Sunday, November 28, 2010

It Is Right to Give Thanks and Praise

Indeed, Thanksgiving is a special day set aside to celebrate friends, family, love and life.  The day after Thanksgiving, however, is reserved for couch-bound binge eating, a general disregard for personal hygiene, and ignoring work related emails.


If your family is anything like mine, they over-indulge on antipasto and all but completely neglect the 12-lb bird on the table.  No matter, leftovers are part of the whole Thanksgiving experience.  What follows is a general recipe for mouth-watering curried turkey salad.  Don't let the "curry" moniker throw you; this is an incredibly mild recipe that even most non-adventurous eaters will enjoy.

For this batch I used Japanese "Kewpie" mayonnaise and jicama.  Kewpie mayo is incredibly rich and has a crisp tang to it, it can be found at any Asian mega mart.  Jicama is a sweet root vegetable, popular in South American cuisine. Jicama has the consistency of a water chestnut, but is sweet like a carrot.

Regular mayo and apple can be substituted w/ no loss of quality.

curried turkey salad, cranberry puree, toast.
Curried Turkey Salad

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup Greek yogurt 
2 TBS curry powder
1 TBS turmeric
1 TSP fennel seed
2 TSP apple cider vinegar
2 TSP salt

2 qts shredded turkey
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups grated celery root
1 1/2 cups diced jicama root (substitute w/ apple)
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced

  1. combine mayo, yogurt, curry, turmeric, fennel seed, apple cider vinegar and salt in a mixing bowl. 
  2. combine turkey, carrot, celery root, jicama, nuts, raisins and scallions in a large mixing bowl.  toss to combine.  
  3. add curried mayo mixture and incorporate fully.  if the mixture is too dry, add some more mayo/yogurt.  season to taste. 

© 2008 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Raffetto's Ravioli Roundup

Established in 1906, Raffetto's is a gastronomical relic that pre-dates all the Yuppie condos, over-priced coffee shops and très chic boutiques that have come to define the West Village.


Raffetto's Corp
144 W Houston Street
New York, NY 10012

Raffetto's carries a number of Italian delicacies, but they are best known for their fresh pastas.  At $1.50/lb the fresh pasta is a steal, as are the 48-count boxes of ravioli for just $5.50.  How can they afford to stay in business w/ prices that low? -- they own the building, that's how.  

There are at least a dozen varieties of fresh ravioli made in-house daily -- pumpkin, wild mushroom, goat cheese, lobster, ground beef and spinach, just to name a few.  Conveniently, Raffetto's also sells several sauces that are made fresh daily.  The staff is very helpful and is quick to offer suggestions about which pasta to pair w/ which sauce.  Buy a few boxes of ravioli at a time and freeze them w/ little quality loss.

Pasta maker or torture device? You decide.
A simple brown butter sauce is a great way to enjoy most types of ravioli, especially the pumpkin and the goat cheese varieties.

Brown Butter Sauce

4 TBS unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
10 sage leaves
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup grated cheese

  1. melt butter in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat.  the butter will foam and sputter, stir frequently.  within 4-8 minutes the milk solids will toast up and turn golden brown.  add sage and orange zest.  toss w/ pasta & cheese to serve. 

© 2010 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Franks n' Beanz


Posting a recipe about franks & beans would be more appropriate during the summer months -- with all the grilling, sunshine, outdoor fun and whatnot.


No one cares -- be grateful I'm sharing this coveted recipe with you in the first place.
Baked Beans
1lb navy beans, soaked 
8oz slab bacon
4oz spanish onion, small dice
4oz green bell pepper, small dice
3oz molasses
3oz brown sugar
8oz ketchup
2TBS dijon mustard
1TBS cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

--pre-head oven to 350°

  1. simmer the pre-soaked beans in salted water for 1-2 hours until tender.  
  2. cube the slab bacon into 4-6 pieces.  place cubes in a medium saute pan and allow the fat to render. 
  3. add the diced onion & peppers and cook until translucent.  drain bacon, peppers and onions of excess fat.  reserve
  4. combine the bacon-onion mixture with the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
  5. add sauce to the beans, tossing to coat thoroughly.  taste & adjust seasoning.
  6. place means in a large gratin dish and cover w/ aluminum foil.  bake in a 350°oven on a sheet pan for 1 hour. the beans should be cooked all the way.  
  • Make sure the beans are cooked 90% of the way through BEFORE you bake.  
  • For maximum depth, incorporate some carob molasses.
  • Slab bacon is good, but you can use pretty much any smoked meat you can find.  I've even used smoked rib meat.  

© 2010 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -