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Tea-Smoked Lychee Amuse Bouche

Fresh lychee smoked with genmaicha tea

This is the first of three amuse bouche I have in mind based on fresh lychees. (Hey, did you know that the plural of amuse bouche is amuse bouche? Learn something every day.) You could also serve all three as an appetizer trio instead of an amuse.

If you haven’t had …

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The Secret to Crispy, Delicious Quesadillas – Recipe

Crispy Quesadilla with Pecorino and Onion & Garlic Jam

Pretty much everyone loves a quesadilla. Whether you are feeding a 3-year old with mild Monterey jack, or a sophisticated foodie with taleggio and grilled figs, a tortilla and melted cheese is quick to make and irresistible. Let me tell you about a simple trick which will …

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Recipe: Grilled Eggplant And Shiitake Bruschetta

Grilled Eggplant And Shiitake Bruschetta

I cannot tell a lie. This was a totally failed experiment, but a yummy bite of food.

Experiment first: I’ve been interested for awhile in the idea of using the microwave to glaze a plate with sauce. The way I’ve tried it, I put maybe a tablespoon of a fairly thin sauce …

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Recipe: Gougères – Cheesy Puffs of Goodness with Blue Cheese and Rosemary

Gougères with Blue Cheese and Rosemary

Goo what? Gougères, pronounced "goo-zherz". You make a simple choux paste (aka ) dough, mix in some cheese, and bake them. There is no chemical or yeast leavening, they rise from steam and the structure created from gluten and eggs. The same dough (minus the cheese) is used to make …

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Recipe: Panko-Crusted Egg With Cherry Smoked Asparagus, Smoked Paprika, And Sherry Gastrique

Panko-Crusted Egg With Cherry Smoked Asparagus, Smoked Paprika, And Sherry Gastrique

This was the third course for my recent “underground” dinner party, and definitely my favorite. The panko-crusted egg was a late-night inspiration. I’ve been on a hunt for new ways to add crispy textures in unexpected places. The crunchy panko makes a really cool counterpoint …

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Heirloom Tomato Tart – Recipe

Heirloom Tomato Tart

While we are on a roll with the pastry crusts, let's not forget the wonderful savory possibilities! For this one I used the exact same crust as last week's crostata, but baked it in a tart pan and filled it with a tasty aged provolone, Purple Cherokee and Sungold tomatoes and basil.

A …

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Recipe: Syrian Style Labneh (Spiced Yogurt Cheese) – Vegetarian

Syrian Style Labneh (Spiced Yogurt Cheese)

This recipe is adapted from Poopa Dweck’s  cookbook, Aromas of Aleppo, The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews. I wrote more about that book in this post on Syrian Red Lentil Soup.

Labneh, aka Lebneh, is eaten all over the Middle East. The term can cover a wide range of yogurt-based products …

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