Salmon crudo with chervil, sorel, herb bread crumbs and sesame seeds on spin art made with beet emulsion, butternut squash + ginger puree, avocado puree, basil and cilantro oil from Brooklyn Brewery.
Quick Bites: Richard Blais
Check out restaurateur, Top Chef winner, and cookbook author Richard Blais's honest opinions on a variety of ingredients (like ramps, sea urchin, and bacon), see if you agree with where he sides on classic food debates like cake vs pie and milk vs dark chocolate, and find out which kitchen tool you can pick up for a lot cheaper at a pet store.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Sweet And Sour Sauce
This comes together in about the time it takes to order takeout, and is miles more nuanced than your average Chinese restaurant's sweet and sour sauce. Ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, and rice or cider vinegar are boiled together with water (though pineapple juice makes for a tasty tropical twist), and thickened to the perfect dipping consistency with a little cornstarch slurry. Serve this with egg rolls, wontons, rangoons, and whatever other fried foods you want to perk up. Feel free to add some heat to the sauce with minced ginger, garlic, or chiles (or all three).
Slow Cooker Pork Ramen
A simple but delicious version of Japanese ramen, this soup starts with pork cooked to perfect tenderness in the crock pot, with garlic, ginger, leeks, mushrooms, and onions rounding out the flavors. The noodles are cooked separately just before serving, then the shredded pork and fragrant broth, with a little soy and sesame oil added, are ladled over top. A soft boiled egg makes a great garnish, as do shredded scallions or chopped baby spinach. Add some chile oil or Sriracha if you want to spice things up.