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.