Monthly Archives: January 2015

Crisp Spiced Nuts

I found this recipe years ago and continue to make these nuts to use in salads or serve with appetizers before a dinner. There are so many versions sold in packages, but they are so expensive you will find this is the way to go. I have kept them in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks, they usually don’t last that long but if you hide them this is the way to keep.

2 egg whites from large eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups of sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons paprika (Hungarian sweet)
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups of pecans
1 1/2 cups of walnuts, hazelnuts or unsalted peanuts your choice
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Heat oven to 325
Beat egg whites and salt with electric mixer until very foamy, gradually beat in sugar, worcestershire sauce, paprika and cayenne. Stir in all the nuts and butter, combine well and spread on a large shallow baking sheet. I line with a silpat to make clean up easier.
Bake nuts in middle of oven stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. About 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and break up the nut clusters.

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Filed under Cooking & Recipes, Entertaining

New version of old favorite Caesar Salad

Last month Bon Appetit printed a new version of The Caesar Salad and I think everyone should enjoy it so here it is. I did make a couple of simple changes but they get the credit for the basic recipe.

Celery Caesar Salad
Make your croutons ahead, either in the oven or on top of the stove:
Using a country style bread, cut or tear several slices into small bite size pieces toss the bread with 3 Tbsp of olive oil and season with a little salt. You can stir in small pan on top of the stove or bake at 375 degrees in the oven until golden, about 5-10 minutes. Watch the bread not to burn it. You want the croutons to be crisp but not hard.

1 egg, coddle the egg before adding to dressing
2 anchovy fillets chopped
1 small clove of garlic minced fine, or pressed
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard, I used an herb infused dijon by Edmond Fallot, love the flavor
1/4 cup good olive oil plus a couple of extra tsp if needed
Grated Parmesan cheese about 1/3 cup
Salt and pepper to taste

2 hearts of romaine torn into bite size pieces
8 celery heart stocks finely chopped, including the leaves of the celery hearts
(I bought 2 stalks of celery and used the center stalks and leaves instead of buying the package of celery hearts that looked old and limp)

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks (If you do this ahead be sure to soak in cold water until you are ready to use or it will turn black.}

Make your dressing in a bowl ahead and it will keep up to several days in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature before using.
Add all the salad ingredients in a large bowl drizzle with dressing, add croutons and parmesan cheese
Serve!
Great winter salad

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A few days in Dallas

Last week I went to Dallas, Texas to visit a girl friend and speak to a group of business people at the Kitchenware show. My friend Barbara has a PR firm and works with several chefs and restaurant owners, so of course she is in the know when it comes to dining.
We had lunch at a perfect Mexican restaurant, Meso Maya at 1611 McKinney Ave. (214-484-6555). The Mole was as good as any place in Mexico where the mother can be found in the kitchen pounding the chilies. The room is casual and as soon as you are seated they arrive with chips and a couple of dishes of salsa, add the guacamole for a couple of dollars.
The next day we visited a place called Grange Hall, 4445 Travis Street, a few doors down from our Sur La Table Store. When the valet takes your car you enter two heavy iron doors into the most amazing shop of true treasures. From special French tea to unique semiprecious stone jewelry. There are all the things you would love to own and wear but nothing you really need. Plus in the corner is their Urban Flower design shop. Each blossom is in perfect condition and the arrangements they created were a true piece of art.
Now that you have made your way through the store you enter the small chic restaurant. There were about 40 vases hanging and sitting on different levels, each vase held a few blossoms including lilacs in January. The menu is short maybe just 12 dishes that were described so that each dish was more exciting than the next. We ordered a couple of glasses of Daumas rose and settled on a couple of plates to share. The snob sandwich, two pieces of toasted brioche one with egg salad made only with the white of the egg and the other only the yolks. One side was topped with smoked salmon and the other with a healthy scoop of caviar, AMAZING. Next arrived the salad of little lettuce and hearts of palm and radishes, perfect in everyway.
Desert was a tray of sliced fruits, chocolate shortbread cookies and a jar of butter caramel for dipping. This was one of the most perfect lunches I have experienced.
The next day we went easy on food until after my speech and then we went to a new Italian place called Sfuzzi Dallas, 2600 Cedar Springs  (Sfuzzidallas.com). Sfuzzi has only been open for a few weeks, but already is busy with families and booths with friends watching the many TV’s and chatting over a large tray of fresh oysters and bottles of Italian wines. The pizza that we started with was crisp and just the right amount of toppings. We shared their clams casino, 3 large east coast little necks with crisp cheese and bread crumb topping.
The pasta we shared next was huge, so be sure to share, it is enough for two. They have a couple of private dining rooms and valet parking so you can go with a crowd and have a great time.
I often write about my travels abroad, but forget how good the food scene is in every part of America

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