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January 2010

The New Spanish Table Cookbook by Anya von Bremzen

New spanish table

A wonderful resource for anyone interested in Spanish cooking. "I doubt there's another writer—even in Spain—who knows more about the electrifying flavors of Spanish food. This stunning book is fascinating to read, with compelling recipes that make you want to rush to the market."
—Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible and How to Grill

Buy it at Amazon

Madrid Fusion Master Recipes 2010

New culinary tendencies and the world's best chefs met for three days at Madrid Fusión 2010, this year themed The Theatre of Ideas. This summit of international chefs, brought together the most cutting-edge techniques and creative dishes. Although challenging for most cooking "enthusiasts" like myself, you can still find inspiration by reading the MASTERS' recipes - click on the link below - I will be posting more about Madrid Fusion soon!



Madrid Fusion 2010 Master Recipes


Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet)

Cayena spanish omelet  

I spent an afternoon at the Escuela de Cocina Cayena in Madrid (a Cooking School)


They offer great cooking classes to learn how to make Spanish cuisine. I took the course in tapas and one of the recipes was for the classic Spanish Potato Omelet. They have a delicious yellow potato in Spain called Mona Lisa, that I have never found in the states. The closest would be Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes. The classes are easy to do, and everyone enjoys the finished product at the end of the class!


The instructor holding a "Mona Lisa" Potato


Cayena instructor potato  



Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet)

Download Tortilla de Patatas Recipe

6 large Yukon gold potatoes (in Spain they use “Mona Lisa Potatoes”)

2 red onions

5-6 eggs

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Peel and slice potatoes into thin rounds; slice onion into thin pieces. Wash both in cold water and pat dry; set aside.

Heat 1 ½ cups olive oil over medium-low heat in a deep frying pan. Add the onions and potatoes and stir gently for 5 minutes. The mixture should not brown, just soften.

Drain mixture into a large bowl and reserve olive oil; set aside.

In small bowl, beat 5 eggs with 1 tsp of sea salt. Pour beaten eggs over potatoes mixture to cover completely. Add additional beaten egg if necessary.

Add 1 tablespoon of reserved oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat and add potato-egg mixture. When eggs are set, turn omelet over onto a plate; add a bit more oil to pan, and slide the omelet back into the pan to finish cooking the other side. Slide onto plate and serve warm or at room temperature.


Cayena simmering potatoes


Cayena cooked potatoes


Cayena eggs into potatoes

Cayena omelet sliding 

Cayena omelet flipped  

Ultimate Cheesecake Brownie

Cheesecake brownie 

Ultimate Cheesecake Brownies


This is the perfect indulgence for the cheesecake AND chocolate lover. I used to buy them at Rosie’s Bakery in Boston and adapted this recipe from “Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book.”



3 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

½ cup flour

¼ tsp salt



1 pound cream cheese (2 packages)

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1 ½ tsp. vanilla


1.    Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a 9” pan with butter.


2.    Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water; let cool for 5 minutes.


3.    Place the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl, and using an electric mixer, beat on medium high speed until pale yellow, 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl.


4.    Add the flour and salt and beat on low speed for 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl.


5.    Add the cooled chocolate mixture on low speed and blend 15 seconds, stopping once to scrape the bowl.


6.    Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and place in freezer for 10 minutes.


7.    Place all cheesecake ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth – about 1 minute. Stop once to scrape the bowl.


8.    Spread cheesecake over brownie layer, careful to not mix the two.


9.    Bake about 1 hour and 5-10 minutes until the top is set. Cool brownies in pan for 30 minutes, Using a sharp knife, cut into 2 ¼ inch squares, dipping knife in hot water and wiping it off after each cut.. Refrigerate bars or serve at room temp.


Cheesecake brownie pan

Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven - Le Creuset

This Dutch oven will become a family heirloom! Made in France, Le Creuset enameled cast-iron cookware is famous for its superb craftsmanship and inventive use of color. Because it retains heat superbly and cooks evenly, this pot is ideal for long-simmering stews, braising meats and vegetables and preparing a wide range of hearty, savory dishes.

Le Creuset Dutch Ovens

You can also find great prices at the Factory Store

Le Creuset Factory Stores


Best Traditional Beef Stew

 Beef stew bowl

Best Traditional Beef Stew


Download Traditional Beef Stew Recipe

3 pounds stew beef

1 ½ teaspoons table salt 

1 teaspoon ground black pepper 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil 

2 medium onions, chopped coarse (about 2 cups)

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

4 ½ tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 ½ cups red wine (like a Cotes du Rhone, Merlot or Pinot Noir)

3 cups homemade beef broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth 

2 bay leaves 

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

8-9 small red potatoes,(about 2 pounds) peeled and halved

4-6 large carrots, (about 1 ½ pounds) peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 ½ cups frozen peas (6 ounces), thawed

¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves 

1.    Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and place beef cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in large nonreactive soup kettle; add 1/2 beef to kettle. Let meat sear in pan without moving for 2 minutes and then brown meat on all sides, about 3-5 more minutes per batch, adding remaining tablespoon of oil as needed. Remove meat and set aside.

2.    Add 1 T oil to now empty pot and add onions and 1/4 tsp salt; sauté until almost softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and tomato paste; continue to sauté about 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour; cook until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to kettle.  Add stock, bay leaves, and thyme; bring to simmer. Add meat; return to simmer. Cover and place in oven; simmer about 1 hour.

3.    Remove kettle from oven, add potatoes and carrots, cover, and return to oven. Simmer until meat is just tender, about 1 hour. Remove stew from oven. (Can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days.)

4.    Add peas and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve.


Beef Stew Ingredients

Beef stew ingredients





Browning the meat in Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Beef stew browning


Black Bean Mango Salsa

Blackbean mago salsa1  

Black Bean Mango Salsa


Download Black Bean Mango Salsa Recipe

I visit friends in Hawaii every year and am always inspired by the island cuisine. This salsa is great on fish, but can also be served as an appetizer with chips.

1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 mangos, peeled, seeded and diced small

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced (optional)

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced small

1/2 medium red onion, diced small

½ tablespoon grated fresh gingeroot

1/2 cup pineapple juice  (or fresh squeezed orange juice)

1/2 cup lime juice from 4 medium limes, plus zest from 2 of the limes

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 

1 tablespoons ground cumin 

1 small jalapeño chile , seeded and minced

Sea Salt and Pepper


1.    Mix all ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste, in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 1 hour or up to 4 days.


Perfect Lemon Tart (Tarte au Citron)

Lemon tart 1


Perfect Lemon Tart (Tarte au Citron)


Download Perfect Lemon Tart Recipe

This is one of my favorite tarts - very lemony,  with a rich creamy filling.  Paul Bocuse’s “Simple French Recipes for the Home Chef” calls for crème fraiche, but I find the heavy cream works just as well. This is the perfect finish to a great dinner.

1 stick unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

1¾ cup flour

1¼ cup sugar

2 pinches salt

6 large eggs

1 cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup of heavy cream

1. Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Have ready an 11” tart pan.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add 1 T of the zest and let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Whisk together flour, ¼ cup sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Pour the butter mixture in a fine stream, stirring with a fork, and continue stirring just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to the pan and press into sides and across the bottom. Bake tart for 20 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown. Let cool while making the filling.

4. Process the remaining cup of sugar with the remaining 1 tablespoon of zest and process until zest is finely ground.

5. Whisk together eggs, zest mixture, lemon juice and pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

6. Beat the cream with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. Whisk the cream into the egg mixture just until blended.

7. Place a baking sheet in the oven, place the crust on the sheet and pour the filling into the still warm crust. Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is just set in the center.


8. Cool completely and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Lemon tart 2

Spicy Orange Glazed Pork Chops


Spicy Orange Glazed Pork Chops


Download Orange Glazed Pork Chops Recipe


This is a quick and easy recipe that pairs well with the rustic mashed potatoes that were featured on One For The Table - http://bit.ly/6ePKz5. Cook’s Country suggests starting the pork chops in a cold skillet, which allows them to heat up slowly and hold on to their interior moisture--a method that works best with thin chops.


4 bone-in pork rib chops or center-cut chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick 

1 teaspoon olive oil plus 1 additional tablespoon 

1 teaspoon ground cumin  

1/2 teaspoon sugar  

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes  

3/4 cup orange juice  

1 tablespoon maple syrup



1. Rub each chop with 1/4 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin. Sprinkle one side of each chop with 1/8 teaspoon sugar.


2. Place chops, sugared side down, in large nonstick skillet and press meat into pan. Cook, without moving, over medium heat until lightly browned, 6 to 9 minutes. Turn chops, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until center of chops registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 3 to 6 minutes. Transfer chops to platter, tent with foil, and let rest while making sauce.


3. Add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, and pepper flakes to empty pan and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add juice  and maple syrup and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Tip accumulated juices from platter with chops into skillet, cook 1 minute, season with salt and pepper, and pour sauce over chops. Serve.




Best Traditional French Onion Soup Gratinee

French onion soup 


This is one of my favorite soups – and unless you’re in France, it’s best to make it at home. Pungent yellow onions work best, and cooking them to a dark caramel color gives the soup depth and color. Tie the parsley and thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine so they will be easy to retrieve from the soup pot.



Download French Onion Soup Gratinee  



4 tablespoons unsalted butter 

6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), sliced thin


7 ¾ cups homemade beef or veal broth (see recipe below)

1/4 cup dry red wine 

2 sprigs fresh parsley leaves 

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together 

1 bay leaf 

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

 Ground black pepper 

1 baguette, cut on the bias into 3/4-inch slices (2 slices per serving)

5 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese

1 1/2 ounces grated Asiago cheese (about 3/4 cup)



1.    Melt butter in large soup kettle or Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to coat onions thoroughly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are reduced and syrupy and inside of pot is coated with very deep brown crust, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, red wine, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, and bring to simmer. Simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes, and discard herbs. Stir in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 days; return to simmer before finishing soup with croutons and cheese).


2.    Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven. Turn the oven to broil.


3.    Set heat-safe soup bowls or crocks on rimmed baking sheet and fill each with about 1 1/2 cups soup. Top each bowl with two toasted baguette slices and sprinkle Gruyere cheese evenly on bread, followed by 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese over each serving and broil until well browned and bubbly, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.




Homemade Beef Stock 


Makes 2 quarts

8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 dried bay leaves

2 whole cloves

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 pound beef-stew meat, cubed

2 pounds veal bones, (Ask your butcher to cut the veal bones into smaller pieces)

2 pounds meaty crosscut beef shanks (preferably 1 inch thick)

1 large onion, peel on, quartered

2 large carrots, cut into thirds

2 stalks celery, cut into thirds

2 cups water (or dry red wine)


1.    Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Make a bouquet garni by wrapping parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine, and set aside. Arrange meat, veal bones, onion, carrots, and celery in an even layer in a heavy roasting pan. Roast, turning every 20 minutes, until the vegetables and the bones are deep brown, about 1- 1 ½ hours.  

2.    Transfer meat and vegetables to a 6- to 8-quart stockpot. Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners, then add 2 cups water (or wine) and deglaze pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Add deglazing liquid to stockpot along with 14 cups water, celery, salt, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and skim froth. Reduce to a simmer, liquid should just bubble up to surface. Simmer over the lowest possible heat for 3-4 hours; a skin may form on the surface of the liquid; skim off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. Add water if at any time the level drops below the bones. 

3.    Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing hard on solids, and discard solids. If using stock right away, skim off and discard fat. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, before skimming fat (it will be easier to remove when cool), then chill, covered.