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Who's Cooking: Ellen Loewy of Levittown


The school psychiatrist, who has a daughter, 26, lives with her husband, her father and an 18-year-old nephew in Levittown. She directs pupil personnel services for West Hempstead school district.

How did you get interested in cooking? I come from a long line of cooks - on both my mother's and father's side. My father's aunt was a professional nutritionist and cook, and my grandmother on my father's side was a baker. As a hobby, my father took up Chinese cooking. My mother was also a fabulous cook.

What about holiday times? Were there special foods you ate? Thanksgiving was very traditional in our house. We ate the same foods every year.

Was your family adventurous in its cooking? They tried everything. My mother would make paella; as I said, my father was a Chinese cook. My mother would make chicken soup with matzo balls. If they traveled, they would come home and try cooking the food from wherever they had been visiting.

When you cook for your own family, do you like to try new recipes? Every Sunday I spend cooking for the week, and I try to make a fish dish, a meat dish, a pasta dish. But I also try to experiment with a new dish - something I've never made before like an apple and Cheddar bread pudding, a spring vegetable pie or eggnog French toast.

Do you find it difficult to get the ingredients you need? No. Between the Stop & Shop, the Asian stores in Hicksville and the Whole Foods in Jericho, I have no trouble.

If you could plan a dinner party for anyone in the world, who would you invite? Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Andrea Bocelli. That would be an interesting group. I would go with a chicken dish; most people eat that. I have a terrific chicken Marsala.

Is there a restaurant you really like? We go to Ristorante Venere in Westbury. I guess you could say we're regulars there.

Saucy Brisket

4- to 5-pound brisket

Olive oil (or vegetable oil or canola oil) for meat

½ cup catsup

½ cup bottled barbecue sauce

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup duck sauce

½ cup water

1 envelope onion soup mix

3 to 4 bay leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wipe brisket with paper towel to dry. Using a pastry brush, brush oil on meat and then sear brisket to seal in juices either on barbecue or in broiler. Place seared beef in 3-quart roasting pan.

3. In medium-sized mixing bowl, combine catsup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, duck sauce onion soup mix and water. Spread sauce over brisket and place bay leaves around the pan.

4. Bake uncovered for about two hours or until tender.

5. Cool. Cut meat into thin slices and return to pan, covered with foil, and cook for additional half hour. Before serving, remove bay leaves from sauce.

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