Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Eat Your Veggies: TomCookery’s Top 8 Vegetarian Comfort Food Classics

Corn and Avocado Salad Pic Final

Vegetarian Awareness Month is coming to a close but that doesn’t mean leave our meat-free friends by the wayside. At TomCookery, we make sure to be as inclusive as possible (when our clients let us) and we have a number of great comfort classics for guests who want to hold the meat. Check out our 8 favorites that are so yum, meat will be an afterthought.

8. Cornbread Stuffed Mushrooms

This appetizer is perfect for fall and winter because its like a little bite of Thanksgiving/Christmas in your mouth. The cornbread is actually a traditional sagey, yummy stuffing which we pile in to a cremini mushroom and pop in the oven so it has a great crust.

7. Corn & Avocado Salad with Queso Fresco & Chili Oil (Pictured Above)

We created this dish as a summer salad course but don’t be surprised if it pops up again when you least suspect it. The avocado is tossed with roasted corn, minced white onions and lime, then topped with a sprinkling of queso fresco and cilantro. Finally, we hit it with some schezuan chili oil for an unexpected kick.

6. Macaroni Pie Bites

These are a definite crowd pleaser and make their way on to MOST cocktail party menus without fail. Its basically all of the goodness of our full sized mac and cheese reduced into one little caramelized bite. They hold their own next to any meat hors d’oeuvres.

5. Fried Eggplant Lasagna with Creamy Béchamel

A cross between eggplant parmesan and lasagna, this dish was the brainchild of our chef, Tom Burke, who would literally put béchamel on everything if she could. The thinly sliced fried eggplant is layered with ricotta and marinara and the whole thing is topped with a creamy, nutmegy béchamel. Don’t sleep on this decadent take on an Italian-american comfort dish.

4. Fried Okra with Buttermilk Dipping Sauce

For the country folk among us (Chef Tom has roots in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana), okra is a staple in many dishes. For those of you who shy away from this slippery little vegetable, fried okra may be a solution. Okra fried in our cornmeal batter is the perfect little popper. Healthier than french fries, yet similarly addictive, this appetizer is a go-to at any southern themed party.

3. Corn Pudding (Pictured Below)

The question we get most about corn pudding is, “Is this a dessert or a side?” Well folks, its a savory side. Its sautéed corn cut straight from the cob. We mix it up with cheese and other fun stuff to create an amazing pudding. It’s hard to describe but its easy to fall in love with.

2. Black Eyed Peas Salad (Pictured Below)

This dish is so flexible. We make black eyed peas salad shooters for appetizers, we serve it as a side for barbecues and its a staple on NYE menus since black eyed peas are supposed to give us luck in the new year. There is very little wrong with this salad, as it will satisfy vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike.

1. Sautéed Wild Mushrooms Over Cheesy Grits

What do we serve when we are asked to create a vegetarian version of shrimp and grits for our guests? Sautéed wild mushrooms over cheesy grits of course.  These are no ordinary mushrooms. We sauté them with garlic and herbs and hit them with just a little bit of sherry wine. Then we shave fresh parmesan and fresh herbs over the whole shebang for a entrée that even the most staunch carnivore envies.

Those are our fave comfort food vegetarian picks. Make sure to check back in with TomCookery on Facebook or Instagram for realtime updates on what we’re cooking. And if you live in NYC, keep us in mind for your next event!

Black Eyed Peas Salad Veg Blog Post

Corn PUdding BLog Post Version 3



4th of July “Cook-In”

Nothing says Fourth of July like some TomCookery ribs and potato salad, but this weekend we will be checking out some Bon Appétit recipes from the July 2014-Grilling issue.  Its not often that we brazenly lift recipes from magazines but the food in this issue just jumped off the pages and asked to be in our mouths.  We’ll be entertaining in Queens for a “TomCookery Cook-In.”  That’s right, folks.  The grand ole cookout tradition in the comforts of an apartment, because when are we not redefining comfort food at TomCookery?

Did we mention that everything looks amazing in this grilling issue?  Because it does.  But we had to pick a few so here’s a run down of our menu for the Cook-In.  First, we’ll be attempting to cooking the cover, the Mint and Cumin-Spiced Lamb Chops.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

The recipe is as follows:


2 medium onions, peeled, quartered

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons allspice

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout or garam masala

Kosher salt

24 untrimmed lamb rib chops (about 5 lb.)

Vegetable oil (for grilling)

Pulse onions, cilantro, parsley, mint, cumin, paprika, allspice, red pepper flakes, and ras-el-hanout in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt. Place lamb in a large dish and rub with spice mixture. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate. Grill lamb to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

If these savory lamb chops could talk, they would love to be served alongside the Bon Appétit recipe for Grilled Bread Salad with Sweet Peppers and Onions.  Looking for an awesome summer side dish?  Then, look no further… the TomCookery staff is sold on this one. Bon Appétit’s panzanella seems like it will have an aromatic acidity, which should compliment the richness of the Mint and Cumin-Spiced Lamb Chops.  We can’t resist this smoky twist on the classic.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

The recipe is as follows:


¼ small loaf country-style bread (about 6 oz.), crust removed, bread torn into large pieces

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large red bell peppers, halved, ribs and seeds removed

2 small red onions, peeled, quartered, with some root attached

3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss bread with 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Toss bell peppers and onions with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper.

Grill bread, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Grill vegetables, turning often, until very tender and charred in spots, 8–10 minutes for peppers and 10–12 minutes for onions; transfer to a cutting board.

Trim root end from onions and separate layers. Transfer to a large bowl, add vinegar and paprika, and toss to coat. Remove as much skin as possible from peppers; discard. Cut into 1½” strips.

Add peppers, grilled bread, 2 Tbsp. chives, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to bowl with onions and toss to combine; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Serve topped with more chives.

Don’t you dare skip out on dessert!  After a long day of grilling, we want a quick and easy dessert to satisfy our sweet tooth without slaving over a hot oven.  For those of us who are no-dessert-intolerant, a buttery puff pastry will do just the trick.  Puff pastry can take the place of cake any day if you ask me.  Just make sure you get a good one.  We’re partial to Dufour.

To finish the day we’ll making a variation of Bon Appétit’s Plum Tarts with honey and black pepper pictured below.  Stay tuned for pictures of the TomCookery one.  We’re thinking pistachios.  We’re thinking baklava.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

The recipe is as follows:


1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed according to package directions

1 pound red plums, apricots, or peaches, pitted, cut into ½” wedges

¼ cup sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon honey

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut pastry into six 4” squares, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top with plums, leaving a ½” border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper.

Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving.

Ya’ll come back soon to see how the Cook-In turned out.

Oh yes,  and Happy Independence Day, America!



Mother’s Day Brunch Cooking Class

Mother's Day Cooking Class Flyer 5:11 JPEG


If you are looking for something special to do with the foodie moms in your life, look no further than TomCookery’s Mother’s Day Cooking Class in New York City.  Treat your mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends to a dynamic cooking class followed by a full-service brunch.  

4-hour class includes a lively, hands-on cooking instruction, signature cocktail, coffee or tea, a leisurely sit down brunch and recipes to take home.  BYOB encouraged.


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Menu Preview

Strawberry Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette / Smoked Salmon and Bacon Eggs Benedict with Brown Butter Hollandaise / Shrimp and Grits / New Orleans Style Brioche Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce and Bourbon Whipped Cream

What: TomCookery’s Mother’s Day Cooking Class

When:  Sunday, May 11, 2014

Where: 306 W 51st Street, Ground Floor Kitchen, New York, NY 10019 (use down stairway to left of lobby entrance)

Time:  12:00pm-4:00pm

Price: $95.00 Per Person + $8.43 NYC Sales Tax

How: Register through Eventbrite to reserve your spot.  Registration closes 5/1.  Space is limited!  Please email with questions about the event.

Cancellations: Full refunds are available until 5/3.  Credits to future classes are available between 5/4-5/8.  After 5/8 no refunds are available but you may transfer your class to another guest.

Impromptu Tea Parties

If you have been following me for a while, or even a short time, you probably already know that I love tea.  Half my family is from Barbados and I grew up drinking quite a bit of tea.  I also had the most impressive variety of tea sandwiches at every single one of my birthday parties as a child. #caribbeanchildhood

We all know tea parties can get pretty fancy.  At TomCookery, we pull out all the stops.  But one thousand obnoxiously small sandwiches and and more scones than you can shake a stick at have lead me to really appreciate the casually thrown together affair.

Nowadays, I think the best tea parties are loosely planned, made up of last weekend’s brown butter pound cake, your friend’s brownies expiriment, some leftover eggplant lasagna and chicken biscuits for the win.  I just got invited for another casual tea this week at a friend’s house so I can safely say this is becoming a thing.  Just remember you heard it first on the TomCookery blog.

I’d like to present the most unpretentious of posts on tea: Impromptu Tea Parties.

What you will need:


-Some Tea, looseleaf or a solid bagged tea like Mightyleaf Organic Breakfast or Vanilla Bean.  I threw my Fairway “Victorian Early Gray” into my handbag before I left the house because its the hostess’ favorite.

-A good, ceramic tea pot with a strainer


-Sugar-I like Demerara because it has a bit more depth than white sugar


Sweet is great, but if you are trying to be held over until dinner, I think you need some savories as well.  At our party yesterday we took the sweet route and had:

Caramel Sea Salt Brownies

Banoffee Pie- Amari’s version was bananas, whipped cream, dulce de leche in a homemade graham cracker crust.

Biscuits (not cookies, real country biscuits) with Honey Butter

If I could go back in time, I probably would have made a fancy egg salad sandwich with some stuff the hostess already had in her fridge.  Below is TomCookery’s new version of a comfort food classic, the egg salad sandwich.

TomCookery’s Not Your Grandmother’s Egg Salad Sandwich


6 hard boiled eggs

1/8 cup of mayo (or more if you like mayo)

1 teaspoon grain mustard

1/2 cup of minced white onion

Salt/Freshly ground black pepper to Taste

Shaved Parmesan

6 slices of your favorite bread.  I like a toasted sourdough for this.


1.  Peel your hard boiled eggs and give them a really fine chop.  My idol Ina Garten puts her eggs through a few pulses in a food processor, which makes them super delicate and fluffy.      Your call.  2.  Add the mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and onions.  3.  Mix it up good.  Taste it.  Adjust seasonings to your liking, and then put it onto your bread with the shaved parmesan layered on top.  4.  You got yourself a egg salad sandwich.  5.  Cut off the crusts, and cut into triangles to up the fancy meter but if you are keeping it impromptu, skip this step and just make it shareable.



Happy sipping,


TomCookery’s Valentine’s Weekend Cooking Class

Tired of the same old V-Day Plans?  Nothing says bonding like watching your soufflé rise with your boo, bestie or new friend that you just met an hour ago!  TomCookery’s COOK – EAT – LOVE Valentine’s weekend class is perfect for people who want to learn some serious kitchen skills in a laid-back environment.  Part class, part dinner party, come ready to cook, sip, boogie, and chow down.

Email us today at or register on Eventbrite  The class is intimate and its filling up fast!

TomCookery Cooking Class Flyer V 3

When life gives you salmon scraps–

Make salmon cakes!  Have you ever been portioning salmon filets for a party and you want all the pieces to be identical so you end up with all these little scraps of salmon that are perfectly good?  No?  You haven’t?  Because that probably isn’t your typical Saturday night.  But it was mine.

So I woke up this morning and looked at the scraps and viola.  Salmon cakes for brunch.  Even if you don’t have the scraps, you can still make this recipe.  Just buy a regular piece of salmon and bake or boil it or just purchase the canned variety.  No judgement here.  As a matter of fact, I kind of like those stray crunchy bones that always sneak their way into the canned salmon cakes.

Personally, I like to eat my salmon cakes with grits and eggs.  That’s just plain and natural to me.  They also go nicely with a salad or even on a sandwich with a fun spicy mayo.  Below is my go-to recipe but everyone has their own way.  Hopefully you can experiment at home and come up with your own variations with this easy and impressive brunch.


Yield: 4 good-sized salmon cakes.

1 Cup of cooked flaked salmon

1 whole onion chopped

1 scallion (green and white part) chopped finely

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne (more if you like spice)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup of milk

1 egg beaten

3/4 cup Italian seasoned panko


Mix flaked salmon, onion, scallion and spices in a bowl.  Make sure everything is evenly distributed.  Next add your milk and your egg.  Then add your binder, either panko or breadcrumbs.  Incorporate the binder in slowly.  You don’t want to over mix because then your cakes will be on the bread-y (not a word) side.  Form your batter into cakes about 1/2”- 3/4” thick and 3” wide.  Heat up a frying pan with oil and butter.  Non-stick will make your life easier but its not a necessity.  When your pan is heated, fry your patties 1-2 at a time being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  They only need 2-3 minutes per side.  This should result in golden brown salmon cakes with a nice crusty edge.

Happy brunching,


Salmon Cakes 2

Salmon Cakes


“Best I Eva Had” French Toast

French Toast Blog


A few people have been asking me for my recipe for French Toast.  I think this is probably one of the first breakfasts I learned how to make and can I just say I’ve come a long way.  8-year-old Tom’s french toast was an eggy, cinnamonny mess.  This recipe, which is an adaptation of the one from The Joy of Cooking is sweet, fluffy deliciousness.  As always, we keep it simple so you probably have these ingredients at home.  Go ahead and make someone some french toast this morning.

Tom’s French Toast

1 loaf brioche bread (preferably day-old)

2/3 cup of Heavy Cream

4 eggs

1/3 cup maple or pancake syrup (We like Log Cabin)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of dark rum (optional)

6 tablespoons butter for frying

With a bread knife, slice bread into about 1″ thick portions.  Set aside.  Mix eggs and heavy cream.  Whisk until well beaten.  Then add syrup, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and rum.  Whisk until all of the syrup is incorporated into the egg batter.  Pour the egg batter into a large rectangular pan.  I find that casserole dishes work nicely for this.  Carefully dip bread slices, one at a time, flipping once.  The goal here is to make sure they are soaked through but don’t leave them so long that they turn into a soggy mess.  Set bread aside and heat up your griddle or pan to medium heat.  Melt one to two tablespoons of butter on the griddle.  When it begins to bubble, put your first few soaked slices on, leaving about 1″ space between the bread.  After about 2-3 minutes flip your bread and cook the other side.  You should have nice golden brown coloring on both sides.  Eat immediately OR keep warm in an oven set at 200 degrees.  Top with fresh fruit and serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar.

Deliciously yours,