When I was first married, back in the ’80’s, I was a bored stay-at-home Mom, with three small children at home. I started watching cooking shows, like the Frugal Gourmet, and was an avid reader of Bon Appetit magazine, which my husband brought home from his Dad’s advertising agency, Ryder & Schild. I think of those times, as my “Bon Appetit Days“, as I would find recipes I wanted to cook and spend hours (and sometimes days) on different dishes. I even had some of my recipes published in the “Too Busy To Cook” section of Bon Appetit. Here’s the cover:
My husband Zeke has sometimes lamented that he missed my “Bon Appetit Days”, even though I have indeed cooked him Bon Appetit dishes (just not on a daily basis). He started bringing me the New York Times Food Section, published on Wednesdays, from his breakfast at Riviera Country Club about ten years ago.
Thus, in my 50’s, began my New York Time Food Section decade. I love the New York Time Food section for it’s articles and restaurant reviews. I do find the recipes, however, a little hit or miss, depending on the writer. Some skew toward vegetarian (nothing wrong with that), some are complicated and others, just don’t “wow” me when tasted. The recipes from the New York Time Food Section I’m most likely to repeat have been their desserts, including: Julia Child’s Aunt Helen’s Fluffy Pumpkin Pie; also, the huge Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pretzel Shortbread Cookies.
But I’ve really been loving Food and Wine recipes lately. I get a daily newsletter, and so many feature dishes I’m dying to try. They skew towards fresh, ethnic, different and relatively easy, even if the list of ingredients is daunting. I’m cooking lighter these days and I like dishes with lots of flavor, that don’t take days to make. Dishes in my daily Food and Wine newsletter that I saved from last week include: Spicy Mango Pork with Noodles, Honey Pepper Coconut Shrimp and Green Curry Beef Skewers with Basil Oil. I’m always in search of new chicken recipes and Food and Wine delivers with Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Cast Iron Roast Chicken with Lentils and Walnut Vinaigrette and Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Even their snacks, like Popcorn with Sesame Glazed Pistachios and Pineapple Coconut Soft Serve, sound oh-so-tempting to me.
So without further ado, here are three Food and Wine recipes I’ve tried and liked and hope you will too. They are in my recipe in-box, as definite repeats. I made the Cilantro Salad last year and remembered liking it, so tried it again this year and “I do! I do like that dish!” I made it with jasmine rice, not leftover rice, substituted Chinese black bean sauce for the Chinese Chile paste and served it warm. If you don’t like cilantro, however, this is not the dish for you.
Cilantro Salad with Shallots and Shrimp by Amy Thielen
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
2/3 cup peanut oil 2 large shallots, cut into 1/4 inch slices 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more 1 1/2 pounds raw large shrimp, peeled with tails left on Pinch of black pepper 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (juice from 2 limes) 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger 1 tablespoon Hoban dan (Chinese Chile bean paste) 1 cup warmed cooked short grain white rice 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/2 cup roasted salted cocktail peanuts, crushed 2 bunches cilantro (stems and leaves) roughly chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
Step 1 Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add shallots; cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer browned shallots to a paper towel-line plate and season with a light sprinkling of salt. Reserve 3 tablespoons shallot frying oil; set aside. Leave remaining oil in skillet.
Step 2 Toss shrimp, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat skillet with remaining oil over high. Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
Step 3 Combine lime juice, sugar, ginger, Hoban dan, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add cooked shrimp, warm rice, red onion and peanuts, and stir to coat with the dressing, breaking up clumps of rice. Add cilantro and reserved 3 tablespoons shallot frying oil and mix to combine. Serve salad garnished with fried shallots.
I’m trying to eat more meat-free and always looking for interesting uses for tofu. If you are craving more protein, you could throw some shrimp, sliced pork or chicken into this. I added sautéed mushrooms to this dish to add a meatiness. I also upped the amount of soy sauce, added sake to the sauce and topped it with crushed peanuts, for some crunch.
Drunken Noodles by Bank Attcharawan October 2013
Total Time: 45 minutes
Vegetable oil 7 ounces firm tofu, cubed and dried (I seasoned it with togarashi) 1/2 cup chicken stock (or could use vegetable) 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted red chili paste (I subbed sriracha) 1 teaspoon black soy sauce of 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce with 1/4 teaspoon molasses 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1/2 large jalapeno, seeded and sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 red Thai bird Chile, minced (I didn’t have so used 1 jalapeno) 1/2 pound pad Thai noodles, cooked and cut in half Thai basil leaves Lime wedges, for serving
Step 1 In a nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil. Add the tofu and cooke over moderately high heat, turning until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Step 2 In a bowl, whisk the stock, oyster sauce, fish sauce, chili paste, soy sauce and sugar.
Step 3 In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and Thai Chile and stir fry over heigh heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the noodles and stir-fry until browned, 4 minutes. Add the sauce and toss over moderately high heat, until absorbed. Fold in 1 cup of basil and the tofu. Garnish with more basil and serve with lime wedges.
I like salmon raw and smoked, but I don’t like salmon cooked. I keep trying it different ways, experimenting with different recipes, hoping to fall in love. I made this the other night and, even though Zeke and I aren’t salmon-lovers, we did enjoy this dish, so that’s saying a lot. I served it with plain white rice, as it has a lot of flavor that you don’t want a side dish to compete with.
Roast Salmon with Miso Butter and Radish Salad by Jenn Louis
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp 2 tablespoons red miso paste Four 6 ounce center-cut salmon filets 1/4 cup canola oil Kosher salt Pepper 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar 6 radishes, thinly sliced 1/2 English cucumber, coarsely chopped 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 small jalapeno, sliced 1 garlic clove 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 2 tablespoons chopped mint 1 teaspoon togarashi
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 425. In a small bowl, mash the butter with the miso until blended. Rub the salmon all over with 2 tablespoons of the canola oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange in a baking dish. Spread the miso butter over the top of the fillets and roast until just opaque throughout, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Step 2 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil with the sesame oil and vinegar; reserve 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the dressing season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Step 3 Drizzle the dressing over the salmon. Serve with the salad.
Up Next: Mango Madness and Al Fresco Miami Spice Restaurants.