Spring Herbal Pavlova Cups with Rhubarb Rosemary Granita and Beet Lavender Flower Syrup

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

pavlova

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For pavlovas

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

For granita

2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup honey
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped fine


Directions


For pavlovas


Preheat oven to 300°F. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and herbs. Set aside. In a mixer (or with a whisk), beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the water, and beat. Continue beating soft peaks. Increase speed, and add sugar and corn starch mixture a little at a time. Next, add vinegar, and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff. Place a spoonful on a lined baking sheet, making 6 to 8 little bowls. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes, until starch hardens, before eating. For serving, place a little granita in a pavlova cup and drizzle a little lavender syrup on top. Garnish with some fresh herbs.


For granita


In a blender, combine all ingredients until mixed well. Add more honey to desired sweetness. Pour in a shallow, metal pan, and freeze, scraping frozen granules every 10 to 20 minutes for about a total of 2 hours.


Beet  Lavender Flower Syrup


Ingredients


½ cup honey
1 cup water
1 medium beet chopped
¼ cup turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped


Directions


In a small sauce pan, whisk the honey, water, sugar and herbs together while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 8 minutes, take off heat and allow to cool.

Radishes, Chervil Butter and Herbal Citrus Salts

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 stick butter (12 tablespoons) softened
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon fresh chervil leaves, chopped fine
16-20 French breakfast radishes, washed and trimmed
Citrus Salt (recipe follows)

Directions

Combine the butter, salt and chervil in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate to harden. Just prior to serving take the butter out and allow to come to room temperature. Place the butter in a bowl and the citrus salts and the radishes all around it. To eat, place a little butter on each radish and some citrus salts. Enjoy!

Chive Blossom Croutons

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups of croutons

Ingredients

2 cups cubed white bread (1½ inch cubes)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chive blossom flowers
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well, making sure that the bread cubes are totally covered with butter. Place the croutons on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, turning as needed and until slightly browned on all sides. Allow to cool.

Asparagus & Mint Pesto

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 2½ cups

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed (½ inch off only) and chopped
½ cup fresh mint leaves, stems removed and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup raw almonds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt

Directions

Place all ingredients, except the oil, in food processor and pulse until chopped pretty fine. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the top until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Add more for a “looser” pesto and less for a “chunkier” version. Season to taste with a little more salt if needed.

*Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Russian Rhubard Grass

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

©Nissa Pierson, Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center, Gowanus Brooklyn

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 ounces gin (New York Distilling Company – Dorothy Parker)
½ ounce Gran Classico
1 ounce Rhubarb Pink Peppercorn Honey Nectar*
½ ounce lemon juice
Lemon wheel garnish
Pink Peppercorn Parsley Sugar*
Brooklyn Hemispherical Rhubarb Bitters

Directions

Gently muddle about 10 mint and 10 parsley leaves along with lemon zest in a mixing glass until all the oils from the herbs are released, about 5-8 seconds. Add the gin, Gran Classico, Rhubarb Pink Peppercorn Honey Nectar and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini style class. Float the lemon wheel on top of the drink and sprinkle a tiny bit of the Pink Peppercorn Parsley Sugar on the wheel. Drop three to four drops of Brooklyn Hemispherical Rhubarb Bitters onto the lemon wheel.

*Rhubarb Pink Peppercorn Honey Nectar – In a sauce pan combine 2 pounds fresh rhubarb (chopped) with ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns (crushed), small hand full fresh mint leaves and large handful of fresh parsley leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer for 10-12 minutes. Take off heat and strain. Add the honey to the warm mixture and mix well. Cool completely.

*Pink Peppercorn Parsley Sugar – Mix together 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped superfine, 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns (crushed) and 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar. Squeeze two drops of rhubarb bitters to sugar mixture to moisten.

Herbal Zaiquiri

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

©Zachary Sharaga, Louis 649, Alphabet City Manhattan


Ingredients


2 ounces white rum
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce fresh sorrel simple syrup*


Directions


Shake all ingredients together in a shaker. Strain into a chilled flure glass. Garnish by inserting a blade of sorrel vertically into flute. (Break stem off of sorrel blade so that an approximately 1-inch tip sticks out above the washline.)

*Fresh Sorrel Simple Syrup – Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Add 2 handfuls of fresh sorrel (about 20  leaves – leaves only, no stems). Blend the mixture in a blender until ultra smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Use immediately in order to keep the bright green color.

My Darling Lemon Thyme

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

©Brendan Casey, Quarter Bar, South Slope Brooklyn

Ingredients

1½ ounce gin (New York Distilling Company-Dorothy Parker)
½ ounce Carpano Antica Vermouth
2 drops of lavender infused green chartreuse*
½ ounce lemon thyme
½ ounce lemon thyme brown sugar syrup*
Lemon peel

Directions

Add all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and double strain into a chilled coupe or martini style glass. Garnish with a large lemon peel, releasing the oils over the cocktail before submerging it into the glass.

*Lavender Infused Green Chartreuse – Combine in a small mason jar 2 ounces of green chartreuse with 1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers. Seal the jar and let infuse for 3 days, shaking once per day. Strain out the lavender flowers prior to use.

*Lemon Thyme Brown Sugar Syrup – Combine 1 part organic brown sugar, 1 part water and a large handful or bunch of lemon thyme in medium sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring. Let boil for about 5 minutes in total taking it on and off the heat the entire time. Cool, strain and bottle.

Shortbread Cookies with Winter Herbs and Dried Fruit

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
3½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
Fine sanding sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and chopped rosemary; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in olive oil. Reduce speed to low. Mix in flour mixture. Add cream; mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and dried cherries and mix until just combined.

Shape dough into ¾ inch balls and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with fingers and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 13 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on sheet or wire racks. Store in airtight container.

*Alternatively use fresh thyme, orange zest and chopped dried dates; dried cranberries, fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine, Winter Savory and 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 teaspoons orange juice.

Sicilian-Style Herbed Meatballs with Herbed Polenta

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Meatballs

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, ground
1 bulb garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grains Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten

Sauce

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 lbs plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

Directions

To make the meatballs, mix ground beef and ground sausage with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Use fingers to mix well and squish ingredients together. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal and the currants and again mix very well using fingers. Add the beaten eggs and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should cause the mixture to bind and stick together.

Form mixture into about 1 to 1¼ inch balls and set aside.

In a large, deep heavy bottom pan heat a few tablespoons of olive oil to a high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches by rolling them around on all sides until well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.

After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent about 1-2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well so to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine and the salt and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about five minutes. Turn the burner on low and add the meatballs to the sauce stirring gently until the meatballs are covered in the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.

Herbed Polenta

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 cups water
Salt
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
½ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Bring water and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan to a boil, add cornmeal, and whisk well. Reduce heat to low, and cook until thick and tender, whisking regularly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and cracked pepper. Stir well until all is melted and incorporated.

Herbed Polenta

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 cups water
Salt
2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
½ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Bring water and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan to a boil, add cornmeal, and whisk well. Reduce heat to low, and cook until thick and tender, whisking regularly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and cracked pepper. Stir well until all is melted and incorporated.

Kale and Apple Salad with Walnut-Herb Dressing

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


This is an amazing take on the classic waldorf salad, its modern and sassy and showcases the earthy flavors of kale!


Ingredients


3 cups raw kale (purple or lacinato), jullianned
½ cup celery, sliced thin
2 tart apples, cored and chopped small
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fine
¼ cup raisins
1 shallot, chopped superfine
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


Directions


Toss together the kale, celery, apples, ½ cup walnuts and raisins in a large bowl until well mixed. In a smaller bowl whisk together the shallot, mayonnaise, thyme, vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Make sure to whisk until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and add more honey for a greater sweetness. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together until well mixed.

Baked Herbal Goat Cheese with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olive Bread

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces goat cheese
Cracked black pepper
Chopped herbs for garnish

Directions

Pre heat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl mix together tomatoes, fresh herbs and salt. Place in a small shallow baking dish. Place dollops of goat cheese on the top of the tomatoes and sprinkle with a little black pepper and place the dish in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. In the meantime, slice bread into sliced about ½ inch thick and toast in the oven. When the tomato dish is done take it out of the oven and sprinkle a few fresh herbs over the top. Serve with the olive bread.

Cranberry & Thyme Sparkler

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

½ cup cranberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 few fresh thyme sprigs
1 cinnamon stick
Sparkling water or sparkling wine
Cranberries and thyme leaves for garnish

Directions

Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, fresh thyme and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and heat to high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolved and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is at a boil reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the liquid turns thick and syrupy; stirring occasionally throughout the process. Let the mixture cool and discard the thyme sprigs and cinnamon stick. Blend te mixture in a blender until smooth and strain.

Place about 1 ounce of the syrup in a champagne flute and fill with sparkling water or wine. Garnish with a cranberry and a few fresh thyme leaves.

Balsamic & Rosemary Honey Roasted Root Vegetables

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

This is an amazingly “winter fresh” tasting dish! Cut and peel the roots according to your own preference and mix and match vegetables according to your local farmers and tastes!

Ingredients

1 medium potato
1 rutabaga
1 turnip
1 orange beet
1 red beet
1 carrot
1 shallot
1 medium red onion
5 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Cracked black pepper
Balsamic & Rosemary Honey (recipe follows, should be made ahead or while vegetables are roasting)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Chop the root vegetables, onion and garlic to the size of your choice, making sure they are consistent in size in order for them to cook properly and evenly. Toss together with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes (may take 30 minutes for larger pieces). Remove from the oven, place vegetables in a bowl and toss together with the Balsamic Rosemary Honey. Return vegetables to the baking sheet and place back in the oven, turning up the temperature between at 400. Roast until vegetables are caramelized and beginning to brown.

Balsamic Rosemary Honey

Ingredients

½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped fine (optional)

Directions

Whisk together all ingredients and let stand for at least 30 minutes before using.

Pan Roasted Bass with Tropical Mango Salsa and Coconut Cilantro Rice

April 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

Ger-Nis Herb Chili Pepper
1 tangerine
4 4-ounce bass fillets, skin on (no more than two inches thick)
Avocado oil or olive oil
1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed small
1 cup ripe but firm mango, cubed small
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped small
¼ cup red onion, chopped fine
¼ cup green onions, sliced thin
¼ cup cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons green chilies, deseeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
Coconut Cilantro Rice (recipe follows)

Directions

Season both sides of the sea bass with the Chili Herb Black Pepper and drizzle with a little tangerine juice and let sit until room temperature. Heat the oil in a skillet to medium high heat. Place the fish pieces skin side up in the hot pan and cook for about 3 minutes, making sure not to disturb or flip too early. Flip after three minutes and cook for another 4 minutes. Place some coconut cilantro rice on a plate and lay the cooked fish on top (skin side down). Spoon some of the tropical salsa over the top.

Coconut Cilantro Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups long white rice
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoos sugar
1 teaspoon Ger-Nis Chili Herb Pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine

Directions

Combine all the ingredients, except the cilantro, into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling cover and reduce to a low temperature. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes and then remove from heat and leave covered and let stand 5-8 minutes. Add the cilantro and mix, fluffing with a fork before serving.

Coconut Cilantro Rice

April 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups long white rice
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoos sugar
1 teaspoon Ger-Nis Chili Herb Pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine

Directions

Combine all the ingredients, except the cilantro, into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling cover and reduce to a low temperature. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes and then remove from heat and leave covered and let stand 5-8 minutes. Add the cilantro and mix, fluffing with a fork before serving.

Lemon Thyme Pesto Drizzle

April 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup pesto

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh lemon thyme leaves (substitute basil if you cannot find lemon thyme)
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Ger-Nis Finishing Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Ger-Nis Citrus Herb Cracked Black Pepper

April 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup salts

Ingredients

¼ cup maldon salt
3 tablespoons lemon zest*
1 tablespoon lime zest*
1 tablespoon orange zest*
2 teaspoons red chili flakes
½ cup black pepper corns
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine

*Use organic unwaxed citrus, make sure citrus and herbs are completely dry.

Directions

Preheat oven to 225°F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture on a lined baking sheet allowing amble room, making sure to flatten completely the mixture against the pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, the zest and herbs should crumble easily when pressed together with your fingers. Allow to cool and process in a spice grinder until a course chop is created. Store in an airtight jar for up to two months. Do not refrigerate.

Ger-Nis Citrus Herb Finishing Salt

April 4th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 1 cup salts

Ingredients

¾ cup maldon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest*
1 tablespoon lime zest*
1 teaspoon orange zest*
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves, chopped superfine

*Use organic unwaxed citrus, make sure citrus and herbs are completely dry.

Directions

Preheat oven to 225°F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture on a lined baking sheet allowing amble room, making sure to flatten completely the mixture against the pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, the zest and herbs should crumble easily when pressed together with your fingers. Allow to cool and then either process with your fingers by rubbing zest and herbs together with salt or pulse a few times in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight jar for up to two months. Do not refrigerate.

Herbed Cous Cous

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 cups Israeli couscous Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup sliced crimini or brown button mushrooms
2 cups Israeli style couscous (regular couscous can be substituted)

Directions

In a medium sauce pan bring 3 cups of water to a boil and then add the couscous, stirring well at a steady boil for approximately 2 minutes. Take off cover and let stand 10-15 minutes or until couscous is tender but slightly aldente. Do not take cover off during the first 10 minutes of setting, as to allow the couscous to finish cooking. In a medium skillet heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté garlic and fresh herbs for just about a minute, add red bell peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the butter and lemon zest to the pan and allowing a minute for the butter to melt. Add mushrooms and sauté for about 2 minutes or until tender and succulent. Add cooked couscous to the herb mushroom mixture and stir well.

Moroccan Harissa Herbal Stew

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 lb of lamb meat cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cup red lentils
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup water
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions

Sauté onions and garlic in a heavy stew pan on medium high heat with the olive oil for 2 minutes or until tender. Add lamb meat and brown well for about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice and zest. Continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Add chickpeas, lentils and water. Stir well. Simmer on low heat for about 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and a slice of lemon dusted with cinnamon. Serves 6.

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Herbal Icing

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
3 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups buttermilk
¼ cup meyer lemon juice
4 eggs
Herbal Icing

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 piece muffin tins. In a large mixing bowl sift together the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest. In another bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients, until well mixed. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet, stirring continuously until all the dry mixture is incorporated and a smooth batter is formed. Divide the batter into the 18 cups and place in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes or until stick inserted inside comes out clean. Take out of tins and allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack with pan underneath. While still warm but not hot drizzle the herbal icing over the top.

Meyer Lemon Herbal Icing

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped fine

Directions

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Meyer Lemon Herbal Icing

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped fine

Directions

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Herbed Gremolata

March 13th, 2012 § 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 (meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Directions

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

Bay Leaf Créme Brulee

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 ramekins

One of the most traditional of the French desserts a rich custard with a glass like burnt sugar topping!

Ingredients

2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
12 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out (seeds reserved)
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
¾ cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
Bay leaf sugar (1 cup sugar and 4-6 bay leaves in a jar for 1 week-shaking each day)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, bay leaves (crack before putting in pan to release oils), vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil. Take off heat and let steep for about 20 minutes. In the meantime beat the eggs, egg yolk and ¾ cup sugar and the pinch of salt. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaves and whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolk until thick custard is formed. Divide the custard into 6 lightly greased ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking dish with sides and place about 1-2 inches water in the dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the water bath and place in the refrigerator to set up for at least 3 hours. For serving place a tablespoon of bay leaf sugar over the top and with a kitchen blow torch heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Allow brulée to set for a few minutes while the caramelized sugar hardens.

Chicken & Herb Dumpling Soup

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped small
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch strips, lightly dusted with whole wheat flour
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
1 medium turnip, cubed small
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
13 cup white wine (use wine chosen for wine pairing)
3 cups light herbal onion stock
1 cup of the following herbs de-stemmed and chopped: parsley, thyme, marjoram, chives
2 fresh bay leaves
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup fresh spinach
Herb Dumplings, recipe follows

Directions

In a large heavy bottom stew skillet, heat olive and butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions for a few minutes until translucent. Add chicken and green onions and sauté until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Add celery, carrots, turnips and salt and pepper. Deglaze pan with white wine and add light herbal onion stock and herbs, including bay leaves. Bring to a boil and turn to low and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile prepare dumplings, see recipe that follows. Add the cream, cayenne, nutmeg and spinach. Drop spoonfuls of the Herb Dumpling dough over the top of the soup and let cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, uncovered and not stirring until the dumplings are cooked through.

Herb Dumplings

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed very small
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and stir well. Add butter and using fingers make a crumbly mixture. Add milk, cayenne and herbs and mix well, adding more flour if needed in order to make a slightly sticky but manageable dough.

Herb Dumplings

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed very small
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and stir well. Add butter and using fingers make a crumbly mixture. Add milk, cayenne and herbs and mix well, adding more flour if needed in order to make a slightly sticky but manageable dough.

Herby Moose Meatballs

February 14th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

2 pounds ground moose
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
Olive oil

For the Sauce

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 pounds plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

Directions

To make the meatballs, mix ground moose with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Use hands to mix well and combine ingredients. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal, and the currants. Again, mix very well using hands. Add the beaten eggs, and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should cause the mixture to bing together.
Form mixture into about 1 to 1¼-inch balls, and set aside.
In a large and deep heavy bottom pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches until all are well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.
After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan, and add another tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine, salt, and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Turn to low heat, and add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring gently until the meatballs are covered by the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.
Serve over polenta or pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese!
The alternative to sautéing meatballs is to bake them in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Follow the same directions as above for the sauce.

Lamb Kefta with Herbed Yogurt and Pomegranates

February 14th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup red onion, chopped super fine
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
Pita Bread
¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

For the Yogurt Sauce

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

To assemble the meatballs, combine all ingredients except the eggs. Use hands to mix well, making sure all ingredients and spiced are all combined. Form into 1-inch balls. Lamb meatballs can be either grilled over medium-high heat (turning until browned on all sides) or baked in 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, rolling a few times to make sure they are browned on all sides.
To make the yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or use a hand held processor, and blend until smooth.
Serve meatballs in pita with yogurt and garnished with pomegranate seeds.

Mexican Herbed Chicken Albondigas Soup

February 14th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
Juice and zest of 2 limes
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup red pepper, chopped fine
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

Soup

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced round
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
1 tablespoon dried cumin
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups chicken stock
4 small fresh corn tortillas, sliced in thin strips

Directions

To assemble meatballs, use fingers to mix together all ingredients until well blended. Form into balls from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large soup pan on medium high heat. Sauté garlic, onions, red pepper and carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add zucchini, jalapeños and spiced. Mix well, sautéing for another few minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and stir until well combined. Gently lower the meatballs into the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes on low ansd until meatballs are cooked through. Take off heat and add tortilla strips. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Garnish with avocado and cotija cheese.

Sicilian Style Herbed Meatballs

February 14th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, ground
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
Olive oil

For the Sauce

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 pounds plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

Directions

To make the meatballs, mix ground beef and ground sausage with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Use hands to mix well and combine ingredients. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal, and the currants. Again, mix very well using hands. Add the beaten eggs, and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should case the mixture to bind together.
Form mixture into about 1 to ¼-inch balls, and set aside.
In a large and deep heavy bottom pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches until all are well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.
After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan, and add another tablespoon of olive oil in necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine, salt, and pepper, again stirring to delgaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Turn to low heat, and add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring gently until the meatballs are covered by the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.
Serve over polenta or pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese!
The alternative to sautéing meatballs is to bake them in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Follow the same directions as above for the sauce.

Herby Meatloaf

December 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped fine
2 green onions, chopped (including green parts)
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons lemon thyme or regular thyme
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
¼-½ cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tablespoons tabasco or hot sauce (Ger-Nis tabasco)
2 tablespoons ketchup
Chives for garnish

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the ketchup and mix very well! Place the mixture in a greased meta or glass loaf pan and glaze the top with ketchup using a pastry brush. Sprinkle some chopped herbs on the top (chives). Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked through but not over cooked. Let stand about five minutes before slicing through in order to let the juices settle.

Herbed Parsnip Oven Fries

December 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

5 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into thin strips (French fries)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
Maldon or flake salt

Directions

Pre heat oven to 425°F. Place the parsnips in a large mixing bowl and combine all other ingredients in the same bowl. Mix and toss well until all the parsnips are well coated with oil, adding extra oil if needed. Place on a line baking sheet, making sure the parsnips have enough space to cook evenly. Place in the oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until browned evenly. Make sure to turn and flip the parsnips at least once during the roasting process for even browning. Sprinkle a little flask on them as they come out of the oven if desired.

Lobster, Tomato Corn Pies with Corn Aioli

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 15 pies

Ingredients

1 medium shallot
2 cups lobster meat, cooked
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Savory Pie Dough
1 egg beaten
Coarse Salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl mix together shallot, lobster, corn, tomatoes and herbs, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Roll out the pie dough and cut into 15 circles about 8 inches in diameter. Place about a 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the dough, and fold then empanada style by rolling from one side to the other. Brush with the beaten egg and place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Sweet Corn Aioli

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 egg yolks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon citrus champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a blender of food processor, place egg and garlic. Whirl until garlic is smooth. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream until the sauce is thick and emulsified. Add the vinegar, lemon zest and juice. Add the corn kernels and blend until the kernels are chopped but not toatlly smooth. The sauce should be creamy with bits of corn.

Cod en Papillote

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 ear sweet corn kernels
1 medium tomato, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
Zest of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup white wine
6 pieces cod, 3-4 ounces each
6 sqaure pieces of parchment paper ( 8 X 8 )
2 cups baby arugula or watercress
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl combine the corn, tomato, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme and lemon zest together, and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Season each piece of fish with salt and pepper and place in the center of each parchment paper square. Divide the vegetable mixture between all of the 6 parchment squares setting a scoop onto each fish piece. Place a pat of butter on top of each fish piece and a little white wine. Fold the parhcment paper like a present making sure it is completely sealed and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime place the watercress or baby arugula in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. When the fish is done, cut the package open and serve with the salad on the side.

*Recipe Property of Laura Kimberly Merrick

Summer Squash Soup with Mint Pesto

August 11th, 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 tablespoon 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.

Eggplant Caviar with Mint Yogurt Sauce

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
2 medium tomatoes, chopped medium
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Greek Yogurt
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice eggplant in half and place skin side down on a lined baking sheet. Roast about 40-45 minutes or until brown, bubbly and tender. Set aside to cool. In the same oven at the end of the eggplant’s time place the tomatoes in a glass baking dish and sprinkle with cumin seeds, cilantro, salt, lemon zest and garlic. Roast for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the eggplant from its skin and chop super fine. In a large mixing bowl combine eggplant and tomatoes and mix well. Divide up into ramekins and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Place in the broiler for about 3 minutes or until slightly charred on top. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the yogurt, mint and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and drizzle the over the eggplant and garnish with a mint or cilantro leaf.

Summer Garden Portobello Quiche

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 mini Quiche

Ingredients

1 large portabella mushroom, stem removed
2 eggs, beaten
3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
Salt/pepper
2 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Gently scoop out the inside of the portabella mushroom using a spoon so it resembles a bowl. Reserve the scoop mixture for another dish. Mix eggs, tomatoes, green onions, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, cream and cheese. Place the portabella mushroom bowl side up on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture inside the scooped portabella, filling to the rim. Place in the oven and bake about 25-30 minutes.

Sauteed Baby and Thai Eggplants with Basil and Peppers

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

Sesame oil
Canola oil
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 red pepper, cut into 2 inch thin strips
1 orange pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
8 eggplant (small baby and thai style) halved
2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
2 tablespoons mirin sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup fresh thai basil leaves
Green onions, sliced thin
Peanuts

Directions

In a large sauté pan or work heat oil until hot, add the chili garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes. Next add the peppers and sauté a few more minutes. Add the baby eggplants and sauté about 5 minutes or more until soft and tender. Add the hoisin, tamari, mirin and lime juice and stir and cook another few minutes. Add the basil leaves, stir and take off heat. Serve over rice with green onions and chopped peanuts for garnish.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad with Chili and Mint and Toasted Pine Nuts

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

4-5 Summer Squash, cut into ribbons (using a mandolin)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped superfine
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Directions

In a mixing bowl mix together the squash, garlic, lemon juice and mint. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over it and sprinkle with chilies, pine nuts and salt and mix well.

Rosemary and Plum Grilled Pork

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 boneless pork loin chops
Salt/pepper
3 plums (black preferred), deseeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
2 cloves roasted garlic
½ cup red wine
½ cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

Directions

Season the pork loin chops with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a grill to hot or pre-heat the oven to 350°F. In the meantime, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cook about 10 minutes or until semi thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill or bake the pork until desired doneness. Serve with warm not hot plum sauce over the top.

Grilled Eggplant Rolls with Tomatoes and Zucchini Mint Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

2 large globe eggplants, sliced thin, long ways
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, roasted and chopped small
3 cloves garlic, roasted and chopped small
1 medium yellow onion, roasted and chopped small
1 small zucchini, roasted and chopped small
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 cup fresh ricotta

Directions

Lay the eggplant down on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. On another baking sheet place the tomatoes, garlic, onions and zucchini, making sure they are in large pieces and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until charred slightly. Set aside and allow to cool. In the meantime grill the eggplant on a hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and grilled nicely. Chop all the roasted vegetables and toss in a bowl and toss together with lemon zest, juice and fresh herbs. Spoon a dollop or two of the ricotta on the grilled eggplant and spoon some of the roasted salsa on top. Roll up the eggplant and drizzle some of the juice from the roasted salsa over the top.

Grilled White Eggplant with Peanut Sauce and Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 small white eggplants (about 1 pound each) cut into ½ inch thick slices the long way
Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 red chilis, deseeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons yuzi rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro Red Pepper Relish (recipe follows)

Directions

Lay the eggplant down on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, shallot, chilies, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, zest, peanut butter, tamari, vinegar and lice juice. Pour the mixture over the eggplant and flip brushing it all over the eggplant. Grill the eggplant on a hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and grilled nicely. Serve with Cilantro Pepper Relish.

Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 red bell peppers, deseeded and chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 shallot, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemongrass bulb, chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoon red chili, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thai basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 tablespoon yuzu rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

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.

Grilled Stone Fruit with Honey Herb Cream

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

5-6 stone fruits, halved
½ cup turbinado sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup créme fraiche
¼ cup honey
¼ cup fresh herbs of choice

Directions

Place the halved stone fruit cut side up on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Grill the stone fruits cut side down on a grill for about 5 minutes, flipping once at the last minute. In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, créme fraiche, honey, and herbs until thick and creamy. Spoon over the grilled fruit.

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Nectarine Salsa and Peach BBQ Sauce

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
Salt/pepper
Peach BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)
2 nectarines, not fully ripe, firm, deseeded and chopped small
½ red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
½ red onion, chopped small
1 serrano chili, deseeded and chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick and consistently even. Cut into small triangle or similar shapes about 3-4 inches in circumference. Season with salt & pepper. Place them in a large flat baking dish and smother them with the peach BBQ sauce. Let stand for about 20 minutes. Preheat your grill or an oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl combine the nectarines, peppers, onions, chili and cilantro and mix together well. Squeeze the lime juice and season with salt and mix well. Let stand while the chicken cooks. Place chicken, letting all excess BBQ sauce drip off, on greased grill for a few minutes on each side or in the oven for about 5-10 minutes flipping once more. Serve the chicken paillards with the salsa spooned over the top.

Peach BBQ Sauce

Makes 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

3 peaches, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
¼-½ cup bourbon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Sprinkle peaches (open halves) with sugar and grill until soft. Combine all ingredients in a blender (or use a handheld food processor) and blend until relatively smooth but still has some coarseness. Brush the sauce on meats while they are cooking.

Grilled Chicken Pillards with Cucumber and Melon Herb Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons almond oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
½ medium sized cantaloupe, deseeded, peeled and chopped small
2 large cucumbers, deseeded and chopped small
½ red onion, chopped fine
Salt & black pepper

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with a meat hammer until about ½ inch thick and consistently even. Cut into small triangle or similar shapes about 3-4 inches in circumference. Season with salt & pepper. Preheat your grill or an oven to 325°F. In a small bowl whisk together the zest, citrus juices, vinegar, oil and agave nectar until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh herbs. Pour over the cucumbers and melons in another bowl and mix well. Let stand at room temperature while the chicken cooks. Place chicken on greased grill for a few minutes on each side or in the oven for about 5-10 minutes flipping once more. Serve the chicken pillards with the salsa spooned over the top.

Chicken Paillards with Grilled Peach & Pepino Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, boneless skinless
Salt/pepper
2 medium peaches, pitted and chopped fine
1 medium Pepino melon, seeds removed, peeled and chopped fine (1 cup chopped honeydew melon can be substituted)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons jalapeño or serrano pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon peach preserves
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce, mashed

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with meat hammer until about ½ inch thick and consistently even. Cut into small triangle or similar shapes about 3-4 inches in circumference. Season with salt & pepper. Preheat you grill or an oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl combine peaches, bell peppers, jalapeños, and cilantro and toss together. Let stand at room temperature while the chicken cooks. Place chicken on greased grill for a few minutes on each side or in the oven for about 5-10 minutes flipping once time. Serve the chicken paillards with the salsa spooned over the top.

Heirloom Melon and Prosciutto Wraps with Lemon Thyme Drizzle

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 heirloom melon, deseeded, peeled and sliced into small wedges
18-20 slices of prosciutto
Lemon thyme drizzle (recipe follows)
Maldon salt

Directions

Wrap the prosciutto slices around the melon slices tightly and drizzle with a small amount of the lemon thyme syrup.

Lemon Thyme Drizzle

Ingredients

¼ cup water
1 cup honey
4 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves

Directions

In a small sauce pan heat honey and lemon thyme leaves on simmer for about 5 minutes until warm and honey has been infused with lemon thyme.

Crenshaw & Basil Frozen Ice

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 cups crenshaw melon, cubed in 1 inch cubes and frozen solid overnight (or other melon)
1 cup simple syrup (infused with basil a plus)
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and icy. Be careful not to over blend as the frozen honey dew will melt quickly. Make sure you chop the basil fine before placing in blender to avoid needing to over blend. Serve immediately, garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil Lime Sodas & Herbal Melon Ice Cubes

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 soda

Ingredients

Herbal melon ice cubes
Juice of 1 lime
2 ounces basil lime syrup
Soda water
Melon ball ice cubes

Directions

Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into a large glass filled with herbal melon ice cubes. Place 2 ounces of the basil lime syrup inside and fill with soda water and stir. Add more syrup for added sweetness. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil Lime Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon lime zest
Juice of 3 limes
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Directions

Combine the lime zest, lime juice, sugar, water and basil leaves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and strain.

Herbal Melon Ice Cubes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups melon of choice
½ cup basil lime syrup
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in cube trays and freeze.

Stone Fruit Herbal Sodas

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 soda

Ingredients

Ice
2 ounces herbal stone fruit syrup of choice
Soda water
Stone fruit garnish of choice

Directions

Pour two ounces of the stone fruit herbal syrup on a large glass filled with ice. Fill with soda water and stir. Add more syrup for added sweetness, stir and garnish with a piece of stone fruit or an herb leaf.

Tarragon Peach Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves only
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe peach, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the tarragon, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Rosemary Plum Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons rosemary leaves
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
2 ripe plums, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the rosemary, sugar, water and plums in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Nectarine Mint Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup mint
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the mint, sugar, water and nectarine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Nectarine Mint Syrup

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup mint
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped

Directions

Combine the mint, sugar, water and nectarine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Summer Fruit Salad with Ginger-Mint Honey Dressing

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approx ¾ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
Fresh seasonal summer fruit: melons, peaches, plums, wedge and chopped

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients together until blended well. Place the fruit in a large bowl or on a large platter and drizzle the dressing over it.

Italian Antipasti Plate

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 medium red onions, quartered and roasted
9 cloves garlic, roasted
20 cherry tomatoes yellow and red, roasted lightly
2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
1 cup back brine cured olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, halved
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Crusty Italian Bread

Directions

Arrange all the vegetables on a platter, top with olives. In a small bowl whisk together herbs, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, and olive oil. Drizzle a top the antipasto and season with salt! Serve over crusty bread.

Fettuccini Nero Al Mar

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

This recipe is inspired by two experiences actually, my trip to the Lingurian coast and my many trips to Al di La in Brooklyn and my many Sepia Al Nero meals I have had right here in my own backyard. I often try to recreate Anna’s dishes and with an okay amount of success and this dish is no exception. I would like to think I learned a few tricks in Italy that can perhaps, maybe, almost compete with Anna’s version, which I have to admit is just about exactly the same as I found all along the coast of Italy!

Ingredients

Cuttlefish Ink Fettuccini, cooked (regular pasta dough) made with 1 tablespoon cuttlefish ink
*for whatever reason the sepia ink is said to drown out the taste of the salt in the past so add 1 teaspoon salt extra to the recipe using the ink
Olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh red chili’s (dried chili flakes can be substituted)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cloves garlic
1 cup rock shrimp
1 cup cuttlefish pieces, chopped large
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pesto
¼ cup fresh mint

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat the oil, chilies and lemon zest and sauté the garlic for a few minutes. Add the rock shrimp and cuttlefish pieces and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and the pesto and stir. Cook for about 5-8 minutes and toss together with pasta and fresh mint.

Lavender Buttermilk Fried Chicken

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the brine

1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 lemons sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lavender leaves and flowers
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of the following herbs, chopped fine: thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram
1 cup salt
2 gallon hot water (no more, possibly less)
2 chickens, cut, 4 breasts, 4 legs, 4 thighs and 4 wings

For the fried chicken

Canola oil
1 quart buttermilk
8 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl or bucket mix together all the herbs and spices with hot water until the salt dissolved fully. Place the chicken parts in the brine and let soak overnight or for about 10-12 hours maximum. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse in cool water, drain well. Let the chicken dry and rest for at least a half hour making sure to pat dry with paper towels if still moist. Heat two large deep pots with the oil for frying, the oil should register about 320°F. Prepare a baking sheet with paper towels to pace the fried chicken pieces on after cooking.

In a large bowl place the buttermilk and set aside. In another large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and herbs and spices. Set up your bowled flour and buttermilk as well as the chicken in a place close to the pans, this will be your “dipping station”. When the oil is hot enough, place a chicken part in the flour mixture and coat evenly and lightly, shake off excess and dip in the buttermilk and then again in the flour mixture and gain coat well and shake off excess. Place chicken skin side down in the oil and repeat with the other chicken parts as there is room in the pan. Making sure to adjust the heat if necessary to keep the 320°F temperature. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side a few times for a total cooking time of about 10 minutes per chicken piece, breasts about 12 minutes. The chicken should be a deep copper brown. Place on the baking sheets line with paper towels, skin side down to rest. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Serve!

Silver-Dollar Walnut Cakes with Berry Compote and Lemon Ricotta

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Pancake Mix

1½ cups buckwheat flour
1½ tablespoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups almond milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray

For the Berry Compote

½ pint blueberries
½ pint strawberries sliced
½ pint raspberries
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
2 tablespoons water

For the Lemon Ricotta

½ cup skim ricotta
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Directions

In a small sauce pan, add berries, water and marmalade. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens. Mix together ingredients for the ricotta & store in fridge till its time to serve.

Preheat griddle over medium heat. Mix dry pancake ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to dry. Fold together. Measure out cakes with a small ladle or ice cream scoop to a sprayed griddle. Cook each for about 3 minutes per side, and store cooked cakes in a warm oven (200°) until all are cooked.

Place cakes on plate (3 for a full serving of whole grains). Top with compote and a dollop of ricotta mixture.

Turn leftovers into a trifle by alternating cake, compote, ricotta in a tall glass container. Top with any extra compote. Cover with plastic wrap and place a small plate on top to weigh down. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour. Turn upside down over plate and remove bowl. Slice like a cake and serve.

Crispy Flax Granola

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

2 cups traditional rolled oats
2 tablespoons ground golden flax seeds
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
½ cup peanut or almond butter
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons thyme
1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add honey, olive oil, nut butter, herbs and zest. Fold in the rest of the ingredients. Press flat into baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool, the break into bite size pieces and serve over your favorite fruit, yogurt or with milk.

Local New York Blackberry Jam

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup red wine or water

Directions

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan, continue to boil a few minutes, around 3-4 and then reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by half until desired consistency, stirring often. Discard bay leaves. Cool and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Thyme Ginger & Lemon Tea

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 french press (about 6 cups)

Ingredients

¼ cup dried strawberries (substitute 2 fresh strawberries, sliced)
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves
1 slice dried ginger or 1 slice fresh ginger
½ lemon sliced
2 tablespoons honey
Hot, just boiling water

Directions

In the Fresh press or another tea pot, place dried or fresh strawberries, thyme leaves, ginger and sliced lemons. Pour just boiling water over all the ingredients and let steep for about 5-10 minutes. Drizzle in honey and stir and let sit for a few more minutes before serving. Can be served over ice!

Heirloom Squash & Chili Mint Salad

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, cut into ribbons (using a mandolin)
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped superfine
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl mix together the zucchini, garlic, lemon juice and mint. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over it and sprinkle with chilies, pine nuts and salt and mix well.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 5-7 people

Ingredients

1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup pitted green olive (ideally calabrese or something equally briny)
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil (ideally Frantoia or Montevertine)
Black pepper

Directions

Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl and whisk with about a ¼ cup of olive oil until cheese is smooth. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Place Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes on plate and season with generous amount of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a dash of red wine vinegar (important to get a little vinegar on each tomato). In a separate mixing bowl, toss together onions, herbs, and olives, and season with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly over tomatoes. Place healthy dollops of ricotta on top of entire salad and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with final pinch of sea salt.

Recipe courtesy of John Adler, franny’s

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 medium sweet potatoes
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
½ tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon Maldon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

Partially bake the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool and peel.

Cut potatoes into thin wedges or to desired size. In a large mixing bowl, gently toss the potatoes with the cumin and chives. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until desired crispness. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with Maldon salt.

Herbed Tomato Salsa

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup of salsa

Ingredients

Olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked

Directions

In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil to a medium high heat, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent or about 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until semi soft but not mushy. Turn the heat to low and add the fresh herbs and cook for about one minute. Take off heat and season with salt & pepper.

Lean Grassfed Beef Burger

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef (grass fed)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground mustard powder
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt/pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and form out patties. Place on wax paper and place in freezer for approximately 10 minutes on each side until hard but not totally frozen. Preheat the grill making sure that it is well oiled and clean. Make sure heat is steady and high while cooking burgers. Do not flip burgers multiple times. The key is to flip the burger once or twice but no more. Minimizing flipping also ensures that the burgers stay well formed. Generally speaking, cook meat for two minutes per side for rare burgers, three minutes per side for medium, and four minutes per side for well done burgers. Top with cheese or the condiments of your choice.

Watermelon Lime & Mint Granita

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh mint leaves
Juice and zest of 2 limes
2 cups watermelon

Directions

In a blender place all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a low metal dish with sides and freeze. After the first hour, using a fork, scrape puree every 20-30 minutes while it freezes. This should create flaky crystals. Freeze and scrape until desired consistency. The process should take approximately 2-3 hours. The granita can be scraped at the very end as well but the consistency (flaky ice crystals) will be better if you follow the method of occasional scraping. Before serving, scrape well to get icy crystals.

Blueberry & Lemon Thyme Sorbet

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ cups fresh lemon thyme leaves
2 cups fresh blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup heavy cream

Directions

Make simple syrup in a medium saucepan by combining the sugar and water and lemon thyme. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves, simmer for 5 minutes, take off burner, allow cooling. Place in a blender with the blueberries, lemon zest and juice and heavy cream and blend just until the blueberries are crushed to desired consistency. Process in a ice cream maker according to instructions.

Tarragon Peach Ice Cream

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten
3 large ripe peaches pitted and peeled and pureed or mashed (¼ cup reserved for nectar)
1 cup tarragon peach nectar (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Directions

In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, heat the cream until just about to boil but do not let it boil. Whisk in egg yolks and continue to whisk while heating through and cook about 5 minutes on medium low heat, making sure the egg mixture does not boil. Remove it from the heat. Mix the nectar and peach puree in with the cream mixture until well mixed, set aside in refrigerator for about an hour. Add chopped fresh tarragon and follow ice cream maker instructions.

Tarragon Peach Nectar

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup peach puree
3 sprigs of fresh tarragon

Directions

In a saucepan, place sugar, water, peach puree and fresh tarragon sprigs and bring to a boil until the sugar is all dissolved. Let simmer for 5 more minutes to steep, take off heat, set aside for 5 more minutes, discard tarragon sprigs, stir well and set nectar aside to cool.

Classic Guacamole

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients

2 tablespoons white onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh Serrano chili, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 large avocado
A squeeze of lime

Directions

Mash the onion, chili, salt, and half the cilantro to a paste consistency. Score the flesh of the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern with a knife then scoop into a bowl. Combine ingredients and mix well. Add the rest of cilantro season with lime and salt.

Recipe Property of Roberto Santibañez, from Contemporary Flavors of Mexico

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

Tomato Basil Frittata Cups

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 eggs
¼ cup of your preference of milk (dairy, soy, rice, or almond… unsweetened and plain)
½ pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 handful of basil, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup parmesan
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small skillet brown garlic and tomatoes for about 4 minutes. Set aside and let cool, then mix in chopped herbs. In a large mixing bowl, whip eggs, milk and salt & pepper till frothy. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill each muffin hole ¾ the way up with egg mixture, then dollop in a spoonful of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25 minutes or util a toothpick comes out clean. To store, plane cooled frittatas in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat each one in the microwave for 35 seconds.

Wholegrain Savory Garden Scones

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 10 scones

These amazingly delicious scones are perfect for those who want a quick and savory breakfast option.
Easy on the go and healthy! Eat with a dollop of herbal butter or tomato preserves.

Ingredients

1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ cup fresh corn kernels
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons carrots, grated
2 tablespoons green onions, sliced fine
3 tablespoons zucchini, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup cheddar cheese (optional)
13 cup butter, unsalted, cubed and chilled
½ cup low fat milk or buttermilk
2 eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper, stir well. Add the vegetables and mix until all the vegetables are mixed and covered in flour. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a course meal with chunks of vegetables in it. In a spate mixing bowl whisk together milk and eggs until beaten. Add the milk mixture to the flour and vegetable mixture and stir until combined fully. Pick the dough up and give it a few kneads but just enough to hold it together. Roll the dough out onto a cutting board forming an 5-8 inch circle about an inch thick. Cut the dough into 8-10 wedges and place on a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned and a stick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool before serving. For storage wrap in a plastic zip lock or tupperware and store refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Alternatively scones can be stored outside of the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tomato Macaroons with Lemon Olive Oil Savory Buttercream

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

For the outer shells…

1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons tomato powder (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon dried basil

For the lemon olive oil cream

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds, tomato powder, dried basil and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond, and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patterns or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the lemon buttermilk cream

In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Tomato Powder

Ingredients

1 can tomato paste

Directions

Preheat oven to 250°F. On a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray spread the past evenly and flat and thin all over the parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for about 2½ hours. Peel it off the paper and flip over and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes to an hour until fully dry. Allow to cool completely. Pulverize in a spice grinder until powdery.

Strawberry Basil Cream Macaroons with Sugar Fried Basil Leaves

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

Ingredients

For the outer shells…

¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons condensed strawberry puree

For the basil cream

1 cup basil leaves
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1½ cups butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the sugar slowly until egg whites have a glossy meringue texture and look. Be very careful NOT TO OVERBEAT. Pour the strawberry puree in the mixer for 2-3 quick turns or until the puree is mixed in some. Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patters or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the basil butter cream

In a medium sauce pan combine basil leaves, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to let cook on low for about 4 more minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend. Strain the mixture and discard the basil leaves. Place the mixture back on the burner and bring to a boil and cook until reduce to half and is very thick, stirring constantly for about approximately 4 minutes. Cool. In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, and basil syrup. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

For sugar fried basil leaves

In a little bit of almond oil in a small frying pan on high heat, fry basil leaves a few at a time until crisp but still green. Take of heat and place on paper towels, sprinkle with sugar while warm on both sides.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place a sugar fried basil leaf on top of the filling and then place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Herbal Lemony Iced Tea (Italian Style with Prosecco)

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 lemon sliced in rings
1 bottle prosecco

Directions

In a medium sauce pan add basil, parsley, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off heat, cool and blend, strain. Add the lemon zest and juice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Mix with a bottle or two of prosecco.

Italian Antipasti Plate

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 medium red onions, quartered and roasted
9 cloves garlic, roasted
20 cherry tomatoes yellow and red, roasted lightly
2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
1 cup black brine cured olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, halved
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Crusty Italian Bread

Directions

Arrange all the vegetables on a platter, top with olives. In a small bowl whisk together herbs, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, and olive oil. Drizzle a top the antipasto and season with salt! Serve over crusty bread.

Mexican Spiced Walnut and Tomato Salsa with Collard Green Wrap

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 3-4

Walnut meat

Ingredients

1½ cups raw walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoon nama shoyu
¼ of dried chipotle, soaked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 green onion, sliced in very thin slices
½ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
2-4 small collard green leaves
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
Tomato salsa

Directions

Take the walnuts, grind them in the food processor.
Put the ground walnuts in a bowl, add cumin and coriander and mix well.
Add nama shoyu and mix well.
Spread approximately 13 cup of the walnut mixture along the center stem of each collard green leaf, add a layer of shredded lettuce and some salsa and roll.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered depending on size
¾ cup cilantro, chopped fine
½ cup yellow onions, diced small
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½-1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Kelp Noodles Pad Thai and Almond Sauce

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Pad Thai mixture

1 carrot, julienne
1 red pepper, filled, julienne
½ red cabbage, thinly sliced or mandolin
¼ cup snow peas, cut thinly on diagonal
1 spring onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 small red chili, minced
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 cup mung bean sprouts
½ cup kelp noodles, soak in hot water 10 minutes
10 leaves of basil, chiffonade
1 small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
10 mint leaves, chiffonade

Sauce for kelp noodles

½ tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon of sesame oil

The almond ginger sauce

3 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon tamari
½ cm ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
A pinch of cayenne

Directions

Take Phad Thai ingredients except the kelp noodles, put in a medium size bowl and mix, set aside.
Mix all together in a bowl almond butter, tamari and sesame oil. Once mixed together put the drained kelp noodles in the bowl of sauce and massage thoroughly with hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Take part the almond sauce blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
Take the pad thai mixture and the kelp noodles with it’s sauce and mix together, put a good amount on a plate drizzle almond sauce around and over pad thai.

Garnish with mint, chiffonade, cilantro leaves and finely chopped almonds.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Pasta Basil Pine Nut Pesto over Zucchini

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup (sauce)

Ingredients

3 fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
½ cup of spinach
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons flax oil
4 tablespoons white miso
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt, use less at first
½ cup pine nuts

Directions

Put the basil and salt in the food processor. Pulse a few times to begin chopping the basil leaves.
Once the basil is chopped fine add the olive oil, flax oil, lemon juice, miso and gralic. Process.
Add the pine nuts and process until the desired consistency is achieved. Do not over process the mixture will become to oily.
The texture should be creamy with a tiny specks of pine nuts through out.
Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze the pesto in ice cube trays.

Notes: try replacing the pine nuts with walnuts or brazil nuts

Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients

1 Zucchini

Directions

Take the zucchini, cut the ends off and place it in a spiralizer and spiralize.
Or you can use a vegetable peeler or a mandoline to make noodles.
Place the desired amount of “pasta” on your plate, add the pesto basil sauce and serve.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Cauliflower Tabouli with Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, cut up in pieces
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 cup cucumbers, seeded and diced
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 bunches of flat parsley, finely chopped
1 handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

Directions

Put the cut cauliflower in the food processor and process until it resembles couscous.
Put the cauliflower that now resembles couscous in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix. Taste and make adjustments.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Coconut Curry Sauce with Coconut Jicama Rice

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

For the Coconut-Curry Sauce

2 cups of coconut meat
1½ cups filtered water
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 thumb size knob of ginger, peeled and minced with micro plan
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 small chili peppers or other small red chilies, with seeds
1 tablespoons kaffir lime powder (take kaffir leaves, dehydrate over night, grind into a fine powder)
1 tablespoon of curry powder or paste
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper

For Jicama Rice

4 cups jicama, peeled and chopped
2 cups coconut meat
½ cup pistaciho
¾ cups almonds (ideally they should be soaked, and dehydrated)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or a little more
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
½ cup ground turmeric
Large knob of ginger, peeled and mince with a micro plan
1 handful cilantro leaves, minced
3 jalapeños, seeded and minced
½ small yellow onion, peeled and minced
1 handful golden raisins
Sea salt
Black pepper

Directions

Place the jicama in a food processor and pulse until the pieces resemble grains of rice.
Place the jicama in a fine sieve and squeeze out the excess water.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Take the coconut meat place in the food processor and pulse until it resembles grains of rice.
Transfer to the mixing bowl with the jicama.
Take the pistachios and almonds, put in the food processor and pulse until ground into crumbs.
Add to the jicama and coconut bowl and mix together.
In a high speed blender, combine the olive oil, coriander, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and ginger. Blend until thoroughly combined.
Pour the oil/spices over the jicama/coconut and the nuts.
Add all the remaining ingredients. With a large spoon mix well seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in a small bowl with the coconut curry sauce on top.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Sweet Corn and Crab Cappellacci with Soppresatta, Red Peppers, Zucchini & Basil

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

020

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

For the filling

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ medium white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
3 ears sweet yellow corn, kernels removed from their cobs
1 cup jumbo lump crab meat, pickled over very well for shells
¾ cup mascarpone
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
Pinch of pimento d’espelette pepper
Salt

For the pasta dough

2 large eggs plus 6 yolks
14 ounces all-purpose or Italian OO flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, diced (green parts only)
Pinch espelette pepper
¾ cup spicy soppressata, cut into small cubes
2 red bell peppers, charred on a grill or gas burner, skins and seeds/ribs removed, and cut into strips
Reserved cooked corn kernels
1 cup fresh Italian basil leaves, gently torn
Zucchini blossoms, cut in half, stems and pistils removed

Directions

For the filling

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all but a few tablespoons of the corn and continue cooking until it is tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

In a food processor, purée the corn and onion mixture. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the mascarpone, crab, lemon zest and espelette. Adjust seasoning. Place the mixture in a pining bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pasta dough

Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Add in the flour little by little, mixing together with a fork until the dough is not too sticky to handle. The dough should still be a rough, shaggy mass.

Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead by hand, adding more of the flour, as necessary until the dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky. Wrap in plastic or store in a Ziploc bag to rest for 20 minutes.

Cut the dough from the ball into pieces and flatten into disks. Work with one disk at a time and keep the rest covered with plastic or under a kitchen towel so they do not dry out. Run the disk through the rollers of the pasta machine, starting at the widest setting. Fold the dough in half or in thirds and press down to seal. If the dough feels sticky sprinkle it with flour, but brush off the excess. Feed the open side of the pasta through the rollers and repeat a few times. Continue to dust the dough with flour and brush it off if the dough feels tacky.

Advance the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting. Without folding anymore, put the pasta sheet through the next setting. Continue advancing the rollers to the next thinnest setting, rolling the pasta sheet one time through each setting without folding, until the dough is thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.

Place the sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out circles of dough from the sheet using a fluted biscuit cutter or a juice glass, approximately 3 inches in diameter. Pipe a blob for the filling in the center of each circle and then fold over the dough to form a half-moon shape. Press the dough together to seal. Bring the ends of the half moons together and press to seal them. Place the finished cappelletti on a well-floured sheet tray covered with a clean towel until ready to cook. Repeat the process with all the disks of dough.

For the sauce

In a large wide skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the diced zucchini, season with salt and espelette, and cook over medium heat until just tender. Add the reserved corn kernels, diced soppressata and red peppers and warm through.

Cook the cappellacci in abundant boiling salted water until they float to the surface. Strain from the water and add to the pan with the soppressata and peppers. Add some of the pasta cooking water and toss together to make a creamy sauce. Gently tear the basil leaves and add to the skillet along with the zucchini blossoms. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon the pasta onto warmed bowls or plates.

Cavatelli with Seared Squid, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Arugula and Black Olives

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

025

4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Cavatelli

1 pound all-purpose flour, or Italian OO flour
1 pound whole-milk ricotta, drained/hung in cheesecloth overnight
4 ounces semolina
3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Water, just enough to make a firm dough

For the Sauce

10½ ounces baby arugula, long stem ends removed
8 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange, peeled into strips (no pith)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 spring fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3½ ounces black olives, pitted and sliced

For the Calamari

1 pound calamari, fresh or frozen, tubes and tentacles cleaned and separated
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Pinch pepperoncino
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, freshly chopped

Directions

For the cavatelli

Combine the flours in a large bowl. Add ricotta and the parmesan and mix by hand to combine.
Add the water a little at a time, just enough to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work table and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much water, but the dough should not be tacky or sticky.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap for up to a few hours.

To shape the cavatelli: cut the dough into pieces, and then roll one piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Keep the remaining pieces covered in plastic wrap until needed. Using a small knife or a bowl/bench scraper, cut the dough rope into pieces about ½ inch long.

Press the pieces with your index finger against the blade of a butter knife with a rounded tip, flattering each piece of dough until fairly thin. Pull the knife toward you, dragging the dough across the work surface so that it curls itself around the tip of the knife to form a shell shape. Place on a floured sheet tray until ready to use.

For the calamari

Cut the calamari into tubes about ½ inch thick.

In a medium sauté pan over a low flame, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with the sliced garlic. Add a pinch of pepperoncino. When the garlic has softened and given off all of its aroma, turn off the heat and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Sear the calamari tubes and tentacles in just a little oil nicely colored on both sides. Remove to the smaller pan with the garlic. Toss with the freshly grated lemon zest and parsley. Adjust seasoning.

For the Sauce

Cut the peeled and seeded tomatoes into petals. Toss them in a bowl with salt and pepper, crushed garlic, strips of lemon and orange zest and fresh thyme sprigs. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them in a 325°F oven until they are soft, shrunken and slightly golden.
Clean the arugula well.

Boil the cavatelli in abundant salted water until just al dente.

In a large sauté pan over medium low flame, heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil with the roasted tomatoes and olives. Strain the pasta and toss into the sauce, adding the arugula and toss together until it is just wilted. Add a few drops of pasta water and olive oil to the pan to achieve a creamy consistency. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon into warm bowls and top with the seared calamari dividing the rings and tentacles evenly among the bowls.

Summer Sausage and Herb Cassoulet

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ tablespoon lemon zest
2 pounds cranberry beans, shelled
1 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 links of herbal chicken sausage, sliced 1 inch thick
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a ceramic casserole pan heat the olive oil on a medium high heat, cook the onions, garlic and lemon zest for about 3-4 minutes or until semi translucent. Add the cranberry beans, white wine and stock and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes add the herbs, seasonings and sausage, stir well. Cook about 5-8 more minutes and take off heat. Mix together, bread crumbs and cheese and season with a little salt. Sprinkle atop the mean mixture and place in a preheated oven, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until browned on the top. Take off heat and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Whole Grain Onion Tarts

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups red onion, sliced
½ cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon parsley
Salt/pepper
Whole wheat puff pastry

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Cook red onions until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and add goat cheese and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Place puff pastry on a lined baking sheet, either on a large square or small squares. Spoon mixture into tart and bake in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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.

Tarragon Apricot Bubbly & Blueberry Tarragon Bubbly

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes several bubbly drinks

Ingredients

½ cup fresh blueberries (smashed) or fresh apricots (chopped)
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
½ cup raw or unprocessed sugar
½ cup water
Cava, champagne or prosecco
Blueberries for garnish

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine the apricots or blueberries, tarragon, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off heat and let stand for about 3-4 minutes. Strain and set in the refrigerator to cool. In a champagne class, pour 1-2 ounces of the herbal fruit syrup and fill with bubbly.

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.

Manchengo Cheese & Ham Croquettes

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small medium yellow onion
½ cup flour
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup Serrano ham, chopped
1 cup manchengo cheese, grated
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil to a medium high heat, add onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add flour and stir well until completely mixed in, sauté about a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the milk whisking continuously for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add parsley, Serrano ham and cheese, again whisking continuously as the mixture cooks and the cheese melts. Spread misture onto a large baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to cool. When cool, beat eggs and set aside in a bowl and place bread crumbs in a bowl as well. Remove cheese mixture from the refrigerator and scoop up and form into balls, dip in the egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Place rolled croquettes in a pan filled with oil and deep fry for about 3-4 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Serve warm, serve with garlic aioli if desired.

Fresh Herbed Almonds

June 27th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups whole blanched almonds
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a medium skillet heat oil on medium high heat. Add chili flakes and lemon zest and when hot add almonds and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add fresh herbs and mix well cooking another 2 minutes. Add fresh herbs, sauté for one minute and take off heat. Sprinkle with maldon salt and serve!

Cava melon Sangria

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup honeydew melon, balled
1 cup cantaloupe, balled
½ cup galia melon, balled
½ cup basil, chopped
½ cup mint, chopped
¼ cup honey
Juice and zest of one lemon, lime and orange
2 bottles cava or an effervescent white wine

Directions

Muddle basil, mint, honey, zest and juice and combine with wine and melons. Let stand in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until cold before serving.

Red Basil White Stone Fruit Sangria

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 cup red basil peach syrup (recipe follows)
2 bottles white wine, sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc or white table wine
1 cup Cointreau
1 peach, sliced
1 apricot, sliced
1 plum, sliced
1 nectarine, sliced
¼ cup raspberries
2 cups soda water

Directions

Combine the red basil peach syrup, wine, and cointreau in a large pitcher and stir well. Add the fruit and let stand unrefrigerated for about 1-2 hours. Add soda water just before serving and serve either tepid or over ice, but do not refrigerate.

Red Basil Peach Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup red basil leaves
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 ripe peach, chopped

Directions

Combine the basil, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Red Basil Peach Syrup

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup red basil leaves
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 ripe peach, chopped

Directions

Combine the basil, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Watermelon Mint Lime Cubes

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
½ cup raw sugar or regular sugar
2 cups watermelon cubed into ½ inch cubes

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the lime zest, mint, lime juice, and sugar and whisk until all sugar is incorporated. Place the watermelon cubes in a large bowl and pour the juice and zest mixture over the cubes. Toss together and place in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze for about 2-3 hours. Pop into your mouth and enjoy!

Spring Carrot Soup with Cilantro-Lime Créme Fraiche

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
Zest of 1-2 limes (reserve half of the cream fraiche)
3 medium carrots, chopped, peels on
1 cup water
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt
Black pepper
Cilantro-Lime Créme Fraiche, to garnish (recipe follows)

Directions

In a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Cook garlic and onions for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the lime zest and cook, 1 minute. Add the carrots and water and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Once soup has cooled, add lime juice, and season with salt. Puree soup with a hand blender or standing blender until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add more water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish soup with a drizzle of cilantro-lime créme fraiche and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Cilantro Lime Créme Fraiche

Makes 2 tablespoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons créme fraiche
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch of lime zest
½ tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk. Set aside.

Cilantro Lime Créme Fraiche

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 tablespoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons créme fraiche
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch of lime zest
½ tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk. Set aside.

Solo Fish Dinner of Mackeral, Fennel Olive & Herbs with Lemony Spring Potatoes

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 small whole mackerel, cleaned and deboned if possible
Salt/pepper
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin
¼ cup calamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 lemon (half sliced and the other juiced)
Baby spring potatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
Tin foil

Directions

Preheat over to 400°F. Season the mackerel with salt and pepper and place in the center of a 12×12 piece of tin foil. Place the fennel on top of the fish and a few sliced underneath, the same with the lemons. Place the potatoes on top and drizzle the lemon juice over the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with the oregano, thyme and tomatoes and season again with salt and pepper. Fold the foil packet up like a package so that all sides are secure tightly and the cooking liquid cannot leak out. Place the packet on a baking sheet and place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven unwrap package and let steam out before serving.

Spring Mix Salad with Herbed Onion Dressing

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 tablespoon shallot, chopped fine
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon red onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch or two of salt
Pinch or two of black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 teaspoon thyme leaves (optional)
2 cups spring mix salad greens

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients except the mixed greens, the mixture will be thick and not drippy. Season with salt to taste. Toss together with the mixed greens and serve.

Herbed Portabella Quiche

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 mini quiche

Ingredients

1 large potabella mushroom stem removed
2 eggs, beaten
3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
Salt/pepper
2 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons gruyere cheese, grated
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Gently scoop out the inside of the portabella mushroom using a spoon so it resembles a bowl. Reserve the scoop mixture for another dish. Mix eggs, tomatoes, green onions, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, cream and cheese. Place the portabella mushroom bowl side up on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture inside the scooped portabella, filling to the rim. Place in the oven and bake about 25-30 minutes.

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