SuperFruity Cocktails

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  • 1.75oz Fortaleza Blanco tequila
  • 1oz Cointreau
  • .5oz fresh lime juice
  • .25oz agave nectar
  •  4 chunks pineapple
  •  2 slices serrano peppers w/seeds

Combine lime juice, agave, pineapple, and serrano slices in martini shaker. Muddle ingredients until pulpy. Add tequila and Cointreau. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and pour over ice. 

*Non-alcoholic version: substitute Jarritos Pineapple Soda for the tequila and Cointreau


  • 2oz Flor de Cana white rum
  • .5oz fresh lime juice
  • .25oz agave nectar
  •  ½ peeled kiwi
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • club soda

Combine lime juice, agave, kiwi, and mint in glass. Muddle ingredients until they are mixed thoroughly. Add ice. Add rum. Top with soda. Briefly stir and serve.  

*Non-alcoholic version: substitute 7Up or Sprite for the rum.



  • 2oz Ketel One vodka
  • 4 chunks watermelon
  • 3-5 basil leaves
  • club soda

Combine watermelon and basil in martini shaker. Muddle ingredients until fragrant. Add vodka. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and pour over ice. Top with soda. Briefly stir and serve. 

*Non-alcoholic version: substitute club soda for the vodka.

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  • 3 parts champagne
  • 2 part grapefruit juice
  • 1 part St.-Germain

In a champagne flute, combine St.-Germain and grapefruit juice. Top with champagne.

*Non-alcoholic version: substitute Jarritos or Hansen's Grapefruit Soda for the champagne and St-Germain.

Persian Potato Salad (Salad Olivieh)

Recipe from Nastaran Dibai
Makes 6-8 cups, 18-24 1/3 cup side or appetizer servings


3 or 4 large Russet potatoes
1 large chicken breast
2 hardboiled eggs
1 cup of diced pickles (preferably kosher dill)
3/4 cup green peas
1 cup of mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon Pepper (optional)


Cook potatoes (skin on) until they’re fork tender, then peel and dice.

Poach chicken breast (skin on), then take take skin off and dice.

Dice hardboiled eggs.

The dice on everything all the above should be small — around 1/4 inch.

Cook green peas, then shock with ice water to maintain green color.

Make sure all the above is cold or at least room temperature, then toss all of it together with the pickles.

Once it’s all mixed, add the lemon juice, the mayonnaise and toss together until everything is coated.  This is a matter of taste, so if it feels it could use more mayonnaise, then you can add more, but only a spoonful at a time, so you don’t end up overdoing it.  

Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. I personally like more of a lemony flavor, so I always toss in some lemon pepper in addition to the salt and pepper, but this is optional.  If you do add the lemon pepper, then you might want to add less regular pepper. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight. The flavor and texture continue to blend and develop the whole time. Can be kept for up to 4 days covered in the refrigerator. 

The “Perfect” Thin-style French Omelet

Inspired by Chris Rich


  • 1-2 large eggs per omelet, depending on the size of your pan (Use a small pan, 8 inches for 1 egg not larger than 10 inches for 2 eggs)
  • unsalted butter
  • sea salt, flake sale or kosher salt and a little fresh-ground pepper
  • “Fillings” Chris does his without - very traditional.  If you must, use a little soft-cheese like feta or a dusting of grated gruyere or parmesan,  some herbs  all fillings must be delicately chopped or minced and pre-cooked or they must things that will cook rapidly at low heat

Makes 1 Omelet
Time: 6-8 minutes

1) preheat a nonstick pan on medium low

2) in a medium bowl, beat the egg(s) gently with a fork until they form a thoroughly-blended mix that pours back into the bowl in a thin stream when you lift a “forkful” of it

3) add a small pat of butter to the warm pan and swirl just enough butter to lightly coat the pan (if the butter “foams” when you put it in, the pan is too hot), pour off any excess

4) add the egg to the pan, gently swirl the egg to evenly cover the whole bottom of the pan and then keep gently swirling until the egg starts to evenly cook

5) as the omelet begins to solidify ("set-up”), use a silicone spatula to gently pull a little of the edge of the omelet back toward the middle of the pan (this prevents the edge from browning) and then tip or “swirl” a bit of the remaining uncooked egg into the “open” area on the pan. Continue this, pulling at the edge of the omelet, working around the pan in a circle to clear and refill a little new section until most of the loose/uncooked egg has been spread around.

6) When there’s no more loose egg but the top surface of the omelet is still glossy, remove it from the heat and let it “rest” for one minute to finish cooking. If you’re going to add any fillings, do it as soon as you take it off the heat.. Chris likes no fillings. Maybe chives. Add any fillings in a stripe about 2 to 3 inches wide down the center of your omelet/pan. Lightly season with pepper and just a touch of salt.

7) French omelets are folded in thirds (see the picture) — with the help of a nonstick-safe spatula, fold one edge of the omelet across the middle (mostly cover any fillings if you’ve added any), then fold the other edge across almost all the way to the edge of the first fold.

Get your plate ready. Tip the pan up and “pour” the omelet onto the plate, top with some flake salt and a few chopped chives if you wish, and…. Voila.

A buttery/French option: add a little pat of butter to the newly-exposed pan after you’ve made your first fold, this will add a glossy shine to the surface, make the omelet slide out a little easier and taste delicious.

If it doesn’t come out “perfect”… it’s still going to taste like it is!

Confit Turkey Wings

Prep time: 30 minutes or less. Cook time: 3 1/2 hours to “confit”, 30 minutes to crisp and serve.


  • 4 whole turkey wings,
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground fresh black pepper
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme – leaves and tender part of stems only
  • 8 medium cloves of peeled garlic. 6 for Step 2, plus 2 more cloves for Step 5
  • 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley, stems included
  • 4 whole, dried bay leaves
  • 6 cups rendered duck fat or good quality olive oil (or a combination of the two)


1) Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the “drumstick” portion of the wing from the middle/tip – you should have 8 pieces total.

2) Pulse the 6 cloves of garlic and the herbs with the salt in the bowl of a food processor until a coarse, green “dust” has formed. Add the black pepper and pulse until just mixed. Rub the salt mixture over all sides of all parts of the wings until evenly coated and place in a glass, ceramic or enameled container. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight (8-12 hours) to “dry cure”. This will not only infuse flavor into the meat but will draw some water out, concentrating the flavor of the turkey itself. (Note: I often use the enameled cast-iron pot I’ll be cooking in to save on cleanup.)

3) The next morning, preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the wings from the refrigerator, rinse off as much of any remaining herb herbs/salt mixture as you can and pat dry with a paper towel. If you’re using the same pot in the oven, rinse and dry it, too. If using duck fat, melt it over low heat until liquefied and set aside to cool slightly. Place the wing pieces into a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, packing the pieces as close together as possible. Add remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Pour duck fat, olive oil, or combination over wings until wings are fully covered. Cover the wings and the top of the oil with a sheet of parchment paper or foil, then cover the pot with a well-fitting lid and place in the oven. NOTE: you may want to set a rimmed baking sheet under the pot to catch drips in the case your confit bubbles over a little.

4) Reduce the oven temperature to 225F and cook for 3 to 3 ½ hours until the meat is quite tender but not completely falling off the bone. Remove from the oven.

5) Allow to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before handling the turkey. Refrigerate the wing pieces and the oil, stored either together or separately, until needed. (If kept together, fully covered in oil, the meat should keep 2 weeks or more. If kept apart, use the turkey within a few days.)

6) When you’re ready to serve, carefully remove the wings from the oil and roast on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400F oven for 20 minutes, turning once, or in a skillet large enough to hold the pieces in a single layer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until browned and crisp on all sides. Drain and serve anywhere from piping hot to room temperature,

(A SECRET: there’s a rich and flavorful stock that settles below the oil during Step 4, I separate it and save it to use in soups, stocks or sauces – it freezes too! And strain and save the oil too – it can be used again to make confit or works brilliantly to roast or sauté vegetables or potatoes.)

Old-Fashioned Banana Bread

(From Lisa Ritter, co-founder of Big Sugar Bakeshop, Studio City/Los Angeles)

This recipe is easy to make, versatile, and very good. It requires just enough “to-do-ing” that you feel like an accomplished baker, but never so much that it becomes a chore to produce.

Makes 1 9”x5” loaf


  • 2 medium-to-large very ripe bananas*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1¼ cups flour (I use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour, but any all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached, will do)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

*A note on “very ripe” bananas:  These can be seriously ripe — we’re talking well past the point where you would consider eating them out of hand and, really, even beyond smoothie territory.  


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Liberally coat a light-colored metal 9” x 5” loaf pan with non-stick spray. You can use a dark metal pan, but the bread will brown more quickly and develop a more pronounced crust. I don’t like either of those things to happen. And let’s not even talk about the gummy, disappointing results to be had with a glass loaf pan . . .
  3. In a shallow, medium bowl, use the back of a fork to smash the two bananas to a gruel-like consistency. Add to this the sugar, oil, and the egg. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, before adding to the wet ingredients. Gently mix the batter until just combined, scrape it into the prepared pan, and place it in the center of the preheated oven, where it will bake for at least 40 minutes, and perhaps up to 50 minutes, before it is ready. The inexactitude can be maddening, but this is what comes of playing fast and loose with relative banana sizes and degrees of ripeness. As you make this recipe again and again (and you will want to), you will become more familiar with the vagaries of fruit and pan type. In the meantime, somewhere around minute 38, your loaf should be domed and golden. You can plunge a long wooden skewer into the center of the bread to test for readiness. If it comes out wet, there is more baking ahead. When it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs adhering, your loaf is ready.
  5.  Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest on a cooling rack. If you prefer a moist, more yielding loaf (or think you may have left the banana bread in the oven for a few more minutes than is strictly optimal), carefully turn out the bread as soon as you can manage it, set it upright once more on the cooling rack, and drape it with a light dishcloth to let it cool. Otherwise, you can just let the loaf sit in the pan until it is cool, at which point you can turn it out, perhaps sprinkle it with a light dusting of powdered sugar, and serve.
  6. If you like walnuts — and I do not, which is why I am waiting until the end to tell you this — you can chop up half a cup or so and add them to the batter before pouring it into the pan. You might also consider swapping in the same amount of chocolate chips. Certainly, to do so will wreck entirely the illusion of banana bread as "healthy" — or, really, as “bread” at all, since what you have now is closer to chocolate chip banana cake. But is that so wrong? I will tell you that I once chopped up a pretty hefty serving of the chocolate-peanut-butter-chip fudge we sell at Big Sugar Bakeshop and tossed it right into the batter before baking. That was an excellent experiment. The point is, this banana bread is easy to make, relatively forgiving, and open to interpretation. Enjoy.