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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: August 2011


 

 

RECIPE

Serves 1

A CookTale

Even before last evening’s dinner was off the table, I knew that a Puttanesca Omelet was in the morning’s offering. As they say, a photo is worth, etc. It was a fitting finale to a terrific evening dinner.

INGREDIENTS

2 Jumbo or Extra Large Eggs
The left over Puttanesca Sauce (about 1/3 cup drained)
1 TB of Butter for the pan
A pinch of Salt for the Eggs

METHOD

1. Heat an Omelet pan to medium.
2. with a fork whisk the Eggs into a froth.
3. Completely drain the left over sauce ingredients of EVOO & set aside for the moment.
4. Add the Butter to the Omelet pan & when it stops sizzling add the Eggs.
5. When they have begun to set add the Puttanesca ingredients.
6. For a soft Omelet, remove the pan from the stove just before the Omelet completely sets up. Otherwise continue to cook for another minute or so.

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RECIPE
Serves 2
A CookTale
Whoever thought I’d write about a Burger? Well, this was a very special Burger. Beside top flight Chuck Beef, finely sliced Portobello Mushrooms and thinly sliced Provolone Cheese were mixed in. Other combinations could be, Bacon and Cheddar, or Onions and Swiss Cheese. Or use your imagination, but don’t run wild.
INGREDIENTS
12 Ounces of first grade Ground Chuck
1 Medium Portobello Mushroom finely sliced into ribbons
1 Slice of Povolone Cheese, finely sliced into ribbons
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 TB of EVOO
1 TB of Butter for the frying pan
METHOD
1. In a large bowl, add the Chuck, Portobello Mushroom, Provolone Cheese & Salt & Pepper.
2. As gently as possible mix it all together, but do not press it together. Form into two 1″ thick Burgers. About 6 ounces each.
3. Heat a frying pan to very hot & add the Butter, when it stops sizzling, Add the Burgers.
Cook for 3 minutes on side one, 2 minutes on side two. For medium rare. The center should still be pink & juicy. Do not dry it out by over cooking.
4. Plate & enjoy a truly savory Burger.


RECIPE

Serves 2 With more to spare

A CookTale

In the Italian food repertoire there are
countless recipes for end of Summer uncooked Tomato sauces. In 1996, Julia della Croce, published “Salsa di Pomodoro”. It contains a full chapter on Uncooked Sauces. After enjoying The Puttanesca Sauce, (she refers to it by its proper name, “Harlot Sauce”), I asked myself, “why did I ever prepare it otherwise?”. It was as fresh as if just picked from the garden. It had the necessary nip to it of Kalamata Olives, Garlic, Capers, Red Pepper Flakes and tangy herbs. Glad I took photos as a Winter rememberence.

INGREDIENTS

4 Ounces of dried Linguine
1 Pound of ripe Tomatoes (Roma preferred)
1/3 Cop of EVOO
2 Garlic Cloves minced
1/4 Cup of Kalamata or Nicoise Olives (pitted)
1 TB of Capers (drained)
1/4 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp of Sea or Kosher Salt
1 TB of fresh Oregano Leaves+ 1/4 Cup of shredded Basil Leaves

METHOD

1. Cut the Tomatoes into a 1″ dice.
2. Add the EVOO & next 7 ingredients.
3. Allow the sauce to stand at room temperature while you prepare the Linguine.
4. Boil a pot of water & cook the Linguine according to the package direction. About 7 minutes.
5. Drain & gently but firmly toss with the Puttanesca sauce. Removing the Garlic cloves is optional.


 

 

 

RECIPE

Serves 2 Most Generously

A CookTale

Sometimes I think that the evening after Roast Chcken Hash, Makes the original Roast Chicken a most worthwhile endeavor. Be it Chicken or Lamb or Beef, Hash is extrodinarily tasty and contains delicious vegetables, savory herbs, plus I add a few tablespoons of diluted Demi-Glace to create a sauce and moisten it all up. What could be tastier than all of that ?

INGREDIENTS

Leftover Roasted Chicken
16 Basil Leaves cut to a chiffonade
Kosher Salt & fresh Black Pepper
A dash of Red Pepper Flakes
5 TB of Butter, divided
1 Pound boiling Potatoes, peeled & large diced
1 Red Onion, to large dice
1 Red Bell Pepper, to large dice
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp of fresh Thyme Leaves
1 tsp of Paprika (optional)
4 Scallions, white & green parts, diced
1/4 Cup chopped fresh Leaf Parsley
1 Ounce of Demi-Glace diluted with water or Chicken Broth (optional)

METHOD

1. Cut the leftover Chicken into 1″ pieces.
2. Melt 3 TB of Butter in a large saute pan. Add the Potatoes & Onions, 1 tsp of Salt & 1/2 tsp of Pepper. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned & cooked through. Remove from the pan to a bowl.
3. In the same pan, melt to 2 TB more of Butter. Add the Red Peppers, Garlic, Thyme, Paprika, 1 tsp of Salt, 1/2 tsp of Pepper & the Red Pepper Flakes. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the Peppers are seared & the vegetables are tender.
4. Just before serving add the Chicken to the vegetable mixture & the optional Demi-Glace & heat through. Toss in the Scallions, Parsley & Basil, toss together & serve.

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A CookTale

How often do you prepare Ratatouille? For me it’s rarely, but when I do I ask myself, “what’s taken you so long”?. The preparation is rather simple; there are four vegatables, Eggplant, Zucchini, Onion and Tomato. They all require individual sauteeing, but as a cook I always enjoy the effort. And the result is a most tasty accompaniment to Chicken and to meat. Below is Mark Bittman’s New York Times version.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes (or 3 cannedplum tomatoes, drained), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves, for garnish.
Method
1. Trim the eggplant and cut it into 1-inch cubes. If the eggplant is large, soft or especially seedy, sprinkle the cubes with salt, put in a colander and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse,drain and pat dry.
2. Put the oil in large skillet and turn heat to medium. Add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and keep cooking until the tomatoes begin to break down, another few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, garnish with the herb, and serve immediately, at room temperature, or chilled.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

I have a theory about people who enjoy cooking. When the recipe is intricate it becomes a welcoming challenge. Cooks seem to flourish on keeping their hands and their minds moving. I certainly do, and last evening’s 7-stage technique to perfectly  roast a chicken is the evidence. This original concept for roasting a chicken by David Bouley dates back to the early nineties, I added it to my repetoire for the first time on Irene Sunday. Below is his original preparation recipe, my adaptation according to Cath “will be the only way to ever prepare Chicken again”.

RECIPE The Perfect Roast Chicken

Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

1 3- to 3 1/2-pound natural chicken 
1 sprig thyme 
1 sprig rosemary 
1 sprig sage 
2 large cloves garlic, halved 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 lemon, halved 
Hungarian sweet paprika.

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Boil enough water to fill half the bottom of a roasting pan. 
2. Wash and dry the chicken. Remove the first two joints of the wings, and discard. Stuff the inside of the chicken with thyme, rosemary, sage and two garlic halves. 
3. Rub lemon, salt and pepper all over the chicken. Rub with remaining garlic, and sprinkle heavily with paprika to coat completely. Place the chicken on a rack set on top of the roasting pan, and steam over boiling water in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on a vertical roaster and cross legs to catch inside the bars of roaster (to act as a truss). Pour off water, and place chicken in pan. 
4. Reduce the oven to 360 degrees, and roast the chicken about 20 minutes longer, until juices from the breast run clear when cut with a knife. Remove from vertical roaster, and cut off legs at the joint where the thigh meets the body. Return legs to pan, and roast about 10 minutes longer, until juices run clear. Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes, then remove herbs from cavity. Remove skin. Cut off each breast in one piece, and slice 1/4 inch thick on a diagonal. To serve legs, remove skin, remove meat from bone and cut into bite-size pieces.

Yield: 2 servings.

 

 


RECIPE
Serves 4

A CookTale

A small dinner party with our friends, Jean-Michel and Lucien, was not going to be upset by an unwelcome guest, a sassy lady named Irene. Throughout the day the weather held, which made the prepping pleasant and took my mind off what was impending. At 6:30 they arrived, we had a drink, we ate and they made their way home as the weather deteriorated. The dinner brightened up the evening; the 1982 Chateau Nenin Pomerol certainly helped.

INGREDIENTS For the Rack of Lamb

1-1/2 Cups fine fresh Bread Crumbs
3 TB of finely chopped flat-leaf Parsley
2 TB of finely chopped Mint
2 TB of minced Rosemary
1 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
3-1/2 TB of EVOO (or more if required)
2 Frenched Racks of Lamb (8 ribs & 1 1/2 lb per rack), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat, at room temperature
3 TB of Dijon Mustard

METHOD

1. In a food processor add the Bread Crumbs, Parsley,
Mint, Rosemary, Salt, & Pepper. Pulse & slowly drizzle in the EVOO. Process until it forms a spreadable mix.
2. Put oven rack in middle position & preheat to 400°F.
3. Season Lamb with Salt & Pepper. Heat remaining TB of EVOO in a large flat cast iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Brown the Lamb, 1 rack at a time, turning once, about 4 minutes per rack. Transfer to a 13-by 9-by 2-inch roasting pan, arranging fatty sides up.
4. Spread fatty sides of each rack with the Dijon Mustard. Divide Bread Crumb mixture into 2 portions & pat each portion over the Mustard coating on each rack, gently pressing to adhere.
5. Roast Lamb until thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center (do not touch bone) registers 120°F (for medium-rare), 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then cut into chops.

RECIPE Celeriac Purée

By Chef Eric Ripert
Served at: Le Bernardin

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
Juice of half a Lemon
1 TB of Kosher or Sea Salt
1 large Celeriac Knob
3 TB of Butter
Freshly ground White Pepper

METHOD

1. Bring 2 quarts of water, 1/4 cup of Cream & the Lemon Juice to a boil, add 1 TB of Salt. Peel and roughly chop the Celeriac Knob, add to the boiling water & cook until softened, about 25 minutes.
2. Strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Put the Celeriac in a blender & puree with the remaining Cream, Butter & as much cooking liquid as necessary. Season to taste with Salt & Pepper.

RECIPE Cannellini Beans with Diced Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS

1 Large can of Cannellini Beans
1 14 Ounce can of Diced Tomatoes
2 Garlic Cloves thinly sliced
1 TB of Butter + 1 TB of EVOO
A Dash of Red Pepper Flakes
Kosher Salt & White Pepper
Parsley finely chopped

METHOD

1. Heat a saute pan to medium. Add the EVOO, when tender add the Garlic. when tender add the Diced Tomatoes, Red Pepper Flakes & Salt & Pepper. When the tomatoes have softened, add the Cannellini Beans. Cook for a few minutes more until they all have melded together.
2. Turn off the heat & cover the pan, until plating.