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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: June 2012


Serves 2

A CookTale

Dinner was as appealing as I find this picture to be inviting. Marinating the Tri Tip for a few hours helps tenderize this cut of Beef. It was grilled for a few minutes a side to sear it still keep the middle on the rare side. The deep fried Japanese Turnip Chips, sliced thinly on a mandoline were quite tasty, but not as crisp as we hoped for. The reason we believe was soaking them in ice water. In the future that step will be omitted, as it is omitted in this recipe.

INGREDIENTS For the marinade

1/3 C of Soy Sauce
1/3 C of Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 C of EVOO
2 TB of Honey
3 TB of Water
2 Garlic Cloves (smashed)
Black Pepper


In a large, non-reactive bowl, blend the Soy Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, EVOO, Water, Garlic, & Pepper. Place the chunks of Tri Tip in the marinade. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.


1 lb of Beef Tri Tip cut into thirds


1. Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat & lightly oil the grate.

2. Grill the marinated Tri Tip pieces for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Discard remaining marinade.

INGREDIENTS For the Turnip Chips
Oil for deep frying
Kosher Salt
Parsley for the garnish
A bunch of medium size Japanese Turnips (cleaned, leaves & stems removed, thinly sliced on a mandoline)


1. Heat a deep fryer or a deep-sided pot to 325 degrees F.

2. Add the Turnips in small amounts & deep fry until richly colored & crisp. Remove to paper toweling & repeat until all the Turnips have been fried. As they are fried, continue to pat dry & season with Salt. Try to serve them immediately as a side to the Tri Tip.

3. Sprinkle with chopped Parsley as the garnish


Serves 2

A CookTale

Our supermarket announced another Lobster sale, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs at $5.88 a pound. That was enough to get us out of our seats. We had the fishmonger steam and crack three of them so they were ready to go. To Cathie, nothing is more of a treat than simply steamed with a dipping dish of clarified butter. For me the dipping dish was a combination of Mayonnaise, Cocktail Sauce and Lemon Juice. Somewhat like a simplified Russian Dressing.

INGREDIENTS For the Lobsters if they were not steamed by the fishmonger

3 1-1/4- to 1-1/2-pound Lobsters
1/2 Cup White Wine or Vermouth
A small bowl of clarified Butter
A small Bowl of the Mayo mixed with Cocktail Sauce
Lemon Slice


1. Humanely kill the Lobsters by plunging a chef’s knife into the head. It immediately dies.

2.To steam the Lobsters, fill pot so that water comes up sides about two inches. Add 1 TB of salt. Bring the water to a boil, & put in the Lobster. (Feel free to use a steaming rack or just add directly to the pot.) Regulate the heat if the froth starts to bubble over. Cover the pot tightly & start counting the time. The Lobster is cooked after 12 or 13 minutes.

3 .The Lobsters are done when the outer shell is bright red & the meat is white, not opaque. Do not overcook nor undercook them.

4. Carefully remove them from the pot with tongs, they are very hot. Note: your Lobster will continue to cook a little after you take it out of the pot. To stop the cooking process, place the steamed lobster in a bowl of ice before cracking.

6. Plate & serve with a wedge of lemon & a dipping sauce.


Serves 2

A CookTale

This recipe came from the food pages of New York Magazine. A fusion salad that goes well with most everything, we served it with the Sushi Tuna. It will take its place as a side dish to repeat often in the oncoming warm months of Summer.


12 oz of Snow Peas (strings removed)
2 TB of EVOO
1/4 C of White Onion (diced)
1/4 C of Pancetta (diced)
1/4 C of Mint Leaves
Pecorino Romano (to shave over the Snow Peas)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

INGREDIENTS For the Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 C of fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon Zest
1/2 C of EVOO
1 tsp of Salt


1. Whisk the ingredients together & set aside.

2. Slice the Snow Peas lengthwise into a julienne. Soak in ice water for a few minutes. Remove & dry on paper toweling. Add them to a large bowl.

3. Heat the EVOO in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the Onion & sweat for 10 minutes until very soft. Add the Pancetta & cook until the fat is rendered.

4. Add them to the Snow Peas & lightly dress with enough Lemon Vinaigrette to just coat the Snow Peas.

5. Season with Salt & Pepper & finish with the Mint leaves & shaved Pecorino.

Serves 2

A CookTale

We spent three hours driving through a horrendous thunderstorm on yet another dr. visit. If there was a bright spot to the day it was the stop on the way home at Gadeleto’s in New Paltz to purchase our dinner of Soft Shell Crabs. We were once again wowed by the store. It’s almost worth a visit to the dr.


4 Medium sized Soft Shell Crabs (have the fishmonger prepare them)
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Light Olive Oil to coat a skillet to 1/4″


1. Rinse, paper towel dry & season the Soft Shells. Set aside.

2. Heat a skillet & add enough Olive Oil to coat the pan to 1/4″

3. When the Oil is almost smoking, add the four Soft Shell Crabs, shell side down for one minute. Be careful of spattering. Turn over & repeat. Remove to paper towels to sop up the Oil.

4. Simply plate and garnish as you like.

Serves 2
A CookTale

My audacious comment of the day: “Anyone who cooks Sushi-grade Tuna for more than 15 seconds a side should not be permitted to purchase it”.
With that expressed, last evening’s dinner was marvelous. Each plate had five cubes of Tuna in an Asian dipping sauce that was dotted with diced Scallions and sprinkled with toasted Sesame Seeds. A thank you to Gadeleto’s for outstanding seafood, every time.


3/4-1 lb. Sushi-grade Tuna
2 TB Soy Sauce
1 TB Mirin
1 TB Rice Vinegar
2 Garlic Cloves, diced
1/4 C Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
1 TB Sesame Oil
3 TB Scallions, white & green diced to 1/2”


1. Whisk the sauce ingredients together.

2. Cut the Tuna into 1″ cubes. Heat a non-stick pan & add 1TB of Peanut Oil. When pan is slightly smoking, add the Tuna.

3. Sear untouched for no more than 15 seconds.
Turn on other side & sear for another 15 seconds.

4. Add 5 Tuna cubes to a puddle of the Asian Dipping sauce. Garnish with spears of Scallions.


Serves 2

A CookTale

Fresh Halibut filets on a Sunday, a special treat from our most reliable Woodstock Market. Just the way we like it, one inch thick, with the fresh scent of the sea and plump to the touch. The freshly made Basil Pesto provided a delicious counterpart. And it made for an attractive plating.

INGREDIENTS For the Halibut

1 lb of fresh Halibut filet (halved)
Sea Salt & White Pepper
Lemon Juice
1 TB of EVOO, more for the pan sauce
1 TB of Butter, more for the pan sauce


1. Season the Halibut, add a splash of EVOO & Lemon Juice.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron pan to high. Add the EVOO & Butter. Add the Halibut, skin side down & cook for 4 minutes. Remove to the oven for 4 more minutes.

4. Place the Halibut on a warm plate & cover with foil, while you finish the pan sauce.

5. Over medium heat, add an additional pat of Butter another splash of EVOO & a squirt of Lemon Juice. Loosen the pan contents together with the EVOO & Butter & mix to emulsify.

6. To plate, spoon a bed of the Basil Pesto & top with a slice of Halibut. Add a tsp of pan sauce atop the fish & a dollop more of Pesto. Garnish with a sprig of Basil.

INGREDIENTS For the Basil Pesto

Leaves of a bunch of fresh Basil
2 TB of toasted Pine Nuts, Walnuts or Almonds
2 TB of Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1 Garlic Clove (or to your taste)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1/2 C of EVOO (more, if needed, for a thinner sauce)


1. Into the food processor add the Basil Leaves & pulse a few times until they’re finely chopped. With a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Add the Garlic, Nuts, Parmesan Cheese, Salt & Pepper & process until very smooth. With the processor running, begin to add the 1/2 cup of EVOO into the tube-like-funnel on the lid of processor. When the Pesto has attained the proper consistency, it’s ready.

3. Transfer to a container, top with a thin layer of EVOO. It will keep in the fridge for a week, in the freezer for 6 months (though I highly doubt it will make it that long).


Serves 2 With leftovers

A CookTale

My question is, are they worth the time and effort? Once again it’s one man’s opinion — I say yes, but only occasionally. From the time you begin, to the table, could take as long as 28 hours; that is, if you follow the accepted procedure of overnight dry rubbing, 3-1/2 hours of slow oven cooking, plus another half hour of cooking with the BB sauce slathered on. I readily admit that a bottled BB Sauce was used and I did not refrigerate them overnight, a few hours on the counter was all I could handle. The result were tender ribs, tasty ribs, and the bottled Stubbs BB Sauce was savory enough to satisfy our palates.


1 rack of Baby Back ribs, silver skin & under flap removed
1 tsp of Liquid Smoke


Kosher Salt
Granulated Onion
Granulated Garlic
Smoked Sweet Paprika
Black Pepper

METHOD for the Ribs

1. Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Sprinkle the dry rub on the Ribs, cover them with foil & refrigerate for as long as you can. A minimum of a few hours are suggested.

3. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove covering from Ribs. Place on an aluminum foil-lined baking pan or cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 3-1/2 hours.

4. Remove the Ribs from oven. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes, remove foil and drain accumulated liquid. Slather both sides of the ribs with the Stubbs Barbecue Sauce, return to oven & bake, uncovered for another 30 minutes. Separate the Ribs & serve with additional BB Sauce.


Serves 2

A CookTale

This is a simple dinner to make at the end of a extremely hot day, Because the sauce is not cooked, you need the best, ripest Tomatoes you can find. Fortunately we had a Brandywyne Heirloom left from those purchased for the previous evening’s Crab Salad. Usually a Puttanesca sauce would be simmered and reduced over some time, but this version keeps the flavors incredibly fresh, zingy, and refreshing.

1/2 C of EVOO
1 or 2 ripe Tomatoes
1/2 C of Kalamata or Gaeta Olives (halved)
2 Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil (and a splash of the oil itself)
1 tsp of Capers, drained and rinsed
A small handful of fresh Basil leaves
2 tsp of fresh Oregano leaves
A small handful of fresh chopped Parsley
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
Kosher Salt & Pepper
1 tsp of Pignoli Nuts (pan roasted)
A pinch of dried Red Pepper Flakes


1. Place all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl and roughly chop them by hand. Carefully mix together, then season with Salt & Pepper. Add the Red Pepper Flakes according to taste. Spicy is preferred.

2. Set aside while you prepare the pasta.

Cook the pasta you prefer & serve immediately. The rule in Italy is no Parmesan on Seafood – the Anchovies and Olives should make this dish salty enough.

Serves 2 With ample leftovers

A CookTale

There is only one recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing that I have relied on for years. And that’s from the Palm Restaurant Cookbook. Each time it’s on our table it brings back memories of the dozens and dozens of fabulous dinners we’ve enjoyed at The Palm on 45th and Second Avenue in the City. It’s quite simple to prepare, there are always leftovers & the dressing lasts for a week in the fridge.


4 oz of Danish or French Blue Cheese (crumbled is fine)
1/2 C of EVOO
1/2 C of Mayonnaise
1 TB of Red Wine Vinegar (optional)


1. Add the crumbled Blue Cheese to a bowl &, using a fork, whisk in the EVOO.

2. Let stand for about 40 minutes (important).

3. Whisk in the Mayonnaise & the (optional) Vinegar. Whisk again just before serving.

Serves 2 Amply

A CookTale

Mussels, farmed at Prince Edward Island, Canada has dramatically improved the ability to buy and enjoy these delicious bivalves. At one time, the required scrubbing and beard removal made them an occasional treat. Today, It’s simply out of their net bag, a quick rinse and search for the occasional beard and they’re ready to add to the steam pot, the cast iron skillet or the grill. After the desired preparation, five to eight minutes later the these delicious morsels are on the table.


2-1/2 lb of Mussels (fresh, scrubbed and de-bearded where necessary)
1/4 C of fresh Lime Juice
13-1/2 oz of unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 C of dry White Wine
1 TB of Thai Red Curry paste or to taste
2 TB of minced Garlic
1 TB of Asian Fish Sauce
1 TB of white Sugar
1 cup of fresh Cilantro (chopped)


1. In a large stock pot, combine the Lime Juice, Coconut Milk, Wine, Curry Paste, Garlic, Fish Sauce & Sugar. Stir to dissolve Sugar & Curry Paste & bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then add Mussels. Cover & cook, stirring occasionally, until Mussels have opened, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat & discard any unopened Mussels. Pour Mussels & liquid into plates or a serving dish & toss with Cilantro.

3. A grilled baguette with EVOO is delicious for mopping up the sauce.