The Lighter, Brighter Take on Egg Salad

Certain concepts seem to be stuck in another time. Egg salad always feels that way - a bit heavy and a bit basic with the tweaks in herbs or spices never feeling quite large enough to shift the genre. But that’s where Cal Peternell comes in. His recipes always have the feel of something you should have been making forever but are actually his own special spin. His newest book, Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta, is a delight and is full of semi-vegetarian recipes that all fit that bill. I fell in love with his Salsa Rustica because it feels like a breath of fresh air to the egg salad mold. It serves the same purpose but without any mayo and ingredients to give depth and new life.

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A New Way to Cook Mussels

Some restaurants never fail you and that’s how I feel about Huertas. The Spanish spot has both classics and creative twists but they are always perfectly executed flavor bombs. So I could not have been more excited to learn that the duo behind the restaurant - Jonah Miller and Adler - were writing a book.

The New Spanish is as delightful and creative as Huertas. The book is illustrated with drawings on photos that give you enough whimsy to make you want to take a stab at Spanish cooking. And it has recipes that run the gamut from simple to complex.

Jonah came over to showcase one of the easiest classic recipes, a take on marinated mussels. At Huertas they celebrate conservas - or canned food. While we might balk at it in the US, in Spain this preservation method is beloved and we wanted Jonah to come make the case for it. His recipe for these mussels is the kind of thing you’ll make over and over again, perfect for parties or snacks or just topping a bit of bread.

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The Spaghetti Dish You Can't Live Without

When I first moved to New York, my mother-in-law made sure to pass along a lot of her local ingredient knowledge. With seafood there was one constant: Citarella. She would travel over 20 blocks to get her fish at Citarella because to her there was nothing better.

So when Joe Guerrera- Citarella’s founder and original fishmonger - came out with a book, I knew it was going to be great. The title is succinct perfection: Joe Knows Fish. I had to have Joe over and he decided to share one of his easiest recipes, Spaghetti Vongole. It starts with good pasta and very fresh cockles or littleneck clams. But it’s one of those recipes that takes only a few ingredients and makes something magical.

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Alex Guarnaschelli's Lemon Ginger Cocktail

Every party needs a good cocktail to start and it shouldn’t be made in a vacuum separate from the food. Instead it should all flow together like different elements to the same meal.

Alex Guarnaschelli - chef at Butter and a judge on Food Network’s Chopped - is of the same mindset, which is why she included an entire section for cocktails in her book The Home Cook. So when we had a chance to catch up with her I wanted to get her chef’s perspective on a good cocktail to serve to kick off a party. Her take is a classic and simple lemon ginger concoction that goes perfectly with easy bar snacks.

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The Most Gorgeous Appetizer Is Also The Simplest

I’m a little bit cookbook obsessed, to the point where I like to read them in bed like a good novel. And like a great narrative book, a cookbook can sometimes suck you in and make you want to revisit it over and over. Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian is one of those undeniable books. It recounts her Persian childhood and years of cooking her native cuisine in North America. And the recipes reflect that duality - traditional but all with swap-outs that make it accessible for finding ingredients here. If you have never tried Persian cuisine then you haven’t tried one of the best on the planet, but Naz’s book makes it feel like it is second nature. It is by far one of my favorite books of the year

Now that I’m done gushing, let’s talk about this recipe. Naz came over and we made one of her most vibrant dishes. Her yogurt beet dip, known as Borani-yeh Laboo, is worth it just for the color alone. But the simplicity of the recipe defies the depth of flavor that the beets and tarragon give to this appetizer. Make it yourself and then pick up the book. I promise it will become a favorite.

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Perfect Pizza Dough Is Within Reach

There are a few items I avoid making from scratch, and pizza dough is high on the list. It always seems like something you need to perfectly calibrate and since I live in New York it has always seemed like someone else around me could make it better.

But anything you fear is worth trying to conquer, so I made my way to Rosemary’s Pizza to try and get a taste of how they make their crust. I am a huge fan of this style of dough because it feels like the middle ground: not too thin that it falls apart but not too thick and doughy that the rest of the ingredients are drowned out. It turns out pizza dough is a simple process that just requires a little practice. So what are you waiting for?

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Duff Goldman's Secrets to Cooking with Cereal

I think we are all suckers for Rice Krispie treats and I have certainly been known the cook with cereal before (if you haven’t tried the Sweet Salty Crunchy Steak you are missing out). But Duff Goldman is taking it to a whole new level.

He has a new menu at the Kellog’s Cafe where he is making every part of a meal with cereal. From Corn Flakes Mac and Cheese to a Fruit Loops pastry cream he has dreamt up every way you can add cereal to a dish. The key reason to do it, for him, is all about the texture. There’s just something about the crunch of cereal that can add an element into a dish.

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