1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
36 slices of party rye or 18 slices of rye bread
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1 Using a box grater, coarsely grate the cucumber lengthwise, stopping when you get to the seedy center. Transfer the cucumber to a bowl and stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Step 2 If using rye bread slices, use a 2-inch-round cookie cutter to cut out 36 rounds from the bread. Cover with a slightly damp towel.
Step 3 Transfer the grated cucumber to a colander to drain; squeeze out the excess liquid. Return it to the bowl and stir in the cream cheese and scallion. Spread the cucumber cream cheese on the bread rounds, top each with a Persian cucumber slice and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.
1 pound (450g) special or lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1/2 cup (120ml) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (30ml) Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon, plus grated zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (1 ounce; 30g)
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
Baguette toasts, saltines, or other crackers, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a medium bowl, stir together crabmeat, mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon juice and zest, parsley, Old Bay, and shallot until evenly incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir bread crumbs with melted butter until evenly coated. Season with salt.
Pack crab mixture in a 1-quart baking or gratin dish, then layer buttered bread crumbs evenly on top. Set on top of a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crab mixture is heated through and bread crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Serve with toasts or crackers, if desired.
In Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese.You may need to use fresh lasagna sheets cut into noodles (buckwheat noodles can be hard to find) and bake them in a gratin dish with a crispy bread crumb topping.
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
One 1/2-pound baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound fresh lasagna sheets, cut into 6-by-1 1/2-inch strips, or fresh pappardelle
1 small head of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (6 packed cups)
Salt & ground pepper
5 ounces imported Fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter with the sage, poppy seeds and caraway seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nutty and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Step 2 Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potato and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato to a bowl. Add the pasta to the pot and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to a colander. Add the cabbage to the pot and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage and shake out the excess water. Pour off the water and return the cabbage to the pot, along with the pasta and potato. Add the browned butter, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Stir in 1 cup of the Fontina and half of the Parmigiano and transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Step 3 In the small skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the bread crumbs and parsley and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and toasted, 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining Fontina and Parmigiano and sprinkle over the pasta. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve hot. Serves : 8
The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Cool-climate white wines pair well with creamy pastas: They have both high acidity, to cut through the richness, and enough body to stand up to the dish. Pour a white from Northern Italy
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. bread crumbs
Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and shallot until golden, 4–6 minutes. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Stir in pecorino, ricotta, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 10″ pie plate with butter; coat with bread crumbs. Spread zucchini mixture evenly over top; bake until golden on top and slightly puffed, 40–45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Season the tomatoes with the salt and toss them well.
Put a big pot of water on to boil.
Smash the garlic with the flat side of a knife, give it all a few rough chops with the knife and set them a side in a small bowl.
Cut the basil into ribbons or roughly chop it. Take a pinch of this basil, chop it finely, and add it to the tomatoes to season the water.
Cook your pasta, drain it, put it back in the pot, and oil the pasta to keep it from sticking to itself. (Meanwhile, even if your water isn’t boiling yet, you should still get your garlic cooking in the next step).
Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and cook it till it is just beginning to brown around the edges and soften, a couple minutes. Give it a pinch of salt if you wish.
Pour the tomatoes into a strainer or colander over the garlic so that the tomato water will stream into the pan below. Set the strainer with the tomatoes into the bowl so they don’t drip on the counter, and swirl the sauce to bring it to a simmer. Add the butter while continuing to swirl or stir the sauce. Keep the sauce moving until all the butter is melted. Add the pasta and toss to coat the pasta evenly. Divide the pasta among four bowls and top with the tomatoes and basil. Serves 2 to 4
Break the head of cauliflower up into chunks and cut into desired sized pieces.
Add all the cauliflower to a microwave safe bowl and cover bowl with damp paper towels. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Re-dampen the paper towels and microwave for another 3 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender.
Dice the bacon, hard boiled eggs, celery, red onion and chives and add it to the bowl of cauliflower.
In a separate bowl combine the mayo, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper and then pour it over the cauliflower mixture.
Combine the entire mixture thoroughly with a spoon and add any additional salt and pepper as you see necessary.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge up to one week. Serve cold and enjoy!
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
1 (12-ounce) can pale lager
2 cups homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce (preferably Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce), divided
1/2 large white onion, cut into 1/2″ rings
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon honey
1 medium carrot (about 6 ounces), coarsely grated using the grater disk on a food processor or the largest holes on a box grater
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
6 seeded Kaiser rolls or sturdy hamburger buns
12 slices cheddar cheese
Sliced pickled jalapeños (for serving)
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Cut a 3×3″ square around core of cabbage at the base. Carefully remove core with knife. Using knife and a spoon, create a 3″–deep cavity in cabbage, big enough to hold a beer can. Discard core but reserve leftover cabbage from hollowing out cavity. Using a brush, coat cabbage with oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.
Pour out (or drink) half of the beer. Place beer can in cavity of cabbage so cabbage sits upright. Transfer to grill. Using brush, generously coat cabbage with 3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce. Cover grill and cook cabbage, brushing with sauce every 15 minutes, until outer leaves are crispy and dark brown and cabbage is cooked through and tender when pierced with a paring knife, 45–50 minutes total. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, grill white onion rings until charred.
Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Thinly slice reserved cabbage. Add to bowl with dressing along with carrot and red onion; toss to combine.
Remove cabbage from grill and discard can. Let cool slightly. Cut grilled cabbage in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise into 3/4″ strips. Coarsely chopwhite onion rings and toss with cabbage in a medium bowl with remaining 1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce (you should have about 6 cups barbecued cabbage).
Halve rolls and grill until toasted, about 30 seconds. Arrange 1 cup barbecued cabbage on each bottom bun. Top each with 2 slices cheese, 1/4 cup cabbage slaw, and pickled jalapeños, if using. Top with top buns.
Barbecued cabbage and coleslaw can be made 3 days ahead; cover separately and chill. Reheat gently in a covered pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.
3 bananas, mashed
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅓ cup milk
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or line with parchment paper.
Mash bananas until just smooth. Add cinnamon and stir until well blended.
In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, sour cream, and eggs until creamy. Add vanilla extract and mashed bananas.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet in 3 small batches. Optional: fold in chopped walnuts.
Pour batter into baking dish, spreading evenly, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
In large sauce pan, melt butter until just golden brown in color.
Whisk in powdered sugar one cup at a time, followed by vanilla and milk.
Once mixture has come together and thickened, pour warm frosting over top of banana brownies, using a spatula to spread evenly over the top. Cool completely before cutting into squares to serve.
I started playing with other ratios, like 2 teaspoons per quart and 1/2 tablespoon per quart. The effect was still there, but not quite as drastic. When I plunged my original noodles—the ones made with a full tablespoon of baking soda per quart of water, into my flavorful ramen broth—the amazing thing was that I hardly noticed the bitter aftertaste at all.
My conclusion is that if you have a delicate broth, it’s better to err on the side of less baking soda, using 2 teaspoons per quart of water. But when you have a full-flavored broth, go ahead and use 1 full tablespoon of baking soda per quart of water. You’ll get slightly better results, and won’t be able to taste the baking soda once the noodles are in the soup.