Summer Squash Soup with Basil-Mint Pistou

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 patty pan squash, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups onion broth or light vegetable stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on a medium high heat, add the shallots and the onions and cook until translucent. Add the squash and chives and cook for about 5 minutes or until semi soft. Season with salt and add vegetable stock and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and blend until smooth using a blender or a hand held mixer. In the meantime in a blender combine the fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth, season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle on top of the soup.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 pinch chili flakes
½-1 cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 jar piquillo peppers
Olive oil & garlic
Sherry vinegar garnish
Salt

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together, shallot, vinegar, chili flakes, goat cheese and herbs until fully combined. Split the piquillo pepper and spoon cheese into the inside. Place about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and a few cloves of garlic in a large frying pan and heat to medium high heat. Cook the stuffed peppers about a minute on each side and serve immediately with a drizzle of sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Basic Marinara

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
9 medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup garlic, chopped fine
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

Sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and chili flakes in olive oil on medium heat until soft. Place all remaining ingredients except ½ cup oregano in a large pot and bring to a boil. Place on low and simmer for about 45 minutes stirring regularly until all tomatoes are broken down. With a handheld food processor blend all ingredients in the pot until totally smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce because they give a very rustic look and texture and provide a quick, easy sauce. Cook blended sauce on low for another 10 minutes adding more salt to taste. When finished , add remaining fresh oregano. Boil sauce on a low boil uncovered for another 10-20 minutes or until you reach desired thickness. Add remaining chopped oregano at end.

Herbed Gremolata

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Spring Herbal Osso Bucco & Herbed Gremolata

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

This lovely & lively dish is perfect for a chilly spring day, perfectly fresh yet warming with loads of fresh herbs and spring vegetables.

Ingredients

4-6 cross-cut veal shanks (osso bucco tied with kitchen string)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 sprigs onions, whites and green parts, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, chopped fine
1 small fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or onion broth
3 plum tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh peas
Herbed Germolata (recipe follows)

Directions

Tie the veal shanks up with the kitchen twine so that the shanks stay together. In a small mixing bowl mix the flour and mint and season with salt. Dredge the osso buco in the flour until they are all coated. In a large dutch oven or le creuset bring the oil to a medium high heat. Brown the osso buco on all side or about 2 minutes on each. Take out of the pan and set aside. Sauté the garlic, onions and lemon zest for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the carrots and the fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté. Add the wine and stir well removing any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes and stir well. Add the veal shanks to the pot and cover with the vegetables and juice. Turn the burner to low and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 5 minutes. Take off heat and serve on its own, with pasta, polenta or rice and topped with the herbed gremolata.

Herbed Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Roasted Spring Vegetable Salsa and Whole Wheat Chips

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

008

Makes 2-3 cups salsa

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 small spring onions, chopped fine
½ cup fennel bulb, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
3 spears of asparagus, chopped fine
½ cup fresh peas
½ cup carrots, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon chopped chives, chopped fine
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili flakes
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon maldon salt
Whole Wheat chips (Recipe Follows)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 425° F. Place the garlic, onions, fennel, red pepper, asparagus, peas and carrots on a line baking sheet and roast for about 10 -15 minutes or until all vegetables are beginning to brown and char. In the mean time whisk together the fresh herbs, lemon zest lemon juice, chili flakes and olive oil. When roasted vegetables come out of the oven immediately place in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Mix well and season with salt. Serve with whole wheat chips.

Lemony Whole Wheat Chips

Serves 4

Ingredients

10-12 whole wheat tortillas, cut into 3 inch triangles
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut tortillas and place in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the parsley, oil, lemon juice and salt, mix well and then toss over tortillas. Lay tortillas flat on a baking sheet (lined with parchment) and place in the oven and cook for about 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Ramptini

April 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one cocktail

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces gin
1 ounce dry vermouth
½ ounce pickled ramp juice
Ice
Pickled ramps (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

Shaken: In a shaker combine the gin, vermouth, and ramp juice and ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with pickled ramp.

Stirred: In a large glass filled with ice, combine the gin, vermouth, and ramp juice stir gently. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with pickled ramps.

Pickled Ramps

Makes 1 pound of pickled ramps

INGREDIENTS

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon of each of the following: mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, fennel seeds
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 spring of thyme
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
1 pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed (white/reddish parts only-with a hint of green tops)

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl whisk together vinegar, wine, salt, mustard, sugar, and spices. Add the fresh herbs. Blanch the ramps in boiling salted water for one minute. Place in an ice bath and cool and drain and place in the brine. Place the ramps and the brine in a jar or a plastic container refrigerated for 3-5 days.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens and Italian Herb Gremolata

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
1 fennel head, chopped small
Parmesan rind
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Italian Herb Gremolata, recipe follows

DIRECTIONS

For chicken pesto meatballs

In a large bowl, using your hands to combine ground chicken, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll about a tablespoon of the mixture into balls and set aside.

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes, cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, carrots, celery fennel, and parmesan rind. Increase heat and bring to a boil, drop in chicken meatballs, lower heat to a simmer and cook, 15 minutes. Add pasta and continue to cook till vegetables are tender, meatballs are cooked through, and pasta is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add spinach and cook, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with mixed herb gremolata.

Italian Herb Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest

Rampatini

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one cocktail

Ingredients

2 ounces gin
1 ounce dry vermouth
½ ounce pickled ramp juice
Ice
Pickled ramps (recipe follows)

Directions

Shaken: In a shaker combine the gin, vermouth, and ramp juice and ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with pickled ramp

Stirred: In a large glass filled with ice combine the gin, vermouth, and ramp juice and stir gently. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a pickled ramp.

Pickled Ramps

Makes 1 pound of pickled ramps

Ingredients

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon of each of the following: mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, fennel seeds
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
1 pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed (white/reddish parts only-with a hint of green tops)

Directions

In large mixing bowl whisk together vinegar, wine, salt, mustard, sugar, and spices. Add the fresh herbs. Blanch the ramps in boiling salted water for one minute. Place in an ice bath and cool and drain and then place in the brine. Store in a jar or a plastic container refrigerated for 3-5 days.

Squid Stewed with Chickpeas and Peppers

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 cup diced white onions
8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 pound dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
2 cups canned tomatoes, strained and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon pimento or smoked paprika
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
2 cups white wine
Water
1 pound squid, cleaned and cut into rings
½ cup diced piquillo peppers
Sherry vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Baguette, for serving

Directions

In a flat-bottom, high-sided saucepan, heat ¼ inch olive oil until shimmering. Add onions and garlic and cook until they are just beginning to brown. Add chickpeas and cook until toasted. Add tomatoes and parsley and cook for another two minutes. Add pimenton and chili flakes. Add wine and reduce by ¾. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook until chickpeas are ¾ of the way cooked, then add squid and piquillo peppers. Cook until squid is tender and creamy. Finish with a few drops of sherry vinegar and olive oil. Serve with bread.

Seafood Spaghetti with Herbed Lemon Cream Sauce

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 additional tablespoon of butter
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 shallots, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon chili flakes
3 squid bodies (calamari) cleaned and sliced into thin rings
½ pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
½ pound baby scallops
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine, stems removed
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil or red basil, chopped fine
½ cup white wine
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup heavy cream
Salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil and butter on a medium high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, lemon zest and chili flakes. Sauté for a few minutes until garlic and shallots just start to brown. Add the calamari, shrimp and scallops. Season with salt. Sauté a few minutes until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and sauté about 1 minute. Add the wine and lemon juice next and turn to medium low. Allow liquid to reduce by about half. Add the cherry tomatoes and allow to cook about two minutes or until the tomatoes are just soft. Add the heavy cream, turn burner to low and season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta according to pasta directions. Mix the spaghetti and the sauce and serve!

Roasted Brook Trout with Fennel and Black Grapes

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 fillets brook trout, rainbow trout, or other super fresh trout
1 bulb fennel
Sea or kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup black grape puree, recipe follows
½ cup black grapes
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Make sure trout has been cleaned of all pin bones, cut in half crosswise, and set aside on a rack until ready to use.

Shave fennel very thinly crosswise on a mandoline. Transfer into a small pot, season with salt, pepper, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice. Set over low heat, just to warm through, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Now it’s time to move fast. Set a pan large enough to hold the fish in one layer on high heat, preferably heavy duty pan or cast iron. When the pan is hot, season the fish well with salt, add the canola oil to the pan, and add the fish skin side down. Let it cook 1 minute on top of the stove. The skin will get crisp, and the flesh should just start to turn opaque on the sides of the fillets. Move the pan into the oven, and let it cook for 1 minute. The top of the fish should just be warm, but it should still be raw. Remove the fish immediately from the pan, and place skin side up on a board or rack to prevent it from loosing its crispness.

Put a generous swoosh of grape puree down on the plate, a large and small pile of shaved fennel, black grapes and rest the trout against the fennel. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with Maldon salt, and serve immediately.

Black Grape Puree

Makes 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

4 cups black grapes, picked and washed
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon grey salt, or to taste
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup saba (cooked grape must)

DIRECTIONS

Place grapes, sugar, chili flakes, fennel seed, salt, vinegar, and 1 cup water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook 30 to 45 minutes, or until the grapes have popped, and lost their liquid.

Add saba, return to a boil, then remove from heat.

Put all ingredients into the bowl of a blender, and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Should be very smooth and lighter in color. Adjust seasoning, and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe Property of Gabe McMackin

Roasted Lamb with Eggplant, Cucumbers, Mint, Anchovy, and Yogurt

October 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 cup yogurt
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil
2 cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped
½ cup mint leaves
2 large eggplant, diced and salted
2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
½ teaspoon chili flakes
5 cloves garlic, only 1 clove finely chopped
1 lb. lamb loin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sprig rosemary
Maldon sea salt, to taste

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 475˚F. In mixing bowl whisk together yogurt, lemon juice (to taste) and olive oil. Fold in chopped cucumbers and mint. Set aside. Pat eggplant dry. Saute in olive oil until just cooked through. Place in mixing bowl with anchovy, chili flakes and chopped garlic. Set aside. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Roast lamb in oven with rosemary and 4 remaining cloves of garlic until cooked to an internal temperature of 135˚F. Remove from oven and let rest for fifteen to twenty minutes. Smear yogurt sauce on plate. Slice lamb and place on top. Spoon eggplant ‘relish’ on top of lamb and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

© Recipe courtesy of John Adler, franny’s

Roasted Lamb with Eggplant, Cucumbers, Mint, Anchovy and Yogurt

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