Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall Delish!

It's October, and in Ohio I would be pleasantly chilly admiring the red and orange leaves outside but I am living in Texas, happily mind you, but missing the fall. Autumn's unique crispness always has me craving new shoes and big, steamy bowls of soup. I'm thinking some ankle boots from Me Too but as for the soup I want something savory and light. Garbanzo beans are a staple of mine, I put them in salads, patties, pasta, hummus, and most favourably in hearty soups such as this Parmesan Broth Chickpea Stew. This soup is highly flavorful from a Parmesan rind boiling away in the broth and a pure delight on a cold November's day. Even if you are living in the eighty degree autumn of Austin one bowl of this and you'll be daydreaming of tea and sweaters in no time.

1 16 oz can of garbanzo beans rinsed, drained (or a cup of dried beans soaked,boiled)
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 leek, trimmed and white parts thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
2 medium to small potatoes chopped
1 small Parmesan rind
3 cups of chicken or veggie stock
2 cups of warm water
3 tbs of olive oil
salt and pepper

Saute the onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks in oil until translucent, 7 min.
Add the beans, potatoes, stock, and cheese rind.
Boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove Parmesan rind, blend half of the soup.
Add water as needed.
Taste, add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with a big chunk of bread, a salad, or just a clean spoon!



Monday, September 1, 2008

Salmorejo Cordobes

It's September and it's still a blazing inferno outside. I am somewhat adapting, ever so slowly, and this recipe has lent a cooling hand to my feverish disposition. Salmorejo is an Andalucian chilled soup, created in the farmlands of southern Spain. Incredibly simple, fresh, and filling it's all I can ask for in a late summer meal.

3/4 Baguette
4 Roma tomatoes blanched and peeled, or just peeled
1 long pepper ( not spicy ) chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
3 tblsp. Olive oil
3 tsp. Sherry Vinegar ( can substitute white wine vinegar )

For Garnish:
Hardboiled eggs
Green Olives

a sturdy bowl
an immersion blender

Tear the baguette into one inch pieces and place in bowl
Chop the tomatoes over the bread in bowl
Add chopped pepper and garlic
Add the oil and vinegar
Blend until smooth
Salt to taste
Add more oil or vinegar to taste
Ladle into bowls
Garnish with eggs and olives

Enjoy, relax, cool off.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Represent! Go Forth and Potluck

The potluck, once a way for wifeys in the 1950's to show off their Waldorf salads, has progressively become hip again and here's why:

1. Going out to eat in a massive group is expensive and aggravating (especially for those with a 'split checks for 30 people is normal' mentality).
2. It's far more interesting to see what your strange friend has cooked then what they will order.
3. It's an excuse to drink, dance, and debaucherize in the safety of your friend's home.
4. Potlucks are like a blue-collar American tapas bar with Dixie cups!

So, on that celebratory note, me and mine participated in an exciting potluck themed "Bring a dish from your state or culture." The host is Iranian; she made Persian kebabs and Moroccan rice, fabulous. A girl from Minnesota made snicker's salad; a dish that has no business being in a salad category and consists of snickers, nuts, and cool whip. I of course called to my southern roots and made Sweet Potato Casserole ( beautifully illustrated in the lower left hand square ) which, despite its horrifying amount of butter was a big hit. Try it the next time you potluck!

Sweet Potato Casserole

preheat the oven to 350 degrees
a 9X9 or similar pan

The Base

3 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup of milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of softened butter

The Topping

1 cup of nuts, I prefer a mix of walnuts and pecans
1 cup of brown sugar
1 stick of softened butter
2 tbs of flour

Mix the base ingredients together
Lay mixture out in the pan
Mix the brown sugar and flour together in a separate bowl
Mix in with the nuts and butter
Dot the topping along the surface of the casserole
Bake for 30 minutes covered with foil until bubbly

Remove and amaze!

Thank you Britta Johanson for the photos.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Four Spots, One Slice: Looking for the Best Pizza in Austin, TX

I love pizza, as do most people and we all have our favorites, but there are definite standards by which to judge a slice that we can all agree on. Hot delicious crust thin/thick, flavorful sauce, and fresh toppings are the basic necessities. These along with service and atmosphere were my ruler as I delved into the world of Austin Texas Pizza. As of now, I still haven't found the perfect slice in Austin but I have found some solid pies.

1. Home Slice

When I first arrived in Austin the almost ubiquitous answer to my "Where is the best pizza?" query was "Homeslice, it's awesome." Even people I didn't know at bus stops informed of the great Homeslice. So, I visited this hallowed pizzeria first. Homeslice is comfortably located in the commercial area of southern Congress amidst shopping and bars. Inside it's punk which, in my experience, is a strong indication of good pizza. I either want to see a mohawked figure or a serious Italian throwing dough and Homeslice employs. The pizza was tasty. The sauce is light and tangy but the crust is unadorned, uninteresting. I had a Margherita pizza with sauce on the side and was delighted with the generous amount of fresh basil on the pie but what most impressed me about Homeslice was the service. Our server, a gentleman with a mohawk and lovely tattoos, pulled and replaced our silverware with every course, offered us freshly ground pepper, and a first for me: repeatedly poured our pitcher of Lonestar as if it was a bottle of wine. So I do recommend Homeslice, as long as servers like him are still there.

2. The Parlor

Some people think avocado has no business being on pizza and their unfortunate view will forever leave them wanting. The smooth and oily avocado, a perfect foil for spicy jalapenos, raw garlic, fresh basil, bacon, tomatoes, and pineapples, is a sensuous topping that I highly recommend for these hot summer days. The Parlor situated in the Hyde Park area is my favorite place to enjoy said topping and listen to Reagan Youth, Fear, or the as this is another punk pizza place. The parlor has a very sought after patio but the inside is fun too, hosting a variety of arcade games you thought you'd never see again. Alas, the crust is not interesting. The service is sweet and casual. The pitchers are generally cold, try it out.

3. East Side Pies

I went to this tiny pizza shop once after a show at the adjoining record store Trailer Space and had a delicious thin, greasy, slice of pepperoni. My mouth waters just thinking about it and how much it reminded me of NYC pizza. Since then I've been back and repeatedly disappointed by burnt spinach and raw garlic. Bland pies aside, I still think about that first slice. Oh who was in the kitchen that night and where have they gone?

4. Frank and Angies

What I liked about Frank and Angie's right away is the location. It's downtown on West avenue and easily accessible by many forms of traffic. This is a family style Italian diner owned by the same people who on Hut's hamburgers. Frank and Angies has spagetti and meatball specials and the restaurant is decked out in kitchy Italian memorabilia. The wait staff was young and personable but on to the pies; most self aware pizza I've had in Austin. The pie seemed just as purposefully Italian-American as the decorations on the wall. How? The pies are small and hand thrown with lobed uneven edges. Purposefully thin sauce applications and a heavy hand with cheese reminded me of mom and pop pizzerias back in Ohio where garlic is scarce and grated parmesan is unloaded by the pound. Cute place, worth a visit.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Relocation: The joys of building a new kitchen

So all,

I have left the land of corn and in my attempt to obtain cheap gas prices have moved to the land of oil; Texas. Actually I am going to graduate school here and I sold my car on the way down but, all reasoning aside, I am now living in Austin, Tx and Dinnerella is already banging away in the kitchen, south-west style.

Currently I live in French Place which is adorable and hotter than hell. Without a car I knew grocery shopping would be an adventure of sorts but luckily I live very near a Fiesta, a Mexican influenced grocery store, where unbelievably mangoes are 3/ a dollar and avocados are 2/ for a dollar. Roughly a third of what we pay in Ohio, yeah North! Also, Fiesta has a downright frightening selection of "other" foods. Things I've never seen in a food aisle. Cactus leaves, fresh ezpazote, and dried seahorses were most notable and although a cacti seahorse taco sounded all right I opted out, maybe next week. Instead I made a lunchtime variation of the popular frijoles con papas breakfast tacos, delicious.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Sour Cream


1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 can of black beans, or 1/2 cup of dried beans soaked and boiled
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 clove of garlic

salt, pepper
soft small flour tortillas

Heat some canola oil in a medium skillet and add onion
Cook for four minutes and add the cinnamon and cumin, coat the onions evenly
After a minute add potatoes, garlic, jalapenos
Cook until potatoes are tender about 15 minutes, add beans
When beans are warmed through turn the heat up to high and use the orange juice to deglaze the pan
When orange juice has simmered away, add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, remove from heat and fill in tortillas, top with avocado sour cream

Avocado Sour Cream

1 avocado
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Mash up the garlic and salt to form a paste
Mash the garlic paste into the avocado until smooth
Incorporate the yogurt until homogenized
Stir in the cayenne and cilantro

Either let sit in the refrigerator for an hour to meld or serve right away, it keeps in the fridge for about three days


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Forest Food

This is the kind of dish to make for your earthy friend. The incredibly nutty pesto is softened with a velvety Bechamel sauce and used as a base for blanched asparagus and oyster mushrooms creating a woodsy, satisfying Spring lasagna.

For the Pesto:

1 1/2 cup hazelnuts (about 4 1/2 ounces), toasted lightly and skinned
2 cups packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves (about 1 large bunch), washed and dried
3 medium garlic cloves
3/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor blend together first three ingredients while slowly incorporating the olive oil

p.s. to toast and skin the hazelnuts just bake them on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and then roll them around in a kitchen towel until skins come off toast

For the Bechamel from Mario Batali:

5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

For the lasagna:

1 box of no boil lasagna noodles
1 lb of button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb of dried oyster mushrooms (reconstitute in simmering stock and wine)
1 1/2 bundles of asparagus, blanched and sliced into two inch pieces
1 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano
black pepper and salt
a glass lasagna pan

Preheat the oven to 350
cover the bottom of the pan with bechamel sauce
layer with noodles
add a layer of pesto and bechamel
add button mushrooms
layer with noodles
add a layer of bechamel
add asparagus
layer with noodles
add a layer of pesto
add oyster mushrooms
layer with noodles
add bechamel, pesto, pecorino and pepper to top

bake for 45 minutes covered with foil, remove foil and bake for 15 minutes, let sit for 10 and enjoy!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weird food in Austin, Tx

I do not like to be disturbed in the morning. Sleep has always been important to me and despite my love of food, breakfast has never had a strong spot in my daily agenda. Alas, times have changed. For this, I will awake into the cold morning and force myself to the nearest stand in order to obtain the only breakfast that is worth waking for: The Breakfast Taco.
During my stay a friend demanded that I try one of these ubiquitous morning meals before I leave Texas. I wasn't hard pressed to find one, thinking the taco would be much like heuvos rancheros which I can easily find in Cincinnati. Later that evening, when I mentioned to my host, "Someone told me to try this thing, a breakfast taco..." her face dropped as if I had asked what in the world is this apple thing everyone's talking about, "You've never had a breakfast taco?!" she exclaimed. "In Texas we don't bring donuts to the office, we bring breakfast tacos!" And so it was at 8:30 the next morning at a little stand that I stood in line with a growing hoard of Texans and waited for my very first breakfast taco. The menu was straight forward and inexpensive:

I ordered one of each, of course, and slowly ate them all. The bean taco was refried pintos, eggs, and cheese; soft and salty. Next I had the chorizo, the greasiest of all, and then the sausage which tasted exactly like a sausage omelet in a tortilla. The potato and eggs were light and almost my favorite until the migas. The best! Corn was the overpowering flavor but I also tasted onions and peppers wrapped in hot eggs and cheese. Divine. I soon found out a migas is a delicious mixture of day old tortilla strips sauteed with scrambled eggs, chopped onions, peppers. Once one has added the house made pico de gallo and bitten into the hot and savory migas taco, donuts seem like a sad way to start the morning.

Breakfast tacos were the tastiest food I encountered in Austin but the weirdest definitely goes to the Frito Pie at The Shady Grove The Frito Pie is a questionable thing. It isn't really a pie, although it is layered. The Shady Grove has taken the popular combination of Fritos on top of Texas style chili and reversed the placement. So the crunchy, corny Fritos are on the bottom of a pile of The Shady Grove's spicy sirloin chili, cheese, onions, and jalapeno peppers, dutifully soaking up the mess. Like eating nachos with a spoon the odd and junky Frito Pie is one of my Austin favorites.

The Frito pie is served in its original casing.

And in minutes...

There was lots of other food namely smoky beef BBQ and homemade tamales but they will have to wait for another edition of Dinnerella. Let me know what you eat in Austin!

P.S. For a chicken tortilla soup free of heavy cheese and blessed with a clear, lime infused broth full of avacados and tender chicken, head to Reata Grill at the Dallas Fort Worth airport.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Food for a week

There's no escaping it. We are in a recession and we must tighten our fraying belts. So, in the vein of eating like a king and not paying for it, this recipe is solid and delightful. Adapted from Gourmet's BBQ Bean Soup, I have substituted mushroom stock and crushed tomatoes for the beef stock, added some other items. It's vegetarian, very filling, and makes about thirteen cups. Fabulous with jalapeno corn bread and some Greek yogurt for dinner. Or in the morning with an over-easy egg placed lovingly on top; spicy breakfast. Enjoy these all week long.

Vegetarian BBQ Bean Soup

2 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 32-ounce can whole tomatoes including the juice, chopped
1 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes
three 16-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
two 7-ounce bottles roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 1/2 cups mushroom stock
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco
1 16-ounce can golden hominy
2 teaspoons cider vinegar, or to taste

In a kettle cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, stir in the chili powder, the cumin, the allspice, and the cloves, and simmer the mixture for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with the juice, the beans, the hominy, the roasted peppers, the broth, the molasses, the Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer the soup, covered partially and stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Stir the vinegar into the soup and simmer the soup until it is heated through.

Serve with a little bit of Greek yogurt on top and diced jalapenos, Enjoy!


Friday, March 21, 2008

So rich, no dairy!

For dinner this week, we threw off our dairy shackles and went sans butter into the kitchen, not a huge ascetic movement I know, but we've been using a lot of butter lately and it was refreshing to remind ourselves of the richness and cleanliness of olive oil. The entree was baked cod, first slathered with young olive oil and then breaded with a panko, dill, sea salt mixture. Baked to a perfect flaky texture the cod's delicate herby crust paired wonderfully with Springy baby peas cooked with olive oil, mint, and onions. And because we've been eating so many biscuits lately, this time with asiago cheese baked in, we had another vegetable to ease our consciences; asparagus sauteed in olive oil and finished with lemon and salt. A simple supper, yes but a fabulous reminder that Spring is on the way and the days of beef stew and dark beers are melting away. Soon it will be all sun, salads, avocados, fish tacos, vino verde, and cookouts galore. So, put on Joao Gilberto while you cook, try to ignore the snow and have fun with this taste of Spring.

The cod was the star of the evening so here is the recipe, but the peas can be found in the link above.

Four pieces of wild caught cod
1 cup or more or Panko (depends on how much breading you like)
2 tbs of dried dill
4 pinches of sea salt
olive oil

a large shallow bowl
a large plate
glass casserole dish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
mix the panko, dill, and sea salt into a large shallow bowl
pour olive oil into a large plate

take each piece of cod and dip it into the olive oil then into the panko mixture
try to coat all sides evenly

place in the glass casserole dish

bake for about 30 min until flaky when pierced with a fork

Enjoy! Thanks for the idea Sabrina!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Go out! Lavomatic, eat local in style

Lavomatic is a Jean Robert group restaurant, the newest, on Vine street. Although some people, were skeptical about Lavomatic being on the OTR side of Vine street, both times I've been there since its recent opening the restaurant has been packed. Set in an old laundromat the french Lavomatic is very casual, cute, and intimate. A long bar, decorated with broken wine glass sculptures, is on the north side of the restaurant while the south side holds benches and tables for larger groups, and there is a rooftop patio for seasonal dining!
Another plus, and this is a huge deal, is the high number of locally sourced menu items. At the bar, I enjoyed the local organically raised Rabbit Stew with Herbed Dumplings which was divine and saucy, the meat was tender and the dumplings were so comforting I almost slumped over in relief. I pulled myself together and moved on to the Snail Skewers with Dijon-Red Wine sauce, these darlings consisted of two snails per skewer flanked by grilled vegetables and drizzled with tangy, dark sauce that complimented the escargot while allowing their true flavor to permeate the palette. In the same evening I tried the Grilled Cheese Du Jour and at $4.50 it is the perfect snack with a glass of wine, on this day the sandwich was Gorgonzola and pear melted between slices of buttery white bread, it was my dining companion's favorite dish.

I went home. I thought about that grilled cheese and the wine and the adorable wall art and I went back.

My second time in I sat at a table, which is only three feet from the bar so not a hugely different experience but I had a great view of the bustling kitchen which in turn drove me to order insane amounts of food.

I started with the Three Little Pigs. A triage of pork preparations lovingly wrapped in pastry dough and enhanced with a red wine reduction it was lilting. I had to keep going so I also had the Olives and the Cheese Plate. Those are two separate dishes that are fabulous together. The olives are a mix and dressed with an orange vinaigrette, the cheese plate came with five different cheeses, candied walnuts, toasted baguette slices, and a type of quince or other fruit gelatin used to cleanse the palette between each cheese. I also had the snails again. My neighbor ordered the Cold Salad Trio which is an enormous dish of lentil salad, curried couscous, and vietnamese picked cucumbers. All of the trio participants were delicious but the vietnamese cucumbers stood out for their thin slices and sour, refreshing taste. Alas, I made it to desert and tried the Chocolate...? I was a little tipsy this point but I recall the chocolate was rich and accompanied by berries

So...go out! Even if you've never been downtown before and especially if you've never been to OTR, go out and enjoy yourself. Let me know what you had and thought at Lavomatic!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Little Pillows of Buttermilk and Joy

So, I suppose I am on a Southern kick but I finally got my mom's recipe for buttermilk biscuits. This is one of those blessed recipes that are simple to prepare and make you look like some sort of alimentary goddess. For instance, if you say spent the night at someone's house whom you were very much in love/lust/like with and got up early to make these biscuits there WILL be a future for you two. Buttermilk biscuits like these are superb right out of the oven and fabulous cooled and made into ham and butter or veggie and cheese sandwiches, a winner in any setting. Here is the recipe: Go forth and bake!

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1tbs and 1tsp of baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6tbs of unsalted butter
1 cup of butter milk

pastry cutter (for cutting butter into four)
biscuit cuter
metal mixing bowl
wooden spoon
cookie sheet

if no buttermilk add 1tbs vinegar to a scant cup of milk

Preheat your oven to 450

Mix, very well, the dry ingredients into a metal mixing bowl

Slice the butter (cold) into pats over the bowl and then cut the pats into fourths, little pieces, let them drop into the dry ingredients

With your hands pinch the little pieces of butter into the flour, be careful not to heat up the butter in any way and try to have cold hands

With a pastry cutter cut the butter into the flour until the entire surface is coarse with little butter pieces

Add the milk and fold in into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon

Sprinkle your work surface with a bit of flour

When the mixture is mostly stuck together dump it out on your work surface

With the heels of your palms push the dough forward until it looks like a bicycle seat and then fold it into itself, do this around 10 or 12 times until dough is smooth, add flour to your work surface as needed

When dough is ready pat it into a round form and roll it out to about an inch and a fourth, cut the dough into circles and place on your cookie sheet

repeat until all the dough has been formed into biscuits

place on the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes



Cooking Tips

I recently learned, although I already kind of knew this, that when "sweating" vegetables or "blooming" herbs in olive oil you should start with a cold pan. The oil and herbs/veggies go in together and then heat is gently added, the reason being: starting with a cold pan slowly coaxes the aromatics and juices from the items cooking In stark contrast to this is throwing the herbs/veggies into hot oil which instantly sears the outside of the vegetables insuring that their juices stay inside! you know.


Southern Comfort

When I wrote earlier about dishes that call for butter, lots of butter, this recipe sprung to mind. From the great Southern cook Edna Lewis, comes this buttery, warming, tomato dream, so comforting that even if you didn't have a southern granny cooking for you as a child you'll swear this dish brings back memories of her bent over the oven singing to her lil' grandbaby. In some circles I believe this is referred to as scalloped tomatoes, and my mother who is southern says she used to make it with cracker crumbs on top. I used a loaf of sourdough bread that had roasted garlic cloves backed inside and the added garlic was divine, on the side I served a green salad with organic blue cheese dressing. I hope you enjoy this little bit of southern comfort as much as I did.

Also, If you have the temptation to add Parmesan or oregano to this in order to make it Italian, resist! This is butter and tomatoes in their most simplest southern form, delicious.

3 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
3/4 stick unsalted butter, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar, or to taste
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices good-quality white sandwich bread such as a pullman loaf

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Butter a 3-quart baking dish (about 13 by 9 by 2 inches).

Drain tomatoes, reserving 1 cup juice, then chop.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then cook onions with 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, allspice, and cloves and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes with reserved juice, thyme, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 1/2 stick butter and brush onto both sides of bread. Halve each slice.

Transfer tomato mixture to baking dish and top with bread, overlapping slightly. Bake until bubbling and bread is crisp and golden-brown, about 20 minutes.


The Joys of Snacking you may have noticed I am smitten with food, a preoccupation that leads to a lot of eating, even when I'm not hungry, and especially between meals. I try to eat healthy but then a recipe calls for a half a stick of butter, I'm not someone to deny a dish it's rightful buttery flavor in order to cut calories. But I do snack healthy and I tend to snack raw. This dip is so easy that it will hardly cut into your snack time, it takes about three minutes to create. Bebe carrots, stalks of celery, or any raw vegetable crudites will compliment the heavy Greek yogurt that serves as the base. The raw garlic will give you the energy you need until your next fabulous meal.

1 small container of 1% Greek Yogurt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Fresh mint, dill, and parsley, chopped
1 half of a radish, diced
salt, pepper

Mix everything up and eat with raw vegetables, Enjoy!


Sled for Sandwiches

Cincinnati received some snow and an impromptu sledding outing left us cold and famished. We wanted something heavy but spicy enough to thaw our icy bones and found the perfect treat in Gourmet, a Bahn Mi.

It's hard to find comfort food that also dazzles the palate. This sandwich piled high with mellow braunschwagger, roasted chicken, and mayo is brightened with jalapenos, sweet onions, cilantro, and soy sauce. In this Vietnamese fusion treat you will be excited by the spiciness and then pass out from the heaviness of the meat and the comforting aroma of a toasted baguette. Enjoy!

1/2 lb daikon, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1/2 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (24-inch) soft baguette
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 lb liverwurst
2 fresh jalapeƱos, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch rings
3/4 cup packed cilantro sprigs
2 cooked chicken breasts from a rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced
Lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Shred daikon and carrot in a food processor fitted with medium shredding disk. Stir together vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss with shredded vegetables. Let slaw stand, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat baguette on rack in oven until crusty, about 5 minutes. Cut off and discard round ends, then split baguette.

Mix together oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and brush on cut sides of bread. Spread liverwurst on bottom layer of bread and top with chiles, onion, and cilantro.

Drain slaw in a colander.

Arrange chicken, slaw, and lettuce on cilantro. Spread top layer of bread with mayonnaise and cut sandwich crosswise into fourths.


Goes very well with a little bit of whiskey or a cold beer.