Posts Tagged ‘family favorite’

Fire-Roasted Clams

If you’re a clam fanatic, you absolutely must experience this dish—and the dramatic adventure that goes along with making it—at least once in your life. When you grow up on the Rhode Island shore, clams are a quintessential food staple, and when you grow up as David Cohen’s daughter, dad’s legendary clamboils and clam roasts are a sought-after annual tradition. My boys are now the next generation of roasted clam lovers, and they count down the days of summer until they get to have what they have come to affectionately name “Papa’s Clams.”

My dad officially refers to them as “Clams Like the Indians Used to Make”—and by Indians he unmistakably means Native Americans. So if you’re ready,…

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…

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…

Boeuf Bourguignon

It won’t be terribly surprising that every time I or one of my sous chefs was pronouncing the name of this dish, we channeled Meryl Streep’s uncanny portrayal of Julia Child. And I sheepishly admit it’s fairly impossible not to hear Julia’s resonant voice guiding you through every step of this magnificent classic recipe!

This was our first foray into “Childhood” ““ that is, the gastronomic stratosphere to which Julia Child brought us. Though I was inspired to do this cooking blog by the movie Julie & Julia last summer, I have intentionally resisted the clichè of cooking from the tome that put the brilliant Julia indelibly on the culinary landscape and the dreadful Julie on the silver…

We stumbled upon this recipe on New Year’s Day six or seven years ago when we were lucky enough to have a bounty of luscious leftover caviar from a celebration the night before and were looking for a way to use it up (I know — what a deliriously happy dilemma!). We happened to have had the rest of the ingredients in the house — angel hair, lemon, butter, salt and white pepper — and within 10 minutes, a New Year’s Day tradition was born.

This dish could not be simpler, yummier or more festive and elegant, depending, of course, on whether you fall closer to Tom Hanks in Big or Christian Slater on Curb Your…

Caesar Salad

If my dad was famous with us kids for his French Toast, he is downright legendary among his friends for his Caesar Salad. If he’s ever had you over for dinner, there’s just shy of a 99% chance you’ve eaten romaine leaves coated with his garlic-y, anchovy-esque, parmesan-ified dressing. He keeps the recipe in his head, and it’s a rare Saturday afternoon that you don’t find him in the kitchen with his makeshift towel apron tucked around his waist, washing lettuce leaves and chopping garlic in preparation for that evening’s dinner company.

That said, I have a rather startling admission to make: I don’t particularly like lettuce. I mean, it’s widely known that I find canned tuna fish…