Monday, December 31, 2007

Mediterranean Roasted Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 lbs green beans, trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 425*.
2. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
3. Combine the broth, lemon juice and oil in a glass measuring cup.
4. Place the beans on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the broth mixture.
5. Spread the beans out into a single layer.
6. Roast for 8 minutes.
7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
8. Season beans with the salt and the freshly ground pepper, then stir and turn over.
9. Sprinkle with the almonds.
10. Roast for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the beans are wrinkled and tender and the nuts are fragrant and browned.
11. Serve immediately.

Horseradish Cream Whip:

We used this as a topping for smoked fish on crackers, it provides a light layer that will make other toppings like caviar or capers stay put.  We had a lot extra, so we're going to try it as a garnish/topping for a grilled/roasted fish dish...
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 

1/3 cup prepared horseradish, plus more to taste 
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 
freshly ground white pepper

In a bowl, using a whisk or an electric mixer set on medium speed, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Stir in the horseradish, lemon zest, and white pepper to taste. Spoon into a bowl and pass at the table.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oysters Rockefeller

A super-yummy Rockefeller, we generally go heavy on the spinach (good source of iron). 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs, Panko preferred
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup Pernod
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash red pepper sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped chervil or parsley
2 dozen oysters, on the half shell
Rock salt
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Melt butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter. Place the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the garlic butter, set aside. To the remaining garlic butter in the skillet, add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod. Season with salt and pepper, add a dash of red pepper sauce. Allow the mixture to cook down for a few minutes. Finish off the bread crumbs by mixing in olive oil, Parmesan and chervil, season with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a baking pan amply with rock salt. Arrange the oysters in the salt to steady them. Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Serve with lemon wedges and red pepper sauce.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lobster Stock & Sauce

OK, So here's what I did.  

1) have a bunch of people over for steamed lobsters and clams.  I'll post a separate recipe for that if you don't already know how easy and fun that is.  Do not throw away any of the lobster parts or clam shells.
2) sometime either beforehand, or afterward, sweat down some minced celery, carrots, onions, and add parsley at the end.  Put aside.
3) Leave the steaming water in the pot, and add the aromatics from step 2.  retain all discarded lobster and clam carcasses, and put back into the lobster steaming pot.  I packed my lobster pot pretty much full with shells, crush down with a potato masher or similar implement.  I then added water to about 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the shells.  Cover and simmer/steam for 30-45 minutes.  Leave covered, let cool and put in fridge for next day.  
4) The next morning, use tongs to get the large shell pieces out of the stock, then line a large strainer with cheese cloth, and pour the broth through.  Don't pour out the very last of it, as the sand from the clams will have fallen to the bottom, and you want to discard that.

You've now got lobster stock (and plenty of it).

Later that day, I ladled several cups of the stock into a sauce pan, and decanted the rest into a smaller container for freezing (again, leave the very last bit to make sure there's no sand.

Into the sauce, add 
1) one can tomato paste
2) 1 tsp paprika
3) 1/4 to 1/2 (I used 1/2) teaspoon of cayenne
4) 1/4 cup dry sherry (I've seen brandy as well, and will try that next time I have some).
5) raise heat and blend.  Thicken with a rue.  You can add cream as well, in which case you'll need less rue.

Done.  A very nice lobster sauce, with a little spice, and slightly buttery taste.  We'll try it on some things and get back (probably tortellini first).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Beets with Onion and Cumin

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 medium beets, peeled and
2 tomatoes - peeled, seeded
and chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour in oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Mix in cumin seed and saute an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and saute 1 minute more.
2. Stir in beets, tomatoes, water, and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover pan with lid, and allow to simmer 30 to 45 minutes, until beets are tender

Liguine with Uncooked Tomato, Arugula and Olive Sauce

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
4 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch of arugula, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped coarse (about 1 cup)
6 Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1/2 pound linguine

In a large bowl stir together the garlic paste, the tomatoes, the arugula, the olives, the oil, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and let the mixture marinate for 20 minutes. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook the linguine for 10 minutes, or until it is al dente, drain it, and while it is still hot, toss it with the sauce. Serve the pasta warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2.

Linguine with Arugula, Pine Nuts

1 pound linguine
1/2 cup olive oil
4 ounces arugula, trimmed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add arugula and stir until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

3. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add arugula and toss well. Add 1 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; toss well.

4. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately, adding additional Parmesan, if desired.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Grilled Bluefish

Taken in its entirety from the GREAT food blog We put it here because we want to have it nearby. It's just that good. (We sometimes take the skin off after grilling to lower the fat content; though not always) Check out beyond salmon for great accompaniments.

Bluefish is an unappreciated fish – and that’s a shame. Grilled, it is one of New England’s culinary wonders. Since we are in the middle of a heat wave here in Boston, I decided to take advantage of the last few warm days and grill some bluefish. Don’t let unusual looking brown flesh put you off. When cooked, it turns appetizingly beige. So, why is it called “bluefish” if it starts out as brown and becomes beige? Because of its blue skin. It turns crispy and finger-licking good on the grill. Bluefish’s high fat content makes it one of the most forgiving fish to cook since it doesn’t dry out, and all those Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you. Are you convinced to stop ignoring it next time you are at the fish market? Here is the recipe.

4 bluefish fillets with skin (6-8 oz each)
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil (plus more for brushing the grill)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped parsley, cilantro, mint, or whatever herb you have on hand

Preheat the grill to high.
Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and coat with 1 Tbsp of oil.
Drizzle lemon juice over the plate where you’ll put fish once it’s off the grill.
Pick up a wad of paper towel with tongs, dip it into oil, and brush the grill rack.
Place the fish on the grill skin side down and cover the grill. Cook for 3 minutes without disturbing. Turn the grill down to medium. Flip fillets onto the flesh side, cover the grill, and cook for additional 3 minutes per inch of thickness.
To test for doneness, insert a spatula under a thin edge of fillet and lift half of fillet perpendicular to the grill. If the flakes separate, the fish is done. Don’t worry if the fillet breaks. The skin will keep it together so it will still look nice when you serve it. Remove the fish off the grill keeping it skin side up to prevent it from getting soggy and place it on the prepared plate so that it can get flavored with lemon juice.
Garnish with herbs and serve.
Fish substitutions for this recipe: Striped Bass, Red Snapper, Mackerel, Halibut, or Grouper (without skin)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chinese Style Hot and Spicy Green Beans

Make these tasty green beans as spicy as you wish by adding more or less hot chili flakes. The dish is good served hot or at room temperature.

Serves 6

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Hot chili flakes to taste
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic

In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and chili flakes. Set aside.

Place 1/4 cup water in a large skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans, cover the pan, and cook until the beans are crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, and drain any water that remains in the pan.

Add the oil, ginger and garlic to the beans in the skillet and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the beans are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Add the soy mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and glazes the beans, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to a platter and serve the beans hot or at room temperature.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Scalloped Kohlrabi

175 g (6 oz) onion, skinned and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp (40 g) butter
2 lb (900 g) kohlrabi
7 fl oz (200 ml) milk
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley to garnish

1. Soften the onion in 25 g (1 oz) butter in a covered pan.
2. Thickly peel the kohlrabi to remove all the woody outer layer. Slice thinly and layer with the onions and seasoning in a 1.7 litre (3 pint) lightly buttered shallow ovenproof dish, topping with a neat layer of kohlrabi.
3. Pour over the milk and dot with remaining butter. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 200°C (400f) mark 6 for about 1 1/2 hours, until tender.
4. Garnish with chopped parsley for serving.

Kohlrabi in Cream Dill Sauce

350 g (12 oz) kohlrabi
8 oz (225 g) carrots
2 tbsp (25 g) 1 oz butter
1 chicken stock cube
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried dill
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt fresh single cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 level tbsp (15 ml) cornflour

1. Thickly peel the kohlrabi to remove all the woody outer layer. Slice thinly and cook with the carrots, butter, 300 ml (1/2 pint) water and stock cube for about 10 minutes, until tender.

2. Blend the cornflour with very little cold water and strain in the vegetable liquid, stirring.

3. Return to the boil, stir in the dill and the fresh cream, then adjust seasoning. Bring almost to the boil and pour over the vegetables.

serving amount
serves 4

Kohlrabi With Anchovies

1 kg (2 1/4 lb) kohlrabi
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 anchovy fillets in oil, drain
90 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup dried fine breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
2. Peel the kohlrabi and slice thinly.
3. Cook in the water for about 5 minutes and then drain.
4. Place the oil in a saucepan over a low heat.
5. Add the anchovies with the oil, breadcrumbs and the garlic, and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
6. Reserve half the mixture and then add the kohlrabi to the pan.
7. Add a little water, cover and cook for 5 minutes more, until tender.
8. Add the pepper, arrange on a platter, cover with the remaining breadcrumb mixture and serve immediately.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bluefish with a Mustard Crust

OK, so no picture of a bluefish plate, but this guy seems proud to have caught one...

4 x bluefish - (8 oz ea)
(or mackerel or salmon fillets)
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup Atkins Bread Crumbs
1 tsp dried marjoram
4 tbl melted butter

Method :
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with butter; set aside. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper to taste. Spread mustard over both sides of fish fillets.
Combine bread crumbs and marjoram in a shallow plate. Press fish into seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange fish in a single layer in prepared dish. Drizzle with melted butter; bake 10 to 15 minutes (ours took at least 20, but its worth checking early), until fish is cooked through and bread crumbs are crispy and browned.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pasta with Prosciutto and English Peas

From Fresh Approach Cooking
This is classic DRI. Easy, flexible, and so good you HAVE to make it.

1 pound wide spaghetti (we used bow-ties)
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cup shelled fresh peas, blanched
4 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto, chopped (we used cooked bacon)
Zest of one lemon, plus juice of half the lemon
¼ cup ricotta salata cheese, grated (we used parmesan)
we added 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped small

Grated Parmesan for topping

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Simmer cream, butter and lemon peel (not the juice, the juice will make it curdle) in heavy large skillet over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.

Stir in Prosciutto (and sun-dried tomatoes) and let heat through, about 1 minute. Add pasta and cheese and toss to coat, adding enough pasta cooking liquid to moisten if needed.

Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Garnish with peas.

Serves two

Saturday, June 9, 2007

New England Fish Chowder

From Epicureus: To me, this is the most authentic and most important recipe in this book. It is the gold standard for chowder: a hearty main course with deep flavors, luxurious texture, and generous chunks of fish, onion, and potato. New England Fish Chowder is easy to make, uses simple ingredients, and doesn’t require you to be fussy or exact. After making this chowder a few times, you will begin to understand the Zen of chowder.

4 ounces meaty salt pork, rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions (14 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch dice
6 to 8 sprigs fresh summer savory or thyme, leaves removed and chopped (1 tablespoon)
2 dried bay leaves
2 pounds Yukon Gold, Maine, PEI, or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3-inch thick
5 cups Strong Fish Stock, Traditional Fish Stock, Chicken Stock, or water (as a last resort)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds skinless haddock or cod fillets, preferably over 1 inch thick, pinbones removed
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or up to 2 cups if desired)
For garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1. Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced salt pork. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the pork is a crisp golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cracklings to a small ovenproof dish, leaving the fat in the pot, and reserve until later.
2. Add the butter, onions, savory or thyme, and bay leaves to the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, until the onions and softened but not browned.
3. Add the potatoes and stock. If the stock doesn’#over the potatoes, add just enough water to cover them. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, cover, and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the stock hasn’4hickened lightly, smash a few of the potato slices against the side of the pot and cook for a minute or two longer to release their starch. Reduce the heat to low and season assertively with salt and pepper (you want to almost overseason the chowder at this point to avoid having to stir it much once the fish is added). Add the fish fillets and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and allow the chowder to sit for 10 minutes (the fish will finish cooking during this time).
4. Gently stir in the cream and taste for salt and pepper. If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit for up to an hour at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld.
5. When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don’,et it boil. Warm the cracklings in a low oven (200 °F) for a few minutes.
6. Use a slotted spoon to mound the chunks of fish, the onions, and potatoes in the center of large soup plates or shallow bowls, and ladle the creamy broth around. Scatter the cracklings over the individual servings and finish each with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and minced chives.
Cook's Notes
Cod and haddock are very similar, but large haddock is just a little firmer and doesn’t break up quite as much as cod, making it easier to produce a chowder with large chunks of fish. But even more important than the type of fish is the way you prepare it. Both cod and haddock, and their cousins pollack and hake, all flake apart naturally. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to cut them into pieces. Simply add the whole fillets to the chowder, cook it a few minutes longer, and remove it from the heat, without stirring it again. When you reheat the chowder, the fillets will break into lovely big chunks of tender white fish. Most fish can be used for New England Fish Chowder, but if the fish you choose is not native to New England, then your chowder should be called "New England style." Depending on their tendency to break up naturally, some fish need to be cut into pieces.
Strong Fish Stock made with the heads and bones from the cod or haddock you buy for chowder is by far the best choice for this recipe. I urge you to make it, but if you can’t there are alternatives listed in the recipe.
For equipment, you will need a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot with a lid, a slotted spoon, a wooden spoon, and a ladle.

Sesame Noodles

1/2 lb Chinese noodles; or
1/2 lb Linguine
2 ts Sesame oil
1/2 c Sesame paste
1/2 c Chicken broth
2 tb Sugar
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Freshly ground pepper
1 ts Freshly grated ginger
1/2 ts Freshly minced garlic
2 ts Rich wine vinegar
1/2 c Fresh bean sprouts
1/4 c Finely minced cucumber
1 tb Chopped chives

Cook noodles until al dente. Rinse in cold water, drain well, and toss with sesame oil. In another bowl, mix sesame paste, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, and vinegar using a wire whisk. Add noodles (once cool) and bean sprouts to above mixture and blend well. Taste. Adjust seasoning if desired.
Place noodles in glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for two hours. Remove from refrigerator, divide onto small plates, top with cucumber and chives. Makes four small servings.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sauteed Chicken Livers

1 pound chicken livers, cut into bit size pieces
3 tablespoons butter, or margarine, melted
1/2 pound mushrooms, fresh, sliced
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1 teaspoon flour, all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 1/2 ounces tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup wine, dry white
2 teaspoons parsley, fresh, chopped
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 rice, hot cooked


Saute chicken livers in butter 5 minutes or until brown.

Remove livers, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings
in skillet. Saute mushrooms and onion in drippings until onion is golden. Stir in flour and salt. Add tomatoes, wine, parsley, and worcestershire sauce; bring
to a boil.

Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add chicken livers; simmer 5 additional minutes.

Serve over rice.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sauteed Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads mean "spring is here!" This recipe is simple, and something we look forward to when we see the first fiddleheads of spring in the market.


3/4 pound fresh fiddlehead ferns
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic or spring garlic, very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Clean and trim the ends off the fiddleheads.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the fiddleheads and let cook 10 seconds. Immediately drain the fiddleheads and place under very cold running water to stop the cooking and retain the green color. Keep the fiddleheads under the cold water until they are cool. Drain again.

3. In a large skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 seconds. The idea is to let the garlic just begin to turn golden brown, but not burn. Add the fiddleheads and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Season liberally with salt and pepper. The fiddleheads are done when they are still crisp, with a bite, but not raw tasting. Serve hot with pasta, rice, or potatoes, or alongside any poultry or seafood dish. The fiddleheads can also be served at room temperature with vinaigrette. Serves 3 to 4.

Kathy made this dish on WBUR's Here and Now on Wednesday May 14th, 2003.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Greek Fish Chowder

This recipe is in that special category of "gifts that keep gving." Surprisingly it freezes extremely well, and there's nothing like it when you know you've got a late work-day, and want something easy, and super good. Defrost in the fridge starting the night before. Make some crunchy garlic-toast (or other crusty bread) and you'll be so glad you made it, and that you made enough to freeze for later.

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and copped
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
2 one-pound cans peeled tomatoes coursely chopped
4 ribs celery chopped
2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (we used more)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry red wine
4 cups water
1 pound whitefish boneless fillets
1/2 pound each of any or all of the following:
- Clams, rinsed
- Mussels, scrubbed clean and rinsed
- Crabs
- Scallops
- Shrimp
- Squid, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch rings

In 6 qt. heavy stockpot heat oil and add onion and garlic, saute until clear about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood and simmer uncovered until the stock is rich and full-flavored, about 30 minutes. Add the fish and shellfish in the order listed giving each variety a moment to cook. The clams will take longer than the squid. Serve with crusty bread.

This meal is what the DRI is all about. It's easy and flexible in terms of ingredients. Pick out whatever looks good at the fish market, any combination works. It is also great as left-overs as described above. The recipe comes to us from Jeff Smith's (the Frugal Gourmet) paperback "Three Ancient Cuisines; China, Greece, Rome," and is classic Frugal Gourmet, easy and essential. We served it as recommended alongside Smith's "Greek Village Salad" from the same cookbook. We'll post that recipe as well, it's a tasty salad/slaw, and a good companion dish.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cucumber-Mint Raita

Simple staple to have alongside spicy indian dishes (ours is a little chunkier than the picture).

1 large unpeeled English hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded, coarsely grated
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of cayenne pepper

Wrap grated cucumber in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Whisk yogurt, mint, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Season raita to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Sprinkle raita with pinch of cayenne pepper and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

From Epicurious, photo from wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree

We served this with mideastern couscous alongside the pea puree, and used Halibut filet in place of salmon.

Lemon Brodetto:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Pea Puree:
2 cups frozen peas, thawed (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup olive oil
4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the Lemon Brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a simmer, and keep warm, covered, over low heat.
To make the Pea Puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady drizzle. Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Set aside.

To make the Salmon, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon until a golden crust forms, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. Flip the fish and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 2 minutes more depending on the thickness of the fish.

To assemble the dish, add the tablespoon chopped mint to the Lemon Brodetto and divide between 4 shallow dishes. Place a large spoonful of Pea Puree into the center of each bowl. Place a salmon piece atop each mound of Pea Puree. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis and Food Network

Friday, February 2, 2007

Kale with Sesame Dressing

Tastes just like Ohitashi, the spinach dish we often get as a sushi appetizer.

1 Bunch Kale, well washed, roots and course stems removed
2 1/2 T toasted white sesame seeds
1 1/2 t cane sugar
1 1/2 t Soy Sauce
Pinch Salt

Steam kale over boiling water for 3 minutes, or until just bright green and wilted. Drain in a colander, and rinse under cold water. Gently squeeze kale to release excess water. Lay kale on a clean towel and gently roll up to absorb any remaining liquid.

In a small bowl, mix sesame seed with sugar, soy and salt

Unroll kale and cut into 1 inch pieces place in bowl and mix with dressing. Serve cold or warm slightly.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mole Shrimp Quesadillas

A variation on the old standby using store-bought Mole sauce.

6 flour tortillas
2 large portabella mushrooms sliced
1 green pepper sliced into half rings
3/4 pound shrimp
1 serrano or jalepeno pepper, minced
4 tbls Mole sace
Cheese shredded

Heat skillet over medium heat, lightly toast tortillas on both sides in dry pan, set aside for later. In same skillet, add 2 tbs olive oil, and saute green peppers, mushrooms and chile peppers adding 1tsp fennel seed, 1 tbsp cumin, and salt (if you have a kitchen fan, you may want to turn it on, since the peppers release alot of spice while they cook). When browned, remove veggies to separate plate/bowl.
In skillet, add small amount of olive oil, and drop in shrimp. toss once, and spoon Mole over shrmip. Toss a few more times until shrimp is just done.

Assemble quesadillas: Make a "tortilla sandwich" with the following layers: tortilla, cheese, veggies, shrimp, cheese, tortilla. Be placing cheese above and below the filling it will melt and hold everything together (don't overdo the cheese).
Now, I used my "George Foreman Grill" to grill the quesadillas, but you could grill them on a charcoal grill, or in a skillet until the tortillas are lightly toasted and the cheese has melted. Cut each into 4 pie slices, and serve with salsa or quacamole over top. Goes great with red-beans and rice, refried beans, or a chopped salad.

This dish is super-tasty (the Mole has chocolate in it), and really easy to make. You can pause after toasting the tortillas, after sauteing the vegetables, after making the shrimp, or after assembling the "sandwiches." It makes it simple to stage with other things, like side-dishes, kids, martinis etc...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Asian Noodle Soup

This one couldn't be easier (once you make the Dashi), and can form the basis of a whole range of asian soups.

Put a few inches of water in a soup pot. Add a ladle full of Dashi Concentrate. I mean a small ladle full. It's very concentrated, a little goes a long way. Heat the broth.

While the broth is warming...
Slice up some Shitakes, add to broth,
Slice up a Serrano or Jalapeno pepper, add to broth.
Slice up some baby Bok-Choy, add white parts to broth.
Slice up some Green Chard.
Cube a block of firm Tofu.

Prepare a pot of boiling water to make some noodles (I used Chinese vermicelli egg-noodles). Cook, drain and rinse noodles.
Add sliced greens to hot broth. Let collapse (2-3 minutes, tougher greens should be added earlier, along with mushrooms)
Add Tofu, find something to do for a minute or two.

Place Noodles in Bowl, serve hot soup over top, garnish with Cilantro and/or Green onions.

The tofu can be replace with the protein of your choice (browned first), and you can add different greens, sprouts, etc. you can even stir a beaten egg in just before serving. The concept is simple, Broth, vegetables that need to soften (like shitakes of chinese broccoli or meat I suppose) followed by greens and tofu for just a couple of minutes, and you're done.

The Super 88

I love asian markets. The only problem is that I only understand what about 20% of the items really are. The more "authentic" the bigger the problem, since the labels have little or no english on them. While searching for dried anchovies for Andy J's Dashi recipe posted here, I remembered that the Super 88 is just down the street from Linda's studion in Boston's South end. So I figured I'd check it out.

We'd never visited after all this time in Boston, and boy was that ever a mistake. First, the store is HUGE, with aisle-upon-aisle of great looking stuff. Clean and bright, the produce is fresh, and their fish/seafood section has to be seen to be believed. Huge tanks with live fish swimming around, whole fish and filets/steaks laid out on ice, and bins of crabs and prawns etc etc. I walked down the first aisle and found 5 different kinds of dried anchovies. How did I know? Because everything in the store has a tag on the shelf that says in english, what it is. Small thing? No, HUGE thing! Now I know what all that fascinating stuff is. I picked out my dried anchovies, and got a cart. This was going to take a while.

The prices are great, and I'd be surpirsed if there's ever anything in a recipe that I couldn't find here. A definite find (though it's not like it was hidden).

Check them out at