Category Archives: food and Wine

Dorie Greenspan to the Rescue!

Some foodies  are nicer than others. Gordon Ramsey, for example, has never been known to be a nice guy. And perhaps that is what some find fascinating about him.  Dorie Greenspan is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Not to put too fine a point on it, Dorie is just a very nice person, and it shines through in her work. If Gordon Ramsey is jet fuel, Dorie is a wine spritzer. Here she is

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And what I like about Dorie is that she knows that average cooks, like me, don’t easily adapt to using cookbooks to upgrade how we actually make food on a daily basis. It is too demanding, from the shopping, to the new techniques, to the unavailable spices, and the time involved. So Dorie wrote a book that is designed to help you cook the way you yourself want to.

It is called “Everyday Dorie!.

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I think I will spring for it. How about you?

Here is a review from Food 52

Here is one from Saveur.

Go for it!


In Singapore: Don’t Miss he Kaya Toast!

We all know what to expect from food when we go to Paris or Rome or other places that we regularly hear about. But in our post Tony Bourdain world, the realization is growing that other areas on the planet have pretty incredible offerings – that we know very little about.

What about Singapore?  Food writer Emily Miller singled Singapore out as her favorite food destination. Why?

Singapore is a country where the most flavorful food cultures interact with each other. A beautiful melding of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese cuisines determines the flavor profiles of the country. Singapore also has its own distinctive cuisine based on these cultures called, Peranakan.

Dishes you’d find at hawker centers (open-air street food markets) tend to be more economically priced and all locals, no matter their socioeconomic position, gather there to enjoy meals from breakfast to late-night eats. These markets are where you’ll find the most traditional, in-your-face flavors, dishes and ingredients. You’ll find lots of noodle dishes and spicy soups, fermented dishes such as rojak, sweet drinks with grass jelly and sugar cane juice, and Singapore’s famous chili crab and hainanese chicken rice — each hawker center typically has some version of the classic dishes but the styles and offerings vary depending on the dominant culture of that neighborhood’s hawker center.

So, what about the kaya toast?

It’s a perfectly griddled bread sandwich stuffed with butter and a coconut/pandan jam called, kaya. Ya Kun is a popular brand and café you’ll see around Singapore. You can also find a great version at the one-off shop, Chin Mee Chin Confectionary. Typically enjoyed with a bowl of extra-soft boiled eggs, drizzled with soy sauce and sprinkled with white pepper, perfect for dipping the toast.

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Emily offers some nice suggestions on where to find this and other great stuff. Here is another list of the top 5 kaya toast destinations.


Joyful Silliness in London? What Next!

From the Grace Dent’s Guardian restaurant review

There’s a joyful silliness about dumpling joint Red Farm, newly transferred from New York to Covent Garden, that is so incongruent with the modern British restaurant scene that, to me, it felt instantly appealing. Into a landscape strewn with bitter fights about authenticity, Red Farm has flown its lurid Pac-Man dumplings. A Pac-Man made of tempura sweet potato, standing bolt upright and gob open, chases four multicoloured, plump, shrimp-stuffed dumpling ghosts across a white, oval plate. Go on, take a photo. Everyone else does.

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The Delights of the Soft Scramble

There are two types of scrambled eggs. One type is eaten with a fork. I would call these, hard scrambled eggs. The second type is eaten with a spoon. These are soft scrambled.

For most of my life, mea culpa, I was a hard scrambled kind of guy. I liked the idea of how quickly I could get the eggs off the heat and into my mouth. The allure of the soft scramble came to me much later. I read about it and scoffed. Soft scrambled eggs take more time. Who can wait?

Errr …. now I can. The creaminess that you get from soft scramble is to die for. Add some caviar and perhaps a hit of cream cheese, and you have made something.

Here is how to do it.

Tomorrow is Saturday. You have the time to do this, Give it a try.

Behold! The Peanut Butter Cookie!

One does not build a life around peanut butter cookies. At the same time, a life without peanut butter cookies is a drab affair!

The problem that I face is that you cannot find fresh, store made peanut butter cookies easily. So drat it all! One has to make them!

The good news is that this is very easy. Even I can do it without fear of failure! And if you are adventurous, you might add a touch of smoke paprika on the top.

Want the recipe? Sister Pie, from Detroit, has a good one.

Dave Leboitz recommends it!

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Go for it!

Why is Ina Garten So Popular?

Bon Appetit is hosting an In Garten love fest this week. And they profile the favorite Ina recipes of celbs and other folks we admire.

I like Ina, and I think I understand why she is so popular. She champions the “casual charm” lifestyle. By that, I mean that Ina is committed to being a social person. She makes people around her happy. But she does so in clever ways — never over doing stuff just for show. Having fun is as important as looking amazing.

Ina is not the only cookbook writer who has embraced these standards. Her thinking and doing builds on great stuff that we learned from Julia, etc. But Ina is the person who is doing it best now. And one has to love her for it!