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Recipes that include celery

Squid with Ramps in Black Bean Sauce

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ramps are in season and though they are not traditionally found in Chinese food, they make perfect sense in Chinese food. I think of ramps as sweeter, fatter, less pungent Chinese chives. I would bet you could successfully substitute ramps for any recipe that called for Chinese chives. Next, I want to do some dumplings with ramps!

Last week, I was in a rush to make dinner. I knew I had some fresh squid and ramps in the fridge and wanted to make something with Chinese flavors because Chinese food is definitely Caya’s favorite and she has really missed it while we were in Martha’s Vineyard. This is the dish that somehow made it to the table after two minutes of thought, Squid with Ramps in Black Bean Sauce. Caya and Lon loved it so much that a few days later, I made it again. Caya devoured it and so I made it again…

Squid with Ramps in Black Bean Sauce title pic

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Chinese Borscht

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fusion food sometimes sounds new and modern, like a fanciful restaurant theme. We forget that borders between countries and cultures have existed since far back in history, where ingredients, flavors, and recipes have been shared.

Chinese Borscht Title Pic

My late grandma Olia (on the right, below) grew up near the border of China and Russia, where she ate lots of this Chinese version of Borscht. She taught my mom how to make it and my mom taught me. My mom admits removing the potatoes and sour cream from the version Grandma Olia taught her (most Chinese versions don’t include sour cream) and I’ll admit, I made a few changes too. My mom always used canned beets and since I’m not a fan of canned products (due to the BPA in the adhesive), I use fresh beets. I also cut the veggies into smaller pieces just to make it easier to eat. (Caya obviously in mind.) The result is a healthy and hearty soup with meat and veggies that glow pinkish-red (which totally amuses Caya). It comforts to the core and I get nostalgic every time I take a sip.

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Lentil Soup

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lon works in midtown and often buys lunch from Food Exchange, right downstairs. It’s a modern deli, a little fancier and more organized looking than the old-school NYC deli. It wouldn’t be special enough to blog about except that Lon has been raving about their Lentil Soup for months. He complains on the days when he arrives too late and they’ve sold out. If he’s still thinking about that when he gets home, he must really like that Lentil Soup.

About a month ago, still raving about the lentil soup…he started suggesting I taste the soup and make it for him. One day, he came home with a cup of that lentil soup, heated it up while I was sleeping on the couch, woke me up and fed it to me. Two days later, he came home with a four pound bag of lentils. He was getting serious about this lentil soup.

Lentil Soup 2nd round 6

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Mushroom Lo Mein

Friday, September 10, 2010

With Labor Day and Rosh Hashana this week, our kitchen renovation has been on hold, although deliveries did come in. I received all of our appliances on Wednesday. I wanted to do a little dance around my 6 burner stove and 12″ grill. The exhaust is massive, like a bathtub! The fridge didn’t fit through our door so the refrigerator doors had to be removed and put back on. Today, all of our cabinetry will be delivered. We’re close to the finish line!

Until then, we’re still at my parent’s house where mom is dutifully making dishes for me. I decided on a noodle dish and my mom suggested Mushroom Lo Mein, a simple and light dish she often throws together for lunch when she’s by herself. It’s vegetarian, full of mushroom flavor, and a variety of textures. My mom used celery this time but sometimes uses napa cabbage, whichever one she has on hand. The flavor is different but equally delicious.

Mushroom Lo Mein 8
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Make Chicken Soup, Not War

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I’ve been working on this post since the beginning of winter, when I first started thinking about chicken soups. The variety of chicken soups across so many cultures is just so interesting to me. They are all different, yet share that common bond, the ability to comfort anyone, and make each of us think of home.

Chicken Orzo Soup

There isn’t anything scientific in the post. I did not set out to prove or disprove anything, or even test any theories. This is not about one being better than the others. I just wanted to try several different recipes and methods, just to take notice and appreciate what each had to offer, and each one did have something special to offer. I will make all of these again, and I hope this post is useful for you each and every winter.

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Lamb Sauce

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When you’re introduced to new people, do you start chattering immediately, or does it take you time to warm-up and get comfortable? It always surprises me when Lon starts talking to random people outside, a guy waiting on line in front of us, the check-out clerk at Bed Bath & Beyond, or the couple standing in front of the restaurant we just walked out of. Though my friends and family can’t shut me up, I’m cautious around strangers. I just need to melt the ice a little.

Lamb Sauce on Egg Fetuccine 2

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Crawfish Boil

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My friend Tammy is a sweet Southern belle from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She went home for her little sister’s graduation and brought back some of her dad’s Crawfish Boil, which was amazing! Everything about it exceeded my expectations of crawfish. (You may remember when we made Crawfish Gumbo. We had a hard time finding crawfish here and what we ended up with wasn’t the best, I guess).

crawfish 2

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Lamb Pizzaiola

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inspired by a recipe for Wine-Braised Lamb Shanks on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (prepared at Giusti’s Place), I created this recipe for lamb shanks. A little bit of spice and acid go a long way in my version. Their idea to serve the lamb with sauced, wet polenta inspired me to serve with a grilled polenta cake.

Lamb Pizzaiola over Grilled Polenta 1

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Crawfish Gumbo

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crawfish Gumbo was, by a good margin, the winner of the FoodMayhem Reader’s Choice: Crawfish Season, receiving 35.7% of the votes. There are many recipes already available online for Crawfish Gumbo, so my goal was to write a definitive guide. I’ve made gumbo quite a few times in the past, so I have a few tips to share. This post is more about the tips than anything else.

Crawfish Gumbo over Rice

The number one tip I have for you is (Tip #1): Don’t attempt to make gumbo unless you’re planning to spend the whole day making it!

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Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

After roasting that duck the other night, we were left with excess duck fat, which we of course saved. I decided to make turkey meatballs, fried in the duck fat, for a nice twist. You won’t really taste definable duck fat, but I do think it adds to the flavor of this dish. On a separate note, I usually brunois carrots for my red sauces, because carrots add a natural sweetness. I was feeling lazy today so I decided to try shredding the carrots on a box grater and the result was great. I may end up doing it the lazy way more often.

Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs 4

*some new photos added 11/23/09

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