Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Thai Chicken Burgers

Barbeque Chicken Burgers with Thai Spices and Green Chili Relish


1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 sticks lemongrass, tough outer casing removed, very finely chopped
¼ teaspoon tumeric
1-inch-piece ginger root, peeled, finely grated
1 pound ground chicken breast, well chilled
9 ounces ground pork, well chilled
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk
Pinch each ground cumin and ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for cooking
Large tomato, sliced for garnish


In a bowl mix together the curry paste, lemongrass, turmeric and ginger. Add the ground meats and mix well with wet hands to bring all the ingredients together.

Add the lime leaves, fresh herbs, coconut milk, ground spices and seasoning. Bring together again, but do not overwork. With wet hands, shape into 4 evenly sized burgers. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the grill to medium. Brush the burgers with a little oil, place on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until golden and cooked, turning them regularly.

Toast the burger buns, spread the bottom buns liberally with the Green Chili Relish, and top each with a slice of large tomato. Place the burgers on top and garnish with the Coconut-Lemongrass Chutney; close with the lid and serve.

Green Chili Relish

½ cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins, soaked in water for 15 minutes, then drained
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, deseeded, chopped
5 ounces mild green chilies, deseeded, finely chopped
½ tablespoon chopped ginger root
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon fish sauce


Place the vinegar and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Add the raisins and cook to a light caramel; the liquid should be syrupy.

Stir in the shallots, green bell pepper, chilies, ginger and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, add the fish sauce, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Place in a blender, mix to a coarse puree, serve chilled.