Cooking For Leslie

Welcome. My name is Stu and this is my blog. This blog is my attempt to document my foray into semi-serious cooking, which I dedicate to my lovely wife Leslie (who is a spicy dish all on her own). My hope is that readers who are novices in the kitchen will be encouraged to take risks and to feel braver in their cooking. If you'd like to email me privately (instead of posting to the comments section) my address is

Location: Redondo Beach, California, United States

“Every man's memory is his private literature.” -- Aldous Huxley

Monday, June 03, 2013

Tofurky Italian Sausage & Pepper & Onion Sandwiches

Tofurky Italian Sausage & Pepper & Onion Sandwiches

I'm on a self-imposed vegetarian diet, but I still love the classics!

I took three Tofurky Italian Sausage links, split 'em lengthwise, then sliced 'em thick, and put 'em into a medium-heat skillet. Added a teeny amount of olive oil (for flavor), and browned them. Once browned, I put the sausage into a bowl and put sliced red peppers and sliced yellow onions into the pan, added a touch more oil, and let 'em get soft, with a slight bit of char. Once they were starting to look good, back went the sausage. Then I added red pepper flakes and let it cook a little more.

Meanwhile, I sliced up some Italian rolls, and put on some mozzarella. Then I added the sausage and veggie mix, some black pepper, oregano, basil, then the top of the roll. Not bad. No match for pork sausage from NJ, but they came out ok.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Beef Stew Recipe For The Ages

Ok, it's not that good, but still, it makes my family happy.

Beef Stew

Servings: 4


1 1/2 lbs. favorite stew meat (chuck or round or whatever floats your boat)
1 tablespoon sage
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of flour (rough estimate, I usually just eyeball it straight from the bag)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion (as large as you prefer)
1 small can of tomato paste (optional)
2 cups of beef broth (if you get a can, you'll add water later - if you get a larger box, you'll have as much as you need)
1 cup peeled & chopped carrots
3 Russet Burbank potatoes
1 sprig rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 ounces fresh Champignon (white) mushrooms
1 small package frozen peas (as close to ten ounces as you can get)


Prepare Meat and Marinade

Trim excess fat off the meat and cut into cubes. Size them to your preference.
Put the meat in your favorite type of marinade dish, along with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and sage. Get the meat and marinade mixed thoroughly and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

About three hours before you're ready to eat, get out a big-ass skillet. Set it on the stove.
Dredge the beef in flour. Set on a plate.
Set heat under the skillet to medium, pour in a tablespoon of oil.
Saute the beef until brown on all sides (about 10 minutes).
Remove beef, set aside.

While beef is browning, slice up the onion. Rough chunks or slices, the choice is yours.
When the beef is out of the pan, toss in the onions.
Saute for 5 or so minutes, to get the onions soft.
When the onions are tender, pour the contents of the pan into a pot (it is easier to manage the rest with a high-rimmed pot)

Add the tomato paste (or don't, it's a matter of taste - sometimes I leave out the paste, to give the other spices more room to breathe)

After the onions go in the pot, add the beef and about 1 3/4 cups of beef broth.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for an hour and a half.

When the beef seems tender (after an hour or so, you be the judge), start cutting up the carrots and the potatoes. Small chunks.
Toss in the chopped carrots, potatoes, rosemary, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, and one bay leaf.
Stir, then cover and cook some more, with the pot still on low.

Start to pay attention to the liquid now. If it seems to need more liquid, add a quarter cup or so of beef broth or water. The idea is to have it be wet until you get down to the last half hour or so. This gives the root veggies enough moisture to soften properly.

When the root vegetables seem somewhat soft enough, slice up the mushrooms and add them, along with the frozen peas, to the stew.

Keep the cover off, raise the heat just a touch, and stir and pause, and stir and pause, and stir and pause.

If the potatoes are soft enough, but the stew needs thickening, shake some flour in there, a little at a time, stirring and shaking, until you get a nice consistency.

At your signal, have someone dim the lights and put on some Joe Pass and Herb Ellis, then serve the stew along with some crusty bread.

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Quesadilla Recipe

My son taught me an easy way to make quesadillas, which is pretty cool on it's own. Anyway, the recipe is as follows:

  1. Take a big fry pan, heat it at about medium or so.

  2. When the pan's hot, add about a tablespoon of oil.

  3. Drop in a tortilla (we use wheat, but whatever).

  4. Immediately drop some shredded or crushed up cheese on half the tortilla.

  5. Immediately add spices (my son likes finely shredded beef jerky)

  6. When the cheese starts to melt, fold the empty half over on top of the cheesy half.

  7. Press the edges down.

  8. Flip, check for browning. When it looks good to you, munch away.

Hope you dig the recipe. And when you get bored, stop by GNMParents and see what is keeping me away from my blogs. Dig.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Not Dead Yet

I know, there's been no activity here. Totally sorry. Been crazy busy editing/publishing/marketing GNMParents - so, no recipe publishing. :-(

But soon, I hope, I'll freshen this place up. I hope. :-)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Blackened Salmon

I bought some fresh salmon from the Ralph's (who have pretty good fish).

Took out a plate and laid on the blackening spices, including paprika, salt, cayenne, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Covered the plate thick with spices. Then I heated up my 12-inch fry pan. When it was nice and hot, I took the salmon, pressed both sides into the spices to get them nice and coated, then I placed them in the pan. Next I drizzled olive oil on the top and sides of the fish. After 1 1/2 minutes I flipped the salmon. 2 minutes later I transfered them to a baking pan covered with nonstick foil. Placed the salmon in a 400 degree oven and baked for 10 minutes (but these were thick steaks, so if yours are thinner, cook for 7 minutes and then test for doneness).

Serve them on a plate and lightly cover with parsley.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Baked Salmon

2 1/2 pounds of Salmon (fileted)
1 cup (or more) orange juice (or orange/tangerine or orange/pineapple)
1 cup (or more) milk
1 can tangerine sections (or orange sections)
1 stick butter, melted

Soak the salmon in milk for at least two hours (if not overnight).

Then soak the salmon in orange juice for at least an hour.

Create a tent out of tinfoil and put it on a baking pan.

Place the fish in the tent, cover it (seal it as best you can). Then bake in a 350 oven for 10 minutes. Uncover the tent, pour melted butter over salmon, then cover with orange sections. Bake for 15 - 20 more minutes, uncovered. To test for doneness, press a fork against the fish and see if it flakes. Serve over jasmine rice.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Shrimp Etouffée

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (can also use frozen shrimp)
Hot cooked rice

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter; stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Stir in green onions, chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and basil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring often for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Increase heat to high and add tomato sauce, wine, water, worcestershire sauce, white pepper, and Tabasco; stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes or until thickened and reduced to 4 1/2 cups. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and shrimp. Simmer approximately 10 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Remove from heat and serve over hot cooked rice.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Liver And Onions

A simple, simple dish that is one of Leslie's favorites.

1-2 pounds sliced beef liver
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 large yellow onion
1 stick butter (or margarine if you keep kosher)

Get a ziplock bag and fill it with the flour. Add the salt and pepper and shake it. Put in one piece of liver and seal the bag. Mash the liver and flour a bit to thoroughly coat the liver. Set aside.

Slice the onion, then break up the slices. Heat a big pan and, after a few minutes, add pats of butter. Then add the onion and saute it for a minute or two, until they are soft, but not brown. Remove. Add a little more butter and place the floured liver into the pan. Fry on one side for three minutes. Flip. Add the onion back in the same pan. Cook for two more minutes. Add butter as you see fit (no such thing as too much butter). After two minutes, take it out of the pan and it's ready to serve.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Grilled Lamb with Mango Chutney

I've got company coming tonight. Not willing to make something ordinary, I decided on lamb, as lamb seems a bit more exotic than beef or chicken. I picked out a recipe for Grilled Lamb with Mango Chutney from the Culinary Institute of America's book Cooking At Home.

Here's the ingredient list:

2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1 lime
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon parsley
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cumin
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or grated
1/2 cup (or more) plain yogurt
2 pounds boneless leg of lamb

The object of this recipe is simple. Make the yogurt marinade, slice up strips of lamb and coat with marinade, make the chutney, grill the lamb, serve over chutney.

First I made the marinade. I heated up a pan, then added a little olive oil. I dumped in the onion, the ginger, the garlic, and then added the cardamom and cumin and pepper. I stirred for about a minute, until the scent of the spices woke up and became apparent. Then I poured it into a bowl and let it cool.

Meanwhile I cut my lamb into strips. Once that was done I added the yogurt to the bowl of onion/ginger/garlic/etc. and mixed it up. Then I coated each piece of lamb in the marinate and transfered it to a big ziplock bag. Eventually the bag got full of meat and yogurt mix. Then I sealed the bag and smooshed the meat around so it got nicely coated. Lastly I put the bag in the fridge and let it marinate.

Next I put up some rice (in my huge Krups rice cooker). Then came time to make the chutney. The mangos were the hard part here and after some laughable attempts at peeling, I had Leslie do it. (You have to peel mangos because the skin isn't good for you.) Once they were peeled, dicing was next. Roughly diced is fine, but feel free to turn the mangos into a paste. Then throw them in a mixing bowl, add the juice of one lime. To that, add lots of dill weed and parsley and ginger. For the ginger, I like the kind that comes in a tube, pre-minced. In this recipe I ended up using a lot of ginger (maybe two or three tablespoons). Lastly I added salt and pepper. Stirred with a fork and then set aside.

Then I pulled the lamb from the fridge and skewered it on my skewers. I put the skewers on a medium-heat grill and grilled about 4 or 5 minutes, then flipped them, then grilled 4 or 5 more minutes, till they looked nice and cooked.

To serve, I laid a small bed of rice on a plate, then pulled the lamb off one skewer and placed it on the rice, then covered the lamb with the chutney.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

ASS (Another Simple Salad)

It was Salad Night yet again, so I constructed a simple salad that had Leslie smiling.

For the salad itself, I got a bag of radicchio and endive, rinsed it, and threw it in a big bowl. To that I added sliced onions (cut in half), and a bunch of dried cranberries. The dressing was a red French, store-bought.

Leslie likes a little protein with her salad, so I made a tuna salad. I took a pack of albacore, put it in a bowl. Added two heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt, some dill weed, and chopped cucumber. She loved it. :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Egyptian Kebabs (Chicken)

This past Friday I was in a used bookshop and found a copy of Craig Claiborne's "The New York Times Cook Book" from 1961. It is chock full of great recipes.

Tonight I cooked Egyptian Kebabs from the NY Times book. Very simple, very yummy. Leslie gave it a 9 out of 10. The recipe:

2 whole chicken breasts (I got about a pound and a quarter)
2 heaping tablespoons yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
teaspoon turmeric
teaspoon dry mustard
teaspoon curry powder
teaspoon cardamom

Cube the chicken. In a mixing bowl, combine yoghurt and the spices. Mix it thoroughly with a spoon. Then, as you're mixing, add the chicken cubes one by one, constantly stirring to coat the chicken. When the chicken is thoroughly coated, cover the bowl (or transfer to plastic container and pop in the fridge for a half hour or so.

While the chicken is chilling, set your oven to broil (or heat your grill). If you're using the oven to broil, get a baking pan and cover with nonstick Reynold's Wrap (I use a bunch of this stuff in the kitchen, it is invaluable). Next, peel the onion and quarter it, then seperate the layers so you have thin sections of onion.

Once the chicken has thoroughly marinated, take it out and get yourself some skewers. Skewer a slice of onion, then a cube of chicken, then an onion slice, then a cube of chicken. Fill up your skewers and lay them on the backing pan. Pop it in the broiler and set your timer for 10 minutes.

At the five minute mark, turn the skewers to cook the chicken evenly. At ten minutes, take the chicken out and see if it's done. It should be, but if the cubes are bigger than average you may have to broil another minute or two.

As I said, Leslie really dug this recipe. I thought it was ok, but I'm not that into yogurt or curry. Whatever.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Sirloin Steak, Hash Browns, and Brussels Sprouts

I’m definitely back on my game tonight. I made steak, hash browns, and Brussels sprouts. Solid home run, and it was relatively easy to prepare.

First I’ll talk about the steak. I got a nice sized, 2 inch thick sirloin steak. Stuck it on a plate and scored the top. Then I coated it with olive oil and garlic and crushed black pepper. Massaged it gently but firmly, to get the spices into the meat. Then I coated it with soy sauce and stuck it in a plastic bag. Kept it in the fridge for about a day.

When I was ready to cook I took out my big-ass sauté pan and heated it up (on high) for about three minutes. Then I placed the steak in the pan, careful not to move it or press on it. I seared it on one side for 2 and a half minutes, then flipped it and seared the other side for 2 and a half minutes, making sure that I didn't move it. Then I pulled the steak from the pan and put it on a foil lined baking pan. Next I heated up the oven to 425 and stuck the steak in, where I set my timer for 12 minutes (longer if you like it less pink on the inside).

While my sauté pan was still hot I added about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and waited for it to get hot. Once the oil was good and hot, I threw in some frozen hash browns that I got at the market. I spread ‘em around the pan so that they got nicely coated with oil. Then I added garlic powder, crushed black pepper, and some salt. Once they were nicely under way I let the potatoes cook and started getting my Brussels sprouts ready.

Brussels sprouts are easy. Get out a steamer or similar microwavable bowl. Pour in 2 tablespoons of water, then add the frozen Brussels sprouts. Seal the bowl, pop it in the microwave, and start cooking on high for about 6 and a half minutes.

I gave the potatoes another turn with a spatula, added a little more pepper (you can’t add too much pepper), then used a spatula and transferred the hash browns to a bowl. Then I got ready to pull the steak from the oven. Leslie likes it pink, so I took the steak out after about 12 minutes. If you like it darker, leave it in for another two to three minutes, but no more. And remember, steak continues to cook after you’ve removed it from the heat. So pulling early is better than pulling late. If you’re not sure, cut off a chunk at the end and taste it. Don’t cut into the center.

Meanwhile, don’t forget the Brussels sprouts. Once the dinger goes off on the microwave, let them sit for another two minutes. Then pull the top off (careful, that’s hot!) and throw in some butter (or if you keep Kosher, throw in some margarine). Take a big spoon and move the sprouts around, getting them good and coated. Then sprinkle on some salt, some dill weed, and some garlic powder. Yum!

That’s it. Any questions?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Cucumber Yogurt Dressing

I was a little gunshy after yesterday's Penne Vodka debacle. So I opted for a simple salad with an easy-to-prepare dressing. I chopped up some Romaine hearts and some red cabbage and some carrots. Then I added the dressing which I made early in the afternoon (to give it time to chill). The dressing: 1 cup of yogurt, 1 cup of finely chopped cucumber, 2 tablespoons of dill weed, some garlic powder, two tablespoons of dijon mustard, and some salt. Piece of cake, and best of all, it was a homerun.

Penne Vodka

This one did not turn out as planned. In fact, it got so haywire at one point that I felt like I was riding a gocart with no brakes. Here's the recipe - I'll be back afterwards to explain all my mistakes:

Ready in: < 30 minutes

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil,
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 shallots, minced
• 1 cup vodka
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
• Coarse salt and pepper
• 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves.


Ok, lots to talk about, lots to laugh at. First off, I burned the butter while sauteing the garlic and shallots. I should have thrown it away, except that I didn't have any other shallots in the house and I didn't want to make the dish without them. In hindsight, that's what killed the dish right there. I should have started again and substituted finely chopped onion for the shallots.

Next, I realized much too late that both my measuring cups were in the dishwasher. So, instead of trying to come up with an alternative (I found out later that a standard sized coffee mug is about equal to a cup), I figured I would just guess at how much vodka and chicken broth to put in. Big mistake. In the end, I didn't have enough cream to thicken the sauce. It didn't turn out half bad (Leslie gave it a 7 out of 10), but I learned my lesson both about thorough preparation and about burning butter.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Red Beans and Rice

I'm sitting here in our room, listening to Leslie sing my praises as she digs into a big plate of Red Beans and Rice.

It was a very easy dish to prepare. Very little time over the stove. Most of the hard work is in the preparation, and really, it's just cutting up the vegetables. Here's the recipe:


• 2 cans red kidney beans, (15 ounces each)
• 3 slices bacon
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1 small bell pepper, chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• 1/2 cup chopped green onions, with tops
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 jar (2 oz) chopped pimiento
• 1 can (8 oz) tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 pound Polish sausage, sliced, if desired


Fry bacon and crumble into kidney beans. Saute vegetables in the bacon drippings. (if you're not using bacon, saute in olive oil) Cook until vegetables are wilted. Add beans and remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over rice. Serves 4.

Now I cooked this without bacon, as Leslie likes to eat kosher. But you can make it as you see fit. Also, consider substituting spaghetti sauce for the paste. I like the sauce better because the recipe doesn’t have a lot of liquid in it and the beans can get a little dry.

Also, Leslie likes her food spicy, so I lay down layers of spice. In other words, I cover the mixture, while it's sauteing, in chili powder. Then I stir it in. Then I cover with a layer of ketchup, then stir it in. Sometimes I'll use a whole layer of salt, although I know it's bad for you. But Leslie loves salt, so what am I supposed to do?

Tonight was the first time I used my new Krups rice cooker. Pretty excellent cooker, but the manual was poorly written, so it took me a few reads before I understood how to use it. But all is well, the rice came out great.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Vegetable Soup

It was a Sunday night Grammy Award Winning soup night. First time I ever made soup (that didn't come out of a can)... pretty interesting how all the ingredients turn out to be soup in the end. And pretty yummy soup to be sure.

Here's the recipe:

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, diced
½ leek, diced
1 bunch of green onion, sliced into disks
2 carrots, sliced into disks
1 stalk of celery, sliced into semi-circles
1 cup roughly chopped red cabbage
½ cup turnip, diced
8 cups of vegetable broth
1 spice sachet (which I’ll explain in a second)
2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
½ cup Yukon gold potato, diced
1 cup canned corn
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 Bay leaves
Garlic powder

Ok, before we get started, let’s build a spice sachet (it’s easy, so don’t panic). A spice sachet is simply a mesh bag containing spices. I went to the supermarket (Whole Foods) and they sold these little cottony-type bags that were made for adding spices to a soup or sauce. Just open the bag, add some parsley, thyme, roughly milled pepper, and the two bay leaves. Close the bag and put it to the side. If you can’t find a drawstring bag, make a bag out of cheese cloth and string.

Heat the oil in a nice big soup pot. Actually, first heat the pot for a few minutes on medium, then add the oil. (It’s always a good idea to heat your pot or pan before you start any actually cooking). Add the onion, leek, carrots, celery, cabbage, and turnip. Use a spatula to mix it around and get it coated with oil. Stir occasionally, cooking for 15 minutes (or until everything is soft).

Add all the broth. Toss in the spice sachet and make sure it gets good and buried in the broth and vegetables. Bring to a simmer and then let it cook for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, green onion, potato, and corn. Continue to simmer until the potato is tender, about 35 minutes. Once it’s going, add in extra spices, like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or whatever. Make it your own.

Remove the spice sachet. Serve in bowls and top with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Scallops with Asparagus and Leeks

Tonight I screwed my courage to the sticking post and took on a Jamie Oliver recipe. You see, his recipes, while uncomplicated, are intimidating to me. For example, tonight’s recipe called for leeks, which I had never cooked before, and asparagus, which can easily be ruined. But I love my wife and I wanted to impress her, so I threw myself into the deep end. And let me tell you, it was a piece of cake.

The recipe was simple (the following is printed without permission, straight from Jaimie Oliver's website):


16 asparagus spears, trimmed
12 baby leeks
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of fresh marjoram or summer savory, leaves picked
1 lemon
12 large scallops, trimmed
2 pinches five-spice

(the following is Jaimie talking) - I've come across a couple of fantastic revelations here that I want to tell you about. First, by scoring the scallops on one side in a criss-cross fashion they open out when seared like a beautiful flower and when drizzled with a little dressing or sauce they take in all the flavour. Second, the subtle use of five-spice with any seafood is a real pleasure.

Blanch your asparagus and leeks in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes or until just tender and drain. Get a large, non-stick frying pan hot, then drizzle with olive oil. Cook your asparagus and leeks in batches if need be - they should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Season and cook until lightly coloured on all sides. Remove to a bowl and rip over half your herbs. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave to one side while you cook your scallops.

Get the same pan nice and hot, score the scallops half-way through in a criss-cross fashion on one side, season them on both sides with some salt, pepper and the five-spice, drizzle the pan with a few lugs of olive oil and add your scallops. Fry for a couple of minutes until they are golden, flip them over, add the rest of your herbs and cook for 1 more minute.

While the scallops are cooking, divide your leeks and asparagus between 4 warmed plates. Remove the pan from the heat and add 2 good knobs of butter and the juice of 1/2 the lemon. Shake the pan about, then put 3 scallops and a little bit of juice on to each plate. Serve immediately and get stuck in!


(this rest is Stu talking) - I ran into an adventure at the store, as they didn’t have baby leeks. Instead, they had regular-sized leeks, which are these gargantuan affairs that look like radioactive green onions. They really scared the hell out of me, so I spoke to the green grocer about substitutions. However, I was interrupted by a wonderful woman who said, “no, don’t substitute. Leeks are terrific.” So I decided that I’d go for it and see what happened.

When I got down to it, after blanching the leeks, I cut them into disks and fried them. They turned out fine.

Another adjustment to the recipe came when I realized at the last second that I didn’t have marjoram. So I substituted oregano and thyme, which was a fine way to go.

I used extra salt on the scallops, ‘cause Leslie loves salty things.

Did she like it? Why yes she did, thanks for asking.

Next time I cook asparagus I’m going to try and find white asparagus and fry them (without blanching) with oil and garlic.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Yesterday Leslie said that she wants to eat light for a few days or so, so tonight I'm making her just a salad. I'm cutting up Romaine and Endive with a little cucumber. Then I'm making a dressing out of olive oil, garlic, lemon, and salt. We'll see what she thinks.