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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eggs Florentine in Tomato Cups

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

NOURISH APR 28, 2016

This recipe transforms everyday ingredients into a dish that feels truly special and luxurious. Tomatoes are hollowed out to become beautiful, edible serving cups, partially filled with a healthful yet decadent-tasting quick creamed spinach. Then each is finished with an egg and cheese, and baked until set and melted. The result is stunning and satisfying, a perfect treat for a special breakfast or brunch.

Make Ahead: The tomatoes and creamed spinach may be covered (separately) and refrigerated several hours in advance. You may have a few tablespoons of the creamed spinach left over, depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Tested size: 4 servings

4 very large tomatoes (8 to 12 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons more for brushing
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup low-fat milk (1 percent)
One 10-ounce/280g package frozen/defrosted spinach, squeezed of all excess liquid, then chopped (even if the frozen spinach was already chopped)
1 ounce (1/3 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Cut off the top of each tomato so you'll be able to scoop out the contents. (You can discard the stems, cut up the tops and add them to the tomato flesh, if you like.) Use a melon baller to remove the insides of the tomatoes (reserve the tomato flesh), making sure to leave the shell of the tomato thick enough to form a sturdy cup.

Place the tomato insides into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Strain out and discard the seeds, and reserve 1/4 cup of the tomato water. Discard the tomato flesh or reserve for another use (such as a fresh tomato sauce).

Brush the outsides of the 4 hollowed-out tomatoes with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Place them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the shallots; cook for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent, then add the flour and stir for 30 to 45 seconds. Whisk in the milk and the reserved 1/4 cup of tomato water; once the mixture starts to bubble, cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until it has thickened.

Add the spinach and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, to form a thick, creamy sauce. Stir in half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

Fill each tomato cup about halfway with the creamed spinach, forming a well in the center of the spinach and pushing the spinach all the way up the inner sides of the tomatoes. Be sure to leave enough room in each tomato cup for an egg. (You may have some leftover spinach, depending on the size of your tomatoes. If so, reserve for another use.)

Working with one at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl, then carefully slip it into the center of a spinach well. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the egg whites are just set, the yolks still seem runny and the cheese has melted.

Serve warm.

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Kara Elder.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using about 1 1/2 cups of filling): 220
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 195mg 65%
Sodium: 440mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 8g
Protein: 14g

Eggs in Red Wine (Oeufs en Meurette)

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; Styling by Bonnie S. Benwick


This twist on the traditional Burgundian dish uses duck eggs and pureed garlic for extra luxury and flavor, while leaving out the bacon lardons (and offering a sauce option) to keep it appropriate for vegetarians. One bonus: The wine's acid keeps the eggs neat, preventing all those streamers that can happen during poaching.

If you wish to make this a vegetarian dish, first read the NOTE, below.


Tested size: 4 servings


12 cloves garlic
Canola oil (may substitute olive oil or duck fat)
Pinch fine sea salt
Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
4 slices thick country-style bread, toasted
2 cups chicken or duck stock, or mushroom or other vegetable broth (see NOTE)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups inexpensive, fruity red wine, preferably Burgundy (half a 750-milliliter bottle)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature (see NOTE)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon flour (optional; see NOTE)
8 ounces shiitake or oyster mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed (and stemmed if using shiitakes)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups inexpensive, fruity red wine, preferably Burgundy, plus more as needed
4 duck eggs (may substitute extra-large chicken eggs)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

For the toast: Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan, and pour in enough oil to barely cover them. Turn the heat to medium-high, then adjust it to medium or medium-low so the oil gently bubbles. Cook the garlic until very soft, 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a food processor. Add the salt and pepper; puree to form a smooth confit and transfer to a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil; refrigerate the rest for another use (up to 1 week), if desired.

Divide the toast among shallow soup bowls and put them in the oven to warm.

For the sauce: Bring the stock to a boil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until it has reduced to 1/2 cup. Transfer to a cup; rinse out and dry the saute pan, then return the pan to the stove top.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved cooking oil in the saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the sliced shallot and garlic; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the port and vinegar, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, until reduced to a glaze, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the wine; cook until the liquid has reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the reduced 1/2 cup of stock; cook until the mixture has reduced to a slightly thicker consistency that can coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the butter until well incorporated, to form a sauce. Stir in the salt; taste, and add salt as needed. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting; cover to keep warm.

For the mushrooms: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of reserved cooking oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they collapse and lightly brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, sage, butter and salt; cook until the mushrooms are caramelized and fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.

For the eggs: Line a plate with paper towels. Bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the liquid is gently bubbling.

Crack the eggs into individual cups. Gently pour each egg into the wine, adding wine if needed to make sure the eggs are covered. Poach until the whites are set but the yolks are still very soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the poached eggs to the paper-towel-lined plate.

To serve, carefully remove the bowls from the oven. Smear the top of each piece of toast with the garlic confit, then top each with a poached egg.

If the sauce has become too thick, whisk in a little of the egg-poaching wine to reach the desired consistency. Spoon the sauce over the egg and around the bowl. Add the mushrooms and pepper; garnish with the chives. Serve hot.

NOTE: If you used mushroom or another vegetable broth instead of chicken or duck stock, first mix the butter and flour together, and whisk the combination into the sauce, cooking briefly until it thickens. Stir in the salt, taste, and add more if needed. Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and return it to the pan over very low heat. Cover to keep warm.

Rating *****[1]


From Brendan L'Etoile, chef at Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 550
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 23g 35%
Saturated Fat: 7g 35%
Cholesterol: 634mg 211%
Sodium: 1220mg 51%
Total Carbohydrates: 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 19g

Endive Gratin

Julia Ewan


This French side dish is typically rich but always a crowd pleaser: an elegant, less-starchy complement to roasted meat. It can be made 1 day in advance; reheat, covered with aluminum foil, in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Tested size: 6-8 servings


1 teaspoon unsalted butter
6 medium endives, cut in half lengthwise, stem ends trimmed but left on
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-inch oval gratin dish with the butter.

Place the endive halves cut side down in a large saute pan. Add the broth, lemon juice and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, until the endives are fairly tender but not cooked through. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the endive halves to drain in a colander. Pat dry with paper towels, then nestle half of the endive halves in a "V" pattern in the gratin dish. Sprinkle with half of the Gruyere cheese. Use the remaining drained endive halves to form a second layer atop the cheese. Pour the cream over the top and sprinkle with the nutmeg and black pepper to taste. Distribute the remaining cheese evenly over the top and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly and the cream has almost evaporated. Serve hot.

Rating ****[1]


From Food staff writer Jane Black.

Tested by Jane Black.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8): 157
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 14g 22%
Saturated Fat: 9g 45%
Cholesterol: 50mg 17%
Sodium: 307mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 6g

Ex-Texas Salad

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

MAY 2, 2016

This is a radically updated version of the 1970s-era salad popular at potlucks in Texas and made frequently by Food editor Joe Yonan's mother, Dolores Jones.

Make Ahead: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The tortillas can be fried and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tested size: 6 servings

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 cup peanut oil, for frying
Six 6-inch corn tortillas
12 cups lightly packed, torn romaine lettuce leaves
3 cups homemade or no-salt-added canned black beans, rinsed and drained
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal (white and green parts)
12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
12 large pieces 12-Hour Tomatoes (see related recipe), drained and chopped (may substitute 18 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)

12-Hour Tomatoes

For the vinaigrette: Combine the cilantro, extra-virgin olive and canola oils, vinegar, garlic, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a blender; puree until smooth. Taste, and add salt as needed. The yield should be about 3/4 cup.

For the salad: Line a plate with paper towels.

Pour the peanut oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Once that oil starts to shimmer, add 2 or 3 tortillas (or as many as will comfortably fit); fry them on each side until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Lift each tortilla with tongs and let the excess oil drip off, then transfer it to the paper-towel-lined plate. Working in batches, repeat with the remaining tortillas. Let the tortillas cool, then break them into bite-size pieces.

Toss the tortilla pieces with the lettuce, black beans, scallions, feta, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette in a large serving bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette if desired, or reserve for another use. Serve right away.

Adapted from a recipe in Yonan's "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One," (Ten Speed Press, 2011).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes): 530
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 33g 51%
Saturated Fat: 11g 55%
Cholesterol: 50mg 17%
Sodium: 700mg 29%
Total Carbohydrates: 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber: 12g 48%
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 20g

Easy Fruited Chicken Curry

OCT 1, 2003

Cookbook author Nancy Baggett writes: "The sweetness of the fruit counters the heat of the curry in this entree, which becomes the talk of the table when served as the centerpiece with a selection of garnishes placed alongside. (I set out dishes of different kinds of chopped nuts, fresh cilantro leaves, a zesty chutney -- and, of course, basmati rice.)"



1 cup regular or low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 to 5 scallions (white and light-green parts), cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 teaspoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon white flour
1 medium (8 ounces) Golden Delicious or Grimes Golden apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 medium (8 ounces) slightly underripe Bosc or Bartlett pear, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup golden or dark raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon curry powder


In a medium bowl, stir 2 tablespoons of the broth together with the soy sauce, coriander, cardamom, cloves, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a deep, nonstick 12-inch skillet or other large pot over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Add the scallions and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until the scallions soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is completely incorporated and a paste forms. Cook, stirring, for an additional 30 seconds.

Slowly stir in 3/4 cup of the remaining broth and cook, stirring constantly, until completely incorporated. Add the apple, pear, raisins (if using) and curry powder and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Taste; if desired, thin the sauce with some or all of the remaining chicken broth. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 238 calories, 28 gm protein, 15 gm carbohydrates, 8 gm fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 332 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber


From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 238
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 8g 12%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 65mg 22%
Sodium: 332mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 28g

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Johnetta Miller’s Banana Pudding

APR 30, 2016

This is the dessert that soul food scholar Adrian Miller’s mother, Johnetta, made for 40 years.

She liked to chill her mixer beaters in the freezer before using them to whip the pudding’s topping; she said it helped create a stiffer meringue. And she liked to bake the pudding in a clear dish, to show off the layers.

The custard is pretty sweet when you use a full cup of sugar, less so when you use 3/4 cup.

Make Ahead: If you're making this more than a few hours in advance, assemble the banana pudding without its meringue, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring to a cool room temperature while the oven's preheating and you're making the meringue.

Tested size: 12 servings

3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup/65g flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
11 ounces/308g vanilla wafers (1 regular-size box)
Flesh of 8 fairly firm bananas, cut crosswise into slices (your choice of thickness)
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup/113g sugar

For the pudding: Heat a few inches of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Fill a heatproof bowl with the sugar (to taste), flour and salt; place it on top (so that it fits snugly) of the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium; pour in the milk. Cook, whisking constantly, so the mixture becomes well combined and lump-free.

Lightly beat the egg yolks in a liquid measuring cup; whisk a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture into them (to temper them), then whisk that egg mixture into the heated bowl. Cook for a few minutes, whisking, until slightly thickened, then remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. This is your custard, which will thicken further as it cools yet still be pourable.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9-by-13-inch baking dish at hand; make sure it's at least 2 inches deep.

For the topping: Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld mixer; beat on low, then medium-high speed until frothy. On medium-high speed, gradually add the sugar to form a meringue that holds stiff peaks.

To assemble, create a single layer of vanilla wafers in the bottom of the baking dish. Use some of the sliced bananas to create a layer covering the wafers. Spread half of the custard over the bananas; repeat those three layers, ending with the custard.

Spread the meringue topping so that it covers the custard entirely; swirl it decoratively to make it look nice. Bake (middle rack) for 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned in spots.

Let cool completely, then refrigerate (with a tent of foil over the top that does not touch the meringue) for at least 2 hours or until well chilled.

From Adrian Miller, author of “Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time” (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 370
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 70mg 23%
Sodium: 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates: 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 44g
Protein: 7g

Julia and Jacques's Deconstructed Turkey With Corn Bread Stuffing and Gravy

Mark Finkenstaedt for The Washington Post; Styled by Lisa Cherkasky; Tableware from Crate and Barrel

NOV 18, 2009

This bird is a project; no two ways about it. But the results are worth it because the turkey is in great shape and a cinch to carve when it comes to the table. Cut up the turkey into the parts described below; saute the bones and cook the rich turkey stock, then make the stuffing. The rest can be done the day the meal is served. Both white and dark meat cook evenly and more quickly than a whole roasted bird.

Make Ahead: The stuffing and rich turkey stock can (and should) be made up to 2 days in advance; let cool, then cover and refrigerate. If the giblets or gizzard have been roasted as part of the stockmaking process, refrigerate them to use for the last steps of making the gravy. The turkey can be cut into the necessary pieces and deboned a day in advance. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to use.



2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Neck, bones and meaty trimmings from the (uncooked) deconstructed turkey, plus any giblets for making gravy later
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 to 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (1 1/2 cups)
2 to 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch chunks (1 cup)
8 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
6 sprigs thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces/224g pork sausage meat, preferably flavored with sage (no casings)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
2 to 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
6 ounces/168g mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Leaves from 1 ounce (or 1 clamshell pack) sage, minced (3 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
8 cups homemade or store-bought unsweetened corn bread (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12-pound fresh turkey, giblets, gizzard, backbone and neckbone removed (used for rich turkey broth and gravy; use kitchen shears to remove the backbone)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
2 to 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1/2 cup apple cider, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
3 cups Rich Turkey Stock (see above)
Pan drippings and vegetables from the roasted whole turkey breast
2 tablespoons potato starch or arrowroot
2 tablespoons tawny port, or more as needed


For the rich turkey stock: Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey neck, bones and any meaty trimmings; sear on all sides until nicely browned. This can take about 15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate, then add the onion, carrot and celery, stirring to coat in the pan fat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring, until browned at the edges. At this point, the giblets (heart, liver, gizzard) can be added and sauteed until lightly browned, if desired. Transfer the contents of the pot to a plate; reserve for later use.

Use paper towels to wipe out any fat from the pot. Place it over medium-high heat; when it is quite hot, add the broth and use a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits in the bottom of the pot. Add the bones, trimmings and vegetables, stirring to combine, then add the bay leaves and thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Once the liquid starts to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, occasionally skimming off any foam or scum that rises to the top. Then cover and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, during which time you can add the heart and gizzard to cook for 15 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively, then remove to cool and reserve for later use, if desired.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into an 8-cup container, discarding the solids. You should have about 6 cups. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate so that any remaining fat rises to the top and can be discarded.

For the stuffing: Line a bowl with a few layers of paper towels.

Heat a teaspoon or two of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage meat in several pinches/pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it is no longer pink (but not fully browned), stirring often to break up the meat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the paper towel-lined bowl to drain.

Add the remaining oil and the butter to the skillet; increase the heat to medium-high and add the onion, celery, mushrooms, sage, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have slightly softened. Return the drained sausage to the skillet, then add the broth and cook for about 1 minute, stirring.

While the vegetables are cooking, place the cornbread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetables and sausage, and toss to combine, crumbling some of the cornbread to form a stuffing that is moist yet loose. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the turkey: Discard any pieces of fat or excess skin and any pop-up plastic timer. Use paper towels to pat the turkey dry, and place it on a large clean cutting board.

Use a sharp knife to dislodge and remove the wishbone. Use the shears to snip off the nubbins and smaller parts of the wings. Use a large butcher's knife to carefully cut off the ends of the drumsticks bone; discard the nubs. Use a sharp knife to cut the leg-thigh section from the bird, keeping them together as one large piece. Use a small sharp knife, preferably a fish knife, to cut the flesh away from the bone in each thigh, then snap the bone at the joint and remove it (save for stock).

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Have a two large roasting pans ready, one with a flat rack that fits inside it.

Season the inside of each boned thigh-leg piece with salt and pepper, then use about 1/2 cup of the cooled stuffing to to fill it. Close the flaps of meat and skin over the stuffing, using toothpicks to secure the flesh. Use the oil to lightly coat the stuffed leg pieces; place them seam side up on the rack inside the roasting pan.

Use the remaining stuffing to form a large mound at the center of the remaining roasting pan. Drape the backbone-less turkey over the stuffing, so that it covers the stuffing completely and creates a kind of turkey tent. Grease the skin with a little of the oil, then season with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Add the diced onion, carrots and celery around the turkey. Place the roasting pan with the stuffed legs on the upper rack and the pan with the whole turkey breast/stuffing on the lower rack. Roast for 30 minutes.

While the turkey parts are roasting, combine the cider, hot pepper sauce and salt in a liquid measuring cup.

Remove the pan of stuffed legs from the oven; turn them seam side down on the rack, then use a pastry brush to baste them with half of the cider mixture. Return them to the oven and roast for about 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the drumstick meat registers 170 degrees. The legs should be browned and crisp. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes.

As soon as you have returned the stuffed and basted legs to the oven, remove the pan with the turkey breast/stuffing. Use the remaining cider mixture to baste the skin, then return the pan to the oven and roast for 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the breast meat (close to the bone) registers 155 to 160 degrees. Transfer the whole turkey breast to a serving platter, and transfer the stuffing to a serving bowl; cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Pour any drippings from the roasting pan with the rack into the roasting pan with the vegetables. Place the filled roasting pan over medium heat (2 burners if needed). Carefully add the vermouth, using a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add 3 cups of the rich turkey stock until heated through. Remove from the heat; strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, discarding any solids.

Place the saucepan over medium heat so the strained mixture heats through. Add the roasted giblets or gizzard, if desired, and allow to heat through. Then use an immersion (stick) blender to puree them in the liquid.

Whisk together the potato starch or arrowroot and the port in a small measuring cup. Add to the saucepan, whisking, and cook until the liquid in the pan thickens slightly to form a gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat and keep warm on the lowest setting.

When ready to serve, discard the toothpicks in the stuffed legs, then, if desired, use needlenose pliers to carefully dislodge and remove any white tendons that should now be visible on the drumsticks. Arrange the legs in natural positions on either side of the turkey breast; if desired, spoon some of the warm gravy over the turkey pieces before taking the platter and the bowl of warm stuffing to the table. Pour the remaining gravy into a warmed gravy boat.

To serve, cut the stuffed thighs crosswise into 1/2- or 3/4-inch slices that show stuffing at their center. Carve the remaining turkey at the table; pass the gravy at the table.

Rating *****[11]


Adapted from "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" (Knopf, 1997).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (stuffing and meat): 771
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 38g 58%
Saturated Fat: 11g 55%
Cholesterol: 288mg 96%
Sodium: 876mg 36%
Total Carbohydrates: 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 1g
Protein: 76g

Julio’s Chicken Nuggets

Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post


Chunks of white-meat chicken, red onion and lots of fresh ginger make these a substantial snack or entree. These are a favorite of Julio Stoesz, son of Alexandria cook David Stoesz.

Serve with the sauce for dipping, or serve the chicken with white rice and drizzle the sauce over both.

Make Ahead: You’ll have leftover sauce, which can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Yield: Makes 16 to 18 large nuggets


1/4 cup/50g packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons regular or low-sodium soy sauce
1 small hand of peeled ginger root, grated (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup cold water
About 2 cups canola oil, or more as needed, for frying
2 (about 16 ounces/448g) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 1-inch cubes (including tenderloins)
1/2 large red onion, coarsely chopped or cut into small dice (your choice)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons regular or low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3- or 4-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated (3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup/65g flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped, for garnish


For the sauce: Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a cup to form a slurry; stir it into the saucepan and cook, stirring, to form a glossy, thickened sauce. Keep warm on low heat.

For the nuggets: Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels, or place a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. If the oil is not about a half-inch deep, add more as needed.

Combine the chicken, onion, eggs, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl, stirring to form a thickened mixture.

Drop a small portion of the nugget mixture into the oil; if the oil bubbles furiously around it and it starts to brown quickly, the oil is ready. Use an ice cream scoop to drop 5 or 6 mounds of the mixture into the oil, making sure there is plenty of space between them. Flatten them slightly for even cooking. Fry for about 5 minutes, turning them once so the nuggets are browned on both sides and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate or wire rack; repeat to use all of the nugget mixture.

Garnish the nuggets with the macadamia nuts. Serve warm, with the dipping sauce and/or with rice.


From Alexandria cook David Stoesz, based on a recipe from the Junior League of Honolulu’s “A Taste of Aloha” (S.C. Toof and Co., 1983).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per nugget, with sauce (using low-sodium soy sauce): 110
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 40mg 13%
Sodium: 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates: 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 7g

Kalua Turkey


This might be the next-best thing to Hawaii's traditional kalua turkey, cooked in a covered pit. There are several variations, but this simple recipe is the one Sara K. Goo makes with her father. They apply the salt first, then pour the liquid smoke over the bird; in testing, we found that reversing that order -- applying the liquid before the salt -- worked as well.

Serve with white rice, freshly cut pineapple and traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.


1 1/2 cups coarse sea salt or kosher salt
16-pound/448g fresh turkey, giblets, neck and any other packets removed
1/2 cup liquid smoke seasoning, or more as needed
Water (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have at hand a roasting pan with rack that fits inside.

Use all of the salt to rub the exterior of the bird, its cavity and gently under the skin as much as possible. Then pour all of the liquid smoke seasoning outside and inside the bird, rubbing it into the skin to spread it evenly. Place the turkey on the rack in the roasting pan; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, until much of the skin is lightly browned and a thermometer inserted into the thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165 degrees. The turkey should be falling off the bone. Uncover, and let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Add water (to dilute) or a little liquid smoke seasoning (to intensify the flavor) as needed. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and keep warm; its consistency will be thin.

Discard all the skin and remove the bones from the turkey, reserving the bones for another use, if desired. Transfer the meat to a separate large pan or casserole dish or platter. Use two forks or your clean hands to shred the turkey to the consistency of pulled pork.

Before serving, pour the heated pan juices over the turkey and toss lightly to coat. Serve warm.

From Washington Post Real Estate editor Sara K. Goo.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

KOD's Granola

JAN 23, 2013

This recipe by cookbook author and former Washingtonian Kim O'Donnel is advertised as "kid-friendly," but really it's for everyone: a simple but excellent granola that might make you swear off the overly sweet store-bought versions. Use the ingredients as a guide, and feel free to vary the mix of fruits, nuts and seeds. We've doubled the amount of buckwheat groats (the original recipe calls for 1/4 cup) to get a bigger hit of their nutritional benefits.

Make Ahead: The granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week. If it begins to get too sticky, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, then let cool completely before storing.


4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup untoasted buckwheat groats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dried fruit, any combination of raisins, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, figs, etc.
2 cups unsalted nuts, any combination of walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios or cashews, coarsely chopped if the pieces are large
1 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey, preferably local
3/4 cup good-quality maple syrup
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a roasting pan or 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together the oats, buckwheat groats, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts and seeds in a large mixing bowl.

Heat the honey, maple syrup and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until the mixture thins, 2 or 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep it from burning. Do not allow it to boil.

Pour the warm mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring until the dry ingredients are well coated.

Spread the granola evenly on the prepared pan or baking sheets. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent burning and sticking. The granola is done when it's glistening and golden. It may still be somewhat damp.

Allow the granola to cool completely; it should crisp up within 30 minutes. Break it into smaller pieces, if desired. Store in an airtight container.

Adapted from "The Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations," by Kim O'Donnel (Da Capo Lifelong, 2012).

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per 1/2-cup serving: 270
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 13g 20%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates: 35g 12%
Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%
Sugar: 17g
Protein: 6g

Monday, July 17, 2017

Infasciadedde (Sicilian Twists)

Renee Comet for The Washington Post


These old-fashioned cookies were a specialty of Nick Malgieri's great-aunt, Elvira Pescatore Basile. She wasn't Sicilian but learned the recipe from a Sicilian friend. Malgieri believes an older version of these cookies had the dough wrapped entirely around the filling ("fasciare" means to wrap or bandage in Italian).

Before garnishing the cookies, store them between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or freeze, well wrapped, for up to 1 month. To serve, bring to room temperature before garnishing with honey and almonds.


6 ounces/168g (about 1/1/2 cups) whole almonds, preferably unblanched
1/2 cup/340g honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 batch pasta frolla, chilled (see separate recipe)
Flour, for rolling the dough
Honey, for drizzling
1 1/2 ounces/42g (about 1/2 cup) toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

Pasta Frolla

For the filling: Place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the honey and cinnamon and pulse just to mix. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the cookies: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface. Squeeze and knead the dough to make it malleable again, but not soft. Shape the dough into a fat cylinder and divide in half. Re-flour the work surface and one of the pieces of dough, flattening it into a rough square. Roll out the dough, moving it frequently and adding pinches of flour under and on it to keep it from sticking, to a 12-inch square.

Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 8 equal strips, each 1 1/2 inches wide.

Spray your hands with cooking spray or rub with butter, then take about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling and roll it between your hands while stretching until it becomes a 12-inch rope.

Lay the filling in the middle of one of the strips of dough. Fold the dough over the filling lengthwise, but don't press together.

Cut the cylinder into three 4-inch lengths and twist each one once or twice (they should look like barber poles) before placing on one of the prepared pans.

Repeat with the remaining strips of dough and filling; repeat the process with the second chilled piece of dough. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until light golden in color. Slide the papers from the pans to wire racks to cool the cookies completely.

When ready to serve, arrange the cookies on a platter. Drizzle them with honey and sprinkle with some of the sliced almonds.

Nick Malgieri

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie: 81
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 4g 6%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 14mg 5%
Sodium: 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates: 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 2g

Israeli Couscous and Mushroom Pilaf

Dominic Bracco II - The Washington Post

OCT 1, 2008

Israeli couscous is a tiny round toasted pasta. It can be cooked like pasta and drained, or cooked like rice in water or broth. It is available in the Middle Eastern or bulk section of supermarkets and specialty stores.

In this recipe, the couscous is flavored with sauteed mushrooms, onions and herbs. Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make this a vegetarian dish. Serve with roasted salmon, chicken or lamb and a cucumber salad or steamed beans.



2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup/75g)
3/4 pound assorted mushrooms, stemmed and cut in 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks
1 8.8-ounce/246g package Israeli couscous (1 3/4 cups)
2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped or snipped chives

Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan or pot over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms soften and start to brown.

Reduce the heat to medium, then add the couscous and the chicken broth; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, then cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. (Check to make sure the liquid is barely bubbling; reduce heat as needed.)

Remove from the heat. Add the dill and chives, stirring until the herbs are well incorporated. Serve immediately.

Rating ***[1]


From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (using low-sodium broth): 203
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 236mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates: 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 7g

Italian Chicken Salad With Fennel, White Beans and Heirloom Tomato Aspic

AUG 7, 2013

Think of aspic as savory Jell-O. Here, the juices of ripe tomatoes are transformed into a refreshing palate-cleansing partner to a Mediterranean chicken salad.

You'll need eight 4-ounce ramekins. Greased cupcake tins with 1/2-cup wells can be substituted, but they will be harder to unmold, and the aspic will react unpleasantly with metal tins if they remain in contact for an extended time.

Make Ahead: The aspic needs to be refrigerated at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Assemble the chicken salad an hour or so before serving.



2 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes (about 4 beefsteak)
About 2 1/2 tablespoons (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup very hot water
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
One 3-pound rotisserie chicken
28 ounces/784g canned, no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 small bulb fennel, quartered, cored and very thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 ounces/84g baby arugula (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (made using a peeler), plus more for garnish
12 leaves basil, torn, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Blueberry and Lemon-Cream Icebox Cake
Chilled Avocado and Melon Soup With Spicy Crab-Corn Salad
Smoked Trout Pâté With Creme Fraiche and Dill Cucumber Strips


For the aspic: Lightly grease eight 4-ounce ramekins with the oil.

Seed one of the tomatoes, letting the seeds, gel and liquid fall into the bowl of the food processor. Finely dice the flesh to yield 1/2 cup; transfer to a small bowl. Cut the remainder of the seeded tomato and the remaining whole tomatoes into 1-inch chunks and add to the food processor. Process until completely pureed, about 1 minute. Strain into a 1-quart liquid measuring cup through a fine-mesh strainer, using a flexible spatula to press through as much of the juice as possible; discard any solids in the strainer. You should have at least 2 3/4 cups of juice; reserve any extra for another use (such as a gazpacho or vinaigrette). If you don't have enough juice, add enough water to yield a total of 2 3/4 cups.

Transfer a generous 1/2 cup of the juice to a very wide, shallow bowl. (You need a large surface area.) Sprinkle the gelatin evenly onto the juice, letting it sit on the surface. After 10 minutes, add the hottest possible tap water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved and the mixture is thick yet not lumpy. Add it to the remaining 2 1/4 cups of tomato juice in the measuring cup, stirring to incorporate completely. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of diced tomato, along with the vinegar, salt, thyme and crushed red pepper flakes.

Pour equal amounts of the aspic mixture into each ramekin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the aspic sets, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

For the salad: Discard the skin, bones and all visible fat from the chicken. Cut the remaining meat into 1/2-inch pieces, placing them in a large serving bowl as you work. The yield is about 6 cups.

Add the beans, fennel, oil, vinegar and lemon juice, and toss well to incorporate. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, so the fennel begins to soften and the chicken picks up the flavor of the dressing. Add the arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil, and toss well. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, dip a paring knife into hot water, then run it around the inside edge of each ramekin. Invert the aspic onto individual plates. Mound the chicken salad around or next to the aspic, and garnish with additional cheese and basil.


From food writer and cookbook author Tony Rosenfeld.

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 430
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 21g 32%
Saturated Fat: 5g 25%
Cholesterol: 100mg 33%
Sodium: 630mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates: 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 42g

Italian Easter Bread

Jennifer Perillo/


This rich sweet bread can be found in Brooklyn's Italian pastry shops at the start of Lent. They add brightly colored eggs to the shaped dough before baking, but feel free to omit them -- or use the lovely pale blue and brown eggs available at some farmers markets.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rise first for about 1 1/2 hours, and a second time for about 35 minutes. Wrapped in parchment paper, the bread will stay soft for 2 to 3 days. (If you added whole eggs for decoration, remove them and refrigerate; re-seat them before serving). Stale leftovers make a nice base for bread pudding; just scrape off any remaining nonpareils.

SERVINGS: 10 - 12

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at a cool room temperature, plus more for greasing the bowl
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup scalded regular or low-fat milk, cooled to 110 degrees
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg white beaten with a splash of cold water
1 teaspoon lemon extract
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 to 6 large colorful eggs, for decoration (optional, see headnote)
1/4 cup simple syrup, for glazing (see NOTE)
Multi-colored nonpareils, for garnish

Use a little butter to grease a deep glass mixing bowl.

Combine the yeast and milk in a medium bowl. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it has dissolved.

Combine the 16 tablespoons of butter, the sugar, egg yolks and lemon extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 5 cups (750 grams) of the flour, the salt and the milk-yeast mixture. Starting on the lowest speed, beat just long enough to form a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Switch to the dough hook; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough will be soft.

Sprinkle a clean work surface with 1/2 cup (75 grams) of the remaining flour. Transfer the dough to the work surface; knead the dough to form a smooth, elastic ball. Place in the buttered bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in volume.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup (75 grams) of flour, and knead for 1 to 2 minutes so that the flour is absorbed. Divide the dough into 3 equal balls; form each piece into a 20-inch long rope. Braid the ropes and shape into a circle. Tuck in the uncooked whole eggs into the braids now, if using (as many as will fit, to your taste). Transfer the ring of dough to the prepared baking sheet; cover loosely with a barely damp towel or plastic wrap. Let rise for about 35 minutes or until the ring has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Uncover the ring of dough. Brush the top of bread with the egg wash (being careful to avoid the eggs if you’ve added them to the braid), and bake for 33 to 37 minutes, until the bread is a deep golden brown. The internal temperature should read 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the bread to wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, liberally brush the top of the bread with simple syrup, then immediately sprinkle with the nonpareils. The top will be sticky at first, but will set after a few hours.

NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container and let cool to room temperature.


Adapted from Jennifer Perillo, who blogs at

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 12, using low-fat milk): 440
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 18g 28%
Saturated Fat: 11g 55%
Cholesterol: 110mg 37%
Sodium: 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 61g 20%
Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 9g

Japanese-Style Fried Chicken

JUN 6, 2007

The secret to juicy chicken is to fry it twice, says food writer Yukari Pratt: The second time, the meat finishes cooking and the skin gets nicely crisped. For best flavor, allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. For best results, you'll need a thermometer to check the temperature of the cooking oil.

This recipe makes enough chicken for 4 dinner portions. If you're making it just to include in a bento box, figure on 3 to 4 pieces per box, or 8 bento box portions' worth.



2 pounds boneless, skin-on chicken, preferably dark meat
6 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger juice (from grated ginger root)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
1 large lemon, quartered, for garnish

Bento Rice
Kabocha Squash With Miso
Lightly Pickled Cucumbers and Wakame Sea Vegetable


Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. In a bowl, combine the chicken, sake, soy sauce, ginger juice and sesame oil. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Discard the marinade; place the chicken in a resealable plastic food storage bag and add 1/4 cup cornstarch. Close and shake to coat evenly but lightly; add up to 1/4 cup cornstarch as needed. Shake any excess cornstarch from the chicken.

Have ready a large plate lined with paper towels.

Add enough vegetable or canola oil to fill at least 4 inches of a large pot; heat on the stovetop to 320 degrees. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook for a few minutes, just until it starts to float on the surface. Use a slotted spoon or Chinese spider (long-handled metal basket spoon) to transfer it to the paper towel-lined plate, for no more than 2 minutes if possible.

Increase the temperature of the oil to 355 degrees. Return the chicken to the pot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it turns a dark color and is cooked through. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.

To serve, garnish with quartered lemons.


From food writer Yukari Pratt.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 298
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 20g 31%
Saturated Fat: 5g 25%
Cholesterol: 95mg 32%
Sodium: 312mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates: 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 20g

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gin Apple Cider

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post
Nov 14, 2012
Gin adds a refreshing and unexpected note to apple cider, and this cocktail is a great way to kick off Thanksgiving festivities
Make Ahead: You can mix up a pitcher full of this drink in advance and let guests help themselves.
Servings: 1 or more servings

1 part gin
3 parts unsweetened apple cider
1 dash orange bitters per serving
Orange peel, cut into long spirals, for garnish

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add the gin, cider and bitters, and stir. Garnish with the orange peel.

Recipe Source
From Zach Patton and Clay Dunn, who blog at
Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Golden Sweet Potato Mold With Cranberry-Grand Marnier Drizzle

NOV 18, 2012

This mix of sweet and savory ingredients puts leftover Thanksgiving sweet potato and cranberry sauce to good use. The baked sweet potato mold is dressed up with a slightly tart orange-flavored cranberry drizzle. It unmolds easily, but if you don’t want to bother unmolding it, you can cook it in (and serve it from) a baking dish attractive enough to bring to the table.

Make Ahead: The cranberry drizzle can be made a day in advance and reheated in a medium saucepan over low heat just before serving.

SERVINGS: 10 - 12

5 to 6 cups leftover sweet potatoes (from 2 pounds sweet potatoes), at room temperature or warmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion (from 1 medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dried unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups leftover cranberry sauce, or one 14-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce (see NOTE)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (may substitute additional orange juice)

For the sweet potato mold: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use nonstick cooking oil spray to generously grease a 6-cup mold or, if you don't want to unmold the potatoes, a 2-quart baking dish. Have ready a baking pan large enough to hold the mold or baking dish.

Use a potato masher or fork to mash the sweet potatoes in a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown; reduce the heat if they are darkening too fast. Add the contents of the skillet to the mashed sweet potatoes, then add the milk, eggs, bread crumbs, lemon juice, salt, celery seed, thyme and pepper, and stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared mold or baking dish and use a flexible spatula to smooth the top. Set the mold or baking dish into the larger pan and transfer it to the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the mold is baking, make the cranberry drizzle: Combine the cranberry sauce and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat so that the mixture is barely bubbling. Stir in the Grand Marnier and cook for 5 minutes.

When ready to serve, unmold the sweet potato mixture. Spoon some of the drizzle over the potato and pour the remaining drizzle into a serving dish to pass at the table.

NOTE: Canned whole-berry cranberry sauce often contains very few cranberries and a lot of dull-purple-colored sauce. To perk it up, add a cup or so of fresh cranberries if you have them on hand, and cook them together with the canned sauce and the orange juice until the berries pop, about 5 minutes. Then add the Grand Marnier and proceed with the recipe.

Adapted from a recipe by Terri Pischoff Wuerthner, a cooking instructor and food writer in California.
Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 12): 200
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 5g 8%
Saturated Fat: 3g 15%
Cholesterol: 65mg 22%
Sodium: 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates: 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 15g
Protein: 4g

Good and Easy Rolled Sugar Cookies

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


These are good, basic sugar cookies that you can decorate for any occasion. The dough is easy to mix and cut out, and the cookies are pleasingly crisp.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes or in the freezer for 25 minutes.

Storage Notes: The dough can be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.

SERVINGS: 40 - 50

Yield: cookies (2 3/4 inches to 3 1/4 inches wide)

24 tablespoons/340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 2/3 cups/375g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or lemon extract (optional)
4 1/4 cups/640g unbleached flour, plus more as needed
Store-bought or homemade, as desired

Beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract and the almond extract, if using, until smooth and well blended, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in about half of the flour. Beat or stir in the remaining flour to form a smooth, slightly stiff dough. If it is very soft, beat or stir in up to 4 more tablespoons of flour; if it is too dry to hold together, beat or stir in a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Let the dough stand for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up a bit.

Divide the dough into thirds. Place 1 portion of dough between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper and roll out to a scant 1/4-inch thickness; check the underside and smooth out any wrinkles. Repeat to roll out the remaining 2 pieces of dough. Stack the 3 dough portions, still with their paper, on a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 45 minutes or until cold and firm; or freeze for about 25 minutes. (Alternatively, divide the dough into three pieces, wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

When ready to bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Spray several large baking sheets with nonstick cooking oil spray.

Working with one portion of dough at a time and leaving the remainder in the refrigerator, place the wrapped dough on a work surface. Gently peel away the top sheet of paper, then pat it back into place. Invert the dough and peel off and discard what is now the top sheet of paper. Use 2 3/4-to-3 1/4-inch cutters to cut out the dough into your desired shapes. If at any point the dough softens too much to handle easily, return it to the refrigerator until firm again. Use a metal spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/4 inches apart. Repeat to use all of the dough, re-rolling any scraps and refrigerating them until they are firm enough to cut out. If desired, add sprinkles or decorating sugars.

Bake 1 sheet at a time for 8 to 11 minutes or until the cookies are faintly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges, rotating the pan front to back about halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack for several minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack. Allow to cool completely before adding glaze, sprinkles or other decorations.

Adapted from "Simply Sensational Cookies," by Nancy Baggett (Wiley, 2012).

Tested by Nicole Schofer.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie (based on 50): 120
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 6g 9%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 25mg 8%
Sodium: 35mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 1g

Good Stuff Eatery's Milky Way Malt

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

PLATE LAB MAY 19, 2016

This shake's ingredients invoke the best of what its inspiration — the Mars company’s 93-year-old Milky Way candy bar — has to offer, right down to the sauces painted on the inside walls of the glass it’s served in. A topping of fluffy whipped cream and crushed malted milk balls completes the set.

It has been on the menu at Good Stuff Eatery since the chain's first shop opened in 2008.

Where to Buy: Malted milk powder is available in large grocery stores.

Tested size: 1 servings

2 tablespoons good-quality dark fudge sauce
2 tablespoons good-quality butterscotch or caramel sauce
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon malted milk powder (see headnote)
10 ounces vanilla frozen custard or French vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
Whipped cream, for garnish
2 or 3 malted milk balls, crushed, for garnish

Smear the fudge sauce (warmed, as needed, for easy application) on the inside of a tall milkshake glass; you’re going for irregular coverage here. Smear the butterscotch or caramel sauce in some of the clear spaces in and around the fudge sauce.

Combine the milk, malted milk powder and vanilla frozen custard or French vanilla ice cream in a blender or the metal cup of a milkshake machine. Blend just until smooth and thick.

Pour into the smeared glass. Immediately top with a good-size dollop of homemade or store-bought whipped cream and a small handful of crushed malted milk balls.

Adapted from Max Albano, corporate chef for the Sunnyside Restaurant Group.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 920
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 36g 55%
Saturated Fat: 20g 100%
Cholesterol: 230mg 77%
Sodium: 440mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates: 136g 45%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 90g
Protein: 16g

Grilled Orange-Chipotle Chicken Wings

MAY 22, 2002

Chicken wings have three distinct parts. Cut off the wing tips, which have almost no meat on them, and discard them or reserve them for making stock. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the remaining wings into 2 pieces at the joints (this is very easy to do). The pieces are now ready to cook and small enough to be eaten easily with 1 hand.

This marinade adds just the right smoky, spicy-hot touch to chicken wings.



2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce*), or more to taste
2 chipotle chili peppers (from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce*), seeded and finely chopped or more to taste
Zest from 1 large orange
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
3/4 cup wood chips


In a food processor or blender, combine the adobo sauce, chipotle peppers, orange zest and juice, oil, honey and salt to taste and process until smooth. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut the wing tip from each chicken wing; discard or save for chicken stock. Each wing should now have 2 parts, a drummette and a wing, connected by a joint. Cut through the joint to create 2 separate pieces.

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or resealable plastic food storage bag, add the chipotle-orange marinade and shake or stir to coat. Cover the bowl or close the bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Have ready 6 large squares of aluminum foil.

When ready to cook the chicken, prepare the grill for indirect cooking. If it's a charcoal grill, build the fire on 1 side (the chicken will go over a drip pan on the other side of the grill). If it's a gas grill, turn on all the burners to preheat, then turn off 1 burner just before you place the chicken over that spot. If your grill has a thermometer, try to keep the heat between 350 and 400 degrees.

Divide the drained chips among the foil squares and wrap the chips to form a packet. Using a knife, make several small slashes in each packet. When the grill is ready, place 2 of the wood chip packets on the coals or over the hottest part of the grill.

Remove the chicken wings from the marinade, shaking gently to allow any excess to drip off. Discard the remaining marinade. Arrange the wings in a single layer on the grill rack away from the heat, making sure there is no fire directly below the chicken. (The chicken may need to be cooked in 2 batches.) Cover the grill and cook, keeping an eye on the grill. It may be necessary to adjust the heat by adding coals to the fire to maintain an even cooking temperature of 350 to 400 degrees. You may also need to add new wood chip packets if the old ones stop smoking. Grill for 15 minutes. Turn the wings and grill until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Serve warm.

* Note: Chipotle in adobo can be found in the Latin-American section of many supermarkets or in specialty markets.


Tested by The Washington Post.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (including meat and skin): 146
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 37mg 12%
Sodium: 186mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 9g

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Low- and Slow-Smoked Meatloaf

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


Smoking a meatloaf is not much more complicated than throwing it into the oven, but the flavor that results is outstanding. Chef Andrew Evans uses his restaurant's special rib rub and sauce, but any favorite rub and tomato-based barbecue sauce will work.

Make Ahead: You can assemble the meatloaf a day in advance and smoke it the next day. The cooked meatloaf can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, defrost if frozen. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through.



36 ounces/1kg 80-20 ground beef
1/4 cup tomato-based barbecue sauce, plus 1/4 cup for glazing
2 large eggs
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs, such as panko
8 ounces/224g canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the grill for indirect heat. For a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, dump them into a mound on one side of the grill. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 to 5 seconds. For a gas grill, place the wood chunk or chips in a smoker box or a foil packet with fork holes puncturing the top to let smoke escape. Prepare the grill for indirect heat (fire up only one side). Preheat the grill to high. When smoke appears, reduce the heat to as low as it will go, about 200 degrees.

Combine the ground beef, sauce, eggs, bread crumbs, tomatoes, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Pack the mixture into a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan or 6-by-10-inch baking dish.

When the grill is ready, place the meatloaf pan on the cool, or indirect, side of the grill. Fill a 9-by-9-inch aluminum pan with an inch of water and place it on the other side of the grill. (If there's not enough space for the pan, that's okay; you can omit it.) If using a charcoal grill, add the hickory chunk or chips to the coals now. Cover the grill, and smoke the meatloaf over indirect heat as close to 200 degrees as possible until the interior temperature of the meatloaf registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. At that point, brush the remaining 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce on top of the meatloaf and cover the grill. The glaze will set while the meatloaf reaches its final temperature of 150 to 160 degrees. The total cooking time will depend on the heat of your fire and the size of your baking pan or dish, but 3 hours is a good estimate.

Transfer the meatloaf pan to a heatproof surface, cover it with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.


Adapted from Andrew Evans, chef-owner of the BBQ Joint in Easton, Md.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8): 400
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 28g 43%
Saturated Fat: 11g 55%
Cholesterol: 145mg 48%
Sodium: 740mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates: 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 25g

Lunch-Hour Couscous With Sausage, Chickpeas and Spinach

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post


The only important (that is, too important to guesstimate) measurements are for the couscous and the water. Because you probably don’t have measuring cups at work, use tablespoons or even soup spoons. The crucial thing is the ratio of water to couscous, though, not necessarily the amount of either, so if you use the same spoon for both, you should be fine.



1/3 cup (about 5 tablespoons) plain quick-cooking couscous
Pinch salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste, preferably from a tube
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) water
1 link smoked or otherwise fully cooked chicken sausage (about 3 ounces), cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, such as Aidell's brand
1/2 cup no-added-salt canned chickpeas such as Eden Organic brand, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped


Have on hand a medium heatproof bowl that you wouldn't mind eating from, plus a lid or plate that can fit tightly on top.

Pour the couscous into the bowl; add the pinch of salt and stir in the tomato paste until well incorporated.

Boil the water in a tea kettle, then pour it over the couscous and immediately top it with the lid or plate; let sit for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the sausage, chickpeas, hot pepper sauce and spinach in a separate medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely with a paper towel to protect against splattering; microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute, until piping hot. Season with salt to taste.

When the couscous is ready, fluff it with a fork, then spoon the sausage mixture on top.


From Food editor Joe Yonan.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 530
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 13g 20%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 95mg 32%
Sodium: 1040mg 43%
Total Carbohydrates: 75g 25%
Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 29g