Posts from July 2016

Tasteful, not Wasteful, Celery Leaf Fattoush, Middle Eastern Riff from 'Eat it' Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Tasteful, not wasteful...Celery Leaf Fattoush recipe from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy (May 2016, Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC) by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

Celery Leaf Fattoush

This riff on the Middle Eastern pita bread salad uses celery leaves instead of flat-leaf parsley and puts stale pita to good use, too—double happiness. It’s a salad that begs for additions so feel free to throw in any extras that appeal—some cooked veg or meat, chicken, or fish, a few beans, or some nice, tangy cheese, such as feta or goat, would make this salad a meal.

Makes 4 servings

1 (9-inch) or 2 (4-inch) stale pita breads

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped

1 English cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, seeded and diced

1 small red onion or shallot, diced, rinsed under cold water, and drained

1 cup celery leaves, chopped

3/4 cup fresh mint, minced

2 cups chopped lettuce, such as iceberg or romaine

2 cups meal-maker additions, such as cooked veg or meat, chicken, or fish,

cooked beans, or feta or goat cheese (optional)


  • Chop or break the bread into bite-size pieces. Over medium heat, toast the pita in a medium-size sauté pan that has been coated with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the toasted pita pieces and remaining ingredients. Toss with the dressing, adjust the seasoning, and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Toss again and serve.

• Can be made up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerated

Eat It Up

(* Excerpted from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)          (* Celery Leaf garden pot photo by yours truly)


Dripping Sticky Sweet Juice, Roasted Plum Sorbet, from Annie Rigg 'Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits'

What can be more summery than dripping sticky sweet juice down your hands?

Make it happen with this sweet treat from Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits,  120 Sensational Sweet & Savory Recipes (Kyle Books USA, May 2016) by Annie Rigg...

Roasted Plum Sorbet

My sister and I meet for a “light” supper in Soho about once a month and the evening generally follows the same pattern each time. We aim to eat somewhere vaguely healthy—as we’re more often than not pretending to be watching what we eat—and then we amble through the streets of Central London to our favorite gelato bar and undo all the good we did earlier. This recipe is inspired by a sorbet that I had on one such evening in late summer, the scoops piled high into a waffle cone and dripping sticky-sweet plum juices down my hands—the perfect end to an evening.







Roasted Plum Sorbet

Once the plums have roasted, let them cool, then scoop all the fruit and juice into a bowl, picking out and discarding the pits, vanilla bean pieces, and cinnamon stick as you do so. Blend the plums until smooth—I find this easiest using an immersion blender, but otherwise transfer to a food processor—and then pass through a fine-mesh nylon sieve if you want a silky smooth sorbet. I don’t mind the odd speckle of plum skin in the sorbet but it’s down to personal preference.

Pour 3/4 cup cold water into a saucepan and add the granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the roasted plum purée. Let cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before churning in the ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

An ice-cream maker will make a lighter sorbet, but if you don’t have one, simply freeze the mixture in a plastic freezer-safe container, whisking it every couple of hours to break up the ice crystals. Once the sorbet has frozen, break it into manageable chunks, transfer into a food processor, and blend until smooth and light. Return to the freezer container and freeze until firm.

High res front

 ( * Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits,  120 Sensational Sweet & Savory Recipes' --Kyle Books USA, May 2016 -by Annie Rigg, Photography by Tara Fisher)

Oregon Beer and Cherry meets Texas Fig Daiquiri, Who Will Beat the Summer Heat?

On July 15, 2013, I Lifted a Leaf on Fig Daiquiri , a fresh alternative to strawberry version from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State (Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013) by David Alan, the Tipsy Texan .

Fig daiquiri

(* Fig Daiquiri Recipe from Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State by David Alan- Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2013- reproduced with permission of publisher)

Beer and Cherries: As in Spiked and Sensible, Cherry Lambic Sorbet Recipe from  The Sugar Cube (Chronicle Books, April 2012) by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni. 

Cherry lambic sorbet

3 years after book was published, Kir closed The Sugar Cube and since November 2015 has become the pastry chef at Renata's 

(* Recipe from The Sugar Cube by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni-Chronicle Books, April 2012- photography by Lisa Warninger- reproduced with permission of publisher, all rights reserved)

Happy Dance in Your Mouth, Coconut Galangal Broth from Soupelina 'Soup Cleanse'

Hopefully this 'happy dance in your mouth' will not turn so wild and rambunctious as to crack a tooth or two.

This is second recipe i  share from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse,Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books, February 2016) by Elina Fuhrman .

Coconut Galangal Broth

This creamy broth packs a punch, and the first time I made it, I did a happy dance in my kitchen. It also felt like a happy dance in my mouth. The broth is admittedly special and highlights Thai flavors, without them overwhelming one another. The delicate aroma and flavor that comes from galangal in contrast to coconut milk and lime juice create an addictive but healthy concoction.

Serves 8

+ Heat the coconut milk in a soup pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.

+ When boiling, add the galangal, lemongrass, sweet potato, and kaffir lime leaves.

+ Lower the heat, add the spring water, cover, and simmer for an hour.

+ Remove from the heat and let stand for about 20 minutes to absorb the flavors.

+ Discard the veggies and season with the salt and lime juice.

+ Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and serve hot.


  • 2 cups light coconut milk
  • 7 slices young galangal
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1-inch-long pieces and bruised
  • 1 medium-size sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 5 cups spring water
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


    If you’d like the broth creamy, add 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk before adding the spring water to the pot

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Soupelina's Soup Cleanse, Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life' by Elina Fuhrman -Da Capo Lifelong Books- February 2016) 

No Guillotine at 'Japan Cuts' 10th Annual Festival of New Japanese Film, Opening on Bastille Day, July 14

No Guillotine at Japan Cuts for 10th Annual edition of this Festival of New Japanese Film, Opening on Bastille Day, July 14

Festival counts among its special guests special guests Lily Franky, Atsuko Maeda and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Added to festival line-up is Microcinema, a free feature with 30 minute shorts from up-and-coming filmmakers in Japan. Shorts will begin playing at 11 AM on July 14 in the Murase Room, and will run throughout the festival. 

Festival opener is Mohican Comes Home about a struggling punk rocker who comes back home from Tokyo with girlfriend in tow to announce that to is family that she is pregnant. (Sold Out)


It concludes with 'The Actor' (below)


Festival runs until July 24, 2016 at Japan Society in New York.

Celluloid Heroes for Tokyo Thursdays #311

Previously: Tree House for Grown Up Escapes, Pilotis in a Forest from Jutaku, Japanese Houses

Meaty, Beefy and Pleasantly Chewy, Grilled Hanger Steak with Red Wine Sauce from Floyd Cardoz 'Flavorwalla

When Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz (Artisan Books, April 2016)  was published i served a  flavorful side, Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest and Mustard. Today, with grill season in full swing, you get the plat de resistance...

Grilled Hanger Steak with Red Wine Sauce

Serves 6

I much prefer hanger steak, with its strong, beefy flavor and pleasing chewiness, to more popular cuts such as tenderloin, which I find bland and even kind of mushy. But unlike with more mild and tender cuts, you can’t just throw a little seasoning on hanger steak and slap it on the grill. This recipe requires some advance planning, since hanger steak is best when it is marinated before cooking. A bold marinade complements the assertively flavored meat and tenderizes it a bit as well. Here I use a red wine with big flavor both to marinate the meat and in a reduced sauce—which incorporates the marinade after the meat is grilled. This way nothing—including all that great flavor—goes to waste. Demi-glace is a highly reduced, flavorful sauce based on dark veal stock. It is a time-consuming process to do at home, so I recommend buying good-quality demi-glace (see Sources, page 345).

Use the widest saucepan you have to make the sauce. The wider it is, the more quickly the sauce will reduce to the proper consistency.

For the Marinade

2 cups red wine, preferably cabernet or pinot noir

cup sliced shallots

4 garlic cloves, sliced

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins

Leaves from two 4-inch rosemary sprigs, lightly chopped

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground

2 pounds/907 grams hanger steak, trimmed into evenly sized steaks

Kosher salt

For the Sauce

2 cups red wine, preferably cabernet or pinot noir

6 allspice berries, coarsely pounded in a mortar with a pestle

One 2-inch rosemary sprig

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ to 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, ground medium fine

1½ teaspoons brown sugar, plus more if necessary

Kosher salt

½ cup demi-glace

Reserved marinade

156_Grilled Hanger Steak with Red Wine Sauce

  1. To prepare the marinade, in a large ziplock bag, combine the wine, shallots, garlic, ginger, rosemary, and pepper. Seal the bag and shake it to blend the marinade. Place the steaks in the bag, seal it tightly, and massage the bag to thoroughly coat the meat with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  1. Meanwhile, to prepare the sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine the wine, allspice, rosemary, vinegar, pepper, brown sugar, and salt to taste and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is reduced to one-quarter of its original volume (roughly ⅔ cup), about 30 minutes. Stir in the demi-glace. (The sauce can be prepared to this point up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)
  1. When ready to grill the steaks, prepare a high-heat grill.
  1. While the grill heats, remove the steaks from the bag; reserve the marinade. Pat the steaks thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season with salt. Set aside.
  1. If necessary, bring the sauce back to a simmer over medium heat. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency (the sauce should coat the back of a spoon), about 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and/or brown sugar if necessary.
  1. While the sauce simmers, grill the steaks for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or the desired doneness. Remove the steaks from the grill, transfer to a cooling rack, and let rest for about 6 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, strain the sauce and discard the solids.
  2. Thinly slice the steaks against the grain. Serve with the sauce.

Cooking Time: About 1 hour / Inactive Time: 4 to 24 hours for marinating

(* Excerpted from Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz (Artisan Books). Copyright ©2016. Photographs by Lauren Volo.)