Category Archives: Deb’s favorites

Potato Salad

This is my favorite, classic potato salad recipe I grew up on adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

    • 8 medium (around 3 lbs) white or new potatoes
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup vegetable olive oil
    • Salt to taste (not much if you boil potatoes in salt water as recommended)
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    • 2 or 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
    • 4 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
    • 3 TBS cider vinegar
    • Paprika

Peel, quarter, and boil the potatoes. Start with potatoes in cold water and cook until just fork tender–DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Drain & cut the very warm potatoes as soon as you can handle them into 1/2 inch pieces. Whisk together lemon juice, oil, pepper, and salt and gently toss warm (the hotter the better) potato pieces in the resulting oil emulsion. Refrigerate until cool or until ready to assemble and serve, up to a couple days. This preliminary dressing improves the flavor and ensures the potatoes won’t absorb too much mayonnaise later.

Just before serving, put the eggs and celery on top of the potatoes, mix the mayonnaise (it’s got to be Hellman’s) & vinegar in a small bowl, then gently fold the mayo dressing into potato salad until all pieces are coated. Taste. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning and add a 1/2 to a teaspoon of sugar if too tart. Sprinkle with paprika, and serve.

potato salad



Black Beans over Rice

I worked as an artist assistant for artist Chuck Hinman in the 80’s; he and Jan lived in a huge loft on Bowery, next-door to where the New Museum of Contemporary Art is now. Use Arborio rice if you have it.

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, add beans and orange rind and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice topped with chopped scallions and drizzled with the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar you have.

black beans over rice

Butternut Squash “Pasta” with Ravioli

How to spiralize a butternut squash, with great illustrations thanks to Savory Lotus:

You’ll need quite a bit more than you might think because the “pasta” will shrink a lot as it bakes. Spread spiralized squash on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°, until al dente, stirring once half way through.

Meanwhile boil water and cook your ravioli (use the good ones!).  Drain and serve over the baked squash arranged on a serving dish. Topped with shaved Parmesan cheese.

ravioli over butternut




“Malfatti” translates to “poorly made” – these dumplings are rustic but delicious, and a long time favorite family recipe. Be careful in varying from the recipe or risk having your dumplings dissolve in their cooking water!

1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
1 c ricotta
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. fine dry bread crumbs (no substitutions!)
1/4 c scallions minced
3 T fresh basil or 2 ½ t dried
2 eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ t nutmeg

½ c flour

pasta of your choice
prepared tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese

Place the 1/2 cup of flour in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Press the thawed spinach in a colander to remove as much water as possible. Place in a large bowl and add cheeses, bread crumbs, scallions, eggs, garlic, basic and nutmeg. Mix well using your hands is messy but efficient. Divide into 16 equal portions and form each into 3″ log shapes. Roll each log in the flour and place on a small baking sheet and put it into the freezer for at least an hour.

When ready to eat, put on a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Gently add malfatti and simmer for 3 minutes after they rise to the top. Serve hot over pasta with your favorite tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

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Swiss Chard Quesadillas

Adapted from Vegetarian Times original recipe here:

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, minced
1/2 t cumin seeds
⅛ t oregano
¼ cup tequila or Cointreau
1 lb. Swiss chard, washed and trimmed
8 6-inch corn or flour tortillas (or use the larger size and fold in half)
1 cup grated swiss cheese or sliced

1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden. Stir in garlic, chile, cumin and oregano, and sauté 2 minutes. Add tequila, and simmer 1 minute, or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in chard. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and steam 5 minutes, or until chard wilts. Uncover, and cook 3 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.

2. Place 1 tortilla in skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with 1/4 chard mixture and second tortilla. Cook 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Slice into wedges; serve.

via Vegetarian Times

Honey-Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Adapted from a recipe on Thriving Home

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic minced

To assemble on kabobs:
chicken breast cut in chunks.
vegetables cut in chunks: mushrooms, peppers, corncob sections, new potatoes (parboiled), carrots, broccoli etc.

Whisk all the ingredients together. Place chicken in a ziplock back and pour in the marinade. Refrigerate at least two hours.

Pre-heat grill to medium heat (around 350-400 degrees).

Pour marinade off the chicken and reserve. Arrange chicken and veggie on skewers. The original recipe suggests putting all the chicken on the same skewer, all the onions and peppers on one, etc. That way you can cook them as needed without over cooking. Brush the veggies with the reserved marinade and then grill for around 10-15 minutes.

Pellworm Oat Curry

A savory, delicious version of oatmeal.  I found this recipe in a book about Pellworm, given to me by the photographer Ulrich Mack. Pellworm is an island community off the coast of Germany.

1¼ c Irish oat meal (oat groats)
2 c broth, either vegetarian or chicken
2 c diced apples
2 c diced onions
1½ T lemon juice
1 T butter
1½ T curry powder
1/3 c each: unsalted cashews and almonds
salt & pepper to taste


Rinse oats. Place them in a large sauce pan and heat, stirring frequently until grains begin to toast and burst. Add 1½ broth and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 30 minutes, or until the groats are tender.  Remove from heat and cover.

Toast  the almonds in a small ungreased pan, cool and chop fine.

Chop the apples and toss with the lemon juice. Set aside.

Chop the onions and cook in the butter over medium heat 5-10 minutes. Add apples and cook 5 minutes more. Add curry and let that cook in a few minutes, stirring often. Add cashews and the remaining ½ cup of broth and cook until heated through.  Fold into oatmeal.

Sprinkle with almonds and serve.