Tag Archives: Spicy

recipe goodness :: baked eggs in spicy tomato sauce

Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato SauceIf you know me well, you know how much I love to #putaneggonit. Pretty much any dish can be made better with a gooey yolk coating whatever was lucky enough to be blessed with it. So with a container of grandma’s leftover sauce in the freezer and a new carton of eggs in the fridge, I added one additional ingredient to make this one-pan dinner a keeper: spice. You could call this your lazy evening meal, but I bet it would impress any dinner guest too.

Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Serves 2-3

32 oz Grandma DiLaura’s Tomato Sauce
2 fresh chorizo sausage links {optional — meat version}
1-2 teaspoons red chili flakes {optional — add instead of chorizo for vegetarian}
1 tablespoon olive oil {if using chili flakes}
1 large egg per person

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. If making a meat version: remove chorizo from casings and break up in little pieces. Heat pan to medium heat on stove and cook chorizo until no longer raw, 2-3 minutes. Drain excess oil from pan.
  3. If making vegetarian version: heat a tablespoon of olive oil in pan on medium heat and add chili flakes. Cook 1 minute to release the fragrance of the chili flakes.
  4. Add sauce to a small baking dish with enough volume to fit 40oz+ so sauce doesn’t overflow while cooking. Stir in chorizo {meat version} or chili flakes {vegetarian version} and put dish in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Once sauce starts to get a deep red with brown, bubbly edges, remove the pan from the oven. Crack eggs into small separate bowls for each one. Gently pour each egg on top of the sauce, spacing each one out. They’ll start to run and look like floating continents — that’s the beauty of it!
  6. Place pan back in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes or until the white is firm when touched with a utensil and no longer raw.
  7. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and serve in a bowl with a spoon and crusty bread to sop up all the goodness. Or over rice!
A Rainy Sunday Meal

A Rainy Sunday Meal

Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Egg on Egg Salad {Introducing Bottarga}
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
How To Cook The Perfect Sunny Side-Up Egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Inside-Out Scotch Eggs w/ Ground Lamb, Harissa Yolk & Panko Gremolata
Julia Child’s Rolled French Omelet



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NYC Best: yes yes to Pok Pok

Pok Pok

Pok Pok

When you think of thai food, if all you know is pad thai, then it’s time to be schooled in the ways of Pok Pok, New York’s latest west coast transplant to open up in thriving Red Hook. With a small front dining area, there is almost always a wait an hour+ long, but now that Summer is upon us, the back garden has been converted into an expanded dining area and a place to grab a refreshing jelly beer or a cocktail from the long list of thai-infused mixers.

Dining is family style, and while the table is set with utensils, you’re encouraged to try things like grilled meat, skewers and sticky rice by using your hands — there are no rules here, only napkins and wet wipes. The menu is long and reads like a traveling recap throughout Thailand. Use your wait-time to salivate over and narrow your choices, zeroing in on 2-3 plates per person {advice: bring more friends, try more goodness}.

Yam Samun Phrai

Yam Samun Phrai

Yam Samum Phrai {it’s everything you want in a salad — crunchy texture and refreshing citrusy herbal bites. Hands down one of the best dishes} — northern thai herbal salad with carrot, parsnip, white tumeric, betel leaf, basil, lime leaf, lemongrass, sawtooth, fried shallots, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, dried shrimp, ground pork, and thai chilies in a mild coconut milk dressing.

Pok Pok Ribs and Half Bird

Pok Pok Ribs and Half Bird

Sii Khrong Muu Yaang {ribs that kick Texas BBQ’s butt. yes, really! probably my second favorite dish} — Carlton farms baby back ribs marinated in whisky, soy, honey, ginger and thai spices. Slow roasted and served with two spice dipping sauces.

Kai Yang {signature house specialty: half bird with a kick} — Charcoal rotisserie roasted natural game hen stuffed with lemongrass, garlic, pepper and cilantro served with spicy sweet and sour and tamarind dipping sauces.

Pok Pok Thai Sausage

Pok Pok Thai Sausage

Sai Ua Samun Phrai {holy moly this sausage is so good — no, no this was my favorite!} — Chiang Mai sausage with herbs. Burmese curry powder and aromatics. Charcoal grilled and served with Naam Phrik Num {spicy green chile dip!} Khaep Muu {Thai pork rinds} and steamed crudites {how civilized}.

Da Chom’s Laap Meuang {mouth is on fire, thank God for sticky rice and the cooling plate of herbs that were completely foreign to me, but had me munching like a panda bear}. This dish was learned from Da Chom, Andy Ricker’s friend’s father from a small Thai village. At age 84 he still makes this for his family. Northern Thai spicy hand-minced pork salad with aromatics {the panda herbs that ranged in flavors from fish to lemon — yes, fascinatingly fishy herbs}, herbs, cracklings and crispy fried shallots and garlic. {bottom two plates in image below}.

Pok Pok spread

Pok Pok Spread {Da Chom’s Dish Lower Right Two Plates}

The Skim: If you’re not afraid to travel for good food, then all you need is a subway card to Red Hook — as far as Pok Pok is concerned, it’s as good as a plane ticket to Thailand. We were in love with every single dish we ordered, so get adventurous and order what moves you. And be ready to wash everything down with a few quenching cocktails or suds — these dishes are not for the mild tastebuds. Loved it so much, it’s going on my Favor8 list.

8.ate@eight Favor8
Seal of Approval

Map127 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 923-9322
Reservations: Not Taken {but a delightful garden awaits} 

Outside the Pad Thai:
NYC Best: Tasty Times Square Thai @ Pongsri
NYC Best: Summer Sausage & Other Seriously Good Eats @ Summerstage


Filed under Eat Here!, NYC Best

Crispy Cayenne Roasted Potatoes

Crispy Cayenne Roasted Potatoes

Still on the wintry kick here — winter hibernation, means good satisfying meals that don’t leave you hungry or bored with flavor. After a visit to the farmer’s market, I came home with an array of colorful potatoes just begging to be roasted and crispy. These are not your mother’s potatoes. I suggested a few varieties below, but you can use any combination, although I like the smaller spuds that are easy to cut into bite-sized pieces and get a nice charred edge on them. I also like these because they vary in both color and flavor, so you take a simple roasted potato dish to something with much more depth and with no additional effort. This recipe is easy to throw together as a last minute side dish and requires minimal prep.

Crispy Cayenne Roasted Potatoes
Serves 4 | Cook Time: 45 minutes | 400º

¼ lb Fingerling Potatoes
¼ lb Purple Peruvian Potatoes
¼ lb Red-Skinned Potatoes
Olive Oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and dry potatoes. Cut each potato in half through its narrowest equator and add to medium sized bowl {quarter them if yours are larger than a ping pong ball in size}.
  3. Add olive oil to coat, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper {1/2 teaspoon if spicier potatoes are preferred}.
  4. Toss to coat and spread evenly on baking sheet.
  5. Slide baking sheet into middle or lower rack the in oven for 20 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes, use a spatula to turn potatoes allowing opposite side to face up. Rotate baking sheet 180 degrees and place back in the oven for remaining 25-35 minutes, until outer edge is brown and crispy.

The Side Came First, Now For the Entree:
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Pistachio-Encrusted Spring Lamb w/ Pickled Red Onions & Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops

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recipe goodness :: best butternut squash and green apple soup

Fall is my favorite time of year. The air has a slight chill and smells of damp leaves, the colors have a vibrance that puts spring blooms to shame, and the farmer’s market is flush with the fall harvest eager for roasting up a cozy meal to share. Some of the most spectacular veggies made their way to the market this weekend, so before I jump into my favorite fall soup recipe, I just have to share my bounty: Easter Egg Radishes and Graffiti Cauliflower

Fall Farmer's Market Bounty

…leeks, butternut squash and granny smith apples.

Butternut Squash Soup Inspiration

I’ve made this recipe so many times, I’ve lost count. The base of the soup is courtesy of Michael Chiarello, but I’ve made a few adjustments that make this one of the best bowls of butternut squash soup I’ve ever had. The sweetness of the squash and apple is enhanced by the subtle spice from the chili and pepper, but what really adds a memorable, unexpected contrast is the slightly tart pomegranate that bursts with each bite and the salty melt-in-your mouth fluffy popcorn.

Best Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 8

Squash Soup
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white parts only (~1 large leek)
1 TBS minced garlic
6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash (~1 medium squash)
3 cups peeled and roughly diced apples (~2 large apples)
3 tsp Toasted Spice Rub, recipe follows
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth mixed with 3 cups water
Sea salt
Pomegranate, deseeded
1 bag microwave popcorn

Toasted Spice Rub
Note: the spice mixture makes enough to fill an empty spice container to use in the future and make the soup even quicker next time.

1 TBS coriander seeds
1 TBS black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pure chili powder (about 1-ounce)
2 TBS kosher salt
2 TBS ground cinnamon

In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the coriander seeds and peppercorns. Turn on the exhaust fan, add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Immediately turn the spice mixture out onto a plate to cool. Put in a blender with the chili powder, salt, and cinnamon and blend until the spices are evenly ground. If you have a small spice mill or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind only the coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown. Add the leeks and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute briefly to release its fragrance. Add the squash and apples, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute. Add the stock or broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, reheat to serving temperature, and season with salt. Divide the soup among bowls and garnish each portion with some of the pomegranate and popcorn. Serve immediately.

Roughly Dice Peeled Squash and Apples

Slice Leek and Mince Garlic

Saute Leeks and Garlic Until Soft

Stir Until Caramelization Begins and Add Toasted Spice Rub

Add stock, simmer partially covered for 40 minutes and then blend until smooth. Garnish with Pomegranate seeds and popcorn kernels. Serve immediately.

The Best Butternut Squash Soup

A Bountiful Market:
Crop to Cup Creating Quality Community Coffee
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
I Scream, You Scream For MilkMade Handcrafted Ice Cream

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