Skip to content

CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: January 2012


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Among the many good thing about being handy in the kitchen is the ability to satisfy one’s sudden urges. Monday I craved Asian Potstickers, last evening it was Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs. It’s still too early in the day to determine tonight. Fortunately, Cathie either goes along with my culinary whims or retreats into a plate of Broccoli. I love the fact that the food life is full of surprises.

INGREDIENTS For the Meatballs

1 pound of ground Chuck & Sirloin Beef
1/2 cup of fresh Bread Crumbs (from a good white bread)
1/3 cup of Parmesan (finely grated)
1 heaping TB of chopped fresh Basil (optional but desirable)
1 heaping TB of chopped fresh Parsley
1 tsp of Kosher Salt + 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1 Egg
3 TB of EVOO

METHOD

1. In a large bowl, lightly mix all ingredients except the EVOO. Take a portion of meat in hand & form a ball that is firmly packed but not compressed. Repeat, making each Meatball no more than 2 inches in diameter & weighing 2 ounces. (I rely on a scale.)

2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. When it begins to shimmer, add meatballs. Do not crowd, cook in batches if necessary. Brown well on their bottoms before turning, or they might break apart.

3. Continue cooking until completely browned . As each batch is finished remove them to a plate . Allow the Meatballs to cool slightly. Keep them warm or refrigerate until needed.

Advertisements


RECIPE

A CookTale

There are so many, more than just good Marinara Sauce brands at better food markets. Rao’s, Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich to mention just three. But for those willing to start from scratch, I add the version that I use, which I adapted a while back from the wonderful Rao’s Cookbook.

INGREDIENTS

2 28 ounce cans of Italian Plum Tomatoes with Basil, preferably imported San Marzano Tomatoes
1/2 cup of EVOO
4 ounces of Fatback or Salt Pork
4 TB of minced Onion
3 Garlic Cloves (peeled & minced)
Sea or Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste
12 leaves fresh Basil torn, (optional)
1 tsp of dried Oregano

METHOD

1. Remove the Tomatoes from the can, reserving their juice . Using your hands, crush the Tomatoes. Gently remove & discard the hard core from the stem end & any skin or tough membrane & save the Tomatoes in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Put the EVOO in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Cut the Fatback or Salt Pork into a small dice & add it to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes or until its fat has been rendered. Remove & discard the meat.

3. Add the Onion & saute for 3 minutes or until translucent & beginning to brown. Stir in the Garlic & saute for 30 seconds or until just softened. Stir in the Tomatoes, reserved juice & Salt.

4. Raise the heat & bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to a very low simmer & cook for just about an hour or until flavors have combined & the sauce has slightly thickened. If you prefer a thicker sauce, simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the Basil, Oregano & Pepper. Cook for an additional minute. And the sauce is made.


Recipe

Serves 2

A CookTale

Rib Steak was used simply because it was left over from the 1-1/2 pound steak we had last week. We set aside 8 ounces. Otherwise a lesser cut like top round is called for. To us, Asian food is mouth-watering delicious. When enjoyed only occasionally, it’s that much more appealing.

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces of Top Round Steak (cut into thin strips)
8 ounces of Snow Peas
3 TB of Soy Sauce
2 TB of Rice Wine or dry Sherry
1 TB of Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp of Cornstarch
1 TB of Peanut Oil
1 TB of fresh Ginger Root (minced)
1 TB of Garlic (minced)
Sesame Seeds

METHOD

1. In a small bowl, combine the Soy Sauce, Rice Wine or Sherry, Brown Sugar & Cornstarch. Set aside.

2. Heat the Peanut Oil in a wok over medium high heat. Stir-fry the Ginger & Garlic for 30 seconds. Add the Steak & stir-fry for 2 minutes or until evenly browned.
Add the Snow Peas & stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes.

3. Add the Soy Sauce mixture, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat & simmer until the sauce has thickened.

4. To serve, divide between two plates & sprinkle with Sesame Seeds.


 

RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

I’m far from being unassuming until it comes to making Asian Potstickers and Dumplings. It is and always has been my challenge. Though every supermarket now has a self-service dumpling center, for some unexplainable reason I opt to make my own. The results are generally spotty, the satisfaction always gratifying. And evidently that’s what keeps dragging me back.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb of ground Pork
1/4 lb of large cooked Shrimp
4 Scallions (2 for garnish + 2 for the sauce)
1/4 cup of Cilantro
2 tsp of Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp of Sesame Oil
2 tsp of Rice Wine or dry Sherry
1 tsp of peeled Ginger
Gyoza wrappers
1 TB of Peanut Oil

METHOD

1. In a food processor, add the first 8 ingredients.
Process until lightly mixed & remove to a bowl.

2. With your fingers, wet all sides of the Gyoza wrapper.
Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the center of the wrapper & fold over to seal. Repeat until the quantity you require is achieved. Freeze the rest.

3. Boil a large pot of water. Add 1 TB of Peanut Oil & reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the potstickers rise to the surface. Drain on paper towels & repeat with as many as desired.

4. In a non-stick fry pan, heat 1 TB of oil & carefully fry the potstickers until browned to your preference.

SOY GINGER SAUCE

Stir together:

2 TB of Soy Sauce
1-1/2 TB of Rice Vinegar
1 tsp of minced Ginger
1 tsp of Sugar
1 tsp of Sesame Oil.
2 Scallions (finely diced)

Garnish the plate with slices of Scallions


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

For unrecorded years the dish called Saltimbocco was and still is classic throughout Italy, Switzerland, and Southern European countries. Saltimbocco translates to “jumps in the mouth”. Traditionally the meat is Veal, pounded with a mallet as thinly as possible. My version using Chicken, was treated similarly. That’s where the comparison ended. The reason, I believe is that Veal takes seconds for each side to brown and tenderize, whereas Chicken takes minutes, and that extra time in a hot pan caused them to seize up. At least mine did. They looked good, Were tasty, but the Chicken Breast can never be as tender as a top round of Veal. Lesson learned was stick to the classic, so the recipe is for Veal.

INGREDIENTS

4 3 oz. slices of top round of Veal (pounded thinly to an even thickness)
Salt & ground Black Pepper
3 TB OF Butter (2 for the pan, 1 for the sauce)
1 TB OF EVOO
8 fresh Sage Leaves (two to a cutlet)
4 slices of Pancetta or Prosciutto (large slices trimmed to fit the Veal)
3/4 cup of dry White Wine or Vermouth

METHOD

1. Season the Veal cutlets with Salt & Pepper. Pound them with a meat mallet as thin as possible. To each slice, add two Sage leaves & top with a slice of Pancetta or Prosciutto. Set aside.

2. In a large deep-sided saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the 2 TB of Butter with the EVOO until very hot. Add the four cutlets, Pancetta or Prosciutto side down, for 1 minute. Turn the cutlets & cook briefly for 1 minute more.

3. Remove them to a platter & cover with foil while the sauce is being prepared. Turn up the heat, & when the pan is sizzling, add the Wine & deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits stuck on the pan bottom. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat & whisk in the remaining 1 TB of Butter.

4. Spoon an equal amount of the Butter/Wine Sauce onto each plate, Add a drizzle of the Sauce over each cutlet. Serve immediately.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Last evening’s dinner converted me to
a Cornish Hen aficionado. In the past it was always Poussin’s at $7.00 a pound. The Cornish Hen costs $2.39 a pound, and weighs about that, or only slightly more. What made it special was brushing on a Tamari Balsamic Glaze*, and roasting for a short while. That was all the little guy required to be tender, cooked through and extremely juicy.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cornish Hen
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
2 TB of EVOO
1/4 cup of Tamari Balsamic Glaze (brand name Blaze, on-line)

METHOD For the Cornish Hen

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees

2. In a small bowl whisk the EVOO & Tamari Balsamic Glaze until emulsified. Completely brush the Hen, with a good coating of the glaze. Place a rack onto a baking sheet, add the Hen & roast for about 25 minutes, or until an internal thermometer read 130 degrees.

3.Remove the Hen form the oven & allow it rest for at least 5 minutes before it’s cut in half. When the oven has cooled down return the Hen to keep it warm while preparing the Sauce.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Last evening’s dinner converted me to
a Cornish Hen aficionado. In the past it was always Poussins at $7.00 a pound. The Cornish Hen costs $2.39 a pound, and weighs about that, or only slightly more. What made it special was brushing on a Tamari Balsamic Glaze*, and roasting for a short while. That was all the little guy required to be tender, cooked through and extremely juicy.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cornish Hen
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
2 TB of EVOO
1/4 cup of Tamari Balsamic Glaze (brand name Blaze, online)

METHOD For the Cornish Hen

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees

2. In a small bowl whisk the EVOO & Tamari Balsamic Glaze until emulsified. Completely brush the Hen, with a good coating of the glaze. Place a rack onto a baking sheet, add the Hen & roast for about 25 minutes, or until an internal thermometer reads 130 degrees. Remove the Hen & allow it rest for at least 5 minutes before it’s cut in half. When the oven has cooled down, return the Hen to keep it warm while preparing the Sauce.

INGREDIENTS For the Soy & White Wine Reduction Sauce

1/4 cup of White Wine Reduction*
1 TB of Soy Sauce
2 TB of White Wine
1 TB of Butter
A pinch of Pepper
1/4 cup of Parsley (chopped)

* From More than Gourmet available at Amazon online

METHOD

1. In a small sauce pan add the White Wine Reduction, Soy Sauce,
White Wine & bring to a boil, constantly whisking to avoid an overflow.

2. Turn off the heat & vigorously whisk it to a smooth emulsion.

3. To serve, spoon the sauce onto two plates, top with half a Hen, a dribble of Sauce & a sprinkle of Parsley.