Sweet Cabbage Strudel

Serves 10 servings as an appetizer, brunch dish or side; makes 2 strudels.

Note: This is more sweet-and-sour than sweet, and it’s not a dessert, but it’s not entirely savory, either. Make it part of a brunch spread, thinking of it as you might a kugel or blintz dish. You could also serve it as an appetizer. Best of all, add it to your holiday repertoire and bring it out as a side dish for the holidays. Serve with sour cream. When you’re working with the phyllo dough, it’s best to keep it under damp paper towels. Adapted from “The Victory Garden Cookbook,” by Marian Morash (1982).

• 1/2 c. raisins

• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus 8 tbsp. (1 stick), melted

• 1/4 c. sugar

• 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

• 1 tart apple, peeled and grated (can hold it in water to avoid discoloring)

• 5 c. shredded green cabbage (from 1/2 head)

• 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more as needed

• 1/2 c. sour cream, plus more for serving

• 10 sheets phyllo dough (about 7 oz.; defrost according to package directions if frozen)

• 1/4 c. finely crushed dried bread or cracker crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to grease a baking sheet.

Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water; let sit for 10 minutes, then drain.

Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and lemon juice; cook for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.

Stir in the apple, cabbage and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then uncover and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, so much of the excess moisture evaporates.

Let cool slightly. Taste and season with more salt, as needed. Stir in the drained raisins and sour cream, then taste again for salt.

Place 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on a clean, damp kitchen towel. Brush with some of the 8 tablespoons melted butter, then sprinkle lightly with some of the crumbs. Repeat this layering 4 more times.

Spread half the cabbage mixture across a narrow end of the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border on both sides and a 4-inch border on the top. First, fold in the side borders, then fold down the 4-inch border.

Use the edge of the kitchen towel to help guide/roll the filled phyllo into a log/strudel. Transfer it to the baking sheet, seam side down.

Repeat with the remaining butter, phyllo, crumbs and cabbage filling, to roll and create the second strudel. Transfer to the baking sheet, alongside the first strudel. Brush the tops of both strudel with any remaining melted butter.

Bake on the middle oven rack for about 40 minutes, or until the strudels are crisped and golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 190 Fat 8 g Sodium 190 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 13 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 2 g


Tarragon Chicken Salad

Serves 4 to 6 servings (makes 4 cups).

Note: Chicken salad is timeless; chicken salad flavored with tarragon — or sometimes dill — and studded with nuts and fruit was a 1980s special. In this old recipe, Martha Stewart doubles down on the sweet-and-savory combination by serving her chicken salad on slices of nutty, cinnamon-spiced carrot bread. It was popular at parties, as an hors d’oeuvre. She suggests grapes or apples as possible mix-ins and notes that cucumber or baguette rounds would make fine bases; endive boats or lettuce wraps would also work. Serve on thin rounds of French bread or cucumber slices. The chicken can be roasted, cooled and refrigerated 2 days in advance. The chicken salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Adapted from “Entertaining,” by Martha Stewart (1982).

• Unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced

• Leaves of fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme and basil

• 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 10 oz. each)

• Juice of 1/4 lemon

• Salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon (or substitute 1 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon)

• 1 1/2 tbsp. sour cream, or more as needed

• 1 1/2 tbsp. mayonnaise, or more as needed

• 1/2 c. finely chopped celery

• 1/2 c. chopped pecans, optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use some butter to generously grease 1 or 2 baking sheets.

Scatter the onion slices and a generous amount of herbs in the pan(s), then lay the chicken breast halves on top, skin side up, in a single layer. Sprinkle with lemon juice, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven’s middle rack for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just barely done; the meat’s juices should run clear. Do not overcook. Let cool.

Shred the cooled chicken meat or cut into cubes or slivers and place in a mixing bowl, discarding the skin and bones. Add the tarragon and season lightly with salt and pepper, tossing to incorporate.

Stir together the sour cream and mayonnaise in a separate bowl, then add to the chicken a bit at a time to produce a salad that is creamy but not wet. Mix in more sour cream and mayonnaise, as needed.

Taste for seasoning, adding salt and/or pepper. Stir in the celery and the pecans, if using.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 140 Fat 6 g Sodium 180 mg

Carbohydrates 0 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 0 g

Protein 21 g Cholesterol 60 mg Dietary fiber 0 g


Braised Short Ribs of Beef

Serves 6.

Note: This is a quintessential slow-cooked, cold-weather comfort dish; it tastes like Sunday roast. Once you’ve assembled all the ingredients and quickly seared off your meat, there’s little left to do. It practically cooks itself. Adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook,” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (1982).

• 4 lb. boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2-in. lengths (can use bone-in)

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

• 1 1/2 c. canned Italian plum tomatoes, with their juices, preferably no-salt-added or low-sodium

• 2 medium-to-large carrots, cut crosswise into very thin coins (2 c.)

• 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (3 c.)

• 8 whole cloves

• 1/2 c. packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 3/4 c. red wine vinegar

• 3 tbsp. tomato paste

• 2 tbsp. light brown sugar

• 2 tsp. kosher salt, or more as needed

• 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

• 3 to 6 c. low-sodium beef broth


Season the short ribs generously with black pepper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the short ribs and brown them, 3 or 4 at a time, on all sides. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined platter to drain as you work.

Return half of the ribs to the pot (off the heat). Scatter with half the chopped garlic, then layer half of each vegetable (the tomatoes and their juices, carrots and onions), in order, over the meat. Add 4 whole cloves and sprinkle with half the parsley. Repeat with remaining meat and other ingredients, ending with a layer of chopped parsley.

Stir together the vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and the cayenne pepper in a liquid measuring cup. Pour over the meat and vegetables, then add enough of the broth to cover.

Place over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to bubble, cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Bake/cook (middle rack) for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is very tender.

Taste; add salt and/or pepper, as needed. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 680 Fat 39 g Sodium 1,180 mg

Carbohydrates 20 g Saturated fat 14 g Total sugars 12 g

Protein 66 g Cholesterol 240 mg Dietary fiber 4 g


Applesauce Raisin Cake

Serves 8 to 10 servings (makes one 10-inch tube pan cake).

When Julee Rosso learned this cake was to be included, she suggested the raisins be macerated, which wasn’t part of the original recipe’s plan. She consented to adding salt to the batter, which may be standard baking practice now, but wasn’t something you did back in 1982. Although the authors specified a “chunk-style” applesauce and puréed it, we took a shortcut and used smooth applesauce. If you prefer a few small apple pieces, you can substitute chunky applesauce. The raisins need to macerate for 30 minutes. Adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook,” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (1982).

For the cake:

• 1 c. raisins

• 1/2 c. fresh orange juice

• 1/4 c. apple brandy or Calvados

• 3 c. flour, plus more for the pan

• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

• 2 tsp. baking soda

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

• 2 c. granulated sugar

• 2 eggs

• 2 c. homemade or best-quality store-bought plain, no-sugar-added, smooth applesauce (may substitute chunky applesauce; see headnote)

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the icing:

• 1 c. powdered sugar

• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh orange juice


To make the cake: Combine the raisins, 1/2 cup orange juice and brandy in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until the liquid begins to bubble slowly. Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid from the raisins.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Use some butter to grease a 10-inch tube pan, then add enough flour to coat, shaking out any excess.

Combine the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed for 3 or 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla extract. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Sift the flour mixture over the wet batter, then add the raisins, stirring gently until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into tube pan; bake on the oven’s middle rack for about 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing: Sift together the powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into a small bowl. Dribble in the lemon and orange juices, stirring constantly to form a smooth icing.

Drizzle the cake with icing. Let it set before serving or storing.

Oven Asparagus Puff

Serves 4.

Note: This is a slightly richer, possibly more elegant take on a frittata. Its crowning glory is a crust of Muenster cheese, which has mozzarella’s melting powers with a sharper, nuttier flavor to recommend it. Consider putting mushrooms, spinach or broccoli in here for an alternate take. To roll-cut asparagus, give each spear a one-quarter turn as you cut it on the diagonal each time, into 1-inch sections. (The facets this creates will lend more texture to the dish.) Serve as a light lunch or supper. Adapted from “The Victory Garden Cookbook,” by Marian Morash (1982).

• 12 oz. to 1 lb. asparagus

• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

• 2 tbsp. chopped onion

• 1/2 tsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. salt, divided

• 2 tbsp. water

• 6 eggs

• 1/3 c. heavy cream

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 1/2 c. grated Muenster cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and roll-cut asparagus (see Note) into 1-inch pieces. You should have 2 cups.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Add the asparagus, sprinkle with sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir-fry for 1 minute, then add 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, moving the pan to keep the asparagus from sticking. (This step should brighten the color of the vegetable.) Uncover and cook for a few minutes, until the pan liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in an ovenproof baking dish (10 inches square) set inside a larger skillet on the stove top, or in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat until just the bottom has set.

Arrange the asparagus and onions in a single layer on top of the egg mixture. Transfer to the oven (if you used the baking dish, you can leave the skillet behind). Bake on the oven’s middle rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven to top the dish with the grated cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until puffed and the cheese has lightly browned. Serve right away.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 450 Fat 39 g Sodium 970 mg

Carbohydrates 6 g Saturated fat 22 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 22 g Cholesterol 375 mg Dietary fiber 2 g


Carrot Bread

Serves 12 (makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf).

Note: This is quite moist and not too sweet, plus it’s a lovely color. It goes nicely with Tarragon Chicken Salad (see related recipe). The bread is best when eaten within a day, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven. Adapted from “Entertaining,” by Martha Stewart (1982).

• 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

• 2 c. flour

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/2 c. granulated sugar

• 1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar

• 3 eggs

• 3 c. grated carrots (from 6 large carrots)

• 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use some butter to grease a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a mixing bowl.

Combine the 16 tablespoons of butter and granulated and brown sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed for several minutes, until fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl; beat on low speed until incorporated. Fold in the carrots and walnuts by hand until evenly distributed, to form a fairly smooth batter.

Pour into the loaf pan, spreading the batter evenly. Bake on the oven’s middle rack for about 1 hour, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then dislodge the loaf from the pan and cool completely before serving or storing.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 370 Fat 23 g Sodium 230 mg

Carbohydrates 37 g Saturated fat 11 g Total sugars 18 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 85 mg Dietary fiber 2 g