Marshmallow Graham Cracker Cookies

I became obsessed with the idea of making gingerbread cookies this year and batch after batch was delicious but lacked that je ne sais quoi. Then came these! I’m in love! Though, I must say, if you’re a chocolate lover, the dark chocolate chunks in batch number two was awesome and would be a great addition to these.

FYI, they are my fave when ewwy gooey right after baking. 

Marshmallow Gingerbread Cookies

Yields: 12 large cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Graham Crackers (9)
Cake Flour (1/2 cup)
Unsalted Butter (4 oz, room temperature)
White Sugar (3/4 cup)
Egg (1)
Pure Vanilla Extract (1 tbsp)
Baking Soda (1/2 tsp)
Ground Ginger (1/4 tsp)
Ground Cinnamon (1/2 tsp)
Ground Nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
Marshmallow Fluff (3 tbsp)
Salt (1/4 tsp in the batter plus extra for a light topping)

Kitchen Items

Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Mixing Bowl
Food Processor
Electric Mixer
Baking Sheet (2)
Parchment Paper
Rubber Spatula
Cooling Rack

Marshmallow Gingerbread Cookies

1. GRAHAM CRACKER FLOUR:  break down your graham crackers and put them in your food processor. Pulse until they have broken down into a flour-like texture—about 1 minute.

You should now have one cup of graham cracker flour. Pour it into your large mixing bowl. Add in your cake flour and mix them together.

Use your rubber spatula to fold in your baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Marshmallow Gingerbread Cookies

2. COOKIE DOUGH: in your medium sized mixing bowl, combine your brown sugar, white sugar and butter. Use your electric mixer to blend them together until you have a fluffy creamy texture—about 4 minutes.

Beat in your egg and vanilla.

Add in your graham cracker flour mixture and continue to blend with your hand mixer until you have formed a cookie dough—about 2 minutes.

Use your rubber spatula to fold in your marshmallow fluff (don’t over work it. The marbling is best when not evenly combined into the dough).

Marshmallow Gingerbread Cookies

3. BAKE: preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make tablespoon sized scoops of your cookie dough and spread them out across your baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or till slightly crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. Then let your cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to your cooling rack.

Eat and enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

I’m not the biggest fan of the word “or”—why not always “and”? Helloooo, hence coffee and champagne. So, this was my question when I began developing this Chanukah recipe. To potato kugel? Or noodle kugel?  Ridiculous question. Honestly. They are both too delicious. Then—voila—I made the executive decision not to and instead merge the two together. 

I personally like a sweeter kugel, so to keep it in that realm, I substituted potatoes for sweet potatoes and then this yumminess came along. Now, it’s an extra happy holiday! Happy Chanukah! 

Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 70 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Extra Wide Egg Noodles (12 oz)
Sweet Potato (.6 lb, shredded)
Vadalia Onion (.3 lb, minced)
Eggs (5, beaten)
Sour Cream (1 lb)
Cottage Cheese 4% (1 lb)
White Sugar (1/4 cup)
Crushed Pineapple (20 oz can)
Pure Vanilla Extract (1/2 tsp)
Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Salt (1/4 tsp, plus extra for salting water)
Unsalted Butter (4 oz, cut in pieces. Plus extra for coating your baking dish)
Fresh Sage (5 leaves, finely chopped)
Panko Bread Crumbs (1/4 cup)

Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

KITCHEN ITEMS

Large Mixing Bowl
6 1/2 QT Pot
Strainer
13″x9″ Baking Dish
Wooden Spoon
Rubber Spatula

Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

1. NOODLES: fill your pot with four quarts of salted water and bring it to a boil.

Add in you noodles and cook for 8 minutes.

Strain them and then put them back in the pot.

Add in you pieces of butter and mix them in until it’s fully melted and your pasta is coated.

Note: since all of the noodle steps are time consuming and have wait times, multitask and move onto the next step.

Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

2. SWEET POTATO & THE REST: in your large mixing bowl, use your rubber spatula to combine your shredded sweet potato, beaten eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, crushed pineapple, minced onion, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and sage.

Pour it over your butter coated noodles and fold it all together till it’s thoroughly mixed.

Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel

3. BAKE IT: preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Thoroughly coat your baking dish with butter.

Transfer your noodle mixture into the baking dish.

Sprinkle your panko bread crumbs evenly over the top of your noodles.

Bake for 40 minutes—or till golden brown on the top.

As seen in photo: To try something new, I used an 8×8 baking dish and then made individual portions in two 4 3/4 tartlet pans.

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Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

A couple of years ago, I had such an amazing Greek dinner at Amali and have been sending friends and family there since. Fast forward to this Fall, and I’m doing the ground work for my article about Broadway Bites. What the what?! Amali had there own stand there which they called “Dromo” meaning “street food” in Greek. I feel in love all over again! Chatting with owner James Mallios while devouring a chicken gyro, we decided to do this feature.

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

After a follow-up meeting with him one-on-one in his restaurant, we decided that I should come back to learn how Chef De Cuisine Rachel Goulet makes her insert word of your choosing—wonderful, incredible, crazy awesome—”Seafood Brodo”. I could easily eat that dish every day all winter long. It’s the perfect warming flavorful soup-like meal. I more than highly recommend you go try it out first hand.

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

The day came and went way too quickly. I had so much fun with Chef Rachel! So much so that I not-so-slyly invited myself to her next farm visit. I’ll get back to that. Back to the story, we met and went directly upstairs to Sopra by Amali the 20-30 person communal dining portion of the restaurant that is equipped with its own single person induction kitchen for events. This kitchen that we commandeered for the afternoon, was built for and is most often used by pie-loving Pastry Chef Anna Markow.

Now, I love this. I wanted to know aside from the communal seating, what makes Sopra menu stand apart from Amali’s. My understanding is it’s more of a chef’s choice.

“I like to challenge and scare people. Sometimes, I’ll put out a pig’s head” — Chef Rachel Goulet 

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

Where of course, like all of her dishes, the pig’s head is seasoned and cooked cooked to perfection. All ingredients in place—mise en place, if you will—we got to cooking her incredible Seafood Brodo. Logical but far to often overlooked, before cooking each ingredient, Chef Rachel explained to me the importance of independently seasoning each and every one of them—including all of the mussels and clams even though they are cooked in their shells.

“The whole point is to really bring out all of the natural flavors” — Chef Rachel Goulet 

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

It’s these flavors that I note every time I visit Amali. Their dishes are simple and fresh and make sure not to hide behind complex sauces. The decision to use ingredients like uncut Greek olive oil made purely from Kalamata olives despite the extra cost, makes all of the difference.

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

This goes back to the farm visits that I mentioned earlier. A few times a year, Chef Rachel makes her way out to the four or five farms she works with to see what changes have occurred, make certain of what diets the animals are being kept on and maintain a face-to-face relationship.

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

Separately, their incredible, super high quality seafood is delivered daily from Sea to Table and Blue Ribbon Fish Co. With that, I asked Chef Rachel about her fumet—the broth that she had taken the time to prepare ahead was ready and waiting for our cooking session. She explained to me, that as a regular philosophy, Amali utilizes every part of the animals that they can. The fumet, which takes a day to make, is the perfect example. You see, they work for hours to properly clean and use the bones from their fish to enhance the flavors and consistency of this fumet.

“We take a lot of time with our bones to get the best possible bones we can. Oh god! That sounds like a porno” — Chef Rachel Goulet

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

We set this fumet to cook while individually preparing the seafood. The scallops are fried first but not cooked to completion as when they are put in the fumet, they will continue to cook. If you’ve ever had a bad chewy nasty scallop before it’s because it was not handled with this amount of care and was over cooked. Next, the head on shrimp get fried and, much like the scallops, were set aside. The mussels and clams are steamed with a garlic mixture. Then, one by one, into the fumet they go! Saving the calamari for a final quick cooking touch.

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

This saffron-y perfectly seasoned seafood dish is officially one of my all-time favorites. Thanks to my new friend Chef Rachel Goulet, you can make it at home! Check out her recipe below—though if I were you, I’d skip the fish bone day-long process and I’d make a reservation instead and enjoy dinner out at Amali where Chef Rachel Goulet can make this amazing Seafood Brodo for you!

But if you insist, here is her incredible recipe!

Cooking the Freshest Seafood Brodo with Chef de Cuisine Rachel Goulet

Seafood Brodo by Chef Rachel Goulet 

INGREDIENTS

For the Seafood

2 oz fresh calamari
5 Bouchot mussels de bearded and washed
6 clams, local if possible, rinsed
2 head-on Carolina shrimp (or whatever is most local in your area)
2oz striped bass

For the Brodo

4 cups Fumet (recipe below)
4 tsp thinly shaved garlic
2 T freshly grated ginger in olive oil
Pinch fresh Calabrian chili, coarsely ground
Salt
Lemon zest
1/2 cup white wine

For the Fumet

5lb Fish Bones (soak in ice water overnight and rinse, take out eyes and any blood left behind)

For Mirepoix (All roughly chopped)

8 oz Spanish onion
8 oz fennel
3 oz ginger
8 oz celery
5 oz carrot

2 T butter, unsalted
1 t olive oil ( I prefer Greek)
1 t dried Calabrian chili, coarsely ground
1 pinch of saffron
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
Parsley stems
10 oz dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1 small can San Marzano whole tomatoes, blended together
10oz cold water  Instructions

1. FUMET: place butter in a heavy-bottomed stock or sauce pot.

Add mirepoix, chili, saffron, garlic and bay leaves to butter and sweat over medium-low heat until the vegetables soften and the onions start to become translucent. Do not brown.

Pour in white wine, and mix well with the mirepoix, bringing the wine to a low simmer.

Place fish bones and scraps into stockpot on top of mirepoix; this will prevent the bones from sticking to the bottom.

Cover with cold water.

Add Sachet of the parsley bring stock to a gentle simmer.

Simmer, uncovered, over low heat, for 30 minutes.  Add tomato and bring to temp for 15 more minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer (discarding bones, mirepoix, and sachet), leaving you with a freshly made fish stock.

2. SEAFOOD: On medium heat, sauté 2 tsp garlic, ginger and chili until aromatic; be careful not to brown or the soup will be bitter.  Once aromatic, add fumet and bring to a simmer and put aside.
In a separate pan, add remaining garlic to a touch of olive oil over medium heat and add clams.
Add salt and white wine, mussels and shrimp.  Right when clams start to open, transfer all the seafood to the brodo.
While still hot, season then add striped bass.
All shells will be open; add calamari.
Taste for salt.
Take off heat, grate zest of one lemon on top and fresh parsley or chive.
Serve with toasty country style bread or baguette.
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All Hail the King Caesar’s Caesar

One of the greatest joys of mine is when I forget I’m working because I’m having so much fun. That pretty much sums up my time visiting with my friends brothers Paul and Matt Hagan on their Duxbury Bay Shellfish farm this summer—well, that and my article Beers, Boats and Duxbury Bay Shellfish’ King Caesar Oysters.

To all of my loving readers (imagine a wise echo-y grandfatherly voice and not my girly one), I bestow this grain of knowledge onto you. Make friends in the food industry. Because maybe, just maybe, someday you’ll be lucky enough, like me, to open your door on a regular Tuesday to a gift of hand-picked just for you amazingly delicious oysters. Never has a Tuesday felt like Christmas before—unless, well, it was Christmas.

Thank you so so much, Paul and Matt! Eating the King Caesars with a glass of bubbly was the most wonderful meal! I highly hiiiggghhhlllyyyy recommend that you bring a bottle out on the boat one day—my next visit!?!

I humbly accepted your challenge (noted in my earlier article) and have made you this yummy King Caesar’s Caesar recipe! Enjoy!

All Hail the King Caesar's Caesar

INGREDIENTS

King Caesar Oysters (12, shucked)
Romain Lettuce (1/4 cup, finely shredded)
French Country Baguette (17 slices, each 1/2 inch thick)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 tbsp)
Ice (optional, for chilling your oysters)

Caesar Dressing

Garlic Cloves (6, minced)
Dijon Mustard (1 tbsp)
Vinegar (1 tbsp)
Mayonnaise (2 tbsp)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 cup)
Fresh Lemon Juice (1 1/2 tbsp)
Salt
Pepper

All Hail the King Caesar's Caesar

KITCHEN ITEMS

Squeeze Bottle
Mixing Bowl
Whisk
Funnel
Baking Sheet
Silicone Brush
Oyster Shucking Knife
Chef’s Knife
Cutting Board
Toothpick

All Hail the King Caesar's Caesar

1. CROUTONS & TOAST: preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Line your baguette slices out on your baking sheet. Using your silicone brush, coat each of them with your olive oil.

Bake for 5 minutes or till lightly toasted.

Let cool.

On your cutting board, cut 5 pieces of your toasted bread toasted bread into small cubes.

2. CAESAR DRESSING: in your mixing bowl, use your whisk to mix together your garlic, mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and lots of pepper to an even and smooth consistency.

Use your funnel to transfer your dressing into your squeeze bottle.

Refrigerate your dressing for 10 minutes.

All Hail the King Caesar's Caesar

3. PLATE IT: place one slice of toasted baguette down on your plate for each oyster.

Place one oyster, open side up, on each slice.

Garnish one side of your oyster with your shredded romaine lettuce and around 4 croutons—depending on the size of the oyster.

Use your squeeze bottle to add 2 dots of your caesar dressing to each oyster.

Note: since I am more of an oyster purist—meaning I like to eat them straight without adding sauces—I used a minimum amount of caesar dressing on mine. If you typically coat your oysters in a mignonette, horseradish or any other sauce, you may want to add more or the caesar dressing to these.

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The BPB at Boulton & Watt

Boulton & Watt

As hard working people, unless we have a business meeting, lunch is often overlooked causing us to instead quickly grab something to-go, hunch over it and mindlessly wolf it down at our desks. With their $15 BPB lunch deal, Boulton & Watt is challenging us to take that we’ll deserved hour and actually treat ourselves to a delicious and exciting meal. Think about how great that will make the whole day! It’s like spoiling yourself.

Boulton & Watt

If you’re like me and can work from anywhere, here’s the inside scoop.  They have free wifi, lots of seating and outlets galore!

Boulton & Watt

Combine that with the beautifully executed industrial chic vibe—the wrought iron paneled oversized windows that cast the perfect amount of natural light, vintage-styled leather clad ketchup-colored bar stools, the varying wood surfaces—and, voila, you have found your new office! Bonus is that it’s equipped with all of the nicest people (say hi to Jamie and John for me!).

Boulton & Watt

BPB

Then there’s the food, more specifically that “BPB” special I mentioned.  Please don’t feel old, like you have to search for yet another acronym that the kids are using to talk to each other.  This does not require a Google search.  BPB stands for “Burger, Pickle, Beer”. You pick a burger, an item off of their extensive menu of delicious pickled dishes, and a beer of your choosing. Think of all the combinations! Helloooo, that means multiple Boulton & Watt visits!

Boulton & Watt

VEGGIE BURGER | chickpea, eggplant, kale, tzatziki on seven grain bun and fries

I highly recommend the veggie burger! Don’t stop reading. I’m so serious, it’s delish! I love the colorful aesthetic of a well made one.  The combination of chickpea, eggplant and kale flavors are fresh and the sprout and tzatziki textures are super exciting.

Boulton & Watt

Then there’s that first bite that goes everywhere—it’s like a melting ice cream sandwich where after the first bite the two cookies meet and all of the ice cream billows out from every which direction.

Boulton & Watt

MEXICAN REVOLVER | Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila, Lime, Agave, Prosecco

If you find yourself having lost track of time enjoying your time at Boulton & Watt, make sure to grab a cocktail. I’m in love with the “Mexican Revolver”. The heat from the jalapeño, mixed with the effervescence of the Prosecco, the kick of tequilla and the sweetness of the agave is purely delicious! It’s all deliciousness.

Cheers to celebrating lunch! Hope to see you there!

Boulton & Watt

Address: 5 Avenue A, NYC
Phone: (646) 490-6004

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