Seared Scallops with Citrus Confit and Fried Basil

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Seared Scallops with Citrus Confit and Fried Basil

Ingredients/Citrus Confit
5 lemons
5 oranges
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp black peppercorns 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 dried chili
1 bay leaf
1 cup salt
3 cups sugar
3 cups olive oil
Method/Citrus Confit
Cut the lemons and oranges in half and place in a stainless steel pan. Add all remaining ingredients except olive oil, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer; too much heat will cause the lemons and oranges to fall apart.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then pour the contents of the pan, including liquid, into sanitized Mason jars. Seal and let cool in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
When ready to use, scrape out the pith (the white layer between the peel and the flesh) of the lemons and oranges with a knife and cut pith into 1⁄2-inch strips.
Ingredients/Seared Scallops
20 10/20 dry (not frozen) scallops 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil 1 tsp finely chopped cilantro
1 oz lemon juice 1 oz orange juice 1 oz lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
Method/Seared Scallops
Remove any connecting muscles from the side of each scallop.
Mix all other ingredients to create a marinade.
Alternate two strips of citrus confit and two scallops on each skewer, starting with a cube of confit and ending with a scallop. Dredge each skewer in marinade and let rest 1 hour in the refrigerator before service.
Ingredients/Fried Basil
4 basil leaves
1 cup olive oil kosher salt to taste
Method/Fried Basil
Heat oil to 350o. Drop basil leaves into oil and fry until crisp, then remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Before service, lightly crumble the basil leaves into crispy flakes.
Assembly
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Sear one side of each skewer for 3 minutes, then flip and sear the opposite side for 2 minutes, or until scallops are cooked through. Remove scallops from the pan and sprinkle basil crisps on both sides.
Chef Notes
The citrus confit can be made up to 5 days ahead and held in the refrigerator for later use.
Use dry, or fresh, scallops for the best results. IQF scallops have a higher water content and may become soft and break apart during preparation.
For best quality, fry the basil leaves just before service.
Variations
Sea bass can be substituted for the scallops; its texture works well with the crust.

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GRANDMA HELEN’S HONEY CAKE TWISTED

honey cake

GRANDMA HELEN’S HONEY CAKE TWISTED

honey cake
My love for cooking started with my grandmother. I created this EXPERIENCE LEVEL: @
spin on her honey cake in her honor, and each time I smell it baking, it takes me back to her kitchen in Brooklyn.

YIELD: 6–8 SERVINGS
3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coffee or strong tea
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
1⁄4 cup whiskey
1⁄2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease three loaf pans, or two 9-inch square or round cake pans, or one 9- or 10-inch tube pan, with nonstick cooking spray. (For tube pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice, and whiskey. Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, mix together to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s). Sprinkle the top of the cake(s) evenly with almonds, if desired. Place the cake pan(s) on two baking sheets stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly without the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top). Bake until cake tests done; that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. (For tube cake pans, this will take 60–75 minutes; loaf cakes, about 45–55 minutes; round pans 35–40 minutes.) Let cake stand 15 minutes before removing from pan.

BEST SEASON:
This is a welcome treat any time of year.

CHEF’S NOTES:
Grandma always drizzled a bit of dark rum on the cake prior to serving.

VARIATIONS:
None—don’t mess with Grandma’s recipe!

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SPICY COLD-SMOKED SALMON, CUCUMBER, AND GINGER-RICE ROULADE

042elevinecookbook copy

SPICY COLD-SMOKED SALMON, CUCUMBER, AND GINGER-RICE ROULADE

042elevinecookbook copy

Classic ingredients with a twist! These rolls explode with flavor— smoky salmon and zingy ginger create an unexpected cohesion of flavor, while the cucumber adds a fresh crunch.
YIELD: 12–18 BITES

SPICY SALMON
1 1⁄2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1⁄8 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1 1⁄2 teaspoons thick hot chili sauce, or to taste 1⁄4 pound cold-smoked salmon, diced
3 sheets nori, for assembly
Stir together the mayonnaise, sriracha, and hot chili sauce in a bowl. Add the diced salmon to the bowl, turning it over to coat it well. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

CUCUMBER SAUCE
1 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1 cucumber
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds in a blender and mix until smooth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and refrigerate until ready to use.

GINGER RICE
3 cups Japanese rice
1⁄3 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger 1⁄3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes almost clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Place rice and ginger in rice cooker and add 3 1⁄4 cups water; let rice soak at least 30 minutes more. Start the cooker. After rice is cooked, let it steam for about 15 minutes.
Prepare sushi vinegar by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Put the pan over low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.
Transfer the hot steamed rice to a large plate or bowl and spread it. (Use a nonmetallic bowl to prevent any reaction with rice vinegar—it’s best
to use a wooden bowl called sushi-oke, if possible). Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice using a shamoji (rice spatula) quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice. To cool the rice and remove any additional moisture, use a fan as you mix sushi rice. This will give it a shiny look.

ASSEMBLY:
Center one nori sheet on a bamboo sushi mat. Wet your hands and use them to spread a thin layer of rice on the nori; press it down. Arrange one-third of the salmon in a line down the center of the rice. Lift the end of the mat, and gently roll it over the ingredients, pressing gently. Roll it forward
to make a complete roll. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each roll into 4–6 slices using a wet, sharp knife. Serve with cucumber sauce on the side.

CHEF’S NOTES:
When rolling, lightly wet the edge of the nori to seal the roll. To slice, use a sharp knife, not a serrated knife, which will tear the roll.
If you don’t have a juicer, peel and seed the cucumber, and whirl it in a blender to puree.

VARIATIONS:
This can also be made with tuna.

BEST SEASON:
This is perfect in spring and summer with a Pinot Noir or a light beer.


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OVEN-ROASTED PORK LOIN, MUSHROOM RAGOUT, AND TOMATO-STEAMED CLAMS

pork and clam

OVEN-ROASTED PORK LOIN, MUSHROOM RAGOUT, AND TOMATO-STEAMED CLAMS

pork and clam

Everybody loves these flavors—tomatoes and clams steamed with oregano and thyme, roast pork accented with garlic and rosemary, and wild mushrooms in a rich creamy demi-glace.
YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS

OVEN-ROASTED PORK LOIN
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
(or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons coarse salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
21⁄2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan with foil. Mix first four ingredients in bowl; rub mixture all over the pork. Place pork, fat side down, in prepared roasting pan. Roast 30 minutes, then turn the pork fat side up. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 155°F, about 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
WILD MUSHROOM RAGOUT
1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as black trumpets, fairy rings, and cèpes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3⁄4 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons demi-glace or reduced veal stock, optional
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Trim the mushrooms, reserving stems for another use. Slice large caps into fairly even pieces; leave smaller caps intact. Melt butter (or heat oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add mushroom caps and cook until they release their liquid. Add chicken stock and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in demi- glace, if using, and cream, and cook for another
5 minutes. Add thyme and chives, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
TOMATO-STEAMED CLAMS
1 teaspoon olive oil
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1⁄2 cups dry white wine
1⁄2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
48 manila clams in shells, scrubbed (about 3 pounds) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil, and swirl to coat. Add onion, oregano, rosemary, and thyme; sauté 2 minutes. Add white wine, broth, pepper, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in clams; cover and cook 5 minutes or until clams open. Discard any unopened shells. Keep warm.
ASSEMBLY:
Slice pork loin into 1⁄4-inch pieces and divide it among the plates. Spoon all of wild mushroom ragout onto
CHEF’S NOTES:
The components can be served together or as separate dishes. I suggest College Inn Bold you need to use canned chicken broth.
or alongside the pork, dividing evenly. Distribute steamed clams on the plates next to the pork.
BEST SEASON:
This is a great fall dish.
VARIATIONS:
Use veal, lamb, or even chicken for this dish.

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OVEN-ROASTED VEAL LOIN WITH ROASTED POTATO–MUSHROOM STACK

veal

OVEN-ROASTED VEAL LOIN WITH ROASTED POTATO–MUSHROOM STACK

veal

I often envision the shape my dishes will take before I even con- sider flavors or components. I call this “boxing,” and it gives me the foundation to build on. Think about the plates you’re using, the theme of the evening, the personalities of your guests, and “box” them all into the perfect meal!

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained 1⁄3 cup vegetable broth
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Alessi Balsamic Vinegar (or other
quality balsamic vinegar)
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

ROASTED VEAL LOIN
2 pounds boned veal loin
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄3 cup Dijon mustard
8 bacon slices, or enough to cover the roast
1 garlic head, separated into cloves and peeled 12 shallots, peeled
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon,
divided, plus tarragon sprigs for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Season the veal with salt and pepper, spread the mustard over the top and sides, and cover the
veal with the bacon. Arrange the veal, garlic, and shallots in a roasting pan just large enough to hold them. Add the wine and roast the veal in the middle of the oven, basting every 5 minutes, for 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F. Transfer the veal to a cutting board and let it stand, covered loosely with foil, for 15 minutes. Transfer the garlic and the shallots with a slotted spoon to a bowl, toss them with 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, and keep them warm, covered with foil.
While the veal is standing, skim the fat from the pan juices, add 1⁄4 cup water, and deglaze the pan over high heat, scraping up the brown bits, until the mixture is reduced by half. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and season this gravy with salt and pepper.

POTATO CRISPS
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Brush two large baking sheets generously with
oil. Arrange the potato slices on them in one layer. Brush the potatoes with the remaining oil and
top with another two baking sheets to keep the potatoes from curling. Bake till golden brown, about 30–35 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks and season with salt and pepper.

MUSHROOM FILLING
1⁄2 cup sliced shallots
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms,
cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons white truffle oil
3⁄4 cup grated Asiago cheese, for serving

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the shallots in butter for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until soft and most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the stock, cream, and thyme and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add the truffle oil.

ASSEMBLY:
Place two crispy potato slices on each of four plates. Spoon a generous spoonful of the mushroom mixture onto the potato slices. Sprinkle with
some of the grated Asiago cheese. Repeat until you have three layers, ending with the mushrooms
on top. Nestle the veal loin alongside and drizzle the roasted pepper sauce around the meat and the potato stacks.

CHEF’S NOTES:
The potatoes can be made up to five days ahead of time and reheated on the day of use.

BEST SEASON:
Fall or winter.

VARIATIONS:
Substitute pork loin, lamb, or chicken for the veal.

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PAN-ROASTED SNAPPER WITH MANILA CLAMS AND SWEET POTATO RAGOUT

sbapper

PAN-ROASTED SNAPPER WITH MANILA CLAMS AND SWEET POTATO RAGOUT

sbapper
Snapper is a slightly sweet, mild, and firm fish. It benefits from this bite’s briny and spicy yet sweet sauce created by the mélange of manila clams, poblano peppers, and sweet potato.
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

CLAMS AND SWEET-POTATO RAGOUT
3 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 ears corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Pinch of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
2 dozen manila clams

Preheat the broiler. Put poblano peppers under the hot broiler, rotating and cooking them on all sides until they are charred. Place blackened peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and allow them to steam for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from the bag and peel off the translucent top layer of skin. Seed and dice.
Heat the oil in an 8-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until tender. Add the corn and corn cobs, sweet potato, diced poblano peppers, bay leaf, cayenne, smoked paprika, thyme, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the corn cobs. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook for
an additional 5 minutes. Add clams, cooking until they all open, discarding any that do not.

PAN-ROASTED SNAPPER
4 (4–5-ounce) fillets red snapper 1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1⁄4 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
Rinse snapper under cold water and pat dry.
In a shallow bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip each snapper fillet in marinade to coat both sides, cover, and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place fish in skillet and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side and set aside. Pour remaining marinade into skillet. Reduce heat, and simmer 2–3 minutes to reduce slightly. Reserve for assembly.

ASSEMBLY:
Cut the snapper fillets in half. Spoon reduction equally onto four dinner plates, then place a half fillet on top, off center. Spoon 1 tablespoon of ragout onto each snapper half. Cover ragout with another half fillet. Toss remaining ragout with clams, divide evenly among the plates, and serve.

CHEF’S NOTES:
This quick dish requires only two pans: one to sear the fish and another to cook the ragout.
BEST SEASON:
This is a great fall dish.
VARIATIONS:
Instead of snapper, use tilefish or sea bass; substitute mussels for the clams.

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ZUCCHINI “LASAGNA” ROLLS

zucchini

ZUCCHINI “LASAGNA” ROLLS

zucchini
Using vegetables in the place of pasta makes this dish light and gluten-free. I slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices and then grill them just until they are pliable.

YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS

ZUCCHINI
4 medium zucchini, washed and cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch slices
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a grill. If using a charcoal grill, fill one chimney and light it. When all the charcoal is burning and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the entire surface of the coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. If using a gas grill, set to medium heat. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
Brush zucchini all over with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until browned, 5–7 minutes. Flip zucchini. Cover grill and continue cooking until zucchini is softened, 4–5 minutes more, or until tender enough to roll. Set aside.

CAULIFLOWER PUREE
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1 1⁄2 pounds),
chopped into florets
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss garlic in olive oil, then roast in aluminum foil for 18–20 minutes, until soft.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water, and insert a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, and add the cauliflower florets to the steamer. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the cauliflower to steam 6–8 minutes, or until fork tender. Transfer the steamed cauliflower to the bowl of a large food processor. Add the roasted garlic, herbs, and seasonings, and process to desired texture.

ROASTED TOMATOES
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1⁄2 tablespoons Alessi Balsamic Vinegar
(or other quality balsamic vinegar)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Arrange cut tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes. Roast 25–30 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to caramelize. Remove and cool for later use.

PESTO

3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄2 cup pine nuts
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated 1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

BROCCOLINI
1 bunch broccolini
Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Separate broccolini into spears. Carefully add broccolini to the boiling water and cook 1–1 1⁄2 minutes, only until slightly cooked through and tender. To test, remove a piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool quickly, then eat it. If the test is good, scoop out the broccolini and immediately move to the ice bath. Keep the vegetables in the ice bath just until they’ve cooled, 20–30 seconds. Remove, drain in a colander, and set aside until ready to serve.

ASSEMBLY:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lay two zucchini slices on your work surface, shingling to cover edge. Spread cauliflower puree on zucchini, and place two pieces of tomato at the edge closest to you. Place a piece of broccolini in between and roll. Place on sheet pan. Heat in oven 20 minutes or until hot. Remove rolls to individual plates, pooling a tablespoon of pesto next to them, and serve.

CHEF’S NOTES:
Everything can be prepared a day or two ahead without affecting quality; this allows you to put the meal together quickly. It will take 20–25 minutes to heat.
To make this a vegan dish, remove the cheese from the pesto.

VARIATIONS:
You can also use yellow squash or eggplant for this dish. When in season (late May until late August) substitute asparagus for the broccolini.
BEST SEASON:
This dish works for every day and every occasion all year.

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MANGO-LIME VODKA MARTINI

martini

MANGO-LIME VODKA MARTINI

martini
These mango-lime martinis would be the perfect “Welcome” cocktail at your summer pool party or barbecue. And sampling one of these while you are creating your party menu may inspire a tropical twist.

YIELD: 2 DRINKS MANGO PUREE
2 cups frozen cubed mango
1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice 1⁄3 cup water
3 teaspoons sugar
Place prepared mango in a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice, water, and sugar. Blitz well to create a beautiful mango puree.

MARTINI
2 ounces vodka
1⁄2 ounce dry vermouth
4 ounces mango puree (recipe above) 1⁄4 cup crushed ice
1 lime, sliced, for garnish
Measure all the martini ingredients into a shaker, including the mango puree. Shake well. Pour out into two martini glasses and garnish each with a slice of lime.

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Pickled Daikon Radish Disc with Crab Dip and red Onion Confit

crab pickled beets

Pickled Daikon Radish Disc with Crab Dip and red Onion Confit

crab pickled beets

Pickled Daikon radish

Ingredients

1pc Daikon radish

1c Pinot Grigio Vinegar by Alessi

1c Sugar

1c Orange Juice

2 tsp Pickling Spices

 

Method

Slice radish into 1.5 inch rounds and ¼ inch thick

Combine in liquid and lightly oach until daikon is slightly tender

Remove and chill. Reserve for later use

 

Crab Dip

Ingredients

1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Mustard, Ground

½ tsp lemon juice
1 pound lump crabmeat
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, Old Bay Seasoning and ground mustard in medium bowl until well blended. Add crabmeat; toss gently.2. Spread in shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and additional Old Bay Seasoning, if desired.3. Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Cool and reserve

 

Red Onion Confit

Ingredients

1pt Pearl Onions, raw, peeled

1c Pino Grigio Vinegar by Alessi

1c Sugar

1c Orange Juice

2 tsp Pickling Spices

 

Method

Combine ingredients in to a 1gal saucepot

Heat on a low flame and heat to a low simmer

Turn off and allow onions to steep for 6 hrs

Once onions have steeped remove from liquid

 

Assembly

Shave red onion Confit into ringlets, reserve

Place daikon radish disc on counter top

Spoon tip of tsp of crab dip onto disc

Top with 3 onion Confit rings

Garnish with sesame seeds

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Oven Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Mousse and Balsamic Reduction

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Oven Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Mousse and Balsamic Reduction

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Ingredients/Oven Roasted Beets
2 red beets
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
kosher salt
pepper
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

Method/Oven Roasted Beets
Peel and cut beets into 20 1/2-inch wedges.
Toss all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Place beets on a sheet pan and bake at 325o for 25 minutes or until tender.
Cool and set aside.
Ingredients/Goat Cheese Mousse
12 oz goat cheese
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, chopped kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Goat Cheese Mousse
Toss garlic cloves with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350o for 15 minutes, until tender.
Mash the garlic in a mixing bowl while still hot, then add the goat cheese and chopped thyme and mix well.
Put mousse in a piping bag; set aside.
Ingredients/Balsamic Reduction
1 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup honey
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
Method/Balsamic Reduction
Combine the honey and vinegar in a pot. Cook until reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.
Add cornstarch to water and create a slurry. Add the cornstarch to the honey and vinegar a little at a time, until the thickness is like honey.

Assembly
Pipe the goat cheese mousse into spoons. Top each with 2 pieces of roasted beets.
Spoon a little Balsamic Reduction over the beets.
Garnish with Detroit blood beets (specialty micro greens).

Chef Notes
Using several different kinds of beets can enhance the presentation by adding color.
Variations
Use different cheeses—blue cheese, port salut or a soft boursin—to make the mousse, for a variety of flavor profiles.

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Rainbow Swiss Chard with Quinoa, corn and feta salad

IMG_7772 (1)

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Quinoa, corn and feta salad

IMG_7772 (1)

Ingredients
2 hds rainbow swiss chard, washed and dried
Kosher salt & White Pepper

4 cobs fresh corn
2 cups quinoa, cooked
kosher salt
½ red onion, chopped
Juice of 6 limes
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cumin
4 oz feta cheese
½ cup chopped cilantro

Method
Grill the cobs of corn in their husks over medium high heat for 10 minutes.
Remove from the grill, cool and then shuck. Cut the corn from the husks and place the cut kernals in a large mixing bowl.
While the corn is grilling, cook the quinoa in 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt according to package directions. After cooking, set aside to cool then add to the bowl with the corn, red onion, black beans, cheese and cilantro.
Whisk the lime juice, vegetable oil, honey and cumin together in a small bowl and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add more honey to your taste.
Pour over the quinoa mix, and stir gently to coat.

Season Swiss chard with salt and pepperLightly grill the swiss chard until tender
serbe with salad

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STIR-FRIED MUSHROOMS WITH SHREDDED GINGER CHICKEN IN WONTON PURSES

chix wonton

STIR-FRIED MUSHROOMS WITH SHREDDED GINGER CHICKEN IN WONTON PURSES

chix wonton

This great “purse” bite can enhance a cocktail party or be fun just on its own. It may take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, forming the purses will go quickly.
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: @ YIELD: 20 BITES

CHICKEN WONTONS
20 (4 x 4-inch) wonton skins 2 eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 quarts canola oil for frying
Place 4 wonton skins at a time on a work surface. Combine eggs and water to make a wash, and brush the outside 1⁄4 inch of each wonton square. Fill the center of the wonton skin with a scant teaspoonful of chicken filling topped with a half-teaspoon of mushroom stir-fry, allowing enough room to pull all four corners into the center to form the purse— they will stick together. Repeat with the remaining wonton skins and reserve for frying.

ASSEMBLY:
In a 4-quart saucepan heat 2 quarts oil to 350°F. Drop each purse into the fryer and cook until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Remove and place on paper towel to drain. Serve warm with small bowls of dipping sauce.

CHICKEN FILLING
2 chicken breast halves with skin and bone (1 1⁄2 pounds total)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Asian chili-bean paste with garlic
(preferably Lan Chi)
1 teaspoon red chili oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger 1⁄2 teaspoon peeled and finely grated garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon minced fresh mild long red chile,
such as Holland
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
1 –1 1⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch, for thickening
(optional)
Lightly rinse chicken and pat dry. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a bowl and toss chicken to lightly coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours in airtight container.
Place chicken in a pressure cooker and cook for 30–40 minutes, or cook in a pot with a tight-fitting lid in a 350°F oven for about 1 hour. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Remove skin and, using a fork, shred the chicken from the bone. Strain the sauce, return to the heat, and reduce to about 1 cup, thickening with cornstarch slurry if the liquid has not naturally thickened. Fold into chicken just enough sauce to moisten, about 3/4 cup. Cool and reserve remaining sauce.
DIPPING SAUCE
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger 3⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄3 cup rice vinegar
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 cup reserved chicken reduction sauce
Combine in a blender and turn on to medium speed. Slowly incorporate water to emulsify and stabilize the dressing.

STIR-FRY MUSHROOMS
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1⁄2 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
1⁄2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1⁄2 cup enoki mushrooms, separated and ends
removed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat sesame oil in wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, stirring constantly to lightly brown. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, adding soy at finish (do not reduce soy too much or it will intensify the salt flavor). Remove from head and reserve for wonton assembly.

CHEF’S NOTES:
When working with wonton skins, keep them covered with a damp paper towel.
Wonton purses can be made and frozen up to a month ahead of cooking. If you don’t want
to fry them, coat them with cooking spray and bake in a 350°F oven for 15–20 minutes if frozen, less if room temperature.
VARIATIONS:
Substitute egg roll skins or thin sheets of fresh pasta for the wonton skins.
BEST SEASON:
This dish is delicious anytime due to year-round availability of the ingredients.


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GRILLED BACON-WRAPPED CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD AIOLI

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GRILLED BACON-WRAPPED CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD AIOLI

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Here the bacon acts as a skin, adding moisture to the chicken as it cooks. It’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and only made better with the zesty mustard dipping sauce.

YIELD: 16 SKEWERS
MUSTARD AIOLI
1⁄2 cup prepared mustard 1⁄2 cup mayo
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
CHICKEN
CHEF’S NOTES:
The chicken can be wrapped in bacon a day in advance. Be careful when grilling; if the flame is too high, it may burn the bacon before it or the chicken cooks.
8 chicken tenderloins
4 smoked bacon slices, cut in half Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare a grill to medium heat.
Lay a piece of bacon on a work surface. Place a tenderloin on one end of the bacon. Roll chicken
in a spiral, stretching the bacon so it covers the chicken. When all the rolls are prepared, grill them until the bacon is crisp but not burnt, 8–10 minutes on medium heat, not above the flame (internal temperature should be about 160°F).
ASSEMBLY:
Slice each chicken tender into four equal-size pieces, and skewer two pieces together (I use skewers from Pick On Us). Serve with aioli on the side for dipping.
BEST SEASON:
This a great spring, summer, and fall dish.
VARIATIONS:
This also can be made with pork, scallops, shrimp, or vea

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TURBOT CEVICHE, PEA SALAD, AND LEMON/THYME CRISP

tubot

TURBOT CEVICHE, PEA SALAD, AND LEMON/THYME CRISP

tubot

Ceviche is one of my favorite fish preparations. This South American–inspired technique allows the freshness of the fish to shine.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: @ YIELD: 12–15 BITES

TURBOT CEVICHE

1⁄2 pound turbot
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons diced red onion
4 tablespoons small-diced seeded tomatoes

Dice turbot into small pieces but do not mash. Toss with lime juice, red onion, and tomato. Refrigerate 5–6 hours before serving.

PEA SALAD

1⁄4 cup fresh peas
1 medium shallot, shaved 2 teaspoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together and set aside.

LEMON CRISPS

3 (6-inch) corn shells
1 lemon
1 sprig thyme, leaves removed

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Cut corn shells into 2-inch rounds. Zest lemon into a bowl, and squeeze its juice in also. Chop thyme leaves and add to lemon juice/zest, creating a light paste. Brush the paste onto corn rounds and bake in oven for 10 minutes.

ASSEMBLY:

Place the corn circles on a tray. Place a small amount of turbot ceviche on each crisp and top with pea salad.

CHEF’S NOTES:

Crisps can be made two days in advance but must be kept in an airtight container with a sprig of thyme for additional flavor.

BEST SEASON:

This item is best served on the warm days of late spring and summer.

VARIATIONS:

Use scallops, tuna, or hamachi as a variation for the fish. Instead of using peas, use bean sprouts for a light crunch and flavor.

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Grilled Chorizo, Black Bean & Rice Cone topped with Avocado Mousse & Chorizo Crisp

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Grilled Chorizo, Black Bean & Rice Cone topped with Avocado Mousse & Chorizo Crisp

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Ingredients

1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 chorizo sausages, sliced

1 cup Alessio Black Bean and Rice Mix

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable) or water

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Method
1. Prep the onions, peppers, beans and sausages. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot and shimmering, add the sausage. Leave it alone to brown, 2 minutes.


3. Stir the sausage and toss in the onions and peppers. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring once or twice, until the onions and peppers turn soft, 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the broth and beans to the skillet, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, uncover, and stir until much of the liquid evaporates, another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley.
Avocado Mousse
1 med. ripe avocado

1 c. sour cream

1 tbsp. lemon juice
In food processor, blend avocado with sour cream, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap
Refrigerate until serving time.
Chorizo Crisp
Ingredients
1 ea Chorizo
slice cooked chorizo into thin pieces and bake in oven at 350F for 20 minutes or until Chorizo is crisp as a potato chip, almost brittle
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Oven Roasted Curried Chicken with Pickled Celery and Garlic Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

chix

Oven Roasted Curried Chicken with Pickled Celery and Garlic Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

chix

This fun and flavorful skewer can be prepared the day before and served as an appetizer or with a flavorful jasmine rice dish as an entree as well. The options are limited only by the mind.

Ingredients/Oven Roasted Curried Chicken

10 jumbo chicken tenders 2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes salt and black pepper

Method/Oven Roasted Curried Chicken

Pound chicken tenders lightly until they are about 1/4 inch thick.

Toss in oil and season with curry powder, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Ingredients/Pickled Celery

2 celery stalks, remove leaves and roots 1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp whole star anise

Method/Pickled Celery

On mandoline set to make about 1/4-inch slices, slice celery lengthwise to create long thin strips.

Combine all ingredients except celery in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let cool to 70o. Add celery and refrigerate overnight.

Reserve for skewering

Ingredients/Garlic and Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
30 small cherry tomatoes
15 oz goat cheese

2 tsp garlic, chopped and roasted

2 tsp coriander
2 tsp chopped chives
1 tsp red onion, diced, sautéed and cooled salt and pepper

Method/Garlic and Goat Cheese

Stuffed Tomatoes

Using a small knife, cut a small hole in the top of each cherry tomato.

Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until smooth. Place into a piping bag with a small pastry tip.

Pipe 1/2 oz goat cheese mixture into each cherry tomato.

Reserve for skewering.

Assembly

Weave 1 piece of chicken and 1 strip of celery around 3 cherry tomatoes on each skewer (see photo).

Heat oven to 350o. Place skewers on a sheet pan and bake for 15–18 minutes, until chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove from oven and serve.

Chef Notes

Be sure that you pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness or less, otherwise the tomatoes and celery will be overcooked before the chicken has fully cooked.

Variations

Pork or flank steak can be used instead of the chicken. Marinate pounded slices of pork tenderloin in soy, ginger and scallions. Instead of tomatoes, use marinated cremini mushrooms; instead of pickled celery, use marinated or pickled zucchini ribbons

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Harvest, Cook & Dine with Chef Eric LeVine

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Harvest, Cook & Dine with Chef Eric LeVine

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1406940062757908/?active_tab=about

 

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Wednesday September 13th, 2017

Donaldson Farms – Farm Market

358 Allen Rd, Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840

FOODIES…. THIS IS YOUR NIGHT! Our Harvest Cook & Dine event is your chance to experience farm-to-plate as you never have before in the natural setting of Donaldson Farms 500+ working, family owned and operated produce farm! Enjoy a hayride farm tour to actually harvest, fresh from our fields, your ingredients to be included in a hands-on cooking lesson under the instruction of Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ Champion, local Chef Eric B LeVine. This exclusive and unique event is limited to 24 participants and provides a unique opportunity for an intimate experience and

one-on-one interaction with Chef Levine.

Using the freshest ingredients you’ll prepare a mouth-watering steak and shrimp dinner accompanied by delicious sides incorporating our fresh vegetables and fruits. Vegetable, fruit and herb menu sides will be chosen just before the event and based on the produce growing on our farm at its peak of taste and freshness!

Check out these reviews from participants of last year’s Harvest, Cook & Dine event with Chef Eric B LeVine:

“Awesome evening! We can’t wait to learn more from Chef Eric and enjoy great food and company!! Thank for having us!! This was a 10!!” ~ Robin I.

“Such a wonderful experience! Everything was top notch. Now to get the hubby to come along…” ~ Florence K.

“It was such an amazing night and an experience I’ll never forget! Thanks for having us!!!” ~ Angela D.

REVIEW FROM THE GRAZETTE JOURNAL
“When you hear Harvest, Cook, & Dine, you might think that its only for those passionate about farming. Not true! In our group of 24, there were people from all walks of life. So whether you’re more comfortable in a polo or with a pitchfork, this is an event you should experience. This “pick your own” meets “cooking class” meets “farm to table dinner” is an amazing interactive experience unlike any other in New Jersey. The event, hosted by Donaldson Farms on their farmland set amongst the rolling hills of Hackettstown, NJ, gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with one of the coolest farms in the Garden State.”

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MARINATED COLD-SMOKED SALMON SUSHI CUP

sushi

MARINATED COLD-SMOKED SALMON SUSHI CUP

sushi

If you love sushi but do not have the time or talent to roll maki, you can still enjoy the flavors with this presentation. The bright coral color of the fish makes a stunning display on a buffet, and serving it in individual cups or glasses makes it easy for your guests to enjoy in a cocktail-party setting.

YIELD: 8–10 BITES

MARINATED COLD-SMOKED SALMON

2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1⁄4 pound cold-smoked salmon, diced 1 sheet nori, for assembly

Combine oil, vinegar, and cilantro, and mix well. Right before assembling the cup, toss diced salmon in the dressing.

SUSHI RICE

1 cup Japanese rice
1 1⁄2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes almost clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Place the rice in rice cooker and add 1 1⁄4 cups water; let the rice soak in the water at least 30 minutes more. Start the cooker. After the rice is cooked, let it steam for 15 minutes.

CHEF’S NOTES:

If you cannot find cold-smoked salmon, use baked salmon as a substitute.

Prepare sushi vinegar by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.

Transfer the hot steamed rice to a large plate or bowl and spread it. (Use a nonmetallic bowl to prevent any reaction with rice vinegar. It’s best to use a wooden bowl called sushi-oke, if possible.) Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice using a shamoji (rice spatula) quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice. To cool the rice and remove any additional moisture, use a fan as you mix sushi rice. This will give it a shiny look.

ASSEMBLY:

Cut nori into 4 equal pieces 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches wide, then slice into fine strips. Scoop a tablespoon of rice into each cup, scoop salmon on top of rice, and sprinkle nori to garnish.

VARIATIONS:

You can use grilled tuna, grilled shrimp, or any smoked fish, like turbot, wreckfish, or pike.

BEST SEASON:

Warm weather is the best time for this dish. Serve it with a light, fruity Chardonnay or a light sake.

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WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE AND BRANDIED BLUEBERRIES

blueberry

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE AND BRANDIED BLUEBERRIES

blueberry

I like to layer this mousse between crispy white-chocolate cookies, repeating the flavor while playing with different textural elements. Note that this dessert needs to be started two days before serving.

 4–6 SERVINGS

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate 1⁄2 cup egg whites (from about 4 eggs)
2 tablespoons sugar

Two days before you plan to serve the dessert,
heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it boils. Immediately remove from the heat. Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl, pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, and whisk until melted and smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the mixture from the refrigerator and, using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip it into fluffy, soft peaks. Cover and return to the refrigerator.

In a clean dry bowl, whip the egg whites until
soft peaks form, then add the sugar and continue whipping until glossy and stiff, about 30 seconds more. Fold into the white chocolate mixture, and refrigerate until the next day. Then spoon the mixture (or pipe through a pastry bag) into glasses for assembly.

BRANDIED BLUEBERRIES

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg; when incorporated, add vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate and nuts. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake 12–14 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand a few minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

ASSEMBLY:

Lay 3 cookies on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mousse between two cookies, then fan as shown or sandwich. Serve berries on the side or add them into each layer along with the mousse. Garnish with white-chocolate shavings.

CHEF’S NOTES:

The cookies can be made a
few days ahead, as can the mousse. The blueberries can be macerated a day or so ahead of time.

Juice of 1 orange
1⁄4 cup water
1 tablespoon brandy
2 cups blueberries (frozen is fine) 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, water, and brandy. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 minute. Add blueberries and simmer for 2 minutes. Add sugar and cornstarch, stirring continuously using a large egg whisk until sauce thickens. The whisk will turn some of the blueberries to pulp and give the sauce a rich color.

WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1⁄2 cup shortening
3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, lightly

toasted

BEST SEASON:

This dessert is best suited for spring and summer when berries are readily available and at their peak flavor.

VARIATIONS:

Raspberries or blackberries are perfect variations to this dessert. Instead of white chocolate cookies, you can also use biscotti.

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SCALLOPS AND SHRIMP WITH WATERMELON, AVOCADO AND MINT SALSA

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SCALLOPS AND SHRIMP WITH WATERMELON, AVOCADO AND MINT SALSA

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This light, refreshing recipe is great for a heavy hors d’oeuvres dinner party. Seared sea scallops and shrimp are paired with a salad of silky avocado and crisp watermelon and accented with mint and garlic. Can’t you imagine the fragrance of summer?

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

WATERMELON, AVOCADO, AND MINT SALSA

2 cups seedless watermelon cubes
2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and diced 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1⁄2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño pepper
1⁄2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1⁄2 tablespoon garlic salt

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 hour.

MINT AND HORNED MELON SAUCE

1 horned melon
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard, plus more

if necessary
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon chopped fresh mint Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the horned melon in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the pulp. Place the melon pulp, lime juice, mustard, oil, cumin, garlic, mint, salt, and pepper in a food processor and blend well.

Once the sauce is combined, give it a quick taste to make sure you like the flavors. You can add more salt and pepper to taste, or even more mustard if you want a thicker sauce.

SCALLOPS AND SHRIMP

12 large scallops
8 jumbo shrimp (approximately 10 per pound count) 3 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Brush both sides of the scallops or shrimp with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and let sit for 10 minutes. In a heavy skillet, heat the remaining olive oil or add enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan on medium-high until hot but not smoking. Pan sear the scallops for 1–2 minutes on each side; the sides on the scallops must be slightly browned. Cook the shrimp, searing until just pink and cooked through.

ASSEMBLY:

Spread 2 tablespoons of sauce along one side of each plate. Layer 3 scallops and 2 shrimp on top of the sauce. Portion the salad on the other side of the plate, and serve.

CHEF’S NOTES:

While this dish may seem a little complicated with a few moving parts, it is well worth the effort.

BEST SEASON:

This light dish is best for spring and summer. Serve with a light Chardonnay or an IPA.

VARIATIONS:

You can substitute 6 kiwi fruit for the horned melon.

Instead of scallops and shrimp, try using lobster and tuna.

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SCALLOP MINESTRONE

minestrone

SCALLOP MINESTRONE

minestrone

I like the concept of a soup that has no strict recipe but consists of seasonal vegetables, beans, and some sort of pasta. I like playing with different combinations and noodle shapes, but this version, without pasta, is perfect to crown with pan-roasted sea scallops.

YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

2 cups dried white lima or kidney beans
1⁄2 cup corn, fresh-cut from 2 cobs or frozen
1⁄2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 1⁄2 cups diced celery
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups Gewürztraminer, Sauternes, or Riesling wine 8 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound sea scallops
1 cup finely julienned collard greens
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves for garnish

CHEF’S NOTES:

This dish can be a great main course, or in smaller portions as a starter.

Cover beans with water and soak overnight.

Place a stockpot over medium heat. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, carrots, onions, and celery in the saucepan. Sweat until onions are translucent, 3–4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, incorporating well. Deglaze pan with wine. Drain the beans
and add them. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45–60 minutes, or until beans are tender. The soup
may be prepared ahead of time to this point, and refrigerated if it is held more than briefly.

Season scallops with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sear scallops. Shortly before serving, reheat the soup. Add scallops, collard greens, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Simmer another 2 minutes, or until scallops are cooked. Divide soup among warmed bowls. Sprinkle with cheese, thyme, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

BEST SEASON:

This is a great fall or late summer dish. Served with a light Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

VARIATIONS:

Use shrimp in place of scallops or finish with jumbo lump crabmeat.

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COD AND SHRIMP CAKES WITH CORN SALSA AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO TAPENADE

cod cake

COD AND SHRIMP CAKES WITH CORN SALSA AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO TAPENADE

cod cake

People who reside along the mid-Atlantic coast take pride in their local sweet corn and fresh seafood, and this recipe celebrates the bounty of the Atlantic Ocean and farm-stand fresh corn. In addition, these cod and shrimp cakes offer a more complex texture than a typical crab cake.

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

CORN SALSA

2 cups fresh corn kernels
1⁄4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 1⁄2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1⁄2 tomato, diced
Salt to taste
Pinch of chili powder
1 lime, plus more if desired

Mix the corn with the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and tomato. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of chili powder, and the juice of 1 lime. Taste and add more lime and salt as desired.

SUN-DRIED TOMATO TAPENADE

2 cups boiling water
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1⁄2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil

Combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes; cover and let stand 15 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3⁄4 cup liquid. Combine tomatoes, reserved liquid, olives, basil, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender or

food processor; process until smooth. Place tomato mixture in a small bowl; stir in oil. Cover and chill.

COD AND SHRIMP CAKES

2 tablespoons finely diced carrot
1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh shiitake caps (about 2 large)
1⁄4 cup dashi
1⁄4 pound shrimp without heads, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped by hand or pulsed in a food processor
1⁄4 pound cod fillet, finely chopped by hand or pulsed in a food processor
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon light shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)

2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup canola oil for frying

Cook carrot, onion, and mushrooms in dashi, uncovered, in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat. Stir frequently until carrot and onion are softened, about 4 minutes. Cool slightly.

Stir together shrimp, fish, vegetable mixture, egg yolk, sea salt, shoyu, and sugar in a bowl until combined well, then knead with your hands to form a paste. Chill, covered, until cold, about 1 hour.

Heat oil in a deep 10-inch skillet over moderate heat until it registers 250°F on a thermometer. While oil is heating, form the shrimp-cod mixture into four 1⁄2-inch-thick cakes. Fry the cakes until light golden, about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer with

a wide metal spatula to paper towels to drain. Flip over and drain again on a clean paper towel.

 

ASSEMBLY:

Divide corn salsa evenly among four plates. Top with a cod-shrimp cake. Spoon tapenade onto the side of the plate as a dipping sauce.

BEST SEASON:

This dish can be prepared in late spring and summer. It’s light and goes great with a nice Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or IPA.

VARIATIONS:

Use salmon instead of cod and scallops or monkfish in place of shrimp.

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Watermelon Radish with Soy Scallion-Marinated Tomatoes and Marinated Enoki Mushrooms

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Watermelon Radish with Soy Scallion-Marinated Tomatoes and Marinated Enoki Mushrooms

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Ingredients/Watermelon Radish

1 watermelon radish
4 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp black sesame seeds 1/2 tsp Thai chili powder

Method/Watermelon Radish

Peel the radish, then cut it in half and slice it into 8ths, then julienne into matchstick-size pieces.

Toss the radish pieces with other ingredients in a bowl, then marinate for 1 hour.

Drain and set aside.

Ingredients/Marinated Enoki Mushrooms

2 2-oz packages enoki mushrooms 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1/4 bunch mint leaves, chopped 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped 4 tsp mirin

2 tsp grated fresh ginger 2 tsp sesame oil

Method/Marinated Enoki Mushrooms

Trim off the bottoms of the mushrooms.

Toss all the ingredients together and let marinate for no more than 10 minutes, then drain and set mushrooms aside.

Ingredients/Marinated Tomatoes

15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 bunch scallions, finely chopped on a slight bias 2 garlic cloves chopped
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Method/Marinated Tomatoes

Toss the tomatoes with the other ingredients and let marinate for at least 1-2 hours.

Ingredients/Parsley

1/4 bunch Italian flat parsley kosher salt

Method/Parsley

Remove the stems from the parsley. Deepfry the parsley until crispy.

Season with salt

Assembly

Stand the mushrooms in 10 service cups or glasses. Add 3 pieces of marinated tomatoes to each.

Top with radish mixture and garnish with the fried parsley.

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CHICKEN AND GARLIC-VEGETABLE FARRO

chicken farro

CHICKEN AND GARLIC-VEGETABLE FARRO

chicken farro

This dish is a great, nutritious blend of oven-roasted chicken and farro, a grain that is considered a superfood. Wholesome and delicious, farro and hearty vegetables deliver the flavor and healthy edge that we need to balance a meal.

YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS

ROASTED CHICKEN

1 (6-pound) roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced crosswise

1⁄2-inch thick 1 lemon

3 large cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1 cup homemade chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from the chicken, if there is one. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Place the onion slices in the center of a heavy-duty roasting pan. Pierce the entire surface of the lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife blade, gently press on the garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and lemon into the chicken cavity. Set the chicken in the roasting pan on the onion slices. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie them together. Spread the softened butter over the entire surface of the chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Pour in the chicken stock. Place in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes, then drop temperature to 325°F and roast

until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1 1⁄4 hours. When chicken seems done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast, then the thigh. The breast temperature should read 155°F and the thigh 160°F. Remove chicken from oven, and transfer to a cutting board with a well (if possible). Let chicken stand 10–15 minutes so the juices settle.

GARLIC-VEGETABLE FARRO

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 each small onion, small carrot, and celery rib,

all diced
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces
1 medium yellow squash, diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces 1 small rosemary sprig
4 scallions, thinly sliced, using the entire scallion 2 garlic cloves, minced
2⁄3 cup (4 ounces) farro, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, squash, rosemary, scallions, and garlic; cook over high heat, stirring, until just softened. Add the farro and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, water, and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover and cook over

moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 15 minutes. Drain the farro, reserving 1⁄4 cup cooking liquid for assembly, and taste, adding additional salt and pepper if needed.

CHEF’S NOTES:

Be sure to wash the farro before using. Sometimes during importation it becomes dusty.

ASSEMBLY:

Serve this dish family style as shown, using some of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten if needed.

BEST SEASON:

This is a perfect fall-weather dish. It can be used as an enhancement to a brunch buffet for your friends and family.

VARIATIONS:

Use pork, veal, or lamb in place of chicken.

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Panna Cotta 3 ways

chicken-and-egg-three-ways

Panna Cotta 3 ways

chicken-and-egg-three-ways

Thoughts and ideas in creating the item

Using eggshells as a vessel for food is a classic concept. The picture shown is how we serve it in our dining room. We also use the same concept for catered events as a small plate station. I love the concept of using 100% of everything in our kitchen that is fit for consumption.

In the pictured item I encourage the diner to use the garnish to complete the experience, whether is a dust, flavored salt or the use of the micro greens. It�s all about the experience and creating interaction with the food.

A little history of Panna Cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. It is generally from the Northern Italian region of Piemonte, although it is eaten all over Italy, where it is served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis. It is not known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish used boiled fish bones in place of gelatin; sugar, later a main ingredient, would not have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. After years this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, flavored with vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and served chilled.

Here are some recipes that are an easy foundational approach to a fun way to experience savory panna cotta used in the eggshells.

Recipes

Honey Lavender Panna Cotta

  • 1/2 0.25-ounce package of powdered gelatin, about 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup half and half or cream
  • 1/4 cup wildflower honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1 cup milk ?Strawberries or other berries, to serve

In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the 2 tablespoons of water and let soften for at least 5 minutes. Lightly oil 4 5-ounce ramekins with baking spray or flavorless oil. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan heat the cream, honey, and dried lavender to a light simmer then turn off the heat.

Whisk to incorporate all the honey evenly, then strain into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the gelatin. Whisk for at least a minute to make sure it is very evenly distributed and that no lumps remain. Whisk in the milk.

Pour into the ramekins, and put in the fridge to set. The panna cotta will need at least 2 hours to set; we prefer to wait at least 4, especially if the puddings will be unmolded.

To unmold lightly run a knife around the edge of the chilled pudding and invert onto a chilled plate.

Savory Fennel Panna Cotta

  • One 1-lb bulb of fennel, excluding the stalks and fronds
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups half-and-half, divided
  • 1 envelope (1 tablespoon) of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut the fennel bulb into 1-inch chunks. (There’s no need to remove the core since everything will be liquefied.)

Place the fennel pieces in a saucepan and add to the pan just enough water to cover the fennel.

Bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat. Let the fennel cook gently for about 4-5 minutes until it’s tender. Drain off the water and add the butter to the fennel while it’s still hot. Transfer the cooked and buttered fennel to a high-speed blender; set aside.

To the same pot (no need to wash two pots, right?), add one cup of half-and-half and sprinkle the gelatin powder over the surface. Let the gelatin “bloom” for 4-5 minutes.

Pour the remaining half-and-half over the fennel in the blender, add the salt; liquefy, strain, and set the mixture aside.

Bring the half-and-half and gelatin in the pot to a gentle boil. Remove the pot from heat after one minute. Mix together very thoroughly the hot gelatin mixture and the strained fennel cream.

Pour the fennel cream into small containers (glass shot, martini glass, etc. — nothing too deep).

Cover the containers with pieces of plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Porcini Panna Cotta

  • 4 oz. dried porcini
  • Peanut or vegetable oil for oiling ramekins
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. agar-agar flakes
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives (optional)

Place porcini in a medium bowl and pour 1cups boiling water over them. Let stand until completely softened, about 30 minutes. Oil 4 small custard cups or ramekins.

Lift porcini out of soaking water, reserving water, transfer them to a sieve and rinse well under running water to remove any grit. Squeeze dry and mince. Line sieve with several layers of paper towels and strain soaking water into small saucepan. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saute pan over mediumhigh heat. Add garlic and shallots, saute briefly, then add minced porcini. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in tamari. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add agar-agar flakes to reserved porcini water and mix well; let stand 10 minutes. Bring the water and flakes to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve into porcini mixture, mixing well.

Add creme fraeche and Parmigiano and mix well. Season with pepper to taste (and salt if needed).

Ladle the mixture into the custard cups or ramekins and let stand until set.

Just before serving, warm bottoms of cups in hot water, then carefully unmold onto small serving plates. (They can be reheated in a 350F oven for 5 minutes, either in the ramekins or after unmolding them.) Garnish with chopped chives. Serves 4

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BIBB LETTUCE WITH POMEGRANATE, ORANGE, TOASTED SUNFLOWER SEEDS, AND HERB VINAIGRETTE

Bibb

BIBB LETTUCE WITH POMEGRANATE, ORANGE, TOASTED SUNFLOWER SEEDS, AND HERB VINAIGRETTE

 Bibb

The jewel-toned colors of ruby red, citrine orange, and emerald green just pop off the plate when this salad is composed. Yes, it’s beautiful, but wait until you taste it!

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: ! YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS

HERB VINAIGRETTE

1⁄3 cup olive oil or salad oil
1⁄3 cup Alessi white or red wine vinegar, rice vinegar,

or white vinegar
1–2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme, oregano, or basil,

or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme, oregano, or basil,

crushed
1⁄4 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a blender combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

SALAD

CHEF’S NOTES:

The dressing and the accompaniments can be prepared ahead of time and put together with the lettuce just before serving.

1 pomegranate
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Alessi Orange Blossom Honey

Balsamic Vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 heads Bibb lettuce, separated, washed, and dried 2 ripe oranges, peeled and segmented
1⁄2 cup shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted

Cut the pomegranate in half. Remove seeds from one half, being careful not to burst the individual juice sacs; set seeds aside for garnish. Squeeze
2 tablespoons juice from other pomegranate half, using a citrus reamer or juicer. In a large bowl, combine pomegranate juice, both vinegars, oil, salt, and pepper, mixing vigorously with a whisk. Add lettuce; toss gently to coat. Divide lettuce among serving plates. Sprinkle orange segments, toasted pepitas, and pomegranate seeds on top. Serve immediately.

BEST SEASON:

Great fall dish with a glass of Chardonnay or light IPA.

VARIATIONS:

You can change the lettuce to romaine hearts, oranges to apples, and the dressing to mustard vinaigrette.

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TUNA CRUDO WITH NOODLE SALAD

tuna noodle

TUNA CRUDO WITH NOODLE SALAD

tuna noodle

Crudo is the Italian word for “raw.” It’s important to use the highest quality and freshest tuna. I like to experiment with building flavors that highlight the quality and pure taste of the fish rather than overpower it.

YIELD: 8–10 SERVINGS

TUNA CRUDO

1 pound highest quality tuna* (preferably a thick piece from the loin)

1 teaspoon salt
2 medium shallots, finely diced (about 1⁄4 cup)
2 teaspoons capers, drained well and chopped 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 leaves basil, thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (at least 2 tablespoons)

Sprinkle tuna generously with salt, followed by the shallots, capers, red pepper flakes, and basil. Place tuna in the freezer for 10 minutes; this helps it firm up, which makes it easier to slice. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the tuna into slices roughly 1/8-inch thick. As you work, gently press each slice onto the cutting surface with your fingers to flatten it, then transfer to a large platter.

Combine the olive oil and lemon juice in a sealable container, close the container, and shake well until the oil is emulsified. Spoon this vinaigrette over the fish. Serve immediately with noodle salad.

ASSEMBLY:

Divide noodles among 4–6 plates, placing them off to one side of each plate. Dot the center of the plate with three dots each of bang bang sauce and wasabi aioli. Place a slice of tuna on the other side of the plate and serve immediately.

CHEF’S NOTES:

The dressings all can be made a week in advance, covered, and refrigerated until ready to use.

NOODLE SALAD

2 (8-ounce) packages dried soba noodles
1 zucchini, grated with a wide grater or peeled into

thin strips with a vegetable peeler
1 tomato, seeded and cut into small pieces
1 red or green chile, seeded and thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. Finish with enough sauce (recipe below) to lightly coat noodles.

NOODLE SAUCE

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice 4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons sugar

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a cup or small bowl until sugar dissolves. Taste for sour/ sweetness, adding more sugar as desired. Note that the taste of the dressing will be very “zingy” at this point because of the lime juice—it will taste milder when distributed among the noodles.

BANG BANG SAUCE

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s) 1⁄4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
4–8 drops sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon peanut butter

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Reserve.

WASABI AIOLI

1 tablespoon prepared real wasabi paste 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 egg yolks*
1 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

In a food processor, blend wasabi paste, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and egg yolks. While processor is running, drizzle in oil, slowly at first until it emulsifies, then more quickly.

Adjust seasoning.

*Eating undercooked eggs and raw fish is not healthy for some people.

BEST SEASON:

Spring and summer are great times for this light dish; however, it can be made any time of the year.

VARIATIONS:

Instead of tuna you can use hamachi or salmon for this dish.

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CHILI TORTILLA CRISP WITH ROQUEFORT CHEESE POLENTA AND SHORT RIBS

short rib

CHILI TORTILLA CRISP WITH ROQUEFORT CHEESE POLENTA AND SHORT RIBS

short rib

In this preparation, the short ribs are braised in a dutch oven with citrus, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeño. The braising liquid is then reduced to make a flavorful glaze for the shredded beef, which is paired with creamy, earthy corn polenta.

CHILI SHORT RIBS

3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4-ounce portions

3 cups mojo
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 quart water
1⁄2 cup chili powder
1⁄2 cup jalapeños, split, seeded, and rough chopped 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a wide stockpot or dutch oven, combine all ingredients. Make sure the pot is deep enough so the short ribs can be fully submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot. Bake the short ribs for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender. Remove from the oven.

Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid
and cover to keep them warm. Remove fat from the surface of the cooking liquid and discard. On the stovetop over high heat, reduce the liquid until approximately 11⁄4 cups remain (about 20 minutes), then pour it through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids. Return the short ribs and the reduced sauce to the stockpot or dutch oven; coat the short ribs with the sauce Increase the oven temperature to 425°F and bake uncovered for 10 minutes, until the short ribs are heated through and slightly glazed. Set aside until ready to serve.

ROQUEFORT CHEESE POLENTA

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry polenta
3⁄4 cup milk
4 ounces Joan of Arc Roquefort cheese (or other

quality Roquefort), crumbled

Pour chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to
a boil. Slowly pour in the polenta while stirring vigorously. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in milk. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until thick. Stir Roquefort into the polenta until it has melted.

CHILI CRISPS

2 (12-inch) flour tortillas
2 teaspoons chili powder 2 teaspoons olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

Cut each tortilla into 1 1⁄2-inch rounds. Combine chili powder, oil, and salt, and mix well. Brush tortilla rounds with chili mixture and place on baking sheets. Bake for 5–8 minutes, or until crisp. Remove and let cool.

ASSEMBLY:

Spoon a bit of polenta on each tortilla crisp and top with some shredded short rib.

CHEF’S NOTES:

The short ribs can be made ahead of time and reheated for serving. If you allow the short ribs to sit in the sauce, the meat will develop even better flavor.

BEST SEASON:

Fall and winter are great times of year for this item. Serve it at a party with margaritas or mojitos for a little extra punch.

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Eggplant Puree with Garlic Chips and Basil Ricotta

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eggplant Puree with Garlic Chips and Basil Ricotta

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients/Eggplant Puree

1 eggplant
4 tsp olive oil
kosher salt
white pepper
3 tsp chopped garlic
2 sprigs rosemary leaves, chopped

Method/Eggplant Puree

Split the eggplant in half and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Toss both eggplant halves with the oil, salt and pepper.

Put the eggplant halves flesh side down on a roasting pan and roast at 325o for 25 minutes, until eggplant is tender.

Remove the eggplant halves from the oven and scoop the flesh into a food processor. Puree the eggplant flesh and add the garlic and rosemary leaves.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ingredients/Garlic Chips

3 garlic cloves 1 qt frying oil kosher salt

Method/Garlic Chips

Shave the garlic into very thin slices.

Fry the garlic slices in 300o oil until light brown and crispy.

Season with salt; set aside.

Ingredients/Basil Ricotta

2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped kosher salt
white pepper
1/2 fresh red pepper, finely diced

Method

Mix the diced red pepper into the ricotta, then fold in the chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Assembly

Spoon eggplant puree into the bottom of each service cup or glass. Spoon a little ricotta on top. Garnish with garlic chips.

Chef Notes

Use a sharp knife or razor when slicing the garlic.

Garlic begins to lose flavor as soon as it’s cut, so slice it just before you’re ready to fry it.

Variations

Use yellow squash or zucchini instead of eggplant; it’s a great was to use the center of both squash when you’re using the shells for other menu items. Zucchini centers can be mixed with tomato, onions and peppers for a ratatouille puree.

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Pad Thai Noodle

Pad thai

Pad Thai Noodle

Pad thai

 

Here’s traditional pad thai with an American twist: I finishit with bacon!

PAD THAI SAUCE

1⁄3 cup flavorful chicken stock
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice 3–4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

Combine all sauce ingredients in a cup, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

PAD THAI

1 boneless chicken breast, or 1 or 2 thighs, chopped small

1 1⁄2 tablespoons soy sauce
9 ounces dried pad thai rice noodles
2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying
3–4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1–2 fresh red or green chiles, to taste, finely sliced 4 scallions, sliced (separate white from green parts) 1 egg
2–3 cups bean sprouts
1⁄3 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
8 bacon slices, cooked and chopped
Lime wedges for serving

YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS

Place chopped chicken in a bowl and toss with soy sauce. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in the rice noodles and remove the pot from the heat. Allow noodles to soak approximately 6 minutes, or until soft enough to bend easily, though still firm and undercooked by regular standards (this is key to good pad thai; the noodles will finish cooking when you stir-fry them later). Drain and rinse

the noodles briefly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl it around, then add the garlic, chiles, ginger, and the white parts of the scallions (reserve green tops for later). Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add marinated chicken and stir-fry until chicken is opaque, 2–3 minutes. When pan becomes dry, add 1–2 tablespoons of the pad thai sauce—just enough to keep ingredients cooking nicely. Using your spatula or cooking utensil, push ingredients to the side of the pan (if pan is dry, drizzle in a little oil). Crack egg into center and stir-fry quickly to scramble. Then add noodles plus 3–4 tablespoons of the pad thai sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn the noodles to stir-fry them with other ingredients. Continue in this way, adding more sauce every minute or two, until all the sauce has been added and the noodles are chewy and a little sticky, 8–10 minutes.Take 1 more minute to gently fold in the bean sprouts (they will soften in the heat of the noodles while remaining crispy). Serve the pad thai garnished with green scallion tops, peanuts, bacon, and lime wedges.

CHEF’S NOTES:

This dish is nice and light, and can be used as a side dish
to complete a meal or as an entree.

BEST SEASON:

This dish can be used year- round and is a great healthier, lighter alternative to traditional pastas.

VARIATIONS:

Add shrimp or pork to change this dish; instead of egg, use tofu to create a new protein combination.

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PICKLED PLUMS WRAPPED IN DUCK WITH PLUM-GINGER DIPPING SAUCE

duck

PICKLED PLUMS WRAPPED IN DUCK WITH PLUM-GINGER DIPPING SAUCE

duck

This is a landlubber’s sushi roll, served skewered (I use one from Pick On Us).

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: @ YIELD: 12–16 BITES

DUCK

2 (8–10-ounce) Muscovy duck breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Score the skin of the duck breasts with a knife. Combine oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl and mix well. Rub both sides of the duck breasts with the mixture. On a sheet pan, roast duck breasts, skin side down, 10–15 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature (115–120°F is medium rare). Remove from rendered fat and allow to cool.

PICKLED PLUMS

6 large plums
1 1⁄2 cup plum sake
1 1⁄2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger 1 1⁄2 cup rice vinegar

 

Split the plums in half along the seam and remove the pits. Using a mandoline, slice each plum into thin 1⁄8-inch circles. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat mixture to 120°F and remove from heat; allow to cool.

PLUM-GINGER DIPPING SAUCE

1 cup plum sauce
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger 1 scallion, sliced
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ponzu

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.

ASSEMBLY:

Lay a 9 x 9-inch piece of plastic wrap on the work surface, “shingling” the sliced plums on top to create a 6 x 6-inch-square bed. Slice the duck breasts lengthwise to make 4 duck loins from
each breast. Lay the duck loins at one edge of the plums and roll. Repeat for second roll. Skewer the finished rolls and cut into 1-inch pieces. Serve with the dipping sauce.

BEST SEASON:

Spring and summer would be best, as plums are at their peak.

CHEF’S NOTES:

All of the components can be made two to three days ahead. You can make the rolls one day ahead and wrap them in plastic wrap, but do not cut until needed.

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LEMON CUSTARD WITH STRAWBERRY PRESERVES AND COCONUT CRISP

jam

LEMON CUSTARD WITH STRAWBERRY PRESERVES AND COCONUT CRISP

jamFinishing this dessert with flaky fleur de sel not only balances the sugar in this sweet-tart custard, but it adds a crunchy texture to the topping. A touch of salt brings forth the fruit in the custard and preserves.

 

LEMON CURD

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pats and chilled

Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1 inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium-size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure citrus juice; if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to the egg mixture and whisk smooth. When water reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to low and place the metal bowl on top of the saucepan. Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until the mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.

CHEF’S NOTES:

Preserves can be made one week ahead. Crisps can be made three days in advance if kept in an airtight container.

STRAWBERRY PRESERVES

Juice of 2 lemons, strained 41⁄2 cups sugar
2 pints ripe fresh strawberries

In a large, deep skillet, pour the lemon juice on the sugar. Gently stir the sugar until completely melted. Cook undisturbed over moderate heat, about 10 minutes. Using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals from the side of the skillet. Add the strawberries and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, mashing them gently, until the preserves reach 220°F (or 8°F above boiling point, depending on altitude), about 10 minutes. Continue to boil until the preserves are thick, 4 minutes longer. Spoon the preserves into three hot 1-pint canning jars, leaving 1⁄4 inch of headspace at the top, and close with the lids and rings. To process, boil the jars for 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

BEST SEASON:

This dessert is great for any time of the year. It can even be used as an afternoon snack when entertaining.

COCONUT CRISP

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1⁄2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

(reserve 1⁄2 cup for garnish)
2 large eggs
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fleur de sel for sprinkling
2 strawberries, sliced, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add 2 cups coconut. Mix well so the coconut is well coated with the butter.

Beat the eggs with a mixer on medium speed just until blended. Add the sugar and beat on medium- high until the mixture is light colored and fluffy. Combine the butter-covered coconut gently with the egg mixture and mix well. Drop the batter onto the parchment-covered baking sheets and press down gently on each mound until it is relatively flat;

a teaspoon of batter works well, but you can make them smaller or larger, adjusting the baking time accordingly. Keep about 1 inch of space between each cookie, more if you aren’t flattening them.

Bake 7–10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of fleur de sel. If the cookies
sit and cool too much, the fleur de sel won’t stick; you could apply the salt before baking, but since it dissolves so quickly, you will lose the visual effect of the beautiful crystals and the pleasant crunch when you bite into one. Slide the entire sheet of parchment with the cookies intact onto a wire cooling rack.

As soon as they are cool, put them in an airtight container to maintain their crispness.

ASSEMBLY:

Layer two of the crisps with 1 teaspoon lemon curd, top with 1 teaspoon of strawberry preserves, and stack. Garnish with reserved coconut and a slice of a fresh strawberry, if desired.

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Oven Roasted Duck with Fennel Peach Salad

IMG_6009

Oven Roasted Duck with Fennel Peach Salad

IMG_6009This a great dish served cold or warm. The flavors here really lend itself to a nice glass over chardonnay or an IPA Craft beer.

Oven Roasted Duck Breast

Ingredients

4ea Duck breast, mascovy

Oil

Salt and peppers

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 

Method
Score fat on duck breast in criss-cross pattern at one-inch intervals.

Mix salt and pepper, powder, honey, soy sauce and lemon juice together in a dish, brush the mixture over both sides of the duck breasts and place the breasts in a dish. Cover and allow to marinate at least an hour at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, whichever is more convenient.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees.

Heat large, heavy skillet, preferably nonstick, to very hot. Remove duck breasts from marinade, reserving marinade for sauce, if desired. Place duck breasts in the skillet skin side down and sear for about two minutes, just until the skin is well browned. Remove the duck breasts from the skillet. Pour all the fat out of the skillet (reserve the fat for the sauce or other cooking, if you wish). Return the duck breasts to the skillet skin side up and cook for about a minute, just until the meat is seared.

Transfer the duck breasts skin side up to a baking dish that will hold them in a single layer. Place in the oven for about an hour. By this time the duck breasts will be uniformly pink throughout. They can remain in the oven as long as two hours and can sit warming even longer if the oven is turned off after two hours. The recipe can also be expanded for as many duck breasts as you need.

To serve, slice the duck breasts on an angle, into slices a quarter to a half-inch thick. Array on a platter and serv

 

Roasted Fennel

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish.

Shave fennel thin toss Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with the oil.

Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes at 300f

 

Peach Salsa

4 small peaches, peeled and diced

Juice of 2 limes, about 1/4 cup juice

2 teaspoons honey

2 to 3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeno pepper, or to taste

1 heaping tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 small clove garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

 

Method

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving time. The flavors are best if the salsa is refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight. Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

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Vegan Black Bean Tortilla Tower

Black-Bean-Tower

Vegan Black Bean Tortilla Tower

Black-Bean-TowerServes 4

Refried Black Beans

Ingredients:

1 lb dry black beans

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)

Additional ingredients for frying the beans after they’ve been cooked:

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

Method

Place dry beans in a bowl and add enough water to cover the beans by two inches. Let sit overnight. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, place the dry beans in a large bowl and pour boiling water over the beans, covering the beans with at least an inch of water, and let sit for one hour. Note, if your dry beans are a little old, or if you have reason to believe that they will be tough to cook (beans stored in hot or humid climates can get tough), you can add some salt to the water (1 1/2 teaspoons of salt 2 quarts of water) which at this stage will help the beans soften when they cook later.

Once the beans have soaked, they should have expanded noticeably. Drain the soaking liquid. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat.  Add the cumin. Once the cumin is sizzling, add the chopped onion.  Cook for 5 minutes or so, until translucent.  Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the drained beans and 2 quarts of water.  Bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a simmer.  Simmer for 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark, add 2 teaspoons of salt (if you salted the soaking water in step 1, then taste first, and only add a teaspoon or so more of salt if you think it needs it). Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Let cook uncovered for another half hour, or until the beans are tender.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add the chipotle powder, chili powder, and cumin. Once the spices are sizzling, add the chopped white onion and cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the cooked black beans (and liquid from the pot) to the frying pan. Use a potato masher to mash the beans in the pan.  Let them cook 3 to 4 minutes longer.  If the beans are a little soupy for your taste, just let them cook longer. If too thick or dry, add more water. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Tortilla Crisps

12 ea corn tortilla 6”

Lay on sheet pan and bake for 6 minutes at 350° or until firm and crisp.

Tofu Mexi-Rice

1 tsp plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

11 oz Peas

15 oz pkg tofu

1 tbsp Southwest Seasoning Mix

2 cups uncooked white rice (you could also use brown rice – just adjust liquid amount and cooking time accordingly)

2 cups vegetable broth

1c Cilantro, chopped

3 Tbsp Chili Powder

Drain tofu and slice into 1/4″ thick slices.  Press tofu between absorbent toweling for at least 20 minutes.

Add 1 tsp of oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drain peas well and pat dry with paper towels.  Add to skillet in a single layer.  Cook without stirring for 5 minutes or until caramelized on one side.  Remove from skillet; set aside.

Sprinkle tofu slices with seasoning mix; press into tofu to adhere.  Cut into cubes and place on a heavy baking sheet that has been sprayed or brushed with oil. Bake at 400°, stirring occasionally for even browning, for 15-20 minutes or until desired doneness.

Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet.  Add rice; stir until coated with oil and slightly browned.  Add broth and chili powder; bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  Add peas, cilantro, and tofu and stir gently to combine.

Chimichurri

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh parsley and/or cilantro, firmly packed

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional)

3-6 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Chopped tomatoes for garnish, if desired

Method:

Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.

Add the parsley and/or cilantro, and oregano if using, and pulse briefly, until finely chopped.

Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar, and stir. (Adding the liquids outside of the food processor gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don’t want the herbs to be completely puréed, just finely chopped).

Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Begin plating by spreading some chimichurri around each plate.  Add a tortilla crisp and top with refried black beans.  Top with a crisp and then the rice/tofu mixture.  Top with final crisp and garnish with some chopped tomatoes if desired. Pass remaining chimichurri in a bowl.

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Chocolate Ganache with Raspberry Gelée and Pistachio Marshmallow

Chocolate Ganache with Raspberry Gelée and Pistachio Marshmallow

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A little twist on a fun dessert using fun flavors with a twist of creativity

Chocolate Ganache with Raspberry Gelée and Pistachio Marshmallow

Ingredients/Chocolate Ganache

8 oz dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp cognac

Method/Chocolate Ganache

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

Heat the cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 12 minutes, until it just comes to a boil.

Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then add the cognac. Pour chocolate into 2-inch-square rubber molds, filling to the top.

Ingredients/Raspberry Gelée

1 1/4-oz envelope unflavored gelatin 2 Tbsp cold water
16 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Method/Raspberry Gelée

Bloom the gelatin in the cold water, then set aside.

Puree the raspberries in a blender. Strain through a fine- mesh strainer to take out the seeds.

Combine the puree and the sugar in a medium saucepan over 15 minutes heat and heat until it comes to a simmer, about 6 minutes, stirring often to make sure the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the puree and sugar from the heat and mix in the gelatin and water mixture. Mix in well, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a clean mixing bowl. Once strained, allow to cool and then refrigerate until the gelée is set, about 1 hour.

Ingredients/Pistachio Marshmallows

1 cup cold water, divided
3 1/4-oz envelopes unflavored gelatin 2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup pistachios, chopped

Method/Pistachio Marshmallow

Lightly butter or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan with 2-inch sides. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Then sift about 3 Tbsp of confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar onto the bottom of the pan (this will help release the marshmallows from the paper).

Place 1/2 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Put the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/2 cup cold water in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil, about 11 minutes. Cover the saucepan and let the mixture boil for about 3 minutes to allow any sugar crystals to dissolve from the sides of the saucepan. Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase the heat to high and boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240o, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

With the mixer running at low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until mixture has tripled in volume and is very thick and stiff, about 10 minutes (it will look like thick creme of marshmallow). Add vanilla extract and beat to combine, about 30 seconds longer.

Scrape the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a damp offset spatula or rubber spatula.The mixture is very sticky, so just smooth it as best as you can. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top and lightly dust the top of the marshmallow with another 3 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until set, about 12 hours.

Assembly

Cut the ganache, gelée and marshmallow into 1-1/2-inch cubes (there will be about 20 of each). Skewer the gelée, then a piece of marshmallow, then a piece of ganache, then repeat.

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Best Burger Recipes

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Best Burger Recipes

Burger-Varieties-848x478Recently seen CBS and PIX11

CBS-TV News called the burgers at Chef Eric’s Morris Tap and Grill among the Top 5 in New Jersey.

If you can’t visit either location, you can still enjoy some of his favorite burger varieties at home:

Turkey Burger

Makes 12 sliders

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • ¼ c seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ c finely diced onion
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ¼ c chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 slider sized buns – toasted

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, seasoned bread crumbs, onion, egg whites, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Form into 12 slider sized patties.
  3. Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning once, to an internal temperature of 165°.

 

Chicken Burger

Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. freshly ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp. fresh, chopped dill
  • 3 chives, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • ½ tsp paprika or chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 4 hamburger buns – toasted

Method

  1. Place the ground chicken in a bowl and add all the ingredients except the coconut oil.
  2. Mix with your hands until just combined
  3. Mold the mixture into 4 patties and set them on wax paper.
  4. Heat a fry pan to medium-high and add the oil. Place as many patties in the pan as can fit comfortably
  5. Cook on one side for 6 minutes and cook on the second side for 4-5 minutes to an internal temperature of 165°.

 

Lamb Burger

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. minced yellow onion
  • 1lb. ground lamb
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. each finely chopped parsley, mint, and dill
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1⁄3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 10 leaves baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 8 black olives in oil, drained, pitted, and roughly chopped
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted

Method

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in an 8″ skillet over high heat. Add onions; cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer onions to a plate; let cool. In a bowl, mix onions, lamb, mustard, herbs, spices, garlic, scallions, and salt and pepper. Form meat into 4 patties; set aside.
  2. Heat a gas grill to medium-high
  3. Grill burgers, flipping once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium rare or to an internal temperature of 155°. In a small bowl, combine feta, arugula, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes; toss with the remaining oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Plate with olive mixture on top of the burger.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric/Pazoo

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Grapefruit Buttermilk Doughnuts with Candied Zest

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Grapefruit Buttermilk Doughnuts with Candied Zest

A  simple little dessert for you to enjoy.

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Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. salt

1¼ c. Buttermilk

1 large Egg

2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large grapefruit

4 strip grapefruit zest

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

3 tbsp. grapefruit juice

Directions

Coat 2 six-cavity doughnut pans with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt, and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, canola oil, vanilla, and zest of 1 grapefruit to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling each cavity a little more than three-quarters. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn doughnuts out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk confectioners’ sugar and juice until smooth. Set glaze aside. In a small saucepan, combine zest strips, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer mixture until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Strain. Toss zest immediately in remaining granulated sugar until coated. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

For each doughnut, carefully dip the top in glaze, then set on a wire rack, glaze side up, so excess drips off. Sprinkle immediately with chopped zest.

 

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James Beard House Dinner April 20th 7pm

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James Beard House Dinner April 20th 7pm

Join me for a Threesome at the JBF, Dinner that is.

Eric LeVine

Morris Tap & Grill, Randolph, NJ; and Paragon Table & Tap, Clark, NJ

Business is booming at Chopped winner Eric LeVine’s neighborhood pub concepts, which boast strong craft beer and cocktail programs. Get a taste of Eric’s cooking at the Beard House, where he will explore a range of flavors and textures through a special theme—each course will feature three preparations of one main ingredient.

Menu

Hors d’Oeuvre

Foie Gras Crisps with Port Gastrique

Lobster Salad with Tarragon Sauce on Edible Spoons

Smoked Salmon Pops with Bagel Dust

Mushroom Meatballs with Black Garlic–Mushroom Broth Shooters

Smoked Duck with Garlic Aïoli on Sweet Pea Polenta

Crab–Shrimp Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Leek–Chipotle Aïoli

Figa > Fig Vodka Cocktails

Dinner

Tuna Three Ways > Tuna Poke with Shaved Asparagus and Pickled Red Onions; Seared-and-Sliced Tuna on Soy Paper with Wasabi Aïoli; and Slow-Poached Tuna Belly with Caviar Crisp

Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Quail Three Ways > Quail Hash with Fried Quail Egg; Miniature Zesty Quail Taco; and Quail, Leek, and Garlic Purse

Lincourt Rancho Santa Rosa Pinot Noir 2014

Scallop Three Ways > Seared Scallop with Spring Pea Purée; Grilled Scallop with Tomato Risotto; and Scallop Knödel with Citrus Aïoli

Guenoc Lake County Chardonnay 2015

Beef Three Ways > Braised Beef Short Rib; Roasted Sirloin with Chimichurri Sauce; and Bone Marrow with Garlic–Potato Purée and Asparagus

Tahuan Siesta en el Tahuantinsuyu Malbec 2013

Chocolate Three Ways > White Chocolate Mousse Cylinder; Milk Chocolate Truffles; and Dark Chocolate Fudge

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Green Onion Tart

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Green Onion Tart

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This recipe is a nice and light afternoon dish to enjoy with a light pinot noir or pinot grigio. This can be served room temp, cold or even warm, it depends on your mood.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Ingredients

1 lb. green onions

2 tbsp. lemon juice

½ c. red wine

¾ tsp. salt

½ tsp. fresh-ground pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

½ c. finely grated Manchego cheese

½ c. cream cheese

2 clove garlic

½ tsp. lemon zest

1 Pastry Dough

 

Directions

Make the Onion Filling: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large saucepan of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and roughly chop into 2-inch pieces.

Transfer the onions to a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Add the lemon juice, red wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, olive oil, and thyme; toss to combine.

Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil, roast for 15 minutes, remove the foil, and continue to roast until onions are tender and lightly caramelized, about 45 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and let cool slightly.

Assemble the tart: Combine the Manchego cheese, cream cheese, remaining salt, and the garlic and lemon zest. Carefully spread the cheese mixture onto the bottom of the tart shell and top with the onions. Remove the tart from the pan and serve.

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Roulade “spring roll style” ginger marinated Pulled Chicken with Mushroom

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Roulade “spring roll style” ginger marinated Pulled Chicken with Mushroom

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This is one of those fun anytime dishes made for a midday snack or as an appetizer for any party.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Crepe (will roll into a spring roll)

Ingredients

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup milk

Method

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, eggs and milk until smooth.

Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet; add 3 tablespoons of batter.

Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom.

Cook for 1-2 minutes or until top appears dry

Remove from pan and cool on sheet pan

 

Ginger Marinated Pulled Chicken

Ingredients
2 chicken breast halves with skin and bone (1 1/2 pounds total)

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon Asian chile-bean paste with garlic (preferably Lan Chi)

1 teaspoon red-chile oil , or to taste

1 teaspoon Sichuan-pepper oil , or to taste

1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh mild long red chile such as Holland

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

 

Method

Lightly rinse chicken off and damp dry

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss chicken to lightly coat

Allow to marinate for 2 hrs in air tight container

Place chicken into pressure cooker and cook for 30-40 minutes

Remove and cool on cooling rack

Remove Skin and using a for shredded chicken

Take sauce and strain, reduce to 1/8, thicken with cornstarch if the liquid has not naturally thickened. Cool and reserve for later use.

 

Vegetable, Julienne

Ingredients

6ea Snow Peas, julienne

1 pkg Enoki mushrooms or Shitake Mushrooms

½ ea Carrot, julienne

1ea Scallion, sliced on an angle to make 4” slices

 

Method

Julienne all items and toss together

Drizzle some of the reduction enough to coat the vegetables and reserve

 

Assemble to rolls:

Place a crepe round on top of the counter surface

Take about 3oz of chicken mix and lay it in the center of the crepe

Top the chicken with the vegetable mixture

Fold the crepe over

Fold the crepe “flaps in” and roll to create a “spring roll”

Spilt in half before serving

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Cauliflower toast with Chorizo Eggs

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Cauliflower toast with Chorizo Eggs

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This light and interesting approach to a classic egg and toast concept is a departure from what you might expect from a breakfast or brunch dish. The texture of the cauliflower brings a light but full flavor a healthier alternative to bread.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Cauliflower “Toast” 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower

1 large egg

1/2 c. shredded Cheddar

1 tsp. garlic powder

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Finely grate cauliflower and transfer to a large bowl. Microwave on high, 8 minutes. Drain thoroughly with paper towels or a cheesecloth until mixture is dry.

Add egg, cheddar, and garlic powder to cauliflower bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

Form cauliflower into toast shapes on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Chorizo and Eggs

8ea Large Eggs, cracked, and whisked in a bowl

1c Chorizo sausage, small diced

1T Butter, unsalted

1tsp garlic , chopped

 

Method;

heat pan with butter over medium heat

add garlic once pan is hot

add sausage

add eggs and mix well on medium heat until eggs are cooked to desired doneness

scoop onto cauliflower toast and serve

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Asian Braised Short Ribs with Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Five-Spice Popcorn

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Asian Braised Short Ribs with Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Five-Spice Popcorn

This fun recipe makes for a great party appetizer. With all of the flavors and textures this dish your guests will have a smile on their faces and happiness on the palate.

Easy. Simple. Done.

asian-ribs

Ingredients/Asian Braised Short Ribs

3 lbs beef short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (5-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise and chopped 1 tsp freshly minced ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 qt water
1/2 cup scallions
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method/Asian Braised Short Ribs

Cut the short ribs into 4-oz portions

In a wide stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the short ribs, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, brown sugar, water, green onion bottoms, crushed red pepper and 2 Tbsp of orange juice. Make sure the stockpot is deep enough so the short ribs can be fully submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot.

Bake the short ribs in a 350o oven for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid and cover to keep warm.

Remove the fat off the top of the cooking liquid and discard.

Place the remaining braising juices in a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup of the hoisin sauce; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the liquid until only about 1-1/4 cups remain, about 20 minutes, then pour through a fine- meshed strainer, discarding the solids. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp of orange juice and the lemon juice.

Return the short ribs and the reduced sauce to the stockpot or Dutch oven; coat the short ribs with the sauce.

Bake uncovered for 10 minutes at 425o, until the short ribs are heated through and slightly glazed.

Set aside until ready to serve.

Ingredients/Stir-Fried Mushrooms

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced lotus root 1/2 cup julienned zucchini

1/2 cup julienned jicama
8 white button mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
4 asparagus spears, sliced in bias-cut pieces 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

Method/Stir-Fried Mushrooms

Combine vegetable broth, rice wine and soy sauce in a bowl.

Place a wok over high heat until it is hot. Add the sesame and cooking oil and swirl it in the wok, to coat all sides of the pan.

Add the garlic and ginger to the wok and stir to release their fragrance, about 10 seconds. Add the carrots, lotus root, jicama, zucchini and mushrooms; stir-fry for about a minute.

Add the 2 Tbsp water to the wok, cover and let cook for 3 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and asparagus pieces and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the vegetable broth sauce and bring to a boil, then add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and thickens.

Ingredients/Five-Spice Popcorn

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn 3 tsp five-spice powder sesame oil

Method/Five-Spice Popcorn

Pop the corn, using sesame oil, then toss with five-spice powder. Set aside.

Assembly

Place stir fry at bottom of the cup, place short ribs with sauce on top of stir fry and finish with popcorn, and garnish with chive flower.

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Jerk Chicken with Forbidden Rice and Pineapple Chutney

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Jerk Chicken with Forbidden Rice and Pineapple Chutney

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What a fun and healthy dish to serve to you friends and family. The balance of the spice of the jerk chicken with the pineapple chutney makes a fun and flavorful dish to enjoy all year long.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken tenderloins
  • 4 fresh scallions, white and light green parts, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chili peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 4 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp Jamaican allspice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp salt

Method

  1. Toss chopped scallions, 8 cloves of garlic and 2 de-seeded peppers in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken.
  2. Into the same bowl, stir in brown sugar, all of the spices, dried thyme, soy sauce, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and toss together until fully coated in the marinade mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, heat oven to 350°F and bake chicken for 12-18 minutes on a sheet pan covered with foil or until internal temp is 155°

Black Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup Black rice
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red pepper, diced

Method

  1. Add oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in chopped shallot and garlic, cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice then pour in the stock and water.
  4. Add salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Fluff rice, add in diced red pepper and serve.

Pineapple Chutney

Ingredients
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons, ginger diced small
6 jalapenos, diced
1T ground cumin
1/2 c rum
1 pineapple- diced
juice of 1.2 fresh lime
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method
In saucepan over medium heat, saute onions, ginger, jalapenos, and ground cumin for 6 minutes. Then add rum.

Cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated then add pineapple, lime juice and sugar.

Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Add fresh cilantro, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pineapple-chutney-recipe0.html?oc=linkback

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Vegan Meatballs with Basil “pesto” and Angel hair Pasta

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Vegan Meatballs with Basil “pesto” and Angel hair Pasta

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Chicken Pea Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chickpeas, drained

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

6 tablespoons water

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1.5 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon basil

Method

Blend chickpeas in a blender until smooth

mix 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Using a mixer, mix together the chickpeas and flax seed eggs. Beat for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth.

Add in breadcrumbs and mix.  you should be able to roll without it sticking to your hands.

Mix in the remaining ingredients.

Form the chickpea mixture into meatballs and place into a greased baking dish.

In a 450 degree oven, bake the chickpea meatballs for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Vegan Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
In a food processor, process to combine: basil, garlic, and pine nuts.

add 1/4 cup oil. Process once again. Add the remaining ¼ cup oil, and process one last time until the desired texture is achieved.

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Corn and Mussel Chowder with Mahi Mahi and Black Rice

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Corn and Mussel Chowder with Mahi Mahi and Black Rice

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What a great dish to enjoy any given day with a nice glass of chardonnay or pinot noir. you can eat the components separately or pour the chowder over the mahi mahi. Soooo good.

Easy. Simple Done.

CORN AND MUSSEL CHOWDER

Ingredients:

3 ears of corn, kernels only

2 large leeks, white parts

1 stalk celery

2 bay leaves

2 chipotle peppers, dried or canned, if using canned, rinse

½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces waxy potatoes, cut into ½-inch dice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 pounds cleaned mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1 ½ cups white wine

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves stripped from stem, unchopped

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup chopped tomatoes

¼ cup chopped parsley

 

MAHI MAHI

Ingredients

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pinch salt

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/8 teaspoon grated lime zest

2 (4 ounce) mahi mahi fillets

 

METHOD

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate.

Whisk the extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, lime juice, and grated lime zest together in a bowl to make the marinade.

Place the mahi mahi fillets in the marinade and turn to coat; allow to marinate at least 15 minutes.

Cook on the preheated grill until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

 

Black Rice Stir-Fry

 

INGREDIENTS

3 T Olice oil

12 oz firm tofu, drained, cut into ½ “ pieces

kosher salt

1 Japanese eggplant, split lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 T minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 scallions, sliced

¼ head red cabbage, shaved

½ bunch purple kale, chopped into 1 inch piece

2 c cooked black rice, follow packing instructions

1 tsp Sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

 

Method

Preheat a wok over medium-high heat for 1 minute.

Add 1 tablespoon oil.

Season tofu with salt and cook until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes.

Remove and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and cook eggplant, stirring, until golden and tender,

Remove and set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon oil and cook ginger, garlic, and scallion whites,

Add cabbage, kale, and 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring, until kale is tender\

Mix in rice. Once heated through, add tofu and eggplant.

Stir in Sriracha and soy sauce.

Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Garnish with scallion greens.

 

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Chili Shrimp with Sriracha Risotto and Thai Basil risotto

mtg-fall011

Chili Shrimp with Sriracha Risotto and Thai Basil risotto

mtg-fall011

This dish is a great balance of spice and sweet. While it may be more of a culinary challenge it will be worth it for sure.

Chili Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 -3garlic cloves, minced

2teaspoons ginger, grated

1teaspoon dried red chili pepper (or chili flakes)

3scallions, minced

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2tablespoons sherry wine

2tablespoons ketchup

2tablespoons chili sauce

1teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with

2tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS

In wok or skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot. Saute Shrimp, garlic, ginger, scallions and chile. Cook a few minutes.

Add sherry, ketchup, chili sauce, and cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are done.

 

Sriracha Risotto

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup arborio rice

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger root

1/2 cup light coconut milk

2 tablespoons srirachi

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup roughly chopped cashews or macadamia nuts

 

Method

In a small covered saucepot, heat vegetable stock over medium heat. When simmering, turn off heat and keep covered.

In large high-sided skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add rice, shredded coconut and ginger. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until rice begins to become translucent at edges of grains, stirring constantly.

Add 1/2 cup hot stock; stir constantly until mostly absorbed. Add additional stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring after each addition and cooking until stock is mostly

absorbed before adding more. Cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring frequently and adding stock as needed. Stir in coconut milk, srirachi, salt and pepper.

 

Thai Basil
Ingredients:

3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 handfuls fresh Thai basil leaves, washed and torn into shreds
1 ¼ cups Arborio rice
2 cups dry white wine
8 cups vegetable stock, kept simmering
½ cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

 

Directions:

In a large pan, fry the garlic and ½ basil very, very gently in the olive oil until the garlic is softened but not browned. Add the rice and toast the grains until they are Deglaze In a large pan, fry the garlic and ½ basil very, very gently in the olive oil until the garlic is softened but not browned. Add the rice and toast the grains until they are crackling hot.

Deglaze with white wine and reduce.  Add stock 3 ladles are a time, lower the heat and continue to add stock and stir the rice, waiting each time for the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more.

When rice is creamy and tender, add remaining basil, cheese, and cook for another 2 minutes.  Adjust seasoning and serve.

, waiting each time for the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more.

  • When rice is creamy and tender, add remaining basil, cheese, pear and cook for another 2 minutes.  Adjust seasoning and serve.

 

 

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Quinoa & Roasted Cauliflower

Quinoa-with-Roasted-Cauliflower-e1413046091241-848x478

Quinoa & Roasted Cauliflower

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This light and wonderful dish can be served hot or cold. All the components lend themselves to a great side or meal.

East. Simple. Done.

Quinoa & Roasted Cauliflower – Vegan & Gluten-Free

Serves 8 as a side or 4 as dinner

Ingredients

  • 2 c dry quinoa (cooked in vegetable stock according to package directions- set aside)
  • 1 cup packed arugula
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • roasted cauliflower – see below
  • herb finishing sauce – see below

 

Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 10 cups florets)
  • ½ c olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Method

1. Toss the cauliflower florets in a bowl with the oil, salt, and pepper.

2. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes at 425° degrees. Cauliflower will be browned in spots.

 

Herb Finishing Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1c vegetable stock
  • 1c fresh basil leaves
  • 16 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 c olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of ground pepper

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend on high until well combined.

2. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

 

When ready to serve, combine arugula, cranberries, almonds and roasted cauliflower in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté together for 2-3 minutes, add in 1 cup Herb Finishing Sauce and saute 1-2 minutes, until warm.

Plate quinoa in center of plate and divide cauliflower mixture around. Drizzle with any remaining sauce if needed.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Blue Cheese Ravioli with Pancetta Crisps and Red Onion Confit

P9165217

Blue Cheese Ravioli with Pancetta Crisps and Red Onion Confit

P9165217Chef Notes

The ravioli can be made up to 1 day ahead and heated on-site just before service.

Variations

You can fill the ravioli with a wild mushroom or butternut squash mixture, instead of the blue cheese mixture, and then change to a complementary foam flavor, such as garlic-rosemary for the wild mushrooms or cinnamon-brown sugar for the butternut squash

Ingredients/Blue Cheese Ravioli

8 oz CreamygorgTM (soft gorgonzola cheese) 1 cup ricotta cheese
20 4×4-inch wonton skins
1 egg

2 shallots, chopped
2 oz Italian parsley, chopped 3 oz pancetta in small dice
1 qt chicken stock

Method/Blue Cheese Ravioli

Add pancetta to a heated sauté pan. When the pancetta starts to brown, add the shallots and sauté for about 6-7 minutes. Remove pancetta and shallots from heat and cool in refrigerator.

Combine blue cheese and ricotta cheese and add cooled pancetta and shallots. Fold together until thoroughly mixed, then put in a piping bag.

Lay out wonton skins, one at a time. Brush the edges with egg wash.

Pipe 1/2 tsp of the filling into the center of each wonton. Fold from one corner, to form a triangle, and press the edges together to seal. With a pasta wheel, trim the excess.

Fill a 4-qt pot with water and bring to a boil. Put the ravioli in the boiling water and cook fully, about 5–8 minutes, then shock the ravioli in ice water to stop cooking.

Toss ravioli in olive oil and set aside.

Ingredients/Pancetta Crunch

1 lb pancetta, diced in 1/4-inch cubes 1/4 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped

Method/Pancetta Crunch

Sauté pancetta until it’s crispy and fat is rendered. Put pancetta cubes on paper towels to drain, then toss lightly with the basil leaves.

Ingredients/Red Onion Confit

1 red onion, chopped 2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch rosemary leaves, chopped 1/2 cup honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oil

Method/Red Onion Confit

Sauté the garlic, red onion and shallots in oil. Add the rosemary, honey and red pepper flakes and lower heat; cook until mixture is thick, about 15 minutes.

Place mixture in a small bowl to cool.

Ingredients/Blue Cheese Foam

1/2 lb blue cheese, crumbled 2 cups heavy cream, chilled kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Blue Cheese Foam

Pour the cream into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the cream boils, remove from the heat.

Add the blue cheese and use a handheld immersion blender to puree until smooth. (You could also transfer the cream and cheese to a food processor and process until smooth.) Strain into a large bowl through a chinois or fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool at room temperature.

When cooled, pour the blue cheese mixture into the chilled canister of a foamer (this recipe should half fill a foamer). Charge the mixture with 1 or 2 charges. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

If you don’t have a foamer, use just 1 cup of cream and whisk the ingredients together just before serving.

Assembly

Heat the prepared ravioli in chicken stock for about 10 minutes and place one on each spoon. Top with Pancetta Crunch, spoon on some Red Onion Confit and spray on Blue Cheese Foam to finish.

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Italian Bean “Meatballs”

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Italian Bean “Meatballs”

This is a great, light, easy, Vegan and gluten free dish that can be prepared ahead of time.

Easy. Simple. Done.

image-e1458659276256

Gluten Free and Vegan

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 large)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the walnuts for 7-9 minutes until fragrant and golden, watching to make sur they don’t burn.
  3. Meanwhile, add the oats into the food processor and process until finely chopped. You want the texture to be like coarse flour.
  4. Remove and place into a large bowl.
  5. Add the grated carrot, chopped parsley, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and walnuts.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Add the drained and rinsed beans into the food processor and process until finely chopped. You want the mixture to be a coarse paste with some beans still intact, but don’t completely puree the mixture.
  8. Stir the processed beans into the bowl with the vegetables and oat flour.
  9. In a mug, whisk together the ground flax and water. Let it sit for only 15-20 seconds, any longer and it will get too thick.
  10. Stir into the vegetable bean mixture until fully combined.
  11. Stir in the oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) into the bowl, adjusting amounts to taste if necessary.
  12. Shape the mixture into 18-20 balls (the size of golf-balls), packing each ball tightly between your hands so it holds together well. Place each ball onto the prepared baking sheet an inch or two apart.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip the balls and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden on both sides.
  14. After baking, place balls on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Serve with spaghetti squash or pasta and your favorite tomato sauce
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Bloody Mary-Poached Shrimp with Tomato Onion Panna Cotta and Chili Balsamic Re

bloody

Bloody Mary-Poached Shrimp with Tomato Onion Panna Cotta and Chili Balsamic Re

This item is for the more adventurous home cook. There are different procedures that require detailed attention, but once it’s done, your guests are going to be blown away. Sometimes great food takes a little longer, sometimes we need to work hard, but the results are magic!!

bloody

Easy. Simple. Done.

Ingredients/Marinated Shrimp

20 U15 shrimp
20 wood skewers
6 cups tomato juice
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp prepared horseradish 1 tsp celery salt

Method/Marinated Shrimp

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on. Skewer the shrimp from the tail towards the head, so each shrimp is straight on the skewer.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and mix with a whisk. Place skewered shrimp into the saucepan, with the shrimp heads down in the liquid. Cook the shrimp over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes. Watch carefully; shrimp cook quickly and you don’t want the skewer end to get burned.

Ingredients/Tomato Onion Panna Cotta

1 oz sundried tomatoes
peanut or vegetable oil for oiling ramekins 2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 tsp tamari
2 Tbsp agar-agar flakes

2 cups crème fraîche
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
1-1/2 Tbsp chopped chives

Method/Tomato Onion Panna Cotta

Place sundried tomatoes in a medium bowl and pour 1-1⁄2 cups boiling water over them. Leave until the tomatoes are completely softened, about 30 minutes. Lift the tomatoes out of the soaking water, reserving the water; rinse tomatoes in a sieve to remove any grit, then squeeze dry and mince. Line

the sieve with several layers of paper towels and strain the soaking water through it into a small saucepan. Set aside.

Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté briefly, then add minced sundried tomato. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in tamari, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add agar-agar flakes to the reserved sundried tomato water and mix well; let stand 10 minutes. Bring the water and flakes to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain the water and agar-agar mixture through a sieve into the sundried tomato mixture, mixing well. Add crème fraîche and Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle 2 oz of the mixture into 4oz cups and let stand until set, about 1 hour in refrigerator.

Ingredients/Chili Balsamic Reduction

2 tsp chili powder
3 cups Balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp water

Method/Chili Balsamic Reduction

Combine chili powder, Balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 12 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. While vinegar mixture is simmering, slowly add the cornstarch and water until the liquid is smooth and viscous. Remove from the heat and cool.

Assembly

Remove the panna cotta from the cups in which they set and place into service cups. Place Balsamic Reduction in pipette and place into the panna cotta in each service cup. Place two shrimp skewers into each cup, head down, and garnish with microgreens and celery.

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Smoked Salmon Salad with Scallion Caper Mousse

scallop

Smoked Salmon Salad with Scallion Caper Mousse

Smoked salmon is one of those delicate flavors that compliments many different occasions. Be it an appetizer, a brunch or even a first course for dinner. The oils in the smoked salmon lend themselves very well in balancing with acids, so choose a nice acidic white wine or zesty cocktail to balance with this fun and easy to prepare item.

scallop

Ingredients/Smoked Salmon Salad

15 oz smoked salmon
2 tsp capers
3 tsp red onion, finely chopped 3 tsp cilantro, chopped
1 oz lemon juice

Method/Smoked Salmon Salad

Chop the smoked salmon and combine with onion and cilantro. Mix in the lemon juice and capers. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Ingredients/Crepe Shell

1 cup all-purpose flour 2 eggs
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Method/Crepe Shell

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs. Gradually add in milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using about 1/4 cup for each crepe, to make a 4-inch circle. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. The batter should make about 20 crepes.

Cook each crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Remove and cool until assembly.

Ingredients/Scallion Mousse

2 scallions, chopped 5 oz cream cheese
1 oz capers
2 oz heavy cream

Method/Scallion Mousse

Combine cream cheese, heavy cream and capers in a mixer bowl. Using whip attachment, mix the ingredients at low speed, then turn it up to medium to whisk in air and create volume for the mousse. Mix until the mousse forms soft peaks. Just before turning off the mixer, add the scallions.

Assembly

Place crepe shells on the work area, one at a time. Keep the remaining shells covered with a damp cloth to keep them from getting dry.

Place 1-1/2 oz of salmon salad in the center of each crepe.

Fold the sides of each crepe towards the center and pull up into a purse shape, then wrap with a piece of scallion and tie a knot.

Pipe Scallion Caper Mousse in the corners of the plate and Smoked Salmon Mousse in the center.

Chef Notes

Making fresh crepes is best, but you can save time without losing too much quality by using purchased crepes and cutting with a 4-inch cookie cutter.

Variations

Use a combination of smoked trout and smoked salmon. Pipe a little horseradish mousse in the bottom of
the purse for a lively flavor.

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Roasted Pheasant, Roasted Apple, Pancetta Roulade

phesant

Roasted Pheasant, Roasted Apple, Pancetta Roulade

Pheasant is an underappreciated game bird that I truly believe f you tried, you would learn to love it as much as I do. The saltiness of the pancetta gies the a nice balance wit the roasted appl. Great served hot or cold.

Easy. Simple. Done.

phesant

Ingredients/Roasted Pheasant

2 pieces pheasant breast
2 tsp olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped 2 springs fresh sage, finely chopped 2 shallots, finely chopped
kosher salt
ground white pepper
8 oz pancetta

Method/Roasted Pheasant

Remove the skin from the pheasant breast, then butterfly the breast and use a meat mallet to pound to 1/4-inch thickness.

Combine sage, thyme, shallots and oil and rub on both sides of the breast.

Slice the pancetta into 16 very thin pieces.

Lay 8 pieces of pancetta on each piece of pheasant breast, leaving the edges of the breast pieces uncovered. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the edges in slightly, then tightly roll each breast piece with plastic wrap. Twist ends of wrap in opposite directions to remove any excess air. Put roll into foil and wrap tightly, twisting edges shut.

Place wrapped pheasant on a sheet pan and bake at 325o for 20 minutes or until internal temp is 150o.

Once cooked, unwrap pheasant pieces from foil and plastic and hold hot until service.

Ingredients/Roasted Apple

1 Red Delicious apple 3 sage leaves, chopped 2 shallots, finely diced 2 tsp olive oil
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Roasted Apple

Peel, core and dice apple into 20 1/2-inch pieces.

Toss ingredients together and roast in 400o oven for 14 minutes or until apple is tender and golden brown.

Remove apple from the oven, chill and reserve.

Assembly

Slice each pheasant roulade into 10 even pieces.

On each skewer, place one piece of apple, followed by a piece of the roulade, then repeat.

Chef Note

The flavor profile for this item is very intense, so no sauce is needed. But if you want to add one, here’s an easy recipe:

1 cup sour cream; 1/2 cup applesauce; 1 tsp apple vinegar. Whisk all together.

Variations

For a less expensive option, use pork loin instead of pheasant and smoked apple bacon instead of pancetta.

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Pepato Bread Pudding with Crispy Spinach and Butternut Squash

pepito

Pepato Bread Pudding with Crispy Spinach and Butternut Squash

This a fun little appetizer dish that is a fun way to play with cheese. Pepato is a semi-hard sheep milk cheese with peppercorns and is perfect for a bread pudding.

pepito

Pepato Bread Pudding

Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

12 slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed off (about 8 oz total)

5 oz crumbled goat cheese or 6 oz crumbled feta cheese

1/2 lb sundried tomatoes, finely diced 6 eggs
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp prepared pesto

1/4 cup freshly grated pepato cheese

Method/Pepato Bread Pudding

Grease the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish or other shallow 3-quart baking pan.

Butter each bread slice on one side. Stack the bread, 6 at a time, and cut across the diagonal into triangles. Place half of the bread pieces, buttered sides down, in the bottom of the prepared dish. Scatter the cheese over the bread in one layer. Scatter the tomatoes over the cheese. Top with the remaining buttered bread pieces, buttered sides up.

Whisk the eggs, milk and pesto together in a bowl until well-blended, then pour over the bread and cheese mixture in the dish. Push the top pieces of bread down lightly with the back of a fork so they soak up some liquid. Sprinkle the grated pepato over the top. Let the pan sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours before baking.

Bake the pudding at 350o for 35 minutes with foil covering the pan, then remove the foil and continue to bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown on top, 25–30 more minutes.

Cool the bread pudding and hold in the refrigerator until the next day.

Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut 2-inch circles from the pudding. Set aside at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.

Ingredients/Crispy Spinach

10 baby spinach leaves 1 qt oil for frying

Method/Crispy Spinach

Heat the oil to 350o. Drop the leaves into the fryer until crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the squash cubes with the oil, garlic, sage and salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Roast the squash in a 375o oven until the squash is tender in the center and the outside is brown and crisp, 25–30 minutes. Take out of the oven when done, put in a serving bowl and set aside.

Balsamic Mousse

Ingredients1 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup honey
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water

1 cup heavy cream

Method

Combine the honey and vinegar in a pot. Cook until reduced by half.

Add the cornstarch to the water and create a slurry. Add this slurry to the honey and vinegar a little at a time, until it’s the consistency of honey.

Whip the cream in a mixer on high until soft peaks form. Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of the balsamic reduction into the whipped cream and whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Place the mousse in a piping bag.

Assembly

Warm the bread pudding rounds in a 350o oven for 3 minutes.

Pipe butternut squash into the bottom of each service cup or glass. Put a round of bread pudding on top of the squash, then pipe balsamic mousse on top of the bread pudding. Top with Crispy Spinach pieces.

 

pepito

Chef Notes

Make the bread pudding a day ahead to allow flavors to develop. This will also make it easier to cut.

Variations

For a lighter dish, add roasted chicken pieces to the bread pudding. With the chicken, use arugula instead of spinach. Sauté the arugula with shallots and thyme, then finish with a touch of red wine.

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GINGER-BRAISED DUCK AND PICKLED-PLUMS ROLLS

duck

GINGER-BRAISED DUCK AND PICKLED-PLUMS ROLLS

Duck begs for flavors like ginger and sweet plums. The pickled plum relish balances the savory sweetness of the tender duck wraps.

Easy. Simple. Done.

duck

YIELD: 12 BITES

BRAISED DUCK

1 whole Muscovy duck, approximately 3 pounds Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups hoisin sauce
3 cups chicken stock

1⁄2 cup flour
3 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger 1⁄2 cup tomato paste
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Spanish onion, peeled and chopped 1⁄2 cup oil
6 (6-inch) flour tortillas, for assembly

Season the duck with salt and pepper, then sear in a large sauté pan on all sides until golden brown.

In a saucepan, combine the hoisin, stock, flour, ginger, and tomato paste, and bring to boil.

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

Place celery, carrot, and onion in the bottom of
a roasting pan that just holds the duck. Place the seared duck on top. Pour the hoisin-stock mixture over the duck to cover with just the top peeking out of the liquid. Cover the pan with parchment paper and aluminum foil, and bake for 2–2 1⁄2 hours, or until fork tender. Remove the duck from the liquid and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove any fat from outside of duck, then shred the duck with a fork. Keep warm.

PICKLED PLUMS

3 plums, split and pitted, skin on
1 cup Alessi White Balsamic Pear Infused Vinegar

(or any quality Champagne vinegar) 1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup pickling spices

Slice plums 1/3 inch thick. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat mixture to 160°F and turn off. Allow to cool, then remove plums from pickling liquid and reserve for assembly.

ASSEMBLY:

Lightly grill tortillas on both sides. Spread
2 tablespoons pulled duck down the center of each tortilla. Place 4 slices of pickled plum on top of the duck, roll the tortilla, cut in half, and serve.

CHEF’S NOTES:

This can be served with a barbecue aioli for a little more punch.

BEST SEASON:

This item is great year-round, especially when served with a light craft beer.

VARIATIONS:

Substitute chicken prepared in the same fashion as the duck, pulling it from the bones after braising.

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Goat Cheese stuffed Shishito Peppers with Ginger Glaze

IMG_5685

Goat Cheese stuffed Shishito Peppers with Ginger Glaze

IMG_5685

Shishito is a pepper that un my opinion is underutilized. I love the sweet and spicy flavors that this pepper offers. Here is a great little dish that has a balance of heat and just enough sweet.

Easy. Simple. Done.

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
    • 1 scallion , thinly sliced
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons aged Spanish sherry vinegar
    • 20ea Shishito peppers, lightly grilled
    • 3 ounces, soft goat cheese
    • Olive oil cooking spray
    • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
    • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

PREPARATION

    1. Whisk shallots, scallion and vinegar in a bowl.
    2. Season with salt and pepper. Slice open the top of each pepper to create a pocket.
    3. Spoon cheese into peppers, dividing it equally among them.
    4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat; coat with cooking spray.
    5. Cook peppers, flipping once, until cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds each side.
    6. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and thyme
    7. Drizzle sauce over peppers and serve.

Ginger Glaze 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce and ginger and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the honey and mustard.
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Oven Roasted Lamb Loin with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Grilled Scallions and Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

lamb

Oven Roasted Lamb Loin with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Grilled Scallions and Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

lamb

There’s always room for one more, no?! Yes! This fun appetizer will be the hit of the party, Everyone loves a fancy lamb chop at a cocktail party, well this takes the idea to a whole other level.

Ingredients/Roasted Lamb Loin

20 oz lamb loin
1/4 bunch fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Roasted Lamb Loin

Trim any excess fat from the lamb loin. Mix the rosemary, garlic and olive oil and rub into the lamb loin. Season with salt and pepper.

Sear the lamb loin in a pan over high heat on all sides for 3 minutes minutes, then put in a 350o oven for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 125o.

Let the lamb cool and set aside.

Ingredients/Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

10 smallYukon gold potatoes

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 bunch fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1/2 bunch scallion greens, chopped; reserve whites for grilling

kosher salt white pepper

Method/Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Toss potatoes with garlic, rosemary, scallions, oil, salt and pepper. Put potatoes on a sheet pan and roast at 350o for 20 minutes or until tender.

Remove potatoes from oven and chill before skewering.

Ingredients/Grilled Scallions

20 scallions, white portions cut in 1-1/2-inch pieces (from scallions used with potatoes)

2 tsp olive oil kosher salt white pepper

Method/Grilled Scallions

Season white portions of scallions with salt, pepper and oil.

Lightly grill scallions over a medium flame until they are almost tender.

Cool and set aside.

Ingredients/Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup duck sauce
1/2 cup plum sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped 2 limes

Method/Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

Combine the duck and plum sauces; add the mint and squeeze in the juice from the limes; mix thoroughly.

Assembly

Slice the lamb loin into 20 pieces. On each skewer, place one piece of lamb, one piece of scallion whites and one piece of potato, then repeat the order.

Serve with the Chili Mint Dipping Sauce.

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Here’s the Blood Mary Appearance on PIX 11

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Here’s the Blood Mary Appearance on PIX 11

Heres the link to the apperance.

http://pix11.com/2016/12/30/chef-eric-levine-shares-bloody-mary-recipes/

While Jan. 1 is New Year’s Day, it also happens to be National Bloody Mary Day.

It seems very fitting since the bloody mary is known as a hangover remedy – and who among us hasn’t woken up on New Year’s Day with one of those?

Chef Eric LeVine has bloody mary recipes to help us get over that New Year’s hangover.

Pickled Pepper Bloody Mary

Infused Vodka Ingredients:

  • 6 bottles vodka
  • 1 QT Pickled Jalapeños in Liquid
  • 4 Pickled Fresno Peppers
  • 1 Fresh Fresno Pepper
  • 1 Fresh Jalapeno
  • Pickled Infused Vodka Directions:

Directions:

Infuse the ingredients in the vodka for a minimum of 48 hours. Strain, bottle.

Green Juice Ingredients:

  • 2 Dozen Green Tomatoes
  • 8 Green Bell Pepper
  • 6 Cups OJ
  • 6 Cups Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup Lime Juice
  • Pickled Pepper Vodka

Directions:

Blend the first five ingredients until smooth. Grab a high ball glass and fill it with ice. Add 1 ½ oz of Pickled Pepper Vodka. Fill glass with Green Mix. Add a jalapeno garnish.

Garlic Dill Bloody Mary

Infused Vodka Ingredients:

  • Garlic Dill Infused Vodka Ingredients
  • 6 Bottles Vodka
  • 1 quart Pickle Juice
  • 10 Pickles
  • 1 oz Dill

Directions:

Infuse for minimum of 48 hours. Strain, bottle.

Tomato Juice Mix Ingredients:

  • 6 Cans Tomato Juice
  • 1 Can Piquillo Peppers (113 oz)
  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes (113oz)
  • 1 Cup Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 Cup Pickle Juice
  • ½ Cup Lime Juice
  • 2 Cups Hot Sauce

Cocktail direction:

Grab a high ball glass and fill it with ice. Add 1 ½ oz of Garlic Dill Vodka. Fill with Tomato Mix. Add a pickle garnish.

The Voodoo Mary

  • 1.5 oz mescal tequila
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 8 oz Bloody Mary mix
  • Cilantro garnish

Makers Bloody

  • 1.5 oz Makers Mark
  • 0.5 oz Molasses
  • 4 oz Bloody Mary mix
  • 4 oz Cider

Cucumber Lemon Bloody Mary

  • 1 oz cucumber vodka
  • 1.2 oz Lemon vodka
  • 8 oz Bloody Mary mix
  • Cucumber and lemon garnish
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Caramelized Banana with Vanilla Bean Cookie and Coffee Cream Dip

banana

Caramelized Banana with Vanilla Bean Cookie and Coffee Cream Dip

Heres another dessert idea for your next party.

Server warm or room temperature its a great way to end a meal!

banana

Easy. Simple. Done.

Ingredients/Caramelized Banana

2 tsp unsalted butter
1 banana, halved, then each half sliced lengthwise 2 tsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp rum (preferably dark)
2 tsp water
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Method/Caramelized Banana

Melt butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, about 2 minutes, then sauté banana, cut sides down, while shaking skillet, about 1 minute.

Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle brown sugar around banana, then pour rum around banana.

Return skillet to heat and continue to sauté, shaking skillet occasionally, until sugar begins to melt, about 30 seconds.

Add water, nutmeg, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 1–2 minutes.

Ingredients/Vanilla Bean Cookie

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened 2 Tbsp cold vegetable shortening 1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Method/Vanilla Bean Cookie

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, shortening and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape the seeds into the butter mixture and beat in egg and vanilla extract until combined well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture and beat until just combined.

On a large sheet of wax paper, form the dough into a 10×2-inch log and roll up in wax paper. Chill dough until firm, at least 4 hours. Dough keeps up to 3 days wrapped in wax paper and foil.

Spread the remaining 1/4 cup sugar on a platter. Take the dough out of the wax paper and roll the log in the sugar, then cut the log into 1⁄4-inch slices. Dip the cut sides of the slices in the remaining sugar on the platter.

Arrange the cookies 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake in batches at 375o in middle of oven 10–12 minutes or until edges are light gold.

With a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Cookies may be made two days ahead of use.

Ingredients/Coffee Cream Dip

1 tsp instant coffee granules 1 tsp hot water
1 cup chilled whipping cream 2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Method/Coffee Cream Dip

Dissolve instant coffee in 1 tsp hot water in small bowl.

Whip cream and sugar until medium-soft peaks form.

Add the coffee mixture to the cream and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Reserve in refrigerator until service

Assembly

For each skewer, use two cookies. Spoon a dollop of coffee cream on each cooking, then put a piece of Caramelized Banana on one of the cookies. Top the banana with the other cookie, then skewer.

Chef Notes

Keep the cookies at room temperature; they will soften in the refrigerator.

A skewer that’s too big will crack the cookies.

Variations

You can give this a fall twist by making cinnamon cookies, caramel dip and caramelized apples.

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Pan Roasted Veal Loin with Grilled Cremini Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots

P9154670

Pan Roasted Veal Loin with Grilled Cremini Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots

With the New Year approaching I wanted to share another small bite for you to enjoy!

P9154670

Ingredients/Grilled Veal Loin

1 lb veal loin
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper 3 tsp olive oil

Method/Grilled Veal Loin

Trim excess fat off veal loin and season loin with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a sauté pan and sear veal for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Cook veal loin in 350o oven for 20 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 125o.

Remove loin from pan and let rest before slicing.

Ingredients/Cremini Mushrooms

10 cremini mushrooms, sliced in 1⁄2-inch pieces 2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, chopped

kosher salt white pepper

Method/Cremini Mushrooms

Toss the mushrooms with thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Grill on an open grill until the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes, then set aside and keep warm.

Ingredients/Crispy Shallots shallots, shaved on a mandolin or Chinese slicer

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups instant (Wondra) flour

1/2 bunch fresh thyme leaves (remove stems), finely chopped

kosher salt white pepper
1 qt oil for frying

Method/Crispy Shallots

Soak the shallots in the buttermilk for 20 minutes, then drain. Dredge shallot shavings, a small batch at a time, in the flour.

Fry the shallots in oil at 325o until they are crisp; remove from the fryer and lay on paper towels to drain. Season immediately with thyme, salt and pepper.

Ingredients/Red Wine Reduction

3 cups burgundy cooking wine 1 cup pork stock
4 oz tomato paste
2 tsp olive oil

3 shallots, roughly chopped

1 bunch fresh thyme leaves (remove stems), roughly chopped

Method/Red Wine Reduction

Lightly sauté shallots and thyme. Add tomato paste to the pan and heat, then add the red wine. Reduce until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes, then add pork stock and reduce again, about 20 minutes.

Strain the mixture when thickened and set aside.

Assembly

Slice the veal loin into 20 pieces.

Place one piece of veal in each spoon; add one piece of mushroom; spoon on a little Red Wine Reduction. Add a second piece of veal, a second mushroom piece and then more sauce. Top with fried shallots.

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Crispy Pork Loin with Saffron Apple Garlic Mousse and Sage Crisps

P9154635-copy

Crispy Pork Loin with Saffron Apple Garlic Mousse and Sage Crisps

 P9154635-copy
Here is a fun recipe for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy this fun, flavorful bite and share it with your friends and family .  It makes a great bite meal served with other bites.
Easy. Simple. Done.

Ingredients/Crispy Pork Loin

2 lbs pork loin
1–1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp ground fennel
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp olive oil

Method/Crispy Pork Loin

Cut the pork loin into 2-inch chunks. Combine the panko breadcrumbs and the seasonings in a medium bowl. Put the flour in another bowl and the eggs in another. Dip the pork pieces in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mix.

Heat half the oil in a sauté pan over high heat; sear half of the breaded pork until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes, then transfer the pork to a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining oil and pork.

Bake the pork in a 400o oven for 3–5 minutes for medium-cooked pork.

Ingredients/Saffron Apple Garlic Mousse

1 cup heavy cream 1/4 lb cream cheese
1 Granny Smith apple 3 garlic cloves
1 tsp olive oil
kosher salt
white pepper
1 tsp saffron threads 2 tsp warm water

Method/Saffron Apple Garlic Mousse

Using an electric mixer, combine the whipping cream and cream cheese in a bowl and whip on high speed until hard peaks form.

In small bowl, crumble the saffron threads in the warm water to extract the saffron essence.

Peel, core and grate the apple into the cream mixture.

Toss the garlic cloves into olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350o until the garlic is soft and brown.

Remove the garlic from the oven and smash each clove with the side of a knife until the garlic has a texture like paste. Add garlic to the bowl of whipped cream and cream cheese. Add the saffron liquid to the bowl and fold into the mixture until it’s fully incorporated. Set aside.

Ingredients/Sage Crisps

10 sage leaves kosher salt
oil

Method/Sage Crisps

In a fryer, cook the sage leaves until they are crisp and slightly transparent. Remove from fryer and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

Assembly

Place 2 pieces of crispy pork in bottom of each service cup or glass. Scoop a dollop of saffron mousse on top of the pork, then garnish with a Sage Crisp.

Chef Notes

The saffron mousse can be prepared the day before. Depending on the fat content of the cream, you may need to add extra cream

cheese to help stabilize the mixture if you are making it ahead of time.

Variations

Chicken or shrimp can be used instead of pork. Make a five-spice mousse and garnish with a crispy scallion and cilantro mixture.

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Cous Cous Stuffed Tomato With Mint Pesto

Cous-Cous-Stuffed-Tom-A

Cous Cous Stuffed Tomato With Mint Pesto

Chef Eric’s Cous Cous Stuffed Tomato With Mint Pesto

This light and simple dish can be prepared to be served either hot or cold for any time of year as an appetizer or a great side.

Easy. SImple. Done.

Serves 4-6 as an entrée or 12 as a side dish

Ingredients / Cous Cous Tomato

  • 1 dozen medium tomatoes
  • 1 box of Israeli couscous
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice a very thin section off the bottom of the washed tomatoes to allow them to stand up without rolling around. Then slice off the tops and scoop out the insides with a spoon or melon baller.
  3. Sprinkle the interior of the tomatoes generously with salt and then place upside down on a paper towel for 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, pour the couscous grains into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Refer to package instructions to cook the cous cous
  6. Once cooked, mix the garbanzo beans, pine nuts, basil, spinach, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper into the couscous.
  7. In a small sauté pan, cook the shallots over medium-low heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. As the shallots start to become translucent, add in the garlic and a pinch of salt.
  9. If the pan is dry, add more oil.
  10. After adding the garlic, sauté for about 30-60 seconds longer, or until you can start to smell the garlic and it softens.
  11. Add the cooked shallots and garlic into the couscous mixture and stir to combine.
  12. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
  13. Spray a glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
  14. Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes and top with about a teaspoon of the breadcrumb mixture.
  15. Place the tomatoes into the baking dish.
  16. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the breadcrumb topping.
  17. Bake uncovered in the 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the tomato skin starts to split and soften.
  18. Eat right away.

Ingredients / Mint Pesto

  • 3/4 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 scallions, thickly sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  1. Combine mint, parsley, garlic and lemon zest and process in food processor.
  2. Add in the oil in a thin stream.
  3. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  4. Drizzle over and around the tomato’s when ready to serve.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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MUSHROOM GINGER CHICKEN CREPE CUP

crepe

MUSHROOM GINGER CHICKEN CREPE CUP

 

The flavors of chicken, ginger, and mushroom have always been a great combination in various cultures and many cuisines. This light and flavorful twist on a classic presentation will delight your guests.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: @ YIELD: 24 BITES

CREPES

1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease mini muffins tins with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, eggs, and milk until smooth. (You can also use a blender.)

Heat a lightly greased 8-inch nonstick skillet; add a tablespoon of batter to make about a 3-inch round. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until the top appears dry, 1–2 minutes. Place crepe in a greased muffin cup. Repeat with the remaining batter. Bake in oven for 6–8 minutes until slightly browned. Remove crepes from muffin tin and hold until ready to fill.

MUSHROOM RAGOUT

1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini, and white button

2–4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot or 1⁄2 small onion, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped, plus more

sprigs for presentation
1⁄2 cup Madeira or white wine 1⁄3 cup heavy cream

Clean the mushrooms by brushing with a kitchen towel or a brush to remove any loose dirt. Remove the shiitake stems and discard. Trim the dry ends off the cremini and white mushroom stems. Quarter all the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, spread them out evenly in the pan, and increase the heat to high. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed until they brown, then shake the pan to turn them over. Add additional butter along the sides of the pan if the pan seems very dry as the mushrooms cook. Continue to cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Season the mushrooms with the salt and pepper and add the thyme leaves. Pull

the pan off the heat and add the Madeira or wine. Return pan to the heat and, with a wooden spoon, scrape up any of the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

CHICKEN

1 pound chicken tenders
11⁄2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger 2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 350°F. Toss tenders with grated ginger and olive oil and bake for 10–12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Shred and reserve for assembly.

ASSEMBLY:

Scoop 1⁄2 teaspoon mushroom ragout into each crepe cup, then top with 1 teaspoon of shredded chicken and serve on a tray garnished with thyme. These

CHEF’S NOTES:

The ragout mixture can be made a few days ahead without affecting the quality; this will only intensify the layers of flavor.

bites can be served room temperature, or warm them by heating the filled crepe cups in a 350°F oven for 2–3 minutes.

BEST SEASON:

The earthy tones of the wild mushroom ragout are perfect for a crisp fall or cold winter’s night. Serve with a nice glass of Pinot Noir.

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Pan Seared Quail With Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Hash

Pan-Roasted-Quail-640x478

Pan Seared Quail With Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Hash

Chef Eric Recipe: Pan Seared Quail With Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Hash

This fun game dish is an easy holiday dish. Its a dish that will please any game lover while introducing something new to the foodie in your life. And its gluten free too.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Serves 4 People

Quail

Ingredients

  • 4 pc quail, boneless
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub quail all over with marinade and place in a ziptop bag for an hour.
  2. When almost ready to serve, heat nonstick pan on medium heat
  3. Lay quail into pan away from you and sear on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until quail is medium rare.
  4. Remove from pan, tent with foil and let quail rest for 5 minutes.

 

Hash

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts leaves
  • 2 cups Crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat pan over medium heat
  2. Add oil, once oil is hot add sliced garlic and Crimini mushrooms.
  3. Saute until soft and lightly browned about 5 minutes. When almost ready to serve, add the Brussels and cook until lightly wilted about 1 minute.

 

Salsify puree

Ingredients

  • 2lbs salsify, peeled an cut into one inch chunks
  • 1 whole leek, root end removed, cleaned & chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a large pot, Combine leeks and salsify and cover in vegetable stock and cook until tender on medium heat about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain liquid and mashed leek and salsify together with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Continue to mash until smooth or pulse in a food processor until it’s a smooth consistency.
  4. Cover to keep warm and set aside until ready to serve.

 

Cranberry reduction

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cranberries, dried
  • 1 cup stock, chicken
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method

  1. Heat a quart sized pot on medium heat
  2. Add oil, garlic and rosemary and sauté until garlic just starts to color and is fragrant
  3. Add dried cranberries and stock and bring to a slow boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook until cranberry is tender about 15 minutes
  4. Transfer into blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Allow to cool then pass through a china cap or chinois (strainer) and set aside for plating
  6. When ready to serve, divide salsify puree on plates.
  7. Top with hash and roast quail.
  8. Drizzle sauce around plate and pass any remaining sauce on the side.

 

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Trio of Healthy Grains – Vegetarian & Gluten Free 

3grain

Trio of Healthy Grains – Vegetarian & Gluten Free 

3grain

Focusing on healthy and flavorful foods cn be hard at times. Trying new thigs sometimes can stress people out, so here are some simple recipes to help you along the way.

Easy. Simple. Done

1. Cous Cous

Ingredients

  • 1 c couscous
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼  c diced red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes
  • ½ c mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 c fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼  c grated Parmesan cheese

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Stir cous cous into boiling water and return water to a boil.

3. Cover and remove pot from heat.

4. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

5. While the cous cous is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

6. Stir in garlic, green onions, mushrooms and peppers; sauté briefly.

7. Stir in tomatoes, basil, cooked couscous, salt and pepper.

8. Mix together and transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

9. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top.

10. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes.

11. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese while still warm.

 

2. Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 12 c water
  • 1 ½  c quinoa, rinsed
  • 5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into ¼ -inch cubes
  • 1 small red onion, cut into ¼ -inch cubes
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 bunches mint leaves, chopped
  • ½  c extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼  c red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 ½  tsp salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.

2. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil.

3. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes.

4. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture.

5. When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl.

6. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss well.

 

3. Bulgur Wheat

Ingredients

  • 1 c vegetable stock
  • ½  c dry bulgur wheat
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ¼  c dried cranberries

Method

1. Bring stock to a boil in a pot, and mix in bulgur and butter.

2. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Fluff cooked bulgur with a fork, and gently mix in the dried cranberries.

 

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½  tsp dried thyme
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Method

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Use a sharp paring knife to core the tomatoes.

3. Cut tomatoes in half; transfer to one large (or two smaller) rimmed baking sheet; add onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme.

4. Toss tomato mixture with oil; season generously with salt and pepper.

5. Spread in a single layer (turn tomatoes cut side down).

6. Roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If vegetables begin to brown too quickly, push them toward the center of the sheet.

7. Using tongs or your fingers peel off tomato skins; discard.

8. Transfer mixture (including juices) to a blender; pulse several times, until chunky.

9. Let cool completely; transfer to an airtight container.

 

Black Bean Puree

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained & liquid reserved
  • 1 red pepper, seeded, medium dice
  • 1 small red onion, medium dice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small container of pesto

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oli and sauté onion & pepper until soft.

2. Add in drained black beans and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Transfer black bean mixture into a blender or food processor and blend adding reserved bean liquid until desired consistency.  It should be fairly smooth, but still able to maintain its shape.

4. When ready to serve, paint plate with tomato sauce, top with ¼ cup of cous cous, quinoa and bulgur wheat.

5. Place several dollops of black bean puree on each plate, then add a few teaspoon sized drops of pesto.

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Idaho Potato Panzanella Stack

potato

Idaho Potato Panzanella Stack

potato

This recipe is a fun one that I created for Idaho Potato Commission and featured in their 2017 calendar. I hope you will enjoy making it and eating it as I did enjoy creating it.

Fire it up!

Ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: BASIL OIL
• ½ bunch basil, about 2 cups
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Salt and pepper, to taste

INGREDIENTS: BALSAMIC REDUCTION
• ½ cup balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup honey

INGREDIENTS: BACON BRUSCHETTA
• 8 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
• ½ cup bacon, cooked and chopped
• ½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
• ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely minced
• ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• Salt and pepper, to taste

INGREDIENTS: STACK
• 2 large Idaho® Russet Potatoes
• Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
• Olive oil as needed for frying (optional)
• Basil Oil (see recipe)
• Balsamic Reduction (see recipe)
• 2 plump medium tomatoes, sliced
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper
• 1 head baby romaine hearts, cut into 8 slices and lightly grilled
• Bacon Bruschetta (see recipe)

Directions:

DIRECTIONS: BASIL OIL

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth, about 20-30 seconds.

DIRECTIONS: BALSAMIC REDUCTION

1. Place the vinegar and honey in a saucepot over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until reduced by half. Let cool.

DIRECTIONS: BACON BRUSCHETTA

1. Combine all the ingredients except salt and pepper in a bowl, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, unrefrigerated, for 3 hours.

DIRECTIONS: STACK

1. Wash and slice each potato into 6 long planks (12 pieces total); season with kosher salt and white pepper. Fry planks in olive oil or bake until tender; let cool.

2. Drizzle a plate with some Basil Oil and Balsamic Reduction.

3. Gently toss tomato slices in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Per portion: Lay a slice of potato onto the plate, followed by a tomato slice, a mozzarella slice and a slice of grilled romaine. As you layer, drizzle each component with Basil Oil and Balsamic Reduction.

5. Repeat the layering process and top with one piece of potato, then garnish with 1 tablespoon of the Bacon Bruschetta.

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Smoked Salmon Lollipops With Bagel Dust

salmon-bagel

Smoked Salmon Lollipops With Bagel Dust

salmon-bagel

For the holiday season or any time of year, this great small bite is a hit at any party. Fire it up!!!

Makes 10 pieces – can be doubled

Lollipops

Ingredients

  • 10 oz smoked salmon
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp scallions sliced thinly on the bias
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

 

Bagel Dust

Ingredients

  • 1 plain bagel
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

  • 10 6″ lollipop sticks or wooden picks (lots of variations available at www.PickonUs.com)

 

Assembly

  1. Combine 6 oz of smoked salmon, cream cheese, scallions, capers, and lemon juice in a stand mixer with a paddle and mix until ingredients are combined.  Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Remove mixture from refrigerator and roll into 10 balls.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and put back into the refrigerator to firm up, approximately 4 hours.
  3. Cut the remaining 4 oz of salmon into 10 julienne strips and wrap around each of the cream cheese-salmon balls.
  4. Cut the bagel into thin, paper like pieces.  Place the slices on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 325° until dried, about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Once the bagel slices are cool, pulse them in a food processor until they look like sand or dust, a few small pebble sized pieces are ok. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt & pepper.
  6. Push lollipop sticks into smoked salmon balls.  Roll in bagel crumbs, using enough pressure to make sure that the bagel “dust” sticks to the salmon balls and serve.

 

Variations

Southwest Style Flavor – Omit the salmon and capers. Add several tablespoons of salsa along with 6 oz of cooked chicken to the cream cheese mixture then dust with fajita seasoning.

For Cheese Lovers – Omit the salmon and capers. Mix in 6 oz blue cheese and 2 tbsp. snipped chives into the cream cheese base, and roll in chopped crisp bacon.

 

Do-Ahead Tip

These can be made up to two days in advance.  Be sure to cover well with plastic wrap and roll in the “dust” just prior to serving so it stays crunchy.

 

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Mushroom Tortelloni

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Mushroom Tortelloni

As you know i’m a big fan of pasta.

Here is a simple recipe to follow that has great flavors while not being overwhelming.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Fire it up!!!

Chef Eric’s Mushroom Tortelloni – Vegetarian

Makes approx. 36 pieces – serves 4

Tortelloni are very similar to tortellini – just a bit bigger in size!

Ingredients

For the pasta dough:

  • 1 pound all-purpose flour (about 3 ¾ cups), plus more for dusting
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt Semolina or dried polenta, for dusting the baking sheet

For the Filling:

  • 2 c sheep’s milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 c diced taleggio cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½  c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼  c chopped fresh parsley Kosher salt
    3 egg whites – lightly whisked (for sealing tortelloni)

For the Sauce:

  • 2c chicken stock
  • 1c mushroom stock – sub in vegetable stock if mushroom stock is not available
  • 1lb enoki mushrooms, cut off woody ends
  • 1lb Maitake mushrooms, julienned
  • 1 lb sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed then julienned

 

Method: Dough

1. Mound the flour on a large cutting board and make a wide well in the middle.

2. Add the eggs and olive oil and season with salt.

3. Beat the eggs with a fork, and then use the fork to break the wall of the well and incorporate the flour into the eggs.

4. Gather the dough into a ball. Knead the dough.

5. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself and push again. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at least 1 hour at room temperature.

7. Mix the filling. Mix the ricotta, taleggio, eggs, Parmigiano and parsley in a bowl and season with salt.

8. Transfer the filling to a large pastry bag and refrigerate for one hour.

9. Cut the dough in half (reserving half for another use or it can be frozen).

10. Cut the remaining piece into quarters and shape into rounds.

11. Working with 1 dough round at a time, run dough through widest setting of a pasta machine. Fold in half; run through machine. Repeat 7 times. Roll through machine without folding, decreasing width setting after each roll, until 1/16″ thick. Transfer to a floured surface.

12. Using a 3″ cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Pipe 1 rounded teaspoonful of filling into center of each circle. Brush edges lightly with egg white; fold over and press to seal, forming a half-moon shape. Fold and press tips together, moistening with a bit more egg white to seal. Lighlty sprinkle semolina or dried polenta onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Tip:  Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

 

Method: Sauce

1. In a large pot, bring both stocks to a simmer.

2. Add in the tortelloni and cook for 6 minutes.  Once tortelloni are cooked, add in both mushrooms and snap peas and simmer for 2 minutes and serve.

 

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Grape, Hazelnut & Caramel Crunch (GF, Vegetarian)

crunch

Grape, Hazelnut & Caramel Crunch (GF, Vegetarian)

Chef Eric’s Grape, Hazelnut & Caramel Crunch (GF, Vegetarian)

Gluten free and vegetarian – makes approximately 6 cups and is delicious served with oatmeal, yogurt, sorbet, or gelato, and it’s awesome just on its own!

Ingredients

  • 5 ounce blanched hazelnuts
  • 2c pumpkin seeds – shelled
  • 1 ½ cups sunflower seeds – shelled
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp pinenuts
  • ½ c  maple syrup
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1c red grapes, sliced
  • 1c green grapes, sliced

Method
1. Heat oven to 300°F.

2. Roughly chop hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, pine nuts in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Mix with sliced grapes.

3. Bring maple syrup, sugar and olive oil just to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from heat.

4. Pour over the granola/grape mixture and stir well.

5. Spread onto a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

6. Leave to cool in a large bowl before serving. Will keep in a cool, dry place for up to one week in an airtight container.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Vegetable Roll – Vegetarian

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Vegetable Roll – Vegetarian

Chef Eric’s Vegetable Roll – Vegetarian

Serves 4

This will take a little bit of time to get all of the ingredients julienned (cut into match stick like pieces) and approximately the same size but it will be well worth it!

Ingredients

  • ½ c carrot, peeled, julienned
  • ½ c daikon radish, peeled, julienned
  • ½ c snow peas, trimmed and strings removed, julienned
  • ½ c Pickled red onions* recipe below or you may purchase these, dried well
  • ½ c  bok choy, julienned
  • ½ c Napa cabbage, shredded

*Pickled Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 1 c orange juice
  • 3 oz red wine vinegar
  • 2 oz sugar

Combine all pickled onion ingredients in a sauce pan and bring just to a simmer over medium heat and remove from heat.  Let cool to room temperature (about an hour).  Drain well and pat dry prior to using.

Wasabi Mayo

Ingredients

  • ½ c Mayo
  • 3tsp Wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Method

Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly

28 pc assorted colored and flavored soy wrappers (available at some Asian markets and online retailers).

Method

1. Lay 4 soy wrappers on counter top and evenly divide carrots into each.  Roll as tight as you can leaving about ½ inch exposed.  Put a dab of wasabi mayo at end and use it to seal the roll.

2. Lay 4 more soy wrappers on the counter and fill with daikon radish and roll as above.  Continue with 4 more wrappers for each ingredient.

3. You should now have 4 rolls of each of the vegetables (or 24 in total).

4. Place the remaining 4 wrappers on the counter. Take one of each of the vegetable rolls and place them on a wrapper and roll tightly leaving ½ inch exposed.  Spread 1 tbsp of wasabi mayo along the edge of the wrap and seal.  Continue with remaining wrappers until you’ve used all of the vegetable rolls.

5. Slice each roll into 8 pieces and serve

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Pork Loin W/Apple Marmalade

pork

Pork Loin W/Apple Marmalade

Light, full of flavor and easy to make.

pork

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1/3 c sherry vinegar
1 c water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small green apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 pitted prunes, thinly sliced
1 c veal stock or chicken stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 pork tenderloins, about 3/4 lb each
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
Method

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, water and salt and pepper to taste and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are very soft, about 45 minutes.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and prunes and sauté until slightly soft and caramelized, about 3-5 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the pan and continue to sauté until the flavors have blended, 2-3 minutes longer. And the stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in the fresh parsley and cover to keep warm.

3. Rub salt and pepper to taste on all sides of the tenderloins. Sprinkle with thyme and put into a zip top bag. Pour the 1/4 cup olive oil over the top and allow to marinate for up to 8 hours.

4. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450° or a gas grill to medium high

Oven: Place the tenderloins in a pan and put it into the oven and roast the pork for 10 minutes. Turn the pork over and roast until firm and pale pink in the center when cut with a knife, about 10 minutes longer.

Gas grill: Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 5 more minutes. Continue to cook and turn for up to 10 minutes or until pork is firm and pale pink in the center.

When the pork is done, transfer it to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Then, using a sharp knife cut the pork tenderloins into slices 1/2-inch thick on an angle.

Divide the corn hash among four plates, top with 3-4 slices of pork, then spoon the warmed marmalade mixture over the pork.

You can make the Apple Marmalade ahead of time, just refrigerate and warm slightly before serving.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Pistachio Mousse With Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake & Poached Cherries

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Pistachio Mousse With Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake & Poached Cherries

Pistachio-mousse-poached-cherries-and-mint-chocolate-dust1

What a fun and flavorful dessert that can be done a day ahead. All these flavors blend so well together and they layer so well.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Fire itu p!!!

Serves 4

Pistachio Mousse

Ingredients

1 8 oz can of white fondue chocolate – you can find this at Whole Foods or other gourmet stores

4 whole eggs

1 c coconut milk – divided use

1oz granulated sugar

½ c shelled pistachio

2Tbsp pistachio nuts, peeled and chopped for garnish

Method

Warm the chocolate in a double boiler with the water at a gentle boil.

Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Beat the yolks together with the sugar until it is nicely frothy and then slowly add the melted chocolate, whisking all the time. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to create a thick foam and then gently fold it into the chocolate mixture. Then whip 1/2 cup of the coconut milk into soft peaks and fold it into the mixture. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Take the remaining ½ c coconut milk and combine it with the ½ cup pistachios in a blender or food processor and blend/process until mostly smooth. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

Pistachio Poppy Seed Cake

Ingredients
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon lemon extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 cups flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 c lemon lime soda
zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 c pistachios (peeled and crushed)

Method

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Butter and flour a 4 x 6 pan.

In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, and sugar. Beat until it is a light pastel yellow (about 2-3 minutes).

Add in vanilla and lemon extract. Add in 1 egg at a time incorporating each egg before adding the next.

In a separate bowl combine flour and salt.

Alternate mixing your soda pop with dry ingredients into the creamed sugar mixture ending with flour. Once all of your soda and flour mixture is combined fold into the batter your pistachios, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Pour this mixture into your prepared pan and spread the top to smooth it out. Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.

Bake 40 minutes and test your cake with a toothpick, skewer or knife.  When the stick comes out clean and free of moisture or crumbs your cake is finished.  Allow to rest 30 minutes or so.

Poached Cherries

Ingredients

1 cup dry red wine

1/4 c sugar

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

¼ pound fresh cherries (with stems)

¼  tsp arrowroot

Method

Place wine and sugar in a pan and stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes to dissolve sugar.

Add vanilla bean and seeds (or vanilla extract) and cinnamon.

Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half.

Add the cherries and cook for 1 minute.

In a small bowl, combine arrowroot with 1 tablespoon cold water and a little of the poaching liquid.

Add the mixture to the poaching liquid, simmer for a further minute or until thickened, then cool.

To serve, cut cake into 24 one inch squares and add 2-3 squares in the bottom of each bowl/glass.  I use small glasses.  Place a dollop of pistachio mousse into each glass and top with a dollop of pistachio cream.  Add 2-3 more cake squares to the glass and top with another dollop of pistachio mousse and any remaining pistachio cream.  Smooth tops and refrigerate until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, divide poached cherries on top of each serving and garnish with a few chopped pistachios.

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Torn Chicken with Spicy Tabasco Tomato Confit and Celery Chips

chix

Torn Chicken with Spicy Tabasco Tomato Confit and Celery Chips

chix

With the holidays here, and all sorts of parties going on, enjoy this simple but fun appetizer with your friends and family.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Fire it up!!!

Ingredients/Torn Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 cups tomato juice
1 cup chicken stock
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Method/Torn Chicken

Clean any excess fat from chicken breasts.

Pour the tomato juice and chicken stock into a pot and add half the chopped celery and onions. Place the chicken breasts into the pot, then cover with the remaining celery and onion, plus the pepper flakes. Cook over a medium flame for 20 minutes or until the chicken can be shredded with a fork.

Remove the chicken from the pot and shred while still hot, then set aside to cool.

Ingredients/Spicy Tabasco Tomato Confit

12 pear tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup tomato juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil

Method/Spicy Tabasco Tomato Confit

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions until clear and translucent, about 6 minutes.

Remove seeds from plum tomatoes and dice into 1/4- inch pieces. Add onions and cilantro to tomatoes, then add tomato juice, honey and pepper flakes. Simmer over low flame for 15–20 minutes until mixture is reduced, then remove from flame and cool. The confit should be thick and pliable.

Ingredients/Celery Crisps

2 celery stalks kosher salt

Method/Celery Crisps

Slice the celery into 1/8-inch slices and sprinkle with salt.

Dry in a dehydrator for 7-10 hours until crisp.

Assembly

Put enough torn chicken in each spoon to make one bite. Top the chicken with a 1/2 tsp of Tomato Confit and then sprinkle with 2 pieces of dried celery just before service.

Chef Notes

If you don’t have a dehydrator, put the celery slices on a sheet pan and keep in a 125o oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and keep them in the closed oven for 8 hours, until they are crisp.

Variations

Braised beef brisket or slow-roasted pork loin can
be substituted for the chicken. To change the flavor profile completely—and to upscale the item, use butter-poached shrimp, scallop or lobster.

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Duck Ravioli with Roasted Vegetables

Duck-Ravioli

Duck Ravioli with Roasted Vegetables

So raviolis have become a passion of mine, i even have a ravioli company, http://www.ChefEricsRavioli.com if you ever need to order amazing raviolis.

Thank being said, if you enjoy making ravioli as much as I do try this recipe out, its a lights out ravioli dish.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Fire it up!!!

Serves 4

Duck
Ingredients
2 duck breasts
1 large carrot peeled and rough chopped
2 medium shallots chopped
2 teaspoons dried sage
1small lemon (I used a meyer lemon)
2 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Heat oven to 375°, clean and pat dry the duck breasts, score the skin through the fat without cutting into the meat, sprinkle each breast on both sides with salt, pepper, and sage. In small roasting pan make a bed of carrots, shallots and garlic and lay the duck breasts on top of it skin side up, quarter the lemon squeeze some of the juice on the duck and place the quarters around the duck. Cover with foil and roast for 45-50 minutes, if the duck breasts are large it may take an hour or bit longer to roast. I was not looking for crisp duck skin rather tender moist duck meat, and caramelization of the vegetables. Remove from oven and set aside to cool so it can be shredded.

Pasta
Ingredients
3 extra large eggs (if you have large eggs use 4)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Pinch of salt
4-6 fresh sage leaves chopped (depending on the size large leaves use 4 smaller 6)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water

Method
In bowl of your food processor add the flour, eggs, olive oil, water and salt. Pulse until it forms a cohesive ball. Dump onto floured work surface and knead until it’s smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. If you are not using a food processor dump the flour onto your work surface, make a well in the middle and add the eggs, oil, water and salt, beat the eggs and start incorporating the flour in a circular motion until you have a cohesive ball, knead until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes

Ravioli filling
Ingredients
½ cup ricotta
1egg beaten
1/2cup toasted walnuts chopped finely
2tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
1/4teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4cup white wine
Reserved duck meat and roasted vegetables
1tablespoon Unsalted butter

In small bowl beat the egg, add the walnuts, parsley, grated cheese and lemon zest and stir to combine, add the ricotta and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. NOTE: It’s not absolutely necessary but you can strain the ricotta in cheese cloth to remove some of the liquid, If using homemade ricotta you have probably already done that but if you use store bought ricotta you could strain it, but it’s not essential to the recipe.

Cut the pasta dough into quarters, cover the dough you are not using with tea towel to keep moist. Use your pasta machine as directed. I roll it starting on first (widest) setting and end with the next to the last notch (#5) on my machine. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter cut rounds of dough. Place a small amount of ricotta mixture in center, with fingertip wet the edge of the circle and press another round on top. Press to seal and place on sheet pan with floured tea towel keeping it covered while you are working on the other ravioli. You should end up with 16 ravioli. After you are done refrigerate covered if you are not going to boil them right away.

Place large pot of water to boil on high heat. While your water is heating shred the duck discarding the skin and lemons, pour out most of the fat (I used a fat separator) and keep the brown bits and some of the pan juices and add the white wine and reduce by about 1/4, then add the butter, roasted carrots, shallots and garlic and break up with a fork don’t mash. Add the shredded duck and keep warm on low heat. When water comes to a boil add some salt, add the ravioli and boil for approximately 5 minutes or until ravioli float to the top. Remove the ravioli with strainer.

Place ravioli on serving platter top with the shredded duck and vegetables.

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Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash (Vegan)

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Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash (Vegan)

Perfect time of year for this rustic and delicious dish.

Easy. Simple. Done.  Fire it up!!!!

Ingredients

Butternut Squash

2 butternut squash, split in half lengthwise and seeds removed

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp white pepper

 

Filling

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Tbsp garlic, chopped

1 quart Brussels sprouts, cut off the stem and split in half

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup cremini mushrooms, quartered

 

Method: Squash

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine 4 tbsp olive oil with salt & pepper and rub into cut side of butternut squash halves

Set squash cut side down on baking pan and poke holes in skin with fork

Cook for 20-25 minutes or until flesh of squash is tender to the touch but not mush

Turn over carefully -its hot – and with a spoon lightly scrap center to form a pocket for filling

 

Method: Filling

While squash is baking, heat pan on medium heat with oil

Add garlic and sauté until light brown

Add cranberries, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms

Sauté until sprouts are tender

 

Serving

Place one half of each cooked squash on a plate and divide filling into pocket. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

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Orange Crepe Stack

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Orange Crepe Stack

Fun in the kitchen is what this dish is all about. The oranges can be substituted with different fruits such as dragon fruit or blood orange, so you can take advantage of the seasons.

Fire it up!

Orange-Curd-Stack-634x478

Serves 4

Crepe Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Method

  1. Whisk all the ingredients vigorously until the crepe batter is completely smooth; allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before making into crepes.
  2. Melt a little butter in a crepe pan or large skillet over low-medium heat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter, about a 3-4 inch circle.
  4. Cook the crepe for 1 minute, flip and cook until the crepe is slightly crisp. Continue making crepes until all of the batter has been used.

 

Orange Curd Ingredients

  • Zest of One Orange
  • ½ cup White Sugar
  • ½ cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed after zesting the orange)
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 7 tablespoons salted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces.

 

Method

  1. Zest orange – then juice
  2. Using your fingers, rub the orange zest into the sugar. This will tint the sugar orange and release the oil from the zest into the sugar.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the orange zest and white sugar.
  4. Add the orange juice, eggs and butter.
  5. Constantly whisk over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Curd should thickly coat the back of spoon when done.
  7. Cover and cool in the fridge.

 

Orange yogurt Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • Mix yogurt, honey and orange juice together. Set aside for plating

 

Garnish

  • 2 large orange, supremed into segments or one small can of mandarin orange segments packed in juice and drained
  • 4 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • When ready to serve, evenly divide the orange yogurt around the edges of four bowls.
  • Place a crepe in the bottom of each bowl, add a dollop of orange curd on the crepe and a few orange segments.
  • Top with another crepe, a dollop of orange curd and a few orange slices.
  • Top with another crepe, orange curd and any remaining orange slices.
  • Sprinkle with fresh mint.

 

*You might notice that the crepes I’ve used in the picture are drizzled with melted white chocolate. If you want to do this, just melt 3 tbsps of white chocolate and drizzle over the cooled crepes.

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Grilled, Roasted, and Pickled 

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Grilled, Roasted, and Pickled 

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Gluten Free/Serves 4

Start this recipe one day ahead so you’ll have time to marinate and pickle* This is a fun dish to share with special guests who enjoy a little creativity in their meal.  Fire it up!!!

Grilled Skirt Steak

Ingredients

  • 4ea 6-8oz Skirt steak, trimmed of extra fat
  • 4oz Chimichurri sauce

 

Method

  1. Marinate skirt steak in chimichurri – in a zip top bag for 24hrs*
  2. When nearly ready to serve, heat grill on medium temp
  3. Remove steak from bag and grill on both sides until desired temperature, no more than 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare

 

Chimichurri sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh parsley and/or cilantro, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional)
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste

 

Method

  1. Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add the parsley and/or cilantro, and oregano if using, and pulse briefly, until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar, and stir. (Adding the liquids outside of the blender gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don’t want the herbs to be completely puréed, just finely chopped).
  4. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use

 

Roasted Cauliflower Puree

 

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4tsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper
  • 3oz butter, unsalted
  • 1c chicken stock

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Cut cauliflower into chunks
  3. Toss in oil and season with salt and pepper then spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and may be browned in spots.
  4. Remove from oven, place cauliflower in blender or food processer
  5. Turn on medium, slowly add stock until a smooth but thick consistency forms. You may not use all of the chicken stock
  6. Add in butter and process until combined.
  7. Keep warm until ready to serve

 

Roasted Cipollini Onions

 

Ingredients

  • 8ea Cipollini Onions
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • white pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Peel skin from onions but do not trim the ends
  3. Toss onions in oil, salt and pepper and put on a rimmed baking sheet
  4. Roast in pre heated oven at 325° for 15-20 (or longer depending on the size of the cipollini) minutes until browned in spots
  5. Keep warm until ready to serve

 

Grilled Romaine

 

Ingredients

  1. 1head large romaine
  2. Vegetable oil spray
  3. Kosher salt
  4. White pepper

Method

  1. Heat grill on medium heat
  2. Split romaine in half the long way leaving stem end intact
  3. Spray romaine halves lightly with vegetable oil pray and season with salt & pepper
  4. Place romaine with cut side down on the grill
  5. Allow romaine to grill until leaves are tender but not wilted or burned, 1-2 minutes

 

Hard Boiled Eggs

 

Ingredients

  • 4ea large fresh eggs
  • 1qt water

Method

  1. Place eggs in pot of water
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. When boiling, cover and remove from heat. Let eggs sit in the water for 12 minutes
  4. Remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process
  5. Peel and quarter when ready to serve

 

Pickled Radishes*

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 chili peppers, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Method

  1. Heat water, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns over medium high heat and stir until sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add in chili’s, garlic and whole radishes.
  3. Let set 6-8 hours then put in fridge overnight
  4. Discard pickling liquid and shave thin for serving

 

When ready to serve, cut each romaine half in half the long way. Put a dollop of cauliflower puree on one side and top with grilled steak. Place a romaine quarter, cipollini onions, radishes and eggs on each plate and serve.

 

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Crostini Trio – Vegetarian

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Crostini Trio – Vegetarian

 

This great combination of easy recipes can be prepared a day ahead and finished before you are serving to your guests at the last minute.

Easy. Simple. Done.

1. Edamame Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 c cooked edamame
  • ¼ c tahini
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, chives, basil – any of all of these would be good)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste

Method

1. Combine edamame, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs in food processor.

2. Process until smooth.

3. Drizzle olive oil through feed tube, continuing to process until oil is fully incorporated.

4. Season with salt to taste.

 

2. Olives & Feta

Ingredients

  • 1 c kalamata olives, pitted & lightly chopped or sliced
  • 1 c feta cheese, crumbles
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Method

Combine all ingredients & mix well

 

3. Artichoke, Parmesan and Tomato

Ingredients

  • 1 cup artichokes packed in water and drained well
  • 1 large tomato, diced – about 1 cup
  • 3 tsp parmesan, grated

Method

Combine all ingredients and mix well

 

Focaccia* crisps

Ingredients

  • 2 ea 4×4 pieces focaccia bread, sliced into ¼” thick pieces
  • 3tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Brush focaccia with oil and season with salt and pepper

2. Toast until golden brown, cool slightly

 

When ready to serve, spread a tablespoon or so of each mixture onto a crisp and repeat until all crisps have been used.

 

*If you can’t find focaccia bread at your local market, use a baguette, ciabatta bread or even pita chips!

 

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Coconut Curry Steamed Mussels

Coconut-Curry-Mussels-1

Coconut Curry Steamed Mussels

This light and flavorful dish will be a show stopper at any dinner party for the holidays or just for you and some special people in your home to enjoy.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Ingredients

  • 8 sprigs cilantro, separate leaves and stems and roughly chop both
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 small shallots, sliced thin
  • ½ tsp whole coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp zest plus 1 tbsp. juice from 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 15oz can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2lbs fresh PEI mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 1 small Thai or Serrano chili, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Combine cilantro stems, half of garlic, half of shallot, coriander seed, chili flakes, lime zest and a small pinch of kosher salt in a mortar and pestle. Grind into a smooth paste
  2. Scoop 2 tablespoons of thick cream from the top of the can of coconut milk and add to a large saucepan.
  3. Add oil and heat over medium heat
  4. Add remaining garlic and shallots, pounded paste, curry paste.
  5. Cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Add remaining contents of coconut milk can, sugar, and fish sauce.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook about 3 minutes.
  8. Season to taste
  9. Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly until mussels are open. Stir in chopped cilantro leaves, fresh chili, and lime juice.
  10. Discard any mussels that don’t open.
  11. Divide mixture between four bowls including the broth.
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Wild Mushroom Crisp

Mushroom-Crisp-with-Roasted-Vegetables-848x478

Wild Mushroom Crisp

Here is a fun and vegetarian Crisp that can be served as an appetizer or a snack, even a light mid day meal.

Easy. Simple. Done.

Crisp

1 sheet puff pastry

  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Roll puff pastry into a 9″ x 9″ square and place on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Poke holes with a fork all over the puff pastry. Crimp the edges decoratively and place in oven.
  3. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until a light blond color and remove from oven.

 

Mushroom duxelle

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb mushrooms Cremini, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened,
  3. Add mushrooms and salt; cook, stirring, until mushrooms have softened and released their liquid.
  4. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until liquid has evaporated.
  5. Stir in parsley, salt, and the pepper. Let cool completely.

 

Topping

Ingredients

  • 1 small Zucchini, cut into 1” wedges
  • 2 ea salsify, peeled, sliced into thin ¼” sticks
  • ½ c Cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters or eighths if very large
  • Optional Garnish
  • Snipped chives

Method

  1. Toss zucchini, salsify and mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in a 350° oven for 8 -10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender.
  2. Top cooked puff pastry with a thin layer of mushroom duxelles and top with roasted vegetables. Place in oven and bake for 8 -10 minutes until hot.
  3. Cut into quarters or smaller wedges, top with snipped chives if using and serve.
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Crab, Shrimp, Corn & Bacon Dip

Crab-Shrimp-Corn-Bacon-Dip-848x478

Crab, Shrimp, Corn & Bacon Dip

Crab-Shrimp-Corn-Bacon-Dip-848x478

So whats better than a warm bowl of dip? A bowl of Crab, Shrimp and Bacon Dip thats what! Enjoy this gluten free dip that can be served hot or cold. This also makes a great holiday season dish that you can bring to that party and be the talk of the night….Happy Holidays! Fire it up!!

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 oz light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp Old bay Spice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1/2 cup cooked lump crabmeat – rinsed & picked over to remove any shells
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn – reserve 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon
  • 1/3 cup cooked chopped shrimp
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine all ingredients but crab meat and shrimp into blender
  3. Mix on medium speed until blended.
  4. Fold in the crab, shrimp and reserved corn. Transfer to a shallow 2-cup baking dish.
  5. Top with Parmesan
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is lightly brown.

Serve with your favorite gluten free chips or crudité.

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Pulled Turkey With Mushroom Ragout

Pulled-Turkey-with-Mushroom-Ragu-848x478

Pulled Turkey With Mushroom Ragout

Pulled-Turkey-with-Mushroom-Ragu-848x478

Leftover Turkey?No problem, here’s an idea.

Makes 20 spoons: enough for dinner for four.

Mushroom Ragu

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz dried mushrooms, preferably porcinis
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and quartered or sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 lb wild mushrooms, trimmed and brushed clean, or oyster mushrooms, trimmed and torn into pieces if very large
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ c dry white wine
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

 

Method

  1. Place the dried mushrooms into 2 cups boiling water and soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the mushrooms and save the liquid.
  3. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or a wide saucepan and add the shallots. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add the fresh mushrooms, rosemary and thyme, and turn up the heat slightly. Cook until the mushrooms begin to sweat, then add a generous pinch of salt. Stir for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat as the mushrooms continue to soften and sweat. Add the flour and continue to cook the mushrooms, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the reconstituted dried mushrooms and the wine and turn the heat to high.
  5. Stir in the dried mushroom soaking liquid, bring to a simmer, add pepper and salt to taste, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and fragrant and the surrounding broth is thick, about 10 to 15 minutes. Top with finely chopped parsley.

Pulled Turkey

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover cooked turkey or chicken, shredded
  • 1 -2 cups gravy with 1 tsp (or more) Sriracha added

Method

  1. Warm leftover turkey in gravy mixed with Sriracha to taste – keep warm.
  2. When ready to serve, place a spoonful of mushroom ragu on each spoon, top with some of the pulled turkey. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, crème fraiche or (if you have them leftover) a teaspoon of warmed up mashed potatoes and top with microgreens or a bit of chopped parsley.

 

If serving for dinner, you may want to add some fresh cooked rice and a simple green salad.

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Basmati Rice Cake with Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms and Vegetable Ratatouille

Basmati-Cake

Basmati Rice Cake with Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms and Vegetable Ratatouille

This great dish is one of those uncommon vegetarian dishes. Great flavors meets unique and uncommon ingredients. I love mushrooms and I hope you will enjoy the trumpet mushrooms as much as i did.   Fire it up!!!

Basmati-Cake

Basmati Cake

Ingredients

Cakes:

3 cups water

1 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

 

Method

Combine water and rice in pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool 10 minutes. Add rice to lentils.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, fennel seeds, and garlic to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes. Add to rice. Add mozzarella cheese and remaining ingredients, stirring until well combined. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Spoon half of rice mixture by 1/3-cupfuls into pan, spreading to form 6 (3-inch) circles; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 5 minutes on other side. Remove cakes from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining rice mixture.

Ratatouille

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium diced unpeeled eggplant

1 small diced zucchini

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large diced tomato

1/2 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basi

Method

warm oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Cook 8 minutes, stirring, until softened and cooked down.

Stir in tomato, red bell peppers, and vinegar; cook 10 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Set aside

 

King Trumpet Mushrooms

Ingredients

2ea King Trumpets or Portobello

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 tsp Olive oil

Method

Slice mushrooms into steaks

Toss into oil and season with salt and pepper

Either roast in the oven on a non stick tray for 20 minutes or grill for 10-12 minutes until tender

 

 


 

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Baked Clam Paella

Baked-Clam-2Paella

Baked Clam Paella

This perfect little dish has become a great appetizer for our customer to share at my restaurants. It takes all the traditions of Paella and drops it into a bite! (but don’t bite the shell please)

Fire it up!!

Baked-Clam-2Paella

Ingredient

2dz little neck clams, shucked (giving you 48 pc) chop and reserve clams
2 t olive oil

1 T Paprika

2 tsp dried oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

4oz ground chicken

1 T olive oil, divided

1 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 c uncooked short-grain white rice

1 pinch saffron threads

1 bay leaf

½ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

2c chicken stock

2 lemons, zested

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

½ # chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled

½# shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

Method

In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover, and refrigerate.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Cook, stirring, to coat rice with oil, about 3 minutes. Stir in saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning the shrimp, until both sides are pink, finish with chopped clams.

 

Scoop a Tablespoon of the mixture into each clamshell and bake in oven for 10 minutes

 

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Crispy Eggplant Discs with Garlic Marinated Zucchini and Ricotta Mousse

eggplant-spoon

Crispy Eggplant Discs with Garlic Marinated Zucchini and Ricotta Mousse

Simple and Easy to make. This crowd pleaser has been a great cocktail hour passed bite that has texture, great flavor and without making your guests feel satisfied while but wanting more.

eggplant-spoon

Crispy Eggplant Discs with Garlic Marinated zucchini and Ricotta Mousse

Ingredients/Crispy Eggplant

1 Japanese eggplant

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 cup Wondra flour

1 cup egg wash (3 eggs and 1/4 cup water, whisked together)

kosher salt white pepper

Method/Crispy Eggplant

Slice the eggplant, unpeeled, 1/4-inch circles; cut each slice in half to create half-moon shapes.

Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, then egg wash, then the breadcrumbs.

Deep-fry the eggplant slices until crispy, about 3 minutes, then remove from the fryer and season.

Hold warm until service for up to 30 minutes.

Ingredients/Garlic zucchini

1ea Zucchini

3 garlic cloves, chopped

8 tsp balsamic vinegar

6 tsp olive oil

1/4 bunch rosemary leaves, chopped

Method/Garlic zucchini

Shave the zucchini into thin pieces with a peeler. Add the garlic and rosemary, then toss with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and set aside.

Ingredients/Ricotta Mousse

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Ricotta Mousse

Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment on high speed for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Place the mousse in a piping bag and set aside.

Assembly

Pipe the Ricotta Mousse into service spoons.
Stand 2 eggplant chips in the mousse in each spoon. Add zucchini in the middle of the eggplant.


 

 

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Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and Caper Sauce

2herb-chix

Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and Caper Sauce

This dish is a light alternative to what can be a normally a heavy, hearty season of cooking.

The flexibility with this dish is vast. All ingredients can be prepared ahead of time during the early part of the week and heated before eating.

Enjoy and Fire it up!!!

2herb-chix

Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and Caper Sauce

Herb Chicken

Ingredients

8ea Chicken, jumbo tenders

1c rice

1c-pasteurized eggs

4tsp olive oil

3T Italian parsley, chopped

Kosher salt

White pepper

 

Method

Dredge chicken in flour

Combine egg and chopped parsley

Dip chicken in egg

Heat pan with olive oil and sauté

Cook chicken both sides for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through

Place chicken on top of roasted vegetables

 

Caper Sauce

Ingredients

3T Capers

½ c Tomatoes, diced

½ c Red onion, shaved julienne

3 tsp Olive oil

½ c chicken stock

Kosher salt

White pepper

 

Method

Once chicken is removed from sauté pan add onions, capers and tomatoes, sauté until onions are slightly translucent

Slowly add stock and allow sauce to reduce

Season to taste and pour over chicken

 

Vegetables

Ingredients

1c Brussels sprouts, cut into ¼ pcs

1pc zucchini, medium, split ling and sliced thin

1c pearl onions, frozen

1ea carrot, large, peeled, split, sliced into thin half moons

½ c Olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Combine all vegetables in bowl and mix with oil, salt and peppers

Place on pan sprayed baking pan and roast in pre heated oven for 12-15 minutes of until vegetables are golden in color

 

 

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Holiday gift cards and Cookbook…..

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Holiday gift cards and Cookbook…..

So it’s that time of the year kids!! Happy Holidays! @paragontapandtable and @morristapandgrill we have gift cards for you to share in your love for our food, beverage and amazing service #craftexperienceredefined plus we have my cookbooks for you to give to that special cook in your life. It’s a win win. Also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble if you can’t make it in. #fireitup #fullcircle#chefericsignature #chefswithtattoos #happyholidays15107211_1355370114527822_4423697158811989626_n

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Gluten Free S’mores….heres a simple gluten free dessert for you!

Smores4

Gluten Free S’mores….heres a simple gluten free dessert for you!

Smores4

Being the dad of a child who has celiac I know how tough it could be for her to enjoy desseert with the family during the holidays. Here is a gluteen free option that you can share with your family, gluten free or not.  Happy Holidays!  Fire it up!!!

Ingredients

5 gluten-free graham cracker sheets, broken

3.38 ounces gluten-free flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 large egg

6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

8oz bars semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 cups marshmallows

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing foil to extend over edge of pan.

Place graham crackers in a food processor; process until finely ground.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.

Add flour and sugar to crumbs; pulse until combined.

Add butter; pulse 15 times or until blended.

Add egg; process until moist. Press crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Cook cream in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat.

Add chocolate, stirring until smooth.

Spread chocolate mixture over cooled crust.

Cut marshmallows into rings (3 ea marshmallows) and lay on top of chocolate coated crust.

Cover and chill 2 hours and 30 minutes or until firm. Holding edges of foil, lift mixture from pan, and carefully peel off foil.

Place on a cutting board. Cut into bars.

Stack and serve

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Brussels Sprout Bone In

bome in brussels sprouts copy

Brussels Sprout Bone In

Rather than a traditional way of eating brussels sprouts, here is a fun interactive and creative way to serve. When it comes to food it needs to be fun, and this is another way of doing it.

I have been doing it this way for years in my restaurants, and we get such a great reaction i figured i would share the recipe with you.

Fire it up!!!!

bome in brussels sprouts copy

1 cup pomegranate juice

½ c Garlic, Chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons Oil

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Brussels sprouts stalk cut into 5-6” sections

 

Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees .

In a small saucepan, saute garlic light brown then add he pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice, stirring often, until reduced by about three-quarters (about 8 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the oil onion and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.

Cut the full stalk into 5-6” stalks

Place the stalk on a foil-lined baking sheet; brush the vinaigrette onto the sprouts.

Roast for 45 minutes or until the sprouts are tender, turning every 15 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, brush often with the glaze.

Transfer to a platter; sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.

Serve with kitchen shears for removing the sprouts

 

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Edamame Hummus with Lemon and Thyme Cracker..the perfect appetizer for the holidays.

2-edda-edamame-hummus-on-lemon-thyme-crisp

Edamame Hummus with Lemon and Thyme Cracker..the perfect appetizer for the holidays.

This makes for a great vegetarian option for any holiday party. The recipes can be made ahead of time so you can spend time with your family and friends during the holidays.  Fire it up!!

Simpe, Easy , Done!

2-edda-edamame-hummus-on-lemon-thyme-crisp

Edamame Hummus

ingredients

1 c. cooked edamame

1/4 c. tahini

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 garlic clove, peeled

2 T Thyme, pulled leaves

2 t. olive oil

salt to taste

Method

Combine edamame, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and Thyme in food processor.

Process until smooth.

Drizzle olive oil through feed tube, continuing to process until oil is fully incorporated.

Season with salt to taste and serve.

 

Thyme Crackers

Ingredients

1 stick butter

3 oz grated parmesan

1T Lemon Juice, and zest

1 ¼  c all purpose flour

¼  tsp kosher salt

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

½  tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons water

Method

Place butter in a bowl of an electric mixer (paddle attachment) and mix until creamy.

Add Lemon zest, lemon juice,Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine. Add water as needed to form a ball of dough.

Dump the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. Lightly flour and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the log crosswise, with a sharp knife, into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices.

Place slices on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper and bake for 22 minutes.

 

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Apple Mint Caramel Shaker….this makes a great holiday cocktail

apple-caramel-cock

Apple Mint Caramel Shaker….this makes a great holiday cocktail

apple-caramel-cockDessert in a glass! You can skip the apple caramel pie and enjoy this decadent cocktail instead.

YIELD: 2 DRINKS
1 cup apple-caramel pie filling, plus 2 table-spoons

of juice reserved for rimming the glasses 1⁄2 cup apple brandy
1⁄4 cup pitted dates
1⁄3 cup whole milk

Salt to taste

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, for rimming the glasses

1/4 bunch fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Combine in a blender the pie filling, brandy, dates, milk, and salt. Puree until well incorporated. Dip the rim of each glass into the reserved juice and coat with finely chopped walnuts. Fill each glass with the blended mixture, garnish with mint, and serve.

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A taste of RED

a ratse of red

A taste of RED

Playing around with ideas in a single color  was the direction i was heading into with this plate. Sometimes its the different approach to food that leads to creative fun ideas, as is the case with this dish.

a ratse of red

Pickled red onion salad

ingredients

2 red onions, sliced

1 cup cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Method

Blanch 2 sliced red onions in a small saucepan of boiling water to cover for 1 minute and drain in a colander. Then return them to the pan and add a cup of cider vinegar, a teaspoon of salt, and just enough cold water to barely cover the onions. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer the onions 1 minute. Transfer the onions and brine to a glass jar and chill. The onions will turn the color of a pink piñata and will get crisp as they cool.

 

Tomato Bruschetta

ingredients

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise

2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California

2 whole cloves

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

½ Italian frying pepper, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1 tsp curry powder (preferably Madras)

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

2 lb tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch-wide wedges

1 tsp packed dark brown sugar

Method

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic, bay leaves, and cloves, stirring, until garlic is golden, 35 to 40 seconds.

Remove from heat, then transfer garlic, bay leaves, and cloves with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Reserve all but 2 tablespoons oil in a heatproof bowl, then add celery, onion, frying pepper, curry powder, salt, pepper, and reserved bay leaves and cloves to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are just beginning to break down, about 20 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in half of reserved garlic slices.

 

Cherry tomatoes

Ingredient

2 #cherry tomatoes
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes collapse, about 10 minutes

Chill before serving
Pickled Radish

INGREDIENTS

½ c red wine vinegar

¼ c granulated sugar

¼ c water

2 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds

¼ tsp coriander seeds

¼ tsp whole black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 bunch red radishes (about 10 to 13 radishes)

 

Method

Combine all of the ingredients except the radishes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the brine from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the radishes.

Trim the leafy tops off (discard or save for another use) and wash the radishes. Thinly slice and place in a pint jar.

When the brine is ready, pour it into the jar, making sure to cover the radishes completely. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Seal the jar with a tightfitting lid and shake or rotate it to evenly distribute the brine and spices. Refrigerate and let pickle at least 1 day before using. The pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Savory Roasted Red Pepper

 

ingredients

6 roasted red peppers

3 tsp honey

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp Olive oil

¼ tsp dried chili flakes

1 ½ tsp cumin seeds

1 T grated ginger

 

Method

Put everything, all except 2 peppers, in a blender. Blend until well incorporated but not completely smooth. Meanwhile finely chop the remaining 2 peppers and set aside. This will give the jam texture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

 

Ingredients

¼ c butter

1½ c carrot, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

15 oz. can tomato sauce

6 oz. can tomato paste

14ea fresh basil leaves

salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

In a stock pot, melt butter on low and then add diced carrots and chopped onions. Let simmer until tender and until the onions are translucent

Add all four cans of tomato products and mix well; add salt and pepper to taste.

Let mixture simmer for at least 10 minute.

About 5-10 minutes prior to serving, add fresh basil leaves.

Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce into a nice smooth consistency, Chili and serve

 

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Seafood Paella ……Easy. Simple. Done.

Seafood-Paella-848x478

Seafood Paella ……Easy. Simple. Done.

Enjoy this classic Spanish dish on a cool fall day. All  the flavors pull together to make this hart warming one pot dish an instant flamily favorite.

Seafood-Paella-848x478

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pimentón dulce (or sweet paprika)
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 cleaned small squid, bodies sliced into 1/4-inch-wide rings, tentacles left whole
  • 2 c medium-grain Spanish paella rice or risotto rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli
  • 3 c fish or chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 12 ea jumbo shrimp in their shells
  • 16 ea mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 16 small manila clams, scrubbed

Method

  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil in a 16-inch paella pan on medium heat until soft, stirring often.
  2. Stir in the garlic, and before it begins to color, add the tomatoes.
  3. Add the sugar, salt to taste, pimentón (or paprika), and saffron, stir well, and cook until the tomatoes are reduced to a jammy sauce.
  4. Bring to a very slow boil and add the squid and cook, stirring, for a minute or so.
  5. Add the rice and stir well until all the grains are coated. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to an hour in advance.)
  6. Bring the stock and wine to a boil in a saucepan.
  7. Pour over the rice, bring to a boil, and add salt to taste (even if the broth tastes a bit salty, it will not be salty when it is absorbed by the rice).
  8. Stir well and spread the rice out evenly in the pan (do not stir again).
  9. Cook the rice over low heat for 18 to 20 minutes, moving the pan around and rotating it so that the rice cooks evenly.
  10. Lay the shrimp on top after 10 minutes and turn them when they have become pink on the first side.
  11. Add a little more hot stock toward the end if the rice seems too dry and you hear crackly frying noises before it is done.
  12. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a large piece of foil.
  13. Steam the mussels in ¼ cup of water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. As soon as they open, they are cooked. Steam clams the same way.

When ready to plate, spoon some rice into the center of each plate or bowl. Evenly divide the mussels, clams, shrimp and squid into each vessel along with any juice.

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Stuffed Acron Squash ..As seen on ABC New York

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Stuffed Acron Squash ..As seen on ABC New York

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Just because this vegetarian dish is healthy, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it lacks a punch of flavor. It’s an impressive presentation and the fact that the acorn squash forms its own bowl is only part of the fun!

 

Ingredients

1ea Acron Squash

½ c Brown sugar

2 tsp Olive oil

Kosher Sal and White Pepper

 

½ c Brussels Sprouts, cut into quarter pieces

½ c Oyster Mushrooms, slice thin

½ c Cranberries, Dried

½ c Garlic Bulbs

½ c Chestnuts, cooked, peeled and lightly chopped

½ c Olive Oil

1c Vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

 

Method

Cut top of acorn squash, and slice bottom of squash so it is balanced and will not tip over. scoop out seeds.

Combine brown sugar, oil, salt and pepper.

Rub inside and outside of squash with oil mixture

Het oven to 350f and cook squash on sheet pan for 20-30 minutes or until acorn squash is tender

In the mean time prepare all of the other vegetables.

 

Once squash is ready, heat sauté pan with olive oil.

Add Brussels sprouts, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until golden brown and tender. Add Dried cranberries and chestnuts and sauté until cranberries and chestnuts are warm. Finish with vegetable stock.

 

Place acorn squash in the center of the plate. Fill with vegetable mix and sprinkle the remaining mx around

Experience Level:

 

Chefs Notes:

All prep can be done up to two days before serving however same day is always the most preferable. This dish can act as a side to accompany a meal or a buffet.

 

Variations:

Use different types of squash such as butternut squash

 

Season best use for dish

This a great fall and winter dish

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Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Toasted Hazelnuts

Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Toasted Hazelnuts

Peanut Butter and Chocolate? Oh yeah!  This bite is going to make you smile and your guests heads explode from all this flavor!

Enjoy!

Fire it up!!!!

peanutbutter-and-chocolat2e

 

Ingredients/Chocolate Cheesecake

3 lbs cream cheese

12 oz dark chocolate

24 oz sugar
2 oz cornstarch
12 oz sour cream
6 eggs

Method/Chocolate Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 275o.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low until creamy. Add remaining items one at a time in the order listed, making sure to mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Melt chocolate in a bowl over hot water bath until smooth. Once chocolate is melted, slowly add to cream cheese mix.

After all items are well mixed, a flavor element can be added to the cheesecake (for example, 500 g of mango puree, or any other type of puree, or pieces of items such as coconut).

Line a half-sheet pan with waxed paper and pour the mixture into the pan. Bake in a 275o oven until the mixture is set, about 30 minutes (it shouldn’t be browned). Cool, then put the pan into the freezer. Once it is frozen hard, after about 3 hours, remove from the freezer and cut into 1-inch squares (or any other shape).

Ingredients/Peanut Butter Cheesecake

2 lbs cream cheese 1 lb peanut butter 24 oz sugar
2 oz cornstarch

12 oz sour cream 6 eggs

Method/Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low until creamy. Add remaining items one at a time in the order listed, making sure to mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Line a half-sheet pan with waxed paper and pour the mixture into the pan. Bake in a 275o oven until the mixture is set, about 45 minutes (it shouldn’t be browned). Cool, then put the pan into the freezer. Once it is frozen hard, after about 3 hours, remove from the freezer and scoop into 1oz balls (or any other shape).

Ingredients/Toasted Hazelnuts

1 cup hazelnuts

Method/Toasted Hazelnuts

Toast nuts on a sheet pan in a 325o oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, then finely chop nuts and reserve.

Assembly

Alternate two squares of each cheesecake on a skewer (a total of four pieces). Roll the skewered cheesecake in chopped hazelnuts.

Chef Notes

You can make the cheesecake squares up to two weeks in advance and freeze. When ready to use, thaw for about 20 minutes.

Variations

It’s easy to change the cheesecake flavors and give this dish a completely new personality. For example: Lemon Mint Cheesecake and Raspberry Cheesecake squares can be dipped in egg white, then sprinkled with lemon zest and chopped mint.

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Broccolini Garlic Soup….vegan and soooooo good

broccoli-garlic

Broccolini Garlic Soup….vegan and soooooo good

Its that time of year for soup, delicious soup that fills the belly and warms the heart. Serve this on its own or as a side with a nice grilled cheese sandwich.

broccoli-garlic

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 green onions, coarsely chopped

1 ½ lb Broccolini, trimmed and coarsely chopped

14oz vegetable broth

salt and white pepper to taste
Method

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cook and stir garlic and green onions in saucepan until garlic is just golden, about 3 minutes.

Cook and stir broccolini with garlic and green onions until slightly softened, about 2 more minutes.

Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.

Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.

Pour soup into blender, filling no more than halfway full. Cover with a lid.

Carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth.

Transfer soup back to saucepan and reheat.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Apple Streusel Cup Cake….yes please

3apple-cup-cake

Apple Streusel Cup Cake….yes please

This delicious cup cake can be served warm as a breakfast bite with coffee or maybe even a brandy at the end of the night. Either way it’s going to be amazing.

3apple-cup-cake

Ingredients

Cooking spray

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

¾ c granulated sugar

¼ c cream cheese, softened

¼ c butter, softened

2 tsp amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

½ c reduced-fat sour cream

¼ c 2% reduced-fat milk

¾ c finely chopped Gala apple

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

 

Streusel:

2 tBSP all-purpose flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

¼ Tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, chilled

2 tbsp sliced almonds

 

Glaze:

1 c powdered sugar

4 tsp 2% reduced-fat milk

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place muffin cup liners in 12 muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.

Weigh or lightly spoon 6.75 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6.75 ounces flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add amaretto, vanilla, and egg to sugar mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Combine sour cream and ¼ cup milk in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended. Combine apple and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl; toss well.

Add flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended. Fold in apple mixture. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

 

To prepare the streusel, combine 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in almonds. Sprinkle streusel evenly over cupcakes. Bake at 350° for 27 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, and remove the cupcakes from pan.

 

To prepare glaze

combine powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cupcakes.

 

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Salad Ideas

Salad Ideas

Salad-Trio

Salad 1: Apples & Frisee – Vegan & Gluten Free

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2ea Granny Smith apples cut in half, cored, and then slice each half into 4 slices
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ c Sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1hd Frisee greens, lightly torn

Method

1. Set grill on medium heat

2. Toss apple slices in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper

3. Lightly grill both sides of apples and cool

4. Once cool toss in Frisee and drizzle with any remaining olive oil

 

Salad 2: White Beans & Olives – Vegan & Gluten Free

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1c white beans, cooked (can use canned, rinse & drain)
  • 1c kalamata olives, pitted
  • ½ c tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine all ingredients and mix well to incorporate

 

Salad 3: Asparagus & Sun Dried Tomatoes – Vegan & Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1bn asparagus, pencil thin, ends trimmed
  • 1c sundried tomato packed in oil, drained & julienned
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 3 TBSP olive oil*
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Shave asparagus on a bias

2. Combine remaining ingredients and toss to mix

*You may want to sub in 1 tbsp. of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes to add more flavor.

3apple-cup-cake Salad-Trio

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Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant)

Beigna

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant)

This dish is a classical Indian dish that we have shared at both of my restaurants over the years with a little twist.
It’s a perfect dish on a fall/winter day the warms thea heart and soul.
Enjoy!  Fire it up!!!
Beigna
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch knob ginger, minced
  • 1ea Serrano pepper, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
Method
Prepare Eggplant
  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Make four slits in each eggplant and then apply 1 tablespoon of oil over each eggplant. Place them on baking sheet and then roast in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.
  3. Turn the heat up to a broil for 5 minutes, then remove the eggplants from the oven.
  4. Allow the eggplant to cool, then remove the skin and chop the flesh. Set aside for now.
Prepare Sauce
  1. While the eggplant is baking, add 2 tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Then add cumin seeds.
  2. Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add onions and saute for 10 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper and spices. Stir-fry for a minute, add tomatoes and mix well.
  4. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cooked eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
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CARAMELIZED APPLE, BRANDY CUSTARD, AND CRANBERRY MOUSSE

CARAMELIZED APPLE, BRANDY CUSTARD, AND CRANBERRY MOUSSE

appl

This would make an elegant dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, either on its own or to accompany your pumpkin pie. The tart cranberries help cut the sweetness of the caramelized apple.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: YIELD: 6 SERVINGS

CARAMELIZED APPLES

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 spicy-sweet, crisp Macintosh apples, peeled and cored and cut into 1⁄2 -inch cubes

3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon lemon zest

1⁄3 cup apple cider

1⁄2 teaspoon cornstarch, as needed

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium
heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with
1 tablespoon sugar. Sauté the apples, stirring frequently, for 6–8 minutes, just until they start
to soften. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 2 minutes, until the sugar begins to caramelize and the apples are crisp-tender. Transfer the apples from the skillet to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon.

Turn the heat to high and add the apple cider to
the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer the cider and pan juices 1–3 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. If you desire a thicker sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 teaspoon water, stir it into the sauce, and allow it to thicken for a moment.

CHEF’S NOTES:

You can mix the apples with cranberries to create a more intense cranberry flavor. Take it a step further and use dried cranberries as opposed to fresh.

BRANDY CUSTARD

1 1⁄4 cups sugar, divided

2 tablespoons water

2 eggs
2 tablespoons brandy 1

⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice Dash of salt

2 cups lukewarm milk

Heat 3⁄4 cup sugar in a heavy 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and golden brown. Gradually stir in the water. Divide syrup evenly among six 6-ounce custard cups. Let stand until hard, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl. Thoroughly mix in remaining ingredients except milk, then gradually stir in milk and mix well. Pour the mixture over the syrup in each custard cup. Place cups in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan on the middle oven rack. Pour very hot water into pan, around the custard cups, to within 1⁄2 inch of cup tops. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove cups from water. Refrigerate until chilled.

CRANBERRY–WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

1 1⁄2 cups fresh cranberries
6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1⁄4 cup water
Zest of 1 medium orange

1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or triple sec

1⁄2 cup finely chopped white chocolate 1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and becomes jamlike, about 8–10 minutes total. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a medium bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Add the orange zest and liqueur, and stir. Cool to room temperature.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped white chocolate by heating it in 30-second intervals in the microwave. Stir well with a fork between each interval and cook only until the chocolate is smooth when stirred.

Whip the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the cranberry mixture, then fold in the melted chocolate. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Spoon or pipe into six serving glasses or bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If you need to refrigerate longer than 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap without touching the surface.

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Shake and Bake! Something twisted for dessert

Shake and Bake! Something twisted for dessert

shake and bake copy

SHAKE AND BAKE

Kids of all ages love milk shakes! Kahlúa and vanilla seem to have been made to complement one another. And of course you need a chocolate-chip brownie to complete the experience.

YIELD: APPROXIMATELY 2 DRINKS

8 ounces whole milk
2 ounces Kahlúa, or other coffee liqueur 3 ounces vanilla ice cream

Place all ingredients in a blender and turn on high until smooth and creamy. Terrific with chocolate- chip brownies.

BAILEYS SHAKE

Baileys in a milk shake? Why not? I think if you can put it in your coffee, you can put it in a milk shake. Serve these at your next St. Patrick’s Day party.

YIELD: 2 DRINKS

8 ounces milk
2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream 3 ounces vanilla ice cream

Place all ingredients in a blender and turn on high until smooth and creamy. Wonderful with white- chocolate brownie

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Dark Chocolate Bites

Dark Chocolate Bites

3dark-chocolate-bitesA simple and easy recipe to create a dark chocolate lover happy.

Dark Chocolate Bites

Ingredients

1 c all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 c granulated sugar

¼ c butter, softened

½ c egg substitute

1 tsp vanilla

½ c low-fat buttermilk

1 ¼ oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined.

Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating well.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate.

Spray a 9×9 Bake pan and pour mixture into pan. Be sure to tap pan o counter to get all air out and level batter for baking.

Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs

Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Once bites are cooled you can dip in more melt dark chocolate and coat with sprinkles if you wish.

 

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Butternut Squash Risotto

butternut squash risotto pazo

Butternut Squash Risotto

This is the perfect time of year for this comfort food dish. The earth tones of this combined with the saltiness of the cheese gives this dish the perfect balance,

Butternut squash Risotto

½ c coarsely chopped pecans

1 t butter, melted

1 t brown sugar

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 c (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice

1/2 cup chardonnay

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

Method

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange nuts in a single layer on a sheet

pan. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Place nuts in a bowl. Drizzle butter over warm nuts; sprinkle with sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss well to coat.

Combine squash and 1 tablespoon oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside.

Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.

 

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Family Reach Cooking Live New York 2016

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Family Reach Cooking Live New York 2016

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I am very excited to once again be part of this amazing event with these amazing chefs.

JOIN US for this unique and interactive experience! You’ll have an up-close look at the world’s top culinary talent and indulge in this years best cuisine, wines and company.

Hosted by Family Reach National Advisory Board President, Chef Ming Tsai, Cooking Live! brings together the nation’s top celebrity chefs for an evening of wining and dining with New York’s finest. Guests watch up close as chefs give live! cooking demos before serving a five-course meal. Each dish is inspired by our special guests of the evening: The families battling cancer that Family Reach has supported.

This year we are excited to welcome Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Todd English and Shawn Hergatt to cook alongside Ming!

Family Reach Cooking Live Event Series from Family Reach Foundation on Vimeo.

PRESENTING SPONSOR – $50,000 (1 Available)

  • Presenting Sponsor of nationally recognized culinary event, Cooking Live! New York presented by “Your Company”
  • One VIP front-row table at the event joined by a special guest (8 seats)
  • A once in a lifetime experience for one of your guests to join Chef Ming Tsai & other celebrity chefs in the round to plate a course
  • Featured recognition in all event promotion, signage, print material, digital presentation and media coverage
  • Framed & autographed Cooking Live! Chef Caricature
  • Celebrity chef autographed gift items for all of your guests
  • VIP access to the Ritz-Carlton After Party
  • A special tour of a Family Reach Partner Hospital

COCKTAIL RECEPTION SPONSOR – $40,000 (1 Available)

  • Cocktail Reception Sponsor of nationally recognized culinary event, Cooking Live! New York – VIP COCKTAIL RECEPTION presented by “Your Company”
  • One table at the event joined by a special guest (8 seats)
  • Create a delectable Specialty Cocktail co-designed with Chef Ming Tsai
  • A unique experience for one of your guests to Celebrity Bartend with Chef Ming Tsai
  • Featured recognition in all event promotion, signage, print material, digital presentation and media coverage
  • Celebrity chef autographed gift items for all of your guests
  • VIP access to the Ritz-Carlton After Party

VIP TABLE SPONSOR – $35,000 (8 Available)

  • One VIP front-row table at the event joined by a special guest (8 seats)
  • A once in a lifetime experience for one of your guests to join Chef Ming Tsai & other celebrity chefs in the round to plate a course
  • Special gift provided at each place setting for each of your guests
  • Featured recognition in all event print material, signage and digital presentation
  • A special tour of a Family Reach Partner Hospital

TABLE SPONSOR – $25,000 (12 Available)

  • One table at the event (8 seats)
  • Recognition in all event print material, signage and digital presentation

FAMILY SPONSOR – $10,000 (5 Available)

  • Underwrite a family to attend Cooking Live! New York to share their inspiring story
  • Recognition in all event print material, signage and digital presentation

 

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Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette

Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette

Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette

This little dish can be made ahead of time, 4-6 hours before sharing. the flavors will develop and be come more intense.

Ingredients/Mozzarella Perlini

6 oz mozzarella perlini (small balls of mozzarella)

1 cup sundried tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup olive oil kosher salt white pepper

Method/Mozzarella Perlini

Sauté garlic and rosemary in 1/4 cup olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

Julienne the sundried tomatoes and place them in a blender. Add 3/4 cup olive oil and puree until the sundried tomatoes are fully broken down and a tomato oil forms.

Drain the perlini and toss with the sundried tomato oil and garlic mixture combined; refrigerate overnight.

Ingredients/Red Onion Salad

1 red onion
2 tsp red wine vinegar 1/2 cup celery leaves
1 cup snow pea shoots 4 tsp walnut oil

Method/Red Onion Salad

Shave the red onion paper thin and combine with the celery leaves and pea shoots. Just before service, toss with the red wine vinegar and walnut oil.

Ingredients/Olive Vinaigrette

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted 1 cup walnut oil
1 sprig fresh thyme

Method/Olive Vinaigrette

Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and put into a blender. Add the olives and oil and puree.

Let flavors blend overnight in refrigerator. Just before service, strain into a squeeze bottle.

Ingredients/Basil Crumb

1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt

white pepper

Method/Basil Crumb

Process the basil and breadcrumbs in a food processor until blended. Slowly add the oil while processing. Season with salt and pepper.

Reserve for service in an airtight container

Assembly

Place a Tbsp of mozzarella into each service cup or glass. Spoon some onion salad on top of the mozzarella and drizzle Olive Vinaigrette on the salad. Finish with a sprinkling of basil crumbs.

Chef Notes

Be sparing with the olive vinaigrette; it has a very strong flavor.

Variations

You can use marinated artichokes or tomatoes in the salad, instead of the marinated onions, with a sundried tomato vinaigrette instead of the olive vinaigrette.

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Basil Panna Cotta with Parmesan Mousse and Marinated Tomatoes

Basil Panna Cotta Parmesan Mousse Marinated Tomatoes

Basil Panna Cotta with Parmesan Mousse and Marinated Tomatoes

Happy (almost) Spring! It’s so close you can smell it in the air. Let’s get ready, shall we? This week’s recipe is rich, nutty, cheesy, tart and fresh all at once. Cherry tomatoes are available and tasty all year long and the marinade helps to bring out their summery sweetness. I love to serve this bite as a starter before grilled meats and pasta dishes. I hope you make it and I hope you enjoy! Fire It Up!

Basil Panna Cotta with Parmesan Mousse and Marinated Tomatoes(Makes about 10 servings)

Ingredients/Basil Panna Cotta

2 oz basil leaves, chopped
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 qt heavy cream
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Basil Panna Cotta
Dissolve the unflavored gelatin in the cold cream. Putthe cream in a heavy stainless steel saucepan and addthe basil. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring frequentlyfor 20 minutes.Pour into a silicone mold with 1-oz round cups.Refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Ingredients/Parmesan Mousse
2 cups heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a flat knife
3 egg yolks
1 packet of gelatin, dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water
1 cup Parmesan, grated
kosher salt
white pepper
Kosher salt and white ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped basil
Method/Parmesan Mousse
Put the garlic cloves in 1 cup cream and simmer overmedium-low heat in a small saucepan for 10 minutes. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in 1/3cup of the warm cream. Add the egg mixture to therest of the cream in the saucepan, whisking constantly.Continue to heat the cream over medium heat untilthickened, about 8-10 minutes.Stir the softened gelatin into the cream and eggmixture and continue stirring until the gelatin isdissolved. Add the Parmesan, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese is fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and set in a cool, not cold, water bath. Whip the remaining cup of cream to stiff peaks. When the custard is cool, but before it has started to set up, fold in the whipped cream and add the chopped basil. Season to taste and pour into a hotel pan. Chill the custard for at least 3 hours; overnight is best.

Ingredients/Marinated Tomatoes
3 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp garlic salt
1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 scallions, chopped
20 cherry tomatoes

Method/Marinated Tomatoes
Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a mixingbowl and whisk well.Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and put in a resealableplastic bag. Pour the marinade over the tomatoes andseal the bag. Marinate at room temperature for up to2 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Assembly
Remove panna cotta from the mold and place intospoons. Spoon mousse onto the panna cotta and thenput 2 tomato halves onto the mousse. Garnish withbasil microgreens.

Chef Notes
All ingredients can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.Be careful to properly measure the quantity of gelatin.If you use too much, the panna cotta
can be too firm and almost rubber-like.

Variations:
You can create a very different combination ofvegetables by making a rosemary panna cotta anda roasted garlic panna cotta and then topping withroasted eggplant and a balsamic mousse.

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Veal Shepherds Pie with Cremini Mushroom Mashed and Caramelized Onion Sauce

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Veal Shepherds Pie with Cremini Mushroom Mashed and Caramelized Onion Sauce

Sometimes you just crave comfort food! This week’s recipe is perfect when you are feeling this way. Spring is just around the corner so let’s enjoy a Veal Shepherd’s Pie with Cremini Mushroom Mashed and Caramelized Onion Sauce before it gets here. Fire it up!

(Makes about 20 servings)

Ingredients/Veal Shepherds Pie
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups diced onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 lbs ground veal
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 lb turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 lb carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sugar
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup grated farmhouse cheddar (optional)

Method/Veal Shepherds Pie
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add theonion and saut, stirring frequently, until onion is golden, 10
12 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minutemore. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and
cook until it loses its red color, about 5 minutes.Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and the tomato paste and cookfor 1 minute more.Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and spoonoff any excess fat. Stir in the parsley and add salt and pepper totaste. Set aside.Put the turnips and carrots in a single layer in a skillet just largeenough to hold them.Add enough water so that it comes halfway up the sides of thevegetables; add 2 tsp unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp sugar. Bring toa boil over high heat, then adjust the heat to maintain a simmer.Cover the vegetables with a round of parchment paper just largeenough to fit the inside of the pan, or with a lid slightly ajar.Simmer the vegetables until tender, 810 minutes.Remove the cover and raise the heat to high. Toss the vegetablesfrequently in the pan, as the liquid evaporates to a shiny smoothglaze. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add to meatmixture. Set aside.

Ingredients/Cremini Mushroom Mashed
1/2 lb button or cremini mushrooms,trimmed and quartered
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled andcut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg

Method/Cremini Mushroom Mashed
Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat andsaut the mushrooms until golden, about 5 minutes. Season
with salt and pepper, then set aside.In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, 1 tsp salt and coldwater to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Shake the pan over medium heat for about a minute to dry the potatoes, then transfer the potatoes to a food mill, ricer or bowl. Put the milk and butter in the saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the milk is hot and the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat. Mash the potatoes through the food mill or ricer, or by hand, into the pan. Stir to combine with the milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg, if desired. Add in sauted mushrooms. Set aside.

Ingredients/Caramelized Onion Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock

Method/Caramelized Onion Sauce
Put the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil ishot, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Saut
for 1012 minutes, or until caramelized.Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat tomedium-low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Removefrom the heat and, using a hand-held blender, puree untilsmooth. Strain through a sieve and cool completely. Taste;season if necessary.

Assembly
Scoop the meat and vegetable mixture into service cups orglasses. Add onion sauce, and then pipe the mashedpotatoes on top.

Chef Notes
Keep the piping bag filled with hot mashed potatoes wrappedin a towel, to keep from burning your hands.

Variations
Upscale the hors doeuvre by using ground seafoodshrimp,scallops or lobsterand then topping with wasabi mashed potatoes.

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Sevendust Wings!

Sevendustwings

Sevendust Wings!

I’m so excited for my brothers from Sevendust! In honor of their first Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance for their single “Thank You” from the Kill the Flawalbum,I am sharing my recipe for the spice mix that I named for them. We use this combination of seven spices to toss our wings, fresh from the fryer and they are our top selling-selling wings at both of my restaurants Morris Tap & Grill and Paragon Tap & Table. You could certainly coat your wings with the “Sevendust” and bake them if you would rather not fry them, and just think of all of the other ways you can use this rub! On fries, chips, popcorn, on ribs, steaks or vegetables, in dips, sauces or spreads… you name it! Congratulations and good luck to Sevendust tonight! We’ll be watching! Fire It Up!

Sevendust Rub

(Makes cup)

1 T Kosher Salt

1 T Granulated Sugar

1 T Brown Sugar

1 T Chile Powder (Preferably New Mexican)

1T Ground Cumin

1 T Ground Black Pepper

2 T + 1 tsp Hungarian Paprika

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Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust

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Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust

I always think of scallops when I am planning a special meal for the one that I love. There is something about the sweet and tender bite of a scallop that I find, well, really romantic. So this week I am sharing my recipe for Basil Crusted Scallops with Citrus Aioli and Citrus Dust. If you are not planning to go out for dinner this year, make these for the love of your life on Valentine’s Day.

Basil Crusted Scallops withCitrus Aioli and Citrus Dust (Makes 10 Scallops)

Ingredients/Basil Crusted Scallops
10 10/20 scallops in dry pack
1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves
kosher salt
white pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp amaranth leaf pieces

Method/Basil Crusted Scallops
Remove the connecting muscle from the side of eachscallop.Lightly chop the basil in a food processor. Add thegarlic, then slowly add panko bread crumbs to createbasil crumbs. Salt and pepper to taste.Toss the scallops in the crumb mixture and lightlypress crumbs onto each scallop so its well coated.Place the scallops on a sheet pan lined with parchmentpaper and bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until scallopsare cooked through and tender. Hold no longer than5 minutes before service.

Ingredients/Citrus Aioli
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/4 cup hot water
2 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
kosher salt
1/2 orange, juiced
3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
water as needed to thin

Method/Citrus Aioli
Steep the saffron in hot water for 3 minutes; removeusing a small strainer.Put saffron, garlic, egg yolks, almonds, salt and orange juice into a blender and blend. Drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Set aside.

Ingredients/Citrus Dust
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Method/Citrus Dust
Remove the rinds from the citrus and dry them in adehydrator. If you dont have a dehydrator, put therinds on a sheet pan and keep in a 125 oven for 20minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the rinds todry in the closed oven for 8 hours, until they are dryand brittle.Put the dried citrus rinds, salt and pepper in a foodprocessor and pulse until it turns to powder. Pass thepowder through a fine China cap or sieve to get a finetexture. Set aside.

Assembly
Put a scallop in the bottom of each cup. Pipe a smalldollop of Citrus Aioli on top, dust with Citrus Dust,then top with an amaranth leaf.

Chef Notes
You can use mayonnaise as the base for the aioli to save time. Use acup of mayonnaise, add saffron prepared the way the recipe showsand finish with a touch of citrus such as orange, lemon and lime.Instead of making the Citrus Dust from scratch, you can purchasea flavored dust from a number of online companies.
Instead of amaranth leaves,you can use beet micro greens for their red color.

Variations
The crust on this works well with many kinds of fish.Try orange roughy or halibut.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Gorgonzola, Bacon and Chive Lollipops

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Gorgonzola, Bacon and Chive Lollipops

Need a great cheesy bacony bite for your Superbowl buffet? This is something you can make ahead of time and will be a great starter before your chili, sliders, wings or pulled pork sandwiches! I hope you enjoy my Gorgonzola, Bacon and Chive Lollipops and be sure to snap some pics of your Superbowl Buffets and then post them on Instagram with the hashtag #chefericsphotocontest and I’ll repost my favorites. Fire It Up!

Ingredients/Lollipops

1 lb gorgonzola, crumbled
6 strips smoked bacon
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
20 lollipop sticks

Method/Lollipops
Cook bacon until golden brown, finely chop and setaside. Pour grease into a cup and reserve for BaconDust.
In a medium bowl, mix the gorgonzola and baconpieces and mix thoroughly.Add half the chopped chives to the bleu cheese
mixture and mix thoroughly, reserve the other half ofthe chive for garnish.Refrigerate the mixture, covered for at least 2 hours,then roll into 20 balls. Refrigerate the cheese balls sothey will be firm.

Ingredients/Bacon Dust
4 oz bacon drippings
1/2 cup maltodextrin
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Bacon Dust
Put the bacon drippings in a food processor and beginto process. Slowly add the maltodextrin to create dust.Pass the dust through a fine China cap or tamis toremove lumps. Set aside.

Ingredients/Chive Mist
1 bunch chives
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 misting bottles

Method/Chive Mist
Puree the chives and stock in a blender until smooth.Strain through a fine China cap to get out any lumps
that would clog a mister.

Assembly
Roll the gorgonzola balls in the remaining choppedchives. Put lollipop sticks into the cheese balls.Put the Bacon Dust in a shallow pan. Lightly tap eachcheese ball in the Bacon Dust until the bottom iscoated.Put more Bacon Dust on each service plate and placeeach lollipop on the dust.Place the mist bottle on the tray as the lollipops arepassed and have each guest mist a lollipop beforeeating it.

Chef Notes
Dont refrigerate the Bacon Dust;moisture will soften and liquefy it. You can order maltodextrin and misting bottles from Chef Rubber.

Variations
Other soft cheeses, like Port Salut or goat cheese,make a milder, subtly different hors doeuvre.

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Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps

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Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps

Happy Monday Kids! Here in the Mid-Atlantic States we are still busy digging out and getting our lives back to normal after the crazy amount snow that was dumped on us this weekend. And I’ve got a recipe for you this week to help you use up all of the eggs and milk you bought in preparation for the blizzard! For some reason, bananas were also a hot item that disappeared from the shelves almost as quickly as the usual staples. So here you go! I hope you make my Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps and if you do, snap a photo and post it on instagram with the hashtag #chefericsphotocontest and I’ll repost my favorites. Fire It Up!

Vanilla Bean Custard with Coffee Caramel, Banana Mousse and Banana Crisps

Ingredients/Vanilla Bean Custard

2-1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla bean paste (2 tsp vanilla extract can be used instead)

Method/Vanilla Bean Custard

Whisk the milk, sugar, flour and egg yolks together in a heavy 3-qt saucepan.

Cook over medium-heat, whisking constantly, 1012 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla bean paste. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Ingredients/Coffee Caramel

2-1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

3 Tbsphot water

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar

lb butter

Method/Coffee Caramel

Stir espresso powder and hot water together until powder is dissolved.

Cook 1/2 cup sugar with a pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until the sugar is melted into a deep golden caramel, about 15 minutes.

Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the espresso (the mixture will steam and bubble vigorously). Slowly add pieces of butter and whisk together until caramel is room temperature.

Ingredients/Banana Mousse

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten stiff

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Method/Banana Mousse

Cook sugar and water together over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the bananas and cinnamon and cook 3 minutes over medium-high heat.

Transfer the banana mixture to a food processor and puree.

Chill for at least 45 minutes.

After the banana puree is chilled, put it in a mixing bowl and fold in the beaten egg whites until they are well incorporated.

Fold the banana-egg white mixture into the whipped cream in a large bowl until well incorporated.

Ingredients/Banana Crisps

1 banana, peeled

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

oil for deep frying

salt

Method/Banana Crisps

Put the banana in salted ice water (about 1 quart of water with 1/2 tsp salt). Remove from water to slice and put back into water [LP3] and add turmeric to the bowl. Keep the bananas in the water for 10 minutes, then drain completely and put on a kitchen cloth to remove the moisture.

Heat the oil until it starts fuming, Make a paste of 1/2 tsp water and 1/4 tsp salt and add it to the oil. This will make the slices fry crispier. Deep-fry the banana slices until theyre crisp, about 5 minutes. Fry only a few slices at a time; dont crowd the fryer.

Drain the chips on an absorbent paper.

Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Assembly

Spoon a little custard into each spoon. Pipe Banana Mousse on top, drizzle on a little caramel, then pipe on more mousse. Stick banana chips into the mousse.

Chef Notes

You can find high-quality banana chips at specialty food stores, if you want to save time making the recipe.

Variations

For a holiday winter feel change the custard flavor to eggnog, the mousse to cinnamon and the banana chips to an almond crisp.

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Two Chefs, Two Nights, One Cause

Two Chefs, Two Nights, One Cause

Very excited to have made this even happen along with my friend Ariena Duarte.
Its going to be two epic nights!
Make your reservation asap. Limited seating for both.
Please note, this event is held at two separate locations, Morris Tap & Grill in Randolph and Ariane Kitchen and Bar in Verona.JoinChef Eric B LeVineand ChefAriane Duarteon one or two nights as they pair up together to make a delectable five course menu to benefit theFamily Reach Foundation.

Special Celebrity Guests:Chef Amanda Freitag, Night One, atAriane Kitchen & Bar, andChef David Burke, Night Two, atMorris Tap and Grill

$125 includes, five courses, accompanied by a first course cocktail and select wines with remaining courses.
(see menus below) Tax and Tip included.
($125 each location)

Make your reservation by calling establishment of your choice.
Morris Tap & Grill – 973-891-1776
Ariane Kitchen and Bar – 973-744-0533

“Since 1996, Family Reach has been helping families with a child or parent afflicted with cancer deal with the overwhelming financial and emotional burdens of the disease. As families try to cope with years of cancer treatment, out-of-pocket medical expenses and everyday living costs, they often reach critical breaking points. Not only do they risk losing their homes, stability, and hope, but also their ability to ensure their loved ones receive the vital care they need to survive. Through an effective process developed through years of close collaboration with hospital social workers, Family Reach provides urgent assistance to families in a timely, compassionate fashion. Family Reach is a lifeline for families fighting cancer nationwide”

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Coconut Milk Curry Mussels

Coconut Milk Curry Mussels

Serves 4 as a first course or 2 for dinner Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 8 sprigs cilantro, separate leaves and stems and roughly chop both
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 small shallots, sliced thin
  • tsp whole coriander seeds
  • tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp zest plus 1 tbsp. juice from 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 15oz can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2lbs fresh PEI mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 1 small Thai or Serrano chili, thinly sliced

 

Method

  1. Combine cilantro stems, half of garlic, half of shallot, coriander seed, chili flakes, lime zest and a small pinch of kosher salt in a mortar and pestle. Grind into a smooth paste
  2. Scoop 2 tablespoons of thick cream from the top of the can of coconut milk and add to a large saucepan.
  3. Add oil and heat over medium heat
  4. Add remaining garlic and shallots, pounded paste, curry paste.
  5. Cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Add remaining contents of coconut milk can, sugar, and fish sauce.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook about 3 minutes.
  8. Season to taste
  9. Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly until mussels are open. Stir in chopped cilantro leaves, fresh chili, and lime juice.
  10. Discard any mussels that dont open.
  11. Divide mixture between four bowls including the broth.

 

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric LeVine

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Parmesan and Basil Marshmallows with Marinated Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Dust

Parmesan and Basil Marshmallows Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Dust

Parmesan and Basil Marshmallows with Marinated Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Dust

Happy New Year! This weeks recipe is a nice break from the rich, heavy holiday dishes we’ve all been indulging in for the past two months. I think we can all use it! Although this bite is light, it is not lacking in flavor. It’s savory and reminiscent of a summer day. It’s also a lot of fun to make your own marshmallows and to turn basil into dust. The magic happens with Agar Agar and Maltodextrin and you can get both of these ingredients from Chef Rubber. Here’s to an epic 2016! Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

Ingredients/Parmesan and BasilMarshmallows
1-2/3 cups milk
5 gm agar-agar
5 1/2 oz Parmesan
3 1/2 oz fresh basil, chopped
2 egg whites
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Parmesan and Basil Marshmallows
Combine milk and agar-agar in a saucepan and stir tocombine.Add 3.5 oz Parmesan and turn on low heat undersaucepan; bring liquid to a simmer, whiskingcontinuously. Simmer for 5 minutes, then strainthrough a fine sieve into a cold bowl; cool until theliquid starts to thicken (57 minutes).Whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt in an electricmixer until soft peaks form. Fold the egg white mixtureinto the milk mixture. Season to taste.Pour the mixture into a 4×8 tray lined with plasticwrap; refrigerate until set (23 hours).Using a hot knife, cut the mixture into 1 inchsquares. Roll the squares in the remaining Parmesanand store in refrigerator until needed.

Ingredients/Marinated Sundried Tomatoes
20 sundried tomatoes, quartered
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Marinated Sundried Tomatoes
Combine all ingredients and marinate for 24 hours inrefrigerator, then drain and set aside.

Ingredients/Basil Dust
1/4 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup basil oil (1/2 bunch fresh basil pureed with1/2 cup oil, then strained)
1 cup maltodextrin
kosher salt
white pepper

Method/Basil Dust
Combine basil and oil and puree in blender. Let sitovernight.Strain oil and put in food processor. Add maltodextrinand pulse until a dust is formed.Pass the dust through a fine China cap to removelumps. Set aside.

Assembly
Alternate two marshmallows and two pieces ofsundried tomato on each skewer.Sprinkle Basil Dust on the serving tray and place theskewers on top of the dust.

Chef Notes
The marshmallows can be made up to 3 days before use,as long as they are kept in an airtight container.

Variations
Instead of basil marshmallows, make garlicrosemary marshmallows.

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Pepato Bread Pudding with Crispy Spinach and Butternut Squash

Pepato Bread Pudding Crispy Spinach Butternut Squash

Pepato Bread Pudding with Crispy Spinach and Butternut Squash

Happy Sunday! Here’s an amazing hearty and seasonal hors d’oeuvres for the vegetarians (and omnivores) in your life. I love this because the cheesy bread pudding has a peppery bite that is tamed by the creamy sweet butternut squash puree. The whole thing is brought together by the balsamic mousse which simultaneously adds acid and buttery cream. I hope you enjoy this comforting bread pudding bite as much as I do!

Ingredients/Pepato Bread Pudding
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
12 slices good quality white sandwich bread,crusts trimmed off (about 8 oz total)
5 oz crumbled goat cheese or 6 oz crumbled fetacheese
1/2 lb sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
6 eggs
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp prepared pesto
1/4 cup freshly grated pepato cheese

Method/Pepato Bread Pudding
Grease the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish or othershallow 3-quart baking pan.Butter each bread slice on one side. Stack the bread, 6at a time, and cut across the diagonal into triangles.Place half of the bread pieces, buttered sides down, inthe bottom of the prepared dish. Scatter the cheeseover the bread in one layer. Scatter the tomatoes overthe cheese. Top with the remaining buttered breadpieces, buttered sides up.Whisk the eggs, milk and pesto together in a bowluntil well-blended, then pour over the bread andcheese mixture in the dish. Push the top pieces ofbread down lightly with the back of a fork so they soakup some liquid. Sprinkle the grated pepato over thetop. Let the pan sit in the refrigerator for 3 hoursbefore baking.Bake the pudding at 350 for 35 minutes with foilcovering the pan, then remove the foil and continueto bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown ontop, 2530 more minutes. Cool the bread pudding and hold in the refrigeratoruntil the next day.Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut 2-inchcircles from the pudding. Set aside at roomtemperature for up to 30 minutes.

Ingredients/Crispy Spinach
10 baby spinach leaves
1 qt oil for frying
Method/Crispy Spinach
Heat the oil to 350. Drop the leaves into the fryer untilcrisp. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Set aside.

Ingredients/Roasted Butternut Squash
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and dicedinto 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method/Roasted Butternut Squash
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Toss the squash cubes with the oil, garlic, sage and saltand pepper. Spread in a single layer on the bakingsheet.Roast the squash in a 375 oven until the squash istender in the center and the outside is brown andcrisp, 2530 minutes. Take out of the oven when done,put in a serving bowl and set aside.

Ingredients/Balsamic Mousse
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
1 cup heavy cream

Method/Balsamic Mousse
Combine the honey and vinegar in a pot. Cook untilreduced by half.Add the cornstarch to the water and create a slurry.Add this slurry to the honey and vinegar a little at atime, until its the consistency of honey.Whip the cream in a mixer on high until soft peaksform. Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of the balsamic reductioninto the whipped cream and whip until the mixtureforms stiff peaks.Place the mousse in a piping bag.

Assembly
Warm the bread pudding rounds in a 350 oven for 3minutes.Pipe butternut squash into the bottom of each servicecup or glass. Put a round of bread pudding on top ofthe squash, then pipe balsamic mousse on top of thebread pudding. Top with Crispy Spinach pieces.

Chef Notes
Make the bread pudding a day ahead to allow flavors todevelop. This will also make it easier to cut.

Variations
For a lighter dish, add roasted chicken pieces to thebread pudding. With the chicken, use arugula insteadof spinach. Saut the arugula with shallots and thyme,then finish with a touch of red wine.

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Where to Eat Now in NJ… Paragon Tap & Table is in the Top 10!

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Wild Mushroom Ravioli Founders Oatmeal Stout

Where to Eat Now in NJ… Paragon Tap & Table is in the Top 10!

Congratulations to our team at Paragon Tap & Table! We’ve made NJ.Com’s featured list of the 10 hottest restaurants to visit in NJ this month! I am so proud of everyone’s hard work and we are honored to be recognized. Read the article here and please come in and experience our craft beer selection and our unique pub fare for yourselves. We love our customers! Fire It Up!

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Veal Sweetbreads with Cremini Mushroom Custard and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Veal Sweetbreads with Cremini Mushroom Custard and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Veal Sweetbreads with Cremini Mushroom Custard and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

It’s that time of year again. Are you ready for your holiday party? Sure, you’re going to make your favorite hors d’oeuvres and your traditional favorites, but how about having one, out-of-the-ordinary, flavor bomb on the menu? Sweetbreads are amazing. They are not commonly used, but I believe that this recipe will change your guests’ impression of this tasty treat. Of course, if you just can’t go there, you can substitute veal loin, pork loin, or even chicken for the sweetbreads. Either way the rich mushroom custard, playing off the crispy onions and tangy sweet tomatoes, makes this bite the one your guests will remember. Keep in mind that the mushroom custard needs to be thick enough to stay on the skewers. I hope you try it and enjoy it. Fire it up!!

Chef Eric

Veal Sweetbreads with Cremini MushroomCustard and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Makes about 20 servings)

Ingredients/Veal Sweetbreads

1 veal sweetbread
2 cups instant (Wondra) flour
2 cups milk
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp olive oil

Method/Veal Sweetbreads
Remove inner membrane and vein of sweetbread. Cutsweetbread into 20 even pieces and soak them in milkfor 1 hour.Remove sweetbreads from milk and let drain, then rollin flour seasoned with salt and pepper.Heat saut pan and add olive oil. Saut flouredsweetbread pieces until golden brown and still tenderinside, about 7-8 minutes, then season with salt andpepper. Reserve, keeping warm, until ready to skewer.

Ingredients/Cremini Mushroom Custard
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
kosher salt
ground white pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
6 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped

Method/Cremini Mushroom Custard
Saut shallots and thyme in olive oil; add slicedmushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Whenvegetables are sauted, put into a blender and pureeuntil smooth.Slowly add heavy cream to the mushroom mixture,then incorporate egg yolks, one at a time.Pour custard in 1 oz ramekins and put ramekins into a water bath, then bake in 325 oven for 20 minutes, until custard is firm. Cool and set aside.

Ingredients/Crispy Onions
1 ea Spanish onion
2 cups wondra flour
1 cup butter
2 qt fry oil

Method
Shave onions and place into milk for 30 minutes.Remove from milk and dredge in flour.Quickly fry and reserve on paper towel to drain oil
before use.

Ingredients/Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
10 cherry tomatoes, peeled
3 garlic cloves
3 tsp olive oil
kosher salt
ground white pepper

Method/Tomatoes
Saut tomatoes in olive oil until tender; season withsalt and pepper.Cool and set aside.

Assembly
Remove custards from ramekins.Place food on skewers in this order: onepiece of sweetbread, one cherry tomato, crispy onions, one piece of custard.Warm slightly before service; this dish should beserved at room temperature.

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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Corn Polenta and Cremini Mushroom Chips

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Corn Polenta and Cremini Mushroom Chips

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Corn Polenta and Cremini Mushroom Chips

Happy Friday! One of the most requested dishes at both my restaurants and at my off premise catering events is my beef short ribs. This is the perfect time of year for short ribs. As it starts to get cold and blustery, people crave rich, comforting slow-cooked meat that literally falls off the bone. It’s perfectly paired here with creamy polenta and an umami crunch made from Cremini mushrooms. I hope you enjoyed myRed Wine Braised Short Ribs with Corn Polenta and Cremini Mushroom Chips. Have a great weekend everybody! And fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Sweet and Sour Pork Dumplings with Ginger Apple Glaze and Sage Dust

Sweet and Sour Pork Dumplings with Finger Apple Glaze and Sage Dust

Sweet and Sour Pork Dumplings with Ginger Apple Glaze and Sage Dust

What can I say about this week’s recipe forSweet and Sour Pork Dumplings with Ginger Apple Glaze and Sage Dust? It combines two of my favorite things: making dumplings and playing with unique flavor combinations. The Asian flavors of sesame, ginger, scallion and pork marry perfectly with apples and cinnamon. And the combination of apple and sage lends a familiar essence of fall in America. Each bite lingers between East and West. I hope you try making your own dumplings! And have fun experimenting with your own twist on the flavors you choose. Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Idaho Potato Cannoli with Red Onion Marmalade and Porcini Dust

Idaho Potato Cannoli with Red Onion Marmalade and Porcini Dust

Idaho Potato Cannoli with Red Onion Marmalade and Porcini Dust

So, I think you all know, I have had pasta on the brain! I’m so fired up about the launch of my artisan ravioli, that it is all have thought about in the past few weeks. But I have to say that I equally love potatoes! And today ‘s recipe for Idaho Potato Cannoli with Red Onion Marmalade and Porcini Dust is such a cool way to present everyone’s favorite tuber and also a great way to serve a vegetarian and gluten free hors d’oeuvres. People love potatoes, right?! This is a fun bite which highlights the two best ways that people enjoy potatoes- crispy and mashed. Thinly sliced potatoes arefilled with creamy mashed potatoes and rolled into the cannoli shape. Porcini Mushroom Dust adds an earthy richness and compliments both the potato and the sweet-tartness of the red onion marmalade. I hope you enjoy making this as much as you are going to love eating it!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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The Countdown Continues…Three Days Til the Revolution!

pastatothepeople

The Countdown Continues…Three Days Til the Revolution!

Three Days! In three days you will be able to rise up and demand a better ravioli! My line of artisan ravioli is soon to be available for purchase online! I am thrilled to announce the launch of my Ravioli Revolution. The website is ready, the ravioli is in production and I am proud to be exhibiting samples at NYCWFF this Sunday! Isn’t it time we start paying attention to what we put into our bodies? Isn’t it time that the food we have available to us in the freezer section is not only simple. easy. done. but is also made of real ingredients? I think so! So here it is…I give you Chef Eric’ Ravioli Revolution. Pasta to the People!!

Check out my new website www.chefericsravioli.com and Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Apple Mousse with Brandy Doughnuts and Cinnamon Caramel

donuts

Apple Mousse with Brandy Doughnuts and Cinnamon Caramel

Happy Wednesday Kids! Last week I shared a recipe using apple mousse in a savory game dish with pheasant and crispy pork belly. This week I want to show you a sweet spin on apple mousse paired with sweet spiced caramel and rich, crispy, brandy-scented doughnuts. Who doesn’t love doughnuts? And they are so much fun to make! My Apple Mousse with Brandy Doughnuts and Cinnamon Caramel spoons are a delicious bite to finish a hearty Autumn meal. I hope you enjoy apple season to the fullest and Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Pasta to the People!

Launching

Pasta to the People!

Happy Friday! The countdown continues- we’re rolling out my line of hand crafted ravioli on Sunday, October 18th!

Production is underway!

And the Media has taken notice!

Nothing will stop the Revolution from coming! Like us on Facebook! And if you are in the NYC area, come and Taste the Revolution at 12:00pm on Sunday, October 18th at the NYCWFF Grand Tasting.

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Poached Pheasant with Apple Mousse and Crispy Pork Belly

Poached Pheasant Apple Mousse Pork Belly

Poached Pheasant with Apple Mousse and Crispy Pork Belly

It’s apple picking season! If you are lucky enough to live in an area with an apple orchard nearby, you should absolutely take some time this weekend to pile the kids in the car and drive out to the country for some family fun. Many orchards are open to the public on the weekends and offer tractor-pulled wagon rides to the picking trees. Enjoy a cup of freshly pressed cider, buy some apple butter and pick a bushel of apples to snack on, bake with, juice and preserve. You will not be disappointed!

I love to pair apples with game birds and pork. Their sweet/tart flavor is the perfect foil for the richness of pheasant and crispy pork belly. I hope you enjoy my Poached Pheasant with Apple Mousse and Crispy Pork Belly, even if you don’t pick the apples for the recipe yourself. Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Blue Cheese Ravioli with Pancetta Crisps and Red Onion Confit

Blue Cheese Ravioli Pancetta Crisps Red Onion Confit

Blue Cheese Ravioli with Pancetta Crisps and Red Onion Confit

Happy Wednesday Kids! I have ravioli on my mind today. Well, I have ravioli on my mind everyday- that’s what happens when you are about to launch a Ravioli Revolution. Stay tuned! It’s going to be epic! But today, I’m excited to share with you a ravioli dish that is intended to be a small bite. This recipe is so packed with flavor that it works best as an hors d’oeuvres rather than a full course. I hope you enjoy my Blue Cheese Ravioli with Pancetta Crisps and Red Onion Confit. I like to serve it in a spoon!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Toasted Hazelnuts

Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Toasted Hazelnuts

Chocolate and peanut butter amarriage that will last an eternity. These ingredients stand well on their own, but when combined, it’s magic. They just work together! And no matter how you try to dress them up with other elements, it is the way they complement each other that makes a chocolate and peanut dish work, time and time again. Click here forthe history, according to the National Peanut Board,of the famous combination. This week I am sharing my recipe forChocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Toasted Hazelnuts. I hope you make and enjoy my take on this match made in Heaven.

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Szechwan Marinated Pork with Grilled Apple and Sage Doughnuts

Szechwan Marinated Pork Grilled Apple Sage Doughnut

Szechwan Marinated Pork with Grilled Apple and Sage Doughnuts

For the past few weeks my teams at Morris Tap and Grill and Paragon Tap and Table have been busy planning our new fall menus. In the restaurant and catering world we always have to be thinking a season ahead to be ready for What’s Next! We’ve been developing and testing recipes, researching new brews for our taps, and immersing ourselves in fall flavors so that we can be ready, because fall is right around the corner. And we’re ready for it! This week’s recipe from Stick It, Spoon It, Put It in a Glass is a nod to the end of summer and the coming of fall. I hope you enjoy mySzechwan Marinated Pork with Grilled Apple and Sage Doughnuts.

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Scallop Ceviche with Citrus Compote and Basil Foam

Scallop Ceviche Citrus Compote Basil Foam

Scallop Ceviche with Citrus Compote and Basil Foam

Labor Day weekend is upon us! To me, and to so many of us, this means Firing Up the grill and gathering with friends and family to say goodbye to summer. Come Tuesday, we all need to be ready to get back into the busy groove of the fall and winter seasons. So lets enjoy this holiday weekend! Whether you are grilling burgers and dogs or dry-aged prime steaks, baby back ribs or fish, my Scallop Ceviche with Citrus Compote and Basil Foam is a great place to start your feast. Remember this weekend, and everyday that follows, to cherish the people you love and to feed them well!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

Scallop Ceviche with Citrus Compote and Basil Foam
(Makes about 10 servings)

Ingredients/Scallop Ceviche
8 Tbsp tomato juice
8 Tbsp fresh orange juice
8 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
8 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
2 red onions, peeled and diced
8 Tbsp ketchup
2 jalapeno chilies, split, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp hot red pepper sauce
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
10 10/20 scallops

Method/Scallop Ceviche
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the scallops. Remove the connecting tissue from the side of each scallop and split scallops in half lengthwise, then place them in the bowl of marinade and marinate for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Ingredients/Citrus Compote
1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Method/Citrus Compote
Peel and section the lemon, lime and orange. Cut the sections into 1/4-inch pieces and combine with other ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Ingredients/Basil Foam
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch fresh basil
Kosher salt and pepper

Method/Basil Foam
Combine all ingredients in a 1-qt container and puree with a hand blender. Slowly lift the blender to the surface and agitate until a foam forms.

Assembly
Place a half scallop on each spoon. Layer with 1/4 tsp citrus compote and then place another scallop on the compote. Layer another 1/4 tsp citrus compote, then top with Basil Foam and a micro basil leaf.

Chef Notes
Using 1 gm of lecithin or agar-agar to make the foam will keep it stable and bubbly for a longer period of time. You can use cream as a base instead, but for off-premise events, lecithin works best. If you are using cream reduce the amount when using both agar-agar and or lecithin. Both products can be purchase through Chef rubber.com

Variations
Salmon, hamachi, or snapper can be used instead of scallops. Use horn melon or pomegranate with a touch of mint to create a different flavor profile.

 

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I’m Firing It Up With Pick On Us! Easy. Simple. Done.

pou_logo_1411635899__07827

I’m Firing It Up With Pick On Us! Easy. Simple. Done.

I’ve worked with Pick On Us products for years and I am so excited to announce that my partnership with Pick On Us continues! We are offering amazing culinary development services to refresh and enhance your hospitality business.These services are for restaurants, catering companies, hotels and food service companies that are looking for cutting edge and industry leading ideas for their customers. Do you need to spruce up your menu or presentation style? Check out the unique line of products on the Pick On Us websiteand be sure to visit my pageto learn more about my consulting services. Its an Easy. Simple. Done. concept that have I developed over the years and now together with Pick On Us, I am bringing it to you.

Fire it up!!!

Chef Eric

http://www.pickonus.com/chef-eric-levine-services

 

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Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata

Happy Wednesday Kids! It’s the last week of August. It’s the end of the summer growing season and the kids are going back to school. Yet there is still time to make it to the beach, or lake, or mountain vista for one more day. And there is definitely still time to celebrate amazing summer vegetables. Let’s soak up the waning days of summer this weekend and enjoy myGrilled Eggplant with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata. The vegetables can be prepped a day ahead of time if you prefer and they are delicately seasoned with herbs and olive oil to allow their true flavors shine.

I hope you make this healthy bite this weekend and share it with someone you love. Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Asian Braised Short Ribs with Stir Fried Mushrooms and Five Spice Popcorn

Asian Braised Short Ribs with Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Five-Spice Popcorn

Asian Braised Short Ribs with Stir Fried Mushrooms and Five Spice Popcorn

I don’t eat a lot of beef, but I love Short Ribs! To me, short ribs are an anytime of the year food. I enjoy it through all of the seasons matched with different vegetables and starches, sauces and garnishes.

In keeping with my on-going quest to create food with layers of flavors and textures, this dish from my cookbook Stick it, Spoon it, Put it in a Glass is a item that can be changed for each season and accented with a number of different spices and marinades. If you know me and follow my work, you know I love Asian flavors. My Asian Braised Short Ribs with Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Five-Spice Popcorn is a delicious way to celebrate this luxurious cut of beef.

The soft texture of the short rib, the crunch of the stir fry and the pop of the popcorn make this dish a fun experience and another act in the theater of the palate.

Fire it up!

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Watermelon Radish with Soy Scallion-Marinated Tomatoes and Marinated Enoki Mushrooms

Watermelon Radish Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes Enoki Mushrooms

Watermelon Radish with Soy Scallion-Marinated Tomatoes and Marinated Enoki Mushrooms

Don’t you just love the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning in August?The selection ofheirloom vegetables and exotic mushroomscominginto market from farms all over the countryis amazing! This week I am sharing a recipe that really benefits from using the best, most seasonal vegetables. I used sweet little heirloom cherry tomatoes, vibrant watermelon radishes and light, summery enoki mushrooms. Each vegetable is marinated in and flavored with it own pronounced ingredients- Sesame, ginger, Thai chili, garlic, soy sauce, mint, cilantro, and mirin-so that when they allcometogether, each bite is balanced and each component compliments the others.Keep this recipe in mind when you hit your farmer’s market this weekend and experiment with thespecialvarieties your local farmers offer.Click here to print my recipe for Watermelon Radish with Soy Scallion- Marinated Tomatoes and Marinated Enoki Mushrooms. I hope you enjoy it!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Oven Roasted Lamb Loin with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Grilled Scallions and Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

Oven Roasted Lamb Loin with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Grilled Scallions and Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

Oven Roasted Lamb Loin with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Grilled Scallions and Chili Mint Dipping Sauce

Ilove lamb. And this bite is made with the loin which is low in fat butpacked with flavor due toa rub ofgarlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and a given a quick sear to create a nice crust and to lock in the juices. After a short roast in the oven, the lamb can be served at room temperature skewered with roasted potatoes and crunchy grilled scallions andcomplementedby a zippy herbaceous sauce. This bite is destinedto become one of your favorites! I hope you make it and enjoy it. Fire It Up! Chef Eric

(Print the recipe)
Ingredients/Roasted Lamb Loin
20 oz lamb loin
1/4 bunch fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt
White pepper

Method/Roasted Lamb Loin
Trim any excess fat from the lamb loin. Mix the rosemary, garlic and olive oil and rub into the lamb loin. Season with salt and pepper. Sear the lamb loin in a pan over high heat on all sides for 3 minutes, then put in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 125. Let the lamb cool and set aside.

Ingredients/Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
10 small Yukon gold potatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 bunch fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 bunch scallion greens, chopped; reserve whites for grilling
Kosher salt
White pepper

Method/Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes .Toss potatoes with garlic, rosemary, scallions, oil, salt and pepper. Put potatoes on a sheet pan and roast at 350 for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove potatoes from oven and chill before skewering.

Ingredients/Grilled Scallions
20 scallions, white portions cut in 1-1/2-inch pieces (from scallions used with potatoes)
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt
White pepper

Method/Grilled Scallions
Season white portions of scallions with salt, pepper and oil. Lightly grill scallions over a medium flame until they are almost tender. Cool and set aside.

Ingredients/Chili Mint Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup duck sauce
1/2 cup plum sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
2 limes

Method/Chili Mint Dipping Sauce
Combine the duck and plum sauces; add the mint and squeeze in the juice from the limes; mix thoroughly.

Assembly
Slice the lamb loin into 20 pieces. On each skewer, place one piece of lamb, one piece of scallion whites and one piece of potato, then repeat the order. Serve with the Chili Mint Dipping Sauce.

Chef Notes
This item is versatile; you can serve it hot or cold, depending on the time of day and the event.

Variations
Create an interesting fall menu item by using sweet potatoes and brisket or short ribs.

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Beet Meringues with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Dust

Beet Meringues with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Dust

Beet Meringues with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Dust

It’s recipe Wednesday! You know I love to takeaclassicdish and alter its chemical propertiesto createa completely different textural experience. This week’s recipe, Beet Meringues with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Dust, appears much more complicated then it actually is. It does, however, require that you make sure that the bowl of your standing mixer is completely free of grease,and that you purchase some maltodextrin to ensure success. Maltodextrin is made from tapioca and is the ingredient that turns your balsamic reduction into a flavor packed dust. If you can’t find it in a specialty food, kitchenor bake shop, you can order it from ChefRubber.com. You are sure to impress your friends with this colorful little sweet and savory bite! I mean, who doesn’t love a roasted beet and goat cheese salad? Well, I hope all of you beet loversmake and enjoythis recipe. Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette

Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette

Mozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrette

It’s Recipe Wednesday! Today I want to celebrate the flavors of summer. The other day I had a delicious Jersey vine ripened tomato for lunch with basil from my back yard and it was so quintessentially summer, I started thinking about sharing a recipe that captures those fresh flavors. MyMozzarella Perlini with Red Onion Salad and Olive Vinaigrettegets a burst of tomato flavor from a sun-dried tomato oil, a fresh crunch from the red onion salad and a richness from the olive vinaigrette. It will make a great starter to a summer small plates meal. ”Stick It, Spoon It, Put it in a Glass is out of print and sold out, but my new bookSmall Bites, Big Flavoris available on Amazon and features recipes you will want to try, such as Marinated Cold-Smoked Salmon Sushi Cup, Duck wrapped in Pickled Plums with Plum-Ginger Dipping Sauce, Spring Roll-Style Ginger-Marinated Pulled Chicken with Mushroom and Grapefruit Brle with Ginger “Fluff” and Horned Melon-Sake Sauce- a sweet bite reminiscent of a s’more, everyone’s favorite summertime treat.

I hope you print and enjoy this week’s recipe and I hope you savor the flavors of summer! And as always…Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

 

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Buffalo Poached Chicken with Blue Cheese Mousse

Buffalo Poached Chicken with Blue Cheese Mousse

Buffalo Poached Chicken with Blue Cheese Mousse

Happy Wednesday! This week I’m sharing a flavor packed recipe that can be made ahead and served chilled in a glass or clear plastic cup. I used a cup from EMI Yoshi, Inc. in the photo from my book, Stick It, Spoon It, Put it in a Glass, but you should have fun with your presentation and use any small glass you have that will work for a single serving size. Small canning jars would work and are relatively inexpensive. The vessel you choose should be clear so that you can see the colorful layers. Click here for a printable recipe for my Buffalo Poached Chicken with Blue Cheese Mousse. I hope you enjoy!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Shrimp Paper with Poblano Chili Curry Mist and Tomato Dust

Shrimp Paper with Poblano Chili Curry Mist and Tomato Dust

Shrimp Paper with Poblano Chili Curry Mist and Tomato Dust

Happy Wednesday! This week I’m sharing a really fun recipe from my book, Stick It, Spoon It, Put It in a Glass. There are a few steps to this one. The methods are not difficult for anyone who is comfortable in the kitchen, but you will need to plan ahead and start early as the tomato dust takes 12-15 hours for the tomatoes to dehydrate. If you prepare each component in advance, this is really easy to put together. Your guests will not only be impressed by this presentation, they will love the interactive spritzing and the bold, refreshing flavors! Click here for a printable recipe for my Shrimp Paper with Poblano Chili Curry Mist and Tomato Dust. I hope you make it and I hope you enjoy it!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Strawberry and Mint Julep Mousse with Lemon Biscotti

Strawberry Mousse with Lemon Ginger Biscotti

Strawberry and Mint Julep Mousse with Lemon Biscotti

Happy Wednesday everyone! This week’s recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser atyour 4thof July picnic this weekend. It’s fruity, cold, creamy, slightly boozyand packed with fresh summer flavor. I hope you enjoy my Strawberry and Mint Julep Moussewith Lemon Biscotti! Haveafun and safe holiday weekend kids and Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Seared Scallops with Citrus Confit and Fried Snow Pea Sprouts

Scallops, Citrus Confit, Fried Snow Pea Sprouts

Seared Scallops with Citrus Confit and Fried Snow Pea Sprouts

Happy Wednesday Kids! This week I’d like to share a recipe frommy book, Stick It, Spoon It, Put it in a Glass, that celebrates summer. I hope you enjoy my Seared Scallops with Citrus Confit and Fried Snow Pea Sprouts. These would be great with a fruity Sauvignon Blanc and served as an appetizer or to top a salad! Make them for friends or someone you love this weekend and Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Alright it’s Hot. Let’s Not (just this once) Fire It Up…the Oven That Is!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alright it’s Hot. Let’s Not (just this once) Fire It Up…the Oven That Is!

We, in the the Mid-Atlantic and South East, are experiencing our first “heatwave” of the season. It seems as though we should have had another week or two of perfect 72 degree weather this early into June, but no. Just like that, we feel as though we’re in the midst of the dog days of summer. This week I am sharing a recipe which, not only requires very little cooking, but also satisfies that summer craving we all have for really great tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Even though it feels like August, it’s June, and tomatoes are not yet at their peak. No worries! We are going to use the concentrated flavor of tomato juice to create a flavor packed gele which will replace the ripe jewels we’ll get later in the season. My Marinated Ciliengine Mozzarella with Pickled Onions and Kalamata Olives is the perfect chilled hors d’oeuvres to serve on the patio or around the pool this weekend and I hope you enjoy!

Fire It Up!
Chef Eric

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Grilled Lamb with Pickled Scallions and Poached Yukon Potato Cubes

Grilled Lamb with Pickled Scallions

Grilled Lamb with Pickled Scallions and Poached Yukon Potato Cubes

The warmer weather is finally here and it callsus out of the kitchen and into our back yards to Fire Up our grills. How about a grilled lamb loin, scented with garlic and fresh rosemary from your herb garden? This bite gets a citrusy kick of acid from pickled scallions and is balanced by creamy savory potatoes. Click here for the recipe. I hope you enjoy and Fire It Up!
Chef Eric

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Sticks, Spoons and Glasses to Enhance Your Brunch

Smoked Salmon Lollipops with Bagel Dust

Sticks, Spoons and Glasses to Enhance Your Brunch

Do you have a graduation or post-wedding brunch coming up this weekend? This week I am sharing some amazing hors d’oeuvres and a sweet bite that are sure to punch up your brunch menu! At a casual home brunch I like to offera buffet with dishes I canassemble the day or night before and chill and pop into the oven in the morning,such as French Toast Bread Pudding, Quiche and Southwest Breakfast Casserole. Then I choose a fewbites that require a little more piece work andshould be composed just before serving. Getting most of your prep done prior to your partyand leaving just a few steps for the morning of your event is important- you want to enjoy your guests!

Bagels and Lox are a brunch classic, right? I’m sharing two really fun ways to present smoked salmon:as a Smoked Salmon Lollipop with Bagel Dust,andas a crepepursefilled with a light and flavorfulSmoked Salmon Salad withScallion Caper Mousse. Choose one ordo them both, if you have the time!

Shrimp is always welcome at any party and any brunch should include Bloody Marys!Your guests are going to love these Bloody Mary-Poached Shrimp with Tomato and Onion Panna Cotta and Chili Balsamic Reduction.

And for a sweet finish to accompany your celebration cake and fresh fruit, my Coffee Mousse withBanana Paper and Coffee Crumb. Banana Paper! With a silicone mat you cantransform abananaand create a completely different texture, concentrated with banana flavor. This dessert is creamy, crunchy, bittersweet and boozy all in one dish!Enjoy and Fire It Up!

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Tuna Tartar Spoon with Guacamole and Soy Crisps

Tuna Tartar Spoon with Guacamole and Soy Crisps

Tuna Tartar Spoon with Guacamole and Soy Crisps

Happy Wednesday! My Book Stick It, Spoon It, Put It In A Glass is out of print and sold out so I decided to share the recipes here for you all to enjoy.Thank you to all of you who bought it and alsomy most recent bookSmall Bites, Big Flavor!This week’s recipe islight, yet packed with flavor- a perfect bite to kick off a cocktail party around the pool this weekend!Click here for a printable pdf of the recipe and if you make it, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments. Please enjoy and Fire It Up!

(Makes about 10 hors d’oeuvres)

Ingredients/Tuna Tartar:
1 lb. tuna loin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp Asian red chili pepper flakes

Method/Tuna Tartar:
Dice the tuna into 1/8-inch pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Combine sesame oil, vinegar and pepper flakes. Gently mix the oil and vinegar mixture into the tuna pieces, put in a hotel pan, cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready for use.

Ingredients/Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
12 Serrano chilies, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp coarse salt
Dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Method/Guacamole: Cut avocados in half, remove seeds and scoop meat into a mixing bowl. Mash avocado with a fork. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Start with half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. (Wash your hands thoroughly after handling chili peppers and keep your hands away from your eyes for several hours.) Cover the mashed avocado mixture with plastic wrap. The wrap should be directly on the surface of the guacamole to keep air from reaching it. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix.

Ingredients/Soy Crisps:
1 cup flour
1/2 oz. soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seeds

Method/Soy Crisps: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread mixture into 1-inch circles on a silicone mat. Bake for 4 minutes at 350, then cool to room temperature. Scoop tuna tartar into ceramic spoons and top each with guacamole. Place one soy crisp, standing up, into the guacamole in each spoon.

Chefs Note:
If you make the soy crisps ahead of time, keep in an air-tight container so they dont become stale. Work quickly with the avocado so it doesnt oxidize and change color while youre preparing the guacamole. The guacamole recipe is flexible; start with the basic recipe and adjust ingredients to your taste.

Variations:
For a more unusual option, cut a skate wing into small dice and marinate in a lime-tomato vinaigrette. Skate has a soft, scallop-like texture and goes well with guacamole. Sear just before assembly. You can also use a cilantro chicken salad instead of the tuna tartare.

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#evolutionmtg

Mirepoix Dessert

#evolutionmtg

Today is the day Kids! The guys and gals (a.k.a. #teamkickass!) of the Morris Tap & Grill kitchen have been brining, pickling, curing and smoking our own meats, seafood, fruits and veggies for a complete overhaul of our menu and handcrafted cocktails! And #evolutionmtg is rolling out today!

We’ve never been average and have always put our own special twist on our pub fare, but this month we are setting the bar at a new level. With an emphasis on fresh, house made dishes, crafted cocktails and a commitment to sourcing local and artisan products, the evolution of MTG is underway. Our GM, Michael DeSimone, leads our team of mixologists and they have brilliantly incorporated ingredients like grilled orange peel and basil into our new cocktail line. We cannot wait to hear our customer reviews!

The front of house staff is ready to lead you through the new additions to the menu. Start your journey with one of our refreshing cocktails to whet your appetite, share some Broccolini, Asparagus & Carrot Tempura, Lazy Susan Lettuce Wraps and House Smoked Pulled Chicken with Black Bean Salad, Avocado Mousse and Pico de Gallo with the table before choosing a entre just for you. Perhaps our Lobster Ravioli with Chipotle Shrimp Sauce or our Braised Pork Belly on Spicy Tomatillo Salad is for you.

Whatever you do, be sure to finish your voyage with something from our new dessert line. Mirepoix Dessert? You’ve got to taste it to believe it! Check this twist out- We’ve taken a typically savory base and made it into a sweet delight. Carrot Cake Stack, Celery Lychee Sorbet, Onion Fig Marmalade, Fried Carrot & Graham Cracker Caramel Bar. We hope you come in soon to experience it for yourself!

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Check Out My Healthy Seasonal Recipes on Pazoo.Com

Italian Bean Meatballs

Check Out My Healthy Seasonal Recipes on Pazoo.Com

As we in the Mid-Atlantic Statescontinue to anxiously await warmer weather, I’ve been sharing tips and recipes for eating with the seasonwith Pazoo readers. Head on over to www.pazoo.comfor healthy recipes like Italian Bean “Meatballs” with Spaghetti Squashand Orange Crepe Stacks with Orange Curd. And come back often, I share a new recipe every week!

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella

Calamari has become a staple at many restaurants. Youll find it fried with marinara, drizzled with a sweet chili sauce, or cold in a seafood salad. I remember my Hippie mom adding it to spaghetti sauce and back then it was just called squid not by its fancy Mediterranean name! My brother and I were fascinated by how it looked with its opaque body and all of the curly tentacles. I know that the neighbors werent eating squid but my mom was all about healthy, hearty dishes and if she could save a little money by using unusual ingredients, she did! Like many ingredients that were once thought of as cheap (remember when they buried lobsters as fertilizer or fed it to prisoners back in the 1800s?) squid has morphed into calamari and its price along with its availability is much greater.

Fresh calamari may be hard to find. If your local fishmonger doesnt carry it, see if he has some frozen. Calamari is one of those ingredients that needs to be cooked quickly (like frying in a hot saut pan) or it can be done slowly when allowed to simmer with other ingredients, just make sure if youre simmering it, it has some moisture. A friend of mine loves to grill squid. She says that you need to slice open the bodies and cross hatch them with a knife to help keep them flat while they grill. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some fresh cracked pepper is all you need to enjoy this as an appetizer or serve it over some cooked orzo with a bit of chopped tomato for a quick, tasty dinner.

This week Im sharing a recipe for Seafood Paella that can be done partly in advance. Its a great dish when youre having friends or family over since it doesnt require too much attention. This recipe differs from other paella recipes that youve probably seen. The most common paella is called Valencia Paella and is said to have originated on the east coast of Spain. It has chicken, mussels, a spicy sausage- like chorizo, and is enhanced with garlic, onions, capers & saffron.

Feel free to switch out the seafood Ive used in this recipe. If you dont like mussels or clams, add in scallops to go with the shrimp. The best part of making paella is using the ingredients you like. It might not qualify as Paella Valencia, but Im sure youll find that its delicious!

Fire it up,

Chef Eric

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Oscar’s Party

Grilled and Chilled Asparagus-Skewered Shrimp With Almond Vinaigrette

Oscar’s Party

Birdman, Boyhood, American Sniper, Selma, Whiplash, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything… Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawk… the level of talent represented in this year’s Academy Awards Nominations is amazing! It’s difficult to pick a favorite or to predict the winners, but it’s fun to watch the show. I’d like to share a couple of appetizer recipes from my book that are a snap to put together and will be a dazzling addition to your Oscar’s party menu.

So,you have limited time to prepare a whole menu foryour Oscar’s Party? But you also want toput out a somewhat elegant and impressive spread? You certainly want to enjoy your party and notspend the entire partycooking, right? Here’s the plan- buy the best quality prepared foods that you can serve at room temperature: antipasti,vegetable/legume salads, charcuterie and cheese, sushi, sliced beef or pork tenderloin, poached salmonor pt with sauces, mustards, relishes and rolls, and thenfill in with some homemade, handcrafted hors d’eouvres.Wowyour friendswithGrilled and Chilled Asparagus-Skewered Shrimp with Almond Vinaigrette and Spring Roll-Style Ginger-Marinated Pulled Chicken with Mushrooms. The shrimp skewers should be made in advance and chilled. Welcome your friends to the party witha platterof theShrimpAsparagus Skewers and a flute of champagne. The spring rolls should not be rolled in advance, but all of the prep should be done prior to the party. Set out bowls and plates of the fillings and saucesand create a “rollyour own spring roll” station. You can make the crepes la minute if you have an openkitchen and your friends are gathered around or make them just before your guests arrive, keeping them wrapped and warm. Invite everyone to come over 30-60 minutes before the awards start so everyone can have a drink, catch up and eat something before the show starts. Lay out all of the purchased prepared foods before guests arrive, so your are not scrambling , you are enjoying your party, the food is readily available and you are watching the show!

Often your guests will bring a bottle of wine or liquor to contribute to the party. Make sure to put out their contribution, but also make sure you have an ample amount of beer, wine, liquor and ice, appropriate mixers, bar fruit and garnishes at the ready.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Dark Chocolate Bites

Dark Chocolate Bites

Dark Chocolate Bites

Valentines Day its known as the most romantic day of the year! But did you know that its also a day when many people like to get together with their family and friends? When I look at the reservations for Morris Tap & Grill and Paragon Tap & Table, most are for parties of 4 or more. Does that mean that people dont want to have that romantic night out with just their significant other? Or, is it because its a Saturday this year and it feels like a holiday? Whatever the reason, Im glad people are celebrating their love for one another. Last year on Valentines Day we had a proposal at the Kitchen Table at Morris Tap & Grill. It was a wonderful surprise and the team at Morris Tap & Grill helped to make sure that the answer was yes! I wonder if that will happen again this year?

Valentines Day has always been a special day for me. Lorraine and I got married on Valentines Day 23 years ago and its been a fantastic journey! Sure, weve had our ups and downs (but thankfully – as Sinatra would say – too few to mention) and weve been blessed with two fantastic kids. As a chef, Valentines Day is not a day that you spend with your family since its one of the busiest days of the year. On our first anniversary I sent my wife a dozen roses. It didnt make up for the fact that I wasnt home that night but she knew what she was getting into when she married me. We learned that we could celebrate our anniversary on a different day, or even in the morning with breakfast in bed. On our second anniversary, I sent two dozen roses and was she surprised. Year three was three dozen roses and I kept adding a dozen for every year we were married until we hit 10 years with 10 dozen roses and at that point we decided it had gotten out of control! I think the local florist was sad that I was ending this tradition but we were ready for something new. Im a romantic, and like a bit of surprise so I organized a night out, just the two of us and left the kids home with a sitter. She didnt know where we were going and her eyes just sparkled when she tried to guess! I still like to surprise her with a restaurant and surprise her I did when I took her to 11 Madison Park in NYC for our 20th anniversary. This is one of the most fabulous dining experiences weve ever had and Im so happy that we were able to share it for our anniversary, even though it was nearly 6 months after the fact!

Lorraine also happens to love dark chocolate so I try to make her something that I know shell enjoy. She knows how crazy it is at the restaurants and always tells me not to do it but I love to create something special for her! This week Im sharing a recipe for Dark Chocolate Bites. Its pretty easy to make and I can guarantee that anyone you share these with will be very happy! Click here fora printable PDF of the recipe.

Do you do anything special for Valentines Day that youd like to share?

Fire it up!

Cher Eric

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Pan-seared Quail with Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Hash, Salsify Puree and Cranberry Reduction – Gluten Free

Pan seared Quail with Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Hash with Salsify Puree and Cranberry Reduction - Gluten Free

Pan-seared Quail with Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Hash, Salsify Puree and Cranberry Reduction – Gluten Free

Lastweek at Morris Tap & Grill it was all about wild game. Has everyone tried some form of wild game? Most grocery stores now carry bison steaks and ground bison but did you know that some are also carrying meats that are a bit more unusual? At my local grocer, they have a pretty nice selection of products fromD’Artagnan rabbit, squab, wild boar and venison, though not everything is available at the same time. If you want something special or in larger quantities, ask your butcher to order it for you so you wont be disappointed. If youre lucky, you may also have a game farm nearby. There are a few in New Jersey and one of my Massachusetts friends has one close to her home as well.

Seeing these selections got me thinking about having a game dinner and pairingeach coursewith some unusual wines. After talking with my supplier, we settled on quail, rabbit, elk, ostrich and wild boar. I know, it sounds like a lot for one dinner but keep in mind that the portions are meant to be a tasting, not a dinner.

The recipe Im sharing this week is the first course from the game dinner. Its a pan seared quail with Brussels sprout and mushroom hash with salsify puree and cranberry reduction. Sounds like a mouthful but if you take it step by step youll find it easy to accomplish and I guarantee youll wow your family & friends! Best part? You can make most of this meal in advance except for searing the quail and finishing the hash.

Im guessing youre wondering about salsify and will you like it? Salsify is a root vegetable and is shaped like a carrot or a thin parsnip. The outer skin is a light brown with a creamy white flesh once peeled. You may see it sold as goatsbeard, vegetable oyster or oyster plant. Some people say it tastes like an oyster or an artichoke when its cooked. Its a great addition to soups and stews or can be substituted for mashed potatoes. If you buy it with any green grass like shoots attached, cut them off and use them in salad or anywhere youd like to add a bit of freshness and a splash of color.

Click here for a printable pdf the recipe of this amazing quail dish. And this is the rest of the menu:

Second Course: Grilled Rabbit Sausage, Apple & Goat Cheese Tart

Third Course: Roasted Elk, Squash & Potato Galette

Fourth Course: This one is near and dear to my heart since its a tribute to when I was on Chopped (and won!) Seared Ostrich Loin with Curried Squash Blossoms, Pear Slaw and Herb Pesto.

Fifth Course: Pan Roasted Wild Boar with Crispy Wild Boar Belly, Corn Pudding andCorn Reduction Sauce

Of course I cant send people home without a bit of sweetness to end the meal so we created a Port Wine Sorbet. One of my guests described it as the perfect way to end a spectacular meal. Thats high praise and Im very happy that she and her husband enjoyed the evening.

Fire it up!

Chef Eric

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Grilled Roasted and Pickled

Skirt Steak with Grilled romaine, pickled and crispy radish, roasted cippolini onions and onion demi

Grilled Roasted and Pickled

So, what do Chefs do on a snow day? I imagine that most rest and relax with their family and friends after shoveling the driveway but many of them me included use this as an opportunity to create new recipes. Last week was the Juno Blizzard that closed both of our restaurants for two days. While my staff had the time off, I still needed to go in to make sure that there were no problems, check the answering machine and order food for Wednesday. Its not often that I get to work uninterrupted, where its quiet- well, except for the Sevendust music blasting!

As I looked in the walk-in to see what I had on hand, I found myself thinking about what would be good for a really cold, wintery day. Soups, stews and braises are great for snowy days and they make your house smell so good, but its not where my mind was going. I wanted to create something! I saw a container of chimichurri and decided to marinate some skirt steak we had on hand. Not just any skirt steak, but Wagyu skirt steak. If youre not familiar with Wagyu, its the Rolls Royce of beef. According to Wikipedia,Wagyu literally means Japanese cow and refers to several breeds of cattle- the most desired of which is genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. I know, oleaginous unsaturated fat it doesnt sound good but it makes this steak taste great and gives it that “melt in your mouth” texture! Most of the Wagyu cattle were raised in Japan until some very clever cattlemen decided to raise an American Wagyu, with much success. If your local butcher doesnt have any, ask if they can get if for you its worth the cost!

Now, steak by itself doesnt thrill me, even if it is Wagyu! Marinating it in chimichurri overnight was really going to kick up the flavor. I need my recipes to have different textures anddifferent temperatures, so I kept looking. Hmmma bunch of radishes might be good if I pickled them, and some roasted and pureed cauliflower would provide a creamy element. I knew I was on my way to creating something great. Leafy greens are very important to all of our diets so I thought about incorporating some romaine hearts, maybe grilled right after I grill the steak. Next up, I see some cipollini onions. These are small, sweet onions, that are great roasted and Ive decided theyll be the last element of my dish. So with the music blaring, I began to put the components together and forgot all about the snow storm.Id love to hear what you create on a snow day with the ingredients you have on hand! Click here for a printable pdf of the recipe.

Fire it up,

Chef Eric

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A New Twist on Hummus

Hummus and Tapanade Cup

A New Twist on Hummus

If youve been reading my columns on Pazoo.com, you already know that I like hummus and adding different flavors and spices to shake it up. Serving it with pita chips is the norm, but I woke up thinking about making a handheld cone that would serve as the vessel for the hummus. So, what could I use that would taste good, and still be crisp? Iceberg lettuce could be an option and homemade crepes might be tasty but they wouldnt stay crisp. I finally settled on using flour or corn tortillas that Id shape into a cone and then crisp up in the oven.

I like the consistency of hummus so creamy and smooth on your palate. However, I also like some texture so I thought about other flavors that might play well with hummus. I had a variety of pitted olives on hand and decided to make some olive tapenade to use for a topping. It tasted great with the hummus but I thought that it needed a bit of sweetness. Most of you know that I dont care for the tomatoes that are available in the winter months though there are a couple of exceptions. Grape tomatoes and plum tomatoes still have good flavor and they get even better after a quick roast in the oven. So maybe a few roasted tomatoes to add some sweetness and using red & yellow tomatoes would bring some additional color.

Did you know that cherry sized tomatoes have been cultivated for centuries? According to Wikipedia Cherry tomatoes are believed to go as far back as Aztec Mexico in at least the 15th century. Records of Santorini cherry tomatoes being heavily cultivated in Greece can be found as far back as 1875, from seeds brought there by a monk in the early 1800s. Locals believe that the seeds were imported from somewhere in Egypt. You can find these tomatoes in a variety of colors with red being the most common. If you see any of the other colors orange, yellow, green and even black try them! Theyll add some visual interest to your creations.

Many of you have requested recipes that can be made in advance. The recipe Im sharing this week is a perfect example of a make ahead appetizer. Make the tortilla crisps up to 5 days in advance and store them in an airtight container. You can prepare the hummus and olive tapenade up to 7 days in advance storing them in separate containers in the fridge. You may need to stir the hummus to incorporate any olive oil that may have separated. Roast the tomatoes no sooner than the morning of when you plan to serve them.

Keep your eyes on Pazoo.com in the coming weeks and youll see a video of me making this recipe! And click here for a printable PDF.

Fire it up,

Cher Eric

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Bringing Black Trumpet Mushrooms To The Table

Artichoke, Edamame, Trumpet Mushroom Salad

Bringing Black Trumpet Mushrooms To The Table

This week Ive been creating recipes with Black Trumpet mushrooms. They are also known as Horns of Plenty or King Trumpet Mushroom and are one of my favorite mushrooms. They can easily be found dried, but you may need to look a bit harder for fresh, or buy them online. Ive seen them available in the Northeast and the Northwest during the latter part of the year. My local market doesnt stock them but my produce guy for Morris Tap & Grill can get them for me if I give him enough lead time. You may not find these fresh or dried in your grocery store so make time to stop by an Asian market and browse their selection of mushrooms. Keep in mind that the labels might not be written in English so look for xng bo g? or c qn g? in Chinese, or saesongi peoseot in Korean. They should be easy to spot based on their shape and color.

Black trumpets are so tasty, even if they are a bit weird looking. They have a smoky flavor and an almost fruity aroma. They are savory, meaty and give off one of the most wonderful scents when you cook with them that youll want to include them more often. The biggest problem I have with these black trumpets is they stain anything I cook with them. For the dish Im sharing with Pazoo, Im cooking each of the ingredients separately so they all retain their natural color. Keep in mind that cooking black trumpet mushrooms in soup might not work if youre looking for a lighter color stock or broth.

Im always looking for new ways to feed my Hippie Mom and my sister as they are both vegan and try to be gluten free. (They say the GF lifestyle really makes them feel better!) Requests for vegan & gluten free dishes in the restaurants seem to have increased too, so I continually try to come up with something new, interesting and flavorful especially for the Sunday brunch at Paragon Tap & Table. As you can imagine, brunch is normally filled with eggs, French toast, pancakes, bacon & sausage and not too many options for those that are vegan and or gluten free.

Today Im sharing a recipe that is GF and vegan that incorporates black trumpet mushrooms, artichoke hearts and edamame. This recipe takes a bit of time and effort to prepare the artichokes, but I know if you try this recipe youll enjoy it. Click here for aPDF of the recipe.

Id love to hear about your favorite mushrooms and how you prepare them!

Fire it up!

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Right Off the Food Truck

Aloo Tikki- Vegan and Gluten Free

Right Off the Food Truck

Ive been having the best time at Morris Tap & Grill creating recipes for street food and Im so excited to share it with you!

When I think about street food, I imagine all of the flavors of Asia, India and South America. You might think of foods trucks as street food but think back to the original vendors in New York not a food truck in sight, just carts with a heat source. Can you imagine wheeling them around to the best corner each day? I remember bugging my dad to buy some roasted chestnuts after catching the scent on a trip into New York City. I was amazed that the guy was roasting them on an open fire and the ones that were a bit burned tasted the best! Now, on almost any street in New York City youll find the usual hot dogs, pretzels & chestnuts, but youll also find gyros, kebabs & fried plantains. If youre feeling adventurous, try something new for lunch or dinner!

This week on Pazoo.com Im sharing a recipe for Aloo Tikki. Sound intriguing? It is and its considered a street food in India. Aloo Tikki is relatively simple to make with mashed potatoes, peas and Chaat Masala, a fragrant Indian seasoning. According to Wikipedia Chaat Masala most often consists of amchoor, cumin, coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, asafoetida and chili powder. There are many variations available, especially if you have a spice market nearby. If you dont have a spice market, check out Amazon.com, Etsy.com or any site that specializes in spices. Chaat means lick in Hindi and Masala means spice. You should be licking your lips after trying any dish made with Chaat Masala.

Chaat Masala can be sprinkled on foods after cooking to add some zip or try adding it to lemonade. Youll be surprised by how good it tastes. Some of my friends also like to sprinkle it on fresh mango yum my mouth is watering as Im thinking about this!

Aloo Tikki is similar to a potato pancake but better and lighter. Its so flavorful with fresh cilantro and Chaat Masala, you may never want to make regular potato pancakes again! If you dont have fresh cilantro, you can sub in dhania (also known as coriander).

Aloo Tikki is normally cooked on a tava. Its a flat griddle made of stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. If you dont have one, a non-stick pan or cast iron frying pan will suffice.

As you can tell, Im really fired up thinking about these street foods and will do my best to bring the streets to you in the form of recipes that wont be hard to create and dont need too many odd ingredients.For a PDF of the recipe, Click Here.

Id love to hear about what your favorite street foods are and if I can, help you create a recipe so you can enjoy them at home.

Fire it up,

Chef Eric

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Ginger Scallion Glazed Pork Sticks

Ginger Glazed Pork Sticks

Ginger Scallion Glazed Pork Sticks

Happy New Year!

2014 was a very busy year filled with happiness and a few challenges. 2015 looks like its going to be more of the same and I say bring it on!

If youve been following me on Pazoo, you already know that I love everything pork. Ham, bacon, pork belly, ribsI could go on forever about the different cuts even the most unusual – and ways to cook them.

This week Im sharing one of my favorite pork recipes with you. We call them Asian Glazed Pork Sticks at Morris Tap & Grill and this is their story.

Several years ago I asked the butcher to provide me with some pork ribs and he didnt have enough on hand. Not wanting to lose a sale, he showed me small pork shanks, about 3 oz. in size cut from the fibula. Ive heard that this cut is also called pig wings, pork drummies, squealers or beaver tails depending on which part of the country youre in. They looked to be the size of a drumstick and I started to think about ways to prepare them. The butcher said that you could fry them like chicken wings and serve them with a bleu cheese dressing along with carrots and celery. That seemed too normal to me and I knew I would do something else and began thinking about some of my favorite flavor profiles as he put my order together. My first thought was to use a rosemary garlic rub, then it was garlic and tomato and then I came up with ginger, garlic & soy glaze. I started out frying the pork shanks but realized that roasting might be better and a bit healthier. Cooking them at a lower temperature with just some salt, pepper and garlic powder intensified the pork flavor, and bathing them in a flavorful glaze before serving really turned this into something special. Its become the most popular small plate on our menu!

This is a perfect dish to make when the weather is cold since youll have your oven on for several hours helping to keep the kitchen nice and warm. Did I mention the benefit of how good your house will smell if you make these? Asian Glazed Pork Sticks would make a great party appetizer or pair them with some fragrant jasmine rice and lightly sauted bok choy for a great dinner!Click here for a pdf of the recipe.

Id love to hear if you use anything unusual in your favorite dishes! Maybe pig tails?

Fire it up!

Cher Eric

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Chef Erics Merry-Happy Year-End Food Traditions!

Smoked Salmon Lollipops!

Chef Erics Merry-Happy Year-End Food Traditions!

Hopefully your home is decorated, youve finished your shopping and the gifts are wrapped. Have you decided what foods youll be making for Hanukkah or Christmas dinner? Every family I know has their own traditions (green bean casserole, anyone?) and foods they just have to have to make it feel special. When I was a kid it was Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and someone always brought over a fruit cake though Im not sure we ever ate it!

Now, on to New Years Eve and how people celebrate. Many people go out to their favorite restaurant, bar or club and celebrate. I know our reservation book at Morris Tap & Grill and Paragon Tap & Table are almost full so make sure you call your favorite place for a reservation right now if you dont want to be disappointed. If you have kids, you may be staying home and celebrating with friends and family. Staying home keeps you out of what can be a boisterous crowd and eating or drinking too much and there is no requirement to stay up until midnight! Youll also save some money since you wont have to hire a sitter on what is said to be the most expensive night to have someone else watch your kids.

If I wasnt working, Id be at home with my family and a few close friends. Id keep the food light, perhaps all small plates served in intervals passing some Prosecco or sparkling cider. We like to try out new flavor profiles so that has me thinking about creating a theme. Ive never been to Scandinavia but love fish so thats where my mind is going. Salmon, herring, pickled vegetables and maybe some savory preserves (onion & garlic jam is great with goat cheese) to serve on a charcuterie plate. Id probably make some Swedish meatballs, too but would use ground turkey instead of beef to make it a bit healthier.

Click here for therecipe for a Smoked Salmon Lollipop. It can be made ahead of time and best of all you can involve your kids. If youre not a smoked salmon fan, Ive also listed a few things you can use to substitute for the salmon, or come up with your own fun combinations!

One of my friends eats pickled herring on New Years Day. She says its supposed to bring you good luck in the year ahead. Hmmm, I wonder what other people do? Here are a few traditions from my staff and all are said to bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

Southerners: Collard greens and black eyed peas

Sicilian Lentils in soup or as a side dish

Spanish 12 grapes just before midnight

Portuguese & Italians Roast Pork

Polish & German Pickled Herring

Id love to hear what traditional foods you and your family eat to ring in the New Year!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Hope For the Holidays

familyreach_logo_RGB

Hope For the Holidays

Every day, I am thankful for the blessings I have in my life. Please join me in giving the gift of Hope for the Holidays by supporting families of children with cancer. Your help will ensure families in your community and across the country have a chance to celebrate this season. Here are some of their stories…

Junior, 12 years old (Newark Beth Israel, NJ):Junior was recently diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma of the femur.Thisdisease generally has a poor prognosis. Junior is currently wheelchair bound. His parents are immigrant from El Salvador and do not speak English. Juniors mom cannot work due to her need to care for Junior, resulting in a loss of income. Junior is an adorable, loving child who is always interested in making new friends and making people laugh. By donating, families like Juniors can breathe a little easier during a time of year that should be filled with joy and celebration.

Seamus, 8 years old (Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, NJ): Diagnosed with autism and leukemia, Seamus has faced challenging and exhausting treatments and frequent hospitalizations. Recently, Seamus dad lost his job, causing the familys income to significantly decrease. Following a recent surgery to remove his gallbladder, continued hospital stays have caused co-payment to pile up. His mom commutes from New Jersey to work in New York, and it has been difficult for her to schedule sitters for Seamus and his younger brother with short notice when she is required to travel for work. All of this has put a significant strain on the familys finances and made it near impossible to celebrate the holiday season peacefully and as a family. Your support willprovide resources for Seamus and families like his to take a step back from the stress of cancer this holiday season.

Sean, 5 years old (Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, NJ): Sean was diagnosed in October of 2013 with ALL, leukemia. Sean spent most of the year in and out of the hospital with severe medical complications. He’s had severe seizures, neuropathy, several procedures and an overall very difficult year. Seans mother had to take an unpaid leave of absence from her job to be with him and tend to his numerous medical needs. Mom recently went back to work and within days, Sean relapsed. She now has to take another unpaid leave of absence to care for him while he prepares for a bone marrow transplant. Sean has fivepeople in his household,andsupport through Hope for the Holidays could bring the family great relief during this time of year.

Thank you all, Happy Holidays and Fire it up!

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Family Reach Friday!

Family Reach Friday

Family Reach Friday!

$5 Friday!
By now you know Ive had cancer 5 times. Im a tough guy and will show up to a fight ready to win but this beast is relentless. I know what it does to families and thats why I need your help.
Can you spare a buck for every time I gave cancer a beat down?
A small change can make a big difference. Skip that cup of Starbucks; have one less beer tonight; stay in instead of seeing that movie and make that money count. Donate $5 (more if you can afford it) to help kids with cancer through Family Reach Foundation. They pay the expenses that health insurance doesnt pay the car bills, rent, travel expenses back and forth to Childrens hospital hundreds of miles away and so much more.
Lets do this friends! $5 thats all it takes.
Thank you and Fire It Up!
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Throw Back Thursday…To That Time I Was On The Daily Meal With Diane Henderiks

Couscous Tomato

Throw Back Thursday…To That Time I Was On The Daily Meal With Diane Henderiks

I am so blessed tobe able to travel and cook withso many different people and totouchlives with my craft. Here’s a video ofDiane Henderiks and I preparinga healthy Couscous Stuffed Tomato on The Daily Meal. #Fireitup!

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Family Reach Foundation

Eric and Emma

Family Reach Foundation

I do this for Emma. I met Emma at the Family Reach Cooking Live event a couple of weeks ago.

I do this for parents whohave a child with cancer.For families whorefuse to lose hope, who savor every moment they have with their children. I do this for those who fight and pray every day for a normal healthy life.

Those of you who know me, you know my history and association with cancer. I fight the fight and I am a 5 time survivor. I have never been one to really talk about it publicly, other thanabout wanting tohelp others. After careful consideration and being part of an amazing event with Family Reach Foundation, I have decided to make this organization a top priority. The proceeds raised by Family Reach Foundation go directly to the families. Often when a child has cancer, one parent stops working, making them a single income family. Meanwhile, the bills pile up.

Lets Fire it up and help some families who are living the fight to have an amazing holiday! Please Pay It Forward. Please log onto my fundraiser pagehttps://fundraise.familyreach.org/fundraise?fcid=383843 andmake a donation. For however much you can give.Also please share this post through Social Media #FamilyReachFoundation. Thank You, Happy Holidays andFire It Up!

Chef Eric

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Be Inspired by Reach Athletes: Walk, Run or Ramble!

Brooklyn Bridge

Be Inspired by Reach Athletes: Walk, Run or Ramble!

If youve been following me on Pazoo, you already know that I planned on running the NYC Marathon but was benched from training when I tore my meniscus this summer during a friendly front-of-house vs back-of-house soccer game. I may have played like Pele but it cost me my marathon dream. Im back at the gym and recommitted to getting in the best shape of my life.

You might also know that I am a 5-time cancer survivor. Five times that beast knocked on my door and every time, I gave it a proper beat down. But it wasnt easy especially on my family. Cancer is a family disease. What my wife and children went through is heartbreaking. So when I heard about Family Reach Foundation and the help they provide families who have children being treated for cancer, I was all-in. As families cope with years of medical treatments, out of pocket costs, everyday living expenses they often reach a breaking point having to make impossible choices. Family Reach is there to help with rent or mortgage payments; transportation; utilities; uncovered medical expenses and everyday living expenses that we often take for granted.

Celebrity trainer Kenji Freedman heads up Reach Athletes the pillar of Family Reach Foundation that focuses on athletic opportunities like BodieSynergy Brooklyn 10K. I cant run it this year but you can. If you live anywhere near Brooklyn, NY please do this race. The registration fee is $100 but you can make your race really count by becoming a Reach Athlete! Youll have your own personal fundraising page and get special benefits like group training clinics. When you register and put in the code: cheferic you get 50% of the fee so $50 to participate (and a cool tee shirt and chef treats).

BodieSynergy Brooklyn 10K to benefit Family Reach Foundation

Click Family Reach – Brooklyn 10k to register or shoot joanna@bodiesynergy.com an email.

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. / 96 Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215.

Im a Brooklyn boy through and through. Doesnt matter how far I roam, there will always be a piece of me left there. Im fired up to show the world what this borough is made of! Ill bring some sweet and healthy treats to get the runners fueled. You bring your sneakers, your determination and your big heart.

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While You’re at It On Cyber Monday…

While You’re at It On Cyber Monday…

With the holidays approaching, its time to start thinking about the perfect gift for the special cooks in your life. What better way to share the joy of cooking than with my signature knife, paring knife and cookbook? Shoot me an email at cheferic@morristapandgrill.com to place your order while supplies last. #fireitup

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We’re Open! Paragon Tap & Table

Paragon Tap and Table Now Open

We’re Open! Paragon Tap & Table

We’re open! Paragon Tap & Table features Chef Eric LeVine’s award winning creations paired with twenty artisan craft beers on tap. The Gastropub experience is enhanced by our friendly and knowledgeable staff, five large screen TVs in the bar area and a special private dining room. Come to Paragon Tap & Table, a relaxing spot to spend time with your friends.

Enjoy our creative Gastropub selections or step “outside-the-square” and try our signature Paragon Squared experience:
A changing prix fixe menu paired with wine or craft beer. The goal of Paragon Squared is to take you on a journey of seasonal, regional and outside the box cuisine.

We look forward to seeing you here!

Find us on Facebookand Follow us on Twitter

Website:http://www.paragonnj.com/

Directions:77 Central Ave. Clark, New Jersey 07o66

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How Do You Blue? Salemville Amish Cheeses’ Blue Cheese Recipe Contest!

How Do You Blue Contest

How Do You Blue? Salemville Amish Cheeses’ Blue Cheese Recipe Contest!

I know you love therecipesI’ve created for Salemville Blue Cheeses, now its your turn to be the chef! Enter your favorite recipe (according to the contest directions) and you could win a great prize – and your recipe could be featured on their website! Clickhereto enter your winning recipe and Fire it up!

 

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My $1 Million Dollar Marathon Journey

Chef Eric's Army

My $1 Million Dollar Marathon Journey

Ok kids….this gets real now….the goal is to raise $1 million dollars for Team Continuum, No Kid Hungry and The Community Food Bank of New Jersey! I hope to get all of your support on one or more! I have decided to run the NYC Marathon on November 2nd, 2014. I am training hard and you can follow my progress on the Pazoo website. If you would be so kind as to donate if you are able and to share the links below, you too can help others get food, shelter and basic necessitates. I will do my part- I will finish this marathon…so please help me pay it forward by supporting me in this run!

Pazoo.com:http://www.pazoo.com/chef-eric-levines-causes/

Thank You and Fire It Up!

 

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Tailgating Recipes: As Seen On Fox & Friends On Super Bowl Sunday

Small Bites Collage

Tailgating Recipes: As Seen On Fox & Friends On Super Bowl Sunday

Tune in to Fox & Friendson Super Bowl Sunday at 9:20 am EST as I prepare live, some Super Bowl tailgate dishes.

Representing the Denver Broncos: Mini Braised Short Rib Taco Bites! Click here for a printable recipe.

And for the Seattle Seahawks: Smoked Salmon Belly Pops with Cucumber Dipping Sauce! Click here for a printable recipe.

And to keep you going throughout the game: Apple Cherry Granola Bars! Click here for a printable recipe.

 

I hope you watch the show and try these recipes! Fire it Up!

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The New York City Wine & Food Festival

new-york-fw

The New York City Wine & Food Festival

My Sous Chefs and I had a blast at theABSOLUT Best Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by the Cast of Chopped. It was not only wonderful seeing the cast of Chopped again, it was also so cool to meet so many fans of the show. The best part though, is that all of these amazing people came together to raise money for No Kid Hungryand Food Bank for New York City.

Click here to see my album on Facebook.

Fire It Up!

 

 

 

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Falling for Fall Flavors

Anchor Lager Brined Pork Chop 2

Falling for Fall Flavors

The team at ChefEricLeVine.com is so excited about the launch of Chef Eric’s new book,Small Bites, Big Flavor: Simple, Savory and Sophisticated Recipes For Entertaining, debuting November 5th, but we are equally “Fired Up!” about the new fall menu at Morris Tap & Grill. We’ve been curing our own pastrami, bacon and pancetta and having fun smoking brisket, chorizo and corn to create hand-crafted dishes for the fall season. You should come in to taste our menu for yourself, but if you have any doubt, read this article by John Lee of Devil Gourmetabout his personal experience at the fall tasting.

http://devilgourmet.com/fall-in-love-with-the-fall-menu-at-morris-tap-and-grill/

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House-Made Pickles? Home-Cured and Smoked Bacon? Yep!

Meat Board

House-Made Pickles? Home-Cured and Smoked Bacon? Yep!

At Morris Tap and Grill, my team and I take such pride in presenting the best ingredients and putting our own twist on our dishes. We want every component of our plates to be special. So rather than buying ready made pickles and commercial bacon, this summer, we are making our own. We use our sweet and spicy Kirby pickles and pickled cherry peppers to accent our cured meat board which features chorizo, wild boar, applewood smoked salami and house cured prosciutto.

We are having a blast playing with our new smoker and the best part is our customers are loving it! First we lovingly cure the bacon and then we smoke it for 2 hours using Makers Mark soaked cherry wood chips. Holy Smokes is it good!(pun intended) But don’t take my word for it, come on in to MTG and try our house made deliciousness. We’ve even smoked our house cured pork belly to top our Cotswold Mac-n-Cheese. There is so much more to create in the coming season and we’re looking forward to sharing with you…Fire It Up!

I’ve put together the pickle recipes in small batches for you to try at home. Enjoy!

Quick-Pickled Cherry Peppers

Ingredients
12 cherry peppers, washed well
2 cups white vinegar
cup sugar
2 cloves garlic, cut into thirds
1 teaspoon salt
5 peppercorns

Method
1. With the tip of a knife, poke a few holes around the tops of the peppers. Place peppers and remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are slightly softened.
3. Cool for approximately 30 minutes.
4. Transfer peppers and brine to storage container and refrigerate.
5. Eat peppers once they’ve cooled or store for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Pickled Kirby Cucumbers

Ingredients
8-10 small pickling cucumbers, Kirby preferred
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup pickling spice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
4 heads fresh dill
4 small cloves garlic

Method
1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber
2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Place pickles in container
4. Pour picking juice over pickles and cool.

 

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Burrata with Arugula Pesto and Marinated Heirloom Tomato

Burrata

Burrata with Arugula Pesto and Marinated Heirloom Tomato

Summer is in full swing and to me that means highlighting the best tomatoes. Is there a better way than with fresh herbs, great olive oil and hand crafted burrata? How do you achieve the Italian treat of a fresh mozzarella shell filled with a creamy ricotta-like mozzarella cheese? Well, I’ll tell you…

Hand-crafted Burrata

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. curd (recipe follows)
  • sea salt
  • 1 pint heavy cream

Preparation:

  1. Before getting started prepare a bowl of lightly salted cool water to drop your pouches of burrata into when they are finished.
  2. After making your curd (see recipe below) allow the curd to come to room temperature and cut it into 1 inch cubes.
  3. In a large pot, boil water and add a good amount of salt. Taste the water- it should taste like seawater. Turn the flame to very low or off and add the curd cubes.
  4. With your hands knead the curd so that it begins to come together.
  5. After a few turns remove about of the curd and begin stringing it apart.
  6. Add enough heavy cream to the frayed curd so that it resembles the consistency of ricotta and set aside.
  7. Continue kneading the remaining curd till soft and malleable.
  8. Pinch off 3 inch balls from the curd, and while still hot spread it into a thin disc. If it cools too much and looses its pliability dunk in into the warm water.
  9. Scoop heavy cream-cheese filling into the curd you have spread thin and immediately close all the ends to resemble a little pouch.

Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (packed) arugula leaves
  • cup pine nuts, toasted
  • cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • cup olive oil
  • 3 ea Garlic cloves
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Blend arugula, pine nuts Garlic and Parmesan cheese in processor until almost smooth.
  2. Slowly add olive oil; process until well blended.
  3. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lbs. mixed firm-ripe heirloom or other tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil.
  2. Rinse and core tomatoes, slice 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Drizzle vinegar mixture and sprinkle mint, basil, salt, and pepper evenly over tomatoes.

Fresh Mozzarella Curd

What you will need:

  • 1 gallon whole milk (just be sure that it is not Ultra-pasteurized, any other kind will work, store bought, fresh from the cow)
  • 1 tsp. citric acid
  • 1/4 rennet tablet
  • 2 tsp. cheese salt
  • A big pot
  • Thermometer
  • Slotted spoon

Preparation:

  1. Place milk in large pot with thermometer.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tsp. citric acid over milk and stir.
  3. Turn heat on med-low and heat milk to 90 degrees, stirring occasionally.
  4. While you are heating the milk, dissolve 1/4 rennet tablet in 1/4 C. cool water.
  5. When milk has reached 90 degrees, turn off heat. Pour rennet over slotted spoon into milk and stir for 20-30 seconds.
  6. Remove thermometer and let milk sit undisturbed for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Milk should be like a thick gelatin. Cut the curd into a grid pattern and remove from whey with a slotted spoon.

 

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Alessi Autentico

Add Alessi Sea Salt

Alessi Autentico

So, you may have noticed their products on the shelves at your local market and well, guess what? I have partnered with them and I am proud to have been welcomed into their family! Alessi, a family owned and operated company located in Tampa Florida, has not only sponsored my new cookbook(coming out November 5th) but they also invited me to help them launch their new test kitchen, La Cucina!
When I arrived in Tampa, I met Alessandra Alessi, the daughter of co-owner Fred Alessi. She was full of energy and had a smile a mile wide. As Alessandra walked myself and Christy Hamilton (ofFire It Up, PR)through the factory,I was impressed with how big their operation was and I was blown away by the organization, forward thinking, and sanitation of Alessi’s facility. I have seen many factories and food production companies in my day, but I have never seen anything like this. Alessi’sdedication to four generations of family workers is bar none. We were welcomed into”the family” and we knew we were about to become a part of something very unique and special. Everyone who works at Alessi, is part of the family.
We went back to the kitchen and began sortingeverythingout for the grand opening of La Cucina. I was given a prep crew of students from a local culinary school who were almost as excited to be there as I was.
The event was a VIP affair, the guests were family, friends and media and I created these dishes to showcase Alessi’s authentic Italian products:
Clickhereto see me making this dish on Bay News 9!
Farfalle Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Toasted Pignoli Nuts, Artichokes, Pesto and Princess Sauce
Grilled Garlic Duck with Tapenade and Caper Berry on a Mini Paddle
Grilled Shrimp Mousse Mini Cannoli
Coconut Rice Pudding with Honey Balsamic Reduction
Fudge Truffles Rolled in Powdered Sugar

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Odyssey Dining Cruises

Odyssey Eric and Tony

Odyssey Dining Cruises

CDDG received a nice accolade from Jim Evans of Entertainment Cruises after our consultation with them last month.

When we began planning a new food station menu for our Odyssey dining cruises, we knew it was important to bring in fresh ideas from outside the organization. We were attracted to Chef Erics creativity and willingness to push us outside our comfort zone. His experience as an accomplished catering chef gave our organization the confidence that he understands the production and logistical challenges that come with large-scale events. Chef Eric collaborated with our executive chefs to create an innovative new menu that our customers love. –Jim Evans, SVP Sales & Marketing Entertainment Cruises

Thank you, Jim!
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CDDG Has Partnered with Entertainment Cruises

In Chicago

CDDG Has Partnered with Entertainment Cruises

Entertainment Cruises

Chef Eric and photographer Tony Calarco have joined creative forces to form the Culinary Development and Design Group, specializing in food photography, menu development and consulting. The CDDG team has partnered with Entertainment Cruises in Chicago to develop menus, interactive stations and marketing materials for the cruise line. Here’s a clip from their spot on Windy City Live showcasing our work.

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Its all about the bacon…..so much about the bacon!!!!

Its all about the bacon…..so much about the bacon!!!!

Types of bacon can be found all over the world.

Some say that bacon is as American as apple pie. Except apple pie was baked and eaten long before the colonialists came to the Americas. Similarly, bacon is not native to America. Many countries and cultures have their own types of bacon.

The bacon that eaten here in the United States is referred to in other countries as “streaky bacon”. This is from the fatty streaks that run through each strip. The difference between the bacon primarily has to do with the kind of cut, the way it is seasoned, as well as the way it is presented (sliced, rolled, diced, etc.).

There is so much to learn about this seductive American obsession.

Instead of sticking to an old favorite, why not expand your palette by trying out different types of bacon.

Italian Bacon
While American bacon is cut from pork belly, most types of bacon found in other countries comes from the pork loin and is a much leaner cut. Italian bacon is the exception.

More commonly known as pancetta (pan-SHEH-ta), Italian bacon is cured pork belly that is sliced and rolled in a spiral shape.

You can find it in a slab (uncut) form or can can purchase pre-sliced pancetta. It is typically seasoned with nutmeg, fennel, and pepper.

Pancetta is a great way to add some extra flavor to Italian dishes. Sometimes I’ll fry a few slices in the skillet, crumble them up, and add it to some Chicken Fettucini Alfrado. What makes it such a appealing substitue to American bacon is that, unlike American bacon, pancetta is not smoked.

Irish Bacon
Irish bacon is not cut from the pork belly but from the back. It a leaner type of bacon. It is cured and sliced into “rashers” (the term for individual slices).

It is very similar to Canadian bacon with one main difference. Irish bacon comes with a layer of fat still attached. It is commonly boiled and served with cabbage and potatoes. I have to admit that I’ve never had Irish bacon before, but it is on my “to do” list. And it should be on yours as well.

Because it is not as common as other types of bacon, you may have a hard time purchasing it. If you would like to purchase your own to have with a traditional Irish breakfast, you can find it here.

Canadian Bacon
In the United States, Canadian bacon is somewhat different than what is found in other countries. Across the U.S., Canadian bacon is simply a stack of round slices of smoked ham. However, this is not so in Canada.

Like Irish bacon, Canadian baconn is cured pork loin (back bacon). It is distinguished from bacon cut from pork belly. As mentioned above, Canadian bacon is much leaner and the fat and rind is removed.

Peameal Bacon
If you have done any reading on bacon, you are certain to have come across the term “peameal bacon”. At first glance, you will wonder what it is (I know I did). Peameal bacon is a popular type in Canada, but what is it? Simple enough, it is Canadian bacon that is covered in a layer of cornmeal.

Years ago, Canadian bacon was rolled in grilled, yellow peas. This was done to help the curing process as well as act as a preservative warding off bacteria. Today it is more common to roll Canadian bacon in cornmeal.

Uncured bacon
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, bacon that is not cured using a chemical process of sodium nitrates or nitrites cannot be labeled as cured. Curing is the process of preserving the meat and leeching out the moisture. Usually this is done by a mixture of salt, sugar, and sodium nitrates.
Because soddium nitrates are believed by many to be harmful, some leave them out and depend on the salt itself for the curing process. Most manufacturers will use the sodium nitrates naturally found in celery juice by using celery juice in the curing process. Uncured bacon is also known as nitrate free bacon and organic bacon.

Unless it says “nitrate free” or “uncured” on the label, it will have sodium nitrates. If you are looking for some uncured, nitrate free, bacon, you can find it here.

BACON GLOSSARY

Pancetta
Pancetta is an Italian-style bacon that is cured with salt, peppercorns and cloves. Traditionally, pancetta is not smoked. Usually, pancetta is packaged in a roll–like a sausage–and is sold to order by the slice.

Irish Bacon
This smoke-cured bacon takes on the appearance of a boneless pork loin roast. Irish bacon is lean meat obtained from the “eye” part of a piece of pork loin. This bacon can be sliced to any thickness desired.

Canadian Bacon
Similar to Irish bacon, Canadian bacon is also obtained from the pork loin. It contains less fat and calories than American-style bacon. This bacon is also sometimes referred to as “back bacon” because the meat for the bacon comes from the back of the pig.

American-Style Bacon
Virginia bacon is one of the most common types of American-style bacon. This type of bacon comes from the stomach of the pig. American-style bacon is cured in salt and then smoked; before slicing, the rind is taken off.

Slab Bacon
Slab bacon is a large, single piece of bacon with the rind left on. This type of bacon receives additional flavor when it’s smoked over roasted corncobs.

Peppered Bacon
The name of this bacon says it all: The bacon receives a spicy coating of coarsely ground black pepper.

Apple Wood-Smoked Bacon
Smoke from burning pieces of apple wood is the key to curing this bacon and infusing it with a slightly sweet, rich flavor.


Homemade Bacon
3 pounds slab pork belly
cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
teaspoons pink salt (sodium nitrite), optional
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
teaspoon ground black pepper
teaspoon red pepper flakes
teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
3 bay leaves, crumbled

1. Combine the sugar and salts in a bowl to make a dry cure. Rub it into all sides of the meat. Combine the herbs and spices in another bowl, and then press them into the pork belly as well.

2. Place the pork belly in a large Ziploc bag, and leave it in the fridge for about seven to 10 days, or until it is convenient to smoke it. Turn it about every other day and rub the salt and seasonings into the flesh.

3. After the time period has passed, rinse the dry cure off of the pork belly and pat it dry with paper towels. Smoke it until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.

4. Allow the bacon to cool to room temperature, and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Green Chile Chicken Sausages
3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
1 1/2 pounds pork belly, diced into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3/4 cup chopped, roasted mild green chiles like Poblano or Hatch
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup olive oil
10 feet hog casings (optional)

1. Combine the chicken, pork belly, salt, pepper, garlic, cilantro, and chiles. Refrigerate until ready to grind.

2. Using a meat grinder, thoroughly grind the mixture into a bowl.

3. With a sturdy wooden spoon, mix the ground meat until it is uniform in appearance. Add the tequila and oil and mix to distribute it evenly.

4. Form the sausage into patties or stuff it into casings and twist into 8-inch links. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook.

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Fish, Seafood and Sustainable Information

Fish, Seafood and Sustainable Information

CHOOSING SUSTAINABLE
Sustainable seafood is a hot topic these days. Sustainability is based on a simple principle – meeting todays needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs; for example, using a resource but leaving some for the future. In terms of seafood, this means catching or farming seafood responsibly, with consideration for the long-term health of the environment and the livelihoods of the people that depend upon the environment. For example, U.S. seafood is wild-caught and farm-raised under strict regulations that work to keep the environment healthy, fish populations thriving, and our seafood industry on the job.