Jan 31, 2007

Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Chef Jean-Jacques Bernat shows us how to roast and marinate red peppers.

Jan 28, 2007

You Might Be a Bad Cook If...

Your microwave display reads "TILT!"

You know dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off.

Your dog goes to the neighbors' to eat.

Leftover crumbs make a great replacement for kitty litter.

Your kids know what exactly peas porridge in a crock pot nine days old tastes like.

If the EPA requires that all your garbage cans be marked with large bright red "biohazard" symbols.

The smoke alarm beeps if you even walk near the stove.

Your apple pie bubbled over and ate the enamel off the bottom of the oven.

You used three boxes of scouring pads, a bottle of Drano and a crowbar, but that macaroni and cheese still won't let go of the pan!

You look in a cookbook to find out how to boil water.

You call your mother to ask how long to boil cabbage to make cole slaw.

If anyone has ever broken a tooth while eating your homemade yogurt.

Jan 26, 2007

Mole Negro de Oaxaca

Ceja Vineyards

· 24 uncooked chicken pieces (legs, thighs, or chicken breasts cut in half)
· 10 chiles negros
· 10 chiles guajillo

· 10 chiles pasilla

· 2 toasted tortillas

· 2½ round tablets of Mexican chocolate (e.g. Ibarra brand)

· 4 tomatoes

· 10 peeled tomatillos

· 1½ onion
· 2 heads of garlic
· 2 tablespoons peeled pumpkin seeds

· 2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts

· 2 tablespoons walnuts

· 2 tablespoons peeled almonds

· 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

· ¼ teaspoon marjoram

· ¼ teaspoon oregano

· 1 teaspoon thyme

· 1teaspoon anise
· 1 teaspoon cumin
· 6 whole pepper corns
· 6 whole cloves
· 1 peel of cinnamon stick

· One slice of Mexican sweet bread

· Chicken broth (about 10 cups)

· Salt to taste

· 10 tablespoons manteca (lard)
(I substituted a light olive for the lard and it worked very well)


For Chicken:
· To a large pot of gently boiling water, add the washed chicken pieces, one onion, one unpeeled garlic head and one tablespoon of salt.
· As chicken cooks, spoon out foam and cooked blood that accumulate on the surface (you want to end with a clear and delicious broth).
· Boil gently until tender-do not overcook. Separate chicken from broth and discard onion and garlic head.

For Mole:
· Cut the stems off the chiles negros, guajillo and pasilla and take out the seeds (save the seeds). Wash the chiles and pat dry with a towel.
· In a pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil, sauté chiles a few at a time until crispy but not burned-set aside.
· Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and sauté pumpkin seeds, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, chile seeds and one layer of the cinnamon stick until golden-set aside.
· Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté Mexican chocolate until softened-set aside.
· Toast slice of Mexican pan dulce-set aside.
· Over a grill, toast the tortillas until golden.
· Mix together all the sautéed ingredients, toasted tortillas, Mexican bread, marjoram, oregano, thyme, anise, cumin, whole peppers and cloves.
· In a blender or food processor, process the above mixture a little at a time with chicken broth (about 6 cups) until smooth-set aside.
· Over a grill, fire roast tomatoes, tomatillos, ½ onion and 1 head of unpeeled garlic until blackened but not burned.
· Process fire roasted ingredients with 2 cups chicken broth until smooth.
· To a heated large pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, add the tomatoes mixture and simmer for about 15 minutes-stir frequently.
· Add processed sautéed mixture to simmering mixture and continue simmering gently (add broth to desired thickness of mole sauce)-stir continuously for one hour. (Serves 12)

To Serve:
Distribute mole sauce on plate and place two chicken pieces on it. Add mole sauce across chicken pieces and serve with warm corn tortillas. ¡Salud!

Suggested wine: Ceja Carneros Pinot Noir, Ceja Merlot and Ceja Vino de Casa

Jan 24, 2007

Trouble Whipping Cream?

Have trouble making whipped cream?
Can't get it to whip correctly?

Be sure to put the bowl and egg beater in the refrigerator to chill

Jan 21, 2007

Easy Eggs Benedict

1/4 cup salted butter, melted,
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, for coloring
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 English muffins split, toasted and buttered

4 thin slices of ham

1 tablespoon white vinegar

4 eggs

Garnish with lemon peels and chopped parsley.

Melt the butter and make sure to remove from heat before butter browns.

Using a blender, blend yogurt, turmeric, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (optional) for about 2 seconds or until smooth. While blender is on, add the melted butter in a thin steady stream.

Toast and butter all 4 English muffins topping with 1 slice of ham, and set them on plates.

Bring to a simmer 3 cups of water in a medium size saucepan. Pour in the vinegar.

Break all 4 eggs into water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still soft.

Place 1 poached egg on each English muffin and spoon a generous portion of cream sauce on top of the eggs, garnish and serve.

4 servings

Jan 18, 2007

Red Winter
Priya Singh

January and the cold are undeniably lovers. They’re moody, chilly and sometimes terribly unsociable... and for all of you reading this there is a way to make them slightly more approachable…

So, please sit back and enjoy with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the perfect wine for a cold, chilly winter evening...sip after sip warms the gut, kindles the taste buds and the evening is converted into a warm, candlelit, cozy and romantic memory.

Cabernet Sauvignon along with Chardonnay and Merlot is one of the most widely-planted of the world's grape varietals. The principal grape in many wines from the Bordeaux region in France particularly those from the Medoc, it is grown in most of the world's wine growing regions. Many of the finest red wines regarded as among the world's greatest, are predominantly made from this grape.

California Cabernet is usually characterized by being denser, usually darker and with more blue and violet highlights. Alcohol levels are also higher and the flavors can be more fruit forward; jammy blackberry preserve, cassis, stewed plums, roasted meat, cherry and toasty oak. The wine is also much more approachable and welcoming in its youth.

Unlike most people I find it a great waste of time comparing California Cabernet to wines with those from the Bordeaux region or from South Africa or from Australia or wherever else! Can you compare Handel with Tchaikovsky or Salman Rushdie with W. B. Yeats? Even if the wines may be based on the same grapes, differences in geography produce very different results and that is the beauty of it all, the difference. The next step is which style is most suited to you, or like me it depends on which ever particular style is your favorite for the moment!

If you like trying something very different I recommend the Cab from Ceja Vineyards. With bright fruit, berries, leather, anise and some dark chocolate on the nose, it shows a toasty earthiness with a concentration of dark fruit, blackberry, plum and cherries on the palate. This wine can be enjoyed alone or with chicken, darker fish or meat dishes. And I find it goes beautifully with anything chocolate!

And if you are in the mood for something bolder, bigger, true to the spirit of California than go no further than the Cabernets from Phelan Vineyards. This is a boutique winery located in the Mt. George area of Napa Valley dedicated to producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The Phelan wines are characterized by their elegant texture and huge aromas of smoky wooden barrels with hints of coffee, earth and dark berries. And this one demands a juicy steak or roasted lamb with lots of sauce and gravy! Please drink responsibly…!

Priya Singh
Lilliput Enterprises, Inc
9 Desbrosses Street
Suite 525, NYC 10013
Tel: 212 343 4202, Fax: 212 343 4204

Jan 14, 2007


A mixture typically of rolled oats and various added ingredients (as brown sugar, raisins, coconut, and nuts) that is eaten especially for breakfast or as a snack

The names Granula, Granola and Ganolietta were trademarks in the late Nineteenth century United States for foods consisting of whole grain products crumbled and baked until crispy; compare the contemporary Swiss invention, Muesli.

Jan 10, 2007

Shrimp Appetizer Recipe

2 lbs. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. butter

¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup minced shallots
Salt and pepper

3 T. fresh lemon juice

2 T. fresh lime juice

¼ cup fresh chopped dill

Over high heat, melt butter in olive oil in a large skillet.
Add garlic and shallots and sauté for 2 minutes without browning.

Increase heat and add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes or until done to

Do not overcook; as soon as they turn pink they are done.

Add salt and pepper.

Put shrimp in a bowl, adding all the juices. Add lemon, lime and dill. Mix
well. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours. Mix again and serve

Serves 8 as an appetizer serving.

Jan 5, 2007

Easily Make Your Own Mayonnaise

There is a vast difference between prepared commercial mayonnaise and homemade mayonnaise. Even a mayo-hater might be turned into a fan after trying a good homemade mayonnaise.

Follow this “LookinAtCookin” video and learn how to make your own mayonnaise in a food processor.

Jan 2, 2007

Machine To Age Wine In Minutes

FOR those who yearn for a well-aged, full-bodied vintage wine but lack the funds to feed the habit, the solution may lie with a Japanese boffin, a zany-looking contraption, a couple of meters of latex tubing and a few hundred volts of electricity.

Squirreled away in his chemical engineering laboratory in rural Shizuoka, Hiroshi Tanaka has spent 15 years developing an electrolysis device that simulates, he claims, the effect of ageing in wines. In 15 seconds it transforms the cheapest, youngest plonks into fine old draughts as fruit flavors are enhanced and rough edges are mellowed, he says.

Reds become more complex, and whites drier. A wine costing $10 a bottle could taste the same as one costing twice that, which "will create huge changes to the global wine industry".

It may sound far-fetched, but the ultra-competitive wine industry is taking no chances. Wineries in California, South America and other parts of the wine world are taking a close interest in Mr. Tanaka's machine.

The machine works by pumping wine and tap water through a specially designed electrolysis chamber equipped with wafer-thin platinum electrodes. The water and wine are separated by an ion exchange membrane -- the key component, for which Mr. Tanaka holds the patent.