Ultimate Bistro Salad:
Salade de Laitue
Living whole heads of Bibb lettuce, high quality vinaigrette components, and the synergistic combination of a few fresh herbs result in a deceptively simple yet exquisitely balanced salad, one that is the best imaginable of its kind. Period.
Chef Thomas Keller writes in his fabulous bistro cookbook Bouchon, “The word laitue comes from the Latin word for milk, from the milky juices some lettuces can exude. Hearty, buttery Bibb leaves are a good example of the rich juicy quality lettuce can have. They’re so big and rich, in fact, that this salad almost qualifies as a meal in itself.”
Salade de Laitue Recipe
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Purple Pierogi Ruskie
Stuffed with Purple Potato & Farmer Cheese
Served with Purple Sour Cream
Caramelized Purple Onion
These meatless potato and cheese dumplings are known as pierogi ruskie, and while the flavor is classic, their color is certainly not!
In many Central and Eastern European countries, pierogi ruskie are usually stuffed with the traditional farmer cheese and russet potatoes. Farmer cheese is tasty tangy dry curd cheese with a perfect consistency for the filling. Here, baby purple potatoes, besides their striking color, have a rich earthy flavor and just the right texture when passed through a ricer.
Combine the farmer cheese and purple potato to make this dramatic magical-hued filling. Imagine your family and friends’ delight as they bite into a crispy chewy pierogi and discover a purple filling!
Let’s have some fun with our food! We deserve it…
How to Make Purple Pierogi Ruskie
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Petite Lobster Tail, Velvety Asparagus Cream, Caviar
Looking for a stunning start to your next dinner party? To entertain in the New Year in style? Replace that ubiquitous dinner salad with a petite lobster tail atop a luscious asparagus cream at your next soirée. Even if it is just a soirée for two…
Lobster and asparagus have always made a stylish pair, so here asparagus is turned into a luxurious cream sauce while a fancy petite lobster tail becomes a posh vehicle for caviar.
And the beauty of this dish it that it is equally exquisite served either hot or cold. Depending on the occasion, the weather, your menu, your mood… whatever it may be – choose the hot or cold version for your very elegant first course.
Petite Lobster Tail Recipe
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What to Serve with Caviar?
Caviar is always a good idea. And they don’t always have to be the most expensive fish eggs on the block. A jaunty presentation with several great accompaniments, and a favorite sparkling wine or chilled vodka can make for a most memorable experience.
Purists prefer to eat expensive caviar off the back of the hand, between the index finger and thumb so as to enjoy that pure unadulterated burst of the sea.
But it is also quite fun to put out many accompaniments and let your guests experiment with their own special pairings and combinations. Try fresh-shucked oysters with a dollop of crème fraîche topped with caviar. Or maybe a warm blini with butter, hard-cooked egg yolk and finely minced onion with caviar on top…
Perhaps 2021 will be a year to indulge and to allow oneself to enjoy life’s finer pleasures… and not wait for a special occasion?
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Oatmeal Date Walnut Cookies for the Holidays
They’re really terrific all year round, but just a little dusting of powdered sugar can make this hearty-crispy-chewy oatmeal cookie perfect for the holidays as well.
Oatmeal Date Walnut Cookie Recipe
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Latkes with Farmer Cheese, Two Ways
Sweet with Pomegranate Arils
Savory with Fresh Herbs
A jug of olive oil, which held enough oil to last for one day, burned for eight when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated. So we eat foods fried in olive oil to commemorate that ancient miracle. As far as symbolic foods go, potatoes fried in oil are pretty much everyone’s favorite.
This year I’m serving my latkes two ways, sweet and savory, both topped with farmer cheese. My favorite, Lifeway Farmer Cheese, is a cultured soft cheese made from an old world recipe with a distinctive tangy flavor, and it’s packed with probiotics to boot. You might say farmer cheese and latkes are a match made in heaven…
Latkes Two Ways
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Turkey Soup with Tortellini and Kale
By the third or fourth day after Thanksgiving I am about ready to look at turkey again. I buy a good-sized turkey for our crowd and we usually serve another protein like roast beef, so when I carve the bird for Thanksgiving dinner I don’t have to worry about slicing every bit of meat off the bones. The carcass usually has a good amount of meat left on it – ideal for a rich flavorful turkey stock and the eventual annual soup.
Craving pasta and greens after the holiday, cheese tortellini and lots of curly kale were the perfect ingredients for this years’ turkey soup.
Turkey Soup with Tortellini and Kale Recipe
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