On January 31, residents of Chinatowns from coast to coast – as well as Chinese populations around the world – will hit the streets in celebration of the New Year. The holiday, also known as Spring Festival, marks the first day of the year on the Chinese calendar and is a time when families gather in celebration of their ancestors and the gods alike.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll look at this as a learning opportunity – and, of course, a reason to host a party. Follow our festive advice for an authentic Year of the Horse fete. Don’t have lion dancers on speed dial? We’ll let that slide.
Whether you hit the slopes like a Sochi champ this weekend or went straight from bunny hill to lodge, you’ll want to warm up with a steamy supper. Made with mushrooms, cream, corn flour (cornstarch), and butter, all simmered until thick and then served with cheese and sausage for dipping, this recipe from cookware label Chantal is guaranteed to soothe your insides.
All that’s missing? Friends and a few hot toddies.
Comfort food – pastas, bakes, casseroles – is family food. The only downfall? All. That. Butter. For those of you interested in getting the brood on a healthy track, we give you Chicken Pot Pie Casserole from the calorie-cutting blog Emily Bites.
Photos by Emily Koenigsberg
Besides packing her recipe with veggies, Emily Koenigsberg uses skim milk and light butter for the filling, and light half-and-half for the biscuit topping. The result? “A steaming hot bowl of hearty chicken and vegetables covered in a creamy, flavorful gravy and topped with crumbly biscuit pieces,” Koenigsberg writes, at just 303 calories per serving. Don’t clear the table just yet – that calls for seconds.
CIA grad. Top Chef winner. And today? This 35-year-old runs prestigious kitchens at EMM Group’s CATCH NYC, CATCH Miami, and The General in Manhattan.
On top of managing his many successes, the executive chef met with Rue for a quick cooking class. Here, watch him in action. Then, prepare your palate. You’re about to cook (and eat) like an expert.
Braised Beef with Chinese Broccoli
Chinese Braised Short Rib
5 pounds bone-in short ribs
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 bottle Cabernet red wine
1 cup tomato paste
6 thyme branches
4 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 quart water
2 tablespoons black pepper
6 pieces star anise
1 stick cinnamon
8 cloves garlic
1 cup scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 cup vegetable oil
Pat-dry the short rib and season with salt and pepper. Get the pan medium hot, add vegetable oil, and sear the beef on all four sides to caramelize. Set beef aside, add in the onion, carrot, and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine, water, and short ribs. Add the brown sugar and soy sauce and bake in a 350°F oven for about 2 hours.
After 2 hours, wrap all the herbs and spices in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the short ribs. Let that cook for another hour and a half. When the meat is tender, remove the pan from oven. Set aside meat. Strain out the juice, reserve the vegetables, and let the liquid reduce to a light sauce consistency. Once the sauce is at the correct consistency, pour over the meat.
1 pound Chinese or regular broccoli
Bring a pot filled with about 2 inches of water to a boil. Add your steamer basket with broccoli florets. Cover and steam until slightly tender.
If we’re skilled at anything here at Rue, it’s finding ways to transform perfectly wholesome ingredients into sweet and creamy desserts. (A seriously covetable talent, we think.) This week, we’re working our magic on these Peanut Butter Apple Bars, courtesy of blog favorite Two Peas and Their Pod.
Sure, you could have the traditional apple slices and peanut butter. Or, you could swap in gooey bars packed with chunky apples and drizzled with a peanut-butter glaze. We know, decisions are difficult.
Best thing about this weekend? No work tomorrow. Second best? These flavor-bursting, savory-meets-sweet recipes from Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. If this dish, and the fact that’s it’s Labor Day, isn’t excuse enough to pull out the grill one last time – we don’t know what is.
Meet Chef Amanda Freitag. Executive chef. Chopped judge extraordinaire. Renowned New York foodie. And now she’s whipping up a recipe exclusively for Rue Members. Think mint, basil, olive oil, and a host of fresh, taste bud–tempting flavors. Then grab your chef’s hat and get cooking.
Grilled Zucchini and Tomato Panzanella Salad
Ingredients 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup day old bread, cubed
1/2 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash well the garden-fresh zucchini and slice thinly lengthwise (getting about 5 slices from each). Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, then place on a hot grill. Turn each slice on a diagonal until cross-hatched and then flip to do the other side. These will cook very quickly and do not need a lot of time on the grill; they should be like zucchini ribbons. Remove from grill and cool.
Tomato Panzanella Salad
Toss the bread cubes with the chopped oregano, mint, and a drizzle of olive oil and toast in the oven until slightly golden. Wash cherry tomatoes and slice in half once. For vinaigrette, simply combine the red wine vinegar with the olive oil and sliced garlic and season with salt and pepper. To serve the salad, first toss together the cherry tomatoes with the bread and then add in the zucchini and approximately 4 ounces of the vinaigrette. Let this sit for 5 minutes until the croutons start to soften, then add the basil.
Use the zucchini ribbons as the structure and make a tall pile in the center of the plate. Garnish with vinaigrette and additional basil.
Kick it up a notch by making your own tart pickles soaked in apple cidar vinegar. Then finish with a spicy horseradish aioli. Just one bite. Mood = instantly improved. There’s a reason it’s called “comfort food,” after all.
Gina Homolka, founder of Skinnytaste, suggests “mayo haters” supplement with Greek yogurt and toss lobster with celery, shallots, chives, and lemon zest. Our mouths are watering already. For the chowder? Use regular milk instead of cream, and blend the soup for added thickness.
Whether served indoors or out, this duo makes for an authentically delicious summertime meal. So set up that Facebook invite – you’re about to impress the pants off your foodie friends.
Grill up summer-fresh scallops (with Chef Sam Talbot's help)
It’s not every day a celebrated professional chef not only shares, but demonstrates how to cook one of his favorite summer dishes. But today is that day. Here, Chef Sam Talbot lets us in on his recipe for Grilled Scallops with Summer Kale Chimichurri. And we’re positive you’ll love it – Chef Talbot was voted a Top Chef fan favorite, after all.
Check out this video for a dish-prep how-to (starring Chef Talbot, of course).
Now that you know how to prepare it, click on the recipe cards below – they’re both downloadable and printable – to bring your own summer feast to life.