Dana Slatkin

Japanese Vegetable Pancake (Okonomiyaki お好み焼き)

During the week, family dinner is mandatory in my house. It’s the one hour in the day when we all slow down, stash our phones away, and tune into each other. There are no excuses: everyone shows up. It’s also the highlight of my day. But like anything worthwhile, weeknight meals take some effort to pull off. So when I recently served a tasty new vegetable dish that was devoured in seconds, I knew I had a keeper. Have you ever heard of Okonomiyaki? Neither had I. The crispy Japanese cabbage pancakes are a street food staple in Japan. Ever since they were rebranded by a couple of enterprising chefs as “Japanese pizza,” Okonomiyaki (which roughly translates to “as you like it, grilled”) have caught on with the gastropub set, appearing … [Read more...]

Introducing…Cozy Fall Cooking with the Beverly Hills Farmgirl!

The Edible Farmers Market - SOLD OUT Thursday, September 18 10 am – noon Do you love going to your farmers market but have no idea what to cook once you get home? Let the Farmgirl show you how to turn the freshest finds into a weeknight feast! Menu highlights: Still Life in Salad (you’ll never think of salads the same way again); Seared Market Fish with Mushroom Tapenade and Mustard- Caper Herb Sauce; Shredded Zucchini with Scallions, Parmesan and Chile; Ten-Minute Berry Buckwheat Cobbler (whole-grain, gluten-free and refined sugar-free!) $140 per guest 2-hour class includes recipes, lunch, and a donation to a local charity If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please e-mail Dana here.   Fall Vegetarian … [Read more...]

Tal Ronnen’s Crabless Cakes (Vegan)

Crabless Cakes

This week, I was invited to attend a special dinner featuring Chef Tal Ronnen, vegan visionary and owner of Crossroads Kitchen here on Melrose, who presented a spectacular four-course dinner featuring Gardein (rhymes with protein) delectable meatless products. Having been a fan of Gardein since it hit supermarket shelves in 2009, I was excited to taste what Ronnen could do with it. Though a devout carnivore might find any meat analog a rather sad substitute for a savory chicken cutlet or juicy steak, I knew Ronnen, with his classical training and pitch-perfect technique, could transform a hunk of soy protein into haute cuisine. At Gardein’s groovy Marina del Rey tasting kitchen, the feast began with small bites: Crabless Cakes with Granny … [Read more...]

Scallion Pancakes with Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce (Gluten-free)

Scallion pancakes with sweet soy dipping sauce

Makes about 2 dozen small (about 3-inches in diameter) pancakes, or 6-8 servings It’s beginning to feel a lot like…get me to January 1. If you’re already over the holidays, you’re not alone. All the forced festivity, cloying crooning and nonstop consuming can start to grate on nerves. But in light of the heartbreaking tragedies in last week’s news, let’s count our blessings. In the final stretch to the finish of 2012, I get busy cooking. For those I love. For those who are suffering or struggling. For those who are no longer here to enjoy the holidays. One ritual I always look forward to: Chinese food on Christmas Eve. It’s practically a cultural imperative. Some years we head to our favorite local restaurant for … [Read more...]

Quinoa Vegetable Latkes (gluten-free)

quinoa-vegetable-latkes

Makes 12 3-inch latkes Pull out that cast iron pan, stockpile your potatoes and onions, arm yourself with oil. It’s latke time. This month I’m knee-deep in them. After pouring through shelves of Jewish cookbooks over the years, testing countless recipes and swimming in oil every December, I think I’ve finally managed to master the perfect latke. For the past decade or so, I’ve stuck with what works, a failproof formula that somehow manages to get raves every time. I have gradually made some minor tweaks to the recipe, adjusting the potato to onion ratio, adding zucchini, and honing the process down to a few steps. For you traditionalists, here is the recipe. But if you’re willing to stretch a little this year, I have a … [Read more...]

Easy Dairy-free Gluten-free Cheese Puffs

dairy-free gluten-free cheese puffs

The last time I came up with a recipe that seemed too good to be true, it actually was. Good and true, that is. A luscious dark chocolate pudding made with coconut milk and maple syrup, ten minutes to prep and good to go days later. It sounded like a fantasy, but it turned out to be one of the big hits of the year. So last week, when I stumbled upon a recipe for a gluten-free cheese bread called Pão de Queijo, I thought I was dreaming again. The adorable little puffs reminded me of the heavenly rolls we used to buy every week at the farmers market over the summer. Made of tapioca flour (a.k.a. tapioca starch, cassava flour, or manioc flour), they were crusty on the outside, chewy and cheesy on the inside, and totally addictive. I pictured … [Read more...]

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Chips with Truffle Salt and Lime

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Holidays? What holidays? These days, it’s all about the aftermaths of the election and wretched Sandy. And rightly so. Millions are facing life-altering challenges, and for those of us who managed to escape this time, the past few weeks have been a sobering reality check. So don’t even think about the epic family feast that is right around the corner. Ignore all the glossy magazines and food blogs. Step away from the Food Network. We’re lucky to have food on the table and to be together. But in case you still can’t help freaking out about facing the last stretch of the year (that would be me), try to take it one meal at a time. Though this recipe has become an everyday staple in our house, it’s festive enough to hold its own … [Read more...]

Vegan Creamed Spinach

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Dinnertime is usually when my kids get their fill of Mom wisdom. The other night, over bowls of polenta and Stephanie Izard’s tasty wild mushroom ragout (thank you, Food + Wine Magazine), I told them a story about how I made a new friend recently, just on the heels of having to let another one go. “You see,” I shared, “When one door closes, another one opens.” My teenagers sat rolling their eyes, but the kindergartner chimed in winsomely, “And when two doors close, I open the window!” Hilarious! We all burst out laughing. But when I thought about it that night, I realized the little guy was absolutely right. We all have those moments in our lives where we just need to breathe in some fresh air. This … [Read more...]