry oregano and drizzle with olive oil.

Ready to Serve!

Chef’s Secret Techniques:
For tender octopus message tentacles for 15 -20 min then let marinate in red wine vinegar for 3 hours.

 

Home of Manhattan’s Best Banh Mi Sandwich – Review of Sao Mai

BY ELENA MANCINI

203 First Ave.
East Village
(212) 358-8880 / Sao Mai 

East of the East Village bustle and trendiness, this family-run East Village Vietnamese restaurant serves traditional Vietnamese fare and the best Banh Mi Sandwiches on the Manhattan side of the East River.

Vegetarian Bahn Mi

Available in six varieties including pho, sliced pork, grilled chicken and vegetarian, these sandwiches make a quick, nutritious, flavor-packed meal that’s easy on the wallet (priced between $6-$7). The Bahn Mi are prepared on baguettes are consistently fresh and crusty with a soft and chewy middle. Independent of the filling you choose, the kitchen always strikes the right balance between bread and ingredients. Their vegetarian Bahn Mi is among my favorite comfort-food lunches. Prepared on two warm halves of choice baguette, they’re stuffed with toothsome strands of sauteed bok choy, straw mushrooms, seedless cucumbers, shredded carrot and abundant swaths of cilantro, the sandwiches and seasoned with lemongrass,  sriracha mayonnaise, that provides a subtle and reverberating pitch of complex heat. In sum, it’s a light, filling lunch that delivers high-flavor rewards.

Pho’ Sao Mai

Front: Summer Rolls; Far: Spring Rolls

Lest one think Sao Mi is just about Bahn Mi, flavor mavens and fans of traditional Vietnamese fare will find other  sections of its menu will prove well worth exploring. The Pho Sao Mai will not disappoint. A flavorful broth, rich in tender strips of brisket, sprouts, rice noodles and a medley of herbs will consistently hit the spot. Adding appeal to  Sao Mi’s attractions is its steal of a lunch menu, which includes the choice of an appetizer, entree and a soft drink, all for $10. Sweetening things further,  both the Bahn Mi and the Pho are included in this deal!

Ga Gary – Chicken Curry

With a wide variety of vegetarian options on its menu, Sao Mai is also a smart choice for a low-key dinner that guarantees value, quality and flavor. Pity that wait staff has not yet mastered the walk-in dinner crowd on weekends. During these times, the  friendly service  can turn into a source of frustration for those who do not suffer extended waits and uneven food delivery times lightly.

Sao Mai on Urbanspoon

Recipe for Chicken Crepe Roulade by Chef Godard

Recipe by Chef Claude Godard of Madison Bistro and Jeanne & Gaston, NYC

Chef Claude Godard at Jeanne & Gaston, NYC

Ingredients:

8 (6 inch) crepes

• ½ cup all-purpose flour

• 1 pinch salt

• 1 eggs

• 1 cups milk

• 2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 lb. sliced chicken breast

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

salt & pepper

1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach, washed, stemmed & coarsely chopped

5 ounces goat cheese

1 cup of shredded Gruyere

Directions:

1- Make crepes

2- Preheat oven to 350°F.

3- Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot enough to sizzle the chicken. Add all at once and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until cooked. About 5 minutes.

4- Stir in the parsley, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

5- Reduce heat to medium and stir in the spinach. Cover & cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.

6- Uncover & add the goat cheese, stirring until melted.

7- Spoon mixture down the center of each crepe. Roll up crepes and arrange side by side in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the Gruyere.

8- Place under broiler until lightly gratinated.

9- Serve warm.

 

Cream of Wheat Goes Gourmet

BY BECKA WOOLF

Foods that remind you of your childhood. Ready, set, go!

Some that come to mind for me are Corn Flakes, grilled cheese and pancakes. Easy, affordable, accessible, staple foods. Many people across the country would say that Cream of Wheat is one of those items that they remember eating as a child. However, did you ever think that Cream of Wheat could be a main component of an upscale dish, such as Crispy Catfish Fritters with Red Hot Cilantro Aioli or “French Style” Cream of Wheat with Mushrooms and Leeks?

Cream of Wheat Upside-Down Apple Cake

Family favorite Cream of Wheat has partnered with an all-star line-up of chefs to launch Cream of Wheat Goes Gourmet, a charitable initiative leveraging the product’s rich history and exciting versatility. Earlier this year, the brand invited top chefs around the country to develop upscale recipes featuring Cream of Wheat as a key ingredient. Eight notable chefs tapped into their favorite memories of Cream of Wheat and merged it with their distinctive styles to create unique recipes.

Participating chefs and their recipes include:

  • Antonia Lofaso of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame, created Crispy Catfish Fritters with Red Hot Cilantro Aioli
  • Arturo McLeod of Benjamin Steak House in New York, created Cinnamon Swirl Nut Cake
  • Claudine Pepin, noted chef and author of “Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen: Encore with Claudine,” created “French-Style” Cream of Wheat with Mushrooms and Leeks
  • Donatella Arpaia of Donatella, DBar and Iron Chef America, created Upside Down Apple Cake
  • Jet Tila of Wazuzu in Las Vegas created Crispy Thai Salmon with Green Apple Slaw
  • Josh Wahler of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and Symcha’s in South Beach, created Pan Seared Chardonnay & Thyme Marinated Florida Black Grouper with White Truffle Scented Cream of Wheat and Citrus Grilled Asparagus
  • Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen and macbar in New York, created Cream of Wheat Crusted Tuna with Charred Corn Cream of Wheat Sauce and Marinated Tomatoes
  • Sara Moulton, noted chef and star of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” created Warm Creamy Mocha Pudding

Each recipe and accompanying photo can be easily downloaded from the Cream of Wheat Facebook page.  In addition to making a monetary donation in each chef’s name, the brand will donate one box of Cream of Wheat to a national  hunger relief charity, up to 5,000 boxes, for every recipe downloaded on Facebook. Please do your part by liking the Cream of Wheat Facebook page and downloading recipes.

I got to chat with celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia about some of her childhood Cream of Wheat memories:

Donatella Arpaia

Do you have memories of eating Cream of Wheat as a child? What other foods remind you of your childhood?

We used to call Cream of Wheat “farina” when I was growing up.  I remember the original box had a little blond boy on the box cover.  On especially cold weekend mornings, my mom would make the special treat for us – we were used to cold cereal during the week so this was always a special treat!  My mother would also make my siblings and I Cream of Wheat as a nighttime snack and swirl maple syrup throughout the creamy mixture.  I have fond memories of sharing a bowl right before bedtime.

Your recipe for Upside Down Apple Cake looks delicious! Do you have any other favorite C of W recipes?

I really enjoy adding Cream of Wheat to my muffin recipes.  They change up the texture making it similar to cornbread and add a slightly sweet and hearty flavor to any muffin recipe.  Truly delicious!

 As a food blogger, I am always looking for affordable ways to create memorable dishes that look more expensive than they really are! Cream of Wheat seems like a great way to do that. Any other tips?

I am a firm believer that presentation is the way to make humble, affordable dishes look more expensive.  Next time serve up your Cream of Wheat in a stemless martini glass and top it with edible gold dust for a special finishing touch!

Who knows – maybe Cream of Wheat will be the next secret ingredient in Iron Chef AmericaAlton, are you reading?

Quick Meals without Compromise: Cooking with Buitoni

BY MICHELLE WAHLERS

Cooking with Buitoni Fettucine & Pesto

I am fortunate to live with someone who loves cooking and welcomes a challenge. However, there are days that you just wish dinner would appear with little effort, but you don’t want to sacrifice flavor. The other night I picked up a package of Buitoni fettuccine and their new all natural Pesto sauce and whipped up a quick and completely delicious meal. The pasta is cooked for about 4 minutes in a pot of boiling water; I put a little over a tablespoon of olive oil in the water to prevent sticking. The pesto sauce is served at room temperature, so there is literally no preparation necessary! I paired the pasta dish with an arugula salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The pesto was delicious, light and almost unassuming. If you have ever made homemade pesto it is very easy to be heavy handed with the garlic (is that just me?), but this was balanced delightfully. Feel free to add freshly grated Parmesan to the dish, but don’t forget that it is already in the pesto.

After a day at work, the kitchen might seem a bit too daunting, but even someone with a spoiled palate for fresh food can find a satisfying meal with Buitoni products.

A champagne cocktail to get the New Year's Eve party started…

Recipe courtesy of Marc Forgione – 134 Reade Street; marcforgione.com @MarcForgione

Black Mission Fig Mimosa, Walnut Liqueur, Crushed Hazelnuts

Black Mission Fig Mimosa, Walnut Liqueur, Crushed Hazelnuts

Ring in the New Year with this special champagne cocktail from Iron Chef Marc Forgione. Try it at home or stop by the restaurant to pair this farm-to-table cocktail with one of Chef Forgione’s signature entrees. Complete this luscious cocktail in a tall champagne flute rimmed with honey and crushed hazelnuts for an extra special touch!

Black Mission Fig Mimosa, Walnut Liqueur, Crushed Hazelnuts

For fig syrup:

4 quarts halved Black Mission Figs

4 quarts water

1/2 cup sugar

Cook all ingredients on high temperature for 45 minutes until reduced by half. Strain and cool.

For cocktail:

1 1/2 oz Fig Syrup

3 1/2 oz Cava

Rinse of walnut liqueur

Honey

Crushed Hazelnuts

Rinse champagne flute with walnut liqueur. Dip half of the flute rim in honey and crushed hazelnuts. Add fig syrup and then fill with Cava.

Share/Save/BookmarkSubscribe

A champagne cocktail to get the New Year’s Eve party started…

Recipe courtesy of Marc Forgione – 134 Reade Street; marcforgione.com @MarcForgione

Black Mission Fig Mimosa, Walnut Liqueur, Crushed Hazelnuts

Black Mission Fig Mimosa, Walnut Liqueur, Crushed Hazelnuts

Ring in the New Year with this special champagne cocktail from Iron Chef Marc Forgione. Try it at home or stop by the restaurant to pair this farm-to-table cocktail with one of Chef Forgione’s signature entrees. Complete this luscious cocktail in a tall champagne flute rimmed with honey and crushed hazelnuts for an extra special touch!

Black Mission Fig Mimosa, Walnut Liqueur, Crushed Hazelnuts

For fig syrup:

4 quarts halved Black Mission Figs

4 quarts water

1/2 cup sugar

Cook all ingredients on high temperature for 45 minutes until reduced by half. Strain and cool.

For cocktail:

1 1/2 oz Fig Syrup

3 1/2 oz Cava

Rinse of walnut liqueur

Honey

Crushed Hazelnuts

Rinse champagne flute with walnut liqueur. Dip half of the flute rim in honey and crushed hazelnuts. Add fig syrup and then fill with Cava.

Share/Save/BookmarkSubscribe