Christmas Menu - Crown Roast, Alsatian Potato Pie

Christmas at home in Houston - a little different than cooking in various relatives' kitchens in Chicago for the past few years. Le menu.....

Egg Nog
Crown Roast of Pork Stuffed with Winter Fruits

The last three recipes came from Hubert Keller, who currently has a show on PBS. You can find his recipes here. Be careful though, there are errors in some recipes and the website has errors too. The vegetable technique for cooking each veg separately is commonly used in high end kitchens - I think I first saw it from Thomas Keller - and is worth the extra effort. The Tart aux Fruits recipe is not in the list of desserts - but is in the master list of all recipes. And there are no pictures of the dishes on the site - a shame because many are beautiful.

 Alsatian Potato Pie from Hubert Keller
 Crown Roast of Pork with Winter Fruits - apricot, prune, dried blueberry, dried cherry

Tart aux Fruits from Hubert Keller

Secret Ingredient for Turkey Soup

See the new post on Be A Better cook for Secret Ingredient for Turkey Soup.

Hard for you to keep a secret? Me too. It's Marsala wine or Spanish Sherry.

With cool, overcast skies we attended a great tailgate party at Reliant Stadium with coworkers and friends. Not wanting to make too big a deal about food, I just prepped two staple dishes - Red Beans & Rice, New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp and some  homemade bread for dipping into the shrimp sauce.

Well....that didn't work. No low key at all. Because these recipes are so reliable and I've made them so many times it's hard not to get pretty good the people brought out the looove!! And the Texas held up their end of the bargain by smothering the Titans to get out to a 4-0 record for the season.

Except for the bread,which requires some dedication and training on the techniques, these are REALLY easy dishes to make. Give them a try.

Goat Cheese and Spinach Omelet

After a long break from posting here, I'm pleased to start back up with a 3 ingredient recipe. But there's a backstory. I recently spent a long weekend+ in Vegas and had the opportunity to eat at Gordon Ramsey's new restaurant several times. It was my first time eating at a Ramsey restaurant ever, desite my connection to Gordon via the Master Chef show.

I've cooked dozens of Ramsey's recipes over the last few years, so it was informative to experience  his restaurant's results first hand. Many dishes were in line with others he's done around the world (as gleaned from cookbooks) - but others were entirely new to me.  One such dish  was his beef marrow with pesto, tortoloni and homemade English muffins.

The experience revived my interest in cooking Gordon's recipes at home - as it had been 6-9 months since I last did one of his dishes. So last weekend I made a few, including this 3 ingredient omelet.

Keys to this dish were simply to:

  • Use a good amount of butter in the pan
  • Precook the baby spinach for literally seconds, remove it, then add back when the  omelet is 75% cooked
  • While cooking the omelet, use a plastic or silicon fork to almost continuously stir the eggs, which will make a flat style omelet.  But the technique with the fork makes for a 'tender' texture, what ever that means. Try it.


  1. Preheat broiler. 
  2. Add a tablespoon or more of butter into an omelet sized pan over medium high heat. 
  3. Sauté a handful of baby spinach for 10 seconds then remove. 
  4. Gently stir together 3 eggs, add a pinch of salt. 
  5. Pour into pan and cook over med high heat, while consistently stirring with a plastic or silicon fork until eggs are almost set.  
  6. Add goat cheese by pinching small portions of cheese and dropping randomly around the eggs. use as much as you like. 
  7. Add spinach atop eggs and place under broiler until lightly browned and eggs are set. 
  8. Top with a grind of fresh pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Fusilli with Caramelized Cauliflower, Corn and Capers

Fusilli with Cauliflower, Corn and Capers
alongside Hill Country Sausage and Pickled Okra

Time for spring / summer pasta dishes. Roast vegetables are a sweet touch - balanced by the tartness of a few capers.

  1. Three ears fresh corn, cut from cob. Saute in oil until browned. Remove. 
  2. A whole head of cauliflower cut into 1/8" to 1/4" slices. Cook in same large skillet as corn, don't wipe out between uses. Add olive oil and brown until cauliflower is soft.  
  3. Add 2-3 tablespoons capers. continue to cook. 
  4. Chop 2-3 tablespoons garlic, add a few dashes of hot pepper flakes and a tablespoon of fennel seed, gently crushed. Add corn. 
  5. Meanwhile, cook 1 pound of pasta and drain. 
  6. Add vegetable mixture to pasta. Top with toasted bread crumbs. 

This dish was inspired by a Judy Rogers as published in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, which has become a recent favorite source for recipes that involved a minimum of ingredients and maximum taste and variety. Beware, though, the recipes are highly dependent on high quality ingredients and mastery of moderate to advanced technique.

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