Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme



Speedy Fruit Ripening

So what’s the deal with fruit ripening faster in a brown papered bag? How and why is this happening?  In a recent Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food I found this little tidbit titled “The Time is Ripe.”

"It’s true:  Some fruits, such as peaches, nectarines, and plums, ripen faster when stored in a paper bag.  The science behind the trick?  Ehylene, a gas emitted from most produce, transforms hard fruits into soft, sweet ones. By placing unripe fruit in a bag, you trap the gas, concentrating it and speeding up the ripening process."

Science. Cool.



Tomato & Ricotta Pasta

Such a fresh, end of summer meal. Perfect to maximize the last of tomato and pepper season. 


2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (about 4 cups), halved

2 small red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced or medium

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3/4 pound  medium pasta shells

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces(use more if you like basil…I did and do)

3/4 cup or so of ricotta for serving (I used a goat ricotta that was mind-blowing)


In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, bell peppers, oil, vinegar, and garlic; season with salt and pepper.  Let sit at room temperature, 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and add pasta to sauce  tossing to combine.  Add the basil and ricotta and serve right away. 

*This recipe is from Marta Stewart’s Everyday Food*



Vegetable Bibimbap

After reading this darling children’s story about Bibimbap with an even more darling toddler, I wanted to give this traditional Korean dish a try after I found a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.   So many vegetables…a really great feeling meal.  It’s mostly just a lot of prepping, so if you have kids…get ‘em chopping.

1 cup long-grained white rice

5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups)

2 1/4 teaspoons vegetable oil

3 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

4-6 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced

3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

4 large eggs

4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Sriracha sauce, for serving


In a medium pot, cook rice according to package instrctions.  Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, bring 2 cups water to a boil over high.  Add spinach and cook, stirring constantly until wilted, about 30 seconds; drain.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze spinach dry with a paper towel.

Wipe out skillet; heat 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium-high.  Add carrots and cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes.  Add garlic and scallion whites and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and cook 4 minutes.  Add cucumber and cook until softened, 3 minutes.  Add spinach and soy sauce and stir to combine.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl and wipe out skillet.

Heat 3/4 teaspoon vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high.  Add eggs,reduce heat to medium, and cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes. Divide rice among four bowls; top with vegetables and eggs.  Drizzle each with sesame oil, sprinkle with scallion greens, and serve with Sriracha.



Sriracha Sauce Kale Chips


2 bunches curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn into 2 inch pieces

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, or more if desired

Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 300, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Wash and dry kale and divide between two rimmed baking sheets (kale will shrink as it cooks).  In a small bowl, stir together oil and Sriraha and drizzle over kale; season with salt.  Using our hands, toss to coat.  Bake until kale is crisp and just beginning to brown at edges, about 35 minutes, tossing kale every 10 minutes.  Let cool on sheets on wire racks. 

To store, keep in a large zip-top plastic bag at room temperature, up to 3 days.

*This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food*



Mushrooms & Asparagus with Sherry Vinaigrette

This was a great summer side, and it didn’t heat up the kitchen-a must in this New York heat! I served it with Catfish Poboys… good.


3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds of mixed or one kind of mushrooms:  shiitake, button, and cremini, trimmed and halved

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 large shallot, thinly sliced crosswise

2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water

1 Tablespoon honey


In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high and cook one-third the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large bowl.  Repeat with more oil and remaining mushrooms.  Add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and cook asparagus, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add to the mushrooms in the bowl. 

Add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and cook shallot until translucent, 3 minutes.  Add vinegar and mustard and stir to combine.  Add broth and cook, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in honey, then pour over vegetables.  Toss to combine and transfer to a serving dish.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

*This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food*



Blackened Catfish Po’boy

This was a delicious sandwich, and though I was paranoid of overcooking the fish, it didn’t happen!  I recommend checking the fish often, while it’s cooking to avoid the overcooking. 


4 Catfish fillets (1 1/4 pounds total)

3 Tablespoons Creole seasoning

1 baguette or French bread loaf, cut into 4 pieces and split

Romaine or another Lettuce of your choosing, thinly sliced for the sandwich

Dill pickle slices for the sandwich

1 large Tomato, thinly sliced

Tartar Sauce for the sandwiches


Heat broiler, with rack in the second highest position. Place a broiler-proof wire  rack in a rimmed baking sheet (I used a Pyrex pan and the fish was great).  Arrange fish on rack and sprinkle evenly with Creole seasoning and salt and pepper.  Broil until fish is opaque throughout and seasoning is deep golden and crisp at edges, about 12 minutes.  Remove fish from the oven and toast bread under the broiler, about 2 minutes.  Layer fillets on bottom halves of bread and top with lettuce, spices, and tomato.  Spread tartar sauce on the bread and enjoy your sandwich.

*This recipe has been modified from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food*



Smoky Herbed Shrimp

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high.  Add 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined and cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp are opaque throughout about 4 minutes.  Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.  Stir in 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar; transfer to a serving dish.  Top with 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.  Serves 6 people with other sides, such as steamed artichokes with lemony garlic butter and steamed yellow beans with lemon.

*This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food*



Tricolor Salad

In the summer, I crave salads. My dream scene is to have a variety of salads every day for lunch. Perhaps a light arugula salad and a couscous salad would be lovely with this bold tricolor salad that I found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food


In a large bowl, whisk together the following

2 Tablespoons Red-Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon Honey


2 cups fresh corn kernels

1/2 English cucumber, sliced into 1/4 inch half-moons

1 small head Radicchio, cut into 1-inch pieces

Toss to combine and season with coarse salt and ground pepper.



Shrimp & Asparagus with Soba Noodles

A quick and easy lunch or dinner in under twenty minutes.


Coarse salt
1 large bunch asparagus (1 lb.), trimmed
1 lb. frozen large shrimp (peeled and deveined), thawed
3/4 lb. soba noodles
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, transfer asparagus to a colander and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. Transfer asparagus to a medium bowl, return water to boil; add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to bowl with asparagus. Return water to boil; add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain noodles and rinse under cool water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oil, vinegar, and sugar, divide noodles among four bowls and drizzle with dressing. Top with asparagus and shrimp and sprinkle with scallions and basil.

*This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food*



Chickpea, Greenbean, Tomato, & Feta Salad

This dish is so fresh and perfect for spring and summer. I paired it with fresh leafy greens and delicious rosemary rolls.


Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

3 wide strips lemon zest, cut into thin matchsticks, plus 3 Tablespoons lemon juice from 1 large lemon

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 small red onion, diced small

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 1/2 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

2/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil.  Stir in tomatoes, onion, chickpeas, and lemon zest.  Add feta and parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange green beans on a serving platter and top with tomato mixture.

*This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food*