Posts Tagged ‘easy’

Radishes with Butter and Salt

Less a recipe than a blueprint, this is a simple, colorful, do-it-yourself snack to pick at with cocktails.

It’s a bit of a misnomer ““ you’re not putting butter on the radishes, you’re putting it on the baguette toasts. The crunchy, bright radishes are resting comfortably on a bed of sea salt, a few flakes of which stick to the cute, two-bite veggies as you pop ’em in your mouth. Temper the pungency with a yummy buttered baguette slice, and you’ve got a light, satisfying, pretty accompaniment to a nice glass of chardonnay.

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A picture’s worth thousand words, dontcha think?

Yes, they are as utterly scrumptious as they look. Yes, they are as rich and moist and chocolaty as they look. Yes, they are the best brownies ever.

And there’s nothing better to do with the best brownies ever than to share them and spread the love.

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Barefoot Contessa Provencal Tomatoes

Two nights ago I had an unfortunate tomato incident. Seduced by all the gorgeous heirloom varieties popping up at roadside farmstands, Dave took the plunge and bought a dazzling variety: green zebras, brandywines, purple cherokees, some yellow babies too. With the early corn tiny, sweet and tender, we had our hearts set on whipping up our debut Corn and Tomato Salad of the season.

If Chocolate Chunk is my signature cookie, Corn and Tomato is my signature salad. The recipe is from “Cucina Simpatica,” the cookbook by Johanne Killeen and George Germon of AlForno in my old hometown, Providence, and we eagerly await the dog days of August when the corn is…


In one of my favorite scenes from the 1985 film Fletch, Chevy Chase as, well, Fletch, pays a visit to Gail Stanwyck at the tennis club and orders lunch: “I’ll have a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich…and a steak sandwich, please.” If it was this truffled filet of beef sandwich? Heck I’d put two of ’em on Mr. Underhill’s bill too!

This is truly the magnum opus of steak sandwiches. A crunchy baguette slathered with truffle butter, then layered with medium-rare prime tenderloin slices, shaved parmesan and peppery baby arugula (followed by a Lipitor chaser!). There’s never a crumb left by my hearty carnivores when I make it.

Ina’s formula for cooking tenderloin is foolproof, and if…


Chocolate chunk cookies are my calling card. If you’ve ever been to my house, chances are you’ve seen my giant cookie jar brimming with the homemade treats, June Cleaver style. If you’ve invited me to dinner and I’m bringing dessert, I’ll probably have some cookies on me. Bake sale? Cookies. About to run a long, boring meeting? A tray of cookies makes it all the more tolerable. (Plus they make people smile.) Dave’s meeting with new clients? Cookies and milk break the ice. Parent-teacher conferences? I always bring a little baggie of them to the poor teacher who is inevitably strapped to her chair for the afternoon.

And nothing makes my boys happier than the sweet smell of…


I’ll just come right out and admit that I heart fennel. This is somewhat baffling to me, since I absolutely abhor licorice, and if you come within 20 feet of me with a disgusting box of Good n’ Plenty, I’m likely to throw a shoe at you. What that tells me, though, is that fennel doesn’t taste like black licorice ““ or at least what bad black licorice candy tastes like.

Fennel gets a bad rap. Since it doesn’t trot out of the produce department with nearly the same frequency as veggies in hot contention for Miss Popularity ““ say, tomatoes or cukes ““ supermarket cashiers are often stumped by the frondy white-green bulbs. More than once I’ve…


This was the first real clunker…although it was chiefly due to a less-than-ripe banana. Ben scavenged the ingredients by himself at the farmer’s market, and I knew as soon as I saw green-tipped bananas come out of the bag that the result wasn’t going to be particularly scrumptious. I had planned to try to find the ripest ‘nanner on the underside of the bunch, but while I was still dicing the mango, Ben snatched probably the greenest one from the top, peeled it and dropped it into the blender, which already had all the other ingredients in it. So we whipped it up, knowing it wasn’t going to be particularly delish.

The smoothie was nice and…


What a simple, fresh salad. Jake loved learning how easy it is to work with avocados, from peeling and pitting them to dicing the creamy flesh. The key, of course, is finding perfectly ripe avocados…our first try at Citarella yielded bright green baseballs, which we wisely left at the store.

The salad is bright and lemony, with a nice textural contrast between the crunchy endive and the creamy avocados. Unfortunately, instead of serving this as a salad course, we ate it alongside lamb chops and grilled veggies. As I got into the lamb, I found the avocado way too rich. I would stick to this dish as a salad course, with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Ben,…


Part of the fun of making these recipes out here in East Hampton is that we get to use authentic local ingredients. And by authentic, I mean Eli’s Health Bread, as called for in the recipe…and smoked salmon hand-sliced by Eli Zabar himself! Ben and his minions hit the Amagansett Farmers Market (a/k/a Eli’s East) on foot to shop for these Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches, and introduced themselves to Eli, who keeps himself busy most of the summer at this great outpost at the top of our street. As the boys were trying to calculate how much salmon they’d need, Eli overheard the conversation and asked the boys what they were going to be making….


Parmesan & Thyme Crackers

Talk about high reward for no work!

These are simply savory shortbread cookies, and the six ingredients pack a really flavorful punch. My only issue was that the dough was a bit too crumbly to be able to roll into a log—twice. I’m always hesitant to add water to shortbread dough and sacrifice some of the crumbliness, but I had to scoop the bits back into the mixer twice and I ended up adding close to a tablespoon of ice-cold H2O to get the dough to even remotely stick together. Once I managed to get it into a log, though, all I had to do was refrigerate, slice and bake. Doesn’t get much easier

With their rich, cheesy, herbacious…