I've been looking at the following list
of recipes -- 10 recipes that my radio listeners and web-site visitors
are repeatedly requesting - trying to see if there is a common thread
that runs through them. The first group of Favorite
Radio Recipes put up on this site had a decidedly New York flavor,
but I don't see that here. About all I can say about the following
group is that you guys certainly have a sweet tooth. Four of the
following 10 recipes are desserts, including the third cheesecake
recipe on this site. The Chocolate
Cheesecake, truly the only chocolate cheesecake recipe I personally
have ever liked (I know, I'm strange that way), joins the big, fluffy-ish
one from my first cookbook, Cooking
in a Small Kitchen (now permanently out of print), which is
in the section devoted to my cookbooks.
And then there's the small, seriously
creamy cheesecake recipe I got from family friends Howie and
Mindy Feinberg. When people ask me what foods I don't like or won't
eat, I joke, "Chinese sea slugs and chocolate cheesecake," but this
recipe is a gem. You can serve it to me anytime.
The Key Lime Pie
recipe from my sorely-missed Connecticut neighbor Marie Kalman is
also a best of its kind. I can't tell you how many people have thanked
me for finding the ultimate recipe for this popular dessert. I thank
Marie for many things. As great as it is, this recipe is one of
Pie is an all-American favorite but it is rarely made as well
as most of us would like. Mostly, the meringue weeps. To that end,
I offer master baking teacher Carole Walter's tips to prevent meringue
from weeping. Carole, who covers every imaginable base in her recipes
and classes, teaches mainly in the New York metro area. But anyone
can access her expertise in the two books she has written (so far):
Cakes (Ballantine) and Great
Pies and Tarts (Potter). In Great Pies and Tarts you
will even find an instructional section, a primer for rank beginners,
sort of a book within a book.
Brûlée French Toast is a new addition to all our
repertoires because it is a recent invention. Following the popularity
of true crème brûlée - eggy custard topped with
a thin crust of caramelized sugar -- this custardy, sugary bread
treat has become a signature dish of many bed and breakfasts around
the country. It's too sweet for me in the morning, but to each his
Whenever I am asked for a recipe for Osso
Buco, which is braised slices of veal shank, the Milanese version
being the most famous, I refer to the first recipe I ever used.
It's in the Time-Life Food of the World series that was published
in the 1960s. I've made other versions over the years, but it is
still my personal favorite.
Oven-Fried Chicken is a long story. Read it.
I suppose Salmon
Croquettes, oven-fried chicken, and many of the recipes in the
first 10 Favorite Radio Recipes fall into
the category of nostalgia food. I mean, who these days ever thinks
to make salmon croquettes with canned salmon? One of my listeners
did and it set off a wave of nostalgia in many of us, including
me, who remembers fondly (once I'd been reminded) my grandmother
making them. They were hardly a childhood favorite, but if I say
so myself I think the recipe I cobbled together is quite good. Need
I say that the croquettes are even better when made with fresh salmon?
Next time you broil or poach salmon, make extra so you can prepare
these for dinner the next day.
This will come as a surprise to some: Portabello
mushrooms are not wild and, in a way, were invented. They are mature
cremini mushrooms, which, as one grower explained, "are like one
chromosome away from being plain white mushrooms." To my taste,
portabellas are bland, dry mushrooms -- not that I don't like them.
But that's why I think Marinated Portabello
Mushrooms is one of the best ways to serve them. In any case,
my listeners are always asking for this recipe.
It was no surprise that Original
Cobb Salad made my top-20 most-requested recipes. It's an American
classic and it has been recently rediscovered, turning up all across
the country in stylish restaurants. Unfortunately, like Caesar Salad,
it has become totally bastardized. I order it often and often get
a plate that has no resemblance or relation to Cobb Salad. The recipe
here is direct from the source: The Brown Derby restaurant
of old Hollywood. See the recipe to
get the story of its invention.
might also be called Marinated Salmon, or even Pickled Salmon. Anyway
you call it, it is thin slices of raw salmon "cooked" by the acid
of lime juice and flavored with shallot, red onion, hot peppers,
and fresh coriander. It's an appetizer at a restaurant in my old
neighborhood, near the UN and Grand Central, The Captain's Table,
which is a charming, relatively inexpensive, seafood restaurant.