Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spiced Syrup

It's the season of parties. Sometimes it's nice to give/get something other than a bottle of wine. I was going over to my friend Alice's last weekend and wanted to bring over a little hostess present. I always make ginger simple syrup for dark and stormies, but I wanted to make a spiced ginger syrup to be warming and holiday-inspired. This makes about 2 cups and it's great in cocktails. 

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 1/2" of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
A pinch nutmeg
A pinch allspice
3 cloves
3 peppercorns

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunday Gravy

I'm not Italian, but I can get behind the idea of Sunday gravy. We had a slider of that name from a stand of that name at Smorgasburg on Sunday and I was inspired to make my own. I gathered all the good looking meats from the store and set out for a long, slow cook. The flavor is so deep and strong and wonderful. I served it with fresh rigatoni but feel free to use your favorite pasta. Also, you can play around with the meat choices. Any traditional braising cuts of beef and pork work well, and some sausage for an extra bit of flavor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frersh Garganelli with Tangy Lamb Ragu

This is such a flavorful, hearty pasta - perfect for cold weather. Your house will smell amazing. I love using balsamic vinegar in braising. It adds such a nice flavor. I made the garganelli, but you can use rigatoni too. 

1 lamb shank
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 large onion, diced
1 small leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 
1 celery stock, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fresh Garganelli

Sundays are great for making pasta. I was cooking a lamb ragu and thought garganelli would be fun and good for the hearty sauce. It's a lot like ziti and has a great texture. You need a gnocchi board or ridged surface for rolling them. 

Makes enough for 4-6 people
2 cups flour
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp olive oil 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Black Garlic-Roasted Cornish Game Hen

This is a simple and tasty weeknight dinner. I used black garlic, but you can swap in regular garlic - just halve it and mash it to a paste. The black garlic is a sweeter more subtle garlic flavor. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thai Chicken Soup

This is a really light and flavorful soup. I recommend making your own stock, but store-bought is fine, too. 

Serves 4-6
2 lemongrass stalks, 1-2 hard outer layers discarded
2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced 
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 
2 tbsp vegetable oil 
2 quarts chicken stock
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, drained but reserving juice
2oz tamarind paste
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 Serrano chiles, thinly sliced
A little lime zest

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chicken Stock

Everyone always says one should make her own chicken broth. It's not always in the cards to have several hours to kill before you want to whip up some soup for dinner. This is why Sundays are great days for soup. I made this fantastic broth to go with a Thai Chicken Soup (recipe coming) that really depended on a flavorful broth. Yum! There was luckily a bit leftover so I poured the extra broth into a ziploc bag and popped it in the freezer to use on my next soup.

Makes about 3 quarts
3 lb chicken wings
any extra chicken bones you've been storing in your freezer (or just get a few more wings or other chicken parts)
4 quarts water
1 onion, quartered
8 garlic cloves, skin on
1 celery rib, quartered
1 carrot, quartered
6 parsley sprigs
1 large thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Put all ingredients in a large stock put and bring to a boil, skimming any froth. Reduce to a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, for 3.5 hours, occasionally skimming any foam and fat. Pour the stock through a sieve lined with damp paper towels and discard solids. Skim any fat.