All posts tagged The desk and stove

Simple White Bean Dip Recipe

Tasty Tip

Simple White Bean Dip Recipe

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Getting a little sick of hummus?!! Try this delicious alternative. The creamy white beans provide the perfect base for the flavorful spices and herbs – and, with a bit of lemon juice adding a note of acidity – this is one tasty treat that dresses to impress.  The Hostess Handbook suggests serving with pita chips, or using it as a base for yummy bruschetta – just add some sliced cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley for a middle-eastern spin on an Italian classic.


1 cup cannellini beans, cooked

Juice of ½ lemon

1 clove garlic, unpeeled and crushed

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tbl chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1 tbl chopped mint

2 tsp chopped cilantro

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor adding olive oil as necessary.  Taste to adjust seasonings and garnish with parsley.  Serve with toasted pita chips or use as a spread for bruschetta.

Chived Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse Recipe

Tasty Tip

Chived Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse Recipe

 Having a hard time with your New Year’s diet? Trust me, I feel your pain. While these traditional Russian pancakes are made with a mixture of plain and buckwheat flour AND are pan-fried in butter (ok, might not be soo diet friendly)… the savory base pairs perfectly with avocado mousse and smoked salmon (OMEGA 3!) A Russian friend of mine, Sonia, taught me how to make a very simple and delicious garnish of boiled onions, olive oil and chopped dill – The Hostess Handbook suggests spooning a bit of that underneath the smoked salmon for another dimension of flavor and texture. With the yummy fish and fresh avocado, you’ll hardly notice the less-than diet friendly blini! Enjoy!!

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove


1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup buckwheat flour

4 tsp sugar

1 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 tbl butter, cut into cubes

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

avocado mousse

onions with dill – sliced thinly, boiled for 2o min, drain and season with roughly chopped dill, olive oil, salt and pepper.



  1. Whisk together the flours, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter with the milk, whisk into the flour mixture and cover with saran wrap. Let stand in a warm draft-free area for about 1-2 hours (until doubled in volume).
  2. Whisk to deflate, add in the egg and chill in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. Re-whisk before using
  3. Heat some butter in a large skillet and drop tablespoon measurements of the dough, leaving some space between the rounds.  Cook until bubbles begin to form (approx 1-2 min), and turn over.  Cook for a further 1-2 min on the other side.  Remove from heat and place in a warm oven until needed.
  4. When ready to serve, place the blinis on a plate and spoon some of the onion and dill on top. Roll small pieces of smoked salmon and place them over the onion and dill, then garnish with a quenelle of the avocado mousse.


Tasty Tip- Sophisticated Latkas

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Dreidel dreidel dreidel….I made it out of …potato? Almost everyone is familiar with this yummy Chanukah treat: latkes! These fried little potato pancakes get a sophisticated face-lift with the addition of paprika. Befitting the new taste, The Hostess Handbook suggests dressing them in style: Apple-walnut chutney and Crème fraîche are elegant substitutions for the  applesauce and sour cream of our childhood.

1 pound potatoes, peeled, grated and in a bowl of cold water
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbl paprika
¼ cup of flour, if wanted
½  to ¾  cup olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper

1- Preheat oven to 250 F.  Line a bowl with a thin tea-towel. Drain the grated potatoes from the water and place them in the tea-towel lined bowl along with the finely chopped onions.  Twist the towel to wring out as much excess water as possible.  Transfer to another bowl.
2- Add in the egg and paprika.  Season with salt and pepper.  If you like slightly doughier latkes, add in the flour.
3- Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat – you want it very hot but not smoking! Drop 2 tablespoon measurements of the mixture onto the skillet, press it down slightly with a fork to create rounds. Bring down the heat a little and fry on each side for 3-4 min or until golden brown and crispy.  Transfer to paper towels to drain off the excess oil and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven.
4- Serve them with apple-walnut chutney and Crème fraîche for an elegant flair.