Asian food is a cuisine I have yet to master. Though I dip my toe into Thai, Indian and Korean, Chinese has been off the books so far. This insanely easy beef and scallion stir-fry recipe from Everyday Food a few years back reminds me of the takeaway dinners I used to have delivered to my door in Manhattan — minus the MSG of course. It only takes 25 minutes to make, and the ingredients are common for most pantries. We were pleased enough with the results that I am going to add it my rotation. Now, all I need is a recipe for cashew chicken, and our palettes will be complete! Here’s my take on the recipe, below.
Beef and Scallion Stir-Fry
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 tbls hoisin sauce
2 tbls rice vinegar
1 tbl cornstarch
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving (optional)
1 tbl plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 lb flank steak, cut diagonally across the grain into bite-size thin strips
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, sliced crosswise into 1 1/2 inch long pieces, white and green parts kept separate
Cooked white rice, for serving
HOW TO MAKE
1.In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup water, hoisin sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp dash of red-pepper flakes; set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbl oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook steak until lightly browned, turning once, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add remaining oil to pan along with garlic and whites of scallions. Cook, tossing often, until fragrant, about a minute. Add to pan along with scallion greens.
4. Return meat to pan; cook, tossing to coat steak with sauce, for another minute. Remove from heat.
5. Serve immediately, over rice and sprinkled with red-pepper flakes, if desired.
Around this time of year, foodie magazines like to publish recipes that contain edible flowers. Resisting the urge to capture such a gorgeous and fleeting ingredient during its peak season is not possible. Look at this bountiful salad in the new MSL! Or this feature over at Food & Wine. But us readers, especially those without a green space, are left longing, relying solely on inventive chefs to toss a dose of colorful viola or geranium petals our way. The truth is edible flowers truly are everywhere, but without turning into a nighttime flower thief that raids the neighborhood beds, most of flowers are there to be seen, not eaten. Enter this adorable kit available from Rhode Island designer Sarah Rainwater at Etsy to solve the problem! It comes
all the goods you need to grow four types of heirloom flower seeds in in your home — calendula, lemon mint, nasturtium and starflower. In addition to including biodegradable folded paper pots for starting the seeds, it also comes with a lovely wooden display that will display your fresh flowers in glass vials — until you’re ready to eat them! What an inventive Mother’s Day present, don’t you think? Edible flower kit, $50 at Etsy.
This is a favorite recipe from our archives. Enjoy!
There are few baked treats I love more than a scone hot from the oven. They’re light, fluffy, flaky, and completely irresistible. Unfortunately, I’m too often faced with the generic, coffeehouse variety: stale, heavy, and hard as a brick. But I don’t blame them – the truth is that even the best scone is only good the same day. Day-old scones can be rescued with a brief stint in a toaster oven, but it’s still not the same…and after that, it’s best to use them for doorstops instead of breakfast.
So, I’ve found a solution: baking my own. Don’t panic — this is easily one of the simplest, never-fail recipes in my file. My go-to recipe is from the queen of all things baked, the Barefoot Contessa. The whole process (including rolling and cutting) takes about 10 minutes, and the dividends are utterly delicious. If you’re hosting an Easter brunch this weekend, I can promise these are a favorite your guests will adore. Best of all, they freeze brilliantly, so you can either make them ahead for a party (as I often do) or bake one to go with your coffee and newspaper every Sunday morning.
Weekend Scones – (barely) adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
What You Need:
4 c. flour
2T baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt
3 sticks (3/4 lb.) unsalted butter, diced
1 c. (1/2 pint) heavy cream
3/4 c. dried fruit, mixed with 1T flour – I love raisins, currants or dried cherries, but anything is great. Just chop larger dried fruits into raisin-sized chunks before coating in flour.
1T lemon zest (optional, but delicious).
1 egg blended with 1T water (egg wash) and sanding sugar or raw sugar, to top
How To Make:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 deg. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest (if using) in the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix lightly to blend. Add diced butter, and turn mixer on low, letting it work until the butter has broken down to about the size of peas, and the mixture starts to look sandy (2-3 mins). Meanwhile, combine eggs and cream in a bowl, whisk to combine. When the flour/butter mixture is ready, add egg/cream mixture all at once – the mixture will come together almost instantly. Add in dried fruit and mix just until incorporated. Do. Not. Overmix.
2. This is a very sticky dough, so be sure your counter is well-floured before dumping the mixture out. Pull the mixture together on the counter, then roll (or really, you can just pat) to about 3/4 to 1 inch thickness (though I sometimes go as thin as 1/2 inch to get more scones from the recipe). Cut using a square cutter (my favorite is a 4-inch fluted square I bought in Paris(!), but any will work) or a round biscuit cutter. If you use a square, cut each square into triangles before baking, so that they’re pretty. Re-roll scraps, but no more than once, to preserve tenderness.
3. For the scones you want to bake immediately, place on a parchment-covered baking sheet, top with egg wash and sanding sugar (you can use table sugar, but I love the crunch from the sanding sugar). For the rest, place onto a cutting board or cookie sheet and put in freezer until hard, then transfer to storage bag until you’re ready to use. Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes (15-18 minutes if you roll thinner, or aren’t baking a full batch at once), until scones are a deep golden brown on top – underdone scones are not good eats.
Serve with your favorite jam, some lemon curd, or a bit of unsweetened heavy cream, whipped just past stiff peaks, but just short of butter.
Depending on the size cutter and the thickness of the scones, you’ll get anywhere from 15 to 25 scones from this recipe. Enjoy!
The other day, I was hit by a huge and undeniable craving for meatloaf. It’s one of those dishes that are so simple, but somehow has slipped out of my normal recipe trick box in favor of more trendy and convenient things (like braised-anything). So last week, I dressed up a meatloaf for Easter night dinner. Pulling out a recipe I have used in the past, Martha Stewart’s Turkey Meatloaf with Fontina and Mushrooms, I served this up with some lemony string beans and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. The cheese, leeks and mushrooms makes this little baby supremely moist and tasty. No ketchup required!
Here’s my take on Turkey Meatloaf with Fontina.
What You Need:
2 tbls olive oil
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded fontina cheese (Gouda works too)
1 cup day-old bread, cubed
1 large egg
3 or 4 finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (I used a mix of dark and white meat)
How To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 oil over medium-high. Cook mushrooms, stirring once or twice, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. Add another tablespoon of oil to pan and reheat. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes; Add to bowl with mushrooms and let cool. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add fontina, bread, egg, and sage to bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in turkey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. You might want to roll up your sleeves and use your hand for this! On a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, form turkey mixture into a 10-inch loaf. Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Say what you will about Gwyneth Paltrow, (personally I have a girl crush on her) but Goop is lovely site. Lately I’ve been drawn to its recipes, especially when they fall into the one-pan only category. This recipe for a Greek dish called Kapama (or braised chicken) is the first one I’ve tackled from Goop. Basically you put a cut up chicken in a pan with some canned tomatoes, broth, onion, garlic and a whole cinnamon stick and let simmer for a couple of hours on the stove. Your whole house will smell divine, and the dish is amazing. I served it with fettuccine tossed with garlic and it was a nice accompaniment. It reminded me of chicken catetori, but with a comforting spice twist. I opted to take most of the skin off the chicken before searing. Next time it might be nice to leave it on and really give it a good sear in the pan so it stays a bit crunchy. Here’s my take on Goop’s kapama.
WHAT YOU NEED
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz can of Italian tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground cinnamon
salt, pepper, olive oil
freshly grated Romano cheese, for serving
HOW TO MAKE
1. Wash and dry chicken. Season with salt, pepper and a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon on each side. (Note: I cut most of the skin off, but that is up to you).
2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, deep pan. When sizzling hot, add chicken and sear chicken pieces for a couple of minutes on each side, until browned. Remove chicken pieces from pan and set aside.
3. Lower heat to medium-high and add onions. Cook for a couple of minutes, while stirring, until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute until translucent.
4. Add cinnamon stick, tomatoes, broth and season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to simmer. (Note: I smushed the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon.)
5. Add chicken pieces back into the pot. Simmer for about 2 hours, until chicken is falling off the bone.
6. Garnish with grated cheese and serve over pasta and/or with crusty bread.