Friday, February 27, 2009

Beets With Garlic-Walnut Sauce

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

2 pounds red beets, about 4 large, trimmed of greens

1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets well. While still wet, wrap them individually in foil and place on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Bake beets, undisturbed, for 60 to 90 minutes, until a thin-bladed knife pierces each with little resistance. (They may cook at different rates; remove each one when it is done.)

2. Meanwhile, put oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When it is warm, add garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add walnuts and continue to cook until they begin to color, about another 4 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly and then put it in a small food processor; process until you have a relatively smooth paste. Add orange juice to taste and sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper.

3. After beets have cooled, peel off skins. Slice beets into wedges or cubes and toss with dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnish with parsley, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kumi’s Gyoza

Makes 96 gyoza

300g round cabbage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
500g minced pork
50g Chinese chives, finely chopped
50g spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced young ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2½ teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking sake
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chilli bean paste (dou ban jiang)
96 gyoza wrappers

Julienned young ginger
Rice vinegar
Light soy sauce
Chilli bean paste (optional)

The flavour of these dumplings highly depends upon the provenance of your ingredients. The cabbage we use is circular, but flat rather than dome-shaped. Whenever possible, we try to use Japanese cabbage as it tends to be sweeter. Alternatively, we tell the green grocer at our local wet market that we want the sweetest cabbage he can find—specifically the sort you would serve raw with certain Thai dishes. While you can use any sort of minced pork (or mix it with chicken if you like), we prefer a combination of pork shoulder and pork belly for flavour. Opt for whatever you prefer. If you can’t get Chinese chives, just substitute with more spring onions. Again, we try to use Japanese negi. We also prefer Japanese made soy sauce (shoyu) for this dish as it isn’t as straightforwardly salty. But it doesn’t make sense to buy a whole bottle of it just for this recipe. Use what you have handy. The flavour and quality of store-bought dou ban jiang varies. Pick one that appeals to you. One day soon, we hope to find the time to make wrappers from scratch. For the moment, we opt to purchase wrappers made in Japan as they seem to be a little more pliable than the ones made elsewhere.

Toss the chopped cabbage in a bowl with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes then squeeze the cabbage to extract water. Discard the water.

Combine the cabbage, minced pork, chives (if using), spring onions, ginger, garlic, light soy sauce, sake, sesame oil and chilli bean paste in a large bowl. Mix well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To wrap the gyoza, have a small bowl of water handy. The frozen wrappers should be defrosted in the fridge and kept under a damp towel as you work. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling onto a gyoza wrapper (a No.100 ice cream scoop is useful for this). Place it slightly off-centre. Dip a clean finger into the bowl of water and use it to moisten the rim of the wrapper (see photograph). Fold it over so that you end up with a semicircle, crimping only the layer facing you as you press it down to seal. Six pleats are usually just about right. Place the completed dumplings on a tray dusted with flour. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.

At this point, the gyoza can be dusted with more flour and frozen. We don’t know how long they can be safely stored this way. We usually get though ours in a fortnight or so.

To cook the gyoza, preheat a shallow pan filled with just enough oil to thinly coat its base. Use a pan that has a lid. A non-stick surface also makes the whole process much easier. Place the gyoza in the pan (frozen ones go in frozen). Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or they will stick together. Fry them until they develop a crisp, golden brown base. Drizzle some water into the pan and cover it immediately. (Add just enough water to cover the base of the pan, and be sure to drizzle some onto the gyoza themselves so that the crimped edges don’t get crispy.) Let the dumplings steam until their skins become somewhat translucent. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the water has evaporated.

Serve immediately with julienned ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce and chilli bean paste (if using) combined to taste.

Japanese Hambaaga

Disgustingly Good Hambaaga
makes 8 patties

650g minced wagyu rump
350g minced pork belly, preferably Berkshire
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 teaspoons finely grated ginger and its juice
1 egg, beaten
60 ml Japanese soy sauce
40 ml mirin
30 ml Worchestire sauce
40g Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
salt and pepper

Combine all of the above ingredients (save the salt and pepper) in a bowl. Mix by hand until everything is mixed thoroughly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You want the meat to have a nice savouriness.

Make eight oval patties from the mixture and set aside on a tray lined with baking paper. Cover with clingwrap and pop the tray into the fridge. You really shouldn’t keep these in the fridge for more than a day or so, so the best thing is to make them the day you want to serve them. That said, you will need to let the patties rest in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours so that the flavours in the meat mixture can develop.

To cook these, slide them into a hot pan in which you have heated both some vegetable oil and sesame oil. You want these burgers to cook completely through. If you’ve used wagyu and berkshire pork, the patties will release a lot of fat during the cooking process.

To serve, put some hot rice (preferably Japanese) on a plate, place the Hambaaga patty on top or next to it and sauce the patty with some Japanese Hambaaga sauce. This you can find at any Japanese supermarket. The sauce is usually a rich, very thick soy-vinegar-meat glace that is sweetened with tomatoes and fruits, sometimes peaches or pineapple.

Ropa Vieja

Many recipes call for flank steak or skirt steak, although I've happily used chuck roast when it was on sale, and just discard the fat after it's cooked.

This is adapted from the wonderful cookbook MMMiami, which I fear may be out of print.

1 1/2 lbs.skirt, flank or chuck
2 stalks celery, washed and cut in chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs. kosher salt.

Cut the meat in half is necessary, and place in large soup pot., Add about 2 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drop the heat to very low. Skim off the foam and add the onion, celery, bay leaf and carrot. Cover and simmer at barely a bubble for 1 1/2-2 hours until meat is beginning to shread.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool Keep 1 cup of the broth and use the rest for soup or whatever. (It freezes well.)

Shred the meat with your fingers, discarding fat and connective tissue. If it starts to look a little dry, dribble some of the broth over it.

Then prepare the vegetables:
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, cored and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
about 1 1/4 c. canned tomatoes with their juice or tomato puree.
1 trsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
`/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tsp lime juice (I've used wine vinegar when no limes were on hand.)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onions, bell pepper and garlic until soft. Stir in the tomato, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, meat and the 1 cup of broth. Simmer for about 10- minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors. Taste. Salt? Pepper? Add as needed.

Serves about 4, but of course you never know. Better made the day before, like so many things.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Serves 4

Ingredients for the beef stock:

* 3 medium onion, keep as whole piece
* 2 shallots
* 2 small carrots, cut into halves
* 1 big white radish (daikon), peel & cut into big pieces
* 5 stalks of celery (discard the leaves), cut into big pieces
* 5 cloves of garlic, bashed
* big bulb of ginger, ~100g, peeled & bashed
* 1 kg oxtail pieces
* 500g beef bone marrow
* 1 piece of rock sugar

Spices to add to the beef stock:

* 2 cinnamon sticks
* 1 tsp whole cloves
* 1 tsp cardamom
* 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
* 5 star anise
* 2 tsp coriander seeds
* 1 tsp coriander powder
* 2 tsp black peppercorns
* 4 bay leaves

Final seasoning:

* 2 tbsp fish sauce,
* salt
* freshly ground black pepper
* sesame oil
* 1 - 16 oz. package of pho/phad thai rice noodles
* 300g of filet mignon, thinly sliced

Accompanies on side:

* 1 spring onion, cut into small piece
* 1/2 Onion, cut into thin strips
* sprigs of fresh cilantro/ coriander
* fresh basil leaves ( I skipped it this time)
* fresh mint leave
* bean sprouts, plug out the ends ( tedious work but make the noodle looks much neat and nicer)
* lime wedges
* 1 fresh red chili cut into thin slices
Dipping sauces (optional):

* hoisin sauce
* sriracha hot chili sauce
* fish sauce with red chili pieces


1. Using a a large soup pan, bring water to boil (about 3 litres).
2. Add oxtail & bone marrow into the pan, bring to boil, keep boiling for a few mins and then simmer at medium high heat for 10 mins or so.
3. Discard the liquid as you will see the scum floating on top, rinse the meat pieces in tap water.
4. Pour in new hot water (approx 4 litres) into the soup pan, bring to boil, and add in the celery, carrots, daikon, onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and star anise (after tossed, see point 5).
5. Toss the rest of the spices in a small pan to let the flavours come out. Don’t over heat or they will get burnt. You can stop when you can smell the frangrant of the spices.
6. The spices which are smaller in pieces or in powder form (cloves, cardarmon, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, coriander powder), I put them in 2 disposable Japanese green tea bags, the second teabag is inserted in another direction after the first one so the spices will not leak out (you can use cheese cloth or cotton bag instead of tea bags).
7. Simmer at medium heat for about 3 hours and then add in the daikon, cook this for another 2-3 hours or until an hour before you are ready to prepare the pho rice noodles.
8. Skim off the fat from time to time and stir gently just to avoid sticking.
9. After 5-6 hours of cooking, your stock is now ready remove the ingredients from the soupbase and season with fish sauce, salt, some fresh ground black pepper & sesame oil as desired.***
10. 40 mins before you want to serve, in a separate deep pan, boil water and cook the rice noodles, unwind the noodles with wooden chopsticks, remove them from the water as soon as they just become soft, transfer to a colander, quickly rinse in cold tap water, drain and set aside. The purpose of this is to cool the noodles immediately and not to let them further cook when warm and not to get soggy. Follow the instructions behind the pack or it should not take more than 2-3 mins. (If you can find fresh pho rice noodles in your neighbourhood, that’s even better.)
11. Prepare the accompanied side dish as mentioned above. Place them onto one plate.
12. Prepare the hoisin sauce, sriracha hot chili sauce or you can prepare a third sauce like the Vietnamese restaurant by adding some chili pieces into some fish sauce.
13. Cut the filet mignon into thin slices****.
14. Transfer enough soup for 4 portion into a pan, bring to boil, place the noodles into the soup, and quickly divide the noodle into 4 soup bowls (this warms up the noodle again). Line the raw beef slices on top of the noodle, add some onion, spring onion as well and then pour the hot soup over on the beef & noodles.
15. Serve immediately. Add some bean sprouts, Thai basil leaves, mint & coriander leaves, chili, lime & dipping sauce***** from the accompanied side dish according to your personal taste.
16. Feel free to finish the last drop of soup.
17. Any leftover stock can be frozen for later use.

Enjoy the real & great stuff!!!

Notes & Tips:

*As usual, not all pho recipes are identical, but I observed one ingredient is also very important, apart from the beef and spices, white radish (daikon) is very absolutely essential. I recalled that the Chinese brisket Noodle and the Korean Beef Soup also use white radishes. So I think I should not miss this out. White radish gives a sweet taste and blends with the beef very well. With the daikon, you will not need more stock powder or MSG!

**If you have a cleaver (either Chinese or American ones), bash on the garlic and ginger pieces with the knife blade. I learnt this from my mom that the flavor can come out more easily.

***You can prepare the stock a day in advance which I will certainly do next time, it will save you time from running around the kitchen the whole day, my feet were tired last night after dinner, also I found the taste of the soup was even better the following day.

****Tip to cut the beef filet into very thin slices: freeze the meat in the freezer, partially defrost and cut them when it is still fairly hard, you will find this is much easier to cut into thin slices, evenly and nicely. These thinly sliced beef is also suitable for chinese hotpot or fondue chinoise (can’t help to mention, I am a hotpot monster!)

***** Our dipping sauces were left almost untouched as the soup was already very tasty that it did not really need additional flavoring.

Tuscan Kale Chips


* 12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut lengthwise in half, center ribs and stems removed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.

Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze and Watercress


For the Salmon:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Four 4-ounce wild Alaskan salmon fillets with skin
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Watercress:
1 large bunch watercress, large stems removed, washed and dried well
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a lemon lemon or lime (use what you use in the balsamic glaze)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Serves: 2-4 (one to two fillets per person)


For the Salmon:

1. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, water, brown sugar, and lemon or lime juice.
2. Dry the salmon very, very well with paper towels (this is critical!). Salt and pepper the flesh side of the fillets. Don’t be afraid to season the fish well - I used a very generous pinch of kosher salt per fillet.
3. In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is very hot (but not smoking). Add the salmon fillets skin side up and sear 2-3 minutes for medium rare (this will depend on the thickness of your fish - my fillets were about an inch and a half thick), or longer for medium (even longer for well-done).
4. Gently flip the fillets and sear on the skin-side for another 1-2 minutes (for medium rare).
5. Remove the salmon fillets to a plate.
6. Very carefully add the vinegar mixture to the pan - it will sputter and splatter, so be careful! Boil over high heat until the sauce has reduced to a medium-thick glaze (reduce by about 1/3).

For the Watercress:

1. In a medium bowl, toss the watercress, the olive oil, the salt, and the pepper.
2. Add a few squeezes of lemon or lime juice. Taste and correct for salt and acid.

To Plate:

1. Place a piece (or two, if you’re hungry!) of salmon on a plate. Top with the balsamic glaze and a pile of the dressed watercress.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spicy Linguine w/ Chorizo, Baby Squid & Smoked Paprika

* 1/2 pound linguine
* 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cups sliced chorizo
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 3/4 pound squid, cleaned and cut into rings and freaky little legs
* 1/2 lemon, juiced
* 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* salt & black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook to al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil and add the chorizo and cook until brown and crisp. Add the garlic, salt, hot pepper flakes and the smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the squid and continue cooking for 2 minutes.Drain the pasta and toss it into the pan. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and chopped parsley. Toss and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chicken Liver Fry


Chicken liver 1 lb
Medium sized onion chopped 1
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Medium sized tomato 1
Fresh coriander leaves
Oil 5 tbsp
Red chili powder 1 tsp


# Clean the chicken livers and pressure cook it along with some salt & water. Four whistles on high heat should be enough.
# Take the livers out from the cooker but retain the water separately.
# Now in a frying pan heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic paste till golden brown.
# Then add the ginger paste and fry for another 2 minutes.
# Add the garam masala powder, chili powder, tomato, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and turmeric powder to the onion paste and keep frying till you get the aroma of the fried spices.
# Now add the cooked livers to the pan and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
# Garnish with coriander leaves.
# Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Japanese Hiking Doughnuts

Makes: about 15.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for frying
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Put granulated sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, honey and 1 tablespoon of the oil in medium bowl and stir until smooth. Gradually sift flour, baking powder and salt over yogurt mixture, beating with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until batter is chilled, 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Pour oil into a wide medium heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat until temperature reaches 300° on a candy thermometer. Working in batches to avoid crowding with the pot, carefully spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until doughnuts are deep golden brown all over and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer doughnuts with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Grilled Korean-Style Steaks with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet
- serves 6 -

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
6 (1-inch-thick) boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, about 3/4 pound each
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (including roots and stems)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced seeded fresh habanero or serrano chile (optional)
1 (4-inch-long) fresh hot red chile, chopped (optional)

1. Stir together 3/4 cup soy sauce, sherry, sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish until sugar is dissolved, then add steaks, turning to coat. Marinate steaks, turning once, for 1 hour.

2. While the steaks marinate, mix together cilantro, vegetable oil, lime juice, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and chile if using. Set aside.

3. Heat grill to high heat, and when ready, grill steaks 3 to 4 minutes per each side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices and then top with some sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies

From the M and M Cookbook

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt (scant)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup raisins

Mix all ingredients in order in a bowl. Chill at least 1 hour, then make little balls. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes, let cool on cookie sheet for a minute before cooling on a rack.

Makes 10 dozen tiny cookies.

Sichuan Sirloin Salad

- makes 4 servings; zest factor: medium -

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 (4-ounce) portions Sichuan Sirloin (recipe follows)
1/2 cup Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. When hot, sauté the jicama and squash, tossing for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine the cabbage, tomatoes and bell pepper with the jicama mixture.

2. On a plate, mound 1 cup of the cabbage salad in the center. Top the salad with the Sichuan Sirloin, sprinkle with a grind of Sichuan pepper and a drizzle of vinaigrette. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Sichuan Sirloin

- makes 4 servings, zest factor: medium -

1/2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed green peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
1 scallion, sliced
2 tablespoons rock sugar, crushed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
4 (4-ounce) portions beef sirloin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns, for garnish

1. In a bowl, combine stock, soy, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, scallion, sugar, oil and cilantro, and mix well. Add the sirloin, and marinate the steaks for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Sear the sirloin for 2 minutes. Turn steaks 180 degrees, and grill 2 minutes. Turn over, and grill 3 more minutes. Remove steaks from grill, and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut each steak across the grain into equal strips. Sprinkle pepper equally over the grilled steak.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

- makes 2 cups, zest factor: medium -

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 dried chile piquin, crushed
1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds
1 small red onion, finely diced
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a blender, combine all ingredients.

Spinach and Cheese Strata

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 10 hr
1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed (1 inch) French or Italian bread (1/2 lb)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then finely chop.

Cook onion in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat.

Spread one third of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow ceramic baking dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture. Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice (ending with cheeses).

Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (for bread to absorb custard).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Pepper-Roasted Cauliflower


* 16 cups cauliflower, cut into small, even-size florets (from 2 large heads)
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
* 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes, tossing cauliflower occasionally.
2. Arrange 1/2 of the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and slightly blackened, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and repeat with remaining cauliflower. Serve hot or at room temperature.