The trip had been planned for almost a year. My friend Tommy organized the entire shebang; I was just a grateful-to-be-invited tagalong. The countries on our itinerary are places I have longed to see for much of my life: Thailand, Myanmar (formerly Burma), and Cambodia. When you are already enamored of a people and their cuisine, it is inevitable that you will fall more deeply in love when you are immersed in their culture.
Brown Rice Grape Leaf Salad
All of the following recipes are from “Salad for Dinner” by Jeanne Kelley. This first recipe is similar to stuffed grape leaves, dolma. A lot of grocery stores now carry grape leaves in brine, if you can’t find them, try using a tablespoon of capers to mimic the pickley flavor of grape leaves.
1 cup brown rice, cooked in 21/4 cups water
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup currants or raisins
Are you going to make a New Year’s resolution this year? If so, you are among the 50 percent of Americans who will do so. Of that 50 percent, I’m sorry to tell you, another 50 percent will fail within six months. However, those who make explicit resolutions are the most likely to succeed.
Layered Mexican Dip
I associate this recipe with summertime, but when my friend Anita brought it to a Thanksgiving leftovers bash, the guests descended upon it like locusts. You can make it as rich and creamy or virtuous as you like. I make this in a glass Pyrex pie dish, it’s not ugly because you are going to wrap it in a pretty napkin and then place it in a shallow basket!
1 can refried beans (I use the vegetarian kind)
2-3 very ripe avocadoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
It’s party season! Chances are, you are going to a bunch and may be having one or two or your own. But this is the time of year when we are already spending a good bit of money on gifts and travel so throwing a holiday party could put some additional strain on your wallet. This is also the time when we are faced with rich eggnog, frosted holiday cookies, massive cheese platters, and adult beverages at all times of the day, putting a strain on your waistline, too.
Old Stove Pub
3516 Montauk Highway
Seven days, from 5 p.m.
There are some very appealing aspects to the latest reincarnation of the Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack. The ramshackle, long-in-the-tooth building has been cleaned up, but not to the point of newness. The charm of the old farmhouse with wraparound indoor porches remains. The atmosphere is cozy. There are also some delicious, classic Greek dishes being served here.
Brussels Sprouts Braised With Apple and Bacon
This recipe is from my dear friend, the prolific cookbook author and East Hampton resident Jim Villas. It comes from his “The Bacon Cookbook.” Bacon will make anything taste better, even Brussels sprouts!
Serves four to six.
1 qt. fresh Brussels sprouts
2 slices lean hickory-smoked bacon, cut into small pieces (or use pancetta bacon)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cooking apple, cored and cut into chunks
I have great memories of family Thanksgivings. Of course, in the good old days, the women did all the cooking while the menfolk watched football. Afterward, as we all digested and got a bit slowed down by the big meal, the gents would return to the den to watch yet more football and the women would gingerly wash all the silver and special plates and glasses that only came out for this one day a year.
Thai Pumpkin Soup
I found this recipe on one of the gazillion Web sites featuring pumpkin.
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
2 small fresh red chili peppers, chopped (I recommend deseeding)
1 Tbsp. chopped lemongrass (or substitute grated lemon zest)
21/4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced pumpkin
11/2 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
The following is excerpted from Laura Donnelly's restaurant review in this week's Star. More ideas for meals on the go can be found in the Star's Restaurant Guide: easthamptonstar.com/restaurants.
It's Columbus Day weekend AND the Hamptons International Film Festival is on the East End so I know all of you ladies and gentlemen and black-clad cinephiles want to know where to eat. With movies being shown in 6 locations from Southampton to Montauk your dining options are plentiful.