Not-So-Strange Birds Part V: Apple Cider-Braised Duck Legs with Raisins and Pearl Onions

Did someone say “Christmas goose”? It seems to be echoing in the minds of many this time of year. But as Tom eloquently warns, it’s not always the home cook’s best call (listen to this guy – he’s a butcher). My mom will not let my dad forget the Christmas when he, spurred by Dickensian nostalgia, tried to cook a whole goose. I was very young then, but remember the epic disaster: rivers of fat, long delayed dinner time, and … Read More

Not-So-Strange Birds Part III: Cranberry Thai Curry Glazed Duck Breast with Coconut Mashed Potatoes

The culinary concept of “Asian fusion” is one that both excites and troubles me. It’s sparsely defined (there is no Wikipedia entry for it), and it sometimes can mean a melding of different Asian cuisines, or a hybrid of East-West tastes. Understood in the latter sense, I find that I really do enjoy so many of these types of dishes. I’m not saying that I have a better perspective of it than anyone else, but since Asian fusion is also … Read More

Not-So-Strange Birds Part I: Pan-Roasted Pheasant with Savory Vegetables

posted in: Meat & Poultry, Recipes | 3

Now that everyone’s hopefully got their turkey situation squared away, and are just about fed up with the annual Thanksgiving-food buzz (to brine or not to brine? Best seasonal stuffings?), I thought I’d take a moment to highlight a few overlooked birds of the feather. First up: pheasant! Isn’t that a lovely word? The live bird, too, is known for its exceptional beauty. And friends, fowl-lovers, foodies or not: the meat of the pheasant is equally astounding. Especially when it’s … Read More


Oops… I did it again. I forgot to take photos of this main course du jour, once it was all layered, baked and poised at its prettiest. It’s a shame, this “lamb”sagna was really a treat. I spent a long time poring over what spices and add-ins to put in the sauce (eventually settling on a Moroccan theme, with fresh mint and raisins), what type of cheese to top it with, and if/how to make fresh pasta sheets for it. … Read More

Chicken Salad Days

Ah, summer. These are the only reasons I stick it out in New York the rest of the year. It all began with my first summer here, as a wide-eyed, twenty-year-old college sophomore. It was every bit the definition of “salad days” – living in Alphabet City with my best friend in an apartment we rented ridiculously cheap because it was owned by her family friends, romping around the Village and Lower East Side, sometimes successfully sneaking into bars, sometimes … Read More

Matt Greco’s Pork Sage Sausage

I’m thinking it might be time to upgrade the ‘ol NEOINY hideaway with a Kitchenaid stand mixer, equipped with all the meat grinding attachment works. (I’m browsing them on Ebay right now.) The motivating factor is right above: luscious, freshly made, and deceptively simple sausages. Who knew that with the right tools, making sausage at home actually requires little time, prep work and just a few odd ingredients (i.e. hog casing and nitrate)? Matt Greco. A chef at Cafe Gray, … Read More

Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb with Wild Rice Ragout, Asparagus and Red Wine Reduction

Happy day after Easter, everyone. This recipe may be a day late, but as you’ll see later on in the Cost Calculator, not lacking in dollar value. Admittedly, the most important Christian holiday has little significance for me other than being a time to see my family, and together obsess over having something really nice to eat. (Is that so sacrilegious?) The fruit of this year’s obsessions was a nice rack of lamb, French trimmed by the butcher, and simply … Read More

Honey-Glazed Scallion Sliders (and How Now to Cook Brown Cow)

After diving into pig fat and liver for that pâté, I wasn’t sure I was quite ready to grind up any more meat for a while. Lately I’ve been eating (and necessarily cooking) meat only once a week or so, like a pious, puritanical soul, though I couldn’t care less what day it falls on that I do. With all the disconcerting news about mistreatment of cattle in slaughterhouses and meat contamination scares eating away the very fiber of our … Read More

Year of the Rat Dumpling-Making Party

Rats! My friend Karol agreed to come to my impromptu Chinese New Year‘s Eve dinner last night only on the condition that there would be no utterance of the words “rat” or “mouse,” so just getting it out of my system. Ringing in the Year of the Rat is understandably awkward when trodding the sodden confetti and firecracker papered streets of a New Year’s aftermath-stricken Mott St., kicking the occasional half-eaten bun. I’m not sure the ancient Chinese had counted … Read More

Beef with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

posted in: Meat & Poultry, Recipes | 9

You can probably guess where I gathered the ingredients for this savory winter stir-fry from the post preceding this one. Think of it as a twist on beef stew — but one that takes a fraction of the cooking time. Served with rice and perhaps a simple, stir-fried green on the side, it’s the perfect cold weather meal to really fill up on, and look forward to having again the next day. What? It hasn’t actually been cold in New … Read More

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