Sriracha Citrus Mayo

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The first time that I heard the word Sriracha, it was on an episode of “Top Chef” where the chefs tried to make Sriracha ice cream. Even though I’d been eating Thai food since college (at Doc Chey’s Noodle House in Atlanta) and I’d seen the red bottle on the table with the rooster logo, I didn’t know the name of the sauce that it contained.

But Sriracha, a spicy emulsion of chilis, garlic, and vinegar, is prized by chefs all over. You can find it in most speciality stores (Whole Foods has it in the international aisle) and if you squeeze a bit on to your take-out Chinese food or Thai noodles, you’ll punch everything up into the stratosphere. Your mouth will cry: “Oh baby.”

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Leftover Brisket Ragu

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Last we spoke, we made an eight-pound brisket.

Here’s the thing about making an eight-pound brisket. If you make it? You’re going to have leftovers. And then you have to ask yourself: “What should I do with those leftovers?” That’s why I’m offering you this follow-up post, a quick recipe for leftover brisket ragu.

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Roasted Apple & Pear Sauce

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No one gets very excited when you say “apple sauce”–well no one except, maybe, people who just had their wisdom teeth out–but throw the word “pear” in there and the word “roasted” and you start to whet people’s appetites. My appetite was certainly whet when I saw this recipe in The Barefoot Contessa’s newest book, “How Easy Is That?” (When my friends Patty and Lauren saw the book title, they burst out laughing, because they recognized it as one of Ina’s favorite things to say.) To make the sauce, all you need is what you see above in my attempt at a still life, plus some brown sugar and a little butter.

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Salsa Verde

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So the other day, when I was live-streaming my dinner preparations from my kitchen (making history! see here) I was surprised not only by how many people turned out (including impressive folks like Dan Saltzstein and Kelsey Nixon (who has her own show launching soon on Cooking Channel!)) but how useful it is to have 48 people watching you as you cook, offering their tips and suggestions. And one of those suggestions (and I apologize, I forget who it came from) was to make a salsa verde to go with the spatchcocked chicken I was making.

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Garlic Scapes

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For as long as I’ve been going to the farmer’s market (about five years now), I always eye garlic scapes with skepticism and fear. These tangly, green specimens look like a cross between a plant and an octopus. Even Craig, who loves octopi, approached the garlic scapes I brought home this weekend with great dread and apprehension….

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Mayonnaise-Based Sauces

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Growing up, there was nothing I hated more than mayonnaise. NOTHING.

The idea of putting mayonnaise on a sandwich repulsed me. It still does, actually. I mean: if it’s a burger and there’s mayonnaise on it, I’ll overlook it because it blends with all the juices and the ketchup and the mustard and makes something of a sauce. But a turkey sandwich with JUST mayo? Blech! Nothing repulses me more.

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Presto, Pesto

When Liza Minnelli married David Gest-o

She said, “Dear David, I get so depressed-o

when I feel a hunger in my chest-o.”

Dear David scratched his head.

“Well I have pine nuts, walnuts, garlic too

and a yarmulke cause I’m a Jew

I’ll process them ’til they’re chopped through,”

he answered her, in bed.

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“But David,” groaned Liza, her voice real nasal

“What will we do with all this basil?”

And David said, “Brad Pitt’s eyes are hazel.”

Which really made no sense.

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So Liza put the basil in

and gave the thing a great big spin

with salt and pepper–see her grin?

This marriage is intense.

“Now Liza, PLEASE,” screamed David Gest-o

“We must add oil to the rest-o.”

Which he did and said, “Now we have pesto.”

The blood inside her coursed.

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Yet Liza learned from her friend Netty

that pesto’s worthless without spaghetti

Which she had for herself all ready

as she said, “David: we’re divorced.”

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And that’s how pesto was invented.