Posts Tagged ‘cooking’


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

FOOD AND WINEFood and wine, is there a better combination? The Halli Casser-Jayne Show brings you from the world of food two time James Beard Award-winner David Leite the founder of the popular website Leite’s Culinaria and now the author of a brave and moving memoir, NOTES ON A BANANA: his story of food, love and manic depression. And also joining Halli at her table is wine maven Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan to talk about the new Rosé revolution going on the subject of her fun, informative book ROSE WINE: THE GUIDE TO DRINKING PINK.

David Leite has tackled everything from chocolate chip cookies to fried clams, from the foods of Portugal to the tribulations of being a super taster—for print, radio, and television. In 1999, he founded the website Leite’s Culinaria, and in 2006 he had the distinction of being the first winner ever of a James Beard Award for a website, a feat he repeated in 2007. A regular correspondent and guest host on NPR’s “The Splendid Table,” David is out with a brave and moving memoir, NOTES ON A BANANA: his story of food, love and manic depression, a story riff with exhilarating highs and shattering lows of his life, peppered with David’s trademark sense of humor.

FOOD AND WINERosés have long been the Rodney Dangerfield’s of wine. They have gotten no respect. But according to wine maven Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, forget your grandmother’s blush. There is a Rosé revolution going on and Simonetti-Bryan tells all in her new fun, informative book ROSÉ WINE: THE GUIDE TO DRINKING PINK. Move over dark red wines, Simonetti-Bryan rejoices. It’s time for some Rosé! Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW, comes with her bonafides. She is the fourth woman in America to qualify as a master of wine, the world’s top wine credential. She has appeared on the Today Show, The Anderson Cooper Show, Fox & Friends, Fox Business, Fox News, Bloomberg, ABC, CBS, and NBC; on Sirius XM, Martha Stewart, Bloomberg and in print Fortune, Oprah, and Wine Enthusiast.

Food and wine, memoir, Julia Child, Rosé wine, depression, gay rights, bipolar disorder, Halli brings it all together,  on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, the podcast posted at 3 pm ET at Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Hi my friends,

I hope that you listened to yesterday’s show with my guests Chefs Alex Hitz, Mary Hataway and Nathalie Dupree. If not, please do! You will be so impressed by who these three notorious cooks are. But, if like me, you are a foodie, you’ll find this show fascinating for a host of reasons. There’s nothing quite like putting three chefs together; it’s a recipe for you never quite know what. This I can tell you, there are some gems in this interview you won’t want to miss. A conversation about salt — and no, not whether it’s good for you or not — an intimate story about Julia Child, and a conversation about shortening and air-conditioning…who knew?! Anyway, it’s not often any of us get to listen to renowned chefs talk shop talk amongst themselves. Have an eavesdrop and tune in. If you want to download the show you can download it from iTUNES.

Now, from our very good friends at FOOD&WINE magazine here are three recipes you might want to try on your Easter dinner guests. You know we love FOOD&WINE magazine. Their staff is the best and they always help us put together fabulous shows for your listening pleasure. They were so generous in sending over these recipes for us to post. As always, thank you FOOD&WINE magazine.


  • SERVINGS: 6 TO 8
  • Star Ingredient: The King’s Cupboard Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
  1. 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  2. One 10-ounce jar bittersweet chocolate sauce (1 1/4 cups)
  3. One 9-ounce package chocolate wafers
  4. Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish
  1. In a large chilled stainless steel or glass bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the chocolate sauce at medium speed until firm peaks form. Spread about 1/2 cup of the whipped chocolate cream on a long rectangular platter, to form a 3-by-10-inch rectangle.&
  2. Using a small offset spatula, spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining chocolate cream on 35 chocolate wafers and arrange them in 5 stacks. Top each stack with a chocolate wafer (you will have 6 or 7 wafers left over). Arrange the wafer stacks on their sides as close together as possible on the chocolate cream on the platter. (The wafer stacks will lie lengthwise on the platter.) Spread all but about 1/2 cup of the remaining chocolate cream all over the cake, fixing any wafers that tilt or slide.
  3. Press a long sheet of plastic wrap over the cake, flattening the top and sides gently. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or for up to 2 days. Refrigerate the remaining chocolate cream.
  4. Discard the plastic wrap and frost the cake with the remaining chocolate cream, smoothing the top and sides. Garnish with the chocolate shavings. Cut into slices, wiping the knife after each cut.
MAKE AHEAD The finished cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Almond Milk Rice Pudding


Star Ingredient: Sushi-rice makes this dairy-free rice pudding – made with unsweetened almond milk – pleasantly chewy and creamy.

  1. 1 1/2 cups sushi rice, rinsed
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 7 cups unsweetened almond milk
  5. Cherry preserves, for serving In a large saucepan, combine the rice, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the almond milk. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the almond milk is absorbed, 5 minutes. Gradually add 5 more cups of almond milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the sauce is very thick, 25 minutes. Let cool, then stir in the remaining 1 cup of almond milk. Serve topped with cherry preserves.
  1. Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8 TO 10

Star Ingredient: Dulce de Leche

  1. One 8-ounce box gingersnaps, lightly crushed
  2. 1 dried sweetened pineapple ring (1 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped candied ginger
  4. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1 1/4 cups dulce de leche (16-ounce jar)
  6. 1/2 cup passion fruit nectar (see Note)
  7. 3 pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  8. 1/4 cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  9. 2 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut
  1. In a food processor, combine the crushed gingersnaps with the pineapple, candied ginger and butter and process until fine crumbs form. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a blender, blend the dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar until smooth.
  3. Spread 1 pint of ice cream in the chilled crust. Using a very small ice cream scoop (2 tablespoons), scoop the remaining 2 pints of ice cream into the crust, leaving some nooks and crannies. Drizzle 3/4 cup of the dulce de leche sauce over the ice cream, allowing it to pool in spots. Sprinkle with the pistachios and coconut and freeze until firm, at least 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove the ring and cut the pie into wedges. Serve the extra dulce de leche sauce at the table.
MAKE AHEAD The pie can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 days. NOTES Look for passion fruit nectar at supermarkets, preferably the Looza brand.
All recipes courtesy of FOOD & WINE magazine contributed by Grace Parisi. Please visit FOOD & WINE magazine’s fabulous website. And say Halli sent you!


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Vangi baath is a South Indian rice dish that’s made with eggplant and a really fragrant spice mixture made from urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, dried coconut, dried red chili and curry leaves. I’ve written the recipe down that my mother had from her Aunt below, but if you don’t have these ingredients, you can buy the spice mixture at the Indian store. MTR brand makes a good one. I had these little eggplants from my farm share, but you can use the regular Italian or Chinese eggplants for this dish too.

I actually made this for my Brooklyn Winery supper earlier in the year and it was a hit. This was a rice that my family would make when we’d go on long car rides or on picnics.  It’s quite hardy and since it’s so flavorful, you can just eat it as is.  Traditionally, vangi baath is made with eggplants, but I like the combo of onions, eggplant and green pepper and I’ve also made it with cauliflower too.  My mom recently made this rice for Thanksgiving and added fried peanuts to the mix which was really good.  I usually serve it with plain yogurt, raita or majjige huli.

I made vangi baath for my friend Mia when she came to visit from LA and she took this pic of it in the pan. Even though I really hate using a non-stick pan, I recommend it for this dish when frying the eggplant and rice so it doesn’t stick!

Vangi Baath (Eggplant Rice)

2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seed
pinch of hing or asafoetida
2 fresh curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 small eggplant, cut into 1 inch long strips (can use different varieties)
1 green pepper – same size as eggplant
1 small red onion
2 teaspoons vangi baath powder (recipe below)
1 cup cooked and cooled rice
juice of 1/2 lemon (or tamarind extract)
fresh frozen coconut – optional if not in powder

In a frying pan or wok under medium heat, add oil, mustard seeds and hing.  Wait for the mustard seeds to pop and then add in the curry leaves and coat with oil.  Add in the onion and fry until translucent.  Add in the eggplant and green pepper and the turmeric and stir well.

Cook the vegetables until the eggplant is half-cooked.  Add in the vangi baath powder and stir fry thoroughly so that the spice mixture is on all of the vegetables.  Turn the heat down to cook through and stir periodically.

Once the vegetables are cooked, add in the rice and stir well.  Turn off heat. Squeeze lemon and mix together.  Top with coriander leaves and serve with yogurt, raita or majjige huli.

Vangi Baath Powder RecipeDry roast –
3/4 cup chana dal
1/4 cup urad dal

Fry in ghee –
4 1 inch size cinnamon
4 cloves
10 pepper corns

Fry in oil –
2 cups coriander seeds
1 cup dried red chili
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3-4 strands of curry leavesCool and grind all of the above. Mix in 1/2 cup of dried coconut (optional as you can add fresh frozen when you are making the rice itself).

To find out more about Chef Chitra Agrawal visit her at her website The ABCD’s of Cooking!


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