Saturday, May 23, 2009


Adapted from Ina Garten on the Barefoot Contessa show (via Food Network)


3 tablespoons good olive oil
Half a french baguette, torn into chunks (about 5-6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 red onion,thinly sliced
Handful of basil, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For Vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar (I typically use Red Wine Vinegar, but Ina's recipe calls for Champagne)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed, and some fresh cracked pepper to your tasting.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside. I personally like to use a little jar to add all dressing ingredients then shake the life out of it. It keeps everything contained and its easy.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the toasted bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Savoy Cabbage Gratin

Adapted from Orangette and Molly Stevens book, All About Braising


3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Savoy cabbage, quartered, cored, and sliced into ½-inch-wide shreds
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced into ½-inch-wide pieces (I actually used a yellow onion here as I had no green onions on hand...worked just fine)
Kosher salt
1 ¾ cups good chicken stock
1 ripe Saint-Marcellin cheese (again...I just used a good-sized mixture of Parmesan and Havarti which was fantastic)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large (roughly 10”x 14”) gratin dish, or another dish of similar size.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and onion/scallions, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted and just beginning to brown, which takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes.

Transfer everything in the pot into the prepared gratin dish. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes (this is where the braising comes in). Remove the foil, and continue to bake until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 20 minutes more. Then remove the dish from the oven. Cut the cheese into small lumps and scatter it over the cabbage. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F, return the dish to the oven, and cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted and/or bubbling, about 10 minutes.

You can serve this as a side dish but i say grab some bread and a glass of wine, and call it a day.