Posts Tagged ‘5-star’

Chocolate Cream Pie

Don't get me wrong, I loves me some fruit. Bursting berries, juicy pineapples, luscious mangos—all scrumptious treats. But for dessert, there's nothing as satisfying as something rich and chocolatey, crunchy and creamy. And man, this Chocolate Cream Pie(Saveur, Issue #126)fires on all cylinders.

I grew up eating the "semi-homemade" version of chocolate cream pie. My mom would boil up some My-T-Fine, pour it into a baked Oronoque crust from the freezer, chill it, and voilà! Chocolate cream pie! She'd serve it with a dollop of Cool Whip or a swirl of Reddi-Whip. Pardon me for a moment while I grab a barf bag.

This is the real thing, and we were lucky enough that Ben found…

Fake Shack Burgers

In honor of this week’s monumentally exhilirating announcement by Union Square Hospitality Group that Shake Shack will open its “first true roadside Shack” right here in Westport, CT-just a mere mile from my abode-I had to wax poetic about one of the dishes that’s been in my backlog for a few weeks now: the fake Shack Burger.

Full disclosure: the Reisers are completely obsessed with Shake Shack. The burgers have just the right juice/grease combination, the rolls are smushy and delish, the lettuce and tomatoes are fresh and pristine, the fries are crinkly and always hot, the custards rock, and the root beer is creamy, cold, and not overly sweet. Happiness is BenRei…

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

A warm bowl of perfectly al dente pasta lightly coated with a rich sauce bursting with umami flavor, flecked with salty, crispy shards of pancetta, encircling a glistening egg yolk ready to spread a luscious creaminess throughout the dish…all whipped together in 20 minutes or less? Yup! That’s the insane beauty of carbonara.

Okay, if you really want to bring it down to its lowest common descriptor, I suppose it is bacon-egg-and-cheese pasta. But honestly, that would be like yelling, “Yo, LARRY!” across the room to the esteemed Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s oh, so much more. Superbly decadent. Sublimely fulfilling. Even though, legend has it, it was created as a hearty dish for Italian coal miners.


At long last-and by popular demand-we are back, and this is the mouthwatering dish that inspired us to write again!

So come with me in the Way Back Machine to the year 1998, mid-May to be more precise. It was a little less than a month after our littlest munchkin had been born, and Dave whisked me off to NYC for a short respite to celebrate my birthday. The day before my actual birthday was particularly memorable for three reasons: Frank Sinatra died, the finale of “Seinfeld” aired, and we had the spring tasting menu at Lespinasse.

Chef Gray Kunz was still cooking at the restaurant, which was in the St. Regis Hotel. I remember exactly what…

Barefoot Contessa Matzo Balls

In honor of our interview with Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) last weekend, and because it’s the last day of Passover, I wanted to share our review of what finally became the first recipe that actually turned out amazing matzo balls. Mmmmm…balls. I mean, no one can resist a Schweddy Ball-nothing beats those Balls-but these came mighty close!

I like my balls tender, light-but not so light that they dissolve — and they have to be tasty, too. I grew up eating my Nana’s k’neidlach, which she made from a box, but I’m just not a box kind of chick, so I really wanted to learn to make them from scratch. There are three…

Uh, YUMMMM! Is there anything better than caramel, sea salt, chocolate, and crunchiness? I think not!

Although I personally prefer my chocolate-caramel crunch in non-Passover form – made with saltines rather than matzoh – it’s just as addictive with the unleavened bread of our ancestors. And as if that isn’t enough of a ringing endorsement, you don’t even have to clean the pan because it’s covered in foil and parchment.

Enjoy this simple recipe, adapted by David Lebovitz ““ and don’t blame me for getting you hooked on this addictive crunch!


Chocolate-Caramel Matzoh Crunch


This recipe is adapted from Marcy Goldman of It’s super-simple and requires no fancy thermometer, equipment, or ingredients. If…

Quick Salt Pickles

These are the delicious accompaniment I mentioned for those spicy Korean wings. I swear, if you can make ice cubes, you can make these. And if I write any more, it will take you longer to read this than to pickle these veggies!

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I guess by late February we’re pretty sick of traditional winter comfort food, because we are on quite the Asian kick right now. Zippy, spicy, garlicky, gingery, cilantro-y ““ all good!

This cover recipe from Food & Wine instantly appealed to me, and one day last week, I thought it might be fun and easy to make with the cute little baby shrimp that gets sent gratis when we order our giant Toros from Texas Longhorn Shrimp. They’re too small to grill, so I threw them in for a quick sautè and they were fine, but we made it again last night with the real deal and it was even better with those grilled…

Belgian Fries

Would you like fries with that? If your name is Ben Reiser, the answer is unequivocally HELLS YEAH! Sure, he’ll eat any old fries in a pinch – but he deemed these the yummiest fries ever and it’s been our go-to recipe for years.

Making fries for the Reiser boys is admittedly a time-consuming endeavor. I went into labor and delivered Matthew in less time than it takes to peel, cut, soak, pre-fry, cool and final fry 16 potatoes. Because I’m a little OCD about the size and shape of my fries, I do the tedious upfront work, and then David takes over as Frymaster. It’s all worth it in the end, however, when you have…

Ain’t gonna lie to ya, folks. This recipe is fairly time-consuming and involved. BUT…these babies aren’t even remotely related to your standard bar fare, and in our opinion, it’s more than worth it for scrumptious, over-the-top nachos that make you vow never to order pathetic “super nachos” at your local brew hall or chain restaurant again.

I’m waving good-bye to the two-thirds of you who will promptly stop reading when I reveal that you actually fry up your own chips from quartered corn tortillas. So ta-ta, and we’ll catch you next time.

Okay, you lone talented, bad-ass kitchen hottie: now that it’s just you and me, I’ll tell you the secret is that it takes literally five…