Blog / Sides

The Great Latke Battles Of 2014

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - The Great Latke Battles Of 2014

Every year, along with Hanukkah, come the latke battles. I sit on the sidelines and watch my social media feed fill up with “How To Make The Perfect Latke” controversy.

The titles could read:

  • Don’t Grate On Me
  • My Fat Beats Your Fat
  • Give Me Matzo Meal Or Give Me Death

I grabbed my spatula and my frying pan and got into the fight.

Daikon to Die for

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Daikon to Die for

Even though it’s one of my favorite cuisines, I rarely cook Japanese food because many of the dishes are very complex and you need special ingredients. Braised daikon with mushrooms is very simple to make. It does require a couple of unusual ingredients that I always try to keep in my pantry. I try to stock up on them at the Japanese grocers, but you can get dashi, mirin and dry Chinese mushrooms or fresh shiitakes in many Korean-run “bodegas” here in New York and many places online.

Bacon Makes My Breakfast Better

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Bacon Makes My Breakfast Better

Sometimes it seems if it weren’t for bacon, I might starve. Like I wrote in my song, “Bacon Makes Everything Better,” and it often makes my breakfast better. But not by in the traditional way of a side of bacon, but better with bacon fried rice. If you have just one strip of bacon, one egg and some old rice and any sort of veggies, you, too, can make a delightful breakfast.

Don’t Throw Roses, Throw Endive!

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Don’t Throw Roses, Throw Endive!

“Springtime in Paris” was a fun theme for the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance spring potluck. I decided to riff on a classic bistro frisée salad with bacon lardons and the riff got a little wide by the time I made endive stuffed with an asparagus, radish and cucumber salad and topped with bacon lardons, egg, tiny croutons and a mustard-tarragon vinaigrette. The idea was sparked by a bouquet of endive.

Garlicky Tomatoes: Saved From The Winter Tomato Blues

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Garlicky Tomatoes: Saved From The Winter Tomato Blues

I never post seasonally because let’s face it, I’m not that organized and methodical. The only thing that is predictable about me is that I resist predictability. This was supposed to be my post for Valentine’s Day, but that did not work out. BUT, that’s OK because the heart still makes sense since I’m in love.

BUT… it’s not unconditional love. It’s highly conditional. Or should I say seasonal. [SINGS: This is no ordinary love] I’m singing the praises of garlicky roasted tomatoes because this recipe saves me all winter long. Let’s just say if it weren’t for this recipe, I’d be singing the blues…

Mac and Cheese? Thank You Please

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Mac and Cheese? Thank You Please

Do I really need to write a compelling story about macaroni and cheese or the macaroni and cheese birthday cake I made for my niece when she was two? I think not.

Macaroni and cheese are three magic words that spark instant reaction usually including, but not limited to: Sounds like oooh and ahhh, delight, heart rate increasing, mouth moistening, the welling up of excitement and anticipation, feelings of warmth, coziness, safety, tears of joy, eyes lighting up,  the “juxtapositioning” of immediate gratification, pure pleasure and future guilt, the sweats, jealousy from the people who are not present and many more.

The Taming of the Radish

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - The Taming of the Radish

I could marry an anchovy. I LOVE THEM! I like radishes, but we we’re not talking nuptials… until now.

I was searching for antipasto ideas for my Chocabaret Success!!! party and I came across a recipe for cold radishes in an anchovy and garlic paste. It sounded good, but I forgot to buy the radishes and I ran out of time.

When I was racking my brain, two days later, for tapas ideas, the radishes popped up. BUT, I thought how much better it would be to roast the radishes. Roasting softens the flavor and makes them sweeter which would contrast well with the saltiness of the anchovies. So I whipped up this recipe.

Tap This! Smoked Paprika Mushrooms with Garlic Dust for the Reluctant Vegan Within

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - Tap This! Smoked Paprika Mushrooms with Garlic Dust for the Reluctant Vegan Within

I think tapas has to be one of my favorite styles of food. I love small plates and lots of ’em. Plus, there’s always tons of garlic and pork in the food. Strangely, not everyone eats pork. As curious as this is to me, it’s a total bonus because it means there will be more pork for the rest of us.

Since they kindly add more pork to my life, I like to look out for vegetarians or vegans when I can. So I made up this excellent tapas or side dish recipe.