Learn how to cook beef with me on Craftsy.com!

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Well hello! I was in Denver this past November filming an 8-part beef intensive cooking class Craftsy headquarters! In this class, I’ll show you how to make meatballs, your own house-blend beef mix for burgers, stellar hack-mole short ribs, French grandma-style pot roast, Romanian skirt steak, a Southeast Asian hanger steak salad, Flintstonian t-bones and a porterhouse (with homemade steak sauce!), and a centerpiece stunner, prime rib roast!

Use this link for a $10 discount! The cool thing about Craftsy is that if you ask questions, I can answer you right back. So it’s like having me right by your side in your home kitchen. There are also loads of other cool classes to check out on Craftsy–like Artisan Bread in Minutes with Zoë Francois, The Art of Stir Frying with Grace Young, Indian Curries with Raghavan Iyer, and Martha Holmberg’s sensational Homestyle Pan Sauces class. Sign up and learn something new today!

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10 Tips for Fresh Ginger

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Check out the spring issue of Ladies Home Journal for lots of great ways to use fresh ginger! Rubbed, pressed, grated, smashed, infused, and pulsed…so many ways with this wonderfully vibrant root. It completely transforms a dish or a drink.

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Winter Shortcakes in this month’s Fine Cooking

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Fine Cooking editor Jennifer Armentrout called my shortcakes “one of the best things I’ve tasted in the test kitchen all year.” Wow, high praise indeed…thanks Jen! Last spring, I baked up a storm, trying to figure out the most decadent and plush shortcake bases for my winter shortcakes story featured in the February/March edition of Fine Cooking. I found the secret to extreme tenderness and nearly obscene richness by using hard-boiled egg yolks in the shortcake dough (thanks for the idea James Beard!) in combo with sour cream. YOWZA.

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While Jennifer’s favorite was the roasted pear with gorgonzola dolce and honey (photo above), mine was hands-down the apple and oat shortcake only available online as a special bonus. Check it out–there is rye flour in the shortcake blend which adds a really beautiful flavor. Especially with a good peaty scotch on the side…cheers!

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New Book Alert!

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Look what I just got! An advance copy of the cookbook I collaborated on with Melissa d’ArabianSupermarket Healthy. This is the second book I helped Melissa write–I am so proud to call her a colleague and friend. She is one smart, focused, and inspiring woman. Published by Clarkson Potter, December 2014.

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Cooking with Diego Rivera in Mexico

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In June, 2014, I traveled to San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico to cook with Diego Lopez Rivera, the grandson of the legendary artist, Digeo Rivera. In addition to eating killer chilaquiles and bonding over mezcal, we talked about what it’s like to live within the shadow of one of the 20th century’s most formidable muralists and political activists, Diego Rivera. Published in Saveur, November 2014.

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The Milkshake that Never Was: Also Known as the Concrete

This weekend I had ambitions, and one of them was to make a milkshake with my kids. I let the boys thumb through my very dear friend’s book (coming out in paperback–congrats Ried!) to pick a milkshake that we’d make together. Their first choice was a cold-buttered rum shake that while sounded perfectly fantastic to me, would most definitely raise the eyebrows of every friend and parent to whom Julian would relay the experience of how his mother let him drink a rum-fueled shake (the babysitter still looks at me funny ever since she caught Julian drinking from the bourbon bottle–that he filled with sweet mint tea; he has been reading too much Tintin, yes).  So I scrapped that option. And then Julian turned to a chocolate-covered-pretzel concrete, a mixture of soft frozen custard and chocolate covered pretzels that sounded like pure bliss in a bowl.

We had unexpected company, we missed a birthday party we were supposed to go to, we kept the kids up until past 11pm Saturday night simply because we were having too much fun with friends and good wine to break up the party. And I kept thinking that we’d make the milkshake later, tomorrow, in the morning. We’ll have ice cream for breakfast, for lunch or instead of dinner–we’d make it and I’d take photos of the boys with ice cream dripping off their faces, we’d make a mess and love every second of it. They’d love me and I’d love them and no one would care that there was ice cream splattered across the room or that I just fed my children chocolate and dairy fat as a meal.

And it just didn’t happen.

So on Sunday night long after the kids were tucked in, I went to the kitchen, flipped open Adam’s book, and made the concrete on my own. It took like eight seconds as the recipe is two ingredients long: frozen custard and chopped chocolate-covered pretzels. All it takes is a bowl, a spoon, and the lightest bit of effort to stir. Unlike my empty milkshake promise to the boys, the recipe held true to form, it delivered a bowl of salty-crunchy-cold-and-creamy deliciousness.

I sat on the sofa watching my guilty pleasure vampire soap opera and ate pretzel concrete. I kind of failed–I mean, I didn’t make the concrete with the boys like I told them I would. I didn’t make it with the exact ingredients called for (frozen custard, where are you in Brooklyn?). But I can’t remember the last time that failure tasted so damn good.

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Baguette Guilt and Fried Bread Frittata

So the story goes: I had a half-baguette lingering on top of the microwave, sad and pitiful in a crinkly foil collar that was wrapped around it to help keep bread rigor mortis at bay. It stared me down whenever I checked the time or went to grab Nutella from the pantry (which happens all too often in my house). This weekend has been all about greedy excess: warm chocolate chip cookies on a gray afternoon, hot dogs and cheese fries, fresh-fried donuts, an easy dinner of good bread and triple creme cheese. Why not turn that leftover half-loaf into a frittata crowned with olive oil and butter-fried bread? Keep the good times going, yes, why stop the fry party just because it’s Sunday?

With some beautiful eggs from a local farm, I made a frittata. The eggs were fresh and perky (old eggs lose their tightness; the raw whites slouch like a teenager); I lightly beat them with some salt and cream. After frying the bread cubes in olive oil, butter and salt, I turned them onto a plate and used the hot pan to charm some garlic–egg mixture went back into the pan along with a cup of chopped roasted broccoli, a crumbled knob of goat cheese and a good handful of Parm. I sprinkled the olive oil and butter-fried bread cubes over the top and placed the skillet under the broiler. A few minutes later, there she was, a frittata suitable for breakfast or dinner, and crowned with butter and olive oil-toasted jewels. It was like eggs and toast yet so much more magnificent. Smiling, I brought the skillet to the table, happy with my discovery and knowing that a new era of frittatas for dinner had commenced.

Fried Bread Frittata

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or crème frâiche (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 1/2-inch thick baguette slices (day-old or fresh), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped roasted, steamed or sautéed vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, onions, green beans. fennel, artichokes–the list is endless)
  • 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) cheese, crumbled (such as goat cheese, blue cheese, cheddar, fresh mozzarella)
  • 3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, or 3 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Whisk the eggs and heavy cream together with a good pinch of salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Melt the butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 9- or 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the baguette cubes and a generous pinch of salt, toss, and cook, turning often, until golden-brown and crunchy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Add another tablespoon olive oil to the pan along with the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring often, for about 30 seconds. Stir in the vegetable(s) and pour the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the frittata followed by 2 tablespoons of Parm, then the croutons and lastly the final tablespoon of Parm. Cook until the edges of the frittata are set, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and turn the broiler on to high.

4. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over the frittata and place it in the oven. Broil until the eggs are set, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.

Woah, It’s Roasted Broccoli

Serves 4

Works great with cauliflower too.

  • 1 head broccoli, ends trimmed, stalks peeled and thinly sliced on a bias, crowns divided into florets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Heat the oven to 350°. Place the broccoli stems and florets in a large baking dish. Toss with the oil and a good few pinches of salt and roast until the florets are browned and frizzled, about 1 hour and 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve sprinkled with Parm.

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