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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: March 2012


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Improvising seasonings to add to fish results in some fascinating results.
This lovely piece of Sea Bass was marinated in Salt, Pepper, Lemon Rind, sweet Paprika and emulsified with EVOO. What a great result, savory, and flavorful. And by watching the cooking time it came out of the oven, as flakey as it should be.

INGREDIENTS

12 oz of Black Sea Bass ( or other types of sea bass)
Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
1 TB of grated Lemon Rind
1 tsp of sweet Spanish Paprika (not smoked)
1 TB of EVOO (for marinade)
1 TB of EVOO & 1 TB of Butter (for cooking)
A slice of Lemon

METHOD

1. Season the Sea Bass with Sea Salt, freshly ground Black Pepper, the grated Lemon Rind, Spanish Paprika & emulsify with EVOO. Coat the fish & allow it to marinate until cooking time.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

3. Heat the saute pan, add the 1 TB of EVOO & Butter. Cook skin side down, continuously spooning the pan juices over the fish, for about 5 minutes. Move the pan to the heated oven for 10 minutes, remove. The fish should be flakey and well colored.

4. Spoon the pan juices over & around the fish, remove from the pan & place on the bed of sauteed Spinach.

RECIPE Sauteed Spinach with Garlic, EVOO & Pine Nuts

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 10 Ounce bag of washed Spinach
2 Garlic Cloves smashed
2 TB of EVOO
Salt & fresh Black Pepper
1/4 cup of Pine Nuts (toasted)

METHOD

1. Rewash the Spinach & remove their stems. This is optional but desirable.

2. Tear into bite size pieces.

3. Heat a deep sided saute pan until hot. Add the Olive Oil. When the Oil is rippling, add the smashed Garlic, cook until fragrant.

4. Add a large handful of Spinach, cover, to avoid splashing, & allow it to wilt. Repeat until all the spinach in the pan has been added. Add the toasted Pine Nuts.

5. Gently toss the mixture together & it’s ready to plate.

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RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

Spring is definitely in the air when the market offers the first Soft Shell Crabs of the season. I’v often wondered what the excitement about these Crabs is all about. Is it the true sign of Spring? Or the fact that now is this time of the year that the shell of the blue crab is in its molted state and edible?
Whatever the reason, they’re one of Cathie top favorite delicacies.

INGREDIENTS

2 Soft Shell Crabs
1 Egg (lightly beaten)
1 cup OF Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Sea or kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil
Ginger Glaze (available online) optional

METHOD

1. Heat the Vegetable Oil to 300 degrees in a deep pot or deep fryer.

2.Clean the crabs with water & blot them dry with paper towels. Coat the Crabs with the Egg & then the seasoned Panko. Make sure the Crabs are well-coated before you fry them.

3.Deep fry the Crabs until their shell turns red & the Panko becomes golden brown. About 2-1/2 minutes a side.

4. Remove to paper towels & prepare to plate.


RECIPE

Serves 4

RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

For a guy who grew up in a completely ethnic neighborhood in the East Bronx, I have no idea where or when I became smitten with this dish popular throughout Latin America. A reasonable assumption could be that hash has always been high on my list. So last evening, dinner, with an urge for Cuban food, based on the spotlight the Popes’ visit has caused I opted for Picadillo with authentic Cuban ingredients. What was missing that would have made it truly authentic was Green Olives, I substituted Black. Other than that, the toughest Cuban food critic wuld have approved.

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound of ground Beef Chuck
2 TB of EVOO
1 Cup of Yellow Onion (finely diced)
3 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced or to taste)
1 Green Pepper (finely diced)
1/2 a Red Bell Pepper (finely diced)
1 14 ounce can of diced Tomatoes (drained)
1/4 Cup of Capers (drained)
1/2 Cup of Green Olives (chopped)
1/3 Cup of Raisins
1 tsp of ground Cumin
1/8 tsp of ground Cloves
1/4 tsp of Cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp of Oregano
1 Dried Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. In a large saute pan, heat 1 TB of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the ground Beef, & brown the meat, stirring occasionally. Remove the browned meat & drain the excess fat from the pan.

2. Add the remaining 1 TB of EVOO, & heat over medium heat. Add the Green & Red Peppers, Onion, Garlic, & Bay Leaf. Sauté until the Onions are translucent.

3. Return the meat to the pot, & add the remaining seasoning ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, & simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Remove the Bay Leaf & serve the Picadillo over White Rice.


RECIPE
Serves 2 amply

A CookTale

Cathie’s special treat is her amazing ability to replicate Julia Child’s Cheese Souffle, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1. When we both are “fooded” out, I ask, “ How about a Souffle?”.
This recipe looks complicated, but according to Cathie, it’s quite easy. And take it from one who has enjoyed it for decades, it is outstandingly delicious. A simple salad is all that’s needed to round out a sumptuous vegetarian dinner.

METHOD Step by Step

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
6 cup Soufflé dish
1 TB Butter
2 TB Gruyere Cheese

Butter inside of the Souffle mold and sprinkle with Gruyere Cheese. Save a little of the Cheese to sprinkle on top of the Souffle as it goes into the oven.

3 TB Butter
3 TB Wondra Flour (regular flour is too heavy)
1 cup of boiling Heavy Cream (or you can use Milk)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Nutmeg

Melt Butter in 2-1/2 qt. saucepan. Stir in Flour with a wooden spoon and cook over heat until Butter and Flour foam together for no more than 2 minutes without browning. Remove from heat; pour in boiling Cream. Add seasonings. Beat vigorously with wire whip until blended. Return over moderate heat and boil, stirring with whisk, for 1 minute. Sauce will be very thick.

5 Eggs, separated

Immediately start to separate the Eggs. Drop a White into a separate bowl and the Yolk into the center of the hot sauce. Beat the Yolk into the sauce and continue in the same manner with the rest of the Eggs. Correct seasoning. (May be prepared ahead to this point. Dot top of sauce with Butter.)

The Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
3/4 C. coarsely grated mix of Gruyere & Gorgonzola (or whatever you have on hand)

Add pinch of Salt to the Whites and beat until stiff. Stir a big spoonful (about one quarter of the Whites) into the sauce. Stir in the Cheese. Delicately fold in the rest of the Egg Whites. It will not look well mixed, but yellow with crests of white foam.

Turn the mixture into the prepared mold, which should be about 3/4 full. Sprinkle reserved Cheese on top. Set mold on rack in the middle of the oven and immediately turn heat down to 375. (Do not open the door for 25 minutes.) In 30 or 35 minutes the soufflé will have puffed up and the top will be nicely browned. Serve at once.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

To all who shy away from Cauliflower, may I suggest roasting with EVOO and salt and pepper? It very well might change your mind. The trick is to roast it to a char, it changes the texture and the taste. To my taste buds, the heavily charred pieces have the remote taste of campfire-roasted Marshmallows. Tasting is believing.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Half a fresh Cauliflower cut into slices
2 TB of EVOO
1 TB of Salt + 2 tsp of Pepper
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Add the seasoned Cauliflower slices & florets in one layer to a baking sheet.
3. Roast for about 25 minutes, carefully watching their progress.
4. When roasted to suit, remove & allow to cool down a bit.
5. Plate & if desired add sprinkle of EVOO.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

In this household we’re moderate eaters, though immoderate cooks. One Rib Veal Chop that weighs in at 12 oz when the bone is removed, results in 6 oz of meat to an individual serving. More than sufficent. Here again with meat as fragile as Veal, grilling in a cast iron pan, vs outdoor grilling affords the necessary temperature control. But that’s me! The side dish was oven roasted Cauliflower, cooked to the point of char, with a melt-in-the- mouth consistency.

INGREDIENTS For the Veal Chop

1 lb Rib Veal Chop (1-1/4″ thick)
Kosher Salt & fresh Black Pepper
1 TB of EVOO
1/4 cup of Parsley (chopped)

METHOD

1. Generously season the Chop on both sides, douse with EVOO & allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking hot, add 1/2 TB of EVOO & add the Chop. Weigh it down with a grill press & cook for 2 minutes a side. You want the Veal to be just medium rare & well seared.

3. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

RECIPE Red Wine Reduction with Red Pepper Jelly

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup of Red Wine Reduction (available by More than Gourmet on-line from Amazon)
1 TB of Butter
1 medium Shallot (diced)
1 TB of Red Pepper Jelly
1/3 cup of Chicken Stock

METHOD

1. Heat a small saucepan, add the Butter & when it melts & the sizzling stops, add the diced Shallot. Saute for 1 minute & add the Red Wine Reduction. Add the Red Pepper Jelly, the Chicken stock, & whisk until emulsified. Add a pinch of Salt if necessary, & set aside.

To serve. Remove the chop from the bone & cut in half. Add to the plate, surround with the sauce and sprinkle with Parsley.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Swordfish is a specie that adapts to endless variations, but for us the simplest method is to be cooked in a sizzling grill pan or on a gas grill for as short a time as possible, then paired with any number of compatible accompaniments. Last evening it was a combination of Mediterranean vegetables brought together in a quick saute.

INGREDIENTS

2 6 oz slices of Swordfish
3 TB of EVOO (1 for the salsa, 2 for the pan)
Lemon Juice
1 medium Onion (minced)
1 clove of Garlic (minced)
6 ripe Plum Tomatoes (diced) or a 14 oz can of diced Tomatoes
1 small Fennel Bulb (diced)
5 large White Mushrooms (diced)
10 green Olives (pitted and minced)
1 Medium Zucchini (diced)
1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
2 oz Pine Nuts (toasted)
1/4 cup of drained Capers
Basil Leaves (torn or shredded)
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
1/3 cup of Parsley
1/3 cup of Marinara Sauce
1/3 cup of White Wine or Vermouth
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Ginger Balsamic Glaze (optional)

METHOD

1. Prepare all the major vegetables in separate bowls. (The Garlic, Fennel & Onion can be in one bowl.) Have all the other ingredients available on hand at the stovetop.

2. Heat 2 TB of EVOO in a large saucepan over high heat. Saute Onion, Fennel & Garlic until soft. Stir in Olives. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

3. In the same pan add the Mushrooms, Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper & Red Pepper Flakes. Saute for a few minutes & add to the large bowl.

4. In the same pan add the Tomatoes, Capers, White Wine or Vermouth & the Marinara sauce. Saute for a few minutes & return all the ingredients from the large bowl. Add the Salt & Pepper & Parsley & gently toss together. Cover the saucepan.

5. Season the Swordfish steaks with Lemon Juice, EVOO & Salt & Pepper. Set aside to blend the flavors.

6. Heat a grill pan to smoking hot, add EVOO & the Swordfish. Weigh them down with a grill press &
grill for 1-1/2 minutes a side for rare, 2 minutes for medium rare. Any more will dry out the fish.

7. To serve. Add a generous bed of Salsa to each plate. Top with a slice of Swordfish. Adding Ginger Balsamic Glaze to the fish is optional.