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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: July 2011


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Grilled fruit goes well with Chicken Salad or most any salad. For my taste, particularly Peaches when it has a slightly tart taste. I used an indoor grill, i find that there is much more control than with an outdoor grill. It seems that more and more often I’m turning to a grill pan, the results are actually similar unless you are using wet wood chips to achieve smokiness. And another huge advantage…no mosquitoes.

INGREDIENTS

2 Peaches halved and pitted (not overly ripe)
1 TB of White Sugar
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Fresh Black Pepper

METHOD

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the White Sugar, Balsamic Vinegar & Pepper. Simmer until liquid has reduced by one half. It should become slightly thicker & become a glaze. Remove from the heat, & set aside.
2. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat.
3. Lightly oil the grill. Brush the cut sides with the Balsamic Glaze. Place the Peaches on the grill, cut side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the flesh is caramelized.
4. Turn the Peaches over & cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Transfer the Peach halves to individual serving dishes.

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RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

We brought home freshly picked green beans from Story’s another wonderful local farmer’s market. I also picked baby Japanese Eggplants, about 5″ long, from our garden. To complement our Asian dinner it was decided to do a stir fry of the beans and the eggplant. In Cathie’s opinion the Eggplant was overcooked. It’s been corrected in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

8 Ounces of Green Beans (strings removed if necessary)
3 Japanese or Italian Eggplants (thinly sliced)
1 Garlic Clove (thinly sliced)
1 Knob of fresh Ginger (cut into thin slices)
1 TB of Peanut Oil
1 TB of Soy Sauce

METHOD

1. Heat the Peanut Oil in a wok.
2. Add the Garlic & the Ginger.
3. Add the Eggplant & saute until tender (don’t overcook) remove to a bowl.
4. Add the Green Beans & saute until starting to brown & become tender.
5. Return the Eggplant to the wok & toss it all together.
6. Add the TB of Soy Sauce, mix again & plate.

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 RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

This recipe was originally posted on May 12th. This version makes the cooking of the Tuna simpler and more controllable.

Cathie brought home from Gadaleto’s, the finest fish store in the Hudson Valley, sashimi grade Tuna. The color was so richly maroon It deserved to be treated as sashimi. Raw is one way, 15 seconds a side is the other and the one decided on. Along with a dipping sauce & Roland’s Ginger Glaze. it’s an amazing taste treat.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 Pound of Sashimi grade Yellowfin Tuna (1-1/4″ thick)
Sea Salt & Pepper
1 TB of Peanut Oil
Scallions & Ginger. (thinly sliiced)
Nori snipped into Batons (purchased at an Asian market)
Roland’s Ginger Glaze* (optional)
Toasted Sesame seeds for garnish

* Available online & at specialty markets

METHOD

1. Season the Tuna with Sea Salt & Pepper
2. In a non-stick frying pan heat the Peanut Oil.
2, When the oil is starting to smoke, add the Tuna.
3. Sear untouched for no more than 15 seconds.
4. Turn & sear untouched for another 15 seconds.
5. You will now have lovely, very rare Tuna.
6. Cut the Tuna into 1-1/2″ pieces.
7. Plate the Tuna, drizzle with the Asian sauce, top with the Nori & surround the plate with the optional Ginger Glaze.
8. Sprinkle on the toasted Sesame Seeds & serve.

RECIPE For The Asian Sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 TB of Soy Sauce
2 TB of Mirin
1 TB of Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup of Rice Wine or Sherry
1″ Nob of Ginger grated
1 Garlic Clove sliced
1 tsp of Sesame Oil

METHOD

1. Whisk all the ingredients together.
2. Drizzle onto the plate & top with the Tuna.
3. Add the Scallions & serve.
4. Bring the remaining sauce to the table.

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RECIPEServes 2

A CookTale

Dinner actually started at 2:00 in the afternoon at Adam’s Fairacre Farm, browsing, I spotted 4 oz jars of Western Pacific Salmon Roe Caviar. And the evening dinner became a plan. Cath was on her way to Gadaleto’s in New Paltz & I caught up to her on her cell. She brought home 8 large divers with the scent of the sea still coming through. The sauce came out of the Aug/Sept issue of Saveur, whose cover is devoted to pestos. A wonderful issue of a wonderful food magazine. And the preparations began. As an aside, I asked the fishmonger, the difference between Diver & Dry Scallops?. The answer, Divers are hand picked by scuba divers. Dry Scallops haven’t been plumped up with water.

RECIPE Basil Mayonnaise Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 Cups of EVOO
3 Garlic Cloves
1 TB of Dijon Mustard
1 TB of Lemon juice
1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp of Kosher Salt
1 Cup of tightly packed Basil
1/4 Cup of toasted Pine Nuts
Salmon Roe Caviar

METHOD

1. Add all the ingredients except the EVOO to a food processor.
2. Slowly add the EVOO until a thick Mayonnaise has formed.
3. Transfer to a blender & blend, adding more EVOO until it reaches the consistancy of a sauce rather than Mayonnaise.
4. Transfer to a bowl.

RECIPE Diver Scallops

8 Diver Scallops
Kosher Salt & fresh White Pepper
2 TB of Clarifed Butter
Salmon Roe Caviar (optional but desired)

METHOD

1. Heat a saute pan & add the Clarifed Butter.
2. Add the Scallops & saute for 3 or 4 minutes. When the surface is seared, the Scallops are ready.
3. Spoon a puddle of the Basil Mayonnaise Sauce on the plate, place on 4 Scallops & top with the optional Salmon Roe Caviar.

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RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

My lust for the black ink that squid, cuttlefish and octopus release as a protective camouflage continues. Last evening’s attempt with an import from Napoli at $5. a bag. (in lieu of making it the proper way with the ink) was a waste of money. It was nothing more than ordinary penne with black food coloring. No more experimenting, if I haven’t the real ink on hand I’ll simply go another way.
But the recipe for the sauce I consider worthwhile enough to publish.

INGREDIENTS

4 Ounces of Pasta (Penne, Linguine or Spaghetti)
1 TB of EVOO + 1 TB of Butter
3 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
1 Red Onion (in a 1/4″ dice)
3 Plum Tomatoes (in a 1/4″ dice)
1/4 Cup of White Wine
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
Salt & Black Pepper
Basil Leaves cut to a chiffonnade+ whole leaves

METHOD

1. Boil a pot of water.
2. Heat a deep sided saute pan. Add the EVOO & Butter.
3. Add the Garlic & the Onion, saute until tender & translucent.
4, Add the Tomatoes & toss it all together.
5. Add the White Wine & reduce it to half.
6. Cook the pasta timed to the package directions.
7. Add the Pasta & the Basil chiffonnade & toss it all together.

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RECIPES

A CookTale

In 1999 Cook’s Illustrated published, “The Best Recipes”. Within the pages was their highly researched and tested recipe for Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. It has been my benchmark recipe ever since. And it’s never failed me. I don’t make it often, but when I do I prepare enough for two loaves. It freezes beautifully. After 12 years, I welcome the opportunity to say: Thank’s Cook’s Illustrated

INGREDIENTS For the Meat Loaf

2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1 medium Onion , chopped medium
2 medium cloves Garlic , minced
2 large Eggs
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp table Salt
1/2 tsp ground black Pepper
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp hot Pepper sauce
1/2 cup whole Milk or Evaporated Milk
2 Pounds of a top quality Meatloaf mix
2/3 cup Saltine Crackers , crushed (about 16),
1/3 cup minced fresh Parsley leaves
6-8 ounces Bacon , thin sliced (8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape)

METHOD

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat Oil in medium skillet. Add Onion and Garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
2. Mix Eggs with Thyme, Salt, Pepper, Mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Pepper sauce, and Milk or Evaporated milk. Add Egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with Crackers, Parsley, and cooked Onion and Garlic. Mix with a fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional Milk or Evaporated Milk, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks.)
3. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into an approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only Bacon tip ends under loaf.
4. Bake loaf until Bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour.
Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

RECIPE For the Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

6 Ounces of Shitake & Cremini Mushrooms
2 Garlic Cloves thinly sliced
1TB of Butter & 1 TB of EVOO
Salt & Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat a deep sided saute pan & add the Garlic Cloves.
2. When tender & beginning to brown, add the Butter & EVOO.
3. Toss until their tender & browned.

RECIPE for the Pomegranate Molasses, Ketchup Glaze

INGREDIENTS

3 TB of Pomegranate Molasses
2 TB of Ketchup
1 TB of Water

METHOD

1. Whisk them together, if too thick add the Water
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RECIPE

Adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe in the New York Times

Serves 2

A CookTale

On July 8th in the New York Times, this recipe popped out at me. It’s been on my desk for a week waiting to be summoned. At the Saturday Saugerties Farmers Market, I snatched up young perfectly round eggplants. What an acquisition! And the recipe’s moment had arrived… And I screwed up! Reader beware! I sliced them too f’ing thin & as a result, overcooked them. It might not have affected their taste, but it affected our sense of taste. And it was pointed out to me by my all-time critic… Cathie!

INGREDIENTS

1 Medium or 1 large Eggplant cut into 3/4-inch slices
3 TB of a neutral oil, like Grape seed or Corn
1 TB of Sesame Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
1/2 Cup of White Miso
1/4 Cup of Honey
1/4 Cup hot Water.

1. If time allows, sprinkle the Eggplant liberally with Salt, put it in a colander in the sink and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes; rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat and put the rack about 4 inches from the flame*.
2. Combine the Neutral and Sesame oils and brush the Eggplant on both sides with the Oil mixture. Sprinkle with Salt (if you salted the Eggplant, hold off) and Pepper, then brush with more Oil.
3. Grill until browned on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total, turning once or twice and brushing with more Oil if it looks dry.
4. When the Eggplant is almost done, whisk together the Miso, Honey and hot Water and generously brush the Eggplant with this mixture.
5. Continue to grill for another minute or two, then serve hot, warm or at room temperature, drizzled with any remaining Miso sauce.

* I used a stovetop cast iron grill, for more control.