Citrus – Sorghum Glaze

Citrus Sorghum Glaze

Citrus Sorghum Glaze

I’m not a huge fan of honey so I tend to veer away from marinades or glazes that call for it. But I love sorghum.  It’s thick and sticky like honey but less cloying.  Its complex flavor doesn’t dominate in recipes which I find to be a plus.  So here is my take on a simple Criollo style slightly sweet citrus glaze.  You can also use it to marinate raw meat.  I made extra and dressed strawberries with it and I’m sure there is a cocktail use as well. Sorghum Margarita anyone?  Add soy sauce to it and you have a kind of teriyaki thing going on.  The variations are endless especially if you start adding herbs to the mix.  Try mint for a fruit dressing or cocktail (Sorghum Mojito?), basil or thyme for chicken and cilantro or oregano for pork.  It’s spectacular brushed on a roasting chicken toward the end of cooking.

Recipe: Romesco Sauce Suzanne Goin Style

Romesco Sauce a la Goin

Romesco Sauce

This is one of those recipes that seems more complicated than it is.  Make it once and you’ll never need to look at the recipe again.  Eat what you make and you’ll become addicted, learning new ways to use the nutty, spicy, sweet, deeply satisfying condiment.  It’s a no brainer on simple grilled, broiled or poached fish or chicken, but it’s on vegetables where the sauce really shines.  Suzanne famously serves it atop potatoes.  I’ve featured it here on this blog as part of a Grand Aioli, a dish where dipping becomes an art form of customization.  I love it dribbled on fried eggs, tucked in a tortilla with whatever as a “colonial” salsa.  I would really like to know your favorite way to eat Romesco.  A spoon anyone?

If you can’t find dried chiles pasillas then substitute the more commonly found New Mexico chiles.  Pasillas have a more complex sort of winy flavor and a bit more heat than the brighter flavored New Mexico chile.

This is one of those recipes where the quality of the bread makes a tremendous difference.  It’s a peasant dish and assumes a peasant loaf, so try to find a great natural local natural yeasted bread in your area.  If all else fails, use La Brea Bakery.  I used a couple slices off a small boule from Roan Mills.  Roan Mills Boule

Aioli: Daniel Boulud Style


Boulud's Poached Egg Aioli

Boulud’s Poached Egg Aioli

This recipe is a revelation.  Poking around the internet for different versions of Aioli I spied this one from the famed NYC based chef from the south of France, Daniel Boulud.  If he doesn’t know how to make the perfect aioli no one does.  What intrigues me about this particular recipe is his use of 2 yolks and ONE POACHED EGG.  Yes, he uses a lightly poached egg to lighten and stabilize the emulsion.  I never had such a flawless and easy mayo making experience.  Usually I use all raw garlic in my aioli but I thought why not try the Boulud way and twice blanch the garlic to sweeten it.  Delicious.  Although the one change I did make in the recipe is to double the amount of raw garlic.  I like it a bit stronger.

Daniel Boulud's Aioli, almost

yes, that’s a poached egg

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion aka Almost Marcella’s Sauce

Marcella’s original version of this sauce is one of the great tomato sauces.  She uses canned tomatoes and leaves the onion unchopped then throws everything together to boil into a sauce.  It’s wonderful and I encourage you to try it.

This sauce is how I make it when I use fresh tomatoes (although you can use canned for mine as well).  The main difference is the onion.  I love soft cooked onions and like to have them remain in the sauce.

Pistachio Pesto


pistachio pesto

Pistachio Pesto

Pesto means “paste” and can be made of nearly anything, but I love nut based pestos.  For this one the star isn’t a soft herb, like basil or parsley.  Instead it’s pure pistachio nuts with a few garlic cloves, some salt and parmesan and enough olive oil to give me the texture I want.  Nut pestos can be assertive and the texture quite thick, so it’s important to “lighten” them before tossing with pasta with just a bit of the pasta cooking water.  I wait until the pasta is boiling and has given the water the gift of a bit of starch.  Then I start adding the cooking water one tablespoon at a time to the pesto until I reach a texture that will just nap the pasta without overwhelming it or any additional ingredients I’m adding.

I was inspired to make this pesto by a bag of the very rare Sicilian Bronte pistachios I bought from Brett Ottolenghi’s Artisanal Foods in Las Vegas.

Don’t skimp on the quality of oil you use.  I had a bottle of Cappezzana Oil from the famed Tuscan estate and put it to good use. This is exactly what these high end oils are good for.

Sicilian Bronte Pistachios