Grilled Zucchini, Portabella’s and Eggplant with Lemon Ricotta & Grilled Flatbread

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, sliced long and thin using a mandolin
1 portabella mushroom, sliced thin
1 grilled Japanese eggplant, sliced round and thin
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoon
Grilled flatbread (recipe follows)

Directions

Follow instructions for the grilled flatbread and keep warm. Place all the ingredients on a flat baking sheet and season with salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons lemon zest, making sure to get both sides. Drizzle olive oil over it, not too much and flip and do the same. Let stand while the lemon ricotta is made. In a medium bowl mix together the lemon juice, ricotta, and zest and season to taste with salt. Heat a grill and grill all vegetables until grilled and soft, or about 3-4 minutes. Place a dollop of the herbed ricotta on the flat bread and spread around, place the grilled vegetables of choice over the top and serve!

Grilled Herbed Flatbread

Makes 6 hand sized breads

Ingredients

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Olive oil
Coarse salt
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice (rosemary being the classic version), chopped fine

Directions

In a small bowl combine warm water and yeast, whisk a bit to mix and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast if frothy and dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt, add the yeast mixture and about 2 tablespoons of olive. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon until sticky dough is made, adding more flour or water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic or about 5-10 minutes. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough (smooth and elastic) in a round ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise until more than doubled in size or approximately 1½ hours. Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into hand size flat bread until golden brown with grill marks, or about 3-4 minutes per side. Take off the grill and immediately brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Hand Pounded Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Pesto, simply translated means pounded. It is one of the Lingurian regions most prized ingredients and traditionally hand pounded. Today many use food processors or blenders but you can still find devoted traditionalists who hand pound it proving that the taste is still superior with this method due to the increase of released essential oils from not only the basil but the garlic and pine nuts as well. The oils are more readily released when pounded versus cut or chopped. Traditionally a large wooden pestle is used and a marble or granite mortar for the pounding process. (They say the granite on many of the mortars still around is the same granite that Michael Angelo used to carve and sculpt with)

Ingredients

Coarse salt
Garlic (they say the garlic in this region is sweeter as well due to the ocean air influence)
Genovese basil leaves-small deep green and sweet leaves, not too pungent and always young
Pine nuts-from the Lingurian region as well, they claim the taste is sweeter and nuttier and also has a higher oil content than pine nuts in the east or south
Extra virgin olive oil-of course with the local region’s olives which have a milder sweeter flavor than other Italian olive oil
Pecorino, grated finely
Parmesan Reggiano, grated finely

Directions

There are several different paths to get to the final product. We have read about and seen many different ways but the way in which we say most was the following method and order.

The pesto is pounded slowly, first by combining the garlic with the coarse salt until a paste if formed adding a little bit of salt at a time. Next the leaves of the basil are added which are small on the Genovese plant and thus a few at a time are incorporated little by little pounding and mashing until the paste begins to turn green and the basil is broken apart. Pine nuts are added next again crushing and pounding until they are smashed into a paste and all oils are released. The pounding process is slow and methodical and each step has a finished product before moving on to the next step. The extra virgin olive oil is added next and once the cheeses are added no more pounding can be done so when the olive oil stage comes the desired consistency of the paste must be completed before adding cheese. Add the cheese and stir with the pestle.

Frozen Mango Margaritas

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

3 ripe mangoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Zest of 2 limes
13 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 15 limes
1½ cups Cointreau Triple Sec
2 cups tequila blanco
Coarse salt
Limes for garnish and taste

Directions

Puree the mangoes, lime zest, cilantro leaves and lime juice in a blender or with a hand held food processor until very smooth. Refrigerate mango puree until just before serving. When ready to serve, combine the puree with the triple sec and tequila blanco and mix very well. It can also be blended with ice at this stage for a frozen drink. Garnish salt-rimmed glasses with limes. Of course, some folks may prefer a little more tequila!

Recipe Property of Roberto Santibañez, from Contemporary Flavors of Mexico

Spring Greens Pizza Bianca with Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1-12 inch pizza

Ingredients

1 Ger-Nis Pizza Dough Recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt
¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup fresh Swiss chard, chopped
1 cup fresh dandelion greens, chopped
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
Maldon salt

Directions

Roll out pizza dough in one 12 inch circle and place on a pizza sheet. Mix the olive oil, salt and garlic in a small bowl and brush over dough. Make sure that all salt and garlic remnants are on the pizza. In boiling water dip or blanch the greens, spinach, chard and dandelions for about 2 minutes no more.

Remove from water and strain using a cheese cloth to get out all excess water. Arrange the dry greens all over the pizza and sprinkle the goat cheese and the tomatoes over the top evenly distributed. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and when all the goat cheese is melted. Take out of oven and sprinkle immediately with a little of the Maldon salt.

Perfectly Steamed Asparagus with Citrus-Garlic Salt Butter

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound (about 30-40 medium spears) fresh green asparagus, ends trimmed
1 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons extra
Salt
¼ cup butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Maldon salt

Directions

Bring 2 inches of water in a large skillet to a rapid boil. Toss in 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Toss in asparagus making sure they are fully submerged in the water. Cook the asparagus for about 2-3 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Remove asparagus from the pan and immediately submerge in a big bath of ice water. Plunge the asparagus in the ice water until the asparagus is no longer hot but warm or tepid. In a small sauce pan heat the butter, olive oil, garlic, zest and coarse salt until just melted. Drizzle on asparagus and finish with a pinch of Maldon salt.

Roasted Pork Loin with Onion Cherry Sage Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

For the pork loin

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 fresh bay leaves, veins stems removed
2 teaspoon juniper berries
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 3-pound pork loin
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil or olive oil
½ cup chicken broth

For the cherry onion sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine
½ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoon high quality balsamic vinegar
2 cups full-bodied, spicy red wine, Cabarnet Franc or Syrah
¼ cup chicken broth (optional)
Salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the pork loin

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a spice grinder, combine rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries, orange zest, salt, and pepper. Grind to a medium grind, a little thicker than fine black pepper but not as coarse as cracked. Rub all over pork loin. In a large cast iron heavy bottom skillet over high heat, add butter and oil. Sear pork loin on all sides. Remove from pan, and place in a roasting pan, pouring ½ cup chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the center registers about 145-150°F.

In the meantime, place the cast iron pan that you used for the pork on medium high heat, add butter. Cook onions, making sure to stir constantly, until caramelized or about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, sage, dried cherries, vinegar, and wine, stirring and scraping all the bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, and season with salt and pepper. Let boil until mixture reduce by about half, about 5 to 6 minutes. Take off heat.

Serve pork loin with the cherry onion sage sauce on top.

Quinoa Apple Salad with Curry Dressing

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4
Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup raw whole almonds
1 cup white quinoa
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 small McIntosh apple, cut into 18-inch-thick wedges
¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let cool.

Coarsely chop nuts. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve; drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir quinoa, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is tender but still chewy, about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork; let cool.

Whisk together honey, shallot, curry powder, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add quinoa, currants, apple, mint, and nuts; toss well. Garnish with mint.

Mango-Sage BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15-20 Party Size Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

For the dry rub

1 teaspoon dried chipotle flakes
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime zest, grated finely
2 tablespoons coarse salt

For the mango bbq pork

4-5 pounds pork butt, cut into a few large pieces
½ cup mango purée
2 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
Vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

In a small mixing bowl, mix all of the spices. Rub mixture all over pork butt pieces, and set aside. In the meantime, mix all remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. These blended ingredients will function as your BBQ sauce.

In a hot and lightly greased cast iron pan over high heat, sear the pork butt pieces on each side until a brown sear is present. Place pork butt pieces and BBQ sauce in a crock pot on low, about 3 to 4 hours. Pull meat apart, and mix with sauce. Serve on party size buns.

Grilled Flat Bread

October 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 hand sized breads.

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Olive oil
Coarse salt
¼ cup za’ater

PREPARATION

In a small bowl combine warm water and yeast, whisk a bit to mix and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is frothy and dissolved. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt, add the yeast mixture and about 2 tablespoons of olive. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon until a sticky dough is made, adding more flour or water if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic or about 5-10 minutes. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough (smooth and elastic) in a round ball in the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and let rise until more than doubled in size or approximately 1½ hours. Punch down dough and divide into 6 balls. Roll out each ball into hand size flat bread until golden brown with grill marks, or about 3-4 minutes per side. Take off the grill and immediately brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and za’atar.

Grilled Israeli Flatbread

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