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Rex Will Love This Recipe: Braised Beef Short Rib with Hazelnut Spaetzle from Dolce in Basking Ridge, New Jersey

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As I’ve mentioned over on my Roxiticus Desperate Housewives site, I’ve been finding great new material and feeling quite productive on my recent train commutes from the Bernardsville, NJ, train station to our investment banking firm’s office in New York City. This morning, I picked up the Newark Star-Ledger on the train, and found two intriguing articles: an interview with Max Ehrich, a New Jersey teenager dancing in Disney’s High School Musical 3, as well as a feature entitled “Gender Specific” by Janet Leonardi about the “male palate” and the hearty meals and recipes that appeal to men. The front page of the Star-Ledger’s SavorToday section caught my eye with a huge photo of Braised Beef Short Rib with Hazelnut Spaetzle, one of the hearty dishes served by Chef Paul Bogardus and Dolce in Basking Ridge, NJ.

I clipped three recipes for Rex from Janet Leonardi’s article in the Star-Ledger: Light Irish Lamb Stew, “Man Food” Chili Lasagne, and the one I think will be his hands-down favorite – Braised Beef Short Rib with Hazelnut Spaetzle, created by Chef Paul R. Bogardus at Dolce in Basking Ridge, NJ. Paul Bogardus believes that men “tend to steer towards bolder flavors; peppery, spicy, heartier, fuller flavors… to them, food and the eating of it are both a social activity and necessity…Younger men enjoy red meats, sirloin, ribs, chops and fried or bar type meals with a cold beer. Portion control is still not an issue, and the art of dining is not very highly regarded except when on dates or at business dinners.” Guys, who knew your chef was watching you so closely? As men mature and move into their 40s and beyond, their eating habits mature as well. Bogardus continues, “Metabolism slows, men become more health-conscious, fish and seafood come into play and they begin to appreciate textures and the separate delicate flavors in dishes.”

As my loyal readers know, my husband Rex is the chef in our family, and I agree with the thoughts Chef Paul Bogardus has expressed. In the past year and a half, with guidance from his nutritionist, Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy in Far Hills, NJ, Rex’s cooking has become much more oriented to a fit and healthy lifestyle. His current favorite recipes come from Bobby Flay’s “Grilling for Life” and “Boy Meets Grill,” and he’s also bringing more vegetables into the mix, giving up on starches (mashed potatoes, risotto, pasta, pasta, pasta) entirely and trying to get London, Maddie and me to cut back.

Since there are sooo many terrific restaurants in the Greater Roxiticus Valley (Mendham, Bernardsville, Chester, Basking Ridge, Morristown, Morris and Somerset County, NJ), Rex and I have not had the chance to try Dolce yet, so I would appreciate comments here from any readers who have tried the Basking Ridge restaurant. Has anyone had the Braised Beef Short Ribs? What are your other favorites? Gentlemen, do you agree with Chef Paul Bogardus on his assessment of your manly palate, and the way it changes as you grow older?


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