I’m gath­er­ing some use­ful recipes on one page for eas­i­er access.


Com­bine equal parts water and oat milk in a saucepan. Crush and put in:

  • Star anise
  • Cloves
  • Car­damom pods
  • Cin­na­mon sticks
  • Slices of fresh gin­ger
  • Fen­nel or aniseed
  • Pep­per­corns

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add a gen­er­ous amount of black tea. Sim­mer until ful­ly infused. Strain into cups. Add hon­ey (it needs plen­ty).


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 5 table­spoons sug­ar
  • 6 table­spoons corn­starch
  • rose­wa­ter
  • roast­ed pis­ta­chios, crushed
  • pome­gran­ate syrup
  • 1/2 tea­spoon ground car­damom
  • rose petals

Put milk, cream, and rose­wa­ter in a saucepan and heat until hot, but not boil­ing. Whisk in sug­ar, corn­starch, and car­damom. Add a pinch of sea salt. As it thick­ens and boils, whisk 3–5 min­utes. While still hot, pour into 6–8 glass con­tain­ers and refrig­er­ate uncov­ered overnight. Gar­nish with pome­gran­ate syrup and crushed pis­ta­chios before serv­ing.

Milk and cream can be replaced with full fat coconut milk or coconut milk + coconut cream.

To make pome­gran­ate syrup, com­bine

  • 4 cups pome­gran­ate juice
  • 1/3 cup sug­ar
  • juice of a lemon

in a pot and sim­mer for about an hour. (Cor­rec­tions for sweet­ness or acid­i­ty may be need­ed.)

guinness pie

Most­ly oven time, but takes 4h + 2h refrig­er­a­tion.


  • 4 table­spoons but­ter
  • 2 large red onions, diced
  • 4 cloves gar­lic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 car­rots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks cel­ery, chopped
  • 10 mush­rooms, sliced
  • 3 pounds brisket (prefer­ably sec­ond-cut), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh­ly ground black pep­per
  • 2 table­spoons flour
  • 1 sprig rose­mary
  • About 4 cups (2 cans) Guin­ness
  • 8 ounces fresh­ly grat­ed ched­dar


  • 1.5 cups all-pur­pose flour
  • 2.25 tea­spoons bak­ing pow­der
  • 0.75 tea­spoon salt
  • 4oz very cold unsalt­ed but­ter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk, light­ly beat­en

Pre­pare the pas­try: sift togeth­er the flour, bak­ing pow­der and salt into a bowl. Quick­ly work the but­ter into the dough until it is the tex­ture of coarse meal. Add ice water, a splash at a time, until a firm dough forms. Wrap the dough in plas­tic and refrig­er­ate for at least 2 hours.

Mean­while, pre­heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large, oven­proof pan with a lid, sauté onions and gar­lic in 2 tbsp but­ter until soft. Add the car­rots, cel­ery, mush­rooms and remain­ing 2 tbsp but­ter and cook over medi­um heat, stir­ring fre­quent­ly, until the mush­rooms are dark and the mois­ture released by them has evap­o­rat­ed, about 15 min­utes.

Sea­son the beef all over with salt and pep­per. Add the beef, flour and rose­mary to the pan and cook over high heat, stir­ring often, for about 5 min­utes.

Add enough Guin­ness to just cov­er the beef. Cov­er the pan and put it in the oven for 90 min­utes. Remove from the oven and stir. Return to the oven and cook for 1 hour more. If it remains thin, set the pan over medi­um-low heat, remove the lid and reduce the liq­uid. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per. Fold in half of the ched­dar.

Take out the dough. Place it between two sheets of plas­tic wrap and roll to 0.75cm. Pour the stew into an 8‑inch-square, 2‑inch-high Pyrex dish or a deep 9‑inch pie pan. Scat­ter the remain­ing ched­dar across the top. Place the dough on top of the pie and pinch it closed around the edges using the tines of a fork, then slash the cen­ter light­ly with a knife. Brush with the egg yolk, place on a bak­ing sheet and bake for 45 min­utes, or until the pas­try is puffy and gold­en.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp bak­ing pow­der
  • 2 tbsp sug­ar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup but­ter, melt­ed
  • 1 tsp vanil­la

Boot up waf­fle iron.  Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Melt the but­ter, then add milk, eggs and vanil­la; mix with dry ingre­di­ents.  Cook.


Orig­i­nal post.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tea­spoons bak­ing pow­der
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 1 tea­spoon sug­ar
  • 1oz (30g) but­ter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water

Pre­heat oven to 475ºF.  Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Rub in the but­ter with the fin­ger­tips until it resem­bles fine bread­crumbs; do not over-han­dle.  Pour in the milk and water and mix light­ly and quick­ly to form the dough.  Turn it out onto a floured sur­face, knead light­ly and pat to a 2cm thick­ness.  Cut into cylin­ders with a floured cham­pagne flute.  Put the cylin­ders on a light­ly greased cook­ie sheet, packed in close, and brush with a bit of milk.  Bake about 10 min­utes, or until done.  While bak­ing, whip some cream and find the jam.

Make tea.


  • 2 cups fine corn­meal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tea­spoons bak­ing pow­der
  • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda
  • 1/4 tea­spoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalt­ed but­ter, melt­ed and slight­ly cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sug­ar
  • 4 table­spoons hon­ey
  • 2 large eggs, ide­al­ly at room tem­per­a­ture
  • 2 cups but­ter­milk, ide­al­ly at room tem­per­a­ture.

Pre­heat oven to 400F. Grease a pan. Whisk the corn­meal, flour, bak­ing pow­der, bak­ing soda, and salt togeth­er in a large bowl. Set aside. In anoth­er bowl, whisk the melt­ed but­ter, brown sug­ar, and hon­ey togeth­er until smooth and thick. Then, whisk in the egg until com­bined. Final­ly, whisk in the but­ter­milk. Pour the wet ingre­di­ents into the dry ingre­di­ents and mix until com­bined, but avoid over-mix­ing. Pour bat­ter into pre­pared bak­ing pan and bake for 20 min­utes or until crispy edges, gold­en brown on top, and the cen­ter is cooked through. Use a tooth­pick to test. Allow to cool slight­ly before slic­ing.


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bak­ing pow­der
  • 4 tbsp pow­dered sug­ar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • a dash of vanil­la or a grat­ing of lemon rind

Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Sep­a­rate­ly mix wet ingre­di­ents; add to well in dry ingre­di­ents and com­bine, being care­ful not to over­mix but avoid­ing clumps.  Make crepes, prepar­ing crepe pan with but­ter.

While they’re mak­ing, whip some cream, wash berries, and squeeze lemons.  Pow­dered sug­ar option­al.

swedish pancakes

  • 6 eggs
  • 2.5 cup milk
  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 2 table­spoons brown sug­ar
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 6 table­spoons melt­ed but­ter

Beat eggs with an elec­tric mix­er until thick, 3–5 min­utes. Stir in milk and melt­ed but­ter. Grad­u­al­ly add sift­ed dry ingre­di­ents. Cook thin, small­er-than-crepe pan­cakes (flip­ping once) on a but­tered grid­dle at high­er heat than one would crepes, aim­ing for a cau­li­flower-like fin­ish with slight­ly crisped edges.


Orig­i­nal post.  Note, this requires a spe­cial popover bak­ing form.

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 quart bread flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • ½ cup sug­ar
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ tbsp salt

Pre­heat oven to 350ºF.  Mix all ingre­di­ents with a whisk for about 2 min­utes (I use the kitchen mix­er).  If time allows, allow to warm to room tem­per­a­ture before bak­ing.  Brush the cups of the popover form with but­ter, and fill each cup to the rim with bat­ter.  Bake 40–50 min­utes or until browned.  Don’t remove pre­ma­ture­ly or they’ll fall.


  • 1 large egg­plant, diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pep­per, diced
  • 1 green bell pep­per, diced
  • 2 gar­lic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 long red chili, sliced (can sub­sti­tute chili flakes)
  • 1 large can DOP Roma toma­toes from Sar­nese-Noceri­no, or good fresh ones
  • 2 small to medi­um zuc­chi­ni, cut into half moons
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Cumin and/or ras el hanout
  • Pars­ley
  • Poached or fried egg (option­al)

Dice the egg­plant into cubes and sprin­kle gen­er­ous­ly with salt. Leave for 15–20 min­utes.

Fry onions, chili, and bell pep­pers in olive oil for 12 min­utes or so, adding cumin and/or ras el hanout. Add the gar­lic and toma­toes and cook for 10 min­utes more. In the mean­time, dice the zuc­chi­ni and set aside.

Rinse the egg­plant under water and pat to dry a bit with a kitchen tow­el. In a sep­a­rate fry­ing pan, fry the egg­plant in oil for 4–5 min­utes until browned off.

Remove the egg­plant and add a lit­tle more olive oil. Fry the zuc­chi­ni for 4–5 min­utes as well.

Final­ly, add the egg­plant and zuc­chi­ni to the pot with the toma­to mix­ture and stir through. Cook togeth­er for 25 min­utes over medi­um-low heat.

Let it sit for 5 min­utes after cook­ing before serv­ing. Gar­nish with fresh pars­ley. Can be served with a poached or fried egg on top.


These are fluffy din­ner crepe-like things from Nice; one can put all kinds of things on top. Feeds 4:

  • 1 3/4 cups chick­pea flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tea­spoons olive oil
  • salt and pep­per
  • cher­ry toma­toes
  • white onions
  • tar­ragon and/or thyme
  • ruco­la
  • crème fraîche or yogurt

Com­bine chick­pea flour, water, 1 1/2 tea­spoons olive oil, 3/4 tea­spoon salt, and some pep­per in a bowl. Hand whisk until homo­ge­neous. In a sep­a­rate bowl, whisk sep­a­rat­ed egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gen­tly fold into the bat­ter. In a non­stick pan on high heat, wipe a lit­tle bit of olive oil, and cook pan­cakes, using 1/4 of the bat­ter for each, turn­ing once when air bub­bles are on the sur­face and edges are dry. (The pan­cakes are del­i­cate and fluffy but con­sid­er­ably thick­er than crepes.)

For top­pings, ahead of time:

Cut lots of cher­ry or grape toma­toes in half, put them cut face up on a bak­ing sheet, brush with olive oil and sprin­kle with salt, and roast in a pre­heat­ed 275 degree F oven for about 30 min.

White onions, thin­ly sliced and sauteed with thyme or tar­ragon until gold­en, with a bit of vine­gar added at the end.

Ruco­la and crème fraîche are good.

chocolate lava cake

Orig­i­nal post.

  • 1 2/3 cups sug­ar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 18 tbsp cacao
  • 10.5 oz but­ter, melt­ed
  • 4 eggs
  • vanil­la to taste

Pre­heat oven to 400ºF.  Mix dry ingre­di­ents.  Pour in the melt­ed but­ter and eggs.  Fill in bake form that has been but­tered and coat­ed with fine­ly ground polen­ta (should be <1″ thick).  Put into oven.  Bake only until cen­ter is still glis­ten­ing; should remain a bit liq­uid on the inside.  Serve with bare­ly sweet­ened whipped cream and fresh berries.

quick and good lentil soup

  • 1 medi­um onion, diced
  • 2 car­rots, sliced
  • 2 cel­ery stalks, sliced
  • 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp toma­to paste
  • 2 toma­toes, chopped
  • 1 lb green lentils
  • 32oz stock
  • 1 zuc­chi­ni, sliced into half moons
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • ras el hanout
  • thyme
  • mar­jo­ram
  • yogurt (to serve with)

Saute onion, car­rots and cel­ery in olive oil in a large pot over medi­um heat until fra­grant. Add salt, gar­lic, toma­to paste, and spices and cook for two more min­utes, stir­ring.

Add toma­toes, lentils and stock, and bring to a sim­mer. Cov­er the pot and cook until lentils are ten­der, about 20 min­utes.

Add zuc­chi­ni and cook until just ten­der. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice. Serve with (option­al) yogurt and spicy stuff.

barak’s matzoh ball soup

  • 1 Fry­er chick­en
  • 1 Onion
  • 5 Car­rots
  • 5 Cel­ery stalks
  • 8 Large eggs (or 10)
  • Mat­zoh meal
  • Dried or fresh dill
  • Kosher salt
  • Oil
  1. Set a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Cut up a whole fry­er, dis­card the back. Also remove any big globs of fat/skin that are easy to cut off, but do leave most of skin/fat on.
  3. Add chick­en. Turn heat way low. Skim off foam on top.
  4. Cut up a whole onion into large chunky seg­ments, plus 2 car­rots and 2 cel­ery stalks, also in big chunks, add all of this to the pot.
  5. Sim­mer cov­ered for as many hours as pos­si­ble. Min­i­mum 2 hours, ide­al­ly 3–5 hours.
  6. Strain soup through a large soup sieve.
  7. Allow chick­en pieces lots of time to cool off.
  8. This is when you should pre­pare the mat­zoh dough, so that the dough has plen­ty of time to chill in the fridge.
  9. From the cooled stuff you strained out of the soup, pick out only the finest clean­est chunks of most­ly white meat from the chick­en, tear the pieces gen­tly by hand into bite sized chunks, avoid­ing veins, pieces of skin, car­ti­lage, ten­dons, etc.
  10. Add these select­ed pieces of meat to the broth, dis­card every­thing else.
  11. When you are less than 1–2 hours from serv­ing, let the broth with chick­en meat warm back up to near boil at a very low sim­mer.
  12. This is also when you want to start heat­ing a sep­a­rate pot of water for the mat­zoh balls.
  13. Once chick­en broth is near boil­ing again, add 3 car­rots and 3 cel­ery stalks, cut into neat bite size pieces. Let sim­mer for 1–2 hours (not more than that, to keep the car­rots and cel­ery just a lit­tle firm.)
  14. Now is when you want to take the mat­zoh dough out of the fridge, to start form­ing it into balls.
  15. This is also the point where you should slow­ly add to the soup broth lots and lots and lots of kosher salt and fresh ground pep­per, to taste.
  16. Drop the balls into boil­ing water, sim­mer cov­ered for 35 min­utes.
  17. Using a slot­ted spoon, gen­tly trans­fer each ball into the soup broth.
  18. Add plen­ty of dried dill to taste.
  19. Stir for at least 15 min­utes, then serve!

Mat­zoh Balls

Below is a large recipe mak­ing ~50 balls (and in paren­the­ses mega recipe mak­ing ~65 balls).

  1. Slight­ly beat 8 large eggs (10 eggs) (don’t over beat, just a gen­tle blend­ing).
  2. Gen­tly and slight­ly blend in 8 table­spoons oil  (or 10 table­spoons).
  3. Mix 2 cups mat­zoh meal + 4 tsp kosher salt  (or 2.5 cups, and 5 tsp).
  4. Slow­ly add dry mix to oil/egg mix, again stir very slight­ly, stop the moment they are blend­ed.
  5. Add 8 tbls soup stock (10) and mix just until uni­form.
  6. Cov­er in fridge for at least 20 min­utes (60–90 min­utes is best).
  7. Bring salt­ed water to a boil.
  8. Take mat­zoh dough out of fridge, and quick­ly form them into small round spheres. Try to han­dle them as light­ly as pos­si­ble, each one should be bare­ly a tea­spoon amount (they expand a lot).
  9. Drop balls into boil­ing water.
  10. Cov­er and reduce heat when back at rolling boil.
  11. Cook (cov­ered) for 35 min­utes.
  12. Use a slot­ted spoon to add them to the soup!

ottolenghi’s gigli with chickpeas

  • 1/2 onion, fine­ly chopped
  • 2 gar­lic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • fresh thyme, fine­ly chopped
  • ~7 anchovy fil­lets
  • 1 lemon, skin fine­ly shaved, and juice of
  • 2 400g tins of cooked chick­peas, drained
  • 1 tsp brown sug­ar
  • 400ml chick­en stock
  • gigli pas­ta
  • 50g baby spinach leaves
  • 15g flat-leafed pars­ley
  • za’atar to taste

Start a large gen­er­ous­ly salt­ed pot of water to boil.

Put olive oil in a saute pan on high heat. Add onion, gar­lic, cumin, thyme, anchovies, lemon skin, salt and pep­per. Fry 3–4 min­utes until soft and gold­en.

Reduce heat to medi­um high, add chick­peas and sug­ar, and fry for 8 min­utes, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until the chick­peas brown and begin to crisp up.

Add chick­en stock and lemon juice and sim­mer 6 min­utes, until sauce has reduced a bit. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cook the pas­ta.

Stir spinach and pars­ley into the chick­peas; their resid­ual heat should wilt the spinach. If it does­n’t wilt, heat just enough to.

Com­bine with the pas­ta. Serve into 4 bowls. Sprin­kle za’atar on top. Fin­ish with driz­zle of oil and parmi­giano.

polenta con scampi (aka shrimp & grits)

  • peeled shrimp
  • shal­lots
  • polen­ta
  • peeled san marzano toma­toes
  • smoked papri­ka
  • white wine
  • chori­zo
  • pars­ley, lots
  • but­ter
  • olive oil

Slice shal­lots thin­ly and cook very slow­ly in but­ter until browned and start­ing to crisp.  Cook discs of chori­zo sep­a­rate­ly and pour the fat into the shal­lots.  (Fried chori­zo can be served with prime or added to the dish at the end.)  Put in shrimp, coat thor­ough­ly with smoked papri­ka, and cook, turn­ing once to turn them white.  Take out shrimp.  Deglaze with white wine.  Add toma­toes, mash.  Cook slow­ly and reduce.  In a pot, make polen­ta.  Chop up pars­ley and green onion.  Put green onion into sauce.  When polen­ta is done and sauce is reduced, put shrimp in.  Pour polen­ta onto serv­ing dish; make a well in the cen­ter.  Put the shrimp with sauce in the well, and cov­er with pars­ley.  Serve.

chicken marbella

Orig­i­nal post.

  • 4 chick­ens, 2½ pounds each, quar­tered
  • 1 head of gar­lic, peeled and fine­ly pureed
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • coarse salt and fresh­ly ground black pep­per
  • ½ cup red wine vine­gar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pit­ted prunes
  • ½ cup pit­ted Span­ish green olives
  • ½ cup capers or caper­ber­ries with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup brown sug­ar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chopped Ital­ian pars­ley

In a large bowl com­bine gar­lic, oregano, salt and pep­per, vine­gar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves.  Add the chick­en pieces and coat com­pletely with the mari­nade.  Cov­er and let mar­i­nate, refrig­er­ated, sev­eral hours or overnight.

Pre­heat oven to 350°F.  Arrange chick­en in a sin­gle lay­er in one or two large, shal­low bak­ing pans and spoon mari­nade over it even­ly.  Sprin­kle chick­en pieces with brown sug­ar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 min­utes to 1 hour, bast­ing fre­quently with the sauce.  Chick­en is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thick­est point, yield clear yel­low juice (not pink).

With a slot­ted spoon, trans­fer chick­en, prunes, olives, and capers to a serv­ing plat­ter.  Add sauce and sprin­kle with pars­ley.

coq au vin

  • 8 chick­en thighs, either whole or cut up
  • 1.75 cups red wine
  • 1 cup stock
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, quar­tered and thin­ly sliced
  • 4 car­rots cut into 2cm pieces
  • 6 gar­lic cloves crushed and minced
  • 2 tbsp toma­to paste
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 cup mush­rooms, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 cup shal­lots, peeled
  • flour and but­ter
  1. Put the chick­en in a bowl with the wine, brandy, and stock to mar­i­nate.
  2. Prep the veg­eta­bles.
  3. Cook the bacon in the Le Creuset; remove it, leav­ing the fat in the pan.
  4. Keep­ing the mari­nade, put the chick­en in the hot pan, skin side down, and fry until gold­en (batch­es if need­ed). Use salt and pep­per. Take the chick­en out.
  5. Add sliced onion, car­rots, and shal­lots, and cook until gold­en brown, 7 min­utes or so.
  6. Add gar­lic and cook briefly. Then put in the paste and cook / caramelize briefly.
  7. Deglaze with the mari­nade, then remove the shal­lots, and add the chick­en back in. Add the thyme. Cov­er the pot and sim­mer for 20 min­utes.
  8. Mean­while, saute the mush­rooms in a bit of olive oil (or some reserved fat).
  9. Add the shal­lots back to the stew and cook for 10 min­utes more.
  10. Mean­while, put 2 table­spoons but­ter and 2 table­spoons flour in a small pot and make a roux.
  11. After the 10 min­utes, remove the chick­en, and add the roux, stir­ring to thick­en the sauce.
  12. Add the chick­en back in, and the bacon. Com­bine, and done.

fish stew

Orig­i­nal post.

  • An onion.

Fry in olive oil.  Add:

  • Cumin seed
  • Corian­der seed
  • Sev­eral sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fen­nel seed
  • Sev­eral cloves gar­lic (pressed or fine­ly chopped)
  • Saf­fron
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pern­od.

When onions are gold­en add:

  • 1 can of San Marzano DOP toma­toes (can be chopped before­hand, and can sub­sti­tute fresh Roma toma­toes if suf­fi­ciently good ones are avail­able)

Cook down for a good 20 min­utes.  Then add:

  • Chick­en broth or fish stock till the base is as thick or thin as you like.
  • When that’s cooked about 20 min­utes, add assort­ed seafood.  Typ­i­cal­ly:
  • Monk­fish
  • Salmon, in chunks cut from a steak is eas­i­est
  • Spot prawns
  • Clams
  • Mus­sels

I use the prawn shells and heads to make the stock.

For extra joy, I also add sea scal­lops at the end, which I’ve seared in but­ter and flamed with Pern­od.

This should be served with a crusty bread.

fennel gratin

Orig­i­nal post.

Take bulbs of fresh fen­nel and wrap them tight­ly in tin­foil with no leaks.  Roast them in the oven at 375°F for a good while.  Open them care­fully over a bowl, as you want to save any liquor that may escape.  The bulb should be soft and juicy all the way through.

Cut each bulb in half length­wise and put into a ramekin, cut side down (or use a bak­ing dish).  Don’t leave too much sur­round­ing space.  Mix any juice with lots of heavy cream and grat­ed Parmi­giano-Reg­giano; pour over the fen­nel.  Put these ramekins or bak­ing dish back into the oven at 400–450°F.  When done, run them under the broil­er if need­ed to light­ly char the upper sur­face.

seafood risotto

Orig­i­nal post.

  • prawns
  • bay scal­lops
  • lemons
  • pars­ley
  • but­ter and olive oil
  • shal­lots
  • gar­lic
  • anchovies
  • arbo­rio or vialone nano risot­to rice
  • white wine
  • parmi­giano reg­giano

Peel and devein shrimp, keep­ing the peel­ings in a small pot.  Just cov­er the peel­ings with water, and put on gen­tle boil to make a sim­ple stock.

Grate the peel off the lemons, mak­ing a bed from the peels in a bowl.  Juice the lemons, and set the juice aside.  In a heavy risot­to-friend­ly pot, sauté the shrimp in but­ter and olive oil.  When just done, pick them out and put them in the lemon peel bowl.

Drain the scal­lop juice into the stock, and sear the scal­lops, using a bit more but­ter as nec­es­sary.  The point of using small bay scal­lops here is to max­i­mize the carameliz­able sur­face area with­out need­ing to cut them open, which I’ve found can dry them out.  Toss the caramelized scal­lops into the bowl with the shrimp, and pour the lemon juice over them, then olive oil on top to pro­tect.  Mix in plen­ty of chopped pars­ley.  This oil won’t be cooked, be sure to use your good stuff.

Chop up the shal­lots fine­ly and fry in the risot­to pot, again adding but­ter as need­ed.  Here I vio­lated a rule and added crushed gar­lic as well (the rule being to avoid the use of onion/shallot and gar­lic in the same dish).  When trans­par­ent, add a cou­ple of anchovies, and con­tinue to turn over until this fla­vor base is light gold.  Add the risot­to rice and stir, sear­ing it.  When ready, pour in white wine, stir­ring with empha­sis.  Pour your­self a glass too.  When it has bub­bled away and turned creamy, begin the usu­al lengthy process of slow­ly adding stock and stir­ring, mak­ing sure the risot­to doesn’t stick and keeps the right con­sis­tency.  Keep adding water as need­ed to the stock pot.  At this point you’re talk­ing with your friends while stir­ring, and you’re on your sec­ond glass.

When the risot­to is done, swirl in the lemon/oil/shrimp/scallop mix­ture.  There should be enough fresh olive oil in there to make it unnec­es­sary to do the usu­al trick of drop­ping a bunch of but­ter in at the end (“man­te­care il risot­to”).  Although tra­di­tion­ally one doesn’t use Parmi­giano with seafood risot­ti, I thought adding a bit at this stage didn’t hurt at all.  Anoth­er rule bro­ken.  I found com­fort in this won­der­ful cook­book from the south of Italy, in which Wan­da Torn­abene con­fesses to also break­ing this rule on occa­sion.

For gen­eral advice on mak­ing risot­to, con­sult Mar­cella Hazan’s bible on clas­sic Ital­ian cook­ing.

red sauce

Orig­i­nal post.

  • an onion
  • if very good fresh sauce-friend­ly toma­toes are avail­able, use these; oth­er­wise, tinned San Marzano toma­toes only DOP from the Sar­nese-Noceri­no area.
  • a stick of but­ter

Cut the onion in half and com­bine it with the toma­toes and the stick of but­ter, prefer­ably in a wide, shal­low pan.  Sim­mer slow­ly.  Use a mash­er to mac­er­ate the toma­toes as you go, and if there are skins, remove them.

When the sauce is done, remove the onion, and serve with pas­ta.

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