Sunday, April 22, 2012

butter lettuce, radish, and avocado salad with mustard dressing

This is another Jean-Georges Vongerichten keeper recipe. Easy to assemble. Very refreshing. We had it with grilled Polish sausage and pan-fried pierogies. I had a love affair with that dinner.

KT notes:

1. I think butter lettuce is the same thing as Boston lettuce (which is what I found at my grocery store).
2. What are "slender pink French breakfast radishes"? I used sliced regular old radishes.


1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head butter lettuce, torn
8 slender pink French breakfast radishes or baby round red radishes, halved
1 scallion, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced at an angle
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh dill
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Whisk together the vinegar and mustard with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Continue whisking and add the oils in a slow, steady stream until the mixture is emulsified.

Toss the dressing with the lettuce, radishes, scallion, and dill. Top with the avocado and serve.

crab toasts with sriracha mayonnaise

When i first picked up Home Cooking with Jean-Georges and flipped through the book, I was slightly intimidated by the recipes. On closer reading, I tagged about 20 recipes that look doable and appetizing. One of these was the sriracha mayonnaise mixed in with some lump crab meat and served on toast. We ate it as a snack while watching the Caps stick it to the Bruins. Great game, great snack!

KT notes:

1. I felt a little skittish eating a raw egg yolk (in the sriracha mayonnaise) but we washed it down with beer and wine and deemed it safe.
2. I used Harris Teeter brand "jumbo lump crab meet." It fit the bill perfectly.
2. J-G suggests serving this appetizer with champagne. Um, yes please.


4 slices good sourdough bread
3 tablespoons Sriracha Mayonnaise (recipe below)
8 ounces picked lump crabmeat, preferably peekytoe, picked over for bits of shell
Crushed red chile flakes, optional
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Toast the bread until golden brown. Cut each slice into 2-inch pieces.

Gently fold the mayonnaise into the crabmeat until well mixed. Spoon the crab mixture into a serving bowl and set inside a larger bowl filled with ice to keep cold if desired. Garnish with chile flakes if desired. Serve with the lemon wedges and toasts.


1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sriracha

Whisk together the yolk, mustard, and salt until well blended. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the mixture. Whisk in the lemon juice and sriracha until well blended. The mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Makes 1 cup.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

quinoa with spinach, goat cheese, and sauteed shiitakes

Up next for cookbook club is Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Home Cooking. Tonight I tested a simple salad recipe from the book. The name of the salad almost literally lists all of the ingredients -- quinoa, spinach, goat cheese, and sauteed shiitakes. If you remember the name, you remember the recipe. It was earthy and flavorful and high on the healthy meter.

My notes:

1. The full recipe serves four. I quartered everything, give or take, and successfully made a single serving.
2. J-G has you toast the quinoa for 5 minutes before adding the water. Mine seemed to be burning and popping like popcorn after about 3 minutes, so I made it stop. The quinoa didn't taste burnt in the salad and arguably had more depth of flavor.


1 cup quinoa
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
6 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Toast the quinoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes.

Spoon the warm quinoa and mushrooms over the spinach on a serving platter, then drizzle with the vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper and top with the goat cheese.