Monthly Archives: May 2014

Best Turkey Salad Sandwich Ever Made

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is figuring out what to make out of your leftover turkey. I know this might appear as too obvious, a turkey salad sandwich, but it’s not just a turkey salad sandwich. First, I would be perfectly happy eating the turkey salad, but when you combine it with a great thick fresh bread, some dressed spinach leaves and crumbled blue cheese, it’s almost a special event! Make sure you buy a turkey large enough to have enough leftover to make this delicious sandwich!
From by the bay wishing you, eventful leftover food memories!

blog turkey sandwich 2012

Best Turkey Salad Sandwich Ever Made
Makes 4 sandwiches

To Make Turkey Salad
3 cups turkey meat, cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

To make the sandwiches
8 thick slices bread, such as seedless rye
1 cup baby spinach leaves, dressed with vinaigrette
4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

For each sandwich layer up one slice of bread , turkey salad, blue cheese , spinach leaves and then second piece of bread. Enjoy!

Chorizo and Cornbread Dressing

Let me start with the simple fact that any stuffing or dressing that I would serve my family along with a Roasted Turkey needs to have some type of sausage meat in the recipe. This rule was served hard and fast by my niece many years ago. Allow me to quote her very words, ” don’t mess around with the stuffing Aunt Mare”!  So when I was messing around in the kitchen working on a new dressing recipe, two things were clear, the recipe had to be so good that the family could accept a new version of one of their favorite dishes and the recipe needed to include sausage meat. I choose a wonderful soft chorizo to breakdown and fry up for this dressing. I brought a prepared cornbread to save time, toasted it in the oven and this was the base. Next it was matter of adding some of my favorite flavors together, including fresh corn and sage. This dressing was a big hit with my family including my niece. I predict this will be a big hit for your Thanksgiving as well.

From by the bay, wishing you yummy sausage dressing food memories!


blog cornbread dressing 2012

Chorizo and Cornbread Dressing

Serves 6

6 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1/2” cubes and toasted

1 pound soft chorizo meat, remove casings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large celery stalks, chopped

1 large Vidalia onion, chopped

2 cups fresh corn kernels ( or 1 10 ounce bag frozen corn kernels)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

1/8 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups low sodium chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


To make dressing place a large skillet on medium heat and cook chorizo, crumbling the meat with a fork until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and place into a large mixing bowl. Add butter to the same skillet, melt butter and then add the celery and onion. Saute ingredients together until softened about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and corn, cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbs and cook another minute. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the cooked chorizo meat. Add the bread cubes and chicken stock to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. The dressing can be made up to this point one day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Place dressing into a lightly buttered baking dish. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.


Brussels Sprouts Two Ways : Salad and Slaw

People fall into one of two categories – those who love brussels sprouts and those who hate them! I definitely fall into the love category. As a result, I often will experiment with the preparation of this bright little green gems. Here are two very different salads featuring the little brussels sprout and I would be hard pressed to decide which one of the two salads I prefer, both are delicious! Either one of these would be a great Thanksgiving side dish, although if I was preparing for larger crown, I would go with the salad with toasted pecans, dried cranberries and blue cheese, it’s just an easier salad to make.
From by the bay, wishing you sprouting food memories!

blog brussel sprout salad 1 2012

Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Pecans, Dried Cranberries and Blue Cheese
Serves 4
Ingredients1 pound brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
fresh ground black pepper and fine sea salt to tasteDirections
Cut off the ends of the sprouts and peel off all the leaves. You may need to cut the bottom more than once. Take a sauce pan and bring 1/2 cup of salted water to a boil add the sprout leaves and cover cooking for 2 to 3 minutes until the leaves turn bright green. Remove and rinse with cold water immediately to stop cooking. Pat leaves dry with paper towel and place into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss gently. Add fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and serve.

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Slaw with Lemon and Pecorino
Serves 4

1 pound brussels sprouts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
plus shaved pieces of pecorino for garnish

Use a mandoline with a safety holder to place the brussels sprouts and shave finely. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. Cover bowl and let sit for at least one hour before serving so that the lemon juice softens the slaw. To serve garnish with shaved pecorino cheese. ( Use a vegetable peeler to make nice large size pieces of shaved cheese. )

Apple Cider Gravy

The perfect compliment to Apple Cider Brined and Maple Roasted Turkey is this delicious apple cider gravy. You can prepare much of the gravy in advance and last minute deglaze your turkey roasting pan using apple cider to sweep all the yummy pan juices into your gravy. You’ll love all the warmth flavors in the gravy and aroma as you prepare this gravy is unsurpassed!

From by the bay wishing you warm apple cider food memories!


Find the apple cider brined and maple roasted turkey recipe here:

blog turkey gravy 2012

Apple Cider Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 carrot peeled and chopped

1 onion, not peeled and quartered

1 celery stick, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon allspice berries

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon black peppercorns


1 1/3 cup cider

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, cider, carrot , onion, celery, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Take melted butter in a bowl and then add the flour, whisk until a smooth paste. Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Sieve back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add bay leaves, honey, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the cider. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.


Apple Cider Brined and Maple Roasted Turkey

It’s this cook’s favorite time of year, Thanksgiving. Up until the arrival of this holiday, I will be posting recipe by recipe a complete meal. This week’s post is the centerpiece of the holiday, a delicious brined turkey. Ever since I started to brine my turkey’s the night before, I have delivered to my table a juicy, moist roasted turkey. I especially enjoyed this brine, which uses some of my favorite fall flavors – apple cider, apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, sage, brown sugar and a touch of allspice. The flavors combine to create a subtle sweetness to the meat. For the roasting by using maple syrup and melted butter to baste the turkey, the result is a beautiful crisp and brown skin on the outside of the turkey and the inside meat is moist and tender. So follow along to create a perfect holiday menu!

From by the bay wishing you apple cider brined food memories!


blog turkey 2012

Apple Cider Brined and Maple Roasted Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic


16 cups cold water, or more to cover turkey

8 cups apple cider

1 cup fine sea salt

1 cup light brown sugar

2 macintosh apples , quartered

3 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

2 tablespoons allspice berries

2 tablespoon black peppercorns

½ cup maple syrup

2 onions , peeled and quartered

3 sprigs sage leaves

To roast turkey

2 whole macintosh apples

1 onion, peeled and quartered

2 cinnamon sticks

1 bunch fresh sage leaves

2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

To baste

8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup maple syrup


Prepare brine by combining apple cider, water, sea salt, maple syrup, brown sugar, onions, sage, apples , cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, star anise and peppercorns. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base.  Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night.  The next day remove turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out.  Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper.  Fill the cavity  with the apples, onions, sage and cinnamon sticks.  Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter and maple syrup together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350 degrees F.   For an 18 lb. turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175 degrees F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and maple syrup mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready, remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.


Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

blog pumpkin coffee cake 1

If you read New York Magazine, you would have heard that pumpkin is the new bacon ( See link below). I’m not sure I would agree with that statement , however, I sure do love to cook with pumpkin this time of year. I can’t think of a better way to help celebrate Halloween than baking , especially with pumpkin! I was experimenting in the kitchen with some of my favorite ingredients to come up with this delicious and rich coffee cake. It has everything I like best in a good coffee cake, a wonderful streusel topping , with the added crunch of some walnuts. In my family we love the crumbs on top, so this recipe has plenty of crumbs and they are large and chunky when I toss them on top of the batter. The cake is moist from using both pumpkin puree and sour cream. To add to the richness is a nice layer of brown sugar filling. When baking the house is just filled with the delicious aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar. You’ll want to eat this the second it comes out of the oven, but it really needs to cool so that you can enjoy all the layers of flavor. Try to resist or you’ll just to have to eat some twice, warm and then cool as well. The trouble is this cake will just disappear……….probably the ghosts and ghouls have gotten to the cake !

From by the bay wishing you pumpkin, cinnamon and brown sugar food memories!

blog pumpkin coffee cake

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel
Serves 6-8

Streusel Topping

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup
 granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon



8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree ( canned)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8” square baking pan. ( I find an 8″ square glass baking dish works best).  Make the topping for cake by combining all dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in melted butter and make large  chunky crumbs, between 1/4″ to 1/2″ inch depending on preference.  Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and put into the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes.  To make filling combine the dark brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.To make cake batter sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Mix in the flour alternately with the sour cream and pumpkin puree and mix well. Once combined pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread out with a spatula. Sprinkle the filling evenly atop the batter. Spread the remaining batter on top of the filling. Use a table knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. Place in the oven to bake until golden brown  and a cake tester comes out clean, when inserted into the center of the cake. This is approximately 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the cake from oven and let cool on cake stand about 20 minutes before removing from pan to serve.

New York City Wine and Food Festival with Train

The New York City Wine and Food Festival just wrapped up. I attended the Trucks and Train event on Sunday night. It was sponsored by the New York Times and Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. and hosted by Andrew Zimmern. There were 24 terrific food trucks. Some of the highlights from the food trucks were succulent hand rolled and pan- seared Tibetan dumplings in broth from Chinese Mirch,  warm charcoal grilled pork wrapped in pita with tzatziki from Souvlaki GR, who won the honors as best truck ,a delicious take on a cuban sandwich from the Bongo Brothers which was made with slow roasted pork, smoked honey ham, swiss cheese and homemade pickles on medianoche bread and for dessert the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck went with an awesomesauce sundae and awesome it was with a vanilla soft serve ice cream, spicy chocolate sauce, crunchy candied pepitas topped with fresh whipped cream. There was also plenty of  fine wine provided by the San Francisco Wine Co. – Calling All Angels Chardonnay, California 37 Cabernet and Drops of Jupiter Red.  As if all this good food and wine was not enough there was a special performance by the grammy- award winning group Train. They gave a powerhouse performance which rocked Pier 36 where the event took place. It was a fantastic event and a beautiful evening in one of the best cities in the world.  

Participating Trucks

The Big Gay Ice Cream – awesomesauce sundae, inspired me to make a spicy chocolate sauce and candied pepitas to make my own sundae. Here are my recipes for those two ingredients!

Spicy Chocolate Sauce

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir together until chocolate and butter have melted and the ingredients come together. Let cool before serving on top of ice cream.

Candied Pepitas

1 cup pepitas, crumbled
5 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg white beaten
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until the pepitas are golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Let cool before using.

Fig Blue Cheese Pizza

I met a good friend of mine for dinner recently in Chelsea at Co. ( short for “company”) for what she described as the best pizza this side of the Atlantic Ocean. I have been spoiled by all the work trips to Italy over the years resulting in some very high standards for pizza. Well, the pizza and meal was amazing! The dough was chewy and bubbly. As soon as I got home I was on the internet looking for the recipe for this pizza dough. The restaurant is owned by the talented Jim Lahey, the founder of the “Sullivan Street Bakery”. What I was most surprised by is this is a  “no- knead” pizza dough recipe. What you do need is time to allow the dough to rise, but the recipe itself could not be more simple . I highly recommend this recipe when you have the time. When I made this dough recently, I used some wonderful black mission figs and Point Reyes Blue Cheese for a fantastic fall pizza. Remember you can always be creative with your pizza toppings and they will always come out good if you use the best ingredients you can fine. Also, if you have the chance do try going for a meal at Co. , it’s located at 230 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea , New York.

From by the bay wishing you crispy and chewy pizza food memories!

blog fig pizza

Fig Blue Cheese Pizza

no-knead pizza dough for one pizza ( see recipe below)
4-5 fresh Black Mission figs sliced
1/2 cup Point Reyes Blue Cheese, crumbled  ( or any other good quality blue cheese)
1/4 cup grated parimigano reggiano
2 -3 slices San Daniele proscuitto, in strips

Make pizza as directed below. Before baking , top the dough with figs, blue cheese and grated cheese. Bake as directed. Before serving add the strips of proscuitto.

No-Knead Pizza Dough
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Co., as featured on “Tasting Table”
Makes four 12-inch pizza crusts
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast (such as SAF brand)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups water

1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70°.
2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
4. Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape, cover with toppings and bake on top of a very hot pizza stone or on a oiled baking sheet in a 500 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until dough is cripsy and golden brown.

Co., 230 Ninth Ave. (at 24th St.); 212-243-1105 or

Bratwurst Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade

blog brat

The leaves are falling, football season is well under way, homecoming queens and kings are in parades ( including my Mom) and the Octoberfest has started in Germany. What better way to celebrate fall than with a terrific bratwurst sandwich , kicked up a bit using some seasonal flavors, such as fresh horseradish  and grated apple! The bratwurst preparation is very traditional but the horseradish cream dressing gives it the modern twist. Don’t be daunted by the instructions. If you are looking for shortcuts, buy some caramelized onions in a jar and use prepared horseradish. Reduce the amount used and adjust according to how much kick you want in the your dressing, Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you happy fall memories!


blog brat 2

Bratwurst Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Onion Marmalade
Serves 4

4 bratwursts
2 bottles dark beer

1 teaspoon olive oil
4 6 “  Sour dough baguette pieces sliced ¾ through  in half or some hot dog size rolls

1 tablespoon olive oil

Onion Marmalade Topping
3 large sweet onions slices
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Horseradish Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated granny smith apple
1 tablespoon  grated fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon  grainy mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

½ teaspoon caraway seeds



To make onion marmalade:

Take  a large sauté pan to medium heat. Heat both oil and butter  then add the sliced onions and salt. Keep at medium heat stirring often until the onions are well browned and caramelized about  15 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and sauté another 30 minutes continuing to stir. The onions should be a deep brown color and have a jam like quality.  Remove onions from pan and keep in bowl until ready to serve. 

To make horseradish cream :

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to make the bratwurst sandwiches.

To make bratwurst:

Place into dutch oven with the beer, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 15 minutes. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the bratwurst and brown on all sides and remove from pan. .

To prepare the sandwich:

Preheat oven to 400F. Place the sourdough bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush cut side of the bread with olive oil. Bake in the oven for ten minutes until golden  brown. Spread horseradish cream on side slice of bread, add the bratwurst and top while onion marmalade.


Sage Biscuits

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This past weekend, as usual, I was the first one awake and puttering around the house. It was the first really crisp, clear and chilly autumn morning. I went out for my morning jog and on my way back into the house I spied my beautiful sage plant, growing in abundance. I grabbed some sage leaves went into the house and was inspired to make these biscuits. I served them for breakfast with apple butter. They would also be great with some salted butter to accompany any autumn dinner, such as roasted pork or some beef stew, just to get you thinking. This is a really easy biscuit recipe to enjoy anytime!
From by the bay wishing you great food memories morning, noon or night!
blog sage biscuits

Sage Biscuits
Makes 12

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
2/3 cup buttermilk, plus extra to brush top of biscuit
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sage and salt into a food processor and pulse. Add the butter and pulse until butter is pea size. Add the buttermilk and combine. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll or pat dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 12 rounds using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place each round on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush each biscuit with some buttermilk. Place into the oven and bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. The biscuit should be golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.