Melanie’s Kohlrabi Coleslaw

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3 large heads purple or green kohlrabi, peeled and grated

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons celery seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Melanie’s Pulled Pork

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Enjoy the following recipes from Melanie Underwood.  OTK enjoyed the following two lunch dishes at her house in New York.



Yield: Serves 8


1 (5-pound) boneless Boston butt, room temperature

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

¼ cup cumin

¼ cup chili powder

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup paprika




Preheat oven to 250˚ F

1. Rub pork with oil and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl stir together  cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper and rub all over the pork.

3. Place pork on a rack, fat side up,  and bake in oven until very tender, about 6 -7 hours total. After 3 hours of cooking, remove pork from oven and pour the half of the mop on the meat. Return to oven and continue cooking another 3- 4 hours. You will know the pork is ready when you can take two forks and pull in opposing directions and meat is soft and falling apart. Remove from oven and pour remaining mop over meat and allow to rest at least 15 minutes.

4. Shred with forks and toss with sauce (see recipe below). Serve with buns and slaw.

For the Mop:

2 cups cider vinegar

¼ cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In medium bowl combine vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Barbecue Sauce

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

6 tablespoons minced onion

1⅓ cups cider vinegar

1⅓ cups ketchup

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add in onion and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add in remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Turkish Food Recipe

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Casserole of Roasted Eggplant and Chicken

(Firinda Kozlenmis Patlicanli Tavuk)


1/2 pound chicken breast cubed

2 large eggplants

3 garlic cloves

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

1/2 whole milk or cream, or a mixture



1 stick of cinnamon

3/4 cup Turkish cheese (Kashar, or Mozzarella) shredded



Roast the eggplants by putting them on a tray in a 400º oven.  Be sure to perforate the eggplants with a fork and make holes for the steam to escape while they roast for 2

5-30 minutes till softened and charred.  Then peel and remove seeds if needed and put in a colander to drain.  Dice the roasted eggplant and

put in a greased oven casserole dish (not too large), and season with salt and pepper.

Sauté the cubed chicken in a skillet in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the cinnamon stick  till chicken cubes are white but still tender.  Do not brown. Then, add the garlic and sliced mushrooms till softened and the water is reduced out. Add the milk and season with salt and pepper. Remove cinnamon stick and add chicken to the eggplant in the casserole. Sprinkle the cheese on the top.

Return dish to oven and bake about 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbling and golden. Excellent served with a side of rice.

SUGGESTED VARIATIONS: If you wish, you can halve the roasted eggplants and stuff the chicken and mushrooms inside each half and top with cheese.  Feel free to add other vegetables while you sauté the mushrooms– such as red peppers, or cooked okra, or zucchini. Experiment with seasonings such as sumac and cumin and oregano, too.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Étouffee

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Spicy, smoked andouille sausage, the hallmark of Cajun cooking, is a star in this  recipe for an étouffee with chicken and features the best of several recipes I’ve been collecting for a while.  This stove top preparation is done all in one pot.


 I include tomatoes in this dish, but some versions do not.  It serves 4-6 people and is not difficult to make.  The hardest part is waiting for the dish to braise to perfection for 1 hour.  The perfume while it cooks will transport you directly to New Orleans.

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1 chopped shallot

3 chopped green onions and

chopped parsley for garnish

4 garlic cloves finely minced

1 chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

3 stalks of celery

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour (or more if needed)

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cups chicken stock (or low sodium broth)

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 dash tabasco sauce

1 8-ounce can of diced tomatoes

olive oil

5 chicken legs

3/4 pound links andouille sausage

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice mix (optional)


In a heavy bottomed, large enameled pot or Dutch oven set at medium high heat, add the oil.  Brown the sausage (thumb-sized links) a bit to get some of the fat into the pan, and turn the heat down to medium.  Remove and drain. Then add the chicken legs, generously seasoned with salt and pepper and cook till browned on both sides and drain.

Next, prepare the roux by adding the butter to the sausage and chicken fat followed by the flour.  Combine and stir constantly until a deep brown color is achieved, around 10-12  minutes. (Do not burn. Be patient.)

Add the chopped onion, pepper, celery and garlic and cook till the vegetables soften a bit.  Let the vegetables sweat. Then add the tomatoes and stir up all the good bits.  Next add in the chicken broth and season with cayenne, tabasco, and paprika ( and Cajun spice mix if desired).   Add the bay leaves.

Put the chicken back into the pot and cook covered for about 50-60 minutes until the  meat starts to fall off the bone.

Cut the sausage into thumb-sized pieces and take chicken off the bone.  Add the meats back to the pot, and let work in the pot another 10 minutes to combine flavors and reheat.

Serve in large soup bowls and garnish with the green onions and parsley.


New Orleans Classic Gumbos and Soups

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By Kit Wohl

(Photos also by Kit Wohl)

Seafood Okra Gumbo Classique

Frank Davis (New Orleans television personality and cookbook author) shared this recipe with Wohl.  


Note:  For a successful gumbo preparation, Wohl suggests that the cook assemble all the ingredients first for ‘mise en place’ ease of cooking.  Also, be sure you start with a very large pot that holds at least 10 quarts.  You’re cooking New Orleans style now!

SERVES 12-18


12 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound smoked sausage, diced

4 16-ounce cans sliced okra or 4 10-ounce packages of sliced frozen okra

2 gallons water or seafood stock, divided

2 sticks corn-oil margarine

6 Tablespoons all purpose flour

3 large white onions, finely chopped

3 teaspoons garlic powder

2 Tablespoons liquid crab boil seasoning

3 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

2 pounds shrimp, shelled and chopped

8 1.25 ounce packages of sun-dried shrimp, optional

1 pound fresh crab meat

12 raw gumbo crabs (small hard-shell crabs) cleaned/quartered

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

8 whole bay leaves

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons kosher or sea salt

3 pounds shrimp, whole and raw

4 cups cooked rice

Place 6 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in the pot over high heat. Add the smoked sausage and brown well. The fat will be the base for browning the okra.  Reduce the heat to medium. Add the okra to the sausage and also brown it well.  It should cook in about 20 minutes. Pour in 1 quart of water and let the contents simmer, covered, on low heat.

In a small saucepan, begin preparing a brown roux. Place the remaining 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the 2 sticks of margarine and the 6 tablespoons of flour and cook until the flour turns brown. Add the onions, garlic powder, liquid crab boil seasoning and the thyme and stir briskly until the onions become tender and translucent.  Add the roux mixture to the okra in the large pot and blend together well. Add the remaining 7 quarts of water, increasing the heat level to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and allow the liquid to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Set the whole raw shrimp aside and add the chopped shrimp, sun-dried shrimp (if using), crab meat, gumbo crabs, tomato sauce, seasonings, and stir.  The gumbo liquid should be brownish with a reddish tinge, and the okra should be broken up and suspended in the liquid. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Then uncover the pot and add the 3 pounds of whole shrimp. Cook on high for about 5 minutes. When the shrimp are done, take the pot off the fire and set it aside, but leave the cover on for 20 more minutes. This will allow the seasonings to blend fully.

Finally, after the gumbo has cooled slightly, toss in the steamed rice and stir it in well.  Once again, cover the pot and let the rice grains soften for at least 40 inutes to pick up the flavors.  Freeze any leftovers.

(Leftovers?  Dream on. This recipe is pure delight and fit for a Mardi Gras king and his court.  There won’t be a drop left.)

mardis gras king copy

Julienned Veggie Pasta With Pesto

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Here is a recipe inspired by my vegetable peeler!  

This dish contains no pasta and is fun to make when you use the peeler that juliennes vegetables


One of each (medium size) for julienne:   Zucchini, Carrot, Summer Squash, Sweet Potato (peeled)

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves of chopped garlic

3 Tablespoons olive oil (and more for garnish)

salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/4 cup of your favorite pesto.

1 pint roasted grape tomatoes (or seasonal garden tomatoes if available)

parmesan cheese


Toss tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive and season with salt and pepper. Roast on flat pan in 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until lightly caramelized for taste to intensify.

Julienne the zucchini, carrot, summer squash, and peeled sweet potato.

In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of  olive oil. When hot, add chopped onion and stir till just softened.  Add sweet potato and soften (but do not brown).

Add garlic and stir till softened.  Then add the julienned strips of all the remaining veggies.  Stir until softened, but not browned.

Add roasted tomatoes and stir gently.

Remove from heat.  Add pesto and combine.  Transfer to large serving bowl. Salt and pepper if needed.  Add fresh basil leaves as garnish and some parmesan cheese.  Drizzle with more olive oil if desired.