1) Chipotle and panko-crusted tuna

2) Chocolate bread pudding

3) Best-damned homemade steak sauce ever

4) Caramel soup

5) Citrus & shrimp salad

No, not all in one meal.  These are just some of my favorites.  Gotta love a good cook.


Ok. So it’s Wednesday, sorry I’m a day late.

Anyway, today I wanted to extol the joys of welsh rarebit (also known as welsh rabbit, but I don’t use that term because I don’t eat Thumper).

Welsh rarebit, for those unfortunates who have yet to experience it, is basically cheese sauce on toast.  It is a consummate comfort food and takes very little time to make.  My mom used to make this when there was not much in the fridge.  Really, what could be better than cheese sauce on toast – ooey, gooey cheese, with a kick. Yum!

 A recipe for it can be found here.  I like the recipe in the Joy of Cooking (no access to my copy at the moment, sorry, but check yours if you’ve got it) The main ingredients are cheese, milk, and worcestorshire sauce.  The recipe linked to above uses cream, but I’ve had it with milk, you just need to cook it down a little more to thicken it.

Secret confession time: lately when I make it I cheat and use pre-made welsh rarebit sauce.  Stouffers makes it and its in the frozen food aisle.  BB likes it, as do I, although LB does not (if I could just convince him to taste it).  Anyway, it’s quick and if I put it on the table when it’s just me and the boys with some carrots and grapes it makes a pretty quick 5 minute meal that isn’t completely unhealthy.

So after loving a delicious mock-caesar salad dressing made by the friend, I started playing around with ingredients and came up with a slightly different, but yummy fresh dressing – and BB likes it!  So you know I’ll be having it all summer long on our organic greens if it means he’ll eat some salad.

We joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm this year so for an upfront fee we get a box of vegies once a week.  So far it’s been very heavy on the greens so we are eating a lot of salads.  Sometime later this summer we’ll be getting a lot of kale.  I have no idea what to do with kale so if you have any suggestions, please drop them in the comments.

Anyway, the dressing is as follows:

In a small bowl put 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil.  Add a small dash of white or white wine vinegar.

Take a lemon and zest the outside.  Leave the zest to the side and squeeze the juice of the lemon and add to the oil & vinegar.  Stir.  Add about 1 tsp minced garlic and a dash of black pepper.  Then add pinches of zest and teaspoons of grated parmesan cheese one at a time until it looks cloudy.  The more zest you add the more lemony it is so I would add some, taste & add some more depending on your preference for pucker.  I usually add about 1/2 to 3/4 of the zest I’ve made and 3-4 teaspoons of parmesan.

Also, a very useful thing for tasting salad dressings that I only learned (being slow at this sort of thing) is to not taste it directly, but taste it by dipping in a piece of lettuce.  That way the zing is closer to what it will actually be on the salad.

Anyway, it makes enough dressing for 4-6 servings depending on how much dressing you like on your salad.  It’s also great on steamed broccoli.


Once again, I was inspired by a NYT recipe to try cooking something.* Specifically, sesame noodles.  In the food wasteland where we now reside, I have missed Asian and Mexican food with a longing akin to a small child for its teddy bear.   So, when I saw this recipe I had to try it.  

I added to it some chicken I sauteed in a little sesame oil and soy sauce. Delish.  I had the leftovers for lunch today (no re-heating!).  Because it’s cold, it is great for the warm summer months (if they ever arrive, it supposed to not even hit 40 tomorrow).

I could not find all the ingredients in the local supermarket – so I used fettucine instead of chinese noodles, and didn’t have any sesame paste whatsover.  Also, I could only find chili-garlic sauce, no chili-garlic paste.  It was still yummy with a nice bite to it.

Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles (Sam Sifton**)

1 pound Chinese egg noodles (1/8,-inch-thick), frozen or (preferably) fresh, available in Asian markets (as I said, I used fettucine, probably a slightly different texture, but fine)

2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash

3½ tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste, or to taste

Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/8,-by- 1/8,-by-2-inch sticks (I skipped this (its for garnish) because I forgot to buy cucumber)

¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes; they should retain a hint of chewiness. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and toss with a splash of sesame oil.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili-garlic paste.

3. Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with cucumber and peanuts. Serves 4.  Adapted from Martin Yan, Marian Burros, and memory.

*If this keeps up, my claim that mr. jolt does all teh fancy cooking in the family will be proven completely false.  Not that this is at all fancy.  mr. jolt still does all cooking involving those little blowtorches though – I know I would light my eyebrows on fire. 

**I’m wondering if this is the same Sam Sifton who I think worked for the Village Voice  NY Press about ten years ago?  If so, his dad is/was a federal judge for the Eastern District of New York. (how’s that for random legal trivia?) UPDATE: Yes, he is that same Sam Sifton.