Eggs Benedict with Manchego, Tomatoes, Prosciutto & A Sage Hollandaise Sauce

manchego eggs benedict

Sage Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
1 cup unsalted cultured butter, cut into individual tablespoons
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Eggs Benedict with Manchego, Tomatoes, & Proscuitto
4 eggs
splash of white vinegar
4 slices proscuitto
2 ounces manchego cheese, cut into 4 slices
4 tomato slices
4 fresh sage leaves

For the sage hollandaise sauce, whisk the eggs yolks with the water and salt in a small pot for 1 minute. Place the pot over low heat and whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each tablespoon to melt before adding the next, whisking constantly. Once you have only 4 tablespoons of butter left, add a splash of the lemon juice and alternate between adding the lemon juice and butter until all is added and smooth, whisking constantly. Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from heat and continue whisking for 2 minutes. Cover and set it aside.

For the eggs benedict, arrange the cheese, proscuitto, and tomato on each of the English muffins. Set aside. Bring a small pot of water to a boil with a splash of vinegar. Crack open an egg into a small bowl, and use the bowl to drop the egg into the boiling water. Use a spoon to help hold the yolk in the center of the egg white area. Once the egg whites have cooked but the yolk is still wobbly, remove the poached egg with two spoons (the extra support on both sides will help keep the yolk from splitting open) and transfer to one of the english muffins. Repeat with the 3 remaining eggs, then top each one with a generous scoop of the sage hollandaise and serve.


Flat Bread with Dried Figs, Roquefort Cheese, and Rosemary


Makes 2 large flat breads

For the bread dough
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 cups (280 grams) bread flour or fine semolina
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) whole-wheat flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons/7 grams) instant active-dry yeast
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground mastic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil

For the topping
About 1/2 cup (120 milliliter) milk
About 30 dried figs, sliced
2 cups (270 grams) crumbled Roquefort, gorgonzola, or any spicy blue cheese
1/4 cup (15 grams) chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Make the bread dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a food processor, mix the flours, yeast, salt, and spices.

With the motor running, add 3 cups (720 milliliters) water or more to make a soft dough. Work the dough for about 6 minutes, until it is soft and slightly sticky, adding more water if needed.

Oil a large bowl and a piece of plastic wrap. With floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and transfer to the oiled bowl. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and let rise overnight. Let the dough come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before proceeding further.

Preheat the over to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the laganes: Lightly flour your work surface. Turn the dough out and knead briefly. Divide in two, cover one piece, and flatten the other to fill the first baking sheet. Stretch and dimple with wet fingers to expand the dough to cover the whole pan. Cover with oiled plastic while you shape and place the next lagana on the second baking sheet. Cover and let the dough rise for about 40 minutes.

To top the breads: Brush the breads with milk and divide the fig slices between them, pressing the figs to stick onto the surface of the breads. Sprinkle generously with the cheese and rosemary.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the breads are golden at teh bottom. If they brown on top but still look uncooked at the bottom, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake a bit longer.

Let cool on a rack, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover bread can be frozen. Reheat directly from the freezer, loosely wrapped in aluminum foil, in a 375°F oven for about 20 minutes. Open the foil and heat for 8 to 10 minutes more to caramelize the top.

Red Lentil Soup


Red Lentil Soup

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large carrot, diced
2 large ribs celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water or low-sodium broth
1 whole bay leaf
2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1/2 large lemon
Olive oil, yogurt, or other topping, to serve

In a medium (2- to 3-quart) saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir to combine, then cover and let the vegetables sweat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, water or broth, and bay leaf. Bring up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer, covered, until the lentils begin to fall apart, about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and add salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for 5 days.

Chicken Cacciatore

chicken cacciatore

Makes 4 servings

  • Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • One 14- to 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh oregano leaves
  • Grated parmesan for serving
  • Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving
  1. Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about 1/4 inch, and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.
  2. Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.
  4. Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.
  5. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. After the 30 to 40 minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Brisket


  • 3 pounds second-cut brisket
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium white onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots or prunes
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 bottle of red wine (I used cabernet)


  • Rub brisket all over with salt and pepper and allow to sit out at room temperature for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, the moisture that the salt releases from the meat should be reabsorbed into the meat. If the surface of the brisket is still beaded with moisture, allow the meat to sit out at room temperature a little longer.
  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat and sear brisket for 5 minutes on each side, or until a nice crust forms. After searing, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  • Melt butter in the Dutch oven and add onions, garlic, thyme, carrots, and tomato paste and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and slightly browned — about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Return brisket to Dutch oven and add the apricots or prunes, beef stock, and red wine. The brisket should be completely submerged in liquid — if it isn’t, add water or more stock until it is.
  • Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and cook in the oven until the meat is falling apart, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  • When the meat is done, remove it from the Dutch oven, set it on a platter, and cover in foil to keep it warm. Boil the liquid over medium heat until it reduces to approximately 4 cups — this should take about 25 minutes.
  • After it has reduced, strain the sauce through a sieve and taste it to adjust seasoning.
  • Cut brisket against the grain in 1/4-inch strips and serve with sauce and stewed apricots or prunes, onions, and carrots.


The Best Roast Chicken with Garlic and Herb Pan Sauce

roasted chicken

Serves 4

  • One 3 to 4 pound chicken, preferably organic or free-range, brought to room temperature
  • Kosher salt (and pepper if you’d like)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Heat the oven to 480 degrees F. Pat the chicken dry inside and out (if you want an extra crispy skin, leave the raw chicken in the fridge uncovered overnight after you’ve patted it dry and then bring it to room temperature).
  • Put the chicken on a board or a large platter and generously season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper if you’re using it. Drizzle a little olive oil in the cavity as well.
  • Drizzle the rest of the oil over the chicken, and rub it all over so that it’s evenly coated. Salt the chicken well all over, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Transfer the chicken to an enameled cast iron pan or a heavy roasting pan just big enough to hold it and put it in the oven. Don’t open the door for at least 45 minutes, when you can start to test it for doneness. (The chicken is cooked when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a sharp knife, and the juices run clear.) Let the chicken rest on a carving board while you make the pan sauce.
  • To make the sauce, put the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the drippings in the pan, and once it melts add the thyme and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute.
  • Add the wine to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon, stirring them into the sauce. Let the wine cook down for one to two minutes.
  • Add a cup of boiling water, stir well, and let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary (if you’ve salted your chicken enough, this probably won’t be necessary).
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the warm pan sauce in a bowl nearby for dipping.
  • Kale and Potato Gratin


    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    1 1/2 pounds thin-skinned boiling potatoes, such as red potatoes
    1 bunch kale
    1/4 cup olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    3 teaspoons coarse salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/3 to 2/3 cup bread crumbs
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or use 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as thyme or sage)
    1/4 cup whole milk

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place a pot of water large enough to accommodate the potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath.

    Slice the potatoes 1/4-inch thick. Remove and discard the ribs from the kale, then chop the remaining leaves in 1/2-inch-thick ribbons by stacking the leaves and slicing cross-wise. This doesn’t need to be exact — as long as you end up with a pile of roughly 1/2-inch-thick shreds of kale.

    When the water is boiling, add 1 teaspoon of salt and gently lower in the potatoes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender, but not totally cooked through. Drain and plunge into the ice bath. Drain again, then place on a dish towel and blot.

    In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Add the kale and rub the olive oil mixture aggressively into the leaves.

    In a 9-inch square casserole dish or pie plate, place the kale, half the cheese, then the potatoes, the bread crumbs and the remaining cheese.

    Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, pour the milk over evenly and bake another 15 minutes, until the top is crispy.

    Baked figs with balsamic and feta

    baked figs

    Serves 1 to 2

    • 1/2 cup creamy feta (about 2 ounces)
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (for soaking the feta)
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
    • 12 very ripe figs (any kind you can find)
    • 1 tablespoon garlic oil (scooped from feta oil)
    • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic or homemade balsamic reduction
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 10 or so mint or parsley leaves
    1. Crumble feta into a jar or bowl. Top with olive oil and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours, preferably overnight.
    2. Heat oven to 400° F. Stem and halve figs. Scoop a tablespoon of olive oil out of the feta mixture and sprinkle it over the figs. Coat each fig with a bit of balsamic. Sprinkle with salt. Tuck in the chunks of feta. Toss on the thyme sprigs, and put them in the oven.
    3. Check them after 15 minutes. The figs cook fast. Don’t let them completely fall apart. When they’re quite jammy and releasing their juices, remove from the oven and turn on your broiler. Broil for a minute or two until the figs and feta are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven. Cool for a few minutes. Pick out thyme sprigs and use your fingers to sprinkle the crispy leaves down over the figs. Discard sprigs. Garnish with mint or parsley leaves. Serve.