Tag Archives: Cooking

A Food App from Alain Ducasse

English: An image of an iPad 2.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just came across a new foodie app:  My Culinary Encyclopedia : recipes and techniques by Alain Ducasse.  

I don’t know about you, but these days I hardly ever use a cookbook for actual cooking.  I do still love to read them for inspiration, and I do still collect them (at a decreasing rate…it has to be spectacular for me to buy it now) but for the most part, if I’m not making up my own recipe, I’m googling or checking Pinterest.  So an app that I can access via my iPad would work for me.

But at almost $35, it’s hard for me to justify this app, as amazing as it might be. However for a newbie cook, this might really work well.  It has numerous videos that show good technique as well as how to plate, with 250 recipes.  You can add your own comments or  email yourself an ingredients list.  There’s nutritional information, plus insights into food origins, storage and more.

Of course if you’re looking to learn how to cook, you can just as easily peruse YouTube videos, or enroll in one of the online cooking schools that have been cropping up.  But then…this is Alain Ducasse one of only two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career!


Confesso, io amo tutte le cose l’Italia

Italian Cuisine

Italian Cuisine (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

It’s time to confess, I love all things Italian!  The food, the people, the country (oh the country.) So imagine my bliss when I stumbled upon http://fiordizucca.blogspot.com/.  A food and photography blog, which while written in Italian, has English recipes…and thanks to Google translate you can read it in any language.

Go there as fast as your fingers can click, and find gorgeous photos of food and Italy…can you say food porn?  And recipes like Codfish (Baccala) Risotto with Saffron and Calzoncelli with chocolate, chickpeas and figs.

Eggplant “Fries”

Česky: Lilek vejcoplodý Deutsch: Aubergine Eng...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve always been a fan of fried eggplant, but as I become more health conscious I’m less inclined to actually fry foods.  So I was determined to come up with a recipe for eggplant that was not oily, crunchy but not dried out, with just the right amount of creamy center.  After a bit of experimentation, here’s what turned out to be perfectly yummy!  I serve it just as is for a side dish, but have also used it on pizza, a delicious combo eggplant/chicken parmesan dish, and as an interesting addition to a panzanella salad.

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4″ x 2″ sticks

3 TBS vegetable oil

1 TBS kosher salt (can use coarse grain sea salt as well)

4 TBS flour

2 eggs, beaten with 1 TBS water

1-1/2 cups Italian flavored Panko breadcrumbs

3/4 cup regular bread crumbs

3 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

Preheat over to 300 F.

Add oil to bottom of a sheet pan and distribute.

Place cut eggplant into a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Toss to distribute.  Leave for at least 20 minutes.

Set up three bowls:  1) with beaten egg, 2) with mixure of panko and regular breadcrumbs plus garlic powder and 3) with flour

Toss 1/4 of the eggplant in flour mixture at a time.  Make sure they are all coated.

Toss floured eggplant in egg mixture.  Shake off any excess and toss with breadcrumb mixture.

Put breaded eggplant sticks on oiled sheet, making sure they are in an even layer.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy!

It’s Chanukah…say cheese


Image by Cayusa via Flickr

It’s often joked that Jewish holidays are comprised of three basic components: “We fought, we won, let’s eat.”  I won’t get into the inaccuracy of that, however it is true we have traditional foods for every event.  And of course, depending on the region of the world you and your ancestors come from, those traditional foods vary.

Chanukah has several traditional foods.  The best known of these is the Potato latke.  But what many people don’t realize is that the original latke commemorating Chanukah was a cheese latke.

A not often told part of the Chanukah story is the story of Judith, a heroine who saved her village from an invading Assyrian army. It is said that she seduced the General Holofernes and fed him salty cheese to make him drink copious quantities of wine. When he passed out in a drunken stupor, Judith beheaded him with his own sword.  Demoralized, the army fought badly and fled.  The Jews of the town were saved. In Judith’s honor, dairy foods, and in particular cheese dishes, are eaten during Chanukah.

Here is my favorite holiday cheese dish (or any time for brunch)!

Cheese Blintz Soufflé

Most of the recipes you will see for this begin with frozen cheese blintzes.  I prefer this one, and have been known to make trays of it for gatherings and once, for a college frat house.

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

6 eggs

1-1/2 cups sour cream

1/2 cups orange juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed

1 pint whole fat cottage cheese

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the batter:  In a food processor, combine all of the batter ingredients.  Pulse until combined.  Pour half of the batter into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Set the rest aside for the moment.


Prepare the filling:  In a food processor or mixer, combine the filling ingredients until they are smooth and well mixed.

Using a large spoon (I use a serving spoon) drop the filling by heaping spoonfuls over batter in baking dish.  It will slightly sink into the batter, that’s fine.  With a knife, spread filling evenly.  Pour remaining batter over filling.

You can refrigerate the blintz soufflé at this point, if you plan to bake the next day.  Make sure it’s at room temperature before baking.
Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and golden.  Serve as is, or with sour cream.

SERVES: 6 – 8