Category Archives: Sauces/Vinaigrettes

Best Chinese Stir Fry Sauce




  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or even water
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or Tupperware and mix well.
  2. Stir fry about 4 cups any combination of diced vegetables and/or seafood, chicken or beef.
  3. When just done, add 1/2 to 2/3 of sauce, mix and let thicken slightly – about a minute and serve.

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Barbecued Ribs



I can’t believe that in all my years I had never prepared barbecued ribs! Not so difficult — especially if you bake them in the oven for a few hours the day before. This recipe starts out with a spice rub and a trip to the oven for 2 to 3 hours. Each rack is wrapped in aluminum foil to protect the ribs and the catch all of the dripping for use in the sauce. It is recommended that they rest until the next day in the refrigerator so that the flavors permeate throughout the cut. The drippings are combined with a bit of chicken stock and mixed with barbecue sauce (either homemade or store bought). The ribs are only on the grill for about 10 minutes of so — basted with barbeque sauce to create a beautiful lacquered finish. Allow the racks to rest for a few minutes and then cut into individual ribs before serving. Tender, falling off the bone, deliciousness . . . Not to be missed.



  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 pounds baby back pork ribs (8 racks) or St. Louis-style spareribs (4 racks)
  • Low-salt chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce plus more


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil; sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.
  2. Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour any juices from foil into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup; reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely. DO AHEAD: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through). Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill
  3. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Add broth or water to rib juices, if needed, to measure 1 1/2 cups. Whisk in barbecue sauce to blend.
  4. Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.


Summer House Salad


aaLet me start by raving about this vinaigrette. It is absolutely amazing. We made this salad in our recent “Summer in Nantucket” class, and it was really the star on the plate when served. We wanted more — a lot more. Of course, you can’t go too far wrong with crisp Bibb lettuce, arugula, grape tomatoes, bacon and fresh spring peas. The teaching chef also recommends using bacon fat in the dressing in place of some of the olive oil to give the flavor an additional boost. There is really nothing like a cold, fresh salad on a hot summer evening. I will be making this vinaigrette again this evening — we just can’t stop thinking about how much we enjoyed it.



  • 6 slices, bacon cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. minced shallot
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 c. arugula or other spicy salad greens
  • 1/2 c. fresh peas, blanched and chilled
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 T. fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, chives, and tarragon) lightly chopped


  1. To a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon. Cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together Dijon, vinegar, maple syrup, and shallot. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide salad among chilled plates, neatly mounding the green leaves in the center of each plate. Scatter vegetables and bacon over the top and serve immediately.

~ from Sur la Table ~

Mustard Horseradish Sauce



This is a delicious quick-fix recipe using leftover Grilled Pork Loin. Layer some lettuce, tomato, and sliced pork loin on  nutty, toasted Harvest bread and spread with this Mustard Horseradish Sauce. A combination of both Dijon and stone ground mustard is added to mayonnaise, sour cream, and horseradish to create this sauce/spread. It can be served either as a spread on a sandwich or as a sauce along side a pork loin roast. Delicious!!



  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish


  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, ground mustard, Dijon mustard and horseradish. Serve pork on rolls with lettuce and mustard horseradish sauce.

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Walnuts


revisedThis dish is something like a slaw using shaved Brussels sprouts in place of shredded cabbage. Fresh Brussels sprouts taste quite a bit different from those that are cooked — a bit like a sweet cabbage. The combination of the sprouts with tart apple slices, red onion and toasted walnuts is wonderful. The salad is dressed with a Dijon Maple vinaigrette that is great on any salad. My hubby asked me to make some extra to go on the leftover salad. He felt that there was not quite enough to thoroughly coat everything with the deliciousness that was the dressing. Easy enough to do for someone that appreciates the effort as much as he seems to.


Ingredients (Salad):

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium tart apple (like Granny Smith)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Ingredients (Dressing):

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts. Using a sharp knife OR using the thinest blade on a mandoline slicer slice each sprout thinly. Slice the apple and red onion in the same manner. Combine in a large bowl.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, about two minutes. Add to the Brussels sprout mixture. Toss to combine.
  3. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar with a tight-fighting lid. Close the lid and shake until well-combined. Pour over the Brussels sprout mixture, and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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Crab Cakes with Old Bay Aioli


aa1This recipe comes to us from the Sur La Table kitchens. We made this dish in our second class with them, and it came out beautifully. Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then carefully fold in the crab. Take care not to overmix so that the crab maintains its flakey consistency. Form the mixture into 6 crab cakes and chill the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so. It is a good idea to use a form to create them so that they are all about the same size and thickness. This will be very helpful during the cooking process. Take this time to make the aioli while they are chilling. Follow the recipe shown below to make a homemade mayonnaise. Then, take it to the next level to create an Old Bay aioli.  Season the crab cakes with salt & pepper and carefully add them to the pan. Fry them for about 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and serve them with a dab or two of the aioli. And dive in — crisp, tasty and beautifully seasoned.

Kitchen Hint: Try using a Mason jar lid as a form for the crab cakes. They also work well as egg rings.


Ingredients (Crab Cakes):

  • 1 lb. lump crab meat
  • 8 saltine crackers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. Worcestershire
  • 1 t. Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 T. Chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T. vegetable oil, for pan-frying

Ingredients (Aioli):

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 t. Old Bay seasoning, plus more to taste
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Carefully pick through the crab meat and remove any shell fragments and cartilage. Transfer the crab meat to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Crush the saltines crackers very finely and mix with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Gently fold in the crab, being careful to only mix enough to combine the ingredients. (You don’t want to break the crab into fine shreds.) Shape the mixture into 6 crab cakes and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. To a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Season crab cakes generously with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, carefully slide crab cakes into the pan using a fish spatula. Space cakes about 2 inches apart. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. To prepare the aioli: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice and garlic. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oils to form a thick sauce. (Be careful not to add the oil too fast or the aioli will break.) Once all the oil is incorporated, add the Old Bay. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, additional lemon juice and Old Bay as needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


~ from Sur la Table ~

Smoky Chipotle Paste


20160528_122839Have you ever wondered what to do with that can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce? I had purchased a can for a recipe that only required just a dab of adobo — so now what?! I finally decided to make a Smoky Chipotle Paste that can be used in any number of ways. It may be surprising to learn that chipotles are smoked and dried jalapeno pepper that are rehydrated and packaged in a delicious tomato based puree. You can really do quite a bit with this paste — as a spread on a sandwich (try mixing it with mayo); to spice up soups & stews; beans & chili; and, of course, as an ingredient in sauces, etc. The first stop for this paste is going to be in some Chipotle and Maple Roasted Carrots. After that — who knows! I am thinking that it might do well frozen in tablespoon sized servings using an ice cube tray (one of my favorite kitchen tricks). That way I can use it as I chose without worrying about spoilage.



  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (approximately 7 ounces)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse blend for 1 minute, or until you reach your desired consistency.

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