Posts from July 2014

Not Going to Waste Good Kidneys with Eduardo's Fried Beef Kidney from 'Meat Hook Meat Book'

Not going to waste good kidneys with this recipe from The Meat Hook Meat Book by Tom Mylan (Artisan Books, May 2014).

Edoardo’s Fried Beef Kidney

Serves 2

1 fresh beef kidney, 1 to 2 pounds (weight varies)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying

93_Edoardo's Fried Beef Kidney

1. Pull off any membranes or fat on the outside of the kidney. Using a chef’s knife, slice it crosswise into 1/2- inch-thick medallions.

2. Toss the medallions with the vinegar in a bowl and set aside. Mix together the flour with a few good pinches each of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.

3. Heat the oven to 250°F.

4. Drain the medallions, rinse in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge each one in the seasoned flour and arrange on a plate to await frying.

5. Heat a few good-sized glugs of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the medallions a few at a time until nice and brown, about 2 minutes a side. Keep the finished batches warm in the oven.

Serve with a medium-bodied Italian red wine, like Nero d’Avola.

(Excerpted from The Meat Hook Meat Book by Tom Mylan- Artisan Books- Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell. Illustrations by Kate Bonner.)

Civilta del Bere Maps Italy's DOC's and DOCG's for us Mere Wine Mortals

A map, an infographic often tells us more, much more clearly than a long expose.

Italian wine magazine Civilta del Bere maps Italy's DOC's and DOCG's for us mere mortals.


Civilta del Bere's publisher, Alessandro Torcoli, elaborates on the map in How many DOC's are there in Italy? (Italian Wine Chronicle #8, July 30, 2014)

(* Map courtesy of 'Civilta del Bere', all rights reserved)

Breakfast Thai Style, Thai Fried Omelet from Andrea Nguyen 'Banh Mi Handbook'

Breakfast Thai Style, Thai Fried Omelet from The Banh MI Handbook,  Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches ( Ten Speed Press, July 2014) by Andrea Nguyen...

Thai Fred Omelet

Makes enough for 1 sandwich ■ Takes 5 minutes

With two eggs on hand, you can make a fried egg banh mi (banh mi trung)—breakfast for many people and my own favorite anytime food. The default is to make sunny-side up eggs or a French-style omelet, but I like to fry the eggs Thai style, in hot oil, for a fluffy, golden brown omelet with a bit of crispness. It’s brilliant, simple cooking.

2 pinches of black or white pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fish sauce or soy sauce
1 teaspoon water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil

Thai fried omelet

When the omelet has nearly set (it’s still wet but not jiggly), raise the heat to medium-high or high. Fry for about 1 minute, until the edges are golden and the bottom browns a bit. Use one or two spatulas to flip the omelet over. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds longer, or until the bottom picks up some browning. If you like, In a bowl, stir or whisk together the pepper, cornstarch, briefly refry the fish sauce, and water. Add the eggs and beat or whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Heat a wok or a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to thickly film the bottom (thick as a bean sprout). Heat until the oil is very hot, nearly smoking; a drop of egg dabbed into the oil should immediately sizzle and bloom.

Pour in the egg (from as high as 12 inches / 30 cm if you love drama). It should spread and puff like a self-inflating raft. Use a spatula to pull and push the edges toward the middle, allowing excess egg to flow out into the oil to expand the size of the omelet. Expect a crazy shape and uneven texture.
first side.

Drain and cool the omelet on a rack. Blot excess oil with paper towels, if you like, then fold it over before sliding into bread for banh mi.

Let this omelet fly solo in a Thai fried omelet banh mi with all the fixings, or use it with another filling, such as the grilled portobello (page 105) or the sardine and tomato sauce (page 76). Make 3 or 4 omelets for a round of banh mi lettuce wraps (page 120), cutting the omelet into bite-size pieces and drizzling on some spicy hoisin sauce (page 31).

Revive a cold omelet in a toaster oven preheated to 375°F (190°C) for 5 to 6 minutes, flipping midway.

(Reprinted with permission from The Banh MI Handbook by Andrea Nguyen, copyright © 2014.
Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Food Photography credit: Paige Green © 2014)

Polish- Japanese Fusion for the Summer Table, Polish Summer Soba Noodles from 'Salad Samurai'

Polish- Japanese fusion powers this third and last recipe from Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love (Da Capo Lifelong BooksJune 2014by Terry Hope Romero...

Polish Summer Soba Salad



Chilled soba noodles, a Japanese staple in many warm-weather dishes, are traditionally made with
buckwheat flour. While enjoying a cold sesame soba noodle salad on a steamy summer day, it hit me that buckwheat is also a staple in Eastern European cuisine. So here it is, a salad that infuses these earthy noodles with the rustic flavors found in Polish warm-weather salads: beets, cucumbers, and the requisite heap of fresh dill. White beans add a touch of richness and protein too.


1⁄2 pound uncooked beets, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon celery seeds
Pinch of salt and a few twists
of freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces soba noodles
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
1 cup cooked white beans
3 tablespoons chopped roasted walnuts

1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the diced beets on the parchment paper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, celery seeds, salt, and pepper and toss. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork.

2. Prepare the soba noodles according to package directions, but slightly undercook them to al dente. Drain, rinse with plenty of cold water, and transfer to a mixing bowl.

3. In another mixing bowl, combine the scallions, cucumber, and white beans. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a glass measuring cup or bowl, pour half over the bean and vegetable mixture, and toss. Add the remaining dressing to the soba noodles and toss.

4. Divide the soba noodles among serving bowls and twirl into a mound in the center of each bowl.
Spoon the bean and vegetable mixture over the soba, garnish with roasted beets, and sprinkle with
roasted walnuts. 

Other recipes from 'Salad Samurai' I previously shared:

-Grilled Kale Salad with Spicy Lentils

-Sweet Beet Drink with Dash of Kombucha and Ginger

(* Recipe from Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. June 2014- courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books)

It's Gnocchi Day in Argentina, July 29, Celebrate with Ricotta Gnocchi and Alta Langa Potato Gnocchi Recipes

It's Gnocchi Day in Argentina,  Ñoquis Del 29

Celebrate with Alta Langa Potato Gnocchi by Manolo Allochis...

Alta langa potato gnocchi

and Blooming Recipe, Ricotta Gocchi with Squash Blossoms and Clams by Fabio Viviani...

Ricotta gnocchi

Ricotta Gnocchi (first shared April 2013) by Fabio Viviani from Fabio's Italian Kitchen (Hyperion- April 24, 2013).

Alta Langa Potato Gnocchi (first shared August 2011) by Manolo Allochis from  from Italy's Great Chefs and their Secrets (White Star Publishers, 2010).

(* Recipe and photo from Italy's Great Chefs and their Secrets (2010), reproduced courtesy of White Star Publishers, all rights reserved...Photos by Luigi Rossi)

(* From FABIO’S ITALIAN KITCHEN by Fabio Viviani. Copyright © 2013, VF Legacy, LLC. Published by Hyperion in April 2013. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved)

Delicate, Calling to be Devoured, Almond, Rose Water, Chocolate Mallomar Chimneys

This delicate treat from Smashing Plates (Kyle Books USA, April 2014) by Maria Elia is calling to be devoured.

Almond, rose water, and chocolate mallomar chimneys

Mallomar chimneys are one of my favorite treats! Making them can take a bit of mastering, though, so this is a simplified version.

I’ve flavored the marshmallow with rose water and used an almond cookie for the base, but there are many variations you could try, including those I’ve suggested below.

Variations: Omit the rose water and flavor with some ground cinnamon and coffee; or use a
little orange flower water or star anise and orange to flavor the marshmallow.

Makes 16

For the cookie base:

1/4 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the marshmallow:
3 free-range egg whites
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons rose water, or a few drops of rose essence*
18 whole almonds (skin on), finely chopped in a food processor
101/2oz dark chocolate, 70 percent cocoa solids, broken into pieces

Almond, rose water

Start by making the cookie base. Cream the sugar and butter together until pale. Slowly add the milk, and don’t panic if it looks like a curdled mess. Sift in the remaining ingredients and stir to
form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/4in thick. Cut into rounds measuring about 23/4in in diameter.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (You can chill them overnight, or even freeze them, if preparing in advance.)

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until firm and golden, then cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the marshmallow. Put all of the ingredients except the almonds and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bowl and water don’t come into contact. Whisk by hand or with an electric mixer continuously for about 15 minutes, until the mixture has doubled in size and forms stiff peaks. Fold in the chopped almonds and spoon the marshmallow into a piping bag and set aside.

Put the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, again making sure the bowl and water don’t touch, until melted and smooth. Dip one side of each of the cooled cookies into the chocolate and place on a wire rack to set.

Make a small cut in the piping bag and pipe spiral marshmallow “chimneys” about 21/2in tall on top of each cookie. Let the teacakes set in a cool place for about 10 minutes and then nappe (coat) each
with the melted chocolate (you may need to re-melt it a little). Let the chocolate set for around 5–10 minutes before serving—if you can wait that long!

* Rose essence is more highly flavored than rose water, so just a few drops equals the strength
of a tablespoon of rose water. Use with care—too much, and you’ll end up with a teacake that tastes
like moisturizer! Taste as you go—you can always add, but you can’t take away.

(* Recipe excerpted from Smashing Plates by Maria Elia -Kyle Books USA, April 2014- Photography by Jenny Zarins, all rights reserved)

Roll Oats, Coconut Water, Orange, Mango and Yogurt into Frozen Breakfast Smoothie

How about breakfast on a stick from Coconut 24/7(Harper 360, US Edition, August 2014) by Pat Crocker...

Frozen Breakfast Smoothie

Makes 6 frozen pops

The fibre from the fruit and rolled oats combined with the coconut oil in this smoothie will keep you feeling full all morning, carrying you through to lunchtime or beyond. As a frozen treat, it makes a fast, healthy snack—perfect morning, noon or night as a grab-and-go option kids can easily get for themselves.

1 cup chilled pure coconut water
1 cup vanilla-flavoured Greek-style yogurt
1 cup frozen mango chunks
2 tbsp grated orange rind
2 oranges, separated into segments, seeds removed
1 tbsp large-flake rolled oats
1 to 3 tbsp softened coconut oil

Frozen Breakfast Smoothie image_CROCKER

1. In a blender, combine coconut water, yogurt, mango, orange rind, orange segments, rolled oats and oil. Secure lid and blend until smooth. Spoon into frozen pop containers and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Frozen mango chunks make this smoothie or frozen pop very thick, but you can use fresh mango, if desired. Try 1 cup frozen berries in place of the mango. You can substitute instant oats for the large-flake rolled oats.

If you’re new to using coconut oil, you may wish to start with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and gradually increase to 2 tablespoons over time.

(* Reproduced with permission from Coconut 24/7 'Easy Ways to Look and Feel Better' by Pat Crocker-US edition published by Harper 360, August 2014)