Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Homemade Mayonnaise

Making my own mayonnaise was one of the most interesting and rewarding things I’ve done in the kitchen. It’s dead simple and the results are remarkable. I’ll never buy mayo again. The version above is green as it was made with unfiltered grapeseed oil, a preferred neutral oil (to corn). This mayo is lovely as is, or a great base for all kinds of aiolis, from red pepper to garlic and herbs or even saffron.


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Food processor or blender


  1. Put the yolk and mustard in a blender or food processor and turn the machine on. While it’s running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. When an emulsion forms, you can add it a little faster, until all the oil is incorporated.
  2. Add salt and pepper, then stir in the lemon (or vinegar). Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use immediately or refrigerate for about a week (less if using fresh herbs or aromatics).

*Makes 1 Cup Mayonnaise.

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Seared Alaskan Halibut over Fork-Mashed Purple Potatoes, Whole Roasted Carrots and a Lemon Dijon Sauce.

Ingredients, Purple Potatoes

  • 1 pound Purple Majesty or other purple potatoes, washed
  • 4 small shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil (we used half, and it was plenty for us)
  • Fleur de sel to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Ingredients, Lemon Dijon Sauce

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh Herbs (I used more parsley but this is a versatile sauce)
  • 4 portions halibut fillet, each about 6 ounces

Ingredients, Roasted Carrots

  • 1 pound (medium) whole carrots, fronds removed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Baking Dish, Oven for Carrots
  • Stock pot, bowls for potatoes
  • Small Sauce pan for sauce
  • Large Saute pan for fish
  • Knife, Cutting board, and bowls for prep

Directions, Carrots

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium baking dish, combine the carrots with the water, garlic, oil and butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes, until tender.
  3. Uncover and roast for about 30 minutes longer, until the water has evaporated and the carrots are lightly browned in spots. Transfer the carrots and garlic to a plate and serve.

Directions, Purple Potatoes

  1. In a large pot, cook potatoes with skins on in heavily salted boiling water until tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Remove potatoes from pot, and peel them while still warm.
  3. Place potatoes in a large bowl and, using a fork, gently smash them, maintaining a fairly chunky consistency.
  4. Fold in minced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, fleur de sel, and white pepper. Finish with parsley.

Directions, Fish, Lemon Dijon Sauce

  1. Melt butter over low to medium-low heat (do not boil) with dijon, add herbs (squeeze lemon into bowl for addition/emulsification before service)
  2. To cook the halibut fillets, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to hold them. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and saute until they are golden brown and cooked through, moist but still flaky when the thickest part of one is pierced with a knife tip, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Add lemon juice and whisk to emulsify. Serve immediately.

*Serves 4.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Braised Baby Bok Choy with Sesame Oil

Braising: More than meat, bro. The French technique famed for tenderizing cheap hunks of beef can also deepen vegetables natural flavors, and the liquid reduces for a nice sauce too. Side of Baby Bok Choy, Butter-Braised with a Sesame Oil Finish.

It would be delicious with pan-seared shellfish and Asian eggplant.


  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 lb baby bok choy, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


  • Large sautee pan with lid


  1. Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered.
  2. Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.

*Makes 2 large servings

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Speedy No-Knead Bread

This shortcut recipe, which requires just four and a half hours’ rising, if not quite as good as the original, can be done in an afternoon. Find the original No-Knead Bread recipe here.


  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Oil as needed


  • Dutch Oven


  1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.
  3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

*Makes 1 big loaf

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Woodland Mushrooms over Creamy Goat Cheese Grits

This simple vegetarian dish is hearty enough to satifsy a meaty craving, but light and lucious all the same. The basic concept is to roast the vegetables while you make the grits, which in all takes about 30 minutes. Variations abound, you could substitute the grits for a yellow polenta (use a coarse cornmeal instead of grits). You can omit the goat cheese entirely for lower calories, and instead garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsely.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or chicken stock, vegetable stock or more water)
  • 1 cup stone-ground white corn grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, preferably a mixture, trimmed and halved if large
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  • Baking Sheet, Oven
  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Medium Sauce Pan for Grits


  1. Heat the oven to 450°. Put the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet that can hold them in a single layer, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, toss, and continue to roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sprouts and mushrooms are quite brown and tender, 10 to 20 minutes more. Taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Meanwhile, In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Cook the grits over moderate heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until thickened and the grains are tender, about 30 minutes (10 to 15 for polenta).
  3. Stir the goat cheese into the grits, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through if they have cooled. Whisk in additional water if the consistency is too thick, it should be like a thick oatmeal.
  4. Divide the grits among four bowls; top with the vegetables.

*Serves 4.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Salsa “Mac and Cheese” with Fusilli in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Inner Fat Kid: Salsa “Mac and Cheese” with Fusilli in a Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cheddar Cheese Sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa or your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • 1 pound dried pasta (though elbow macaroni will do, I suggest you try cork-screw cavatappi or the spiral rotini or fusilli)


  • Medium Saucepan
  • Stock Pot With Strainer
  • Whisk


  1. Pour 4 quarts of water into a large pot, cover and set over high heat.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 or 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted. Taste and season generously with salt, usually 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cover to keep warm until the pasta is done.
  3. When the water has come to a boil, add the dried pasta. Stir well to keep the pasta from sticking together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and add the pasta to the sauce. Stir until all the pasta is covered in the salsa cheese sauce. You’re ready to dig in.

*Serves 8

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Classic Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

Warm Those Chips: Classic Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa. Cheaper than Pace, I promise, and so much better.


  • 1 to 2 fresh jalapeño chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, preferably fire roasted
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt


  • Small skillet
  • Food processor
  • Cutting Board, Knife


  1. Roast the chiles and garlic. In a small ungreased skillet over medium heat, roast the chiles and garlic, turning regularly, until they are soft and blotchy brown, about 10 minutes for the chiles, 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool until handleable, then pull the stem(s) off the chile(s) and roughly chop. Peel the skin off the garlic. Scoop into a food processor and pulse until quite finely chopped.
  2. Finish the salsa. Add the tomatoes with their juice. Re-cover and pulse until you have a coarse puree. Scrape into a serving dish. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. You’re ready to serve.

*Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole with Slow Roasted Garlicky Goodness, Jicama, Chipotles and Cilantro

Holy Mole: Really, mixing your favorite salsa into some avocado does the trick, but this one is pretty nifty. Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole with Slow Roasted Garlicky Goodness, Jicama, Chipotles and Cilantro.


  • 3 medium-large (about 1 1/4 pounds) ripe avocados
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted garlic from the garlic mojo, strain away the oil
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup jicama, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt


  • Large bowl
  • Old fashioned potato masher
  • Cutting Board, Knife


  1. Cut around each avocado, from stem to blossom end and back again, then twist the two halves apart. Scoop out the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh from the skin and add to a bowl. Add the roasted garlic, chipotles, and sun-dried tomatoes. Using an old fashioned potato masher or a large fork or spoon, mash the avocados into a coarse puree. Fold in the jicama, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lime juice.
  2. Scoop the guacamole into a serving dish, sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro and sun-dried tomatoes

*Makes about 3 cups, serving 6 as an appetizer, 8 to 10 as a nibble.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Seared Scallop in a Fire-Roasted Chipotle Sauce with Mexican Rice and “Bouquet” of Zucchini

I used this sauce, this technique for the zucchini, seared the scallops in this fashion, and made Rick Bayless’ Mexican rice but with a rice cooker. In my rice cooker I used 1.5 cups rice and 2 cups of broth.

All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.