Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dip (Barefoot Contessa Lightened Up Just a Bit!)

24 Jan

Recently my editors at Edible Long Island asked what we contributors were doing to eat local in the middle of winter.

Hmmm. Embarrassingly, I am not doing enough. Except drinking Long Island wine and using up the home-grown tomatoes, and CSA peppers, garlic scapes, and berries I froze this past summer when the getting was good. I must do better next year!

This will make an impact at your next party

This will make an impact at your next party

But, I am reading about cooking local…my godson, Sean, who understands me better than most, got me Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook with a forward by Martha Stewart for Christmas. For those who don’t know, The Barefoot Contessa is a specialty food store in East Hampton, Long Island, owned by Ina Garten, a former White House nuclear policy analyst and now Emmy-winning Food Network host. She is very charming, very Hamptons, and that makes her very local to me! Bonus, Martha Stewart also has a home in East Hampton, which makes her local too, at least part of the year.

Anyhoo, I do like Ina Garten and her relaxed style. She’s forever cooking up special treats for her beloved husband, Jeffrey, who seems to enjoy it very much. And since Super Bowl is coming up and that means a lot of entertaining, I adapted one of her signature recipes from the book to what I had in my fridge to see what happened.

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Lasagne, Lasagna, Lasaña: keeping it simple, making it Puerto Rican

14 Jan

No matter how you spell it, lasagne is great food for entertaining and with the SuperBowl coming up, you may want to consider this version as an option for the buffet table!

This is a wonderfully homey dish

This is a wonderfully homey dish

In its original Italian version (which may actually be adapted from a Greek dish) from Emilia Romagna (if Wikipedia is to be believed and on this one I am not really sure), lasagne is pasta layered with ragu, bechamel (creamy white sauce) and parmigiano reggiano. Lasagne has since been adapted and changed and reworked in so many ways that it has as many permutations as there are cooks who make it.

I have to say, I do not love bechamel. It’s okay when someone else makes it, but I would rather not. So, I do what so many do: layer mozzarella and ricotta and grated parmigiano and I am at peace with this shortcut that results in a creamy gooiness, no doubt horrifying to the Emiliani, but they are far away living their Italian lives and are not doing my dishes for me here in New York. And with apologies to the late, great Marcella Hazan, I am not ready to be making my own lasagne noodles, even though she maintains it is heresy to do otherwise.

Layers of gooey goodness

Layers of gooey goodness

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Super Bowl: Yuca en Escabeche- a bold alternative to potato salad

5 Feb

I’ve got nothing against potato salad; in fact, it is a big favorite of mine for summer barbecues, church functions, Christmas buffets or midnight raids on the leftovers.

But Game Day calls for a more assertive strategy: yuca en escabeche (or, as my friends and family know and love it: yuca salad) is the clear winner for full flavor, honking big texture, great colors and the ability to stand up to spicy wings and ribs. It has the heft to defend against the beer and alcohol blitz of Super Bowl Sunday, but is not so exotic looking or smelling as to scare off cautious diners. And of course it makes for more interesting conversation amongst those who are only really there for the food and the commercials.

The colors are very appealing

The colors are very appealing

Yuca (Manihot esculenta) is a rough-skinned root vegetable native to Brazil. It is also known as cassava, manioc and mandioca. The bitter kind has a poison that native Americans from the Caribbean on down used to tip their hunting arrows with back in the day. We’re not serving that kind. In fact, I have never seen it (although that is exactly the type that gets made into bland tapioca – go figure). Up here we get the sweet kind that simply needs to be peeled and boiled to share its goodness (just don’t eat it raw).

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