My Father's Daughter

    Well, it’s here at long last. After three years of hard work, my cookbook is finished, and in stores! To celebrate the release, I made dinner for 60 friends and foodies on Monday. Sunday was spent doing most of the cooking and prep. We snapped some shots with our blackberries to document the day. They are below, along with some of the recipes for the dishes we served.


    P.S. A huge thank you to One Kings Lane (my fave online store for beautiful things for the home) for kindly making it all happen! And also to my boys at Creative Edge. And to JT. Always.

    With the help of the catering team at Creative Edge Parties—event coordinator Keith, and chefs Mark, Lee, and Randy—and the one and only Julia “the Turshinator” Turshen, we prepared the meal for 60 guests.

    Chefs Mark, Lee, Randy and Julia

    Here's the menu that we worked from:

    We prepared Duck Ragu from my cookbook, and a vegetarian option for those who preferred it.

    Stirring the Duck Ragu in a huge vat thinking "What the hell did I get myself into?"

    It took 13 Ducks, over 2 dozen cans of tomatoes (we lost count), and 65 garlic cloves in the ragu alone!

    After so much duck shredding, Keith had his head in his hands. We all needed a break.

    Lee made us an amazing “family meal” which we ate standing up in between rounds of shredding duck meat. There were fresh flour tortillas, fresh guac with lots of cilantro and cotija cheese, and fish cooked down with Lee's amazing sauce that consisted of minced garlic and onions, diced tomatoes, cumin and finely chopped cilantro, among other things.

    Here's the recipe for Lee's Rocking Fish Tacos:

    Serves: 8

    • A bunch of cilantro
    • Juice of 5 limes
    • 1/3 cup of olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
    • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 jalapeño or 3 red fresno chili peppers, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • Coarse salt
    • 2 pounds halibut, finely diced
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup white wine

    Combine the cilantro, lime juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, onion, garlic, chili, garlic powder, cumin and paprika together in a blender with a large pinch of salt and puree until thoroughly combined and smooth. Set the mixture aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot and add the halibut. Cook, stirring now and then, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Pour over the reserved cilantro mixture, stir gently just to combine and cook for just another minute to let all the flavors say hello. Serve immediately with deep-fried flour tortillas, crema fresca (or sour cream), cotija cheese, and a fresh pico de gallo with chunks of avocado (mix equal parts diced tomatoes and avocado and then season with salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, lime and diced red onion).

    For a snack: soaking up the brown pan drippings from the duck with Amy’s bread = heaven.

    Here's the recipe from My Father's Daughter:
    Duck Ragu

    Serves: 4–6

    • 1 organic large duck, washed and dried
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Coarse salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 slices duck bacon, finely diced
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 medium stalks celery, finely diced
    • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • 2 5-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, stems discarded and leaves finely minced
    • 3 14-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
    • 1 cup Italian red wine
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 pound pappardelle (fresh or dried)
    • Gremolata Bread Crumbs or freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

    1.Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    2.Trim off excess skin from the opening to the duck’s cavity and back end. Rub the entire duck with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, inside and out. Roast it for a total of 2 hours, flipping it from its back to its breast (and vice versa) every 1/2 hour. Let it cool in the pan until you can handle it. Drain off the fat and either discard or reserve it for another use, such as roasting potatoes. While the duck is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the duck bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until starting to crisp. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juice and put 1/2 cup water into one can, swish it around to get all the tomato stuck to the sides, pour into the next can, and repeat again with the third. Add the tomato water to the Dutch oven along with the wine, a good grind of pepper, and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down very low and let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    3.After the duck has cooled down a bit, remove and discard the skin and bones and shred the meat. Fold the duck meat into the ragu along with the tomato paste and cook on very low heat, uncovered, for at least 1 hour (and up to 4), adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from drying out (continue to season with salt and pepper as you splash).

    4.To serve, cook the pasta, divide it among bowls, and spoon a generous amount of duck ragu over the pasta. Top with the Gremolata Bread Crumbs or Parmesan.

    Active preparation time: 50 minutes
    Total preparation time: 4–5 hours

    Gremolata Bread Crumbs

    Yield: 1 cup

    • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted and coarsely ground
    • Zest of 2 lemons
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    • Small pinch of coarse salt

    Toss everything together.

    Total preparation time: less than 5 minutes

    We roasted an almost unimaginable number of peppers for a first course of Roasted Peppers, Anchovies and Parsley. Here we are peeling them all…

    Roasted Bell Peppers

    Roast whole bell peppers over an open gas flame on high heat, rotating with tongs, until completely blackened all over. Be patient—you want the flesh to soften and the skin to be totally, totally charred; it should take 15 or 20 minutes. After the peppers are cooked, put them in a large metal or glass bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let them sit until they’re cool enough to handle (the covered bowl creates steam which makes it super easy to peel the peppers). Incidentally, a plastic bag works too. When they’re cool, slip off and discard the charred skins, running them under water as needed to remove all the skin. Cut the peppers open and discard the seeds. These keep for 1–2 weeks well rubbed with a little olive oil and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    And we also made Arugula, Slow Roasted Tomatoes & Smoked Mozzarella Crostini…

    Slow Roasted Tomatoes

    • Vine-ripened tomatoes
    • Olive oil
    • Salt

    1.Preheat the oven to 275°F.

    2.Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, rub with a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake, seed side up, in a 275°F oven for 3–5 hours, or until they look nearly sun dried (the edges will be caramelized and the moisture will be almost entirely evaporated). These keep, well refrigerated in an airtight container with a bit of olive oil, for at least a week, so make a whole bunch at once.

    And Escarole with Anchovy Vinaigrette.

    Anchovy Vinaigrette

    • 6 olive oil–packed Spanish anchovies
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    Whiz the anchovies, mustard, and vinegar together in a blender, being sure to get the anchovies completely pureed. With the motor on, slowly stream in the olive oil. Season to taste with pepper.

    Here, Lee and Mark are making my grandmother Mutti’s Pecan Butterballs.

    It was a pleasure to see SO many made, only to be devoured.

    Just a few hours before the meal, a beautiful view of the kitchen at the Palazzo Chupi in NYC, where we hosted our dinner.

    To purchase a signed copy of the book on One King’s Lane and to check out the awesome sale of some of my favorite serveware, tabletop settings, and cookware that they’ve organized around My Father’s Daughter, click here.

    Otherwise, to purchase copies of My Father’s Daughter on Amazon, click here.

    For all you readers in the UK, the British version, Notes from My Kitchen Table, will be released May 6th.

    Remodelista has posted on an Easter themed table setting I collaborated on.

    The goop collection