Assorted recipes

I’ve been cooking a lot since moving to NYC, which has made me really happy. I haven’t been documenting it as frequently on this blog though, so I’m afraid I might forget some of the really awesome recipes I’ve made. Eventually I might put together some sort of cookbook/gallery type thing to display all of the various recipes and photos, but for now I’ll just dump them all here.

Meals

Carbonara

Carbonara is a very simple pasta dish that’s just a bit more refined than spaghetti (unless you make your own spaghetti sauce, at which point it becomes significantly more involved). I’ve made it a few times, and while it’s hard to get perfect (I tend to either scramble the eggs a bit or add too much pasta water), it’s always super tasty regardless.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cook the bacon and pasta, timing to finish cooking at around the same time.
  2. Cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and whisk with egg yolks in a large bowl.
  3. Add pasta to bowl along with 1/2 cup pasta water, and toss vigorously with tongs.
  4. In batches, stir in cheese and pepper.

This recipe is essentially BA’s Best Carbonara, but substitutes bucatini and bacon for rigatoni and guanciale.

Ginger BBQ Chicken

This recipe has been a hit, and is super easy once you’ve prepared the sauce (which can be refrigerated and stored ahead of time). After that, it’s just baked chicken.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Bake salt-and-peppered chicken in a foil-lined baking dish, 400 °F for about 20-25 mins (or until inside registers 165 °F). If desired, separate skin, season with salt and pepper, and cook in a separate foil-lined baking tray to make a crispy chicken skin cracker.
  3. Serve with warmed sauce over chicken. It’s really that easy.

Super easy, super tasty. Just make and store 2-3x the amount of sauce you need and use it later. Adapted slightly from allrecipes.

Seared scallops

Large sea scallops can be pretty expensive, but they’re very easy to cook and turn out restaurant-quality or better. I typically make them with a mushroom and pea risotto.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Pat scallops dry, then season lightly but thoroughly with salt and pepper. Ensure all scallops are arrayed “right side up” (see video).
  2. Heat pan over medium until oil is shimmering. Sear scallops, about 3-4 minutes per side. Judge entirely based on color, and modulate temperature to ensure middle of scallop isn’t raw.

This one is all about achieving that beautiful seared scallop top, for which the video from Carla at Bon Appetit is invaluable.

Sides / Small Dishes

Pickled red onions

Pickled red onions turn a gorgeous pink color in just a few hours, and are really easy to make. They make a good topping for a surprisingly large number of things - I’ve used them on fish tacos, burgers, and pizza.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the red onion into thin strips.
  2. Blanch the onions in a pot of boiling water for no longer than a minute, then stop the cooking with an ice bath.
  3. Slightly smash the garlic and mix the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stuff the onions into a mason jar, and pour the liquid mixture over it. Swirl, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and keep up to a couple weeks.

This recipe I modified from Sam the Cooking Guy by adding garlic and increasing the peppercorns, some inspiration from Brad Leone from Bon Appetit, and my friend Fish.

Breakfast

Lemony glazed cake donuts

These made the rounds on Chris Morocco’s Instagram and were a big hit as “yonuts”. They live up to the hype.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together, and fold in dry ingredients until a dough barely comes together (but no spots of flour remain).
  3. Turn out dough onto well-floured workspace, dusting top with more flour. Roll to 1/2” thick.
  4. Punch out circles 3 1/2” diameter (I used an inverted ramekin), poke a hole through the center, and widen hole to about 1” diameter. Brush off any excess flour and set aside. Reroll scraps into donut holes, about 1 1/4” diameter.
  5. Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2”, and heat until oil registers 350 °F.
  6. Fry donuts, turning once, until puffy and browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before glazing.
  7. Whisk powdered sugar, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl until smooth. Coat donuts in glaze.

As mentioned, this recipe came from Chris Morocco at Bon Appetit, and it was nearly perfection, though I increased the lemon zest by a decent amount my second time making them (reflected in the recipe above). This makes enough for 3 hungry people, or 4 normal people.

Desert

Coconut cake

Strap in, this one’s a doozy. Carla made a very long series on Bon Appetit about layer cakes, and this was one of the featured recipes. Unfortunately, it didn’t contain any actual quantities, so I had to improvise a bit. I made this for my birthday in 2019, and it turned out delicious, but also enormous. Plan to feed a family of 5 for a week with this recipe, and beware making it with only two to consume, even if hosting a party.

Ingredients

Coconut Cake

Toasted Coconut Caramel Filling

Italian Meringue

Topping

Directions

Coconut Cake

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Cream in butter using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.
  3. Combine wet ingredients, and incorporate into mixture in 4 additions, beating on medium-high for a total of about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into 3 9” cake pans, and bake at 350 °F for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Toasted Coconut Caramel Filling

  1. Toast shredded coconut in a pan until fragrant and slightly browned.
  2. Caramelize the sugar on the stove, then, off the stove, slowly add heavy cream. This completely broke the first time I made it, and I remain a little skeptical that that much cream can be incorporated.
  3. Melt in coconut oil, off heat. This melts at around room temperature, so leaving it near the stove will probably warm it into liquid form already.
  4. Stir in toasted coconut.

Italian Meringue

  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, bringing to a boil. Continue boiling until soft ball stage, 110 °C (235 °F). This temperature is fairly critical, as it determines the sugar/water ratio in the mixture.
  2. Beat egg whites in a stand mixer until frothy, then add cream of tartar and salt.
  3. Timed so that the sugar mixture hits temperature at the same time the eggs are beaten to a very soft peak, begin adding sugar mixture to eggs, and continue beating until stiff peaks are achieved.

Assembly

  1. Cut cakes in half, layering back together with toasted coconut caramel filling in the middle. Make sure to include a ring of Italian meringue frosting to ensure filling doesn’t leak out.
  2. Frost the cake in entirety, then sprinkle top with toasted coconut flakes.

I’ve made this once, and I doubt I’ll ever make it again, at least not at full scale. It took about 2 days and produced way more cake than I could eat. It was very sweet, but maintained a complex enough flavor profile not to be overwhelming (the caramel filling helped tremendously). I’m also not sure if the quantities are correct, as I had to bake an additional cake and wound up with an extreme excess of caramel filling, though i had to save the caramel by significant additions of ingredients to unbreak it. Overall, I would recommend practicing with a 6” cake or a 2 (4) layer cake instead of the full 3 (6) layer cake. My cake stand also wasn’t tall enough to contain the full might of the 6 layer cake, so I tossed one of the halves and wound up with a 5-layer cake. It was pretty excessive.

Blueberry pie

Ingredients

Dough

Filling

Directions

  1. For the dough, whisk together dry ingredients, then place in a food processor with butter and ice water and pulse until a pebbly, sandy mixture forms.
  2. Transfer dough to a work surface and knead until smooth. Periodically transfer to freezer if butter softens too much. Divide dough in half and form into two flat disks, then wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Toss blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and 3/4 cup raw sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes to soften.
  4. Place an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack (to catch spillage) and preheat the oven to 425.
  5. Bring dough out of refrigerator and let rest for a couple of minutes to soften. Roll into two 16” rounds, about 1/8” thick. Transfer one into a deep 9” pie dish using the rolling-pin method, press into bottom, and trim sides.
  6. Fill pie with blueberry mixture, and slice remaining dough round into 1” strips. Layer the pie with a 15 degree crosshatch pattern, leaving about 1/2” between strips.
  7. Trim crosshatch to overhang by 1/2”, and tuck overhang under the rim of the pie.
  8. Brush visible dough with an egg wash and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup remaining raw sugar.
  9. Bake pie 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375. Continue baking for an additional 60 minutes, then begin checking progress every 10 minutes. Once pie has been bubbling for at least 10 minutes and crust is golden brown, transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with freshly whipped cream.

This recipe I simplified slightly from BA’s Best Blueberry Pie, after obtaining an enormous quantity of really tasty blueberries. It turned out awesome on the first attempt, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

That’s all for now. I’ll post more recipes later. On the docket are mostly a bunch more desserts.

As always, thanks for reading :)

Tags: #recipes