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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sour Cucumber Soup (Ogorkowa)

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

JAN 9, 2013

In Poland, when they talk about cucumber soup, they don't mean the pallid white stuff. Ogorkowa (o-goor-KOV-ah) is made with sour cucumbers, otherwise known as dill pickles.

This works better if you use homemade sour pickles, but good sour dill pickles -- not the sweet kind -- from a jar are a fine substitute. They don't have to be kosher dills, but those are often high quality.

This recipe comes from Wlodek Szemberg, a Polish friend of co-author Danielle Crittenden, who first introduced her to the exotic possibilities of Polish cuisine by serving her this soup at a dinner party more than two decades ago; the memory of its surprise and deliciousness remained strong. The result is hearty and deeply fragrant of dill.

Served with dark bread and butter, it makes a complete meal.

Make Ahead: The soup (minus the dill) can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

SERVINGS: 6 - 12

Yield: Makes about 12 cups


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium leek, white and light-green parts, rinsed well, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled, or 2 celery stalks, trimmed; chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
5 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
3 large (about 1 1/2 pounds total) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
32 ounces/896ml homemade or store-bought sour dill pickles in brine
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Generous 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the leek and stir to coat; cook for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the carrot, parsnip and celery root, then add the broth. Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Place the potatoes in a separate pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for 7 or 8 minutes or until they are cooked through yet still slightly firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, strain the pickles, reserving their brine. Use a cheese grater or grater attachment in a food processor to coarsely grate the pickles. Add to the cooked vegetables in the pot, along with the pickle brine and the cooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook (over medium-low heat) for 5 minutes.

Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the soup so its texture is not ultra-smooth; you want the end result to still be a little chunky. Mix in the heavy cream.

Add the chopped dill just before serving.

Rating *****[3]


Adapted from "From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food," by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden (Chronicle, 2012).

Tested by Zofia Smardz.

Sour-Orange Chicken With Avocado-Orange Salsa

Dayna Smith for The Washington Post


When grilling's not an option in the winter, try these marinated chicken breasts done under the broiler. They are dressed up with a fresh fruit salsa and made easy thanks to time-saving freshly squeezed orange juice and thinly sliced chicken cutlets, both available at most grocery stores.

Make Ahead: The chicken needs to marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator. The salsa should be assembled shortly before serving.



3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (see headnote)
Finely grated zest of 1 orange (1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons)
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes (about 2 teaspoons zest and 2 or 3 tablespoons juice)
Finely greated zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon zest and 3 to 4 tablespoons juice)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat, then cut in half horizontally to create a total of 8 thin cutlets (may substitute 1 1/2 pounds thin chicken cutlets)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (see headnote)
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 or 2 limes (2 tablespoons)
Finely grated zest and segments from 1 orange (see NOTE), segments cut into 1/4-to 1/2-inch dice
Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
4 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil


For the chicken: Whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, the zest and juice from the limes and the lemon, cumin, salt, pepper and oil in a shallow dish.

Add the chicken cutlets one at a time, making sure to coat each one thoroughly in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

For the salsa: Combine the orange juice, lime juice, orange zest, diced orange, avocado, scallions, salt, sugar, pepper to taste and oil in a mixing bowl, tossing gently to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler; preheat the broiler. Have a broiler pan ready, or line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Discard the marinade. Arrange the drained chicken cutlets on the pan or lined baking sheet in a single layer. Broil for about 5 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned, then use tongs to turn over the cutlets and broil for 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to the stove top (off the heat); let rest for 5 minutes.

Place 2 chicken cutlets on each plate. Top with equal amounts of the avocado-orange salsa. Serve immediately.

NOTE: To section citrus fruit, use a large chef's knife to slice off both ends of the fruit. Stand the fruit on 1 end and slice downward along the curve of the fruit, cutting away both the peel and pith but leaving as much of the flesh as possible. Using a paring knife, cut between the sections to detach each section of fruit from its surrounding membrane.


From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (with salsa): 349
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 13g 20%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 99mg 33%
Sodium: 263mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates: 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 41g

Spaetzle With Ham, Peas, Cream and Aged Gouda (SchinkenspƤtzle)

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Feb 4, 2015 

We agree with chef Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, who says this dish is about "as close as you're going to come to German carbonara."
The original recipe calls for homemade spaetzle, which takes about 30 minutes to make. So we used the store-bought kind here, which is available at Wegmans, Rodman's and some Aldi and Safeway stores.
Aged Gouda is firmer and sharper than regular Gouda and not as salty as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Tested size: 4 servings

Kosher salt
10 1/2 ounces dried spaetzle
1 clove garlic
2 scallions
4 ounces/112g thinly sliced speck (Italian smoked, cured ham) or Westphalia ham
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup frozen peas (may substitute fresh when in season)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Leaves from 4 stems curly parsley
Aged Gouda, for serving (see headnote)

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the stir in the spaetzle. Cook for about 25 minutes or according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic. Trim the scallions, then chop them. Cut the speck or ham into thin strips.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the speck or ham and the garlic; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until the meat is lightly browned.
Stir in the scallions and peas; cook for about 5 minutes or until the light parts of the scallions become translucent.
Drain the spaetzle, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the cooked spaetzle to the saute pan, along with the cream, stirring to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Turn off the heat.
Use some or all of the reserved cooking water to develop the desired consistency of sauce.
Coarsely chop the parsley. Grate a small handful of the cheese for each portion.
Divide the spaetzle mixture among individual bowls or plates. Garnish with the parsley and cheese. Serve right away.

Coconut-Almond Granola

SEP 13, 1989

Tasting of almonds and coconut, this granola is every bit as good a breakfast cereal as it is a fine base for granola cookies. And a jar of Coconut-Almond Granola is a welcome bread-and-butter hostess gift if you are a weekend house guest.

Unsweetened flaked coconut and miller's bran (unprocessed wheat bran) are available at health food markets and at some Whole Foods Markets.


6 tablespoons safflower oil
6 tablespoons honey
4 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup miller's bran (see headnote)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/4 cups chopped almonds
1 1/4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (see headnote)

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Lightly grease a jellyroll pan (measuring approximately 15 by 10 by 1 inch).

Heat the oil and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring just until the honey dissolves.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, miller's bran, sesame seeds and almonds in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the warm oil-honey mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Spread out the oat mixture on the prepared pan. Bake (middle rack) for about 50 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool completely.

Use your fingertips to crumble the granola into chunks and flakes; stir in the flaked coconut. Transfer to a jar or tin, close tightly and store at room temperature.

From Washington cookbook author Lisa Yockelson.

Tested by The Washington Post.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per 1/2-cup serving: 277
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 18g 28%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 175mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 6g

Cold Salt-and-Pepper Beef Roast

JUNE 22, 2005

Easy for a buffet, this recipe yields cold roast beef with a tangy edge.

SERVINGS: 8 - 14


4 to 6 pounds tied beef cross-rib (chuck) roast
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup prepared (grated) horseradish


Rinse beef and pat dry.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup salt and the sugar. Rub the mixture all over the meat. Place the meat in a shallow rimmed pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 3 to 4 hours.

Rinse the meat and pat dry; if desired, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

When ready to roast the meat, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper and horseradish.

Place the meat on a rack in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Pat the horseradish mixture on the top and sides of the meat.

Roast the meat until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reaches 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (for rare). Remove from the oven and let stand in a warm place for at least 20 minutes.

Transfer the meat to a rimmed cutting board. Using a long sharp knife or an electric knife, cut the meat thinly, across the grain, into long slices. Place the slices on a large chilled platter. Top with pan juices from the meat and refrigerate until serving.

Rating *** [1]


Adapted from Sandy Lerner's Home Farm store in Upperville.

Tested by Michael Taylor.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 14, excluding salt-sugar rub): 145
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 6g 9%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 44mg 15%
Sodium: 390mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 20g

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mozzarella-Topped Scaloppine With Rustic Tomato Sauce

Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

NOURISH FEB 16, 2011

This is my take on chicken Parmesan: a lighter, fresher version of the classic dish. Canned chopped tomatoes form the base of a quick sauce enlivened with onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. I broil the cutlets and save my calories for a fresh mozzarella topping.

I use Pomi brand chopped tomatoes, but feel free to use what you like best.



Four 4-ounce/112g, thin-sliced skinless chicken cutlets
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, cut into very small dice (3/4 cup)
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes (see headnote)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
6 large basil leaves, rolled together tightly, then cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
4 ounces/112g fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices


Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper to taste and place in a shallow dish. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over the cutlets; turn to evenly coat. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onion is soft but not browned.

Add the garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting the heat so the onion-garlic mixture does not brown. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and the sugar and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Stir in the basil.

Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning once, for 5 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Spoon the tomato mixture over each cutlet, then top each one with equal amounts of the mozzarella. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese melts and just starts to brown.

Transfer to individual plates; serve hot.


From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 230
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 9g 14%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 80mg 27%
Sodium: 450mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates: 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 31g

Mussels With Cream of Endive and Sweet Potato

Dayna Smith for The Washington Post


You can’t celebrate Belgian Restaurant Week without mussels, and so Washington's second annual Mussel Throwdown took place last weekend in the hall at Eastern Market. Seven chefs -- representing Belga Cafe, Brasserie Beck, Et Voila!, Marvin, Locolat, Granville Moore’s and the Embassy of Belgium -- delivered very different bowls to an enthusiastic crowd.

The judges' panel, which included me, tasted mussels with kumquats and grapefruit, with a creme verde sauce, with fennel and orange juice, and more. But we agreed that chef Claudio Pirollo’s mussels were the best of the day.

The dish was inspired by extra cream of endive that Pirollo had made for an event last week. He re-created it, adding extra caramelized endive. He initially experimented with lemon thyme, which made the broth a bit bitter, he says. So he used chives and sweet potato instead, even though “I never saw sweet potatoes in Belgium,” says the Belgian native.

"Americans like sweet potatoes, and I do sweet potato fries sometimes at the restaurant," the chef says. “I think they do the trick here. And when you’re done with the mussels, you’ve got a little soup to eat."

Pirollo reworked the recipe to shorten the preparation time. We’ve cut it in half here, but feel free to double.



8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 or 3 Belgian endives
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
1 large sweet potato
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1 pint heavy cream or half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds mussels, preferably Canadian Blue Bay or Prince Edward Island mussels
1/2 ounce chives


Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat in a pot large enough to hold all of the mussels.

Trim off and discard the root ends of the endives (to taste), discarding any discolored outer leaves. Cut each endive in half and discard the narrow heart (which can be bitter), then cut the endive crosswise into 1-inch chunks. Place them in the butter and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes, then sprinkle the sugar over the endive and stir to dissolve. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, so the endive is lightly caramelized. Reduce the heat to medium.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the broth. Peel the potato and cut it into small dice, then add to the saucepan. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring once or twice, so the potatoes become tender yet still hold their shape. Remove from the heat.

Carefully stir the vermouth into the endive, dislodging any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Slowly add the cream or half-and-half. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring a few times, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the endive mixture cooks, clean the mussels under running water. If any of them are open, tap gently on them. If they do not close, discard them.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer just the sweet potato to the large pot; discard its cooking liquid. Add the mussels. Cover and cook (still over medium heat) for 6 to 8 minutes.

While the mussels are steaming, finely chop the chives to yield a scant 3/4 cup.

Uncover the pot; divide the mussels and their creamy broth among individual wide, shallow bowls. Sprinkle each portion with the chives. Serve immediately.


From Claudio Pirollo, chef and co-owner of Et Voila! in the Palisades.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 3, using half-and-half): 780
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 41g 63%
Saturated Fat: 23g 115%
Cholesterol: 220mg 73%
Sodium: 1270mg 53%
Total Carbohydrates: 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber: 12g 48%
Sugar: 13g
Protein: 47g

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Oatmeal Batter Bread

DEC 18, 2013

This bread is easy to make, needs only a single rise and is remarkably low in fat.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rise for at least 1 hour. The bread can be kept in a plastic bag at room temperature for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Tested size: 12 servings; one 1-pound loaf

1 cup warm whole or 2 percent milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1/4 cup honey or packed light brown sugar
1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or steel-cut oats (do not use quick-cooking oats), plus more for optional garnish

Combine the milk, honey or brown sugar and the yeast in the bowl of stand mixer or a mixing bowl, stirring until the yeast has dissolved. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Grease an 8-by-4-by-2-inch loaf pan with cooking oil spray.

Add the all-purpose flour, egg, oil and salt to the yeast mixture. Beat on low speed until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to high; beat for 3 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very sticky.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in the whole-wheat flour and oats until well incorporated; this will take some arm strength. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan, spreading it evenly. Cover, and set it in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover the loaf pan; sprinkle the bread with some oatmeal, if desired. Bake for about 15 minutes, then tent loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

Uncover; immediately transfer the bread (in the loaf pan) to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving, or cool completely before storing.

Adapted from "Better Homes and Gardens: 365 Comfort Foods," from Better Homes and Gardens (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014).

Tested by Amy C. Kim.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 160
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 3g 5%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 20mg 7%
Sodium: 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates: 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 5g

Grilled Baby Red Snapper

JUN 27, 2007

Chef Barry Koslow suggests getting your fishmonger to trim the fish if you aren't up to the task. Use kitchen shears to cut off the fins, the end of the tail and the gills, but leave the head intact. It's a good idea to wear food-safe (latex) gloves while doing that.

The corn, peppers and fennel can be prepared ahead, then covered and held until you are ready to finish the dish; or prepared 1 day in advance and reheated in a 250-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Grill notes: "Anytime you cook fish, whether in a pan or on a grill, you want the surface smoking hot," the chef says. "Oil the grill really well, then lay the fish, which has also been oiled and seasoned, on the grill. Press flat, then leave it alone. It will take about 12 minutes to grill: 6 minutes on each side. Grill the fish last to keep its flavor from permeating the other dishes."



2 ears yellow or white corn (husks on)
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the corn and for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small to medium red bell peppers
2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
15 littleneck clams (discard any that have opened and will not close tightly)
2 ounces dry Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 cups mussel broth or low-sodium chicken broth
1 pinch saffron threads
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 small to medium orange, peeled and cut into 8 slices
1 bunch thyme sprigs
4 (16 ounces/448g) whole red snappers, scaled, gutted and fins removed


If using a gas grill, preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Peel back the corn husks and discard the silk, being very careful not to break or remove the husks (this may be a bit cumbersome to do).

Place the corn, with husks attached, in a bucket of water for 20 to 30 minutes. Rub the corn kernels with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pull the husks back over the corn. Grill the corn for 12 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until the corn is tender, using the spray bottle as necessary to douse husk flames. Transfer the corn to a work surface and discard the husks. Cut off the kernels with a knife and place them in a large bowl. Set aside.

Toss the peppers in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly charred. Transfer to a work surface and discard the skin and seeds. Cut the peppers into thin strips and add them to the corn.

Toss the fennel in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, then add to the bowl with the corn and peppers, tossing lightly to combine. Set aside.

Rinse the cockles or clams with cold water and drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the cockles or clams and chorizo and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the white wine and the mussel or chicken broth. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the clams have opened. Remove from the heat and add the saffron and parsley, stirring to combine. Set aside.

Place the orange slices and thyme inside the fish, then season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the skin with olive oil. Place on a very clean, hot, well-oiled grill. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until a knife inserted into the thickest part of the fish feels warm to the touch.

Arrange the grilled vegetables on a large, deep-walled serving platter and put the grilled fish on top. Pour the clams and broth over the top. Serve immediately.


Adapted from Mendocino Grille chef Barry Koslow.

Tested by Tom Wilkinson.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8): 273
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 44mg 15%
Sodium: 187mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 31g

Grilled Chicken, Romaine, Parmesan and Pasta Salad

JUL 13, 2005

The dressing here is lighter than for the usual Caesar salad, with most of the flavor coming from the grilled chicken and salty Parmesan cheese.



1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces/224g dried bow-tie (farfalle) pasta
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 small head romaine lettuce, trimmed or outer leaves, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the grill or broiler.

Lightly salt and pepper the chicken, then drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Grill or broil the chicken, browning on both sides, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. (The cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts.) Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-size strips or chunks. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it is al dente -- done but still a little firm to the bite. Drain the pasta in a colander, rinse with cold water until the pasta is completely cool and drain again until it is free of excess water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining oil in a steady stream, whisking to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, pasta, lettuce, the dressing and all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the salad to a shallow serving dish or pan and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on top. Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate up to 1 day.


Adapted from former Food section recipe editor Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 321
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 13g 20%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 35mg 12%
Sodium: 245mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 20g

Monday, September 18, 2017

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Babka

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

APR 4, 2016

This recipe produces the kind of dense and chewy babka found in Montreal bakeries. The two secrets to making it are no rise time -- a boon for busy home cooks -- and rolling the dough extremely thin. The rolled doughs won’t look like they are big enough to fill the pan, but they will bake up to a nice size.

You’ll need three 8-by-4 1/2–inch pans (for small loaves); two 9-by-5-inch pans (for medium loaves); or one 12-by-5-inch pan (for the large loaf, available via and other commercial bakers’ suppliers online). Use a conventional, not convection, oven.

Marcy Goldman uses a combination of different ground cinnamons: Saigon, cassis and Costco brand.

See the chocolate schmear VARIATION, below.

Make Ahead: Wrap the baked babka in wax paper and place it in an untied plastic bag; store at room temperature for up to 5 or 6 days. The babka (unbaked or baked) can be frozen for up to 3 months; defrost the unbaked babka overnight in the refrigerator.

Tested size: 16-20 servings; makes 3 small loaves, 2 medium loaves or one very large loaf

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon (see headnote)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks
Regular or low-fat milk, at room temperature, as needed
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup water
4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, preferably SAF brand
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour, or more as needed, plus more for the work surface
5 large eggs, plus 1 beaten egg for brushing
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
1 1/3 cups regular or low-fat milk, at room temperature

For the cinnamon schmear: Combine the granulated and confectioners’ sugars, the ground cinnamon, butter and egg yolks in a food processor; puree for 1 to 2 minutes to form a soft paste. If it’s too thick to spread easily, add the milk in small increments, as needed, and pulse to incorporate. Transfer to a bowl.

For the simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook for 3 minutes without stirring. Let it cool.

For the butter crumb topping: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Use a fork or your clean fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until it is clumpy or has the consistency of a rough crumb topping, with big and little pieces.

For the dough: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Stack two rimmed baking sheets, then line the top one with parchment paper. Generously grease the loaf pan(s) with cooking oil spray and line with parchment paper, if desired, then place the pan(s) on the top baking sheet.

Whisk together the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover completely with 2 cups of the flour, then add the eggs, granulated sugar, salt, butter, milk and half of the remaining flour. Beat on low speed to form a thick, sticky mass, then switch to a dough hook. Beat on the lowest speed for 6 to 8 minutes, adding enough of the remaining flour to form a soft, sticky dough. (You'll have used about two-thirds of the flour by this point). Let it rest for 10 minutes in the bowl.

After it rests, beat again on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes, adding the remaining flour as needed to form a smooth, elastic dough that holds together and mostly gathers around the dough hook.

Generously flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one portion to a very thin, almost strudel-like square measuring 20 to 24 inches on all sides.

Check the spreadability of the cinnamon schmear; if it has firmed up, stir in enough milk to make it easy to spread. Gently spread half of the schmear evenly over the rolled-out dough, to the edges. Very carefully, as if you were tightly rolling up a sleeping bag, begin pushing the edge of the dough that’s closest to you, jelly-roll style; you’re aiming for 12 to 14 rotations. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough and the remaining schmear.

Use a very sharp knife to cut each long roll into the number of portions appropriate for to the pans you are using: 6 equal sections for 3 small loaves; 4 equal sections for 2 medium loaves or in half for 1 large loaf. Cut each section lengthwise almost all the way through. Twist each pair of rolls (per loaf pan) and fit them into the pan(s). Or shape each roll into a horseshoe, twist each roll slightly before placing in the pan; the dough will be squished in but that’s okay.

Brush the top of each babka with the beaten egg, then scatter the butter crumb topping evenly over the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (for small loaves); 55 to 65 minutes (for medium loaves) and 75 to 90 minutes (for the large loaf), until the bread is well browned and seems solid to the touch. A tester inserted into the center of the babka might have soft cinnamon on it but should not have unbaked dough on it.

Brush or drizzle the simple syrup over the warm babka(s); let rest for 1 hour before dislodging from the pan to slice or store.

VARIATION: To create a chocolate schmear, combine 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter at room temperature, 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 large egg yolk in a food processor. Puree to form a soft paste; if it’s too thick to spread, add the milk (as directed above).

From Montreal cookbook author Marcy Goldman.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 20, using low-fat milk and 6 1/2 cups flour): 590
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 23g 35%
Saturated Fat: 14g 70%
Cholesterol: 120mg 40%
Sodium: 110mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates: 89g 30%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 54g
Protein: 8g

Olive Oil Biscuits


The subtle flavor of rich olives permeates the flakes of biscuit. These would pair nicely with any soup, or even with a sliced tomato tucked between the halves.

The type of baking pan you choose will affect the biscuits' exterior. Soft: Use an 8- or 9-inch cake pan, pizza pan or ovenproof skillet in which the biscuits will nestle together snugly. Crisp: Use a baking sheet (or two stacked, to insulate the biscuit bottoms) or other baking pan where the biscuits can be placed farther apart, allowing air to circulate.

You'll need a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter.


Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for brushing
2 1/4 cups store-bought or homemade self-rising flour (see NOTE)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup regular or low-fat buttermilk
Flour, as needed

Position the top oven rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Have your baking pan of choice at hand; if you are using a baking sheet, brush it with a little softened butter.

Fork-sift or whisk 2 cups of the self-rising flour in a large bowl, preferably wider than it is deep; reserve the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Use the back of your hand to make a deep hollow in the center of the flour.

Pour the oil into 3/4 cup of the buttermilk (in a measuring cup), reserving 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, and then pour the combined liquids into the hollow. Stir with a rubber spatula or large metal spoon, using broad circular strokes to quickly pull the flour into the liquid. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the sticky dough beings to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If some flour remains on the bottom and sides of the bowl, stir in 1 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved buttermilk, just enough to incorporate the remaining flour into the shaggy, wettish dough. If the dough is too wet, use more flour when shaping.

Generously dust the work surface with all-purpose flour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Use more of the flour to coat your hands.

Fold the dough in half; pat it out into a 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick round, using a little additional flour only if needed. Fold the dough in half a second time. If the dough is still clumpy, pat and fold a third time. Pat the dough out into a round 1/2-inch thick for a normal biscuit, 3/4-inch thick for a tall biscuit and 1-inch thick for a giant biscuit. Brush off any visible flour from the top. For each biscuit, dip a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter into the reserved 1/4 cup of flour; cut out the biscuits, pressing firmly, starting at the outside edge and cutting very close together, being careful not to twist the cutter.

Dough scraps may be combined to make additional biscuits, although they make tougher biscuits.

Carefully transfer the biscuits to the pan or baking sheet. Bake the biscuits on the top rack of the oven for 10 to 14 minutes, depending on thickness, until light golden brown. After 6 minutes, rotate the pan in the oven so that the front of the pan is now turned to the back and check to see if the bottoms are browning too quickly. If they are, slide another baking pan underneath to add insulation and retard browning. Bake for 4 to 8 minutes, until the biscuits are light golden brown.

When the biscuits are done, remove from the oven; lightly brush the tops with softened butter. Turn the biscuits out upside down on a plate to cool slightly. Serve hot, right side up.

NOTE: To make self-rising flour, combine 1 cup all-purpose Southern flour (such as White Lily, which has more gluten), 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 months, or freeze for up to 1 year.

Adapted from "Southern Biscuits," by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs-Smith, 2011).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per biscuit (using low-fat buttermilk): 110
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 4g 6%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 5mg 2%
Sodium: 320mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates: 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 3g

Peach and Brown Sugar Muffins

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

JUN 18, 2016

It's best to use ripe fruit for these not-too-sweet muffins, of course, but even early-season peaches will work.

Make Ahead: The optional peach butter can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Where to Buy: Swedish pearl sugar doesn't melt during baking and provides a nice crunch; it's slightly smaller than the Belgian pearl sugar used for waffles. It's available at Whole Foods Markets and at some kitchen stores.

Tested size: 21 servings


4 or 5 fresh peaches, preferably ripe
4 cups flour
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
2 cups regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Swedish pearl sugar, for sprinkling (optional; see headnote)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)


For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard-well-size muffin pan with paper baking cups.

Pit the peaches (and peel, if desired; we didn't). Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch chunks. You'll use 1 generous cup for the batter; reserve the rest (1/4 cup or so) for the optional peach butter. Or just eat the rest.

Whisk together the flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and allspice in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.

Combine the eggs, sour cream and oil in a large liquid measuring cup, then stir in the peaches. Add to the dry mixture all at once, stirring just until moistened to form a lumpy, firm batter.

Spoon the batter into the paper baking cups, filling them to the top or mounding them slightly. Sprinkle the Swedish sugar on top of each one, if using. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the peach butter, if using: Combine the butter, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract and reserved peach pieces in a mini food processor. Puree until fairly smooth. Taste; add the maple syrup, if needed.

Use tongs to transfer the muffins to a wire cooling rack; put new paper baking cups in the muffin pan, fill with the remaining batter, sprinkle with the Swedish sugar, if using, and repeat the baking.

Serve warm, with the peach butter, if using.


Adapted from a recipe by Kuhn Orchards of Cashtown, Pa.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per muffin (without the peach butter): 210
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 30mg 10%
Sodium: 150mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates: 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 8g
Protein: 4g

Butter Lettuce and Arugula Salad With Sovrano


Salty components marry well with soft and peppery greens in this starter salad.

Sovrano cheese is similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano, but not quite as nutty. It is available at Balducci's in Old Town Alexandria.



2 heads (about 12 ounces total) butter lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 bunch baby arugula, washed and dried
1/2 small (about 2 ounces) fennel bulb, cut into thin slices (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
2 ounces (6 thin slices) bresaola (air-cured beef), cut into thin strips
1/3 cup sliced skin-on or skinless raw almonds
1 1/2 ounces shaved or shredded Sovrano cheese, plus more for garnish
2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
Sea or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Combine the lettuce, arugula, fennel, artichoke hearts, bresaola, almonds and the 1 1/2 ounces of Sovrano cheese in a large salad bowl; toss gently.

Drizzle enough oil over the salad (to taste) to thoroughly coat but not saturate the greens. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the salad, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently yet thoroughly.

Divide among individual plates and garnish with additional shavings of Sovrano.

Rating *****[1]


From Maria Marchetti, sister of Alexandria cookbook author Domenica Marchetti.

Tested by Domenica Marchetti.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8): 97
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 7g 11%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 10mg 3%
Sodium: 338mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates: 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 6g

Butter Roasted Chestnut- and Thyme-Stuffed Turkey

NOV 18, 1987

This is a turkey of style and substance; it turns golden brown because it is open-roasted and basted frequently. Its cavity is gently filled with a hearty chestnut-laden stuffing; the stuffing in the bird is basted by natural juices, but it can be baked separately and be just as tempting.

Remove the stuffing immediately and let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.



1 15-pound turkey (giblets removed; gizzards reserved), preferably fresh
Freshly ground black pepper
Chestnut and Thyme Stuffing (see related recipe)
2 onion, cut in half, then cut into thin half-moon slices
1 rib celery, cut crosswise into thin slices
5 sprigs thyme leaves
1 small bay leaf, crumbled
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 cups good-quality low-sodium chicken broth

Chestnut and Thyme Stuffing


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Use paper towels to pat dry the cleaned turkey inside and out. Season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Fill the body cavity with enough of the chestnut and thyme stuffing so that it is full without packing it in. Fill the neck cavity with the stuffing. Use kitchen twine to truss the turkey.

Place any remaining stuffing in a greased ovenproof bowl; pour over the remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth reserved from the stuffing recipe. Cover the bowl with a double thickness of aluminum foil that has been lightly greased on the underside. Set aside.

Scatter the onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Season them lightly with salt and pepper. Place a rack in the pan and put the trussed turkey on it.

Rub the entire surface of the turkey, including all crevices, with the softened butter. Season the turkey all over with pepper. Cut off a double length of cheesecloth wide enough to cover the entire surface of the turkey breast; dip the piece of cheesecloth in the melted butter to saturate it thoroughly, then press the buttered cheesecloth on top of the turkey breast, tucking in the sides of the cloth. Place the gizzards in the bottom of the pan.

Combine the remaining melted butter with the chicken broth, for basting.

Place the turkey in its roasting pan on the middle oven rack and roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake the turkey for 4 to 4 1/2 hours or until golden, basting it every 25 minutes with the butter-broth blend.

When the turkey has 40 minutes left to roast, place the covered bowl of unbaked stuffing in the oven (along with the turkey). Remove and discard the cheesecloth for the last 30 to 40 minutes of cooking time to finish browning the bird.

The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 170 degrees. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board so it can rest; immediately remove the stuffing from inside the bird and place it in a bowl, covered loosely with foil. Place a sheet of foil loosely over the top of the turkey while you prepare the pan juices.

Remove the gizzards and coarsely chop them. Remove the meat from the neck and chop coarsely; place the chopped bits in a medium saucepan.

Pour the pan juices into a fat separator cup, then add the defatted drippings to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly reduced. Strain the contents of the saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids, then return the gravy to the saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the gravy to a warm sauceboat.

Add the warmed stuffing to the just-baked stuffing; carve the turkey and serve at the table with the gravy alongside.


From cookbook author Lisa Yockelson.

Tested by Lisa Yockelson.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (turkey and stuffing): 1,652
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 89g 137%
Saturated Fat: 38g 190%
Cholesterol: 495mg 165%
Sodium: 1122mg 47%
Total Carbohydrates: 77g 26%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 129g

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Moroccan Chickpeas With Apples

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post


I'm always looking for interesting sides to pair with roasted or grilled meats. That way I don't have to fuss with the meat by coming up with a sauce or spice mixture to dress it up. Instead, I concentrate on a side dish. My favorite sides can be made ahead of time and allowed to sit, in the refrigerator or at room temperature, while I work on other things.

Here's a great example. It comes together fast, cooks slowly for 15 to 20 minutes and then waits for me to be ready instead of the other way around. It doesn't hurt that its main component is chickpeas, always popular at my house. The chickpeas are enlivened with a sweet-spicy combination of apples, onions, red bell peppers and dried spices. To bring out the sweetness in the apple, I add a little brown sugar. To make the chickpeas spicy, I use cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves and cayenne. It's a fun, flavorful and healthful addition to dinner.

Make Ahead: The mixture can be cooled for 20 minutes, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.



1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, preferably a sweet variety, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon double-concentrated tomato paste (see NOTE; may substitute 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
3 cups cooked chickpeas (may substitute no-salt-added canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (may substitute water)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped (2 or 3 tablespoons)


Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook for 3 minutes, then add the apple and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften.

Add the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper and tomato paste; mix well and cook for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, broth and brown sugar; mix well. Cook until the liquid comes to a boil, then cover the pan or skillet, reduce the heat as needed to maintain a very low boil and cook for 15 minutes. Taste and add 1/4 teaspoon salt if needed. If the mixture is soupy, increase the heat to high and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; add the parsley and mix well. Serve hot or at room temperature.

NOTE: Double-concentrated tomato paste comes in a tube and can be found in the Italian section of most supermarkets.


From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 201
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 183mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 34g 11%
Dietary Fiber: 8g 32%
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 8g

Moroccan-Inspired Chicken With Apricots

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

NOURISH OCT 24, 2012

A dish from Morocco, a spicy blend of chicken and fruit, inspired this one. Far from authentic, it's my interpretation using ingredients I already had in my pantry. It's full of flavor, sweet and savory at the same time, and pretty easy to throw together. It's also excellent reheated, so it's a perfect candidate for making a day ahead.

Chicken thighs are high in cholesterol, so the portions here are not generous. The recipe easily doubles if you want to make sure you have enough. It can be made with chicken tenders, but be careful not to overcook them.

Serve over couscous to keep the Moroccan theme going.



1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
19 ounces/532g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, small ones cut into 2 pieces, large ones cut into 3 pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces/224g onion, thinly sliced (2 generous cups)
8 ounces/224g carrots, cut into approximately 1/4-inch dice
6 ounces/168g dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 teaspoons dark molasses


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.

Lay the chicken thighs out on a large sheet of aluminum foil or a large platter. Sprinkle them evenly on both sides with half of the spice mixture, rubbing it over the thighs to coat them evenly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half of the chicken pieces; cook for about 4 minutes, until they are nicely browned. Turn the pieces over and cook for 2 minutes, then transfer the pieces to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, adding oil if needed.

When the chicken has cooked, add the onions to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the onions, stirring them occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the carrots, apricots and the remaining half of the spice mixture; cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the broth and molasses and stir well to combine. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, layering them in with the vegetables and fruit. Increase the heat to medium-high. When the broth begins to boil, cover the pan and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Let the covered pan sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.


From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 240
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 7g 11%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 80mg 27%
Sodium: 240mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%
Sugar: 20g
Protein: 20g

Mother of Invention Tomato Crab Soup

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post; Tableware by Crate and Barrel

TOP TOMATO 2009 AUG 12, 2009

The leftovers from an annual end-of-summer crab feast go into this soup, which Hedgesville, W.Va., resident Judy Stainer says will empty the Tupperware and fill stomachs nicely.



3 to 4 large tomatoes, cored, then cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
1 to 2 onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 medium cloves garlic, halved
2 small jalapeƱo peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3 to 4 ribs celery with leaves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
Kernels from 5 or 6 ears of corn (about 3 3/4 cups)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces/336ml beer
1/2 to 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked from crabs
Salt or Old Bay Seasoning


Combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, celery, about 3 1/4 cups of corn, the chicken broth and beer in a large pot over medium heat. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat so the mixture does not boil, for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are quite tender.

Either use a stick (immersion) blender to puree the soup in the pot, or transfer batches to a blender and process until smooth. (If using a blender, remove the center knob of the blender lid and place a dish towel over the opening; this will prevent steam from causing the lid to pop off.)

Return the soup to the pot over medium-low heat; add the crabmeat and the remaining corn. Add salt or Old Bay seasoning to taste. Cook, stirring gently to keep the crab from breaking up, for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Divide among individual bowls; serve warm.


From Top Tomato 2009 finalist Judy Stainer of Hedgesville, W.Va.

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8): 124
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 1g 2%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 25mg 8%
Sodium: 524mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates: 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 6g
Protein: 8g

Brodo di Pollo

SEP 27, 2006

This broth is delicate yet full-bodied, with a touch of sweetness from the fennel stalks.

In lieu of a whole chicken, you can substitute 5 pounds chicken parts, including backs, necks, wings and 1 chicken half.



1 whole clove, halved
2 yellow onions, quartered
1 4- to 4 1/2-pound chicken
2 carrots, trimmed and halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, leafy tops included, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 fennel bulb (stalks and fronds only, reserving bulb for another use)
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
4 medium sprigs thyme
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 to 5 quarts water
Kosher or sea salt

Zuppa di Grissini (Breadstick Soup)


Have ready a colander lined with damp cheesecloth.

Stick the clove halves into 2 of the pieces of onion. Place all of the ingredients except for the water and salt into a large stockpot, then add just enough water to cover the ingredients by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 hours. (Keep skimming surface foam occasionally during the first hour of cooking.) Add salt to taste during the last hour of cooking.

Strain the broth through the lined colander into a clean container, saving the chicken meat for another use. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Discard the congealed layer of fat on the surface before reheating the broth. Use within 3 days or freeze.


Adapted from "The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy," by Domenica Marchetti (Chronicle Books, 2006).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

David Dahan's Moroccan Chicken Tagine

SEP 8, 2004

For the Jewish High Holidays, kosher caterer David Dahan suggests a menu that mostly can be served at room temperature. Only the Moroccan Chicken Tagine requires reheating, but it can be made up to two days before the holiday. "And the best thing is -- it really gets better after two days in the refrigerator," he adds.

Traditionally, this dish is served over angel hair or vermicelli pasta that has been cooked in seasoned chicken stock. But it also can be served over saffron rice, couscous or with roasted baby potatoes. Kosher caterer David Dahan's family eats this as a Sabbath meal or to break the fast on Yom Kippur.



2 dried ancho chili peppers
1/2 cup olive oil
1 (64 ounces/1.8kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
Freshly ground black pepper
Flour, for lightly coating the chicken
1/4 cup white wine or cognac
2 jars (based on 6- to 7-ounce jars/200ml) artichoke bottoms, either in water or in seasoned oil, drained and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, cored and cut into very thin strips (julienne)
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored and cut into julienne
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
8 medium cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 lemon, halved, seeded and cut into matchstick-size strips (peel and segments), or 1 preserved lemon, cut into julienne
1 cup pitted green greek or italian olives
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water or hot chicken broth (may substitute 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric dissolved in liquid)
1 cup water


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Have ready a large, ovenproof casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Place the chili peppers in a bowl, add enough warm water to cover and set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Drain, seed and thinly slice the peppers.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 4 to 5 tablespoons of oil.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste. Dust them lightly with flour, shaking to remove any excess. Add some of the chicken to the skillet, being careful not to crowd the pieces, and fry, turning once, until both sides are golden but the chicken is not cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a large casserole dish or arrange in a single layer in the baking pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Drizzle the chicken pieces with 3 to 4 tablespoons of additional oil and the juices from the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the wine or cognac, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the artichokes, sliced chili peppers, bell peppers, parsley, garlic, lemon, olives, saffron mixture, salt and pepper to taste and water. Bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken pieces. Cover the casserole tightly -- first with foil, then with a tight-fitting lid or several more layers of foil. Bake for 11/2 hours. Baste the chicken with the pan juices after about 45 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add a little more water.

Remove the chicken from the oven, uncover and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. To reheat, cover with foil and heat in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.


From caterer David Dahan.

Tested by Candy Sagon.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 486
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 27g 42%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 126mg 42%
Sodium: 627mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 44g

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Nutty Oat Bars

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

NOURISH JAN 28, 2015

These bars have a fresh taste that reflects the pure ingredients they are made with plus a tender, cookielike texture that strikes the perfect balance between crunchy and chewy.

Make Ahead: The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days. To freeze, wrap individually in plastic wrap, then seal in a freezer-safe zip-top bag for up to 3 months. They will defrost in 2 hours at room temperature; to defrost quickly, unwrap and microwave on LOW for 20 to 30 seconds.

Tested size: 12 servings

1 cup rolled oats (do not use instant or quick-cooking oats)
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil or safflower oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped, skin-on almonds
1/2 cup hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray.

Whisk together the oats, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk together the maple syrup, applesauce, oil and egg in a separate bowl until well incorporated. Stir in the oat mixture, then the dried cranberries, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds until evenly coated.

Spread the mixture in the pan; bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, then cut into 12 equal-size bars.

Rating *****[8]

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 250
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 15mg 5%
Sodium: 60mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates: 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 14g
Protein: 6g

Parsi Eggs

NOV 10, 2015

This egg-topped, yogurt- and spice-accented potato masala is a common breakfast dish in Parsi cuisine, which, although Indian, is somewhat distinct due to its Persian roots. Anita Jaisinghani of Pondicheri, a restaurant and bake shop in Houston, learned to make the dish as a child by watching her Parsi friend's mother in the kitchen.

At the cafe, the masala is prepared like a hash, then topped with eggs, oven-baked and served in elegant squares. Here, it is topped and served straight from the skillet.

Serve with warm bread or roti.

Where to Buy: The recipe calls for ajwain seed, which is a close relative of caraway. It has a sharp, piquant taste that is delicate when used in small portions and bitter when overused. It resembles celery seed and releases an aroma similar to that of slightly-bruised thyme. Find ajwain seed, also called carom seed, at Indian markets.

Tested size: 4 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small white or yellow onion, cut into small dice
1 pound small red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Water (optional)
1/2 teaspoon red (Indian) chili powder
1 teaspoon ajwain seed (see headnote)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon pureed ginger (paste)
1/4 cup plain, regular or low-fat yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (may substitute chopped green bell pepper or mushrooms)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 large eggs

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, potatoes and turmeric, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring often, just until the vegetables start to brown on the edges, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. If the vegetables seem to be sticking to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water.

Add the red chili powder, ajwain seed, black pepper, pureed ginger and yogurt, stirring to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium; cook until the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the peas and chopped cilantro. (The mixture will look like a hash; spread it evenly in the skillet to create an even surface for the eggs.)

Gently crack the eggs into a bowl, then carefully pour them on top of the mixture in the skillet. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the egg whites are opaque but the yolks are still somewhat soft; increase the heat as needed. (It’s okay if the yolks break.)

Divide among individual plates. Serve right away.

From Anita Jaisinghani, chef-owner of Pondicheri Bakery and Cafe in Houston.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using low-fat yogurt): 270
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 185mg 62%
Sodium: 200mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 11g

Sherrill's Secret Soft Gingerbread Boys

Renee Comet for The Washington Post


This is cookbook author Nancy Baggett's re-creation of a popular gingerbread cookie sold at a former Capitol Hill landmark eatery, Sherrill's Restaurant and Bakery. The cookies are fragrant with spice, plump and slightly soft, yet not cakey. They are finished with a light, sugary icing that is reminiscent of doughnut glaze.

Pack the cookies flat, with wax paper between the layers, in an airtight container for up to 1 week. They can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.


2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
1/2 cup clover honey
2/3 cup light (mild-flavored) molasses
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 1/3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Raisins or currants for the eyes and buttons
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring if lumpy
1 1/2 tablespoons corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
3 1/2 tablespoons water

For the cookies: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, oil, honey, molasses and brown sugar. Cook, stirring, until the butter melts and the mixture just comes to a full boil; immediately start timing and cook for exactly 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on low speed, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Working carefully to avoid splashes, add the butter-molasses mixture. Beat on low speed until the ingredients are blended. Increase the speed to medium, until very well blended; if the mixer motor labors, stop and complete the mixing by hand. (The dough will seem too soft at this point.) Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the dough has stiffened and is barely warm.

Divide the dough into thirds. Roll out the portions a generous 1/4-inch thick between sheets of baking parchment or waxed paper. Stack the rolled portions (paper still attached) on a tray or baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 to 40 minutes, or freeze for 20 to 25 minutes or until cold and firm. (The dough may be refrigerated for up to 12 hours, if preferred.)

Prepare for baking: Place a rack in the middle third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease several large baking sheets, or coat with nonstick spray oil.

Working with 1 dough portion at a time (leaving the remainder chilled), gently peel away 1 sheet of paper, then lightly pat it back into place. (That will make it easier to lift cookies from the paper later.) Flip the dough over, then peel off and discard the second sheet. Using a 4- to 5-inch gingerbread girl or boy cutter, cut out the cookies. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. (If at any point the dough softens too much to handle easily, transfer the paper and cookies to a tray or baking sheet, and chill until firm again.) Gather up and reroll the dough scraps between sheets of paper. Continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used. Very firmly press raisins into the cookies for eyes and front buttons.

Bake for 9 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are slightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges; it's better to overbake than underbake. Set aside to firm up about 4 minutes; then, using a wide spatula, transfer to wire racks set over a sheet of waxed paper. Have all the cookies lined up and slightly separated before beginning the glaze.

For the glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the confectioners' sugar, oil and water until well blended. Bring to a boil, stirring, over medium-high heat, for 30 to 45 seconds or just until the mixture is smooth and becomes translucent. Stir to recombine the glaze, then use immediately while it is still hot. (If the glaze is allowed to stand and cool, it may thicken and become sugary. In that case, add a teaspoon of hot water to thin it again, place over medium heat and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Immediately remove from the heat and use.)

Using a pastry brush or a paper towel dipped in the glaze, brush the cookies until their tops are coated all over with an even layer, not too thick or too thin. Stir the glaze frequently to prevent it from separating. Let the glazed cookies cool completely, at least 1 hour; the glaze may become slightly sugary and flaky.

Baker Howard Ward was not willing to part with his original recipe, but several fans of the Sherrill's version have told Baggett that hers is very close to the original. Adapted from her "The All-American Dessert Book" (Houghton Mifflin, 2005).

Tested by Lisa Cherkasky.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie (based on 18): 330
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 16g 25%
Saturated Fat: 7g 35%
Cholesterol: 27mg 9%
Sodium: 106mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates: 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 3g