Thursday, July 28, 2011

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A crowd favorite, chicken lettuce wraps are great for a snack, a dinner, lunch, as an appetizer or just because they are delicious. This takes about 20 minutes, costs $15 and feeds 4 to 6 as appetizer and 2 to 4 as a main course. I listed some ingredients as optional so these are not necessary if you do not have them.

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 rotisserie chicken (from super market or boston market), meat pulled off the bone
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
1 tablespoon regular oil (veg, canola, etc)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
4 scallions, bottoms chopped, tops reserved for garnish
6-8 baby carrots, julienne
1 can bean sprouts
2 tablespoons rice wine or mirin (optional)
1/2 cup apricot juice (or oj, water or veg stock)
1 tablespoon apricot jam (optional)
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon five spice powder (optional)
1 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes (for heat, optional)
1 can crispy rice noodles
1 head ice berg lettuce

Start a medium sautee pan on medium heat. Add oil, ginger, garlic and scallions. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add carrots and bean sprouts and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken. Now add rice wine and let cook off. Add apricot juice and jam and mix in well. Then add teriyaki, soy and spices. Let cook for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat. Garnish with left over scallion tops and crispy noodles.

For the lettuce cups just remove the core by hand and carefully peel off the leaves then restack.

This is fast and easy plus I think every person in the world likes these especially children. Buon Apetito!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Seafood Cioppino with Garden Zucchini Gratin

I started this blog one year ago as a hobby and creative outlet. The first post was a family style dinner and I thought it would be fitting to end the year with an amazing family style post as well. Seafood Cioppino was actually created in SanFran but its origins are in the bouillabaisse dishes of southern Europe. Its key ingredients are shellfish, onions, tomatoes and white wine. Everything else is just to enhance these base flavors and are optional. This costs about $70 and feeds 6. Total time is about 1 hour.

Seafood Cioppino
2 lbs black mussels
2 lbs little neck clams
1 lb bay scallops
1 whole red snapper, filet and cut into 3oz pieces
1 red pepper, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped, frawns reserved
1 vidallia onion, chopped
2 whole leeks, cleaned and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 bottle dry white wine, sauvingnon blanc/pinot grigio
1 bunch fresh thyme, left whole
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

Start a large stock pot on medium and add olive oil to coat the bottom. Add all the vegetables except the tomatoes and let cook 15 minutes or until the begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and let cook 10 more minutes. Add white wine, shellfish, thyme, crushed red pepper and fennel frawns and cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes stirring occasionally until all of the clams and mussels have opened up. Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve with a ladle.

In a separate sautee pan cook the snapper on medium high for 3 minutes on each side. Top cioppino with some fennel frawns, thyme and snapper filet.

Garden Fresh Zucchini Gratin
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
1.5 pound vidallia onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large)
3 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 cup hot milk
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Gruyere
1/4 cup grated aged white cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into two 8 by 10-inch baking dishes. Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

I also made some simple olive oil bread by slicing a fresh Italian loaf in half and brushing it with olive oil and cooking in the oven for 10 minutes. This was a great meal made much better by having the company of my favorite people in the world, my family. Buon Apetitio!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sockeye Salmon, Charred Zucchini, Shrimp & English Pea Cream Sauce

Wild caught Sockeye Salmon is at top of the chart on omegas and simultaneously tastes amazing. This feeds two people, costs $40 and takes 1 hour.

Olive Oil Roasted Sockeye Salmon
2 6oz fillets of sockeye salmon, sliced into 6 pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and white pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Start a medium saute pan on medium high and add olive oil. Once very hot add all the fish, skin side down. Immediately place the whole pan in the oven and let cook for 7-10 minutes or until fish is no longer raw on top. Remove and let stand 4 minutes.

Pea, Pancetta and Shrimp Cream Sauce
2 jumbo shrimp, diced, shells reserved
1 cup fresh English peas, blanched
2 tablespoons diced pancetta
1.5 cups vegetable stock
1/8 cup heavy cream

Start and medium saucepan on medium low. Add pancetta and let render for 10 minutes. Turn up to med and add veg stock and shrimp bodies. Let cook until reduced to 1/2 a cup of liquid. Strain sauce and add cream. Let reduce to half, about 1/4 cup of liquid. Add diced shrimp and peas. Season to taste.

Charred Baby Zucchini with Red Onions
1/2 lb baby zucchini, halved
1 organic red onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 400. Brush a sheet pan with olive salt and pepper and place zucchini cut side down. Brush tops with olive oil, salt and pepper and topped with sliced onions. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until onions are soft andn zucchini are browned.

I have to thanks my friend Suzy for the inspiration in creating the dish and the help with eating it all as well, good times! Buon Apetitio!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pancetta Wrapped Veal Loin, Fennel Puree, Baby Potatoes and Braised Radicchio

This delicious recipe is taken from various items that I have seen done at the restaurant where I work. This way by far the tastiest dish done this year. This feeds 2 took 1.5 hours to prepare and costs $40.

Pancetta Wrapped Veal Loin
8 thin slices of pancetta, ask the deli guy
8 oz veal tenderloin, trimmed

Preheat the oven to 300. Season the veal loin with salt and pepper and sear in a medium pan on high until golden on each side. Place on an oven rack and place in the oven until 130 degrees in side, about 10 minutes. Take out and rest until cool about 15 minutes. Wrap with pancetta and pan sear again on medium until pancetta is cooked, about 3 minutes on each side.

Veal Jus
2 cups vegetable broth
1/8 cup veal trimmings
1/4 white onion
1 teaspoon rendered pancetta

Cook all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium low until reduced to 1/4 cup. Strain and reduce by half, let cool and add a teaspoon of butter.

Fennel Puree
1 organic fennel bulb, diced
1 organic leek, chopped
4 cloves organic garlic
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Boil fennel, leeks and garlic in a medium saucepan on medium high until tender, about 12 minutes. Strain an place in a food processor, add cream and blend, slowly add olive oil until puree is smooth.

Crispy Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 lbs organic baby yukon golds
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a sheet pan with olive oil and season. Place potatoes cut side down and spray with oil and salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes until golden. Turn off the oven and let stand in the oven for 15 minutes.

Braised Radicchio
1 head organic radicchio, julienned
1/8 cup pancetta, diced
1/4 red onion, diced

In a medium pan render the pancetta on low, once crisp and onion and cook 5 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium and add radicchio, let cook ten minutes and season.

I also seared some scallions in the same pan I used to finish the veal. I plated it all together and the flavor combinations were amazing. Buon Apetitio!