A creamy fresh cheese calls for a well-textured wine
"No, really, you have to have the ricotta.” I knew the guy urging me on had impeccable taste, yet I couldn’t imagine why I should order a bland, boring plate of ricotta at Locanda Verde, a New York restaurant renowned for great cooking. A cheese made from cheesemaking leftovers? (Ricotta means “recooked.”) I’d use it to enrich a bowl of pasta or fill a crisp cannoli shell, sure, but make a course of it solo? Why bother?
Because—as it turned out—this Sardinian import consisted of cumulous clouds of creamy curds that tasted of pure milk, warm sheep, and herby grass. It needed nothing more than a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil; even the deep toastiness of the bread served with it was a little distracting.
The oversized croutons served with this vibrant soup can be made ahead in a batch and kept on hand to use as a tangy topping for other soups, in salads, or as an instant nibble with drinks. Recipe by chef Tracy O'Grady of Willow Restaurant in Arlington, VA.
Spice up the summer grilling routine with these aromatic, garlic- and anise-marinated kabobs. The fresh herbs in the marinade complement the satisfying richness of the raita.
Combine the parsley, garlic, thyme, anise seed, fennel seed, and oregano in a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil and vinegar to make a marinade. Add the beef cubes and marinate for 2 hours.
Chef O’Grady offers a fresh take on a classic Caesar with a hint of citrus. It brightens the flavor while the smoky Gouda adds complexity. The dressing recipe makes a quart, which is more than you’ll need for the six servings of salad, but it keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Serve these tender rounds as a savory accompaniment to crab cakes or shrimp scampi, or top with raspberry preserves and goat cheese (photo) for a sweet appetizer.
Combine the eggs and ricotta in a large bowl. Fold in the dry ingredients.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon the batter onto the skillet and cook, turning once, until the pancakes are browned on both sides.
By chef Tracy O'Grady of Willow restaurant in Arlington, VA
Photography by Renée Comet
This traditional Chilean dish couldn’t be a simpler and more convincing example of the marvelous synergy between clams and Parmesan. Although pink razor clams (machas) are traditionally used in Chile, small hard-shelled clams will work just fine too. According to Pilar Rodriguez, a Chilean food authority, from whose recipe this one is adapted, Chilean Parmesan is much milder than Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano. She suggests using a young Parmesan or another mild melting cheese, even a mozzarella. Rodriguez loves how the sweet, slightly metallic taste of the clams works with the milky essence of the cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, mix the wine and lemon juice; set aside.
Think crab cakes turned into a creamy casserole with a crust of gratinéed Parmesan and you’ll get an idea of how delicious this classic Chilean chupe is. Chupes elsewhere in South America are soupy, but Chileans like theirs dense and hearty. The recipe is adapted from Pilar Rodriguez, a chef and self-described culinary ambassador of Chile.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove any bits of shell or cartilage from the crabmeat and set aside. In a small bowl, stir the bread crumbs, milk, and cream together, and set aside.
If you’re not familiar with the Spanish marinated white anchovies, called boquerones, you deserve to get acquainted. They’re nothing like the pungent dark ones in tins that are commonly draped over pizza. Boquerones have a mild, almost pickled flavor that Chef Sean Takaki, of Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar in Santa Monica, Calif., cleverly offsets here with shavings of Beaufort, a firm raw cow’s milk cheese from the Haute Savoie. The cheese has a smooth texture and slight acid finish. If you can’t find Beaufort, feel free to substitute a French Cantal, or try the Tarentaise made by Spring Brook Farm in Vermont.
Scallops with a gorgonzola dressing might seem like a bit of a stretch for a seafood and cheese pairing, but when used sparingly gorgonzola dolce can be quite the magic ingredient, adding a savory depth with a sweet-salty balance as well as creamy texture to the dressing for pan-seared scallops. The combination is the brainchild of Skye Gyngell, the chef at Petersham Nurseries in London and the author of My Favorite Ingredients, from which this recipe was adapted. Dolcelatte is a specific brand of gorgonzola that’s marketed when it’s young, but if it’s not available, use gorgonzola dolce.
A delicious and refreshing summer cocktail based on a “classic." Created by TASTE restaurant bartender Tiffany Friday, we love this cocktail as it’s not only delicious but savory enough to pair well with food – perhaps an assorted local chevre plate? And it’s easy to make into a “mocktail” – just omit the vodka and add more soda for a wonderful non-alcoholic version.
Muddle the 8 (or so) blueberries in the bottom of a Collins glass. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add syrup, lemon juice and vodka. Top off with soda water. Garnish with a blueberry and a sprig of thyme. Enjoy!