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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: February 2012


RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

Harold McGee, who writes about the science of food and cooking, could explain why oven roasting slices of a Fennel Bulb so completely changes its character and flavor. All I know is that it evolves from an interesting vegetable, into a remarkably delicious one. On top of that it’s gorgeous.

INGREDIENTS

Fennel Bulb (cut into 3/4″ slices)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
2 TB of EVOO
Fennel fonds for garnish

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Season the Fennel & douse it with the EVOO.

3. Place them in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes (depending on how charred you’d like it).


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

The Balsamic arrow was a totally unplanned surprise on today of all days, Valentine’s Day.

In the village of Woodstock we have a great source for New Zealand organic Wild Salmon named Woodstock Meats. Their fish is delivered daily and has never been frozen. To prepare this dish, the Salmon needs to be placed in the freezer for about 30 minutes. At that point, it’s solid enough to carefully slice horizontally in half. The two slices will be about 1/4″ thick and require no more than thirty seconds a side in a buttery pan to cook.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 Pound Wild Salmon fillet (never frozen)
3 TB Butter & 1 TB EVOO
2 TB of Dry Vermouth
Sea or Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar Glaze (by Roland Foods, available on-line or at specialty food stores)

METHOD

1. Slice the slightly frozen Salmon fillet carefully in half (an electric knife helps). Season the two slices liberally with Salt & Pepper.

2. Heat a deep sided saute pan to medium, add the 1 TB of Butter & the EVOO. When it stops sizzling, add the Salmon & cook for 30 seconds per side.

3. Remove with a slotted spatula & transfer to a holding plate. Cover with tin foil to keep warm.

4. Add the remaining 2 TB of Butter to the saute pan & 1TB of Vermouth. Over high heat whisk them together to emulsify the sauce.

5. To serve, spoon the Vermouth Butter sauce onto each plate, top with a fillet & a sweep of the Balsamic Glaze.


RECIPE

Serves 2 generously

A CookTale

Back on January 15th, I posted a Calamari and Octopus Stew, and it was a tasty dinner. A month almost to the day and it was time to once again enjoy a seafood stew. This time in honor of Valentine’s eve it was made only with Calamari rings. Simple to prepare, a one-pot dinner, and less clean-up. Even the Rice was prepared in an electric ricer. That makes for a win-win all around.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb of Calamari (1/4″ rings)
28 oz can of whole Tomatoes
2 cups of Marinara Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)
1 cup of White Wine
1 TB of fresh Lemon juice
1 TB of EVOO
2 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
1 medium Red Onion (diced)
1/2 tsp of Sea Salt + 1 tsp of Black Pepper
1/2 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
2 TB of Salt Capers
1/3 cup of flat leaf Parsley (chopped)

METHOD

1. Slice the Calamari into rings about 1/4 inch thick, Set them aside.

2. In a large deep saute pan, add the EVOO, the Garlic & Red Onion. Saute until translucent & tender. Add the canned Tomatoes, the Marinara Sauce, White Wine, Lemon Juice, EVOO, Salt, Pepper & Red Pepper Flakes. Simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes to give the flavors time to blend.

3. Add the Calamari to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for tenderness — the Calamari should be tender & the sauce very savory. Add the Capers & the chopped Parsley, combine it all & it’s ready.

RECIPE For the Rice

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of White Rice
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 TB of Butter + 1 tsp of Salt

METHOD

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the Rice, the Butter & Salt. Cover, lower the heat & simmer for about 12 minutes. Don’t remove the cover for at least 5 minutes.


NO RECIPE REQUIRED

Serves 2

A CookTale

You never know what might turn up at the village supermarket! This week’s surprise came in a plastic bag in red, yellow, and orange. They were just asking to have someone do something with them. I might have disappointed them with a simple roasting, doused with EVOO, Salt and Pepper. If they only knew how tasty they were!


NO RECIPE REQUIRED

Serves 2

A CookTale

What could be simpler at the end of a weekend than a tasty Burger and a pan of crispy, crunchy Hash Browns? Especially when they come from frozen Ore-Idas? In a pinch, this brand really works. I’m alway kind of looking over my shoulder when I use frozen Potatoes; that is, until I take a forkful to my lips. As the title says, no recipe required. Just a simple Sunday supper…



RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

A Lamb Chop will always be a Lamb Chop. But discovering a new pasta sauce is something to crow about. This was published in 2000 by Faith Willinger, a devoted writer of Italian cookbooks, whose home is in Florence. Along with the pan grilled Lamb Chop marinated in a Balsamic Glaze, it was a delicious duo.

INGREDIENTS For the Asparagus Sauce

1 lb fresh Asparagus (ends trimmed & peeled)
1 tsp of finely grated fresh Lemon zest
1/4 cup of EVOO
4 oz of Penne
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

METHOD

1. Cut the Asparagus into 1-inch pieces, reserving tips separately. Cook asparagus stems in 5 to 6 quarts boiling water with 1 TB of Salt until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving cooking water in pot, & rinse under cold water. Drain Asparagus well & transfer to a food processor. Cook Asparagus tips in the same boiling water until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a colander, reserving boiling water in pot, & rinse under cold water. Drain the tips well.

2. Purée the Asparagus stems with the zest, oil, & 1/2 cup of the Asparagus cooking water. Transfer sauce to a 4-quart saucepan.

3. Cook pasta in the boiling Asparagus cooking water until it still offers some resistance, around three-fourths of the recommended cooking time. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water& drain the pasta.

4. Add Pasta, Asparagus tips, & 1/2 cup reserved water to the Asparagus sauce & cook over high heat, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes, or until pasta is almost al dente & the sauce completely coats pasta. If necessary add more cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce coats the Pasta.

5. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano & Salt & Pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted.

INGREDIENTS For the Lamb Chops

2 6-oz Loin Lamb Chops
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of Balsamic Glaze (available online from Roland)

METHOD

1. Season the Chops & marinate with the Balsamic Glaze.

2. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking & add the Chops, weighed down with a meat press. 2-1/2 minutes to a side, should bring the internal temperature to 120 de


RECIPE 

Serves 2

A CookTale

In this day and age it’s not a simple task to find freshly made charcuterie of any kind, much less Weisswurst, a traditional Bavarian sausage made from very finely minced veal. Once again we are lucky to have The Smokehouse of The Catskills, only a few miles from home. We are assured that every Thursday of every week Bavarian specialties have been hand-made and on display. This Rip Van Winkle region of the Catskills had a significant population of Dutch and Germans. This resulted in the original association that started the Smokehouse in 1945. Lucky for us it’s still going strong.

INGREDIENTS

4 Weisswurst Sausages
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
5 ounces thick-cut Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of of Riesling or a dry white wine 
1 large Apple, such as Gala or Fuji (peeled, cored & cut into 1/2″ pieces)
12 Juniper Berries
3 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp of Sugar
Kosher Salt & freshly ground Pepper
1 cup of Water
2 lbs of Sauerkraut (drained, rinsed & squeezed dry)
Grainy Mustard (Bavarian preferred, for serving)

METHOD

1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 TB of the oil until shimmering. Add the bacon & cook over moderately high heat until the fat is rendered & the Bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.

2. Add the Onion to the casserole, cover partially & cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 20 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the Wine, Apple, Juniper Berries, Bay Leaves, Sugar, 1 tsp of Kosher Salt & 1/2 tsp of Pepper & boil for 3 minutes. Add the water & the Sauerkraut. Reduce the heat to low, cover & cook until the Apple is very tender, about 45 minutes.

3. In a large deep-sided saute pan, add water. When it starts to boil, add the Weisswurst & simmer them until they have heated through, about 8 minutes.

4. To serve, spoon the Sauerkraut onto each plate & arrange the sausages around. Sprinkle the reserved Bacon over the Sauerkraut & serve with a large dollop of Mustard.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

At a Winter Farmers Market in Saugerties, NY, we picked up pre-ordered Pork Rib Chops from Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow, NY. Last evening we put two of them to work. When the forks hit our lips, and the Pork our mouths, we stared at each other, as if to say, “aren’t these something?” — and they were. They cut through like a slice of bread, and were wonderfully bite-tender. Once again thanks to Carol Clement and her four- legged friends.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pork Rib Chops 1-1/4″ thick
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Lemon Juice
1 TB of EVOO plus 1 TB EVOO for the Peppers
2 Bell Peppers (multicolored & sliced into 1/2″ pieces)
Parsley (chopped)

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the Chops with 1 TB EVOO and season with Salt & Pepper.

2. Heat a cast iron grill pan to very hot. Add the Rip Chops, weigh them down with a meat press & grill for 2 minutes. Turn them diagonally & repeat, for a total of 4 minutes. This will properly sear them prior to finishing in the oven. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. In a saute pan, add 1 TB of EVOO & saute the Peppers until they begin to color, soften, & take on a cooked appearance. Set aside.

4. Place the Pork Chops in the oven & roast for no more than 5 to 7 minutes. The Pork’s internal temperature should register about 135 degrees.

RECIPE For the Mustard Sauce

4 ounces of Red Wine Reduction (More than Gourmet available on-line from Amazon)
1 TB of Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
2 oz of Red wine
2 oz of Beef Broth
1 sprig of fresh Rosemary

METHOD

1. In a small sauce pan, add all of the above ingredients, bring to a simmer & whisk together.

2. To plate, place a puddle of Mustard Sauce on each plate, top with a Pork Rib Chop, surround with the Peppers, & sprinkle with Parsley.


RECIPE
Adapted from the Da Silvano cookbook

Serves 2

A CookTale

When your taste buds say, “Thai Mussels tonight” but you find you don’t have the Coconut milk, you do the next best thing. Change “courses” in mid-stream. Last evening dinner went from Asia to Italy in the blink of an eye. I admit it was 180 degrees from what we looked forward to, but I’ll be a better plan-aheader in the future.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds of fresh Mussels (preferably labeled Prince Edward Island)
2TB of EVOO
2 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
a pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup of white Wine or Vermouth
12 Campari Tomatoes (quartered)
20 Caper Berries
1/4 cup of flat leaf Parley (minced)

METHOD

1. Warm the EVOO in a large pot or casserole. Add the Shallot & Garlic & cook until they soften & brown.

2. Add the Mussels & the pinch of Red Pepper Flakes. Cover the pot & cook until the Mussels open, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Pour in the Wine. Scatter the Tomatoes & Caper Berries over the Mussels. Add the Parsley & gently mix together.

4. Plate with a wedge of Lemon.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Not only was the size of these Brussels unusual, but their taste was extraordinary. Due to their size, every bite brought you to a creamy center, which never before happened with regular marble size Brussels. All I could figure out was that the grower left them on their stalks until they reached this gigantic size. This was well worth devoting a CookTeaser posting to a, vegetable. We found them at Price Chopper, our local Supermarket. I heartily recommend you search for them

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces of Gigantic Brussels Sprouts
2 TB of EVOO
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425F degrees.

2. Halve the Brussels & add to a large bowl. Douse with the EVOO & sprinkle with Salt & Pepper.

3. Transfer to a casserole or a baking dish & roast for about 45 minutes until they’re blackened & have become very tender.

4. Remove & plate.