Calabrian Chili, Burrata, and Fresh Basil
Served with an Amalfi Spritz
Buon Natale! Merry Christmas – this is a brilliant vegetarian dish for the holiday with its beautiful striking red and green colors. But how could it possibly be any good? The pasta, maltagliati, literally translates to “badly cut” and the sauce arrabbiata translates to “angry”! Turns out this bad-cut-angry pasta dish is actually deliziosa…and perfect for the holidays.
Spaghetti with Pan-Fried Zucchini
Shishito Pepper Pesto
Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Amalfi Restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Bobby Flay’s stellar new restaurant at Caesars Palace is where he brings flavors of the Amalfi Coast to the Las Vegas Strip.
We had an absolutely delightful meal there recently…and would have tried even more fabulous dishes if we had room. Our server informed us that the Spaghetti Zucchine is one of the most popular pastas at the restaurant. The Chef wrote on Instagram that it has become the most requested pasta dish at his house.
Unable to fit in another pasta that night (we had the Caramelle and Pasta Rags, both excellent), I just had to try the Spaghetti Zucchine at home.
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!
This is one sassy black bean soup. It is easy to make and gets a kick of heat and smoky authentic flavor from the addition of fire-roasted salsa verde added at the end of cooking. Let each diner go crazy with the garnishes according to their own taste: pickled red onion, garlic crema, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro all add to this fiesta in a bowl. The black bean canvas is artistically painted with a array of flavors, textures, and colors.
With only 4 ingredients (tomatillos, jalapeños, salt, and water) – our favorite Salsa de Molcajete Verde from the refrigerated section at the supermarket, adds robust Mexican taste without having to take the extra steps to roast chiles and tomatillos over an open flame.
An enjoyable dinner at the new Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse here in Las Vegas and the approaching Jewish High Holy Days curiously inspired us to make homemade blintzes.
We discovered that infamous Jewish mobsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky were huge fans of the Cheese Blintzes at Ratner’s Restaurant. Founded in 1905 and located on the Lower East Side of New York City, Ratner’s did not serve meat in deference to the kosher prohibition against mixing milk with meat. They served a Jewish kosher dairy menu with cheese blintzes as one of the most loved dishes.
Growing up, our Jewish pancakes were always stuffed with farmer cheese, but, alas, not the easiest cheese to find in modern times… As luck would have it, my friends at Lifeway Kefir make Farmer Cheese that is happily having a resurgence. It is a cultured soft cheese made from an old world recipe with a distinctive tangy flavor, and packed with probiotics. Feeling nostalgic for Jewish comfort foods from our youth, we found the perfect authentic filling for our blintzes.
We prefer our blintzes cooked in browned butter for a nuttier taste and on the slightly crispy side, always served with the obligatory sour cream and lots of other complementary toppings. Here’s our recipe….