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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Cod floating on a bed of Broccoli Rabe

A CookTale

This one is for Eduardo Nery, my Portuguese friend who is comfortably situated among the white blossoming Almond Trees in the Algarve. They were planted centuries ago to to remind a Russian princesses of the snow white terrain of home that she so longed to see. Today she could be well comforted in the white terrain of Woodstock, NY


2 TB Mustard
1 TB Capers, drained
1 TB chopped fresh Tarragon
2 TB plus 1 tsp EVOO
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1 TB fresh Lemon Juice


In a small bowl, stir together the Mustard, Capers, Tarragon (if using), 2 TB EVOO and 2 TB water. (If necessary, adjust the consistency with more water.)
Heat 1 tsp of the remaining EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season the Cod with Salt and Pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 7 minutes per side.
Serve the Cod, plated with a couple of spoonfuls of Sauce.

Poached Calamari. RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Without a doubt , try this recipe once and you will be as smitten as I am. Poaching the Calamari for an hour in EVOO and half a Lemon, and the Leeks for 20 to 25 minutes does wonders. The result is a tenderness and a flavor hard to describe, the photo does a better mouth watering job.


1 lb. cleaned young Squid
2 C plus 2 TB EVOO
1 lemon
Dried Chile Flakes
Salt & Pepper
4 Leeks, trimmed, cleaned
4 Hearts of Palm


1. Preheat oven to 375. Rinse the Squid under cold water. Place in a Dutch oven. Cover with 2 cups of EVOO, add half the Lemon (reserving the other half for juice) and a pinch of Chile Flakes, and season well with Salt and Pepper. Cover tightly, and poach the Squid in the oven until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool with the lid on for at least 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss the Leeks in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons EVOO and season with Salt and Pepper. Place Leeks in a single layer on a sheet tray, and roast until they are tender and beginning to caramelize, about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Squid to a mixing bowl, and combine with the makings of a dressing: 1 tablespoon of the poaching liquid, 2 teaspoons Lemon juice, and a small pinch of Chile Flakes. Toss well, check seasoning, then add the Parsley, tossing again to coat evenly.

4.Arrange the Leeks and Hearts of Palm on 2 plates, and spoon the Squid over them, finishing with a drizzle reserved poaching liquid.

5. A Salad of AVocado and Onion is a fine side dish.

Filet Mignon with   Oyster Mushrooms in Marsala sauce

Smoked Pork Chop & Spicy Cabbage.1


Serves 2

A CookTale
This is a redux of a November 2011 dinner. The Smoked Pork Chop is an addition. Together they definitely complemented each other. The Smoked Pork Chop is another delicious item available at our wonderful Smokehouse of The Katskills ready to devour, I simply warmed it in the pan with the Cabbage. A huge YUM.

Serves 2

A CookTale

INGREDIENTS for the Spicy Cabbage

Pancetta (2-1/4″ slices & diced to 1/4″ pieces)
A medium head of Savoy Cabbage (halved & cut into 1″ ribbons)
3 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
1 tsp of dried Thyme (or to taste)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup of Chicken Broth + 1/2 Cup of Vermouth


1. Fry the Pancetta in a large pan until the fat has rendered. Remove from the pan to a small bowl leaving the fat behind. Add the Garlic & saute in the Pancetta fat, then add the ribbons of Cabbage, toss & saute to combine.

2. Add the Chicken Broth & Vermouth, the Thyme, Salt & Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, cover & cook over high heat as long as it takes for the Cabbage to really tenderize, which should take 20 minutes or so. Keep your eye on the progress. Return the Pancetta to the pan & toss together.

Spicy Boneless Thighs with Black Olives & Mushrooms


A CookTale

Originally posted in 2012, Consider it a reminder to give it a try,

4 Chicken Thighs boneless, about 4 ounces each
2 Sweet Italian Sausages
Kosher Salt & Black PEPPER
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
8 Green Sicilian Olives (halved)
2 Bell Peppers (roasted & quartered)
1 Large Onion (sliced)
2 oz of Fondue de Poulet Gold (available on-line from More than Gourmet)
1/2 C of White Wine
8 oz of Button Mushrooms (sliced)
14 ounce can of Whole Tomatoes (juice separated)
2 TB of EVOO
Parsley chopped


1. In a large casserole, heat the EVOO & saute the Onions until tender & translucent. Set aside in a large bowl.

2. Halve the Sausages & cook them until almost tender. set aside.

3. Add the Mushrooms & saute until tender & brown. Add the Roasted Peppers & the Tomatoes, saute & add both to the large bowl.

4. Add the Chicken Thighs, & cook for about 7 minutes to each side. Set aside with the Sausages.

5. Deglaze the pan with the White Wine, scraping up the pan particles. Add the Fondue de Poulet Gold & whisk them together.

6. Return all the vegetables & the Green Olives to the casserole & simmer for about 15 minutes to amalgamate the flavors together.

7. 15 minutes before serving time, return the Chicken Thighs & the halved Sausages to the casserole, & simmer over low heat.

8. To plate, add a Chicken Thigh & 2 half Sausages. surround the plate with the vegetables & sauce.


Caviar Pasta


Serves 2 Deliciously

A CookTale

A once a year four star event occurred last evening, and it was well worth waiting for. The photo speaks for itself.


4 oz Tagliatelle
4 oz good quality Caviar (we used Sevruga)
6 TB good quality unsalted Butter
5-6 TB Crème Fraiche (you could probably substitute Heavy Cream)
1/2 TB Lemon Juice
2 TB White Wine or Vermouth
Salt to taste
Black Pepper, coarse grind


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

2. In a small skillet, heat 3 TB of Butter until melted. Add Lemon Juice and Wine. Cook together for about 2 minutes. Add the Crème Fraiche, a touch of Salt and some Black Pepper. Cook over low to medium heat for a couple of minutes until slightly reduced.

3. Cook Pasta until a slight bit more than al dente (we cooked it 6 minutes exactly). Drain. Return to pot and add 3 more TB of Butter. Mix well. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of the Caviar. Mix well.

4. Add the Wine-Butter-Cream mixture and mix well. Serve immediately on two plates, spooning the rest of the caviar on top
of the Pasta.

Braised Rib Pork Chop
RECIPEServes 2

A CookTale

Last evening, Davis conquered Goliath! Traditionally I’ve grilled Pork Chops and more often than not they have been tough.
This time I decided to try and oven braise
them in a simple flavored liquid…and it worked! After 25 minutes in a 300 oven, they were tender and flavorful. At plating I spooned each with a Demi Glace sauce.
That will be my new traditional method.


2 1″ rib Pork Chops.
Salt & Pepper liberally sprinkled
1 c of Vermouth
1/4 c of EVOO

For the sauce
1 c of Chicken Stock
2 oz of Demi Glace Gold
2 TB of Butter


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
2. Liberally season the chops. Add them to a casserole dish. Add the EVOO and Vermouth mixture half way up the dish.
3. Braise for 25 minutes or until medium rare.
4. For the sauce, In a small saucepan add the Chicken Stock, Demi Glace and Butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes to emulsify.



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