Spicy Lamb & Lentils with Herbs & Cucumber

lambandlentilsYIELD: 4 Servings
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound ground lamb
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or French green lentils (from 1 cup dried)
1/2 English hothouse cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus leaves for serving
3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
Flatbread and lemon wedges (for serving)
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Season lamb with salt and pepper and arrange in pan in an even patty about 1/4″ thick. Cook, pressing occasionally to help meat make contact with pan, until underside is browned and very crisp, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn, pouring off excess fat (reserve), and cook until other side is crisp, about 5 minutes.
Break up lamb into small pieces. Mix in garlic, red pepper flakes, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are fragrant and lamb is cooked through but still juicy, about 2 minutes. Transfer lamb mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
Place lentils and 2 tablespoons of reserved fat in same skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until lentils start to brown and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Return lamb to skillet and toss to combine and warm through. Remove from heat and stir in cucumber, cilantro, and parsley.
Spoon yogurt onto plates and top with lamb mixture, then some more cilantro and parsley. Serve with flatbread and lemon wedges.
Courtesy of Epicurious


Watermelon-mint ice cubes 08.31.2015
YIELD: Makes about 24 ice cubes
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 15 minutes


6 cups 1-inch cubes seeded watermelon (about 1/4 large melon)
4 tablespoons (about) sugar
Fresh mint leaves


Puree watermelon in processor (there should be about 4 cups). Mix in sugar by tablespoonfuls to sweeten to taste. Pour into 2 to 3 ice cube trays. Rinse mint leaves and place 1 leaf atop puree in each cube. Cover and freeze until cubes are solid, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Courtesy of Epicurious.com

Goat Cheese Ravioli with Bell Peppers, Herbs, & Brown Butter

Goat-cheese-ravioliYIELD: Makes 6 servings
Bell peppers:

2 small red bell peppers
2 small yellow bell peppers
1 small green bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced seeded tomatoes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Cornmeal for sprinkling
8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as basil, chives, mint, and tarragon)
18 wonton wrappers
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
Toasted pine nuts
Thinly sliced pitted Niçoise olives*
Chopped fresh chives


For bell peppers:
Char all peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Place in paper bag; seal and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Peel and seed peppers; chop.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and tomatoes and cook until onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until vegetables are very soft and onion is brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add chopped peppers and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD:Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

For ravioli:
Lightly sprinkle rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Mix 8 ounces goat cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and next 2 ingredients in medium bowl. Arrange 6 wonton wrappers on work surface. Place 1 tablespoon cheese filling in center of each wrapper. Using fingertip, dampen edges of wrappers with water. Fold all 4 corners up to meet in center, forming pyramid shape; seal all 4 edges tightly. Pinch top to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Cook butter in large skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Cook ravioli in pot of gently boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer ravioli to skillet with browned butter. Toss over medium heat.

Meanwhile, rewarm bell pepper mixture; divide among 6 plates. Using slotted spoon, top peppers on each plate with 3 ravioli. Drizzle with any remaining browned butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, olives, and chives.

Courtesy of Epicurious


Fresh Tomato Pizza sauce 08.24.2015
YIELD: Makes 1 pie


  • One 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 anchovies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
  • Grandma-Style Pizza Dough


Drain one 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes and pulse tomatoes with 2 anchovies, 2 garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/4 cup basil leaves in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth (some texture is okay); season with salt and pepper.

Put It All Together:
A classic Grandma-just sauce and mozzarella-flips the usual script: Add cheese before sauce. Master this basic pie and you’re ready to improvise (see below for ideas).

Classic Mozzarella Pie:
Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 525° or as high as oven will go.

Once Grandma-Style Pizza Dough has risen on baking sheet, top with 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated, and dot pie with 1 1/2 cups Fresh Tomato Pizza Sauce. Bake pie until golden brown and crisp on bottom and sides, 20-30 minutes.

That Topping Game:

When it comes to toppings, restraint is key. “It’s all about ratio,” Pinello says. “You want them to work with the crust, the sauce, the cheese—in balance.” We’ll even lose the sauce sometimes to make white pies. At right, find four of our favorite ways to go Grandma.

Provolone, Red Onion, Black Olives

Roasted Cauliflower, Ricotta, Breadcrumbs

Mozzarella, Fennel, Spicy Soppressata

Marinated Tuscan Kale, Ricotta, Mozzarella

Courtesy of Epicurious.com