Posts made in October 2012

Simple & Successful 6 Ingredient Mashed Potatoes

I’m not a big fan of mashed potatoes. I’d much rather have spaghetti or rice (in that order).
In order for a chef to create new dishes, he or she must to some degree concoct. When I concoct (invent, construct, contrive, devise) a recipe where the results are WHOA!, it’s then I must sit in front of the computer in order to duplicate the technique without forgetting any part of the process.
There are many recipes similar to this one. Like any recipe…you give it to ten people and whether it’s flavor, consistency or texture, it’s going to turn out different in each case. That is, of course, if you don’t follow the technique.
 Technique IS what makes recipes differ…and this method of making mashed potatoes is the best one I have ever assembled.
So good, in fact, that I may put it in front of the rice.
It goes like this:

2 lbs. red potatoes with skin
3 Tbsp. sweet butter (again, I like Plugra or Land O Lakes)
A heavy 1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup sour cream
App. 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
Ground white or black pepper…or both to taste

The Simple and Successful Technique
*Cut Potatoes into 1″ to 1.5″ pieces (squares are not possible, so estimate size no matter what shape)
*In at least 3 quarts boiling of water, add potatoes and  2 1/2 tsp. salt
*After the water starts to boil again, reduce heat to medium for about 20 minutes or until a fork pierces through a potato piece easily
*Meanwhile, warm milk separately on lowest heat possible and get butter to room temperature
*When potatoes are done, put them through a potato ricer and back into the pot in which they were cooked.(a potato masher will do if you do not have a ricer, but mash thoroughly to avoid lumps)
*Immediately add the butter to the warm milk to melt and immediately pour mixture onto the potatoes
*Stir fast to incorporate and then stir in the sour cream, the rest of the salt (1/2 tsp.) and fresh pepper
*Cover pot and let sit on low heat for 2-3 minutes to let flavors fuse and to be able to serve hot
*Mix again and serve

Serve with meat loaf or your favorite chicken dish.
Heck, serve with whatever you think your new favorite mashed potatoes will compliment.

Mangia Baby!

Note: Everyone’s taste buds are different…so, as with any recipe, feel comfortable in adjusting  proportions to suit your taste & texture.

Coming Attractions
 Baked Ravioli Bolognese Parmigiiano & Bert’s Classic…yes classic, Caesar Salad
using the same technique I learned from Bosso at the Piccadilly Restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard’s famed restaurant row in Los Angeles, California, USA. 56 years ago.

***As usual, please feel free to comment. By clicking “no comments”, you will be able to access the comment box.

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In L.A., California…Du-par's…True Pancake Heaven!

Bert with his 5-Stack
Fabulous Betty with Bert’s 5-Stack
T.H.E. 5 Stack

Dupar’s  pancakes in Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA! They recently opened in Las Vegas, and I can guarantee you it’s a sure bet in either location…or any of their locations… that you will be treated to the best stack ever!
 On my latest trip to L.A., my friend Mark Meshekow…of  Meshekow’s of Los Angeles photography fame, and directly related to the Beadie from the Bronx…met me for brunch.
My fabulous waitress Betty was gracious enough to let me take her pic while delivering a 5 stack with melted butter on top and served with both maple syrup and boysenberry syrup. For many years, the boysenberry syrup is what they were known for, however they changed the recipe of this syrup and I now stick with the maple. Boysenberry is now optional depending on my mood.
 Please don’t forget the extra melted butter to put in between each flapjack. It brings a tear to my eye.
To re-affirm, I don’t review restaurants as a whole. I simply espouse the virtues of individual food finds  everywhere. There are many exceptional treats in any of the Du-pars…and as one of my favorite songwriters says “Every man has his opinion”. In this case, it’s all about the pancakes with the melted butter that I have been eating since 1954 while growing up as a kid in Studio City, Californ-i-a.
Whenever I’m in L.A., this stop is a must for me…and for you if you ever get to L.A. or Las Vegas. Trust me. Have I ever lead you astray?
A little history: The restaurant was founded in 1938 at the Farmer’s Market by James Dunn and Edward Parsons…ie DuPars. It grew to several locations in the Los Angeles area, however my heart and soul  always brings me back to the Studio City location.
It changed hands in the 1970’s and was most recently bought by a restaurateur named Biff Naylor because, according to Biff,
 he didn’t want to see this restaurant “become a footnote in the history books of Los Angeles”.
 Thank you Biff Naylor for keeping the Du-pars tradition…and my memories alive.
Thank you again Betty for wrapping up my leftover pancakes with boysenberry syrup on the side, thanks to Maria for wrapping up my Bear Claw…all to take home to NY, and thanks to you both for wearing your traditional Du-par’s uniform with pride and a smile.

An aside…I have received many comments from readers and I thank you for them. To the reader who wanted the stories to be longer, long is relative but I’ll work on it. Although this Du-par’s entry was short and sweet, the stack was long and sweet. To the reader who appreciated the color in the blog format because it was good for their eyes, thanks for your input…or should I say, insight?
Keep the comments coming…and…

Mangia Baby!


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Spaghetti with Sweet Butter and Heinz Ketchup Circa 1953… YUM!

Spaghetti with sweet butter and ketchup. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. As far back as I can remember….ohhhhh somewhere around 1953 in Brooklyn, N.Y., this was a dish my grandmother Hazel and my “Aunt” Sadie would make for me, my brother Paul and everyone else.
My granddaughter Emma’s favorite since is…hmmmmm…guess what?
To this day, some people just can’t imagine the taste…and when I ask if anyone wants some, I get the age old response of “Ewwwww” or “Arrgghhhh”.
“Did you ever taste it” I ask?
So how do you know you won’t like it?
I was in Los Angeles last week and whipped up a quick batch of my famous sweet butter and ketchup for Alan and his son, Cooper. You never saw 2/3 of a pound of spaghetti, 5 Tbsp of butter and ohhh, about 8 ounces of ketchup disappear so fast.
Alan asked why do they even bottle spaghetti sauce while Cooper was in non stop sweet butter and ketchup heaven, as the pics above will attest.
Two more converts.
While getting a haircut recently by my buddy Eddie, he proceeds to tell me about how he and his 3 brothers were brought up on elbow macaroni made with Velveeta cheese and Campbells tomato soup. An hour later, my waiter Ben at Vincent’s in Carle Place proceeds to tell me about his father who thrived on spaghetti with Velveeta cheese and Ketchup.
I  even remember many years ago…while raving about my butter and ketchup recipe, my dentist Artie raved right back about his spaghetti with cream cheese and ketchup.
We’ll call her Nancy P. After reading this entry, she confessed for her love of spaghetti with sauce and Velveeta cheese…AND… placing dollops of cream cheese in her tomato soup.
Sounding familiar?
I guess as strange as it sounds, these recipes to some degree, were borne out of necessity long ago. They thrived for many years and it is now my pleasure to share them with you. Remember…if you never tasted it, you can’t knock it. 
Wanna see unusaul, wierd and strange recipes…just Google them.
Not everyone has the technique…so here it is. Follow it explicitly and you will become a convert.
*About 10 oz of thin spahgetti or vermicelli…or really any shape you like
*About 5 Tbsp sweet butter (I love Plugra or Land O Lakes)
*About 8-10 ounces of Heinz Ketchup
* 2 tsp kosher salt
* slice butter into pats so it can melt quickly when added to pot in last step

*Boil at least 4 quarts of water and when water starts to boil add 2 tsp kosher salt

*Immediately add pasta & cook until soft..not mushy and not, in this case, al dente…which is the way one MUST cook their pasta normally
*Drain pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water
*Immediately add butter and reserved water to pot to melt butter…add pasta immediately and cook over medium heat stirring quickly for about 30 seconds
*Remove from heat, add room temperature ketchup, stir quickly for another 30 seconds and serve. Wanna add more ketchup on top, be my guest 
*Thats it…Yum City
 An aside: Ketchup does not need to be refrigerated. For everyday use, it will also taste much better at room temperature. .
One more thing…
There are sooooooooo many strange recipes in this world. Strange or unusual, however, is relative.
If you have any doubts at all, GOOGLE “Strange Recipes”!

Check out the tomato bread below made with butter. Sound familiar?
Moral of the story…and you’ve heard it before…
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Mangia Baby!

Please feel free to comment.

rich tomato bread

You must have come across innumerable types of breads like garlic bread, brown bread, milk bread, fruit bread and so on but you might not have heard about the tomato bread.
This bread retains the tangy flavor of tomato and deeply reminds you of your favorite tomato soup that you had always ordered first in the starters. Besides tomato, you can also savor the excellent taste of cloves, butter and brown sugar.