Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

Spicy Tomato Soup

You need to make this tomato soup. It’s bright and spicy and savory and sweet and best of all, easy. In fact, with very little effort, you can bring a smile to a tableful of eaters, especially if you pair it with yummy grilled cheese. I know I did last week!

The key is to adapt the spiciness to your taste by adjusting the amount of crushed red pepper. Start with less and add until you’re happy with the zing. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out. Once it’s got the right degree of heat, blend and strain it, and you’re ready to go.

The soup was so simple to make that…

California BLTs

Life is nothing short of hectic these days with four teenagers, all on different afternoon and evening schedules. There’s baseball training, newspaper layout sessions, driver’s ed classes, sports broadcasts, Spanish tutoring, yearbook meetings, study sessions, alumni college interviews, guitar lessons, piano lessons, bass lessons—well, you get the idea. Some nights, it’s like Grand Central Station with ridiculously staggered arrivals and departures.

On those crazy nights, instead of wasting time cooking something that will be shoveled down on the fly between activities, I often put together the components for BLTs (or in this case, California BLTs!) and let the troops assemble themselves as time allows. They’re easy and satisfying, and the cool secret is cooking the…

Back in “the day” (whatever that means!) when I was a hose-‘n-pumps corporate chick in Downtown Providence, RI, I used to take out the most awesome sandwiches from this little place called Barclay’s Gourmet on Weybosset Street. They were among the earliest adopters of Boar’s Head provisions and they used fresh breads, great cheeses and good quality veggies on their creative sandwiches. One of my faves was the “BLTA” — you know what the B, L and T stand for, but the A was the genius addition of avocado.

These California BLTs bring back memories of the early 90s: standing behind the same giant, buff attorney every day in line at Barclay’s, tall white cans of hair spray,…

Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade!

But first, I have to back up and tell you a new culinary rule I made up the other night: “do not sip cocktails and then have a soup course before you serve grilled tuna.” Because while you’re slurping soup, the tuna is sitting on a platter on the kitchen counter cooking way beyond an appetizing degree of doneness. (Without the preliminary cocktails, you may possibly have a shot at remembering to slice the tuna before you eat the soup, thereby suspending further cooking and preserving the perfectly seared outside and raw interior.)

The tuna wasn’t horribly inedible or anything, but after a filling bowl of

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…

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….