Waldorf Salad Souffle

I first enjoyed a similar double-baked souffle at a winery in British Columbia, but I thought it could use some improving and created this “salad”, incorporating the flavors of a Waldorf Salad. This makes a light and visually appealing first course.


  • 3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups whole milk, heated
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 ounces bleu cheese (or gorgonzola or Roquefort), crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into slivers
  • 1 celery rib, cut into slivers
  • ½ cup walnut halves


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Butter 6 six-ounce ramekins.  Sprinkle the buttered ramekins with the bread crumbs, gently tapping out any excess.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.  When foam subsides, stir in the flour, cooking 1 minute.  Whisk in the heated milk, whisking continuously until the roux thickens.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.  When fully combined, stir in the cayenne, then the bleu cheese.  (Don’t worry if the cheese doesn’t completely melt.)
  3. Whip the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until they hold firm glossy peaks.  Stir one-quarter of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then rapidly fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care to not over-blend.
  4. Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the ramekins and set them in a large baking dish.  Carefully pour in hot water to measure half-way up the ramekins.
  5. Bake the soufflés until puffed and golden, 30 minutes, and transfer the ramekins to a rack.  Let the soufflés cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Butter a baking sheet.  Run a thin knife around the edges of the soufflé, then invert each soufflé, one at a time, into the palm of your hand and carefully place it, puffed-side up, on the buttered baking sheet.  The soufflés may be held at this point until ready to serve.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Bake the soufflés until puffed and heated through, about 7 minutes.
  8. While the soufflés are baking, whisk the buttermilk, crème fraiche (or sour cream), mayonnaise and lemon juice until smooth.  (It will resemble a ranch salad dressing.)
  9. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the dressing in the center of each plate. Transfer the soufflés on top of the dressing.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of dressing on top of the souffles.  Sprinkle the apple and celery slivers on each soufflé then garnish with the walnuts. Serve and enjoy!
By |January 27th, 2016|Recipes|0 Comments

Caramelized Onion Pie

This Southern classic recipe dates to the 1820s.  It’s a Cheddar-cheesy side dish that can be enjoyed all year round, but I think onion pie pairs especially well with roasted or grilled meats or poultry.  Many recipes for onion pie use a pre-made pie crust, but in this recipe, the crust is Ritz crackers, butter and cheese.


  • 3 large Vidalia onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sleeves Ritz crackers
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese (or other savory cheese)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk


1.  Peel and cut the onions in half, then thinly slice the onions halves and separate the rings. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and add the onions. Sprinkle the dark brown sugar over the onions.

2.  Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and sauté, turning frequently, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the onions cool to room temperature while you make the pie crust.

3.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Empty 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to coarsely grind. Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Repeat with the second sleeve of Ritz crackers, and transfer the coarsely ground crumbs to the bowl.Add the melted butter and 1/2 cup of grated Cheddar cheese. Mix together with forks or with fingers. Butter a pie plate. Transfer the crumbs to the pie plate and press together to form a crust, pressing up against the sides of the pie plate.

4.  Layer the caramelized onion in the crust. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a glass measuring cup, and pour the mixture over the onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of grated Cheddar cheese over the top of the pie.

5.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden, the crust is crisp and everything is bubbly. Let the pie sit for 10 minutes before cutting into generous slices.


By |August 5th, 2015|Recipes|0 Comments

Mimosa Salad

The key to this elegant salad is the delicious French vinaigrette, which takes only a minute or two to whisk together and can be prepared ahead of time. The minced egg yolks and egg whites sprinkled in the center and around the salad mimic the delicate blossom of a mimosa tree.


  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, whites and yolks separated and minced


1.  Mince the garlic clove, then sprinkle with the salt, and using the back of a large kitchen knife, grind the garlic to a coarse paste.

2.  Combine the lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, shallot and garlic paste in a medium bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a gradual stream until thickened and emulsified.

3.  Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and toss gently with ¼ cup of the dressing, then taste and add teaspoons of dressing as desired. Place a mound of the salad on 6 chilled plates. Season lightly with fresh ground pepper.

4.  Sprinkle the minced egg whites around the salad mound, then sprinkle the minced egg yolks on the top of the salad and serve.

By |August 31st, 2014|Recipes|0 Comments

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Chili-Lime Mayo

This easy-to-prepare appetizer never fails to impress. Use a good-quality bacon to wrap impeccably fresh scallops, which are broiled until the bacon crisps. The dipping sauce of mayonnaise, Sriracha and fresh lime juice takes about 1 minute to make.


  • 1 pound ocean scallops (don’t use bay scallops)
  • 1/2 pound good-quality, minimally-smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Sriracha sauce to taste
  • Toothpicks


1.  If the scallops are large, cut them to one- or two-bite size. Cut each bacon strip in half cross-wise, then wrap each scallop with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. (You want the bacon to completely wrap the scallop.)

2.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice and Sriracha to taste. (Start with ½ teaspoon, taste and add more if you like it extra spicy.)

3.  Turn on the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil, and arrange the scallops in one layer. Put the scallops under the broiler, making sure they’re not too close to the heating element, or the bacon fat with burn and catch fire.

4.  Broil 7 minutes. Turn the scallops over with tongs, and broil 5 more minutes. If the bacon is still not crisped, carefully drain the excess fat, and return scallops to the broiler for a couple more minutes.

5.  Allow the scallops to cool 2 or 3 minutes, then serve with the chili-lime mayonnaise.

By |August 31st, 2014|Recipes|0 Comments

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

This recipe is one of the easiest — and most often requested — hors d’oeuvres.


  • 30 fresh asparagus
  • 10 slices prosciutto
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil


1.   Trim the hard, tough ends off the asparagus and discard.  Gently holding the asparagus by the tip, peel the asparagus stalk with a vegetable peeler.  (If you’re really pressed for time, you can skip this step).

2.   Using a sharp paring knife, cut the prosciutto slices into 3 long strips.  Wrap one prosciutto strip from the base to the tip of each asparagus (like a barbershop pole).  Gently lay the wrapped asparagus in the palm of your hand and gently press to warm the prosciutto and bind it to the asparagus. Repeat with the rest of the asparagus and prosciutto.

3.   Turn on the broiler.  Film a baking sheet with olive oil, then arrange the the asparagus in two rows. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then put the baking sheet under the broiler.

4.   Broil 5 minutes, then use tongs to turn the asparagus over.  Broil another 5 minutes or until the prosciutto has crisped.  Turn the asparagus one more time and broil 2 or 3 minutes until the prosciutto has again crisped.

5.   Transfer the asparagus to a platter and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

By |March 27th, 2014|Recipes|0 Comments

Seared Duck Breast with Lentils and Bacon-Date Puree

The lentil salad and date-bacon purée can be prepared ahead (both don’t take all that much time to make), so they’re ready and plated when you’re slicing the seared duck breast. Trust me, the unexpected flavors of the purée heightens the total taste experience.


  • 3 slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1-½ cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup lentils, any variety
  • 4 smashed garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons light balsamic vinegar
  • 3 1-pound duck breasts, skin on
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup chicken broth, home-made or packaged (not canned)


1.   Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, and add the bacon, browning until crisp. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping up any browned bits. Add the dates and water, and lower the heat, simmering 10 minutes, until the dates are very soft. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender or food processor, and purée, dribbling in water, if it gets too thick. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2.   Combine the lentils, garlic, bay leaves and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover, simmering 15 minutes, or until lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain the lentils and rinse under cool water. Pick out the garlic and bay leaves and discard. Transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl.

3.   Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, celery and all but 1-½ tablespoons of the shallot, and sauté 4 minutes. Combine with the lentils and toss with the light balsamic vinegar. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper, if desired.

4.   Using a sharp paring knife, score the duck skin in a cross-hatch pattern without piercing the flesh. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper.

5.   Heat a large skillet (or 1 medium skillet and 1 small skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the duck breasts, skin-side down, and cook 8 minutes, as the fat renders and the skin crisps deep golden-brown. Turn the duck breasts over and cook an additional 6 minutes. Flip the duck breasts over, cook 1 additional minute, then transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. (Step-by-step tutorial for how to cook duck breast.)

6.   Spoon 2 or 3 tablespoons of the date-bacon purée on 6 plates. Apportion the lentils on top of the purée.

7.   Pour the rendered duck fat into a bowl and reserve for a later use. Over medium heat, sauté the reserved minced shallot until just starting to brown. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil 2 minutes, then take off the heat.

8.   Slice the duck breasts into ½-inch slices and arrange on top of the lentils. Whisk any collected juices into the shallot-chicken broth sauce, then spoon a bit of sauce over the duck, and serve.

By |March 27th, 2014|Recipes|0 Comments

Braised Beef Brisket for Passover

This recipe for beef brisket first appeared in the now-defunct Gourmet magazine years ago, and having made it many times for Passover, I’ve adapted it by adding wine to the braise, which heightens the flavor of the caramelized onion gravy. Cook the brisket the day before, and then reheat the sliced beef in the gravy.


  • 1 5-to-6 pound first-cut beef brisket
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian or sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bottle dry red wine


1.   Preheat oven to 375°F. Pat the brisket dry, then liberally season with Kosher salt and pepper. Transfer brisket to a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed casserole, and roast, uncovered, 30 minutes.

2.   Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high, and add the onions, stirring continuously until golden, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat, and cook slowly another 20 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Pour in the bottle of red wine, and increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes.

3.   Pour the onions over the brisket, spooning the onions to completely cover the meat. Cover the brisket with a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the Dutch oven, then cover with the pot’s lid and braise 3-½ hours or until tender. Check the brisket every 30 minutes, and add more water if too much evaporates.

4.  Take the brisket out of the oven and allow to cool completely. Transfer the brisket to a large, doubled piece of aluminum foil, and spoon the onions on top. Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Transfer the braising liquid to container and refrigerate.

5.  The next day, spoon the fat that has congealed on the top of the braising liquid, and transfer to a large pot. Scrape the onions off the brisket and add to the pot. Bring the gravy to a simmer, and using an immersion blender, blend the gravy until smooth. (Alternatively, before heating the gravy, puree in a blender, and then transfer to the pot and heat.)

6.   Slice the brisket against the grain and add the slices to the gravy. Heat gently 20 minutes and serve with fresh beet horseradish.

By |December 22nd, 2013|Recipes|0 Comments