Monday, December 17, 2012

Crab Crusted Norwegian Salmon, Braised Endive, Crispy Potatoes, Scallion Brown Butter

It has been a while since I made a post.  Probably because I haven't gone food shopping since Hurricane Sandy.  Now that I have finally found some time on a Sunday, I decided to make myself a nice, protein rich lunch.  This take 30 minutes, costs $18 and feeds one.

Crab Crusted Salmon
6oz piece Norwegian Salmon
3oz lump crab claw meat
5 scallions, fine chopped
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Add butter to a small sautee pan on medium and scallions.  Cook until the butter browns, the add the crab meat, bread crumbs and mustard.  Mix well.
Preheat oven to 350. Start a medium saute pan on medium heat.  Add 2 teaspoons of oil and sear salmon skin side down.  Place the pan in the oven, let cook for 7 minutes, then remove.
Top the salmon with the crab meat.  Use remaining brown butter to sauce the plate.

Crispy Potatoes and Braised Endive
1 small white potato, sliced into 1/4 rounds
1 small endive, halved
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons of olive oil

Small medium pan on medium heat, add butter and oil.  Place potatoes in oil and let cook on each side for about 7 minutes or until golden.  Once potatoes are done add in endive, cut side down.  Let cook 5 minutes or until carmelized.

Plate it all up and garnish with the remaining scallion tops.  Buon Apetito!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Surf & Turf, Purple Cauliflower, Baby Cabbage and Bearnaise Sauce

The meal was for the Christening of  my friends new apartment at the Jersey Shore along with a celebration of my friend Derek's successful surgery.  A little shopping at Wegmans and the whole thing came together quite nicely.  This takes 2 hours to prepare, costs $70 and feeds 5 people.

Surf and Turf
2 - 2.5lb lobsters, boiled and deshelled
5 - 4 oz Filet Mignons
1 stick salted butter

Boil the lobster for about 10 minutes and let cool.  Remove all of the meat from the lobster and split the tails in halves.  Place all the meat back into a small sauce pan and top with a stick of melted butter.  Cover and heat on low on the stovetop for five minutes right before serving.
Season and then pan sear the filet mignon for 3 minutes on each side on medium high heat.  Place in a baking dish and cook in a 400 degree oven for 8 more minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Purple Cauliflower and Baby Cabbage
In separate pots of boiling water blanch the cauliflower florets and the baby bok choy for about 3 minutes and then plunge them into separate ice baths.  Remove and let dry.  Place florets in a baking dish with some finely diced garlic and shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
For the bok choy just place it on a baking tray and heat in the oven 5 minutes before you serve.

Bearnaise Sauce
1/2 small shallot finely diced
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (tarragon is traditional but I didnt have)
3 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
juice from half a lemon

In a small sauce pan start shallots and vinegar on low heat.  Let cook until most of the liquid is reduced and you have about 2 teaspoons of liquid.  Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs.  Set aside until later.  In a second small sauce pan start the butter on low heat.  Once the butter is all melted a white foam will be on top.  Use a small spoon to remove all of the white milk solids from the top.  This is know as clarifying the butter.  Remove from the heat and set aside. Now the tricky part; Create a double boiler, a small sauce pan with lightly boiling water and a metal mixing bowl on top.  Add the egg yolks to the mixing bowl and whisk vigorously for about 3 minutes or until they double in side.  Now have someone else SLOWLY pour the warm clarified butter into the eggs while you continue to whisk.  Once the butter and eggs have come together add the remaining ingredients and whisk together.  Keep the sauce in a warm place but not too hot or it will break.  Use to top basically anything.

The food, wine and company were all amazing.  Congratulations to Harout on the new spot, its going to be a great year there.  Words can't say how impressed and proud I am of my buddy Derek who gave his kidney to his mother just one week before this event.  Life is amazing everybody so enjoy it while you can! Buon Apetito!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sauteed Chicken Breast, Rainbow Chard, Bacon Lardons

There is nothing complicated about making this healthy and tasty dish.  These feeds two, takes about 20 minutes and costs about $12.

Sauteed Chicken Breast
Start a large frying pan on medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Season breasts with salt and pepper then coat with flour.  Dust of the excess and place in the frying pan for about 5 minutes on each side.

Rainbow Chard with Bacon Lardons
1 piece extra thick cut bacon from the butcher
1 bunch rainbow swiss chard, chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Start a large frying pan on medium low heat.  Slice bacon into even chunks about the same width and length, these are called lardons. let cook about 3 minutes on each side or until the fat renders out and bacon is cooked through.  Add onions and garlic to the pan and let cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then add the chopped chard and let cook another 7-10 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Buon Apetito!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mache' Salad with Bison Steak, Creamy Soy Ginger Dressing

This simple salad is turned up with a high protein, low fat bison steak.  Bison steaks are available in most grocery stores and are a great alternative to traditional beef steaks, just don't overcook them or they get tough.    This healthy dish takes about 20 minutes, feeds two and costs about $15

Creamy Soy Ginger Dressing
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons heavy cream

Mache Salad
2 heads of Mache' lettuce
1/4 head of frizze
1/2 carton grape tomatoes
1/2 yellow bell pepper

Bison Steak
Season heavily with salt and pepper.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Start a medium pan on medium high heat and let it get very hot.  Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and then steak.  Let cook about 4 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.  Place the whole pan in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Buon Apetitto!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Braised Turkey Thigh, Forbidden Rice, White Eggplant, Apple Gravy

I am constantly looking for new ways to add something different to the blog.  I try not using a specific vegetable or protein twice in the same way, and have been pretty successful so far.  But as we get past the 130 recipe mark the challenge increases.  Here are some turnkey thighs that my friend gave to me so that I could compose something new.  This recipe takes an hour, costs about $10 and feeds two.

Braised Turkey Thighs
2 large turkey thighs, skin on
1/2 onion, diced,
1 small tomato, diced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup apple cider

Start a large sautee pan over medium heat.  Once hot add season chicken thighs skin down and let cook about ten minutes or until very golden brown.  Turn thighs and add onions, tomato and garlic to the pan and let cook about five minutes. Add stock and cider and let cook five more minutes. Remove from the stove top and place in a 350 degree oven for twenty minutes. Remove thighs and then strain remaining sauce sauce.

Forbidden Rice
This is a special black rice from Indonesian that has a nutty flavor.  It takes about 35 minutes to cook and is delicious.

White Eggplant
This albino looking cousin to the standard eggplant has a slightly less bitter taste and a beautiful appearance   I sliced the eggplant and roasted it in the oven for about 25 minutes while the turkey thighs were braising. The white eggplant is a nice contrast to the black rice.

Buon Appetito!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tuna Tartar

Thanks to Harout for bringing me a 5 lb Grade A yellowfin tuna loin.  This great appetizer dish is the perfect way to start a tuna feast.  This recipe feeds 4 takes 15 minutes and costs about $10.

Tuna Tartar
10oz sushi grade tuna, diced
1/2 Haas Avocado, diced
1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
1 scallion, thin sliced
1 tablespoon of finely diced white onion
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon siracha
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

This recipe is great for the left over tuna belly pieces and cutoffs after portioning out your tuna steaks.  As soon as you dice up the tuna, coat it with the vegetable oil. This will keep it from oxidizing or turning grey.  Then just mix in together the other ingredients, avocado last and serve chilled.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Black Cod, Chinese Eggplant, Shitake, Soy Basil Sauce

The earthy flavors of Chinese vegetables go great with the meaty textured Cod. Quality fish is the key making this dish a success. The feeds two, costs $20 and takes about 1 hour.

Soy Basil Sauce
2 cup Kitchen Basics vegetable stock
2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
2 tablespoons ponzu
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoons chopped ginger
1/4 piece fresh lemongrass
1 handful fresh basil

Start all ingredients except basil in a small sauce pan and let reduce over medium low heat until about 1/4 cup remains. Strain and reserve 1/8 cup for glazing veggies and meat.  Reduce remaining 1/8 cup to a few tablespoons and then add basil for a finishing sauce.

Roasted Chinese Eggplant and Shitake Mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 375. Slice medium eggplant in half.  Brush with marinade and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.  After the eggplant has been in for 20 minutes, brush the mushrooms with the marinade and place in the oven for the remaining 25 minutes.

Black Cod
Start a large sautee pan on medium high with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Once very hot, add the two Cod filets slowly and let cook for about 4-5 minutes or until golden.  Flip fish and let cook 3 minutes.  Pour remaining marinade in to the pan,with some fresh lemongrass and then place the whole pan in the oven.  Let cook for 7 minutes and remove. Serve over eggplant and mushrooms, top with the finishing sauce.

Buon Apetito!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Roasted Duck Wraps with Celery Root, Mustard Greens and Strawberry Sauce

This is another original from the freshricks laboratory.  This low carb, high protein and flavorful dish takes about 1 hour, feeds three and costs about $20.  Thanks Dre and Paula for coming over for dinner.

Roasted Duck Breast
Preheat oven to 325.  Get a large sautee pan hot over medium heat.  Season duck breast with salt and pepper and place skin side down.  Let the fat render out for about 10 minutes.  Reserve fat in  a seperate bowl.  Place the pan in the oven and let cook 15 minutes.  Remove at let duck sit at least ten minutes before slicing.

Celery Root, Msutard Greens Stems and Vidallia Onion Mix
1 celery root, fine dice
1/2 cup mustard green stems, cleaned and small cut
1/2 vidallia onion  fine dice
reserved duck fat

Blanch all ingredients in boiling water then plunge into an ice bath.  Let dry thoroughly.  Sautee in a medium pan on medium high in the duck fat until golden.

Strawberry Sauce
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon diced onion
2 teaspoons strawberry preserves
1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Reduce the veg stock and onions over medium heat until 1/8 cup of liquid remains.  Add strawberry preserves and let cook another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add parsley, salt and pepper.

Mustard Green Wraps
Blanch mustard green leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and then plunge into ice water.  Let them hang dry.

Put all the ingredients out on the table and build your own wraps.  Buon Apetito!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Roasted Pork Loin, Camembert-Spinach Smashed Potatoes, Raspberry Cilantro Gravy

A pork loin is a great way to feed a lot of people good protein at a reasonable price.  This was a store bought pork loin that was pre-marinated with honey mustard.  This recipe takes 1 hour 15 minutes, feeds four and costs about $30 dollars.

Camembert-Spinach Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
6 medium organic yukon gold potatoes, large diced
1/2 organic vidallia onion, large diced
5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon sugar
8 oz fresh spinach
1 wheel of Camembert Cheese, rind removed
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup cream
salt and pepper

Start diced potatoes in cool water on high heat and bring to a boil, cook them until tender.  Drain and set aside. In a separate sautee pan start onions and garlic on medium low heat in olive oil.  Let cook for 15 minutes or so until they get very soft and lightly brown, keep the heat low and stir often so you don't burn them.  Now add the sugar and let cook for 5 minutes. Next add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes.  Combine this mixture to the cooked potatoes, cheese, butter, cream, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and smash all ingredients together.  Bomb!!

Raspberry Onion Cilantro Gravy
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 organic vidallia onion, sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
4 cups Kitchen Basics vegetable stock
1/2 container fresh raspberries, smashed
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon butter
salt and pepper

In a medium sauce pan start olive oil, onions and garlic and cook on medium until lightly golden.  Add stock and reduce to 1/2 cup of liquid.  Remove from heat and add raspberries, cilantro and butter, mix well and let sit for five minutes, season to taste.

Roasted Pork Loin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sear pork loin on all sides on a roasting pan till browned.  Put on a baking rack and cook in the oven about 30 minutes or until 155 degree internal temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest ten minutes covered with aluminum foil.  Slice and serve over mashed potatoes and top with gravy.  I added some broccoli for some freshy greens as well. Thanks to Harout, Dre and Paula for coming to dinner.  Buon Apetito!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Polenta Crusted Chicken, Tricolor Salad, Bartlett Pear, Toasted Hazlenuts

Chicken and salad is about as basic as it gets.  With a little more effort you make that ordinary dish amazing. This recipe feeds three, costs about $15 dollar and takes 30 minutes or less.

Polenta Crusted Chicken
1 cup fine ground polenta (cornmeal)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
thin sliced chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

In a large frying pan start the oil on medium heat and let heat for 10 minutes.  While heating the oil, mix the polenta and the flour.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in bowl with beaten eggs, then coat the breast with the polenta mixture.  Push hard  for a good crust.  Dust off excess crust and fry in heated oil for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden.  Let sit on paper towel.

Tricolor Salad
1 head of Radicchio
1 head Belgian Endive
1 bunch of arugula
1 Bartlett pear, diced
1/4 cup of hazelnuts, chopped and toasted

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons real 25 yr old balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 small shallot, diced
1 pinch marjoram
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a large salad bowl.  Add Salad season with a little salt and pepper and toss with the vinaigrette.  Serve the Chicken Down and the salad on top.  The warm chicken and salad combo makes for a tasty and health dinner.  Thanks to Pad and Dre for coming thru to enjoy.  Buon Apetite!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stripped Bass, Sunchoke Puree, Purple Asparagus, Fava Beans, Pan Brown Butter

The earthy flavors of sunchokes, favas and asparagus match nicely with a buttery stripped bass filet.  The healthy and delicious meal costs $35, feeds four and takes about and hour.

Sunchoke Puree
1 lb sunchokes, peeled and large diced
1 shallot, rough chop
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cream fraiche (or cream cheese)
salt and pepper

Start sunchokes and shallot in a medium pot with cool water.  Bring to a boil and let cook 15 minutesmor until the sunchokes are fork tender.  Remove from the heat and strain, reserving 4 teaspoons of the water. Puree in a blender with the reserved water, olive oil and cream fraiche, add salt and pepper to taste.

Purple Asparagus
Peel the bottom half of the stalks and trim to even length.  Blanch the asparagus (boil then cool in ice water) for 5 minutes.  Sautee with a little butter and olive, salt and pepper for a few minutes before serving.

Fresh Fava Beans
1 lb fresh fava beans, removed from pods
Blanch the beans for 5 minutes.  This makes it easy to remove the skin covering the bean.  Once the skin is removed sautee in a little butter and olive oil along with salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Pan Seared Stripped Bass with Pan Brown Butter
Sear the fish on medium high in a large sautee pan along with olive and a little butter, about 4 minutes on each side or until golden.  Once fish is cooked toss a few teaspoons of diced onion or shallot in the pan along with  2 tablespoons of butter.  Let cook on medium until the butter starts to brown slightly and shallot gets cooked, about five minutes.  Add a touch of sherry or red wine vinegar and mix well.  Spoon over the fish.

Thanks to my boys Pad, Casey and Dre who came through to eat and watch game 1 of the playoffs.  Buon Apetito!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Risotto Milanese with Veal Osso Bucco and Gremolata

This classic Northern Italian composition is the definition of comfort food.  This dish takes 2 hours, costs $30 and feeds 2 very well.

Risotto Milanese - 1 hour
1/2 organic white onion, diced
1/2 organic leek, diced
1/4 cup shallots, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pancetta, diced (optional)
1 cup white wine, pinot grigio 
1 1/2 cups Arborio rise
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoon of butter
salt and pepper

Combine water, stock and saffron threads in a medium saucepan and place on low heat. Start a seperate large high sided sauce pot or very large sautee pan on medium low heat (4 of 10) and add olive oil and butter. Then add the chopped onions, leeks and shallots and cook until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Now add the 2 cups of Arborio rice. Stir the rice and vegetables until it begins to toast a bit and becomes translucent, about 4 minutes. Now add the wine and stir until most of the wine has cooked off. Now add three ladles of the warmed stock. Stir the rice well until all of the liquid is almost all absorbed. Then add three more ladles of stock and stir it in again until absorbed. Stir the pot every 3-4 minutes or so, don't walk away. Keep adding the three ladles of stock every time the liquid is almost absorbed. It should take about 35 to 40 minutes for the rice to stop absorbing the liquid rapidly and begin to get tender. About 5 to 6 times of adding the stock. Once the rice is tender but with a little bite left, turn off the heat on the risotto and add the butter and Parmesan cheeses and mix well.  Let stand and mix again gentle, serve immediately. 

Veal Osso Buco - 1.5 hours
2 tablespoons pancetta, finely chopped
2 oz vegetable oil
2 veal shanks
1/2 medium yellow onion, rough chop
1/2 medium red onion, rough chop
2 celery stalks, rough chop
1/2 leek, chopped
2 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups stock (veg, chicken or beef) I used chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme, parsley and oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper

Turn the oven on to 325. Start a large dutch oven (oven proof pot with lid) or enamel coated cast iron cooking vessel (ie. le crusset) on low heat. Add the pancetta and let that melt and render out the fat, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked pancetta and reserve it for later. Salt and pepper the veal shanks and coat with a bit of flour. Add the veg oil to the pancetta fat and turn the heat to medium. Add the veal shanks and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until they get a nice brown on them. Remove them from the pot and set aside. Turn the heat back to low and add the onions, scallions, tomato, garlic, carrots and reserved pancetta. Let that cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Now turn the heat to medium and add the red wine. Let that cook for about 5 minutes. Now add the chicken stock. Cook this for about 10 more minutes. Now turn off the heat. Add the reserved veal shanks to the pot, the liquid should be about half way up the shanks. Top the shanks with the fresh herbs. Cover the pot and place the whole thing in the oven. This whole technique is called braising.  Let that cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove and throw away the herbs. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside. Puree the vegetables and liquid using a stick blender or traditional blender, then strain the liquid from the vegetables. Using a small knife or fork, take out the cooked marrow from the bones and add it to strained liquid. Reduce the sauce for 10 minutes or until desired consistency. Remove the meat from the bone and fat and add the shank pieces back into the sauce to heat up. Remove and serve. 

Gremolata - 20 minutes
1/2 bunch of parsley, stemmed and fine chopped
1 garlic clove, fine dice
1 lemon completely zested, no juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix all the ingredients and let stand for at least 20 minutes up to 1 day.

Buon Apetito!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Asian Style Baby Back Ribs

I made these ribs for my going back to New Jersey barbecue party and they were amazing!  There were 9 racks in total, half Asian and half traditional.  These Asian style ribs were amazing but using traditional or any form of custom spice and sauce with this technique will ensure a finger licking outcome.  This recipe for three racks takes 1.5 hours of prep and 3.5 hours of cooking time, costs $40 and feeds 6 to 10 people.

Hoisin Glazed Baby Back Ribs
3 racks of baby back ribs, cleaned of membrane
1/2 cup asian dry rub
 - 5 tablespoons five spice powder
 - 5 tablespoons kosher salt
 - 5 tablespoons brown sugar
 - 2 tablespoons ground ginger
 - 2 tablespoons garlic powder
 - 2 tablespoons chilli powder
 - 1 tablespoon cumin
 - 1 tablespoon cayenne
 - 1 tablespoon coriander
2 cups Hoisin Glaze
 - 8oz Hoisin Sauce
 - 8oz BBQ sauce, Bullseye or Sweet Baby Ray's
 - 1 small ginger root, peeled and rough chopped
 - 2 cloves or garlic, rough chop
 - 2 tablespoons Nama shoyu, or regular soy sauce
 - 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
 - 1 tablespoon sesame oil
 - 1 tablespoon dry rub

First you have to clean the ribs of the membrane along the back side.  This is tedious and annoying (among other expletives) but makes for a fall off the bone tender result. Using a sharp pairing knife cut the fat between the ribs and then pull off as much of the membrane and fat as possible.  See the video Once the ribs are cleaned, cover liberally with the dry rub and wrap individually in heavy duty aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 12 hours.  Preheat oven to 270 degrees.  Place foil wrapped ribs on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove and then open the aluminum foil.  Baste the ribs on both sides with the Hoisin Glaze and place back in the oven for 1 hour uncovered.  Remove from the oven and glaze again.  Cook 30 minutes and repeat the glazing process.  Cook 30 more minutes.  Remove the ribs from the oven a turn the oven to low broil.  Place the ribs on the bottom rack for about 15 minutes or until then begin to brown a bit.  Remove, slice and serve.

These turned out very tender with a sweet and smokey flavor.  Thanks to everyone for coming out to the party!! Buon Apetito

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chipotle Hanger Steak with Vegetable Mash and Spicy Apple Reduction

Hanger Steak is a cut of beef that is harder to find but very delicious.  It is like a cross between filet mignon and skirt steak.  The key with this cut is not to overcook it, so if you like medium rare or rare it is amazing, anything over medium and it becomes tough and chewy.  The sauce was an experiment that worked out awesome and is super easy to make.  This meal takes 40 minutes, feeds two and costs about $15.

Vegetable Mashed Potatoes
1 large Idaho baking potato, diced
1/2 leek, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons of goat cheese
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Start the potatoes in cold water over high heat, bring to a boil and reduce to medium.  Cook until fork tender.  Start a sautee pan on medium high heat.  Add some olive oil and the leek, onion, pepper and zucchini and sautee at medium high heat until they begin to get golden.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of butter and keep cooking on high until vegetables are glazed.  Turn off the heat and add the cooked potatoes along with the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Move the mixture to a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.  Season and serve.

Spicy Apple Reduction
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
1 teaspoon diced shallot
1/2 teaspoon dry rub for the steak
1 teaspoon butter, cold

In a mini sauce pot or sautee pan start juice, vinegars and shallots over low heat and let reduce until a few tablespoons of liquid remain.  Add spice and let infuse for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cold butter.  Spoon over steak.

Chipotle Rubbed Hanger Steak
1 lb Hanger Steak
Dry Rub:
2 teaspoons kosher
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix spices and rub onto the steak.  Start a very hot sautee pan with some oil.  Once smoking hot cook steak on each side for about 3 minutes or until browned.  Place steak in the oven for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove and let rest at least 6 minutes.  Slice and serve.  Buon Apetito!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Red Snapper with Kale Puree and Roasted Carrots

This dish is a easy and healthy meal that requires minimal time.  This costs $15, feeds two people and takes under 30 minutes.

Kale Puree
1 bunch organic kale, chopped
1/2 organic white onion, chopped
1/2 organic leek, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper

Blanch all items in boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes or until onion are tender.  Drain and puree in a blender with olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste.

Roasted Carrots
Julienne one organic carrot.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a foil baking sheet in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Pan Seared Snapper - Shallot Meyer Lemon Sauce
Get a sautee pan hot over medium high heat.  Add a good coating of oil.  Season fish with salt and pepper and pan sear skin side down for 5-7 minutes or until skin is crisp and golden.  Flip the filet for 2 minutes on the other side and then remove from the pan and let rest skin side up.  Remove excess oil from the same pan and add a tablespoon of butter along with some finely diced shallot (or onion).  Let cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden then add a tablespoon of meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon/lime/citrus).  Stir well and spoon over plated fish.

Buon Apetito!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cajun Fried Catfish with Dandelion Greens, Corn & Carrots

Catfish is inexpensive and readily available previously unfrozen which always ensures a better quality dining experience.  This simple dish takes 40 minutes, costs $12 and feeds two people.

Cornmeal Crusted Cajun Catfish
1 whole catfish filet cut into 4 smaller strips
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/8 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle powder

Mix all dry ingredients with a fork in a shallow baking pan or bowl.  Toss catfish strips in cornmeal mixture until well coated.  Let the fish sit in the mix while you prepare the remaining items.  This will ensure the fish is dry and well coated before going into the oil.  Fry for about 7 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove and let dry on paper towel.  Serve immediately

Wilted Dandelion Greens
In a medium saute pan start a tablespoon of diced shallot or onion.  Toss in one bunch of fresh washed dandelion greens.  Saute for about 5 minutes or until the greens are wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Butter Poached Corn and Carrots
Remove corn from the cob and peel and cut carrots into rounds.  Add to a small saute pan along with 1/2 a stick of butter and a few tablespoons of oil olive.  Turn pan to low heat and let cook about 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Meyer Lemon Aioli
1/8 cup olive oil mayo
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon marjoram
juice from 1/2 a meyer lemon

Easy and delicious lunch, Buon Apetito!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Prime Sirloin, Enoki Mushrooms, Leeks, Potatoes and Black Truffle

Its the end of the truffle season so I decided to get one more to enjoy before its over.  This dish takes 45 minutes, feeds two people and costs about $40.

1 - 12oz prime sirloin
1 - package of fresh enoki mushrooms
1 - organic leek, thin round slices
1 - package tricolor baby potatoes, halved
1/8 cup - real balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup - dry marsala wine
5 grams - Perigord Black Truffle

Potatoes, Leeks and Mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350.  Toss the potatoes in salt, pepper and olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet.  Cook for 30 minutes or until tender.  Place mushrooms and leeks on a oiled baking sheet and roast i the oven for 15 minutes.

Sirloin of Beef
Get a cast iron pan going for about five minutes on medium high heat.  Season steak with salt and pepper and sear in the pan for about two minutes on each side.  Remove from the pan and place on a foil lined baking rack. Glaze the steak with a teaspoon of the real balsamic vinegar.  Place it in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove, glaze one more time with balsamic and let it stand for 7 minutes. Slice and serve.

Balsamic-Marsala Reduction
Place equal part real balsamic and dry marsala wine in a small saucepan on low heat.  Let it reduce for about 30 minutes or until about 2 tablespoons remain.

Shave the fresh truffles over the plated dish and enjoy!  Buon Apetitio!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prime Filet Tips, Pea-Basil Puree, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Crispy Leeks

Filet tips are a great way to get a discount on high quality steaks.  The tips are usually half the price of the cuter cut filet mignon and the flavor is exactly the same.  They may not be as pretty as center cut filet but, like anything in life, its all how you present it.  This feeds two, takes 45 minutes and costs $20.

Pea-Basil-Leek Puree
1 cup fresh english peas, blanched (substitute frozen is necessary)
1/2 leek, chopped and blanched
1 handful fresh basil, blanched
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch nutmeg
sea salt
white pepper

Blanch all items starting with peas and leeks until tender.  Then add basil for a minute and chill all three in a ice water bath.  Reserve a cup of the hot blanching water. Add all items to a blender with olive oil, cream and seasonings.  Add a little of the reserved blanching water as necessary to create a smooth puree.

Chanterelle Mushrooms
Clean mushrooms with a brush.  Spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place in 375 oven for 25 minutes or until roasted.

Crispy Leeks
Slice half a leek in thin strips.  Saute on low in olive and butter for 25 minutes.

Roasted Filet Tip
Sear steaks in a hot saute pan and then cook in a 375 oven for 10 minutes or until medium rare.  Slice and fan out.

This is actually very simple to make and takes a little oven 30 minutes.  Buon Appetito!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Porcini Mushroom Risotto, English Peas, Black Truffles

This is the last of the truffle dishes.  Fresh Porcini mushrooms are in season and I was able to get some and a local market. This dish takes 1 hour, costs about $30 and feeds two or three.

Porcini Mushroom Risotto
1 cup organic white onions, diced
1 cup organic leek, diced
1/4 cup shallots, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup white wine
2 cups Arborio rise
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup fresh English peas, blanched
1/2 lb fresh Porcini mushroom, cleaned, quartered and roasted at 375 for 20 minutes
2 teaspoons chives, chopped
salt and pepper

Combine water and stock on a medium saucepan and place on low heat.  Also place a large high sided sauce pot or very large sautee pan on medium low heat (4 of 10) and add olive oil and butter. Then add the chopped onions, leeks and shallots and cook until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Now add the 2 cups of Arborio rice. Stir the rice and vegetables until it begins to toast a bit and becomes translucent, about 4 minutes. Now add the wine and stir until most of the wine has cooked off. Now add three ladles of the homemade warmed stock. Stir the rice well until all of the liquid is almost all absorbed. Then add three more ladles of stock and stir it in again until absorbed. Stir the pot every 3-4 minutes or so, don't walk away. Keep adding the three ladles of stock every time the liquid is almost absorbed. It should take about 35 to 40 minutes for the rice to stop absorbing the liquid rapidly and begin to get tender. About 5 to 6 times of adding the stock. Turn off the heat on the risotto and add the Romano and Parmesan cheeses and mix well. Add the roasted porcini mushroom into the risotto and gently fold it all together being careful not to beat up the rice. Finish it off with the chives and add salt and some pepper to taste. Shave fresh black Perigord truffles on top.

Serious...Buon Apetito!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunny Side Up Egg with Black Perigord Truffles

Many truffle aficionados say that this simple method is the best way to enjoy the flavor and aroma of truffles.  I though it was amazing as well.  The most important thing is to use a quality farm raised egg.  Buon Apetito!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Diver Sea Scallop, Crab and Egg Yolk Sauce, Black Perigord Truffles

This was the second course in the truffle experiment.  This takes about 20 minutes, feeds two and costs about $20.

Crab and Egg Yolk Sauce
1/8 cup jumbo lump crab meat
2 yolks only, farm raised egg
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon butter, softned

Using a double boiler whish egg yolks over the heat in a large mixing bowl.  They will increase in volume after 2 or 3 minutes.  Now add the butter and the chives and whisk again.  Toss in crab and mix thoroughly.  Season with salt and white pepper.

I pan seared the scallop in butter and olive oil along with some diced shallot.  I topped the dish with fresh truffle shaves and it was amazing.  It may have been my favorite one of all. Buon Apetito!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Creamy Polenta, Maitake Mushrooms, Black Perigord Truffles, Leek-Shallot Reduction

Ok here we go into the truffle menu I made this week.  This is the first of the Black Perigord Truffles this season.  They are about $1500/pound wholesale.  This costs about $20, takes 3 hours and feeds two with a bunch of polenta left over.

Creamy Polenta
1 1/2 cup water
2 cups half and half
1/4 stick butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup #1 or #2 ground cornmeal or polenta
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter

Bring milk, water, salt and butter to a light boil over a double boiler.  Slowly add the corn meal while whisking, its better if there are two people.   Now bring the heat down to low and let cook for about 2.5 hours.  You MUST stir the polenta every 5-7 minutes or so!  Once the desired texture and the consistency is reached add the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese.  Stir and remove from heat.

Shallot-Leek Reduction
2 medium shallots, thin sliced
1/2 a leek, thin sliced
1 cup vegetable stock

Place all items in a small saucepan on low heat and let reduce for 45 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.

I bought some Maitake mushrooms and I roasted it in the oven for 15 minutes on 350.

I put the polenta, then the mushroom, then the reduction.  I topped it all off with some fresh shaves of the black truffle.  Wow what an amazing way to experience the black truffles earthy flavors.  Buon Apetito!

Black Perigord Truffle - 15 grams (about $45)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pain Perdu - Classic Fresh Toast

This easy classic makes for a great start to your day.  This cost $5 feeds two and takes 20 minutes.

Pain Perdu
1 Loaf country white bread (or brioche) from the baker, unsliced
4 farm raised eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 dash cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk all the ingredients in a shallow bowl.  Slice bread about 1.5 inches thick and let soak on each side for about 2 minutes in the egg mixture.  Cook in a large flat pan with a touch of butter on medium heat. Brown on each side and then remove and place on a large baking rack in a 250 degree oven to keep warm and continue cooking through.  Serve with real maple syrup and powdered sugar.  Buon Apetito!

Butter Poached Lobster, Crispy Artichokes, Bay Scallops, Pistachio Puree and Meyer Lemon

I found some fresh mini lobster tails at Fresh Market for $6 each so I thought this would be a great way to make a spectacular dish on a budget.  This costs under $30 feeds two and takes about 45 minutes.

Butter Poached Lobster
1 stick salted butter
1/2 meyer lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil

In a very small saucepot start all ingredients over low heat.  Once melted add lobster tails in one at a time for about 15 minutes.  Remove and place in a warm oven to keep hot.

Pistachio Puree
1/2 cup of fresh pistachio, blanched and inner skin peeled
1/2 small potato, peeled, diced and blanched
1/2 white onion, diced and blanched
1/2 meyer lemon, juiced
4 tablespoon olive oil

Boil all ingredients until tender.  Puree in a blender with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Sea Scallops
1 cup bay scallops seasoned with salt and pepper and then sauteed on medium high heat for 4 minutes until golden on one side.

Crispy Artichokes
1 package marinated artichokes.  Remove artichokes and rinse in cold water.  Pat dry and sear in a sautee pan with butter and olive oil until golden.

Buon Apetito!!