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Summer Bounty Pasta and Brie

My friend Ellen called asking for a recipe I had given her many years ago. "The no-cook one with lots of fresh tomatoes and basil," she reminded me. I had just been thinking of that recipe as I walked through the Union Square Farmers' Market with whiffs of basil and tomatoes. Funny she should call to ask about it. When I made it recently, I realized that I can no longer tolerate uncooked garlic. I could 21 years ago when I tested this idea for my Express Lane Cooking column. If you also can't tolerate raw garlic but love the flavor, add whole crushed cloves to the bowl, removing and [...]

By |2020-08-25T00:07:13-04:00September 9th, 2020|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Escarole + Escarole and White Bean Soup

When I see a beautiful head of fresh escarole in the market, my mind goes into planning mode. With about 10 cups of coarsely chopped escarole from one head, I often make more than one meal from it.  First Pasta e Escarole then Escarole and White Bean Soup, the latter from my defunct daily syndicated column, Express Lane Cooking (ELC). In ELC, I divide the ingredients into Necessities (what you need to purchase or have), On Hand (ingredients generally in your pantry) and Not So Necessary (ingredients that you can add if you want to, yet they are not necessary for the success of the recipe). Then, after I tell you how to make the soup, [...]

By |2020-07-19T12:48:12-04:00July 15th, 2020|Entrees, Starters|0 Comments

Introducing Escarole + Pasta e Escarole + Escarole and Bean Soup

I was introduced to escarole by a Florida Italian neighbor of my folks. After cooking by her side for about a week, I began my love affair with this amazing veggie. This recipe (and the escarole and bean soup that follows next week)  are from that cooking orgy. Like other leafy greens, this lettuce-like veggie packs heaps micronutrients and fiber with few calories. Escarole is a relative to endive, radicchio and other bitter greens. Before using, be sure to rinse the escarole thoroughly in a few changes of water because it can be quite sandy, like leeks. For this recipe, no need to dry before using. Just leave the water [...]

By |2020-07-04T09:19:33-04:00July 8th, 2020|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

A Favorite One-dish Meal: Jambalaya

There are as many recipes for jambalaya as there are cooks. I add chicken and andouille; you might add duck, shrimp or other seafood and different smoked sausages. My hot-and-spicy version is based on the one in my first cookbook, “Rice,” published in 1991, Harmony Books, co-authored by Joanne Lamb Hayes. We lucked out, having Harriet Bell as our editor. Make this your own by adjusting the quantities and types of ingredients. Jambalaya is my favorite dinner-party meal because I can do most preparation ahead. I do so through the addition of the broth, finishing to that point shortly before my guests arrive. While everyone is enjoying a cocktail and [...]

By |2020-06-04T09:24:03-04:00June 15th, 2020|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Choose Your Ingredients for This Macaroni Bake

On a Zoom call recently, someone mentioned baked ziti, which sparked memories of what Connecticut soccer moms' served when feeding a huge crowd of players and parents. That thought inspired me to create this recipe. Baked ziti can be quite forgiving, allowing you to vary the kind and quantity of ingredients. For this version, I cook the pasta in the sauce, lessening the cleanup.  If you have a large enough oven-proof skillet to fit all the ingredients — with space for the pasta to expand — use that. If not, use a 9 x 13-inch pan. For meat, I used the ground pork and andouille purchased at Union Square Farmers' [...]

By |2020-05-27T12:23:24-04:00June 1st, 2020|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments