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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: October 2011


RECIPE
Serves 2A CookTale

Give me the opportunity and a pasta dish will be on my side of the dinner table. This version is so simple and so delicious that if it weren’t for the carbs and calories, it would be my staple. Under the circumstances, it is an occasional treat and something to always look forward to savoring.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of EVOO
3 Garlic Cloves (peeled & sliced)
2 TB of freshly chopped Italian Parsley
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
4 Ounces of Spaghetti (deCecco preferred)

METHOD

1. Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water & 1 TB of Salt to a rapid boil in a large pot. Add the pasta . Boil for the recommended length of time on the package, usually 8 minutes to al dente. When the pasta is cooked, drain it.

2. Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-low. When the oil is hot, add the sliced Garlic & stir frequently.

3. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the Garlic turns slightly golden. Remove the Garlic from the pan with a slotted spoon.

4. Add the pasta to the skillet & sprinkle in the Parsley, Pepper & Salt Toss the pasta to combine.

5 Garnish with the Garlic slices (optional) & to stay hot, serve immediately.

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RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

After six days of overindulging, the seventh night was going to be meatless . As usual, I being inspired by Mario Batali, read his stuffed cabbage recipe. The only important ingredient that I had on hand was a newly bought head of Cabbage. After thoroughly searching the fridge and the available vegetables, I assembled a filling that according to Cathie “was actually rather good”. At eating time it became patently clear that the Cabbage was too tough to chew even though it was boiled for better that 20 minutes. So cooks be aware and be sure that doesn’t happen to your stuffed cabbages. Actually it never happened to mine before last evening.

INGREDIENTS

1 Head of Green Cabbage (2-3 lbs)
3 TB of EVOO
1 Medium Red Onions (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
3 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
1 Large Turnip (peeled & cut into 1/4-inch dice)
1 Wedge of Ricotta Salata (diced) or 8 ounces of fresh Ricotta (if on hand)
1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves-finely slivered (if on hand)
1/4 Cup Fresh Italian Parsley (finely chopped)
2 Cups of Tomato Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano (freshly grated)
Kosher Salt & fresh Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cool water & set it nearby.

2. Remove the tough outer leaves of the Cabbage, finely chop them & set them aside. Carefully cut out the cabbage core with a sharp knife.

3. Add 2 TB of Salt to the boiling water. Carefully add the whole Cabbage to the water & cook until tender or as long as it takes. Then transfer the Cabbage to the bowl of cool water & allow it cool.

4. When the Cabbage is cool enough to handle, drain it
& set aside a dozen of the best & largest leaves. Chop most of the remaining Cabbage into 1/4″ pieces & set them aside.

5. In a large, deep sided saute pan, heat the EVOO over medium heat until just smoking. Add the Onions, Garlic, Turnips, & the raw & cooked diced Cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper & allow to cool.

6. When the Vegetable mixture has cooled, add the Ricotta Salata & Parsley, gently fold together. Place a 1/2 cup of the Cabbage mixture to the lower part of the Cabbage leaf. Fold around the filling & if necessary secure with a toothpick.

7. Pour the Tomato Sauce into two small baking dishes, & arrange three of the Cabbage packets on top of each. Cover the dish tightly with foil, & bake for 30 minutes.

8. Remove the foil, generously sprinkle the Cabbage packets with the grated Pecorino, & bake for another 10 minutes.

9. Plate & serve.


RECIPE

Serves Many

A CookTale

In early Fall and Winter, Squash takes center stage. With so many types to choose from and so many ways to prepare them, they are most likely high on the list of seasonal vegetables. As the weather cools down, they heat up. Butternut Squash soup is so popular, Google lists almost 4 million recipes and methods. Hard to believe!

INGREDIENTS

1 Butternut Squash (3 to 4 pounds)—halved lengthwise, peeled & seeded
4 TB of Butter
Kosher Salt & freshly ground Pepper
1 TB of EVOO
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Leek, white & tender green part only (thinly sliced)
2 TB of fresh Ginger (minced)
1 tsp of Curry Powder (I prefer mild)
1/2 Cup of White Wine
6 Cups of Chicken Broth (or water)
1 Cup of unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 Fresh Thyme sprig

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Set the squash, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Fill each cavity with 1/2 TB of the Butter, season with Salt & Pepper. Roast the Squash for about 1 hour & 20 minutes or until tender; cut into large pieces.

2. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt the remaining 3 TB of Butter & the 1 TB of EVOO. Add the Onion, Leek, Ginger & Curry Powder. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add the Wine & cook until evaporated.

3. Add the roasted Squash, Chicken Broth or Water, Coconut Milk & Thyme sprig. Simmer over moderately low heat for 20 minutes.

4. Discard the Thyme sprig. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or electric blender until smooth. Season with Salt & Pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls & serve.

Note: It’s optional to garnish the soup with chopped Chives, Parsley and/or Sour Cream.


RECIPES

A CookTale

For a small dinner party, the availability at Woodstock Meats (our local village market) of a two and a half pound boneless leg of lamb (vs. a seven pound whole leg) is a well appreciated money saver. For last evening’s dinner for three, the Boneless Lamb was cut in half, to be enjoyed at another occasion. The remaining pound and a quarter for the main course was enough to fill three plates and satisfy three appetites .

RECIPE Roasted Baby Potatoes

Serves 3

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound of Baby Potatoes (halved & placed in acidified water)
2 TB of EVOO
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425F degrees.

2. Drain & dry the Potatoes on paper toweling.

3. Add them to a mixing bowl with Salt, Pepper & EVOO. Gently toss to combine.

4. Place them in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet . Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the skin is wrinkled & the Potatoes are tender & browned.

RECIPE Roasted Artichokes, Mushrooms & Zucchini

INGREDIENTS

12 Ounces of Frozen Artichoke Hearts (defrosted)
8 Ounces of White Mushrooms (quartered)
2 Medium Zucchini (cut to 1/2″ dice)
2 TB of EVOO
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper (to taste- be generous)
A dash of Red Pepper Flakes

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425F degrees.

2. In a large bowl add the three prepared vegetables, the Salt & Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes & EVOO. Gently combine.

3. Transfer in a single layer to a non-stick baking sheet . Roast for about 30 to minutes until they are tender & have taken on color*.

*Note: They can conveniently roast with the Potatoes.


RECIPE
This adaptation looted from “Simple Family Meals” by Mario Batali

INGREDIENTS

3 Medium Carrots (cut into 1/2″ coins)
1/3 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup of EVOO
1-1/2 TB of Honey
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1 TB of Cumin Seeds (toasted)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. In 4 quarts of boiling water, add 1 TB of Salt, the Carrots & simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain & add to a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine the Vinegar, Garlic, EVOO, Honey & Cumin Seeds & Salt to taste.

3. Add the sauce to the still warm Carrots & gently toss until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap & & refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

4. Thirty minutes before serving, remove from the fridge to allow the Carrots to return to room temperature. Season to taste & plate.


RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

6 Cups of Baby Bok Choy (slice the leaves & cut the stems to 1″ pieces. separate into two bowls)
1 Medium Onion (diced)
1 TB of fresh Ginger (minced)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 TB of EVOO
1 TB of Soy Sauce
Sesame Seeds (toasted)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper (optional)

METHOD

1. Heat the EVOO in a deep sided saute pan, over medium heat. Add the Garlic, Onion & Ginger & saute until the Onion is translucent & the mixture is tender.

2. Add the Bok Choy stems & stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced leaves & saute until they are thoroughly wilted & the stems are crisp-tender. Add the 1TB of Soy Sauce & the Sesame Seeds. If required, add a minimum sprinkle of Salt & Pepper.


RECIPES
Serves 2

A CookTale

What started out as a vegetarian dinner got sidetracked, or “slidetracked”. Here are the two recipes for the Bok Choy and the Carrot Sides. The Slider recipe is so basic that “the how to” literally speaks for itself. It’s been in a previous posting, but with or without the Slider this is an easy-to-prepare light dinner.

RECIPE Carrots with Honey & Cumin Seeds
This adaptation looted from “Simple Family Meals” by Mario Batali

INGREDIENTS

3 Medium Carrots (cut into 1/2″ coins)
1/3 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup of EVOO
1-1/2 TB of Honey
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1 TB of Cumin Seeds (toasted)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. In 4 quarts of boiling water, add 1 TB of Salt, the Carrots & simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain & add to a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine the Vinegar, Garlic, EVOO, Honey & Cumin Seeds & Salt to taste.

3. Add the sauce to the still warm Carrots & gently toss until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap & & refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

4. Thirty minutes before serving, remove from the fridge to allow the Carrots to return to room temperature. Season to taste & plate.

RECIPE Sauteed Bok Choy

INGREDIENTS

6 Cups of Baby Bok Choy (slice the leaves & cut the stems to 1″ pieces. Separate into two bowls.)
1 Medium Onion (diced)
1 TB of fresh Ginger (minced)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
2 TB of EVOO
1 TB of Soy Sauce
Sesame Seeds (toasted)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper (optional)

METHOD

1. Heat the EVOO in a deep sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the Garlic, Onion & Ginger & saute until the Onion is translucent & the mixture is tender.

2. Add the Bok Choy stems & stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced leaves & saute until they are thoroughly wilted & the stems are crisp-tender. Add the 1TB of Soy Sauce & the Sesame Seeds. If required, add a minimal sprinkle of Salt & Pepper.