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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Sweetbreads with Mustard Butter


Serves 2

A CookTale

If you like Sweetbreads, you’ll love this recipe. Otherwise give it a try, you never know! Cathie’s mouth watered just anticipating dinner, and happily (for me) it proved to be worth it. When it comes to Offal, any kind of Offal, she is one tough critic.

RECIPE Veal Sweetbreads


1 lb of Veal Sweetbreads
4 C Water
Kosher or Sea Salt
Juice of half a Lemon plus 1 TB of Lemon Juice
1/4 C Wondra or other finely milled flour
Fresh Black Pepper
2-3 TB of Clarified Butter
2 TB of EVOO
1/4 C of Dijon Mustard.
1/2 C of Butter (softened)


1. The day before cooking, place the Sweetbreads in a bowl or small container, cover them with Milk, and allow them to soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the Sweetbreads, discarding the Milk, and trim any veins or dark bits. Rinse them well and set aside.

2. Place the Sweetbreads in a small pot, cover with water, and add a big pinch of Salt and the juice of half a Lemon. Add the Sweetbreads, bring the water to a boil, and blanch them for about 5 minutes. Remove the Sweetbreads and plunge them into an ice bath.

3. Line a small sheet pan with a kitchen towel and place the Sweetbreads on the towel in a single layer. Fold the towel over them to cover, place another sheet pan on top, and weigh it down – a heavy pot or a few cans of Tomatoes work well. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

4. If your Sweetbreads are large, slice them into medallions. Spread the Wondra on a plate and season with lots of Salt and Pepper. Toss the Sweetbreads in the seasoned
flour until well coated on all sides.

5. Melt the Clarified Butter & EVOO in a heavy bottomed skillet and cook the Sweetbreads over medium heat until golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes to a side. Do not overcook them. Place the browned Sweetbreads on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, tenting loosely with foil to keep warm.

6. Combine Dijon & Butter and whip to emulsify.

RECIPE Sauteed Sherry Mushrooms


24 Fresh Shitake or other Mushrooms
1/4 C of Shallots finely sliced
1 oz of Demi Glace dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
1/3 C of Sherry
1/2 C of Light Cream
2 TB of Clarified Butter


1. Heat a saute pan & add the Clarified Butter. When the Butter is heated, add the Shallots. Do not let them burn.

2. Add the Shitakes face side down, & saute until them until wilted & have a light brown color. Turn & repeat. (cook in 2 batches if necessary)

3. Return them all to the saute pan, add the Sherry & Cream & simmer for 3 minutes.

4. Add the dissolved Demi Glace & continue to simmer for a few more minutes. Or until the sauce has thickened.

5. Remove & keep warm.

6. When ready to serve, plate the Sweetbreads and add the sauteed Mushrooms

Lamb Shank.

A CookTale

An extra special delicious Lamb Shank, braised with Cannellini Beans, Turnips, Carrots, Onions, and as a special flavor boost, Daikon.A weeknight dinner well worthy of a weekend dinner party. And one day it shall be!


1 Can of Cannellini Beans
2 TB of EVOO (more if needed)
2 large Lamb Shanks
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
3 large white Turnips (about 1-1/2 lbs), peeled, halved & sliced to half circles
Daikon peeled, halved & sliced to half circles
2 Onions (chopped)
4 large Garlic Cloves (sliced)
Lemon Peel
Orange Peel
2 TB of fresh Rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 C of Dry Vermouth or Dry White Wine
3 C Veal or Chicken Stock
2 oz of Veal Demi Glace* (optional)

* available from “More Than Gourmet” online from Amazon


1. Heat 2 TB of EVOO on medium-high in a 4-quart stovetop casserole. Season the Lamb Shanks liberally with Salt & Pepper, add to the casserole & sear to a deep color, about 15 minutes. Remove to a platter. Add the prepared Turnips, brown lightly until beginning to tenderize. Remove to a bowl.

2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the chopped Onions, Carrots & sliced Garlic & sauté until softened. Stir in the Lemon & Orange Peel, Rosemary & the Wine. Return the Lamb Shanks to the casserole, cover & simmer on low heat for 1 hour.

3. While the Meat cooks, add the canned Beans & their broth to a saucepan, bring to a simmer, cover & cook for 10 minutes on low. Turn off the heat & set the sauce pan aside.

4. After 1 hour, the Lamb should begin to tenderize. Remove them to a platter, leaving all liquid in the casserole. Drain the Beans & add to the casserole. along with the Turnips, Daikon, Carrots, Chicken Stock & the diluted Demi Glace. Season with Salt & Pepper. Bring to a simmer. Tuck in the Lamb, cover & cook on low 30 to 45 minutes, until all the ingredients in the casserole are very tender.

5. Transfer to plates, garnish with Rosemary branches & an additional spoonful of the sauce & serve.

Chicken Marala

Serves 2
A CookTale
Chicken Marvsala or Marsala. Excuse the pun! But whatever you call it, it was a delicious simple dish to enjoy on a chilly November evening. The accompaniment was roasted Belgium Endive, a fine contrast in flavor.INGREDIENTS

2 Boneless SkinlessThighs
1 C of Cremini Mushrooms (sliced)
4 TBs of Butter
1 TB of EVOO
2 Ounces of Demi Glace Gold
1/3 C of Marsala
2 TB of Sherry
Salt & Pepper


1. Season the Thighs.

2. Heat a sauce pan & add the Butter. When it stops sizzling, add the Thighs. Cook for a few minutes until lightly brown, turn & repeat until cooked through. Remove to a warm plate while you prepare the Mushroom Marsala Sauce.

3. Add another TB of Butter & the Mushrooms. Saute until lightly browned. Add the Marsala, Sherry & Demi Glace Gold. Saute the Sauce until slightly reduced & well emulsified.

4. Plate the Thighs & spoon on the Mushrooms & Sauce.

Chicken with Garlicky Lemon-Anchovy Sauce

Serves 2

A CookTale

This is adapted from a Melissa Clark recipe in the Dining Section of the New York Times. For us, it is a new found  way to enjoy boneless Thighs. It was a successful endeavor, to be added to our favorites file.


1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs

1 tsp kosher Salt

Freshly ground Black Pepper

5 Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed

1/4 C EVOO

5 Anchovy Filets

2 TB drained Capers patted dry

1 large pinch Chile Flakes

1 Lemon, halved

Freshly chopped parsley for serving




1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Season the Chicken Thighs with Salt and Pepper and let rest while preparing the Anchovy-Garlic oil.  Mince one of the Garlic Cloves and set it aside for later.  In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add the Oil.  When the Oil is hot, add the 5 smashed Garlic Cloves, the Anchovies, Capers and Chile.  Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the Anchovies, until the Garlic browns around the edges and the Anchovies dissolve, 3 to 5 minutes.


2. Add the Chicken Thighs and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 minutes, until the Chicken is cooked through.


3. When the Chicken is done, transfer it to a plate.  Place skillet back on the heat and add minced Garlic and the juice of one lemon half.  Cook for about 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Return Chicken to the pan and cook it in the sauce for another 15 to 30 seconds.


4. Serve, squeeze on the remaining lemon half over the chicken and sprinkle with Parsley.

Osso Buco & Porcini Risotto

Serves 2

A CookTale

I am about to brag — and this time with good reason! For Sunday dinner I served a scrumptious Osso Buco, thanks to my never disappointing, always reliable Guru, Mario Batali. I admit that I deleted and added particular ingredients, but that’s natural for me and what cooking is all about, being innovative and creative when required. The main course was presented with Porcini Risotto, throughout history, the classic northern Italian accompaniment. How did a nice Jewish boy get so talented? Hanging around the right people as a zoot suiter teenager in the Bronx!

INGREDIENTS For the Osso Bucu

2 Veal Shanks, 2-1/2 inches thick (each about 3/4 of a pound)
Salt & Pepper
6 TB of EVOO
2 medium Carrots, chopped into 1/4-inch-thick coins
1 medium Spanish Onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
2 Celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch slices
2 TB chopped fresh Thyme leaves
1 Rosemary branch
2 C Tomato Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)
2 C Chicken Stock
2 oz of Demi Glace Gold (through Amazon, from More than Gourmet)
2 C dry White Wine


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the Shanks with Salt and Pepper. In a heavy-bottomed 6 to 8 quart casserole, heat the EVOO until smoking. Place the Shanks in the pan and brown all over, turning to get every surface, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the Shanks and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the Carrot, Onion, Celery and Thyme and cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown and slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the Tomato Sauce, Chicken Stock. Demi Glace and Wine and bring to a boil.

2. Place Shanks back into pan, making sure they are submerged at least halfway, add the Rosemary. If Shanks are not covered halfway, add more stock. Cover the pan with tight-fitting lid of aluminum foil. Place in oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours and cook until meat is nearly falling off the bone.



Serves 2

A CookTale

This sweet and silky fish dish, which had its beginnings at the Nobu restaurant in NYC and many years later is still one of their premier dishes, is fairly simple to make. Nobu Matsuhisa, of his restaurant empire, recommends marinating the black cod in a good deal of the sake-miso marinade overnight or longer if possible (though I have had good results in a F Food Vacuum marinator for three hours.


1/4 cup of Mirin
1/4 cup of Sake
1/4 cup of white Miso paste3 TB of Sugar
2- 6 oz Black Cod fillets, about 2″ thick, skin on
1TB of Peanut Oil for the pan
Pickled Ginger, for serving (optional)


1. In a small saucepan, bring the Mirin & Sake to a boil. Whisk in the Miso until dissolved. Add the Sugar & cook over moderate heat, whisking, just until dissolved. Transfer the marinade to a large baking dish & let cool. Add the fish skin side up. Cover and refrigerate overnight or vacuum marinate.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a grill pan & oil it. Scrape the marinade off the fish. Add the fish skin side down & cook over high heat until crisp. Flip the fish onto a heavy rimmed baking sheet & roast for 10 minutes, or until flaky.

3. Transfer to plates & serve with pickled Ginger & additional Miso sauce.

Salmon with Zucchini Fettuccine

Serves 2


A CookTale

When the the 200 Calories and the 35 Carbs in 2 ounces of pasta  restrict you from the enjoyment, try Green or Yellow Zucchini Squash or both together, cut into ribbons with a Mandoline. I have a trick with this rather serious device, and it’s as easy as this. Cover the Vegetable with a potholder as you slice, that way your fingers will be protected from a nasty possible accident. It works every time!


12 ounces of Wild Salmon (in two equal pieces)

2 or 3, 8′” Zucchini’s

1 Small Onion thinly sliced

1 Clove of Garlic (smashed)

12 tsp of dried Aleppo Pepper (optional)

3 TB of Butter


Kosher Salt & Pepper



1. Heat a saute pan with the 2TB’s of Butter. When the sizzling stops add the Garlic, Onion & Aleppo Pepper.

After a very few minutes, add the Zucchini ribbons & saute until just tender, another few minutes, season with Salt & Pepper, & remove to a warm bowl.

2. In a second pan, non stick preferred, add another TB of Butter & a TB of EVOO. Saute for about 1-1/2 minutes a side & prepare to plate. With very fresh organic Salmon, the less cooking the better. Remember how great Salmon Sashimi tastes, & that in effect is what you’ll enjoy





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