Appetizers to Lamb to Vegetarian, Slowly Organizing Our Recipes in 15 Categories

After sharing recipes for a few years, I thought it was time to find a way to allow visitors to the site to narrow their search.

We started today with 15 categories listed with their respective links in right column of 'Serge the Concierge' after mother category Recipes.

The 15 categories (listed in alphabetical order using model Recipes: Appetizers) are Appetizers, Baking, Chicken, Chocolate, Cocktails, Fish and Seafood, Gluten Free, Ice Cream and Sorbet, Lamb, Non Alcoholic Drinks, Pork, Salads, Soups, Vegan and last Vegetarian.

Some recipes like Chilled Tofu with Crunchy Baby Sardines are referenced in 2 (or more) groups for Tofu with Sardines both under Appetizers and Fish and Seafood.

Panelle-1 (2)

So far about 40 to 50 recipes have been updated to reflect this friendlier way.

We will add the rest as quickly as we can and hope to be done by September 1st, 2013.

Let us know how you like the change.

(* Illustration is photo from Panelle, Sicilian Fritters, Gluten Free recipe from The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews- Chronicle Books, Fall 2011- reproduced with permission of the publisher- all rights reserved- Photography by Hirsheimer and Hamilton)

Slice That Steak, Tagliata with Green Tomatoes, Oregano and Mustard from 'Full of Flavor'

I first became aware of Maria Elia culinary talent thanks to her participation in Sani Gourmet festival in 2010 so i was delighted when Full of Flavor: 18 Ingredients...Endless Possibilities (Kyle Books USA, April 2013) landed in my mailbox.

Maria Elia turns these 18 ingredients into 100 plus recipes.

Each chapter opens up with a map of sort of options and attributes so you can create like a chef.

For example 'Oily Fish' she serves following facts and suggestions:

"Could be Mackerel that you can 'bring to life with tangy ginger, rice vinegar, rich sesame and salty soy sauce'. It is rich in Omega 3 and contains vitamins A, D and B12..."

First recipe I chose to share from Full of Flavor is an invitation to slice that steak.

Tagliata with Green Tomatoes, Oregano and Mustard 

This dish brings back fond memories of my time spent working in Tuscany. Tagliata literally means "to slice." In Tuscany, they usually make this with sirloin or tenderloin; personally, I think rib eye works just as well.

Serves 4

14oz green tomatoes (about 2 large), cores removed

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

sea salt

3 tsp chopped oregano leaves

pinch of crushed red pepper


2–4 tbsp demerara sugar, to taste

3 tbsp Savora mustard (if unavailable, use 11/2 tsp Dijon mustard)

1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar

For the steaks

2 rib-eye steaks, about 10oz each and 3/4in thick

dash of olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

2 handfuls of arugula

shaved Parmesan (optional) 

Full of Flavour Tagliata

To prepare the tomatoes, slice them 1/2in thick. Gently heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, remove from heat, add the garlic, and allow to warm through. Return the pan to the heat and add the tomatoes. Season with sea salt and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 10–15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened but still hold their shape. They should be sweet, but slightly sour. You may need to do this in batches depending on how large your frying pan is.

To prepare the steaks, drizzle them with olive oil and mix together some salt, pepper, and the rosemary and rub over the meat.

Preheat a ridged grill pan and briskly sear the steaks on either side for 2–3 minutes for a medium-rare result. Set aside to rest before slicing.

To serve, place the tomatoes on either individual plates or a large serving dish. Toss the arugula with the olive oil and place on top of the tomatoes.

Slice the steak diagonally into 3/4in pieces and loosely arrange over the arugula. Serve immediately, with shaved Parmesan, if desired.

(* Recipe from 'Full of Flavor' by Maria Elia- published by Kyle Books USA, April 2013-  reproduced with permission- Photography by Jonathan Gregson)

Skip Parade and Pub, Guiness Beef Stew Recipe for St Patrick's Day, from Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries

Skip parade and pub, read this recipe from Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries (Kyle Books USA, March 2013) by Clodagh McKenna.

Put shopping list together, invite some friends over, get cooking.

Guinness and Beef Stew 

The longer and the lower temperature that you cook this stew, the better the flavor. I recommend that you make it the day before you plan to eat it because the flavors concentrate much more. 

Serves 8

2 tablespoons butter

14 bacon slices, chopped

101/2 oz shallots, left whole

21/4 lb stewing beef, cubed

14 oz mixed wild mushrooms

1 quart Guinness

1 bouquet garni

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 


Preheat the oven to 325˚F. 

Put the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted add the bacon, followed by the shallots. Cook until golden brown and transfer to a large baking dish. 

Add the beef to the frying pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned all over. Transfer to the baking dish. 

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste and transfer to the baking dish. 

Return the frying pan to the stove over medium heat and use a whisk to scrape off all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan (this is where the flavor is). Pour in the Guinness and continue to whisk for another minute to deglaze the pan. Pour the Guinness and pan juices over the beef and vegetables in the baking dish. Add the bouquet garni, cover the baking dish and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Check the seasoning, remove the bouquet garni, and serve with roasted potatoes.

Add to St Patrick's Day recipe list

(* Recipe reproduced from Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries by Clodagh McKenna -Kyle Books USA, March 2013, all rights reserved)

Laughably Quick and Easy Pressure Braised Beef Recipe from 80 Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker

I gave you Steamed Eggplant with Sesame Seeds and Cuban Style Chicken Soup. Third helping from 80 Recipes for your Pressure Cooker (Kyle Books, 2012) by Richard Ehrlich is about braising.

My basic pressure-braised beef 

This is my basic braise, because it is laughably quick and easy. You can cook vegetables for serving with a few minutes of extra work, but if you’re lazy or pressed for time (or both), you can just cook the beef in the pressure cooker and prepare a side dish separately.

Serves 2

2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1¼ lb braising beef in four pieces

1 garlic bulb, cloves separated but unpeeled

2 carrots, quartered

2 celery ribs, quartered

8 oz smallish potatoes, unpeeled and halved

2 teaspoons flour

2 teaspoons brandy

14 oz canned chopped tomatoes

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon mixed herbs,such as herbes de Provence

salt and freshly ground black pepper

20100824KCPRESSURE 33150

Pour in enough vegetable oil to generously film the base of the pressure cooker, and heat to medium-high.

Brown the beef all over, for just a couple of minutes per side, to get some color into it. You will have to do this in at least two batches.

Pour off the excess oil from the pan and turn the heat down to low. Add 1 tablespoon fresh oil. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Stir briskly, scraping the base of the pan to dislodge the browning residue, then add the flour and stir well until it begins to take on a little color. Stir in the brandy and let it sizzle for a moment.

Put the beef back in, turn the heat up to high, and dump in the tomatoes, vinegar, herbs, wine, and seasoning.

Clamp on the lid. Bring up to full pressure, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the steam vent gradually.

The braising liquid can be reduced if you wish, in order to concentrate its flavor. Remove all the solid ingredients and simmer the liquid briskly for 5 minutes or so, then return the meat and vegetables to the pan and reheat quickly.

Note: the carrots and celery shouldn’t be served, as they are included to give flavor and will have cooked to extreme mushiness. If you want to have edible vegetables in the stew, cut up an extra pair of celery sticks and carrots. Cook the beef and vegetables for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and vent immediately. Put the additional celery and carrots in. Clamp on the lid.

Bring up to full pressure, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 5 minutes. Discard the long-cooked vegetables before serving.

(* Recipe from '80 Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker' by Richard Ehrlich, Kyle Books-May 2012, Photography by Will Heap, shared with permission of publisher)

Beef Tongue Time, Shhhhhh, Cat Got Your Tongue from Mugaritz, A Natural Science of Cooking

Not sure if beef tongue classifies as a summer dish, this recipe adapted* from Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking (May 2012; $49.95, Phaidon Press) by Andoni Luis Aduriz will surely get your guests attention.

Shhhhhh…Cat Got Your Tongue

This recipe requires advanced techniques, accurate measurements using the metric system, specialist equipment and professional experience to achieve good results.

Serves 4


The Caramelized Onion
500 g spring onion (scallions)
50 ml extra-virgin olive oil

The Tongue
1 x 800-g beef tongue

The Garlic
1 garlic bulb
20 ml extra-virgin olive oil

The Concentrated Jus
25 g carrot
50 g onion
1.5 litres water
500 g ox tail

The Flowers
16 bear’s garlic (Allium ursinum) flowers
The Presentation
20 ml extra-virgin olive oil



The Caramelized Onion
Peel the onions and slice them into fine julienne. Pour the oil into a pot. Add the onion and sweat over medium heat until it caramelizes and acquires a texture similar to translucent strands or filaments. Put the preparation in a colander to drain off the excess oil. Place the strands in a tightly covered container and refrigerate until required.

The Tongue
Put the tongue in a large pot with plenty of salted water, cover and leave to cook over a medium heat, bubbling gently for 6 hours. Remove the pot from the heat but leave the tongue in the cooking water until it cools down. Drain the tongue and peel the membrane covering it.
Use tweezers to break up the meat to obtain strings of tongue. Place these strings in a covered container and refrigerate.

The Garlic
Preheat the oven to 180°c (350°F). Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminium foil to keep in the moisture while cooking and to protect the cloves from direct heat. Put the wrapper garlic in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the garlic from the oven and carefully separate the cloves. Peel the cloves carefully and refrigerate them covered with a little virgin olive oil.

The Concentrated Jus
Wash the vegetables in a solution of vegetable disinfectant, rinse them, then chop them and add them to the water in a saucepan. Add the tail and simmer for 6 hours. At the end of this time, sieve (strain) the resulting jellied stock and reduce it gently in a pot on a flat top griddle or a gentle, uniform source of heat until you obtain a flavoursome, gelatinous jus with a firm texture. Salt to taste, cover and refrigerate.

The Flowers
Collect the flowers and place them between damp paper towels in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Presentation & Finishing
Gradually toast the tongue strings with the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan or skillet and place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. The texture will be similar to bristles, being almost crystalline and crisp. Warm the garlic, tongue and onion. Put the 3 ingredients in a salamander grill (broiler) or similar source of heat. With fine tweezers, mix the tongue strings with the onion strands to form a voluminous skein. Place a clove of garlic in the centre of a flat plate and cover with the tongue and onion skein. Pour a few drops of the concentrated jus over the tongue skein. Finally, rest the bear’s garlic flowers among the fibres of the dish.

(* Recipe adapted* from Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking (May 2012; $49.95, Phaidon Press) by Andoni Luis Aduriz, reproduced with permission of publisher)

Raw Pleasures, Beef Sirloin Tartare with Quail Eggs from Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook

As sushi calls for great seafood, steak tartare calls fortender cut of meat.

Last time, I had a taste of tartare was when I interviewed Jean-Marie Le Bourdonnec, the French boucher, in Brooklyn.

Depending on the guests you expect this week-end, the sirloin tartare recipe below from  The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook Haute Cuisine, Texas Style (Rizzoli, March 2012) by Helen Thompson could be an inspired replacement for beef sliders.

Beef Sirloin Tartare with potato crisps and quail egg



10 ounces lean Kobe beef, or prime sirloin, cut into ¹/8-inch dice

2 tablespoons finely diced gherkins

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 teaspoon chopped capers

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Sea salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


1 Idaho potato

4 cups peanut oil

Sea salt


4 quail eggs, yolks in their shells

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Sirloin tartare

Combine the beef, gherkins, red onion, capers, and chives in a chilled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Peel the potato and slice it paper thin, lengthwise, on a Japanese mandoline, then cut into 3 x 1-inch strips. Reserve the slices in a bowl of cold water.

Heat the peanut oil to 340 degrees F in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry. Fry the potato strips in the hot oil in small batches, stirring with a slotted spoon to cook evenly, until they are golden brown on both sides. Drain the hot crisps on paper towels and sprinkle them with sea salt.

When ready to serve, remove the tartare from the refrigerator and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss the tartare in the fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

To serve, place a 4-inch ring mold in the center of a chilled, round dinner plate and fill the mold with a quarter of the tartare mixture, packing it slightly at the edges. Carefully lift the mold off and repeat with the remaining three portions. Place one quail egg yolk in a shell in the center of each tartare serving, season the yolk with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and garnish the plate with the potato crisps. Serve immediately.

(* Recipe from 'The Mansion on Turtle Creek' cookbook by Helen Thompson published by Rizzoli USA March 2012, reproduced with permission, all rights reserved...Photographed by Robert Peacock)

Flavorful yet Delicate, Onion Braised Beef Neck Recipe from Whole Beast Butchery by Ryan Farr

In Whole Beast Butchery (Chronicle Books, Fall 2011), Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats in San Francisco spares no details and lives up to his by-line describing book as 'the complete visual guide to beef, lamb and pork'.

Nothing goes to waste as recipe below proves.

Onion Braised Beef Neck

Serves 8

The neck is one of my favorite cuts from any animal. It’s very flavorful yet still delicate, so you have to be careful not to over braise it. Adding white wine to this dish really takes it over the top, showcasing the flavor o the meat and at the same time cutting through the richness of the beef and cheese. I enjoy this braise over egg noodles; it’s an especially tasty version of Beef Stroganoff. You can substitute any of the braising cuts, such as short ribs.

Beef neck (see page 38),
Beef Neck about 2¼ in/5.5 cm thick 1 2.6 lb 1,189 g 21.4%
Fine sea salt (for initial seasoning) 1½ tsp 0.4 oz 10 g 0.2%
Coarsely ground pepper as needed
Grapeseed oil as needed
Yellow onion, cut lengthwise into 8 pieces 1 large 28.6 oz 810 g 14.5%
Carrots, peeled and cut into thick rounds 2 large 9.2 oz 260 g 4.6%
Fresh thyme sprigs, tied together 1 large bunch 1.6 oz 45 g 0.8%
Garlic, loose papery skin pulled off 1 whole head 1.6 oz 45 g 0.8%
and top one-third trimmed off
Fine sea salt (for cooking) 1½ tsp 0.4 oz 10 g 0.2%
Dry white wine 1½ cups 12.7 oz 360 g 6.5%
Scallions, white and green parts, 2 bunches 2.3 oz 65 g 1.2%
sliced and reserved separately
Unsalted chicken or vegetable stock 2½ qt 84.7 oz 2.4 g 43%
(water works, too)
Whole black peppercorns 1 tsp 0.2 oz 7 g 0.1%
Dry egg noodles, cooked ½ lb 8 oz 226 g 4%
Cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces ½ cup 4 oz 112 g 2%
Freshly grated Parmesan 6 tbsp 1.4 oz 40 g 0.7%


· Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C/gas 3. Butterfly the neck to form a rectangle. Season all over with the salt and lightly with pepper. Roll into a cylinder and make the first tie in the center. Continue,
alternating ties above and below to form a firm cylinder about 4 inches/10 centimeters in diameter.
Cut between the ties into approximately 31/2-inch-/9-centimeter-thick medallions.
· In a large ovenproof braising pot of Dutch oven, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (depending
on the size of the pot) over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the medallions and
sear until nicely colored on all sides.

· Scatter the onion, carrots, and thyme over the meat. Halve the head of garlic lengthwise and place the
halves, cut-side down, directly on the hot surface of the pot. Cook for 5 minutes and then season with
· Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the whites from scallions, the stock, and the peppercorns, and
bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a large sheet of parchment paper, pressing it down so that it
touches the surface of the liquid and extends up the sides and over the rim of the pot. Place the lid
over the parchment and transfer the pot to the oven. Braise for about 2 ½ hours, until the meet is very
tender. (check every 30 to 45 minutes and lower the heat by a few degrees if the liquid is simmering
briskly—it should barely quiver.)

· Remove the pot from the oven. Lift off the parchment and discard it. remove all the meat and garlic,
setting them aside in a bowl. Strain the braising juices into a large saucepan and discard the remaining
solids. Squeeze the softened garlic cloves into the braising juices and simmer actively over mediumhigh
heat, until reduced by about half.

· Meanwhile, pull apart the meat into bite-size chunks and add them to the pan with the reduced juices.
Simmer for 5 minutes, until warm.

· Add the noodles, scallion greens, butter, and half of the Parmesan to the pan; stir gently. Remove the
pan from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

· Ladle the mixture into bowls, distributing all the tasty morsels equally. Sprinkle with the remaining

(* Recipe from Whole Beast Butchery by Ryan Farr with Brigit Binns-Published by Chronicle Books- Fall 2011- Photographs by Ed Anderson. All rights reserved...Illustration is Forequarter, Neck, Step 7...A cross section of the chuck)