Food Wishes Video Recipes
Potatoes Romanoff - This Didn't Stay in Vegas
They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but that’s mostly because people just don’t remember exactly what happened. Happily, that’s not the case with this incredible Potatoes Romanoff recipe. About 10 years ago, I took a trip to Las Vegas with a group of food writers, and while I don’t recall much, I do remember learning how to make this ingenious potato gratin from Chef John Schenk, at his restaurant, Strip House.

He credits his Mom for the recipe, but the shallots and white pepper scream, “This was adapted by a restaurant chef!” Which reminds me, if you do use shallots for this, be careful. Since they go in raw, a little will go a long way. To play it safe, you can always sauté them in a little butter to take off the sharp, raw edge. Besides shallots, some thinly sliced green onions would be great, as would sautéed leeks, or even just finely minced yellow onions.

This would be a great side dish for those large holiday gatherings, since it can be made the day before, and then baked when needed. And as I said in the video, you can embellish this with all sorts of stuff, including such obvious choices as bacon, or fresh herbs, but no matter how you personalize it, I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 portions:
3 very large russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), scrubbed clean
1/4 to 1/3 cup minced shallots, raw, or sautéed for a milder flavor
3 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons fine salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
2 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 3/4 cups sour cream

- Bake at 425 F. for 30-35 minutes, or until browned and piping hot.
Pumpkin-Shaped Dinner Rolls – Your Guests Will Blow Their Gourds
The holidays are almost here, which means “show-off” baking season is almost here, and these pumpkin-shaped dinner rolls are just the thing to impress your guests, and more importantly, drive your culinary rivals mad with envy. Sure these take about 20 minutes longer to make than your already perfectly fine dinner rolls, but that’s nothing when you consider all the compliments that will be coming your way.

This very Instagram-friendly roll is the perfect thing to bring to that holiday gathering, and can be made using your favorite dinner roll recipe. The key here is well-oiled string, and being careful not to tie it too tightly. If the string gets embedded too deeply into the dough, it will tear the roll when you try to remove it, and there’s nothing that stops something from being cute, quite like a jagged tear.

By the way, if you don’t feel like tying all those knots, you can try and do this with one long piece of string, winding it around the dough ball, as you turn it, but I find that method harder, and less successful. Faster yes, but not as visually appealing once baked.

If you do a video search for this type of roll, you’ll also see people simply cutting slashes around the outside, which sort of works, but it just doesn’t come out as adorable. But, regardless of which roll recipe, or shaping method you use, I really do hope you give these pumpkin-shaped dinner rolls a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 “Pumpkin” Dinner Rolls:
(be sure to save a few tablespoons of dough for the stems)
1 cup warm milk
1 package dry active yeast
1 or 2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons melted butter
3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon fine salt
kitchen string
vegetable oil for strings
- Bake at 375 F. for 20-25 minutes
- Feel free to give these an egg wash before baking if you want a shinier look.
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes – My Favorite Frosted Muffin
Banana, walnut, and chocolate are always an amazing combination of ingredients, no matter what the delivery system, but it really doesn’t get any better than in this ganache-frosted cupcake. A close second would be a chocolate-dipped frozen banana, rolled in walnuts, which is also a great treat, although much more awkward to eat in public.

Just be sure to buy your bananas way ahead of time. Using green bananas would be one of the few ways to mess this up, so I’d pick some up at least a week ahead of time, and wait until they’re starting to turn black before using them. For some extra flavor, a little banana liqueur wouldn’t be a bad idea, but these were great as is.

I thought the dark chocolate ganache was a perfect frosting, especially after trying them with a banana-based buttercream, which ended up being way too sweet for such a decadent cupcake. Of course, you can skip the frosting all together, and simply make a batch of the world’s best chocolate, walnut, banana muffins. Either way, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 Chunky Monkey Cupcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
12 banana chip for garnish, optional
- Bake at 350 F. for about 25 minutes.

For the Dark Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup very hot, but not boiling cream
- Pour cream over chips, wait a few minutes, and stir. Wait until mixture is cool enough to be spreadable.
Bombay Breakfast Potatoes – Just Exotic Enough
I like to think of myself as a fairly adventurous eater, but when it comes to breakfast, I usually fall into the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” school of thought, and home fries are a perfect example. I mean, what improvement can you possibly make to perfectly pan-fried, crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle breakfast potatoes?

Maybe this is just semantics, since these Bombay breakfast potatoes aren’t really supposed to be an improvement, but rather a slightly more exotic change of pace. In any event, they were absolutely delicious, and while definitely different than your average diner fare, they managed to retain an acceptable degree of comforting familiarity. And for that, I will mostly credit the texture.

Like I said in the video, even if you don’t plan on using the Indian-inspired spicing, you’ll want to pay attention to the cook-first, fry-later approach. While it does take a little bit of planning ahead, the pay off is substantial. By boiling first, and then thoroughly chilling before you panfry, the starches on the surface “gelatinize,” which makes all that irresistible crispiness possible.

Above and beyond the textural advantages, by prepping the potatoes the night before, you’re making things pretty easy for yourself the next morning. Just toss them into the hot pan, and by the time your eggs are cracked, beaten, and scrambled, your home fries should be just about done. So, no matter how you season yours, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 small portions:

Spice mix:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 large russet potatoes, cut in 16ths, cooked in well-salted water
salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup green onions
1/4 cup diced hot and/or sweet peppers
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Lazy Pork Dumplings – Now with 100% Less Pleating
What started as an attempt to streamline the fabrication of pork dumplings, ended as a pretty decent shortcut version for making Xiao Long Bao. If you’ve ever had soup dumplings, you know there’s nothing quite like them. The way the rich, meaty juices gush out when you bite in, is one of the world’s great eating experiences, and while these don’t provide quite the same sensation, if served in a broth, they’re close enough for me.

Even if you don’t serve them in a soup, this much quicker, and casual production method will work just as well, whether they get steamed, boiled, or fried. And don’t feel like you have to stay with the Asian theme here. I’m really hoping someone does an Italian twist, using some type of meat-based ravioli filling.

If you’re going to freeze these for future use, be sure to do that while they’re sitting on a lightly floured tray. Then, once frozen, you can transfer them into zip-top bags. If you try to bag them, and then freeze, you may go back to having one giant dumpling.  Anyway, whether you’re planning on eating these now, or later, or both, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 32 Lazy Pork Dumplings (4 servings):

For the filling:
1 pound ground pork
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon very finely minced or grated ginger
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced chives
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Korean chili flakes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the broth (1 cup broth per serving):
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon Korean chili flakes

For the dough (enough to wrap 2 batches of dumplings):
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
--> -->
Yorkshire Pudding – Don’t Call it a Popover
If you’re going to be slightly underwhelmed by the dry-aged Prime Rib you waited 42 days to roast and eat, you might as well whip up some Yorkshire puddings with the rendered fat, to help make up for it. That’s the classic fat in which to make these puffy pastries, and while any high-temp oil will work, there’s nothing quite like actual beef drippings, and without it, you’re just eating a popover.

Of course, every time I make these, I can’t help but wish I could experience them in their original form. As legend has it, these were cooked in a pan of fat, situated at the bottom of a hearth, underneath a large piece of roasting beef. The smoky heat from the fire, along with all the other goodness dripping into the pan from the meat, must have made for quite the memorable treat. Which is a good thing, since for most of the people hanging out around the roast, that’s all they probably got to eat.

If you happen to make the larger ones, using a popover pan, you’ll need to cook them at 375 F. for a little longer time. Maybe 10 minutes more at least, but don’t go by time. We basically want these as browned and puffy as possible, so leave them in as long as you feel is safe. No matter how big you make these, or what you fill the leftover ones with, I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 small or 6 large Yorkshire Puddings:
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7/8 cup all-purpose flour (almost a cup)
1 cup whole milk
about 3/4 cup melted beef fat
- heat oil at 400 F. for 10-15 minutes, then fill and bake for 25 minutes more, or until browned and fully puffed. If doing the larger ones in a popover pan, bake at 375 F. for about 7-10 minutes longer.
Dry-Aged Prime Rib – I Waited 42 Days to Be Confused
If you’re thinking of dry-aging your very own Prime Rib of Beef for the holidays, then you really need to watch this video. You might learn a thing or two, and there’s even a chance you’ll still want to do it. By the way, I’m not trying to discourage you, since it is a fun, and fascinating foodie project, which does produce a delicious, juicy, and tender Prime Rib, but if you’re after “that funk,” then like me, you may be a little disappointed.

I’ve dry-aged meat before, but never longer than a week or so, and after doing lots of research (mostly on Serious Eats), I knew I’d have to go at least 30 days to enjoy any kind of noticeable change in favor. So I decided to go well past that, and ended up aging it for 42 days before it went into the oven. It looked great, and it smelled great, but ultimately it did not have the level of funky fermented goodness I was after.

I’m not sure if I needed to go even longer, or my garage fridge is lacking in desirable bacteria, or my saltwater wipe-down sterilized the surface, but whatever the reason, I was left with nothing more than an amazingly juicy, tender, and delicious Prime Rib. That’s not something you’d normally complain about, but after waiting 6 weeks, I wanted more.

So, if you have any advice or theories as to what happened, or didn’t happen, please pass them along. I’m assuming a few of you brave souls will give this a go, and if you do, I’d love to hear about your experience. In the meantime, I’m going to make an extra funky blue cheese butter to serve with the leftovers, and pretend. Enjoy!

1 Bone in Prime Rib (mine was 10 pounds, 8 1/4 after aging)
enough salt to season generously
For the salt wipe:
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Roast at 500 F. for 20 minutes, then reduce to 300 F. (or lower), and continue until you reach your desired doneness. I usually pull at 122-125 F. to get something close to a medium rare after resting.
Walnut Crusted Chicken Breast – It’s all About the Nut Glue
I almost never order a nut-crusted entrée in a restaurant, since they usually use a sugary glaze to hold them on, and/or feature a too sweet nut, like pecan, or macadamia. That’s not an issue here; since we’re going with buttery, subtly bitter walnuts, held on with a very savory “nut glue,” made with a garlic and mustard base.

I like this approach so much better, especially since it allows me to do a little bit of a sweet pan sauce, featuring honey, which is a classic pairing with both walnuts and mustard. Above and beyond the ingredients in your nut crust, the protection this layer of deliciousness provides can actually make a boneless, skinless chicken breast seem like it was just carved off a freshly roasted carcass. As long as you don’t overcook it, that is.

I caused a little stir on Twitter yesterday, when I said (in so many words) that you don’t need to cook chicken breast to 165 F. internal temperatures, as the FDA would like you too. I said, accurately I believe, that 150 F. is plenty hot enough, as long as it holds the temperature for at least five minutes. I think it’s so much better that way, but I’ll leave that up to you, and your probe thermometer. Regardless of how long you cook it, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Servings:
For the “nut glue:”
4-6 cloves finely crushed garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
For the rest:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each)
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
For the pan sauce:
all the pan drippings
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey

- Roast for 25 minutes at 375 F., or until an internal temp of 150 F.
5-Minute Fisherman’s Stew – Give or Take
Of course this Fisherman’s Stew takes more than five minutes to make, and I’m actually referring to the approximate cooking time once the seafood hits the pan, but as they say, it’s only false advertising if someone else does it. Besides, one taste and I’m sure you’ll forgive any temporal exaggerations. If, that is, you use really great seafood.

A recipe this simple has many advantages. It’s fast, easy, and doesn’t require a ton of prep, but the downside is, there’s nowhere to hide sub-par ingredients. So, unless you’re going to splurge on the freshest, sweetest, most pristine seafood you can find, you may want to look for another recipe.

Above and beyond that very critical directive, you’ll also want to be sure your brothy base is aggressively seasoned before you toss your seafood in. Since we don’t season the fish and shellfish directly, we need to make sure we have enough salt, and whatever else you’re using, to go around. Other than that, not much can go wrong, and assuming there’s some crusty bread nearby, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Portions:

For the brothy base:
1 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes (if your tomatoes aren't nice and sweet, toss in a teaspoon of sugar)
2 cups fish stock, clam juice, or if time are tough, water
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste

For the rest of the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 very thinly sliced fennel bulb
salt to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
8 ounces firm white fish, like halibut or sea bass, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
8 peeled and deveined raw shrimp
8 ounces cleaned, ready to cook calamari
12 mussels, scrubbed clean
12 clams, scrubbed clean
some crusty bread
Pear Clafoutis – Almost as Good as it Looks
It sounds odd to say that a recipe’s biggest problem is that it looks too good, but that’s sort of the case with this pear clafoutis. Through no fault of its own, this crust-less, custard fruit tart looks a lot sweeter, and richer than it actually is. So, please be sure to adjust yours and your guest’s taste buds accordingly. Of course, you can make this sweeter, with more sugar, or richer, with some cream instead of all milk, but there’s something to be said for those rare recipes that I would describe as, “just sweet enough.”

Which reminds me, be sure to taste whatever fruit you’re using for sweetness, since you may want to adjust the sugar level based on that. Another key, especially if you’re using pears, or apples, is to make sure you slice them thin; otherwise they will not cook through by the time your custard is cooked.

As I mentioned you could cook the fruit first, but I’ll leave that up to you. If you use the traditional cherries, or something like tender juicy berries, this will actually cook faster than the time is given here, so I’d start checking for doneness after about 25 to 30 minutes. Speaking of different fruits, apparently if we don’t use cherries, this is referred to as a “flognarde,” which I’ll never get tired of saying. Hilarious names aside, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 portions:
(The baking dish I used was 10-inch wide)
2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter, divided (one for pan , one for top)
3 generous cups thinly sliced sweet, ripe pears
1/2 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
For the batter:
3 large eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar depending on fruit’s sweetness
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

- Bake at 350 F. for about 45 minutes, or until fruit is soft, and custard is cooked.
Bloody Mary Burrata – An Experiment in Liquefying Salads
I don’t think there’s actually a difference between a liquid salad, and a cold vegetable soup, but if there is, I’d like this Bloody Mary Burrata recipe to be considered the former. Especially since I already posted a gazpacho this summer. But regardless of what you call this strange hybrid, it really was delicious, fun to eat, and very refreshing.

I was recently gifted some homemade Bloody Mary mix by a couple of new friends, Clayton and Linda-Marie, which unfortunately I haven’t been able to enjoy yet. However, the combination of seeing that on the counter, along with a tub of burrata cheese in the fridge, led to this rather odd attempt. While the Bloody Mary part of the equation completely dominated the tomato and mozzarella salad element, I still found this thoroughly enjoyable to eat, which at the end of the day, is all that matters.

I’m not exactly sure how best to serve this, but a small portion as a starter would seem to make the most sense. Or, maybe a larger serving, paired with a crusty hunk of bread as a brunch item. Vodka sold separately. So, whether you’re going to take this idea and run with it, or you’re just going to do the first part, and make some real Bloody Marys, I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions of Blood Mary Burrata:
2 pounds fresh vine-ripened tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced hot or mild red peppers
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 cup water
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons hot prepared horseradish, or to taste
2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

For Service:
1 cup Blood Mary Burrata base
2 ounces burrata cheese, or fresh mozzarella
sliced olives, celery, and cherry tomatoes to garnish
freshly grated horseradish root for the top
freshly ground black pepper and olive oil to finish, optional
Crispy Butcher’s Nuggets – Parts is Parts
While our homemade butcher’s nuggets won’t feature the same diversity of meat parts as the butcher shop, at least they won’t feature the same diversity of meat parts. Seriously, those folks will put anything into a sausage or meatball. All kidding aside, these crispy fried meatballs will have you wondering why non-chicken nuggets aren’t more popular.

I went with a fairly restrained combo of just beef and lamb, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little more adventurous. Using pork is an obvious choice, and as I mentioned in the video, I think chicken livers would be amazing in this. Above and beyond the meat choices, you also have lots of artistic freedom when it comes to the shape, and what dipping sauce you pair them with.

At Fern Bar in Sebastopol, where I stole the idea, they’ll switch up the ingredients depending on what’s around, as well as change the sauce underneath, although it’s almost always something a little bit on the sweet side. Of course, our “secret sauce” (shhhhhh) goes with everything, but deciding how to tweak that to match your meats is half the fun. The rest of the fun is eating these butcher’s nuggets, and lots of them, which I hope you do very soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 18 to 20 Butcher’s Nuggets:
Note: the scoop I used to portion holds about 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture.

For the nuggets:
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
1 teaspoon finely minced rosemary
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup milk
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground beef

For the breading (amounts as needed):
all-purpose flour
beaten eggs (I used 2 large eggs)
panko breadcrumbs

For the secret sauce:
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle

- Fry nuggets at 375 F. for about 3 minutes, then let rest 3 minutes before serving.
Chef John is On Vacation and More
That's right! I'm on vacation for the rest of the week, and the beginning of the next, which usually means a lot of rest and relaxation, but not this time. That's because Michele and I are going to be working harder than ever on a major, top secret personal project. No, not a cookbook, or a TV show, or anything else that you'd probably guess, but major nonetheless. We can't share the details just yet, but I can say it's going to be an exciting Fall! In the meantime, enjoy a few reruns, and I'll be back with a new video before you can say, "Kismet."

Baked Philly Cheesesteak Sliders – Go Giants!
The Philly Cheesesteak is a simple sandwich to make, as long as you’re making them in a restaurant. To make a proper one, you need a professional meat slicer, and a very hot flattop grill, which aren’t things most people have at home. 

That’s why I loved this baked slider method so much. It’s really close in taste and texture, plus, as I mentioned in the video, the small rolls make me feel like a big man.

I love the combo of provolone and cream cheese here, but if you’re a Cheese Wiz head, you can easily switch in some mild orange cheddar, and you’ll swear you’re at Pat’s. Of course, you could just skip the cream cheese, and actually use Cheese Whiz, but I really hope you don’t. 

Speaking of feeling like a giant, football season is upon us, and I can’t think of a better sandwich to make for your buddies coming over to watch the game. Especially if they’re from Philly, and don’t like the Giants, since you can share my theory with them. Regardless, I really do hope you give these baked Philly cheesesteak sliders a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 10 Baked Philly Cheesesteak Sliders:
10 mini sandwich rolls, or crusty not-sweet dinner rolls
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound top sirloin steak
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sliced, or chopped pickled peppers
1/2 cup soft cream cheese
1 1/2 cups provolone cheese for filling, plus at least 1 cup more for tops
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Note: Be sure to taste your filling for salt before stuffing rolls

- Bake at 425 F. for about 15 minutes.
American Goulash – Just Like the Non-Hungarian Lunch Lady Used to Make
One of my all-time favorite comfort food meals growing up was the beef goulash served in my school cafeteria, which came with a slice of buttered white bread, and an ice-cold carton of milk. Little did I know that it wasn’t really goulash, but an Americanized version, invented, I’m guessing, to stretch a small amount of beef into enough food for a not so small family.

Real goulash is like a beef stew, and I’m pretty proud of this version we posted a while back, but while it’s a wonderful recipe in its own right, it just doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as this version. So, you can imagine my disappointment the first time I ordered beef goulash, and actually got beef goulash. Anyway, live and learn.

Not much can go wrong here, as long as you don’t under-cook, or horribly over-cook the macaroni. So, set your timer for 10 minutes, and start checking. We want the pasta very tender, but not falling apart. By the way, this goes by many names, including American Chop Suey, Chili Mac, Johnny Marzetti, and my personal favorite, Slumgullion. No matter what you call this, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds ground beef
4 cloves garlic minced
2 generous teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
cayenne to taste
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs (blend of oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, parley, basil)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (24-ounce) jar prepared marinara sauce, rinsed with 1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 rounded cups elbow macaroni
1 packed cup shredded white cheddar cheese
Freshly chopped Italian parsley
Cherry Tomato & Cheese Galette – Perfect for First Time Growers
When people grow cherry tomatoes for the first time, they often make the mistake of planting more than one or two bushes, which a few short months later usually means a ridiculously large harvest, as in more cherry tomatoes than you can possibly use. Well, this cherry tomato and cheese galette might help, a little.

While “galette” sounds a little fancy, they’re actually one of the easier type of pies to make, and above and beyond the simple technique, they are incredibly adaptable to whatever is in season. Whether that’s sweet fruit, or savory vegetables, there are very few things you can’t galette.

Just be sure to bake them long enough, since the bottom needs to brown, as well as you want whatever filling you’re using to dry out a bit. Your oven time will vary depending on the exact size and shape of your galette, so once you take it out, peak underneath to make sure it’s browned. Basically, you should bake this as long as you possibly can, without it burning, so be brave.

This will also work with larger, sliced tomatoes, but just be careful you let them drain on some towels first. Other than that, there’s not much else to worry about, except what to do with those other 5 pints of cherry tomatoes. Even if you have to go to the store to buy yours, I think this is well worth the trip, and I really do hope you give this cherry tomato galette a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one 12-inch pizza pan sized galette:
For the dough:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn meal
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, frozen
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
8 ounces soft goat cheese or other fresh cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons sliced basil
For the rest:
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon
sea salt to sprinkle over the top once cooled, optional

- Bake at 425 F. for 30-35 minutes or until well browned. To be safe, place a foil-lined pan on rack under galette to catch any possible drips.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas – Flatter Wasn’t Faster, But Still Fabulous
I’ve wanted to do a homemade red enchilada sauce video for a while now, and not just one. Eventually, I need to film a proper Mexican-style enchilada sauce, but first, may I present the faster, easier, but still very delicious, Tex-Mex version. Speaking of faster, I thought by stacking these, they’d be a little quicker to make, but they took the same time as rolled ones. That means they’re both fast and easy.

Since we are taking the shortcut of using dried chili powder, be sure to at least get a nice one. I used ground Ancho, which is very nice, but what isn’t nice is that old bottle of chili powder you’ve had in the pantry since the 90’s. If you live in some remote location, go on the Internet and order something fresh. Besides using it in this, your next pot of chili will also be grateful.

If you’re making the sauce ahead of time, it’s a good idea to heat it up first before assembling your enchiladas, so they are warm going in the oven. Otherwise, you’ll need to give them some extra time in the oven, so they get completely heated through. I love chicken enchiladas more than someone probably should, but this same preparation done with shredded, stewed beef, is not to be missed. Either way, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy! 

Ingredients for 2 1/2 cup Red Enchilada Sauce:
(enough for 4 to 6 Portions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, depending on how thick you like it
2 tablespoons ground chili powder, like ancho
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
cayenne to taste
small pinch cinnamon
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Fillings for each enchilada:
3 small corn tortillas
2/3 cup shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup shredded pepper or regular Monterey Jack cheese, plus more as needed
chopped cilantro and green onion, as needed
sour cream, and guacamole to garnish
Confetti Rice Salad – Celebrating Your Improved Knife Skills
If you don’t do a lot of cooking, this confetti rice salad recipe might be the kind of thing you disregard, since it probably appears to require lots of slicing and dicing, which is true, but that’s a bad reason to not make it. That would be like not using real confetti for your celebration because it’s hard to clean up.

The truth of the matter is, with very little practice, all the veggies for this salad can probably be prepped in less than 15 minutes. In fact, this would be a great recipe to set your benchmark, and then see how you improve over time. Or, just use a food processor to chop everything. Either way, it’s worth the effort.

Obviously, you can adapt this recipe a thousand different ways, and I’m not just talking about which vegetables you toss in. If you want something creamier, you can add some mayo, or sour cream, or any combination of both. If you do, I’d cut back on the oil and vinegar a bit, but either way, make sure you hold back some of whatever you’re dressing this with.

Any dressing you add before it goes in the fridge will be full absorbed, and I think the texture is much nicer if we moisten the salad with more before service. That’s up to you also, but we don’t want our confetti rice as dry as the real stuff. Other than that, not much can go wrong, and I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 portions:
2 cups white long grain rice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups boiling water
- Place in 9 x 12 baking dish, cover, and cook rice for 35 minutes, then let rest 10 minutes, before fluffing.
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup sliced blanched green beans
1/2 cup finely diced blanched carrots
2 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1 large orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup red onions
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
cayenne to taste
3/4 cup sherry and/or rice vinegar (add 1/2 cup before fridge, and 1/4 cup after)
3/4 cup olive oil (add 1/2 cup before fridge, and 1/4 cup after)
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
Penang Pork Satay – Maybe Just Like the One at the “Penang Pork Satay”
I’m not exactly sure how much pork satay they eat in Penang, or if they flavor it like I do here, but I’m fairly confident that if I handed one of these skewers to your average pork-loving Malaysian, they would enjoy it. By the way, I did a search, and there’s actually a restaurant in Penang called, “Penang Pork Satay.” It doesn’t get great reviews, but if you’ve happened to try it, please let me know how this compares.

Like I said in the video, a satay marinade usually gets a splash of coconut milk, but I think it’s perfectly fine without. Besides adding a little sweetness, it also apparently helps tenderize the meat, but we have both those things covered here, with the sugar, ginger, and turmeric. Of course, by opening a can, you’ll force yourself to make curry with the rest, so either way is a win.

As far as the grilling time goes, we simply want to cook it through, and then stop, which is going to happen in a relatively short amount of time. That’s what I like a fairly large size chuck of pork, so we have enough time to get that beautifully brown, crusty exterior. If you don’t have, or can’t use a grill, you should definitely make this anyway. It would work just about the same under a broiler set on high, or roasted in a 500-degree oven. Regardless of how you cook it, or whether you tweak the ingredients, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the marinade:
2 to 3 inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled, sliced or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2-inch piece ginger root, sliced
1 large or 2 small shallots
8 to 10 garlic cloves
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ancho or other ground chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chipotle
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems

- Mix and marinate for 4 to 18 hours, then grill until cooked through.
Baltimore Peach Cake – Infested with Beauty and Deliciousness
I’ve never been to Baltimore, so I can’t comment on the current state of affairs, but what I can tell you is that this easy to make, yeast-based “cake” really is amazing, and would have been even more so with a few minor tweaks. I was afraid of it coming out too dry, so I went with a very wet dough, and also didn’t bake it quite as long as I could have, but these are easy fixes, and my next one should be spot on.

As you saw, I did test with toothpick, as you should, but I made the mistake of sticking it between the peaches and not underneath one. If I had, I would’ve popped it back in for a few more minutes, and it would have been fine. Also, I’ve heard a thinner cake would have also helped the situation, which simply means using a larger baking dish. I went with a 9 x 12, so if you have the more standard 9 x 13, that should work out even better.

They say this recipe was brought to Baltimore by German immigrants, who apparently used to top it with caramelized onions, which on one hand seems like it would work, and yet on the other hand, doesn’t at all. Anyway, maybe one of our more adventurous viewers will give that a whirl, but regardless, I really do hope you give this unique Baltimore Peach Cake a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one 9 x 13 pan:
3 or 4 sweet, ripe peaches
1/3 cup sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter, for the dough
1 large beaten egg
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon fine salt)
about 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons butter to grease baking dish, and to drizzle the top
2 tablespoons demerara sugar, or any sugar for the top

For the glaze:
1/3 cup peach or apricot preserves or jam, heated up with a splash of water to glaze the top
Fortune Cookies – I See Cookies in Your Future
Don’t make this fortune cookie recipe because it produces a deliciously light, crispy sugar cookie. Make it because you get to fill them with whatever funny, profound, prophetic, and/or ridiculous message you want. Whether it’s sharing a positive prophecy with a friend, proposing marriage, or passive-aggressively letting your roommate know they need to do their dishes, there is nothing quite like a fortune cookie to do the job.

I’m not particularly great at shaping these, but if you can just somehow get them close, once they’re piled on a plate, or in a bowl, they’ll look just fine. The more important thing is making sure you cook them enough; otherwise they won’t be crispy when cooled. The entire cookie should be crispy, so do a few tests, and make sure they’re right. I usually shoot for about a 50-75% brown to golden ratio on the surface.

Wearing gloves when shaping might not be a bad idea, but I guess that depends on how tough your fingertips are. What I’m trying to say is that if you burn yourself, our lawyers will not return your calls. Anyway, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, and you have a relatively painless experience making these fortune cookies very soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 10-12 Fortune Cookies:
1 large egg white
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour, plus more if needed

- Bake at 350 F. for about 10 minutes, or until browned.
Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken – Sorry, Fried Chicken, Your Secret is Out
Buttermilk is a very popular marinade for fried chicken, but for whatever reason, it isn’t often used with other chicken cooking methods. Which is kind of surprising, especially when you taste just how effective it is for something like this beautiful barbecued chicken.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that yogurt, a very similar product, is quite popular in grilled chicken marinades. So, what do people have against buttermilk? I remember my mother-in-law, Peggy, mentioning one time that she hesitates to make recipes that call for it, since she never knows what to do with the leftovers.

I guess people are used to having yogurt around, but apparently they find the thought of a half carton of buttermilk in the fridge a little disconcerting. I have two words for those people…buttermilk biscuits. Also, buttermilk pie. Of course, you could just make a double recipe, and use it all, but the point is, don’t be afraid.

Regardless of whether you’re going to have some leftover, or how you’re going to use it, if you’re looking for an easy, and delicious change-of-pace to the typical barbecue chicken recipes, then I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 portions:
1 whole chicken (about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs.), cut in half as shown
For the marinade:
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons kosher salt
The Best Beef Tri Tip – This Tip is Tops
I received a food wish for roast beef recently, which can be done with many different cuts, but I ended up deciding on the always amazing beef tri tip, since it’s affordable, flavorful, and using this low-temp roasting technique, nearly fool-proof. Above and beyond the great results, this is also one of the easiest approaches out there.

No marinating, no searing, no nothing; just rub on some salt and spices, and pop it into the oven until it reaches the doneness you want. Of course, you can sear it before roasting, or do a reverse-sear afterward, but even without those optional steps, you’re going to be enjoying a lovely plate of roast beef.

Since we’re using such a low temperature, there isn’t going to be much carry-over heat, so be sure that you reach your target temperature before pulling it out. I went with 128 F., thinking it would climb up to 135-ish, but it never went over 130. That worked for me, since I love medium-rare meat, but if you want something a little more done, maybe pull at 135. Either way, be sure to wrap it, and let it rest for 20 minutes before cutting into some of the juiciest beef you’ve ever had.

This is one of those “professional” cuts of beef that are popular in restaurants, and barbecue joints, but not so much for the home cook. It might be a regional thing, as they are a little more common in California, but I really just think it’s a matter of folks not knowing what a great, and easy cut of beef this is. So, with apologies to all the people that wanted to keep this a secret, I’ll close by saying I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 generous servings:
2 1/2 to 3 pound beef tri tip
For the rub:
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon freshly minced fresh rosemary

- Optional ingredient suggestion: 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth to mix into the salty, but delicious pan drippings.

- Roast at 225 F. for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it reaches 130 F. for medium-rare.
Crispy “Bloomed” Onion – Better Than Bloomin’
This no-fry version of Outback’s famous “Bloomin’ Onion” is way easier to make, way less messy, and yet tastes every bit as good. Maybe better, since every bite is perfectly cooked, and crispy. In fact, this came out so well, I didn’t even think about making a sauce to go with it, although that might be a nice addition.

Over the years, I’ve received many food wishes for a copycat bloomin’ onion video, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. First of all, you need a special cutting device to really get it right, but mostly it’s the deep-frying part that turned me off. This is one of those things that’s easy to make using a giant, restaurant deep fryer, but in the home kitchen setting, not so much. Which is why I loved this approach so much.

We really do get an extremely similar experience here, and the doneness of the onion is almost identical to what comes out of a deep fryer. The “petals” are sweet, and tender, but not soft, as well as each and every one contains the perfect amount of crispy crumbs. I was also going to say this version is way less greasy, but not everyone would consider that an advantage.

Regarding my “onion nachos” comment in the video, I think this recipe would go beautifully with all sorts of additions. Basically, if it’s good with onions, it would be good scattered over the top of this. Either way, whether you make these as shown, or come up with your own variation, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients to make two 10-12 inch round pans:
4 large red onions, quartered, boiled in heavily salted water as shown
For the crumbs:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a drizzle for the top
2 cloves finely crushed garlic
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for the top
chopped parsley to garnish
- To finish, brown under the broiler, or in a 450 F. oven until crispy and heated through
Peaches and Cream – Literally
This new and “improved” peaches and cream recipe might not have tasted any better than the classic, but at least it was more complicated. Turns out that a splash of cold, fresh cream is all that sweet, ripe peaches need, which is probably why no one ever cooks it first when making this.

It wasn’t like the first version was horrible to eat. It wasn’t, but the cooked, sweetened cream, sort of fought with the peaches, both texturally, and with the natural sweetness of the fruit. The lemon didn’t help things either, but at least I was able to appreciate the real one I made after coming to my senses.

As usual, I’ve listed the amounts I used below, but you should adjust the sugar syrup depending on the sweetness of your peaches. If they’re amazingly sweet and juicy, just slice them, and cream them up. Otherwise, modify as needed, but either way, I really do hope you give peaches and cream, the classic version, a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 1/2 cups heavy cream