Monday, December 3, 2007

Vegetable Napolean with a Tomato Rosemary Vinagrette


1 Butternut Squash, cut into 1” width rounds

1 Red Onion

2 Large Portabella Caps

¾ Cup Ricotta Cheese

½ Cup Walnuts, toasted and finely chopped


½ Tbsp Rosemary

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Butter

Tomato & Rosemary

Tomatoes, emonder,
seeds removed, cubed

1/2 Clove Garlic,
diced fine

½ Tbsp Rosemary,
Chopped fine

1/s Tsp Ground
Coriander seeds

Extra Virgin
Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cut squash into 1” width rounds and bake until squash is softened but firm. Appx 30 minutes. Reserve and keep warm.
  3. Toast the walnuts, sprinkle with salt. Chop and add to ricotta mix well with a dash of salt.
  4. Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan. Core tomatoes and make an “X” on the opposite side. Boil for 1 minute. Drain, cool and peel off skin. Seed the tomatoes, discard the whites, cut tomato into cubes AND reserve the juice of the tomato that leaked onto the board.
  5. Slice red onion into 1” rounds.
  6. Heat butter in a skillet with rosemary and olive oil. Add reserved tomato juice. Cook for 2 minutes on med-low heat. Mix well. Spoon this over the onions & Mushroom. Roast the mushrooms at 350 F for 10-15 mins.
  7. Dice garlic.
  8. Add balsamic vinegar into a mixing bowl and in a slow steady stream pour in olive oil and whisk. Once emulisified add seasoning and garlic. Don’t dress the tomatoes yet.

To Serve

  1. Flash the onion, mushroom and squash in the oven to reheat. No more than 5 minutes.
  2. Dress the tomatoes with the herb & vinaigrette emulsion, toss and mix well. Season if needed.
  3. Assemble. Top with ricotta/walnut quenelle.

Lamb Burger with Sauteed Portabellas & Curried Yogurt


1 Lbs Ground Lamb

½ Tsp Cumin

½ Tsp Ground Coriander

1 Tbsp Adobo

½ Tbsp Curry

¼ Tsp Pepper

2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 ½ Roasted Red Pepper, chopped


Half Package of
Baby Portabella’s,
sliced thin

½ Tbsp Thyme,

1 Tbsp Salted

2 Pinches of Salt


4 Large Dollops of Plain Greek Yogurt

Dash of Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Curry

1 Tsp Coriander

¼ Cup Scallions


Oil for Pan Searing

Buns for the burgers


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine spices, lamb and red peppers. Chill and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a pan. Add Mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes. Add Salt. Let the juices release and add the thyme. Keep warm and reserve.
  3. In a cereal bowl mix the yogurt and all the ingredients. Taste and adjust. Chill.
  4. Heat oil in a sauté pan and heat until just smoking. Add patties and be cautious of hot oil splattering. Sear for 3 minutes on one side and 2-3 on the other. That should bring the patties to med-rare. Keep on the heat for longer to reach desired temp of the meat.
  5. Toast the bun and spread yogurt on both sides. Add mushrooms and devour.

Ground lamb can be had at any butcher or the butcher at the supermarket could probably order it for you. It makes a delicious burger and it’s a good change-up from the usual ground chuck counterpart.

Greek yogurt is important here too, not only does it have a ton of protein and cultures but its flexible with a myriad of flavors because of its creaminess and tang.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cranberry, Orange Ginger Granola


8 Cups Rolled Oats, Quick Oats
Zest of One Medium-sized Orange
1 Small Knob of Ginger, sliced into thin rounds
2/3 Cup of Dried Cranberries, chopped
2/3 Cup of Cashews (or mixed nuts; pecans, almonds etc)
2/3 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
½ Tbsp Allspice
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Dashes of Salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Zest the orange and slice the ginger, place in small skillet with the water and sugar. Cook until simmering and allow ginger and lemon zest to infuse. Heat on med-low after sugar is dissolved for about 8 minutes. Let cool. Once cool, strain out the ginger and orange. Add the vanilla extract. Finely chop the orange zest and ginger. Reserve.
  3. In a large baking/sheet pan/pyrex spread out the oats evenly. Add spices. Drizzle the infused syrup over the oats evenly. With a spatula, mix all the ingredients so that everything is coated well.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Mix the oats again and rotate the baking sheet. Bake for another 15 minutes. The browner the granola gets, without burning, the crunchier it will be.
  5. Remove pan from oven and empty granola into a bowl and allow it to cool. Add cranberries, nuts and the diced orange ginger. Mix well. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator. It will keep indefinitely.

I make my own granola constantly. Its cheaper, you can flavor it however you want and get it crunchier than the store bought stuff. Want to cut down on time? Just use maple syrup instead of making your own syrup. Its what I use most often and it tastes great toasted. Honey works too. Use about 1 cup of maple syrup or honey. Mostly just make sure the syrup coats the oats evenly. I stay away from the dried store bought coconut because it has chemicals in it that make the strands stay white. Store bought coconut is also loaded with sugar. Different extracts work too, for example if you wanted to make a hazelnut granola sub out the vanilla extract. I’ve mixed almond & vanilla extracts together and that’s worked well too. Ovens bake differently, I have an old oven that bakes unevenly, if you have a newer oven, 350 degrees is probably a better temperature to bake at.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup


1 2.5Lbs. Butternut Squash
1.5” Piece of Ginger (xtra used for broth reinforcement)
½ Macintosh or Cortlandt, peeled (Reserve skin and cores for stock reinforcement)
½ Onion
5 Tbls Salted Butter
½ Cup Maple Syrup
Apple Jack or Calvados
½ Cup of Cream (Can use water also)

Stock Reinforcement

3 Cups of Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf
Apple Cores & Skin
¼ Onion, Sliced
2 Small Cloves of Garlic
½ Stalk of Celery


  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Roast squash at 400 degrees F for approximately 1 hour. At the 30 minute mark rotate the pan. At the 45 and 50 minute mark give it a check. When the squash is done it should be soft and easy to spoon out. Allow it to cool.
  2. While the squash is roasting, dice up the ginger, core and cut the apples, slice the onion. Add butter to the pot you’ll be preparing the soup in. Melt the butter at a medium heat and add the onions. Let them soften and when they begin to brown add the apples and ginger. Reduce heat slightly continue to cook.
  3. In a separate pan pour in the chicken stock. Add apple skins, cores, celery, onion scraps, garlic and bay leaf. Cook at medium to high heat for at least 15-20 minutes.*
  4. Carmelized “sucs” will start to form at the bottom of the pan you are cooking the onion mixture in, deglaze with the Apple Jack (Pour the measured amount in off the flame) and scrape up all the sucs (scrape with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon so you don’t scratch up the bottom of the pan).
  5. The squash should be cool at this point. Scoop it out and add to a food processor with the maple syrup and cream. Add a small amount of water if the mixture is too thick. Puree.
  6. Add onion mixture to food processor. Puree. Pour pureed mixture back into the soup pot. Strain the reinforced broth into the squash/onion mixture. Stir and mix well. Taste and adjust. Keep warm until ready to serve.

*Storebought broth is just not that flavorful and its usually over salted. Reinforcing the broth in this recipe makes a big difference.

Dill Yogurt & Sundried Tomato Chicken Salad

-1 Rotisserie Chicken
-6 Baby Carrots (or one whole carrot)
-3 Stalks Celery
-1 Macintosh Apple
-¼ Onion, diced
-8 Sundried Tomato Wedges
-¾ Cup of Plain Yogurt
-¼ Cup Dijon Mustard
-2 Dill Branches

The picture is more fancy than chicken salad needs to be, especially when you will just be throwing all the ingredients together. This recipe is really easy and the time is absorbed only by the cutting/slicing of the vegetables and the breakdown of the chicken which shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. I substitute yogurt for mayonnaise in everything recently and its much healthier. Dice up the dill and mix it with yogurt, lemon and salt.. After the veggies, fruit and chicken are sliced and diced add everything else. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Seared Tuna with Lavender Risotto & Orange Supremes

Tuna :

1 Lbs Tuna, cut into 4 even
Panko Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil

Ponzu Glaze :

60ml Soy Sauce
15ml Rice Vinegar
30ml Mirin
15ml Fish Oil
½ Lime, Juiced
¼ Cup Brandy
3 Tbsp Sugar

Risotto :

500g Purple Cauliflower
1L Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp Lavender
1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream
300g Arborio Rice
125ml White Wine
2 Tbsp Parmiggiana
½ Vidalia Onion, ciseler
1 Bay Leaf

Garnish :

1 Large Navel Orange,

1. Risotto: Bring stock to a boil and cook purple cauliflower. Boil Cream with lavender and reduce. Combine half the stock, cauliflower and cream in a blender and puree. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a sautoir and soften the onions without coloration. Add rice and bay leaf and cook until chalky white. Deglaze with white wine and reduce.

3. Add 1 cup of remaining stock and let the rice absorb it. Continue to add ½ cups of stock until rice is just tender. Set aside.

4. Ponzu: Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and lime in a small sateuse. Bring to a simmer. Pull the pan off the heat and add brandy. Ignite and reduce slightly. Whisk in fish oil. Add sugar and cook until a syrup consistency develops. Keep warm and reserve.

5. Slice oranges into supremes.

6. Finish: In a small sautoir combine risotto, parmiggiana, lavender/cauliflower cream puree and a small dollop of butter and reheat. Taste and adjust. Place in the center of 4 hot bowls.

7. Tuna: Dip the top of the tuna filet’s into oil. Then dip the tops into panko bread crumbs that have been laid out on a plate. Heat a sauteuse with blended oil and sear the tops of the filets. Flip and sear bottom portion. Place on sizzle platter and drizzle ponzu glaze on top of tuna. Replace tuna into bowls atop risotto. Garnish with orange supremes.

Apple Beet Compote in Puff Pastry with Vacherins

Pate Feuilletee Shells :

250g Puff Pastry
Egg Wash

Compote :

400g Granny Smith Apples
50g red Beet, Macedoine
¼ Cup Apple Jack
30g Granulated Sugar
50g Butter

Vacherin :

5 large egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

Beet Syrup :

½ Cup Beet Water, Strained
½ Cup Sugar

1. Vacherin: Prepare a day ahead of time! Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour egg whites into mixing bowl. Turn on tabletop mixer at medium speed and add granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whip to stiff peaks (8 minutes). Remove bowl and sift in 10-x, folding gently as not to deflate the meringue. Pour mixture into pastry bag with small-mid size tip. Portion out small mushroom shape and size caps on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until firm to the touch. Turn off oven and let meringues sit 4-5 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat conventional oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Wash Beets and remove Greens. Bring 4 cups of water water to a boil and add beets. Cook until a paring knife easily slides into the flesh (Appx. 20 minutes). Cool and remove the skin and stem. Cut into macedoine. Reduce beet water until ½ cup remains. Add sugar and make simple syrup. Set aside.

4. Peel and core apples. Rub with lemon to stop browning. Coarsely chop apples.

5. Melt butter in sautoir. Add apples & beets and cook on medium heat with parchment lid. Once the juices have exuded remove the lid and stir. Remove the apple/beet mixture and cool.

6. Take pan off the heat and flambé with apple jack. Deglaze and reduce until syrupy, pour over compote. Set aside.

7. Roll out pate feuilletee dough to 1/8” thick.

8. Using circular mold cut 8 rounds from rolled out dough. In 4 of the pate circles cut out a circle in the middle so it looks like a cheerio or wheel. Place on top of the whole pate round. There should be 4 pate rounds with 4 pate wheels on top. Refrigerate until firm (5 minutes or more depending on heat in kitchen. Brush with egg wash and place in oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until golden brown and cooked on the inside, appx. 35 minutes. Let cool when done.

9. Assembly: Place compote inside of puff pastry shells and nap the rest over the side. Place vacherin caps on top and around plate. drizzle beet syrup atop vacherins.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oven-Roasted Tomato Stuffed with Truffles, Portabella & Pignoli’s

Serves 4


4 Plum Tomatoes
4 Bay Leaves, crushed
4 Sprigs Thyme
1 Teaspoon Coarse Salt
Olive Oil, to coat

1 Package Portabella Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Preserved Black Truffle, finely chopped
1/8 Teaspoon White Truffle Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
½ Cup Pignoli Nuts


  1. Monder the tomatoes: Bring water to a boil (enough to cover the tomatoes). De-stem the tomatoes and on the opposite side make an “X” with a paring knife. Drop the tomatoes in the water for no more than 90 seconds. Take the tomatoes out with a slotted spoon and shock in an ice-bath. Peel off the skin, slice in half horizontally, remove the seeds.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet with parchment, place the tomato halves in a row. Sprinkle the crushed bay leaves, thyme leaves, thyme stems, salt and coat with olive oil. Bake for 1-2 hours.
  3. Rinse the mushrooms and finely chop. Chop truffle. Heat butter in a skillet and add the mushrooms and truffle. Saute for 2 minutes. Add salt. Saute for another minute and add white wine. Cover with parchment. Keep heat on medium-low for another 2 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Add truffle oil, reserve and keep warm.
  4. Toast the pignoli nuts in the same skillet until lightly browned. Add to mushroom mixture.
  5. When the tomatoes are done, remove the bay leaves and thyme stems. Stuff tomatoes with mushroom mixture and serve with a protein.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Potato Pancakes with Truffled Portabella & Creme Fraiche

Serves 4


2 Packages of Portabella Mushrooms
3 Tablespoons of Butter (1.5 for each package)
1/8 Teaspoon Truffle Oil

4 Idaho Russet Potatoes
Salt & Pepper
Clarified Butter or Olive Oil
Crème Fraiche


-Food Processor with shredding attachment (looks a lot like a cheese grater)


1. Chop mushrooms fine.

2. Heat butter in a medium skillet and sauté mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add 2 generous pinches of salt. Let the liquid evaporate and cook until all the liquid is gone. Add truffle oil (This oil is strong so be careful when adding, alternatively add more if the taste is too mild). Keep warm and reserve.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash potato skins and peel. Place peeled potatoes in water until ready to use to prevent oxidation. Heat a skillet with clarified butter or oil until just smoking. Using a food processor with the shredding attachment shred the potatoes one at a time. Place shreds in a paper towel and squeeze out all the water.

4. Place potato shreds in the skillet, add salt and pepper and shape into a pancake. Brown on both sides and bake in the oven for 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of the pancake (more time will be needed if the pancake is very thick).

5. Place on plate and add mushrooms and crème fraiche.

6. Garnish with chopped chives.


Serrano Wrapped Fig with Toasted Pignoli Nuts and Chive


¼ Lbs. Serrano Ham
1 Package Dried Figs
1 Small Package of Pignoli Nuts
2 Pinches of Cayenne Red Pepper
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Bunch Chives


*The assembly is different than pictured. I think its best not to chop all the ingredients for the sake of aesthetics but the assembly is easier if everything is chopped. Let time decide. The flavors are the same, plus there’s the added surprise textures that are wrapped in the ham.

1. Destem figs. And shape into a wheel.

2. Carefully wrap the Serrano around the fig so that a cylinder is formed.

3. Toast the pignoli’s with salt and cayenne until lightly browned.

4. Drop a proportionate amount of nuts on top of the fig leaving enough room to seal the ham around them.

5. Use the chive as a wrap and encircle the fig and ham. Tie a knot and serve.

Award-Winning Tapas

This recipe placed in the 'Tapas from Coast to Coast'

Machego & Marcona Almond Crostini with a Sherry Vinegar Reduction


1 Cup Spanish Sherry Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Whole Coriander Seed
1 Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 Cup Sugar

Machego Cheese, sliced into squares no larger than baguette rounds
Marcona Almonds
Salt & Pepper


1. Toast baguette rounds until lightly brown.

2. In a small skillet pour sherry, coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves and simmer until reduced by half. Strain and pour back into the same skillet. Add sugar until a syrupy consistency is attained. Reserve.

3. Slice Machego into squares and refriegerate.

4. Heat up a separate small skillet and toast almonds with salt and pepper until lightly browned.

5. Assembly: Place cheese on top of crostini, with almonds. Drizzle Sherry Vinegar reduction on tapas and around the plate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Stuffed Piquillo Pepper with Serrano Ham, Petite Basque and Pimenton Mayo on a Crostini

8 Small Piquillo Peppers
1 Baguette
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Pimenton
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Small Handful of Chives, sliced thin
Petite Basque Cheese
1/8 Lbs. Serrano Ham

1. Roast Piquillo Peppers at 450 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes until skin is scorched, wrinkled or loose. Place in bowl, cover with plastic and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove skin and seeds. Reserve. (If you only jarred piquillo's are available use them.)
2. Slice baguette into 1/4" thick rounds. Toast until lightly browned. Set Aside.
3. Make mayonnaise (prefably homemade but storebought will be fine) and add Pimenton and cayenne. Mix well. Refrigerate.
4. Chop chives into thin slivers or on the bias.
5. Slice cheese into rectangles no larger than the ham.
6. Wrap ham around cheese and stuff into peppers.
7. Spread pimenton mayo on toasted bread and place stuffed pepper on top.
8. Garnish with sliced chives.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tea-Centric Cocktail Recipes

Sweet Dreams

Chamomile Tea
Wild Flower Honey
Lemon Juice or wedges

I don't have measurements for this one. I brewed a cup of chamomile tea with a small amount of lavender. If you're using loose leaf tea let it steep for 5 minutes. Mix in honey and let dissolve. Crush a wedge or 2 of lemon into the tea add about a shot or 2 of vodka. Shake with ice in a martini shaker or tumble with ice and serve.

Easy Tea

2 parts rum
2 parts triple sec
6 parts unsweetened, fresh brewed iced tea
1 part sour mix
splash club soda

shake and serve.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Scalliflower & Vanilla Bisque


1/2 Head Cauliflower
1/2 Lbs Bay Scallops
3 Tbsp Cognac
1 3/4 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Tspn Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Vidalia Onion, ciseler
1 Liter Chicken Stock
1/2 Tbsp Salted Butter
Salt & White Pepper


1. Bring stock to a boil. Break down Cauliflower, destemming and reserving the fleurets. Add cauliflower to stock.
2. In a separate pan reduce cream by half (double-cream)
3. Saute scallops in butter and salt until just done. Flambe scallops with cognac and deglaze. Set aside.
4. Melt butter in same pan and saute onion at low-medium heat for 15 minutes to extract sugars.
5. Puree scallops, double-cream and onions. Reserve.
6. Puree cauliflower and stock. Add more stock if puree is too thick.
7. Combine puree's in a large sauce pot and reheat to infuse flavors. Add vanilla. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
8. Serve with warm nutmeg grissini's or sesame breadsticks.