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Friday, May 25, 2012

Quick, Easy, and Succulent Grilled Steaks for the Holiday Weekend!


What could be better than juicy well-cooked steaks to kick off this special holiday! Although this weekend doesn’t mark the official beginning of summer (on June 21st), it is a time when many cooks pull out grills and barbecue tools, moving their kitchens from indoors to the open air.

Lightly charred, juicy beef sirloins topped with creamy slices of Gorgonzola and a red onion rosemary relish is a recipe from my files that would be perfect to inaugurate the season.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cupcakes—Perfect for Celebrations!


“All cupcakes are ready to party,” says my friend Elinor Klivans in her popular book, Cupcakes!, but some, she continues, seem just made for celebrations. That’s what I had in mind while working on the recipe for Orange Cupcakes with Creamy White Chocolate Icing.

Tender, moist, and scented with orange and cardamom, these golden little cakes are topped with swirls of snowy white icing made with cream cheese, white chocolate, and butter. There’s a generous accent of orange in the frosting as well to carry out the fresh citrus theme.  

Although I never met a cupcake I didn’t like, these definitely fall into the special occasion category.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Simple Asian Meals – Perfect for Weeknights!


When my friend, Nina Simonds, mentioned a few months ago that she was working on a new book titled Simple Asian Meals, I knew I would rush to get a copy. I’m a big fan of this award-winning journalist and author of ten books, and leading authority on Asian cooking and culture. Nina is also the creator of one of the most interesting blogs I follow. For each post on her Spices of Life video blog, launched in 2007, she includes a short film featuring recipes, interviews with food personalities, and much more.

Simple Asian Meals, her newest book, is filled with enticing recipes that are delicious, healthy, and convenient---perfect for weeknights.
 She has streamlined both contemporary and authentic dishes so that they are easy to prepare, and emphasizes, in useful postscripts to the recipes, the health benefits of many ingredients. Did you know that edamame are believed to lower the risk of heart disease, and that mangoes aid digestion and are also a source of beta-carotene?

For the past few weeks I’ve been cooking from this collection.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Steaks with Rhubarb Balsamic Sauce


Sometimes a dish is so unusual and so tantalizing, that I find myself thinking about it long after the last bite. That was my experience at Jean Georges’ Nougatine in New York recently. The minute I tasted the hake fillet (a mild white fish similar to cod) served sashimi style, drizzled with a rhubarb/balsamic dressing, I knew it was special.

Made with finely diced uncooked rhubarb, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a generous seasoning of freshly ground black pepper, the sauce was simple, but assertive and definitely the secret to the dish. At home, I tried my own version, adding a hint of soy sauce for a salty note. Instead of pairing this rhubarb sauce with raw fish, I opted for grilled pork tenderloin steaks rubbed with crushed rosemary, kosher salt, and pepper.