This is a place where I collect and archive recipes from all over the place. These recipes were picked because these are food that I love to eat. I copied the recipes from other sources and I have included the links to each source.

I have cooked some of these dishes and I would be happy to discuss my story with you. Feel free to email me at or check out my food blog

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chipotle recipe Guacamole, salsa, chicken and steak

Provided by:
15 mins total 0 mins prep



  • Using fork, mash avocado with lime juice in small bowl.
  • Add cilantro, chopped onion, chopped garlic, serrano chiles and salt.
  • Stir to combine.

Provided by:
20 mins total 0 mins prep



  • Roast the poblano chiles on a grill or BBQ and let cool.
  • Dice the tomatoes, poblano chiles, onion, and jalapeños.
  • Combine all the ingredients and season to taste.

Provided by:
2 hr total 0 mins prep



  • Soak dry chiles in water overnight or until soft. Discard water. Remove seeds.
  • Add all ingredients except meat in food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Spread mixture over meat and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  • Heat grill to about 400 degrees, or if cooking inside heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over high heat. Salt meat to taste. Grill meat about 4 minutes per side, depending upon thickness, until done.
  • Serve with rice, black beans or choice of side dish. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Or serve in a burrito.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Restaurants to visit

Although this is a blog for me to keep track of dishes that I want to cook, I think it is also a good place for me to make a list of restaurants ideas.




Skip NYC Restaurant Week: 20 Other 3-Course Meals for $35 and Under

[Photos: Alice Gao, Robyn Lee, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Maggie Hoffman]
Let's talk about Restaurant Week, going on in New York right now. During the promotion (which, confusingly, tends to last multiple weeks), many restaurants in the city offer three-course lunches for $24.07, and dinners for $35. As dinners can indeed run so much more, knowing that you're capped at $35, before tax and tip and drink, can be comforting.
If you don't dine out often, or if you're used to thinking of New York restaurants as prohibitively expensive, it can seem like a great deal. Restaurant Week may make sense for a fine dining world, where refined cooking is only available at white-tablecloth restaurants, and spending under $40 is a steal. But that's not the New York of 2012 at all. The most talked-about restaurants these days often have no reservations and entrée prices in the $20s. Including many of our favorite restaurants.
$35 can get you a lot. That's a $8 app, $20 entrée, and $7 dessert. Or a $12 salad, $18 pasta and $10 shared dessert. Or a split $12 charcuterie plate, $23 entrée, and $6 bowl of ice cream. I could go on for awhile, but you get the idea.
What's more, there are major downsides to Restaurant Week.
  • Restaurants often get more business than they're used to. Customers swarming in for Restaurant Week can overwhelm a kitchen that's generally less busy. That doesn't do anything good for the quality of your food.
  • You're locked into three courses. I can't always sit down and finish three courses: appetizer, entree, and dessert (plus bread) is often much more than I can comfortably stomach. So retaining the flexibility to split an appetizer or forgo dessert saves me money. (Translation: leaves me with more money for wine.)
  • Restaurants rarely showcase their best dishes. It's all about efficiency, churning out dishes to a high volume of customers. And I'm sure plenty of restaurants put care into Restaurant Week food and service, but many more realize that their patrons aren't likely to be repeat customers; they're deal-seekers. Which is not a bad thing in and of itself, but does mean an average patron is less likely to come back.
  • Options are limited. Three or four choices for each course is the norm, generally with no substitutions. (Some restaurants offer more, but they're few and far between.) That limits anyone, but if you have any dietary restrictions or aversions, you're even less likely to find three courses you like.
  • Menus aren't always online. I have to pay for three courses from a limited menu, but I can't know what I'll be eating ahead of time? Plenty of restaurants have their menus up, but many more don't.
  • Gratuities are often included. I would rarely tip less than the suggested 18%-or-so gratuity, but I do like retaining the right to do so. Especially because Restaurant Week service tends to be sub-par.
Basically, the whole thing pisses me off. Because it takes restaurants that are often overpriced to begin with, scales them down a bit so they seem like a value ("Oh! That beet salad would usually cost $18, but I can get it as a starter!"), and in the process, puts them in a situation that further degrades the customer experience. And it positions them to seem like the best deals in town. Meanwhile, a hundred better restaurants in New York hum along, serving meals that won't cost you more than $35 either, but earning no credit for doing so.
It also gets so much publicity that plenty of diner-outers, NYC residents and visitors alike, assume that these are the restaurants to go to. Whereas they vary wildly in quality.
... To be fair, I'll digress for a moment to say that a few restaurants do Restaurant Week well. (Let's discount lunch, as even with the job I've got, I don't usually take 2-hour lunch breaks, nor do I know many people who can.) I've never had anything short of an excellent meal at the more casual Tap Room of Colicchio and Sons, and $35 is a chunk off the price of a normal three-course meal there. After Pete Wells's strong review, I'd drop $35 to try three courses at La Promenade des Anglais. Perilla for dinner? That's an amazing restaurant and a serious deal, though I'd miss the lamb meatballs. SHO Shaun Hergatt has two Michelin stars and generally strong reviews—I haven't been, but a $35 dinner opportunity could be a steal, and is certainly a substantial cut off the normal service. And Tulsi's menu looks gorgeous and I've heard nothing but raves.
But you'll notice that those are listed alphabetically. Because I just scrolled through all 300+ participating restaurants. And found five that I'd even consider spending my own cash on. Or recommending that anyone would.
So: my suggestion? Head to one of these 20 spots instead, where dinners under $35 can be had any day of the year.

Frankies Spuntino

Assorted Crostini ($4 each)
Three courses? You can do even better than that. Start with a $4 crostino, from white anchovy to chickpeas and guanciale. Add a $9 shaved brussels sprout salad before your $16 pork braciole or $15 gnocchi—and you've still got $6 for a ricotta cheesecake dessert. Alternately, rather than two starters, split a $17 antipasto plate, with two meats, cheeses, vegetables and olives. Either way, you won't leave hungry.
Prices at Frankies 17 on the Lower East Side are about the same; Frankies 570 in the West Village is a few bucks more, but it's still easy to put together three courses for under $35.
Read more »


It'd be hard to drop more than $35 (on food, that is) if you tried. I'm a huge fan of Otto's vegetable pots; split four of them ($5 each) between two people, or perhaps two veggies and a fish (I recommend the octopus and celery). Or a 3-cheese plate ($11) alongside your spicy rabe with ricotta salata. Move onto any of the pastas, all excellent and all just $10, before you end with some of the best gelato in the city.
Read more »

The Vanderbilt

Saul Bolton's Prospect Heights bar and restaurant is the sort of small-plates spot where it's possible to rack up quite a bill—but also possible to order smartly. Both the "small" and "medium" menu sections offer good bites; if I were going with a date, I'd split the sriracha-honey brussels sprouts and house-cured salmon ($17 together). Their excellent sausages go for $12/plate, pork meatballs for $15. Plenty left over for dessert.
Read more »

The Good Fork

I don't know if I could choose between Thai-style steamed mussels or a bacon-egg brussels sprout salad to start. So I might just order both and have only spent $23 on savories. Or I could go the more traditional route, sprouts salad + roast chicken, and a split chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
Read more »

Edi and the Wolf

I'd be thrilled to split the $17 mushroom-brussels sprout spätzle to start, or could go for my own $9 sausage ; this is Austrian fare, after all. After that, wiener schnitzel—or perhaps the Schultzkrapfen, "Austrian Mountain Cheese Ravioli, Ricotta, Gruyere, Spinach, and Brown Butter"? (I can't even type those words without swooning.) After spätzle and schnitzel I'd be content to split a $8 apple strudel. But if I'd done a lighter starter—does a blue cheese Alsatian flatbread count as "lighter"?—I'd have cash left in my $35 for a dessert all my own.
Read more »


I don't think of the elegant Balaboosta as an inexpensive restaurant, but it's easy to put together an excellent meal for under $35. Start off with the $7 smoked eggplant bruschetta or $10 crispy cauliflower (or any other vegetable dish on the menu; they're excellent). The $20 orecchiette with roasted fennel and olives or the unexpectedly exciting half chicken (man, that crispy skin) will both keep you in budget. Lighter eaters could choose the generously portioned $13 shrimp "Kataïf", wrapped in shredded phyllo, as a main course. Either way, you've still got cash left for dessert.
Read more »

Café China

Spicy Diced Rabbit ($9)
We often go out to eat for ambiance as much as cuisine, and some of our favorite Sichuan restaurants in the city, such as Chelsea's Legend, lack in the former department. Not the elegant Café China. Share $9 spicy rabbit and $6 dan dan noodles to start; excellent Chungking spicy chicken and spicy cumin lamb to follow; and you've only spent around $25 each. You could go for dessert. Or you could add duck tongues and ginger squash...
Read more »


Lasagna Napoletana For Two ($23)
How to put together a deliciously gut-busting meal at one of our favorite Italian-American spots: two or three $3 bruschette to start, or maybe one $3 bruschetta each and a shared order of $11 baked clams. Move onto the massive $24 lasagna for two, or meatball-topped gnocchi; or why not a pizza? And zeppole or cannoli will make sure you don't leave hungry.
Read more »

Farm on Adderley

This locavore-minded Brooklyn restaurant tends to do great thing with vegetables, so a $10 carrot-ricotta plate or a $8 kale-lentil soup should both do you right. Follow with $18 mushroom tagliatelle or $19 roast chicken.
Read more »


I would happily hoard an order of fried oxtail croquettes (bitterballen) to myself. Or an order of maple-drenched bacon potatoes (hete bliksem). That's my idea of two courses.
But for a slightly more, er, balanced meal, split these indulgent items and try Vandaag's fresher ones, too. My dream meal for two? Roasted sunchokes and bitterballen to start; suckling pig with confit leg and lingonberry jus, insanely indulgent hete bliksem, and brussels sprouts for mains; and a stroopwafel each for dessert. (Did I call that more balanced? Heh.) Or a shared butterscotch pudding. Or, hell, another order of hete bliksem. All that doesn't top $35/head.
Read more »

Locanda Verde

Wait, what? Andrew Carmellini's Tribeca trattoria: not a cheap restaurant. But if you've got $35/head to play with, you can do a lot. Good pasta is great that way. Split an order of pickled mushroom and an order of sheep's milk ricotta crostini to start. (Or order two sheep's milk ricotta plates for yourself and you won't want anything else for dinner. But some people prefer more conventional meals.) Pumpkin agnolotti or ragú-smothered gigatone to follow. And while sharing a dessert would keep you under the $35 mark with room to spare, it's worth dropping a few extra bucks to try more than one of Karen DeMasco's remarkable creations. (Split the generously portioned ricotta, each get your own pasta, and you can each get a dessert and stay within budget.)
Read more »


Duck egg with spinach to start, or kabocha squash with housemade ricotta? Tagliatelle with housemade burrata, tomato butter, and brussels sprouts to follow; or risotto with pimento cheese and roasted broccoli? Either way, you'll have change left over for an ice cream sandwich; or share the caramel cake and a few rainbow cookies.
Read more »

Northern Spy

Share our favorite kale-squash salad and smoked bluefish rillettes to start. Roast chicken with chard and freekeh, or squid and mussel ragout to follow. And quince bread pudding or a chocolate-hazelnut torte to finish? All under $35/head.
Read more »


Crispy Brussels Sprouts ($6) at Whitehall
There's always what I call the Carey Special: two bracingly tart gin Vespers and an order of crispy brussels sprouts. ($28.)
Okay, if you don't consider cocktails a viable dinner: share the squid and pork sausage and an order of those sprouts to start; grilled mackerel or roast chicken to follow; and the Honeycrisp Apple Charlotte for two, to finish. If you take my advice on anything, it should probably be that Apple Charlotte.
Read more »

The Redhead

This neighborhoody Southern spot makes some of our favorite fried chicken in the city. With that as your main, add housemade chips with onion dip and bacon peanut brittle as starters (or, okay, share just one of those and a salad). If chicken's not your thing, go for shrimp + grits with andouille sausage, or roasted duck gumbo. And in lieu of dessert, a deliciously boozed-up hot chocolate is an excellent idea.
Read more »


This sounds like a great three-courser to me: flounder ceviche, pernil, and torrejas de oliva, one of the best desserts I ate last year. Or Coppelia's excellent ropa vieja, cornmeal calamari, and a chipotle brownie sundae. You have to get a little creative here to put together a three-course dinner for over $35; under is the easy part.
Read more »

Kin Shop

Braised Goat Massaman Curry ($21)
Another not-inexpensive restaurant. But you know what my favorite 3-course meal is, at one of my favorite restaurants in New York right now? Garam masala and red kuri squash soup; massaman braised goat; Thai ice cream. $34.
Are there other ways to order that'll cost more? Of course. But I could spend $35 on an unknown restaurant's three courses, or on this fantastic spread from Harold Dieterle. I know which I'd choose.
Read more »


Skate ($15)
Seafood does not indicate "inexpensive." Neither does the presence of Mathieu Palombino and David Malbequi, two fine and classically trained chefs. (Palombino then leapt the fine-dining boat to open Motorino, our favorite pizzeria in New York). But at Prima, get a beautiful fan of skate in butter and capers for $15. Tack on 3 oysters to start, or roasted beets, and you've still got more than enough for a rich chocolate mousse. Each.
Read more »

Spotted Pig

If I picked two words to describe the Spotted Pig, "gently priced" would not occur. But a $35 dinner? Totally possible. Share their much-loved deviled eggs and crispy pig's ear salad to start. Move on to their legendary burger or sheep's milk ricotta gnudi. And each of you can still get your own $8 dessert. (I'd keep the banoffee pie all to myself.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


You’re Doing It Wrong: Pizza

Margherita Pizza before baking.

Photo by L. V. Anderson

Pizza serves as a good measuring stick to see how serious people are about cooking. There are, on one end of the spectrum, culinary pros who think a pizza stone is an essential piece of kitchen equipment. (Stone ovens are traditional in Naples, where pizza was invented, but the pizza stone didn’t start catching on among the Williams-Sonoma set until after the New York Times Magazine endorsed it in 1990 as “a disk about the size of a record” that “makes the dough hard and crispy.”)
On the other end of the spectrum are delivery devotees whom you couldn’t pay to make pizza from scratch.
In the middle lies what I suspect is a moderate majority: people who think homemade pizza is a fun occasional weekend project—but not something to make a frequent habit of. And it’s this moderate majority that is most prone to doing homemade pizza wrong. Which isn’t to say that the resulting pies are bad: Most homemade pizza tastes pretty good, so long as you eat it when it’s still hot from the oven. But there are common errors in judgment that unfailingly prevent good homemade pizza from being great.
First: dough thickness. Making pizza dough is not difficult; it contains literally five ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, and water), and you can throw it together in ten to fifteen minutes. What is difficult is achieving the right thickness when you’re stretching the dough out, after it’s risen and before it’s been topped. Here’s a good rule of thumb: When you think you’ve stretched the dough thin enough, keep stretching it until it’s half as thick. And then stretch it a little thinner for good measure. It should be cracker-thin, crêpe-thin, even paper-thin in places. There is no risk of stretching it too thin; it will rise like nobody’s business once the heat of your oven hits it. When your dough resists stretching further—and it will—leave it alone for a minute, then come back to it and try again; it will eventually acquiesce to the will of your fingers.
Second, and possibly most important: topping quality. Your stretching efforts will have been for naught if you cover the dough with mediocre toppings. Most so-called pizza sauce—the kind that comes in a jar or can—is an abomination. (Here are the ingredients in Ragú’s “Homemade Style” pizza sauce: “Tomato Puree [Water, Tomato Paste], Soybean Oil, Salt, Spices, Natural Flavor.” Q.E.D.) And higher-quality premade sauce is a waste of money, since you can with very little exertion make something just as good, if not better, from cheaper ingredients: canned or boxed tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic.
Shredded mozzarella cheese, meanwhile, is a rubbery, bland approximation of the real thing. Fresh mozzarella—the kind sold in fist-sized balls or braids—is significantly creamier and more appetizing than those suspiciously dry little tatters, and it doesn’t contain questionable additives like potato starch and cellulose powder.
Third: spacing. You may be tempted to overload your pizza with mountains of sauce, cheese, and other discretionary toppings in accordance with the theory that more is better (call it the Sufjan Stevens Theory of Composition). Don’t do this; smothered pizza crust is soggy pizza crust. Spread your tomato sauce thinly, and allow for plenty of room between pieces of cheese—they may look sparse, but they’ll expand in area as they melt, and your crust will end up sturdy and crisp rather than pliable and waterlogged.
Margherita pizza is about as basic as pizza can get, but there are still a couple of legitimate points of contention about how to do it. I like the nutty flavor of whole-wheat flour in pizza crust, but all white is more traditional. And you can leave off the basil until after the pizza’s cooked, if you prefer. (The leaves dry out in the oven, which some see as a detriment—but they also cohere to the cheese and sauce that way, which I see as an advantage.)
Finally, feel free to add any other pizza toppings you like to this plain model: vegetables, cured meats, other cheeses, other fresh herbs. Just—for the love of the VPN—make sure they’re good, and don’t use heaps of them.
Margherita Pizza
Yield: About 6 servings
Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours, largely unattended
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour, or more all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast or one 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and drizzling
1 medium yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
Black pepper
One 26-ounce box or 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and blotted dry with a paper towel
About 30 fresh basil leaves
1. Combine the flours, yeast, and 2 1/4 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and about 1 1/4 cups warm water—about the same temperature as the inside of your wrist—and stir with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand. Knead the dough with the dough-hook attachment of a stand mixer or by hand until it feels smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl (it’s fine to use the same one you mixed the dough in), add the dough, and turn it over to coat it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, put it in a warm place, and let the dough rise until more or less doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers steadily, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and saucy, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
3. Heat the oven to 500°. Punch down the dough and let it rest for a minute or two. Generously grease two 13- by 18-inch baking sheets. Divide the dough in two and put each half on a baking sheet; gently and gradually stretch each into 13- by 18-inch rectangle. Spread the tomato sauce in an even layer over the dough, and top with the cheese and basil. Drizzle with a little additional olive oil and sprinkle with more salt and pepper if you like.
4. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the edges of the crust are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let rest at least 5 minutes at room temperature before cutting and serving.

Pasta with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

Cooking Light's Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

[Photograph: Oxmoor House]
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook to give away this week.
At first glance this Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce from Bruce Weinstein's and Mark Scarbrough's Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook just looks like a great plate of pasta but upon further inspection, the recipe reveals two great tips for time-saving meal prep.
Why you should make this: First off, being able to put together a great sauce in the time it takes for a pot of water to boil and pasta to cook is a skill that every time-pressed cook should learn, and this farfalle recipe is a great one to have under your belt.
Secondly, using a pre-sliced exotic mushroom blend saves precious time by eliminating the washing and slicing part. Sure you're still going to have to dice some onion, shallots, and garlic, but that will go much quicker than washing, drying, and cutting a whole load of fancy 'shrooms.
Once you've got your onions and mushrooms sautéed and reduced with a glug of white wine, your pasta is ready to be drained, added to the pot, tossed with cream, Parmesan, and parsley, and ready to go. See? A lovely, earthy plate of pasta ready to eat in the time that it takes to boil a box of farfalle thanks to a few ingenious quick cooking tips.
Adapted from Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Copyright © 2011. Published by Oxmoor House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved


yield: 8 servings, active time 20 minutes, total time 20 minutes
  • 1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 ounces presliced exotic mushroom blend
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Minced fresh parsley (optional)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Banana cake


2 Bananas, mashed
120 g Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
1 cup Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a medium loaf tin with non-stick spray.
Place butter and mashed bananas into a saucepan and melt on low heat. Stir in the caster sugar, bicarb soda and milk until the sugar appears to have dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before stirring in the beaten eggs and flour.
Pour mixture into loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm or cool with butter.
Banana cake slices can be frozen and defrosted