We Don’t Like Coconut

One recent Sunday afternoon, I was enjoying a dim sum brunch with friends. We chose a dessert to share called “Young Coconut.”  It was simply a peeled young coconut with a core hollowed out in the center, and a pointed lid atop, its shape reminiscent of a dreidel. It’s eaten by scraping one’s spoon around the sides of this core-cavity. What came up in the spoon was soft, white and sweet, of a texture that resembled the rennet custard I’d loved as a child. As the first voluptuous bit hit my tongue, I could hear my mother’s voice in my ear saying, “We don’t like coconut.”

I have always liked coconut. Read more »

Butterflied Leg of Lamb à la Provençale

As summer is winding down and the grilling season for many of us is coming to an end, I’d like to propose an easy and delicious alternative to the usual burgers, brats, dogs and ribs.Butterflied Leg of Lamb Provençale

Unless you’re experienced at butterflying, ask your butcher to do this for you. That’s the only tricky part. If you do try it yourself, make sure that the meat is the same thickness across the surface so it will cook evenly.

This is one of the most delicious and spectacular dishes you can cook on your grill. Your guests will be totally wowed by how fabulous it tastes, and how quickly it cooks. I made it for my friends Sunday afternoon. It disappeared quickly along with the Niçoise Potato Salad below and a delicious leafy greens salad contributed by one of my guests. We washed it down with several bottles of delicious Gigondas – perhaps the perfect accompaniment to a Provençal lamb dish. Read more »

Harbinger of Spring

Asparagus1Tall, slender stalks of asparagus standing at attention like soldiers guarding the pump on Uncle Loy’s farm come immediately to mind when I feel the first breezes of Spring. I’ve always loved asparagus. As toddlers, my sister and I used to pull up those first stalks, rinse them off under the cool water from the well, and eat them raw. When a plate of perfectly cooked spears are set before me, I anticipate their lovely crunch. They need no fancier topping than a touch of sweet butter and a splash of fresh lemon juice. I’m in heaven! Read more »

Chocolate Truffle Cake

a decadent treat for your Valentine

a decadent treat for your Valentine

The perfect dessert for your chocoholic Valentine, this cake is almost like a big truffle. It’s incredibly easy to make but no one will ever suspect. It benefits from being made a day or two ahead. Just don’t frost it until time to serve it. Read more »

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Hearty Beef Stew in Red Wine with Onions and Mushrooms)

hearty and warming dinner for a cold winter's night

hearty and warming dinner for a cold winter’s night

I can tell the story of my life with this dish. It was the first dinner I ever cooked for my family. I was eleven and used the recipe from Mom’s Joy of Cooking. We all loved stews and braised meats, so I made it many times. Then Julia’s version came along and mine took on new dimensions. Eating it in France brought still more depth. It is surely one of my favorite dishes to eat or to serve to loved ones, and the one I traditionally make for my birthday dinner.

This is an essential dish to have in your repertoire because, besides being heart-warming and delicious, it benefits from being prepared in advance and reheated; AND leftovers freeze well. What’s more, you may be surprised to learn that almost exactly the same recipe, when prepared with chicken instead of beef, becomes the world-famous (and equally tasty) Coq au Vin! [You are welcome to message me to obtain the transitional recipe.] Read more »

Souvenir de Julia

June with Julia ChildBoston was the host city for the 1989 IACP Annual Conference. When we were planning the kick-off media event (held in September 1988), Julia said she would be happy to host it at her home if the Boston IACP members would agree to cater the party.  I had recently developed this recipe for Scallop Mousse, and decided it would be my contribution.

Read more »

Linguine with Clam Sauce Deluxe

Linguine with Clam Sauce (always with canned clams in 1950-60’s Chicago) was a staple everynight dinner when I was growing up. My dad particularly liked the version with red sauce. Me, I liked both red and white, but always thought the white was “prettier.”  Read more »

Endives Salad with Sage/Sherry Vinaigrette

During my time in Paris in December I enjoyed a festive dinner with friends at Josephine, Chez Dumonet. Our evening started with a bottle of 1973 Doisy Daene Sauternes and foie gras. I suggested adding an Endives and Roquefort salad to our first course for the table, as Roquefort is also a classic pairing with Sauternes. Read more »

Shrimp with Dandelion Greens

Shrimp with Dandelion Greens

Shrimp with Dandelion Greens

(It’s good served hot or cold.)
makes 4 main dish servings, 6 small plates

1 pound wild Gulf shrimp1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
2 large bunches Dandelion greens (you can sub Spinach or Swiss chard if you like)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Read more »

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