Sunday, April 28, 2013

Escarole and White Bean Soup

This soul enriching soup is an Italian classic that I customized by using some lamb loin chops as the meat and bones as the flavoring for the stock.  This easy to make comfort food takes about 1.5 hours total time, feeds 8 and costs about $20.

Lamb, Escarole and Cannelloni Bean Soup
3 lamb loin chops
1 lb cannelloni beans
6 cups of water
1 quart organic vegetable stock
1 cup carrots, large rounds
1 white onion, large dice
1/2 red bell pepper, large dice
3 cloves garlic, rough chop
A few sprigs of marjoram and thyme
1 large head of organic Escarole, sliced into ribbons
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

Soak the beans in warm water for and hour.  In a large pot cook the beans with the water and vegetable stock.  Bring the beans to a boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender.

Remove the meat  from the bone of the lamb loin chops and dice, reserve the bones and large pieces of fat.  In a large skillet brown the bones and fat over medium heat until browned well.  Add fat pieces and bones to the beans.  Using the same large skillet, saute the carrots, onions, red peppers and garlic until lightly golden.  Add the vegetables to the beans and season with salt and pepper.  Let cook about 20 minutes to bring all of the flavors together.  Add the escarole to the soup and remove from the heat.  Let stand 10 minutes and then serve.  Top with inner escarole leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.  I also made some olive oil croutons to enjoy the soup even more.  Buon Apetito!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Orange Roughy, Coconut Rice, Eggplant, Hot Pepper Sauce, Fresh Basil

I haven't cooked that much recently but I think with the spring coming I am going to do a lot more dishes focusing on food I get from the farmers markets around the NY area.  This Asian inspired dish was an amazing late night dinner experience.  This dish takes 45 minutes, costs about $25 and feeds 2.

Orange Roughy
12 oz of fresh Orange Roughy, trimed to 4 3oz pieces
4 scallions, rough chop
4 large batons of ginger
handful fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season with salt and white pepper and saute in olive oil on medium heat until golden on each side. Remove from heat and place the remaining items into the pan and place the fish on top of the bed of arromatics. Place the whole pan in the oven for 10 minutes.

Coconut Rice
1 Can organic coconut milk
2 cups water
12 oz white jasmin rice
2 scallions, fine chopped
4 large ginger batons
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Combine coconut milk, water and rice into a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Once it boils add the remaining ingredients and cover.  Turn heat to low and let cook 15 minutes.  Remove from heat leaving covered and open when ready to serve.  Remove ginger pieces before serving.

Hot Pepper Sauce
1 thai finger hot pepper, thin sliced
1 red serrano pepper, thin sliced
1 green serano pepper, thin sliced
2 yellow mini sweet peppers, thin sliced
4 scallions, thin sliced
1 piece ginger, thin sliced batons
1 shallot, thin sliced
2 teaspoons ponzu sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 cup vegeatble stock
salt and cayenne pepper

Saute all vegetables in vegetable oil on medium high heat. Once cooked through add remaining ingredients and let cook 5 minutes.

Roasted Japanese Eggplant 
Slice eggplant into 1 inch rounds.  Saute in olive oil on medium heat until golden on each side.  Salt and place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes

I blanched some fresh basil for 5 seconds and added it after plating the dish to bring in a crisp and fresh flavor.  Good food with great company, the perfect start to long night. Buon apetito!