Posts Tagged ‘entrée’

World’s Best Fried Chicken

We have something of an obsession with fried chicken in my household.

You see, Dave’s dad owned Topsy’s Fried Chicken Restaurant on Route 6 in Swansea, Massachusetts “back in the day,” and I’m told he made the best fried chicken (and onion rings) known to mankind. The restaurant closed in 1973 when I was but a wee lass, and sadly, I never made it there from all the way on the other side of the bay. And the legend of Topsy’s has been passed along not only by Dave, but by legions of fried chicken fans who used to detour for a basket of hot, crunchy, juicy poultry.

Trouble is, Dave’s dad, God rest his soul, took the secret…

Bo Ssam

Ah, the power of suggestion. Last week, a piece in the New York Times reminded me of one of the best family dinners we had in 2011: a fabulous Friday evening savoring the Bo Ssam meal at Momofuku Ssam Bar. David Chang’s restaurant takes reservations for tables of 6-10 diners, who are served a life-changing whole slow-roasted pork shoulder to pick apart with tongs and assemble in delicate lettuce cups, topped with divine kimchi and other scrumptious fixings, all capped off with fresh slurpy oysters. Pork shoulder and oysters- well, isn’t that just the quintessential Shabbat dinner for every nice Jewish girl?!

The Times’ photo made my mouth water, and as I read the article, I…

Beef & Black Bean Chili

Big football weekend = big pot of delicious chili!

A few cold Sundays ago, knowing it would be an afternoon spent watching football in front of the fire, I had a hankering for chili. It had been in the back of my head since we had seen the chili cookoff episode of Top Chef earlier in the month, and knowing that chili is a process rather than a “yikes, it’s 5:30 on a Thursday…what should I whip up?” kind of dinner, I decided the time had come. I searched for a meat-and-beans version that I could cook all afternoon, and the recipe I chose was from Bobby Flay: Beef & Black Bean Chili with Toasted Cumin…

Swedish Meatballs

When a Swedish Meatball recipe says it serves “4 Vikings or 8-10 regular people,” I know I’ve found a recipe for my crew. Despite the fact that they each devour an entire box of chicken nuggets as an after school snack, my guys are all once again ravenous by dinnertime. And since there’s no telling just how many Swedish Meatballs my bottomless pits would put away, I boldly doubled the recipe. That’s a lot of Vikings!

Swedish Meatballs bring me back to days of groovy plaid bell bottoms, a smokin’-hot Dorothy Hamill ‘do and oversized eyeglasses with stylish side pieces that started at the bottom of the glass frame and made two 90-degree turns to reach my ear….

Grilled Fish Tacos

We are completely smitten with grilled seafood tacos this summer, and these are so yummy that they even inspired my sister, who didn’t think she liked fish tacos, to declare that she needed the recipe to make them herself.

First of all, it’s fun for everyone assemble their own tacos. What’s better than a semi-customizable dinner? Second, the components are pretty easy to make, and again, you can customize to your heart’s content. I happen to love radish matchsticks on mine, but there’s nothing to stop you from adding whatever else you like.  And finally, I mean, they’re grilled fish tacos…YUM!

With lots of company over the weekend, I figured it would be an ideal time to try the…

Nyonya Grilled Shrimp

HELP! I need someone to try this yummy shrimp dish with the coconut sauce that I chose to omit (during the first week of a diet) and tell me how it is, because I have to imagine it elevates the dish to something truly remarkable.

We got the grill into proper working order a few weeks ago—finally a real charcoal grill after all these years with gas—and have been on a grilling tear every since. Trying to lose a few (okay, 30) pounds, dinner choices have been limited to the de rigeur boneless chicken breasts, fish, and maybe some veal. But I was jonesing for something a little sweeter, plumper, juicier, more succulent a couple of…

Cedar-Planked Salmon

Yes, I am wayyyyyy behind. There are more than 30 dishes in my queue to write about, but this Cedar Planked Salmon with Lemon-Pepper Rub and Horseradish-Chive Sauce from last night was so scrumptious that it leapfrogged over everything else and jumped to the front of the line!

We’re those crazy variety of New Englanders who love to grill year-round, but there’s nothing more satisfying than firing up the coals on beautiful June weekends when it’s still relatively cool and there’s light in the sky until almost 9:00. And it’s even more fun to share those magical late-spring days kicking back with friends-laughing, gossiping and savoring the season. (When I told Matt we were having friends…

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…