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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: July 2012


RECIPE Image

Serves 2

A CookTale

Every night the dish I plan to prepare begins in my mind as the dish I hope finds its way to a plate. Then the actual attempt to interpret it into three dimensional reality gets tricky. But when it works and what comes to the table is what I had in mind, I did my job. I can’t remember the last time I attempted to prepare Tuna Tartare, so I trod carefully as I prepared the ingredients, and hoped for the best. Cathie was dubious, so was I, but when the finished dish came to the table, we knew it worked out well. I immodestly add, it was a savory success.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 lb of Sushi grade Tuna
2 TB of EVOO
Juice of 1 Lime & grated Zest
1 TB of fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 tsp of Wasabi Powder
A few drops of Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp of Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp of freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 C of minced Scallion (white & green parts)
1 tsp of minced fresh Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed
1 ripe Hass Avocado
1 tsp of toasted Sesame Seeds (optional)

METHOD

1. Cut the Tuna into 1/4 inch dice & place it in a medium bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine the EVOO, Lime Zest, Lime Juice, Wasabi, Soy Sauce, Tabasco, Salt & Pepper. Pour over the Tuna, add the Scallions & Jalapeno & mix well. Cut the Avocado in half, remove the pit & peel. Cut the Avocado into 1/4 inch dice.

3. Carefully mix the Avocado into the Tuna mixture. Add the toasted Sesame & season to taste.

4. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour for the flavors to blend.

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RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

A Salad for dinner, and you leave the table very satisfied. That’s the beauty of ripe local Tomatoes, fresh Basil and two types of Mozzarella. One was imported Buratta, all topped with a fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil. And if you get on the scale the next morning your body will shout a vote of thanks.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

As I stood there pondering a brown paper bag of Green Beans from the Saugerties Farmer Market, a light went on, and the idea of julienning the Beans struck me. The gadget that performs this transformation most likely sits in a draw, rarely if ever used. The other ingredients were gathered from the fridge and off the counter. What was created from this melange was a raw Summer salad. The lessons learned and what I’d change next time, are adjusted below.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of fresh Green Beans
A basket of multi colored Cherry Tomatoes
1/3 C of Pine Nuts (toasted)
1 large Shallot (thinly sliced)
1 Garlic Clove (finely sliced)
8 Basil Leaves (sliced to a chiffonade)
1 Medium hot Chile Pepper (finely diced)
Sea Salt &Black Pepper.
1 or 2 TB of an EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar Vinaigrette

METHOD

1. In a large mixing bowl add all the Vegetables & the Sea Salt & Black Pepper.

2. When ready to serve. & not before*, add the Vinaigrette & gently toss.

* To avoid the Beans & Tomatoes & from wilting & turning soggy.


RECIPE

A CookTale

For those who have yet to prepare a whole Chicken in this style, here is a great new method to add to your repertoire. Cathie and I were fortunate to discover this in a small mountainside restaurant in the hills of Chianti, Tuscany. The menu was a chalkboard in Italian, the chef, clad in his undershirt, sweating over a roaring fire, was grilling a number of Chickens flattened under bricks. Here we have to rely on our gas or charcoal grills to try to replicate this old world technique. A friend who knew Italy very well once told me “In Italy avoid countryside restaurants if upon entering, you don’t get the whiff of a cook sweating against a roaring fire”. Not a wonderful image to take home, but here’s the wonderful result!

INGREDIENTS

1 (3- to 4-lb) Chicken, halved but still intact so that it lies flat
1/4 C of EVOO
6 TB of chopped fresh Herbs (such as Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Marjoram)
5 to 6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
Coarse Salt & Pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Rub the Chicken all over with Oil, Herbs, Garlic, Salt & Pepper. Transfer to a wide, shallow dish, cover, & refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.

2. Drain excess marinade from the Chicken & arrange, skin side down, on a grill over a medium low fire (you should be able to hold your hand over the flame for 5—6 seconds). Immediately place two heavy bricks wrapped in foil or a weighted cast iron pan over the chicken. Close the lid of the grill and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.

3. When the skin is crispy & golden, flip Chicken & cook on the other side for another 12 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife or a meat thermometer registers 135°F. in the thighs.
Remove, it will continue to cook while it rests.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

What turned a Steak and Potatoes dinner into something more interesting was the Vegetable combination, roasted in a hot oven. The Filets from Smokehouse Of The Catskills were up to par, and a simple grilling in a cast iron grill pan brought out the best in them. The Vegetable required a bit more preparation attention, but as the saying goes, you get out what you put in…in this case, deliciousness!

INGREDIENTS The Vegetables

12 oz of Baby Yellow Potatoes (quartered)
Box of frozen Baby Artichokes (defrosted)
2 Large Shallots (thinly sliced)
2 Garlic Cloves (sliced)
2 TB of EVOO
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Add all the Vegetables in a bowl & add 2 TB of EVOO. Gently combine.

3. Transfer from the bowl to a baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes, or until they begin to show charring.

4. Remove & allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

A few months ago, I claimed “This has never happened before… but I shall make sure it happens again”. It did last evening. I grilled a 2″ thick fillet of Swordfish. It’s a totally different taste sensation when it’s as thick as a filet mignon. Seared and crisp on the surfaces and juicy and just perfect in the middle. It’s cut from the carcass of a Swordfish that you most likely have to ask your friendly fishmonger to cut just for you. That is, if his walk-in cold room has one. It’s well worth seeking out one that does.

INGREDIENTS For the Swordfish

2 Swordfish Fillets 2″ thick (8 oz each)
1 TB of sweet Paprika + a sprinkle of hot Paprika
4 oz of Butter softened (more if needed)
1/3 C of Vermouth or White Wine
Lemon Juice (to taste)
Balsamic Glaze (available online from Roland Foods)
Sea or Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
Basil Pesto as garnish (optional)

METHOD

1. In a container large enough to fit the two Fillets, add the EVOO, Paprika, Salt & Black Pepper. Whisk to combine.

2. Heat the saute pan to high, add half the Butter (2 oz), & when it stops sizzling, add the Fillets & saute until golden brown on both sides (about 1-1/2 minutes per side).

4. The internal temperature should register about 120-125 degrees. Remember that we like our fish on the rare to medium rare side. Cook yours according to your taste, but do not overcook.

4. Remove with a slotted spatula & drain on paper towels. Transfer to a holding plate & cover with tin foil to keep warm.

5. To plate, spoon a bed of the Summer Salsa onto a plate. Top with a Swordfish fillet. Garnish with the optional Basil Pesto & serve

INGREDIENTS For the Raw Summer Salsa

1/2 C of Raisins or Currants, rinsed in water to plump up
2 TB of EVOO
3 Scallions diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 lb ripe Red & Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, halved
10 Black or Green Olives, pitted & halved
1/4 C of Salt Capers, rinsed in water to remove the Salt
Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
Basil Pesto as a garnish

METHOD

1. Soak Raisins or Currants in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. Do the same in another bowl with the Capers.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the other ingredients. Paper towel dry the Raisins & Capers, & add them as well.

3. Add the EVOO & the Salt & Pepper. Toss gently to combine.


RECIPE
My interpretation, nowhere near the Gino original

Serves 2

A CookTale

Once upon a time on Lexington Avenue and
60th Street in NYC was a rather non-distinguished- looking restaurant, with good but not very good food, an atmosphere that could have been mistaken for a luncheonette in the boroughs, and a patronage of some of the most important and well-recognized people in show business, politics, and the city’s professionals. From its opening in 1945 to its closing in May of 2010, Gino’s was a hangout for special New Yorkers, and at least a hangout one night a week for us and a coterie of our friends. A restaurant that knew your name, put your bill in the mail once a month and if known, treated as guests in their home. Salvatore Doria greeting you at the door and Michele Miele sweating in the tiny kitchen just beyond the ladies’ and men’s bathrooms. We have given up New York City, living in Woodstock for more than 20 years, yet those evenings of comfortable dining pleasures are as vivid as if they were last evening…and how often I wish they were!

INGREDIENTS

2 Veal Scallops (6 oz each)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
5 TB of Butter (2 for the saute pan, 3 for the pan sauce)
2 TB of EVOO
1/2 C of White Wine
1/2 C of Wondra seasoned with Salt & Pepper
1/3 C of Capers (dried on paper toweling)

METHOD

1. Well season the Veal slices with Salt & Black Pepper. Pound them with a tenderizer to about 1/4″ thickness. Set aside.

2. Heat a saute pan to medium-high. Add the 2 TB of EVOO & the 2 TB of Butter. Dredge the Veal slices in the Wondra. Add to the heated pan, & saute for 1 minute a side. Remove to a warm plate.

3. Add the 3 TB of Butter to the pan. Scrape up the pan’s contents & add the Wine. Mix to emulsify & reduce for a few more minutes. Add the Capers.

4. Return the Veal slices to the pan, just long enough to warm the meat. Add the Veal to the plates & top with the pan sauce & Capers.