Kimchi pancakes and kimchi style romaine


I love kimchi pancakes in all their forms: mung flour based, rice flour based, regular wheat flour based (although I just found out that my body has decided not to be friends with gluten anymore). These were made with regular flour, eggs, chopped kimchi, chopped green onions and kimchi “juice.”

For this post, I’d like to focus on the salad – a kimchi style romaine with shaved radishes. The dressing is the exciting part, and I love the tang, spice and salt.

  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons black vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine these ingredients and toss with the chopped romaine and shaved radishes. This salad actually tastes even better as it marinates and wilts a bit.


South Indian-inspired lentil stew with coconut-rice crepes

Lentil soup with coconut rice crepe

This stew is inspired by some of my favorite breakfasts while in Goa. I didn’t follow a recipe, but I’ll try to capture how I ended up with the step. The crepes are an easy recipe that I’ll include below. I think they’d also be delicious with some butter and honey drizzled for breakfast or dessert!

Lentil Stew

Saute a chopped onion, 3 carrots, a tablespoon each of grated ginger and turmeric and 5 cloves of garlic until golden brown. Add a teaspoon each of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and your favorite curry powder or masala. Add one bunch of chopped kale, 1/2 lb of split red lentils and enough veggie broth to cover everything. Let this simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste. Once the lentils are soft, use an immersion blender to puree about half the soup and stir together until you get a consistency that you like. I prefer leaving in some of the chunks, but you might prefer a smoother soup. Adjust the spice levels to taste and add lemon juice for some brightness.

Coconut Rice Crepes

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak one cup of white rice (I used a mixture of basmati and sushi rice) in water overnight. Drain and place in a blender with 1/2 cup of fresh water and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and blend until completely smooth. The batter will be very runny, maybe the thickness of cream? That is how it should be, don’t worry!

Heat a nonstick pan on high with some oil until just smoking. Add about 1/2 cup of batter to the pan and tilt to coat the pan thinly. Cook until light brown and then flip and cook until light brown on the other side.

Serve the stew with a garnish of chopped cilantro and a few rice crepes for dipping.

Coffee-molasses glazed pork chops


This Alton Brown inspired glaze is so easy and versatile, you’ll want to keep it in your regular rotation. I used it on chicken thighs and pork chops, but I think that it would be great on roasted veggies, tofu, salmon and most other meats. I served it with a carrot-yam puree and seared broccoli.

  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (I actually just dumped in fine ground coffee, about 1/2 cup, and some warm water. Worked well!)
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the protein in the a zip-top bag for 2-3 hours and then grill to desired doneness (3-4 minutes/side for pork chops). Strain the marinade into a small saucepan and reduce until syrupy. Drizzle a little glaze over each serving. If using on roasted veggies, I would suggest reducing the marinade down and tossing with the veggies during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

French onion soup – warmth in a bowl

I will confess upfront that this soup was consumed so fast that I didn’t get a photo of the final plated (bowled?) dish. I served it with toasted sourdough croutons and melted Gruyere cheese, and I can assure you, it was tasty.

I made the stock from scratch, using meaty short ribs, dried maitake mushrooms, and a bunch of veggies.


Next, I slowly caramelized about 5 large sliced onions in lots of butter and 4-5 cloves of sliced garlic. I started them on the stove and then moved them to a 300 F oven, stirring them every 30 minutes until they were a dark brown.

I strained the broth, shredded the bits of meat and added those plus the broth into the pan of onions, scraping up all of the browned bits. I added a dash of Cognac and adjusted the salt and pepper. To serve, I topped individual bowls with toasted cubes of sourdough (I find cubes easier to eat than a whole toast) and shredded Gruyere, melted under the broiler.


My Nana’s ravioli (spinach and ricotta)


While my family was not too happy about this, I spent this past holiday at home making ravioli for my partner and I. No travel, no visitors, just quiet, cozy cooking.

My first memory of ravioli is from my Nana, and I have never had any that taste quite like them. Any homemade ravioli are usually pretty dreamy, but these have the added bonus of nostalgia for me. The flavor difference between these and other spinach-ricotta ravioli is a tablespoon or two of grated, glassed onion. I always use fresh ricotta and spinach, and that makes a difference in terms of texture and flavor for sure.

I used the same pasta recipe as I normally do, so I’ll just include the filling recipe here.

1 1/2 cup fresh ricotta, drained for at least one hour in cheese cloth and colander
1 cup cooked spinach, chopped fine and squeezed completely dry
2 tablespoons grated onion, glassed in a bit of olive oil (cooked until translucent but not browned at all)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1 small egg

Mix all ingredients together, except for egg, and season to taste. Add egg and mix to combine. Once you fill the pasta sheets, let dry for a bit before cooking in slowly boiling water. They only need to cook for about a minute, or until they float to the surface.


Cooler-cooked steaks


I finally tried the whole sous-vide thing, but I did it in a beer cooler! Thanks to The Food Lab, I also salted and air-cured the ribeyes for three days in my fridge. I’d do both of these things again, but I recommend reducing the number of curing days. For the record though, my partner says that it was the best steak ever and wouldn’t change a thing.

I paired the ribeye with grilled green beans and new potatoes and a homemade Bearnaise sauce (which is kind of like hollandaise but with white wine vinegar instead of lemon juice and the addition of tarragon).

First pat your thick-cut steaks dry and pat all over with kosher salt. Set them on a rack over a pan and place in your fridge for 12-24 hours. Brush off any remaining salt and seal the steaks in a vacuum sealed bag (or a ziplock bag). Then follow Kenji’s instructions for cooking meat in a beer cooler. I have to say, I was skeptical, but the ability to consistently attain the perfect temperature steak each and every time is pretty alluring. Plus, if you are having a bunch of folks over, the meat could be held in the water bath, and you can sear to order in a matter of minutes. No need to stand over a grill/stove while your guests are having fun, and lower chance of getting distracted and over cooking.


Roasted spaghetti squash


It’s squash roasting season, obviously, but I wanted to make a specific plug for spaghetti squash. Cut it in half, scrape out the seeds, coat with olive oil and fill the halves with sliced garlic, herb sprigs and a sprinkle of salt.

Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the squash strands separate as you drag a fork across them. The texture should remain crisp, and it’s better to under-bake than over. If you really want to soften it, just throw it back in the oven for a few more minutes. An over-baked squash is just mushy and sad.

I like to toss the strands with toasted walnuts, red pepper flakes, black pepper and shards of parmesan or aged gouda. It’s also great coated with some fresh pesto.

Savory rice waffles (again)


This post is only to remind you that you should make rice waffles for dinner very soon, and, more broadly, that you can put so many things in your waffle maker! These rice waffles were pretty basic, but topped with some seared bass, sauteed cabbage and a spicy black bean sauce.

Just take day-old (or week old, I’m not judging) rice, mix in an egg, some salt and any other add-ins (green onions, basil, chopped bacon, diced cooked shrimp). Cook in your waffle maker until the edges are nice and crispy. Top with sauteed veggies, meats, gravies, melted cheese, you name it. You can usually make a topping in the time it takes your waffle to crisp up!

Chocolate cookie ice-box cake


It’s always fun when something is even better tasting than you imagined. This was one of them. I made it as a celebration cake for a loved one using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe (minuse the peanut butter). I didn’t bother making it look perfect, so the shape was more modern art than “bakery case ready,” but that didn’t affect our enjoyment of it one bit. I did top with chocolate curls and cocoa nibs, so that made up for the shape a little.

While it was a lot of work to roll out and bake each layer individually, it was fun to have the layered look when cutting into it. I might not bother in the future, just rolling out random shapes and then layering them up as best I can like a triffle. Either way, super delicous.



Johnny cakes for every meal


Johnny cakes are kind of like fried cornbread, but easier to make. While the roots of the name are debated, we definitely can give credit to Native Tribes up and down the eastern Americas for the dish itself. While you can make more of a cornbread batter and fry like pancakes, these are simpler, denser, and satisfyingly toothsome. I like them savory with melted butter or cheese, as a side for BBQ or braised meats, or sweet with a drizzle of maple syrup or  honey.

  • 1 cup course cornmeal (this is a great time to use that heirloom, stoneground stuff you’ve been saving, because the taste of the corn is front and center)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (if you want them sweet, otherwise, you can leave it out)

Combine all of the ingredients, pouring in the boiling water or milk gradually until you get a wet mixture that will plop off the end of your spoon and flatten out slightly. Cook in a greased medium-hot griddle or pan for about 6-10 minutes per side, depending on how dark you like your edges. I like to keep them warm in the oven on a rack while I make a whole batch. The time in the oven also helps to soften the corn granules in the middle, as they can be a bit crunchy at first.