Thursday, December 22, 2011

Turkey Curry

I roasted a turkey a few days ago
Roast Maple Glazed Turkey, Turnip Fritter, Tri-color Couscous, Caramelized Pearl Onions, Cranberry Sauce

And had a good amount of leftovers--enough for a few sandwiches and this dish, which was excellent and so simple to prepare. Served with Basmati Rice, Chutney, and Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Pine Nuts.


Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion) 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I used my homemade stock)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions:

1. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add flour and curry powder; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Stir in turkey and salt. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with cilantro.

~from Cooking Light, 2008

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chicken Breasts with Diced Turnips and Craisins

This has a great Autumn/Winter flavor. Better than I expected. I would change one thing the next time; I would dice the turnips much smaller.


Ingredients

2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
2 Boneless skinned chicken breast halves, cut in half and pounded between sheets of wax paper
1/2 cup All-purpose flour -- for dredging
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Turnip -- peeled/diced
1 small Onion -- chopped
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
1 heaping tablespoon Maille Old Style Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Dried thyme leaves
1 cup Chicken broth
1/2 cup Craisins
1 tablespoon Chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat the butter in a large skillet. One at a time, dredge the chicken breasts in the flour and brown on both sides. Remove to a side dish and season with salt and pepper.

Place the turnips in the skillet and cook, stirring, over moderately high heat until they are a light golden in spots (about 10 minutes); add the onion, reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the maple syrup, thyme and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, add the chicken, scatter over the craisins, partially cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through but still tender, about 6 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper, as necessary.

Transfer the chicken to a warm platter, spoon over the sauce and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve piping hot.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Frittata

Is there any breakfast more satisfying than a frittata?

Just a few days ago, I made one with left-over pearl couscous, roasted asparagus, mushrooms, baby spinach, and lemon chicken. YUM!

The one I want to share with you today is the one I made a few days before Thanksgiving with my daughter, Danielle. I wanted us to cook together and cook together we did; I am reminded of being in the kitchen with my mother and father on a Sunday morning--or afternoon as frittatas are great any time of day or night, hot or cold--helping to cut the potatoes for the frittata.

Note: there are as many ways to make a frittata as there are to make a meatloaf. Sometimes I use potatoes. Sometimes left-over rice. Or pasta. Couscous!

This recipe is adapted from one in Gwyneth Paltrow's book, "My Father's Daughter."

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 red potatoes cut into small 1/4 inch pieces
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 cup cooked artichoke hearts, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup roasted red peppers, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, thinly sliced
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 organic large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Boil potatoes till just tender and drain. Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Saute the potatoes and onions until barely browned, about 6 minutes. Add the artichokes, roasted red peppers and tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Father & Daughter.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk to combine in a mixing bowl; mix in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Pour over the onions, potatoes, artichokes, and roasted red peppers. Let it cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until just set on the edges (it will still be very runny in the middle). I push the edges of the frittata away from the edge of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and cook it in the oven for 8-10 minutes; it should be just set throughout. Broil for an additional minute or two if you desire a very browned top (I did.)
Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata.
Note: I greatly reading through her new cookbook. And I recommend you check out her Website/Blog; GOOP.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chicken Breasts with Fresh Sage

Adapted from a Patricia Wells' recipe found in her book, Trattoria. Simple and delicious!

She writes: "Ever since I sampled this ultimately simple chicken preparation one weekday afternoon at Antico Fattore in Florence, it's been a family favorite......The quick marinade of lemon juice, oil, and fresh sage helps infuse the chicken with flavor, and tenderizes it at the same time. Be sure to sample the sage leaves before using: Even fresh sage can taste bitter. Do not use dried sage..."

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Ingredients

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 28 fresh sage leaves (from my garden)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, halved, for garnish

Directions

1. Place the chicken breasts in a glass baking dish. Add the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the oil, and the sage leaves. Turn the chicken to coat evenly, cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade into a small bowl; reserve the sage leaves separately.

3. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over moderately high heat until hot and bubbly. Add the chicken breasts, smooth side down, and cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts, and season the cooked side generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the reserved sage leaves around the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on the bottom and just white throughout but still juicy, 5--10 minutes. Do not scorch the sage.

4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and season the bottom side with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal into think slices, and arrange on a warmed serving platter. Place the sage leaves over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil.

5. Discard the fat from the skillet. Heat the skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the reserved marinade and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The sauce will boil almost immediately. As soon as it reduces to a brown glaze (less than 1 minute), pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with the lemon halves. Serve immediately.

I served this with Roasted Green Beans and Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic and Walnuts; Pasta with a Sage Butter Sauce with Walnuts. We enjoyed a simple Malbec with this excellent meal.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tortellini with Shrimp and Asparagus

This is so easy to make and it results in a meal of complex and satisfying flavors. A keeper!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

1 9 ounce package of Tortellini
1 bunch of asparagus
1 pound of uncooked shrimp, cleaned
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 "ice-cubes" of Pesto (add butter and Parmesan cheese)
olive oil
 
Chop onion and mushrooms and place in skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil - cook for 5 or 6 minutes. Cook Tortellini according to package directions adding shrimp 3-5 minutes before done. Chop off ends of asparagus.  Roast the asparagus and cherry tomatoes in oven at 420 for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Optional: top with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Saffron Chicken with Dates and Saffron Rice

This simple supper (Cooking Light, 2004) is transformed with North African staples into a meal that is beyond delicious!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed and divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 6 whole pitted dates, quartered
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Lemon wedges (optional)(I used them over chicken and rice; yum!~)

Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, and sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  • Add onion, 1/8 teaspoon saffron, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in reserved chicken, tomato juice, and dates; cover. Reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes. Uncover; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; keep warm.
  • Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon saffron, 2 cups water, and rice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Serve the chicken mixture over rice mixture. Garnish with sliced green onions and lemon wedges, if desired.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turkey-Jasmine Rice Meatballs with Bok Choy

Delicious!!!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

Ingredients

Meatballs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 large egg whites 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Cooking spray 
  •  
  • Bok choy:
  • 6 baby bok choy (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions 
  • 1 tablespoon shredded peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch $

Preparation

  • To prepare meatballs, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in jasmine rice; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is almost tender. Drain; cool. Combine rice, breadcrumbs, and next 6 ingredients (through 1 garlic clove). Shape mixture into 18 meatballs.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook for 10 minutes or until done, turning often. Remove from heat; keep warm.
  • While the meatballs cook, prepare bok choy. Cut each bok choy in half lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water; drain well. Arrange bok choy in a steamer basket, overlapping pieces.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup onions, ginger, and 1 garlic clove; sauté 30 seconds. Place steamer basket in pan. Combine water and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper); pour over bok choy. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and steam over medium-low heat 20 minutes or until bok choy is tender, rearranging bok choy after 10 minutes. Remove the bok choy and steamer basket from pan; cover and keep warm.
  • Combine sherry and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roasted Salmon with Horseradish, Greek Yogurt, Dill Sauce

So simple. So delicious. Served with roasted green beans with red onion and walnuts.

Photo by Bruce Barone.
One pound Sockeye/Coho Salmon. I lightly drizzled it with Olive Oil and Fresh Lemon Juice, salt and pepper. Baked in 450 degree oven for approximately 12-15 minutes. Sauce: 1 cup Greek Yogurt, 1 tablespoon horseradish, 1 teaspoon dill.

Cheers!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meatloaf Again? Not Exactly

From The New York Times(David Tanis, September 16, 2011)

"MY mother’s meatloaf was correct — moist, well seasoned, part oatmeal, mostly beef, with a band of bottled red chili sauce down the center. It was dependable, but it was not the stuff of dreams. Other mothers’ meatloaf recipes sometimes appeared, like a stuffed, cheesy one I liked, but mostly the house version prevailed throughout my childhood. To my emerging sensibilities, the occasional stuffed cabbage was more interesting, and chafing-dish Swedish meatballs had a certain appeal. I also liked the smell of hamburgers before they were cooked, sprinkled with salt and pepper and resting on wax paper.

Out in the larger world, I discovered that meat put through the grinder could be so much more than a plain burger. There were sausages, and meatball subs, and pasta sauces, and hearty, fiery dishes with beans. Who knew? By now, all grown up, I’ve sampled and cooked many more kinds of ground-meat concoctions, from spice-laden saucy Moroccan boulettes to rustic French pâtés to Italian polpettine, both simmered and fried.

"The Middle Eastern way with ground lamb, or beef, for that matter, is in combination with cracked bulgur wheat and onion. There are hundreds of ways to turn this delicious mixture into kibbe, little football-shaped savory treats sold and eaten everywhere and made daily in homes throughout the region. (There are other kinds of kibbe, too, like fish, but that’s another story.) For a less labor-intensive version, kibbe can also be baked like a flat cake. It makes an extraordinarily fragrant meatloaf, adorned with long-cooked caramelized onions and pine nuts, to be eaten hot, warm, cold or reheated.

"This recipe comes from the Lebanese grandmother of a good friend. It’s a basic baked kibbe that depends only on onion and cumin for its satisfying flavor. The granddaughter says that her people are from a mountainous area of Lebanon where not many spices are used. Other cooks might add cinnamon, allspice or clove to the meat, or a pinch of saffron to the onion.

"The preferred accompaniment is good, thick plain yogurt, but the dish is very good, too, with a salad of tomato and cucumber, bathed in a dressing of garlic, herbs and yogurt."

Photo by Bruce Barone.


1 cup fine-grain bulgur
1 pound lamb shoulder, ground fine
1/4 cup grated onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground, or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
2 cups sliced onions, 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Greek-style yogurt, for serving.



1. Rinse the bulgur well, then cover with cold water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain well.


2. Put the drained bulgur, lamb, grated onion, cumin and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well with your hands to distribute the seasoning. With a wooden spoon, beat in about 1/2 cup ice water. The mixture should be smooth and soft.
 
3. Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and fry gently, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Raise the heat and add 1/4 cup of the lamb mixture. Continue frying, allowing the meat to get crumbly and the onions to brown nicely, another 10 minutes or so. Stir in the pine nuts and taste. Let cool to room temperature.
 
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a shallow 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then press half the remaining lamb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Spread half the onion-pine nut mixture over the meat. Add the rest of the meat to the pan, patting and pressing it with wet hands to make a smooth top. If desired, score the top with a sharp paring knife to make a traditional diamond pattern at least 1/2-inch deep.
 
5. Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden. Spread with the remaining onion-pine nut mixture. Serve warm, at room temperature or cool, with a dollop of yogurt.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Note: I added a good pinch of saffron to onion mixture. Very interesting and I will make it again. And it was delicious cold the next day, too!

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Susan made a Tabbouleh with Apples, Walnuts and Pomegranates, which was outstanding!

Photo by Bruce Barone.


2 cups flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 cup diced, cored, unpeeled apples, preferably Pink Lady
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground urfa biber peppers, smoked paprika or chipotle chile pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
1 cup walnuts.


1. Mix the parsley, pomegranate seeds, apples and red onion in a medium bowl. Stir in the pepper or paprika, honey, lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and mix thoroughly. If desired, at this point the mixture may be covered and refrigerated for up to two days.
 
2. In a dry skillet over medium heat, stir the walnuts until toasted, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the walnuts with a pinch salt and crush them with the side of a knife or in a mortar and pestle until they are in coarse pieces.
 
3. Stir in the crushed walnuts. (If the tabbouleh has been refrigerated, set it out at room temperature for an hour before adding the walnuts.)
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

~Adapted from Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicken with Dates, Olives, and Cinnamon

This is outstanding!

One of the best chicken dishes ever. Ever!

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Note: The recipe calls for chicken thighs. I used boneless chicken breasts and I made this for two people; therefore, I cut the recipe by about two-thirds, give or take an olive ot two!

Ingredients

  • 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 18 pitted manzanilla (or green) olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole pitted dates, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Preparation

  • 1. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 6 chicken thighs to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and remaining 6 chicken thighs.
  • 2. Add onion and ginger to pan; sauté 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add olives; sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and the next 4 ingredients (through cinnamon stick); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to pan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 12 minutes. Stir in dates; simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in juice, and garnish with basil.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins

From 2007 (self portrait with food)

Self Portrait. Bruce Barone.

Recipes for Food and Lighting Follow:

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins
Food & Wine April 2007
FAST
HEALTHY
TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
SERVES: 4

Chef Way: A cauliflower puree and a drizzle of balsamic reduction accompany tender sautéed scallops.

Easy Way: Cook bits of cauliflower in the skillet with the scallops, omitting the time-consuming puree. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end of cooking—no reducing necessary. (Note: This is what I did but I saute the cauliflower in oil for 10 minutes before adding scallops.)

Ingredients
1/2 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 jumbo scallops (1 1/2 pounds), side muscle removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds, preferably marcona
2 tablespoons drained small capers
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and boil over high heat until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and pepper; add to the skillet in a single layer and cook over high heat until golden and crusty, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallops. Add the butter, cauliflower, almonds, capers and raisins and cook undisturbed until the scallops are white throughout and the cauliflower is lightly browned in spots, about 1 minute longer. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir gently to coat. Transfer to plates, garnish with the parsley and serve.

NOTES
Sommelier Choice Blanchard suggests the 2005 Vinum Cellars Vista Verde Vineyard Viognier, which is as exotically rich as these sautéed scallops are.
Easy-to-Find Choice Richard Bruno, co-owner of Vinum Cellars, also makes wines for Smoking Loon, a much larger brand; try the refreshing 2005 Viognier.
We drank a 2005 Clos Du Bois Pinot Grigio.
TREMENDOUS DINNER!!!!!! Served with Parmesan Couscous and Green Salad.

Lighting:
Softbox 3 1/2 feet away to my right. 4 feet off ground.
Strobe with White Umbrella 7 1/2 feet away from me and 6 feet off ground.
Camera 6 feet away; 4 1/2 feet off ground next to strobe.
Sync fired. Assisted by my partner, Susan, who also made the salad and poured the wine.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Grilled Cod with Fried Garlic and Chilies

 Best ever!!!

Photo by Bruce Barone.
 The recipe from Bon Appetit, July 2009, called for Black Cod, which the store did not have so I bought Cod. Black Cod and Cod are not related. The meal was delicious; one of the best fish dinners I ever made!

A sprinkle of sea salt, a splash of vinegar or olive oil—these are the seasonings favored by the majority of Basque grill masters. Consider this simple grilled cod topped with olive oil and fried garlic—inspired by Beti-Jai ("always a holiday"), a popular restaurant tucked away in the warren of narrow streets in the old quarter of Donostia-San Sebastián.

Ingredients

  • 6 7- to 8-ounce black cod fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 dried guindilla chile, crumbled, or 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • special equipment

    Fish grill basket (optional)
  • Ingredient Tip:

    The traditional chile for the garlic sauce is guindilla, a small, elongated, medium-hot Spanish chile that's usually sold dried. This chile may be difficult to find, but ordinary dried crushed red pepper makes an excellent substitute.

Preparation

  • Lightly brush fish grill basket with oil (if using), or brush grill rack with oil, and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle fish on both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Place fish in grill basket (if using) or directly on grill rack, skin side down. Grill fish until opaque in center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to platter; cover to keep warm.
  • Heat 6 tablespoons oil in small skillet over high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and light golden, about 1 minute. Add crumbled chile or crushed red pepper; stir 15 seconds. Immediately pour garlic-chile oil over fish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
 

Pizza Food Porn

Well, that is what people said to me regarding this photo, this pizza; no recipe---just do it.

Photo by Bruce Barone.





I call this pizza "The Austin Pizza" in honor of my son who is now in Austin, Texas attending graduate school.

I simply marinated roasted red peppers, artichokes, onions, roasted corn, Jalapeno peppers, Cubanelle peppers,  and oven-roasted cherry and grape tomatoes (which I made).

YUM!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ice Cube Tray Pesto

Come late summer and early autumn I make pesto.
I do not, however, add the cheese or butter.
 Because I always make freeze it; pouring the deliciousness
into ice cube trays and once frozen popping the green delights out
and storing in one big freezer bag for consumption
throughout the year!

Photo by Bruce Barone.


2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine before being added to the processor
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened
 Blend all ingredients except cheese and butter until relatively smooth. Fold in cheese by hand to give that chunky, rustic texture. Fold in softened butter, incorporating it evenly into the pesto.
If freezing, do not add cheese and butter; add to thawed pesto just before serving. Top with a thin layer of olive oil, which will help keep pesto green.
~Based on a recipe from Marcella Hazan

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black Bean and Fresh Corn Salad

Delicious and colorful; the textures and flavors of this beautiful and inviting salad are splendid together. And very easy to make!

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Ingredients

2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained (I used canned, GOYA)
2 cups cooked corn kernels, drained (I used corn right off corn-on-the-cob)
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used a variety from my garden!)
1 Cubanelle pepper, seeded and diced (From my garden.)
1 Jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced (From my garden.)
1 small Vidalia onion, minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together about an hour before serving to blend flavors. Garnish, if desired, with parsley or cilantro. Serve on lettuce or as a colorful relish.

I served it on lettuce and basil from my garden, along with grilled asparagus and grilled hamburgers:

Photo by Bruce Barone.
~~Based on a recipe from "Recipes from a Kitchen Garden," an outstanding cookbook!!!

~~~
If you want distinctive nature, documentary or portrait photography--photography with soul that inspires you to live a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grilled Salmon Balls

Just like Salmon Cakes but shaped into balls!

Photo by Bruce Barone
Mix together: 2 cups leftover grilled Sockeye Salmon; 1/4 cup shredded coconut; 1 small ear of cooked corn; 1 grilled, peeled, seeded Jalapeno pepper; 1/4 cup cooked Quinoa; 1/4 cup mayo; 1 egg, lightly beaten. Chill. Form into small balls. Grease aluminum foil (or grilling pan) and place balls on it. Heat grill to high. Place foil with balls on grill and cook till brown. Serve with a mayo, lemon, relish, hot sauce.

Great as a pick-up appetizer!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guacamole

This is a great recipe from one of my favorite summer cookbooks, "The Cuisine of California" by Diane Rossen Worthington.

Photo by Bruce Barone.

Ingredients

1 California chile (I used a Jalapeno from my garden.)
2 very rip avocados
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I used a bit more.)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (I did not peel them.)
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

Directions

1. To peel chile, place on broiler pan and broil approximately 6 inches from heat until blackened on all side. Use tongs to turn chile. NOTE: I used my grill outside.
2. Put chile in a plastic bag and close tightly. Let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Remove chile from bag, drain and peel off skin. Make a slit in chile and open it up. Core, cut off stem, scrape off seeds and ribs and coarsely chop.
4. In a medium bowl, mash avocado flesh with fork until soft and pureed. (I leave some chunks in it.)
5. Add lemon juice, onion, chile, cumin and salt and mix to combine. Gently mix in tomatoes and cilantro.

YUM!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Simple and delicious!!!

Sockeye Salmon with cucumber dill sauce, salad, and grilled chipotle corn.

For the sauce: peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber; 1/2 cup sour cream; 1/2 tsp sugar; some Dijon mustard; 1/8 tsp salt; 1/8 tsp white pepper; zest of one lemon; 1 tbl dried dill.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spicy Lime-Ginger Grilled Shrimp

A summer favorite from a favorite summer cookbook: "The Taste of Summer, Inspired Recipes for Casual Entertaining" by Diane Rossen Worthington.

Spicy Lime-Ginger Grilled Shrimp. Photo by Bruce Barone.

Marinade:

3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste (I added more.)
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime marmalade
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

1. If using bamboo skewers, soak in cold water for at least one hour.
2. Combine all the above, except for the olive oil. Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until thoroughly incorporated. Taste for seasoning.
3. Thread the shrimp on skewers and lay them in a shallow, non-aluminum dish. Pour half the marinade over the shrimp and marinade for at least 1/2 hour, turning once or twice.
4. When ready to serve, prepare the barbecue for medium-high grilling. Place the skewered shrimp on the grill. Baste each side with the marinade and grill until cooked, about 3 minutes of each side.

YUM! A perfect appetizer to serve before eating this:

Hamburger, Corn-on-the-cob, Tabouli. Photo by Bruce Barone.
~~~

Friday, July 8, 2011

Leftovers and Salmon Cakes

People tell me I have a gift for transforming leftovers into delicious meals.  Often, I use leftovers for pizza ingredients, as pictured here.

Last night I made Salmon Cakes, completely with leftovers:

1 cup grilled Sockeye Salmon
1 cup grilled corn
1 cup smashed red potatoes
1/2 diced jalapeno pepper

It was just enough for Susan and I to each have one. I served it with lettuce, basil, and arugula from my garden and corn-on-the-cob. And a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Photo by Bruce Barone.
~~~

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pasta Primavera

A few days ago, after working in my garden, I sat in my garden with a Moretti beer nearby and finished reading How Italian Food Conquered The World by John F. Mariani (Foreward by Lidia Bastianich). It is a fascinating book and I plan to recommend it to my brother, Dennis, who has written extensively about early Italian immigration to America, a topic Mariani writes about in the first few chapters of his book.


I have had the good fortune to eat at some of the restaurants Mariani mentions in the book and he pays homage to the author of one of my often-consulted cookbooks, Marcella Hazan (The Classic Italian Cookbook).

Let's read an excerpt from the book about Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque, and Pasta Primavera:

"How ironic, then, that Le Cirque's most famous dish came to be something called pasta primavera. The story about how this dish came to be has at least two versions, though Maccioni's has the most support. He says that his wife, Egidiana, merely tossed it together from whatever was in the refrigerator to feed Vergnes (the French Chef at Le Cirque) and guests Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey of the Times while on a trip to Canada. The dish, which means "springtime pasta," was made with pine nuts, tomatoes, chopped string beans, frozen peas, and broccoli, with heavy cream.

"Whatever pasta primavera origins were, Vergnes never listed the dish on Le Cirque's menu and refused to make it, saying it would "contaminate" the kitchen. If requested--which it was, dozens of times a day--the dish was cooked up in a pan of hot water in the kitchen corridor and finished at the table by Maccioni or a captain. Then, after Claiborne published a recipe in the Times for the dish he called "inspired," pasta primavera became all the rage among Le Cirque's clientele. It even supplanted fettuccine all'Alfredo as the most famous non-red-sauce pasta dish in New York. Of course, chefs in Italy had no idea what this dish was when Americans asked them to make it."

Maccioni's recipe can be found here.

Inspired, I made a version for Susan and I later that day. A version, I say, as there are as many recipes for pasta primavera as there are for meatloaf. Susan does not like cream sauces so I made a cream-less pasta primavera.

I simply combined: steamed broccoli, steamed yellow squash (seeded and sliced), saute diced red pepper, sliced Vidalia onion, sliced garlic (from my garden), 1/4 cup white wine, 1 ripe tomato (seeded and chopped), and mafalde pasta. I served it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil (from my garden). I would have added frozen peas, which I had, but I forgot!

Cream-less Pasta Primavera with greens from my garden.

~~~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Curried Couscous Salad



Perfect for Father's Day.

Perfect for summer.

You are going to love the way it tastes.

Photo by Bruce Barone.
Ingredients
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 teaspoon chicken-flavored instant bouillon
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1/4 cup dark seedless raisins
1/3 cup salad oil
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
1. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook almonds until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove almonds from skillet; set aside. In same skillet, cook couscous until lightly browned, stirring frequently; remove skillet from heat. Stir in bouillon and 2 cups boiling water. Cover skillet and let stand 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, cook peas as label directs; drain. Add peas and raisins to couscous mixture.
3. In same saucepan over medium heat, in hot salad oil, cook onion and curry powder until onion is tender. Stir in vinegar, sugar and salt: pour over couscous mixture. With rubber spatula, toss gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors.
4. To serve, toss curried couscous mixture with toasted almonds.
Makes 12 accompaniment servings. About 175 calories per serving.
I have been making this for 10+ years. Everyone has loved it. I don't have the original recipe, the one I clipped out of the magazine, but it was from Food & Wine or Bon Appetit. I think. I am posting it today as neighbor of mine, Elinor Lipman,  when I lived in Northampton, MA wrote to me today and asked if I still had the recipe. I do--online :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Red Potato Salad with Peas and Chocolate Mint

YUM! 

Photo by Bruce Barone.

Ingredients

3 or 4 red potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4" slices
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of fresh chopped chocolate mint
1 cup thawed frozen peas

Directions
1. Steam the red potatoes, covered, for about 10 minutes or until they are just tender.
2. Transfer red potatoes to a bowl, and toss them with the vinegar, and salt to taste.
3. Let the potatoes cool, and chill them, covered for about 1 hour or until they are cold.
4. Remove potatoes from refrigerator, in another bowl combine mayo and sour cream with the mint.
5. Pour the prepared salad dressing from Step 4 over the potatoes, add the peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potato salad.
6. Serve the salad at room temperature.

We ate this, which was delicious, with grilled summer squash and a ribeye steak. A Malbec was served with dinner. I love chocolate mint, but you could simply substitute mint.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PORK TENDERLOIN With BLUEBERRY BARBECUE SAUCE

This IS a WOW!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

SAUCE:

3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp dry mustard

MEAT:

1-pound pork tenderloin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare sauce: Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 60 minutes. Divide sauce between 2 bowls; set aside.
2. Prepare meat: Preheat grill to medium heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Sear, turning to cook on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Brush with half of the barbecue sauce, turning frequently, until pork is thoroughly glazed, about 10 minutes more (a meat thermometer should read about 150°F). Set aside and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve crosswise; serve with remaining barbecue sauce.
Servings: 4

Recipe Source: O Magazine with a few changes :)

Great for a weekend party!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mango Cucumber Salsa

Perfect for your weekend party!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

I highly recommend this:

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt
2 large, ripe mangoes (about 1 pound each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large seedless cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced (I used 1 small red & 1 small green jalapeno)
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil

Directions

In a bowl, mix the lime juice with the vinegar, sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Add the mango, cucumber, jalapeño and basil and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Make Ahead
The relish can be refrigerated overnight. Add the chopped basil just before serving

Friday, May 20, 2011

Barley, Roasted Corn, Red Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, and Green Onion Pilaf



This is outstanding!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

1 large red bell pepper -- chopped
1 bunch green onions -- chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced in half
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
14 1/2 ounces low sodium chicken broth -- or veggie broth
14 1/2 ounces water
5 ears Fresh Corn, Grilled
1/2 cup fresh basil -- sliced

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped bell and jalapeno pepper and green onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add barley and stir to coat with olive oil. Add broth and water and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Grill corn (about 20 minutes turning frequently and till toasted). Cool corn to handle and slice kernels off cob. Add corn to barley and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Mix in sliced basil.
YUM!

~~~


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Israeli Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Photo by Bruce Barone.

I have been cooking variations of this recipe for years--Israeli Sweet and Sour Meatballs. The recipe is from a cookbook I have had for a long time, as long as I can remember, certainly as long as when this article was written about my cooking and that is a long time! The book is called The New York Times International Cook Book, by Craig Claiborne (drawing by James J. Spanfeller--this before some cookbooks started to have more photographs than recipes; this I will save for another discussion: my Robuchon cookbook, a gift from my son, has not one photograph in it.). Claiborne was the food critic at the Times and I think I bought a few other books at the same time, probably through The Book-of-the-Month Club, of which I was a long-time member; I loved getting those boxes of books delivered to my home--and National Geographic, Art in America and Realities. The other cookbooks that arrived in this box were probably The New York Times Cookbook, Fannie Farmer, Joy of Cooking and James Beard (hardcover).

The dish is quite simple to make and very tasty. I don't really follow the recipe in the book anymore as it calls for beef and veal and we usually only buy ground turkey these days. My trick is to buy a pound of the ground turkey and make turkey burgers with the whole pound (I don't really follow a recipe for these either; I might add diced red pepper and jalapeno pepper and red onion and Worcestershire  Sauce and a good dash of Hungarian Paprika and Parmesan cheese though). I then take a third of this and make two burgers and put the rest in a container and put that in the fridge for the next day's dinner, which might be a simple "meatloaf" or as in this photo, Israeli Sweet and Sour Meatballs. What makes it sweet and sour is the sauce: 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons vinegar and 2 cups beef stock (which I always have on hand in the freezer). I brown the meatballs and then add the sauce and simmer for fifteen--thirty minutes. This time I also put a raison in the middle of each meatball and a handful of raisons in the broth. I had about six cups of broth on stove; two of which I added to the sauce and I cooked the egg noodles in the remaining broth.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Corn and Bacon Stuffing

A recipe from one of my mother's cookbooks, "Harvest of American Cooking," by Mary Margaret McBride (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1956).


Mary Margaret McBride writes: "I would rather show my appreciation of American food by eating it than by writing about it. But because I have a weakness for trying everything once, I finally did begin the well-nigh impossible task of writing the history of America in its foods."

Corn Bread Stuffing
Ingredients

6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
4 cups cooked corn
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk

Directions

Cook bacon until crisp; remove bacon and dry on absorbent paper. Cook onions and celery in bacon drippings until tender. Add remaining ingredients and bacon; mix lightly. (I then put it in a greased baking dish and baked for about 30 minutes.).


I served it with roast chicken, cranberry relish , and Brussels Sprouts (via Molly Hazen.) Susan, her mom and I ate all the stuffing.

~~~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Heartbreaking Dawns Jalapeno Pineapple Hot Sauce Baked Panko Crusted Scallops with Israeli Pearl Couscous and Craisins Infused with Blueberry Juice

Cooking for me is all about love. Love for friends and family. Healthy, simple, inspired recipes for everyday celebrations.

This is very similar to a recent recipe I posted, but better--much better. The spicy Heartbreaking Dawns Jalapeno Pineapple sauce  complimented with the sweet craisins in pearl couscous resulted in an experience that I wish I could have shared with you the night Susan and I sat down to dinner. This, the photo and the recipe, will, I hope, inspire you. So go online and get some hot sauces from Heartbreaking Dawns and get cooking!

Heartbreaking Dawns Jalapeno Pineapple Panko Crusted Scallops from Bruce's Kitchen.

 Scallops

1 pound sea scallops
1/3 cup Panko crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 cup Heartbreaking Dawns Jalapeno Pineapple Hot Sauce, gently warmed

Combine lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and Panko crumbs. Lightly grease baking dish. Add scallops. Sprinkle Panko mixture on top of scallops. Cook in a 425 pre-heated over for 15 minutes.

I served the scallops on top of the couscous and I drizzled the Jalapeno Pineapple Sauce on top of the scallops.

___

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Turkey Date Meatballs with Orange Mint Yogurt Sauce

WOW! WOW! WOW!



Ingredients

  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used 1 cup dry)
  3. 6 dates, pitted and finely chopped
  4. 2 large eggs, beaten
  5. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 cup French green lentils
  9. 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  10. 2 thyme sprigs
  11. 1 cinnamon stick
  12. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  13. 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  14. 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  15. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used fresh orange juice)
  16. 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  17. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I used orange zest)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the bread crumbs, dates, eggs, sesame seeds, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the lentils, garlic, thyme and cinnamon stick with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl; pick out and discard the seasonings. Stir the olive oil and vinegar into the lentils and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Form the turkey mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Spread the meatballs on a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned on the bottom and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the yogurt with the lemon juice, mint and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs with the lentils and yogurt.
    ~Food & Wine, 2004

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Fast and easy! And delicious!

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps. Photo by Bruce Barone.
Serves 2.

Gently and briefly saute 1 small carrot (diced), 1 small celery stalk (diced), 1 small onion (chopped), 2 cloves garlic (smashed and minced). Push to side of pan and add 1/2 package ground turkey. Cook till done breaking up with fork. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of Soy sauce, Fish sauce, and Oyster sauce. Mix turkey together with vegetables. Meanwhile, cook 1/2 cup Basmati rice. Add cooked rice to 4 leaves of romaine lettuce. Add turkey. Sprinkle some Heartbreaking Dawn's Jalapeno Pineapple Hot Sauce on top. Roll it or fold it and eat it and YUM!