One of my dearest friends in the world is an Italian gentleman by the name of Giancarlo Giametti. He is the longtime friend and business partner of fashion legend Valentino Garavani, another dear friend. Giancarlo lives in incredible style—I’ve never seen the likes of it. GG, as he is affectionately known, has an amazingly talented chef who makes rustic Italian food to die for. I asked Pablo to let us into his kitchen to share my three favorite dishes, the ones that can get me over there on the darkest and rainiest of London nights.
This week I bring you five recipes for a stress-free luncheon or dinner party. Four of these beautiful antipasti can be served at room temperature, which almost eliminates the stress of cooking for friends (or at least it does for me). You can serve this with a lovely cold white wine for an entirely vegetarian feast, or you can grill some tuna or steak if you want to make it a more substantial meal. Your grill will already be fired up to make bruschetta, my favorite food in the world.
My friend Tamra Davis and I have so much in common, it’s ridiculous. We are both mothers of two small children, in the film business, are passionate amateur cooks, have an obsession with Vegenaise, and have a similar food ethos. Like most of us ladies out there, we are also attempting to balance it all. Tamra is a great cook, and after she had children, she became concerned with her family eating well and being healthy. She started developing family-based recipes and then she started sharing them with her friends. She has written an AMAZING self-published, purse-sized cookbook that is easy to bring with you to the market. She also does an online cooking show that I have gotten very into. It shows her cooking easy, delicious recipes to feed the whole family (including the Beastie Boys and their kids). My faves are the combo meals (another idea we have in common), where she makes something great for the kids and at the end tweaks it with some more sophisticated flavors for the adults. It’s really brilliant. I asked Tamra to share a bit of her philosophy and some of her recipes. She is an inspiration to me and she rocks.
This menu was as fun to come up with as it is to eat. They say oysters are an aphrodisiac but as shucking a raw one can be lethal, I steam mine just until they open and I can easily pry off the shell. They are easy to prepare and look very impressive on the table. The poussins (Cornish hens) require very little by way of preparation. The artichoke makes a great side and the heart is the best part. The molten chocolate cakes are also quick and very sexy, oozing with chocolate on the plate. Happy Valentine’s Day.
I generally always make the same meal for Christmas as I do for Thanksgiving with a few exceptions, the Mulled Wine being the most exciting addition. I cringe when I add cupfuls of sugar to sweeten things, so instead I add agave syrup to this lovely spiced drink and it works beautifully. Since you can pull up the Thanksgiving MAKE from the archive if you're doing Whole Roast Turkey, I thought I would do a delicious Hanukkah menu and a Christmas breakfast.
Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. I love when everyone comes together and celebrates the idea of gratitude, something we all mean to do every day, but seem to lose sight of most of the time. I also love the cooking – the days of planning and chopping and basting. This year, I decided to work out three variations on the traditional meal: a big group, a small gathering and a cozy dinner for two.
This week brings easy, delicious, healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I absolutely love these buckwheat and banana pancakes, which I came up with when making breakfast for a friend who doesn’t eat eggs or dairy and doesn’t love wheat. I like the challenge of making super healthy food that doesn’t taste like it belongs in California in the 1970s. If my son likes them, then anyone will like them! The quick tuna sandwich makes a satisfying lunch and the soy-mayo spread really makes it sing. The chicken dinner is so easy it’s ridiculous. Just make sure your pantry is stocked with fish sauce and rice vinegar from the Asian market – they add incredible depth of flavor, it will taste like you have been slaving all day. If you only buy one organic item, it should be the chicken. Cook with love! Make it great!