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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: September 2012


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

In pursuit of different ways to prepare Swordfish, I came across a recipe combining it with a highly savory Salsa atop a flour Tortilla. What we like most about Swordfish is its density, where every bite is a bite. I welcome your comments.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 lb of Swordfish (cut into two pieces, 6 oz each)
2 Flour Tortilla
1/2 lb of Cherry or small Tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb of Mango or Nectarine, large dice
1 medium Cucumber peeled & cubed
1/2 C of Shallot, chopped
1/4 C of Jalapeno, chopped
1 or 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 C of Cilantro, chopped
1/4 C of Scallions, sliced
1 Lime, juiced
1/2 tsp of Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp of Sugar
1/4 tsp of black Pepper
1/4 tsp of dried Oregano
1/4 tsp of ground Cumin
1 Avocado, peeled, pitted & diced
1 Endive, sliced

METHOD

1. Season the Swordfish with EVOO, Salt, Pepper & Paprika, grill in a stove top grill pan for 1-1/2 minutes a side. Cut into large cubes & set aside.

2. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, except the Avocado.

3. Add Avocado into Salsa, toss carefully.

4. Place a Tortilla on each plate. Divide the Avocado Salsa on the Tortillas, & top with the cubes of Swordfish. It’s optional to squirt additional Lime Juice on the finished

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RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

This post is a hearty thank you to Carol Clement of Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow, NY and her extraordinary herd of well-cared-for livestock. For last evening’s dinner I didn’t need to do more to their double Pork Rib Chops other than Salt, Pepper and dash of Aleppo Pepper to bring them to perfection. I grill-pan cooked them in EVOO, and I don’t know wh

ere to begin raving about the result. Every tender, juicy bite proved once again that size matters, The double thickness permitted deep searing, without drying, and a short stint in a 425 F oven was all they required to bring them to perfection. They were on the rare side, but not raw, fork tender, and with every bite I dreaded that inevitable empty plate. Carol, it was a 10.

INGREDIENTS For the Pork Chops

2 Double Thick Pork Chops (contact the farm: 518-239-6234) 
Coarse Salt & Black Pepper
1 tsp of Aleppo, Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne 
1 TB of EVOO + more as needed

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Season the Pork Chops. Heat a cast-iron grill pan & add them. Deeply sear each side for 3 minutes, (I weighed them down with a 5 pound grill press).

3. Allow them to rest off the heat, in the pan, for at least 10 minutes. 

4. Move the pan to the hot oven for another 8 to 10 minutes. A safer way is to use an instant thermometer. When it registers 130 degrees, it’s ready to rest for 5 minutes before plating.

RECIPE For the Squash and Onions

INGREDIENTS

3 small Yellow Squash
1 medium-large Sweet Onion
2 TB Butter
2 tsp Celery Salt
2 TB minced Sage
Pepper

1. Slice the Squash into 3/4” rounds. Cut the Onion into large chunks.

2. Melt Butter in medium-sized saucepan. Add Onions, stir well, cover & cook over low heat for 10 minutes until Onions are still a little crisp.

3. Add the Squash, Celery Salt & Pepper. Mix well, cover & cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the Sage, stir well & cook until Squash is done, about 5 minutes more.

 
 


RECIPE

Serves 2 Generously

A CookTale

Chef Michael Psilakis dresses these luscious Lamb Chops with Ladolemono, a super simple Greek sauce of Lemon Juice and Olive Oil. The sauce is often spooned over Fish, but it’s delicious on Meat and Vegetables, too. “This is real Greek cooking,” he says. And though we are far from Greek cuisine aficionados, we know a good thing when we eat it.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 C fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 TB Dijon Mustard
1/2 TB dried Greek Oregano
2 TB of EVOO, plus more for drizzling
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
One Rack of Lamb Rib Chops
2 TB of chopped Parsley
2 TB of chopped Mint

METHOD

1. Light a grill or a grill pan. In a bowl, whisk the Lemon Juice with the Mustard, Oregano & the 2 TB of EVOO. Season the Ladolemono with Salt & Pepper.

2. Drizzle the Rack of Lamb with EVOO & season with Salt & Pepper. Grill over high heat until nicely charred outside and medium-rare within, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

3. Transfer the chops to a platter and drizzle with the Ladolemono. Sprinkle with the Parsley & Mint & serve with the Roasted Japanese Turnips.


RECIPE

Serves 4

A CookTale

Before I became a sophisticated gourmet that I am today, (tongue in cheek) I grew up knowing this dish simply as Chicken Cacciatore served on every menu in the Neapolitan Italian restaurants throughout the East Bronx. Over the years its been anglicized and today I call it Chicken Hunter Style.
Whole Thighs replaced cut up Chicken parts and in my version, Morels generously added replaced White Button Mushrooms. Sweet Italian Sausage, has always been an option to the original, and it does spice it up. Call it what you will, It’s a scrumptious Chicken Stew.

INGREDIENTS

4 Chicken Thighs 8 Ounces each (bone in, skin on)
3 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 Branches of fresh Rosemary (leaves removed & minced)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
EVOO
2 Large Yellow Onions (coarsely chopped)
2 Oz of dried Morels (reconstituted in warm water for 20 minutes) or 1 Pound of large White Mushrooms (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 Ounces of Pancetta (diced)
4 Sweet Italian Sausages (cut in half to 8 pieces)
1 Cup of White Wine or Vermouth
1 28-Ounce can of whole Tomatoes (San Marzano preferred) + 1 cup of Marinara Sauce
1 Cup of Chicken Stock
2 Ounces of Poultry Demi Glace (optional)
A pinch of Sugar
A pinch of Red Chili Flakes (to taste)
1/3 Cup of chopped Parsley leaves (optional)

METHOD

1. Combine the Garlic, Rosemary, Salt & Pepper & enough EVOO to make a somewhat dry paste. Divide the paste evenly among the 4 Chicken Thighs, toss, cover & refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. In a dutch oven, add EVOO and cook until smoking. Brush the excess paste from the bird & sear each piece of meat on all sides. (This is part of their cooking). Remove the seared Thighs to a plate lined with paper towels.

4. Add the Onions, Mushrooms & Pancetta to the dutch oven & cook over high heat until the Onions are golden brown & the fat has been rendered from the Pancetta. Drain the excess oil, then add the Wine & stir the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned bits. Add the Tomatoes, squeezing each in your hand to break them up, add the Chicken Stock, the (optional) Demi Glace, the Sugar & Chili flakes & bring it all to a boil. Return the Chicken Thighs to the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, covered, then 10 minutes more, uncovered. The Thighs should not be overdone.

5. Heat a large skillet with 1TB of EVOO. Add the 8 pieces of Sausage & saute until browned. Do not overcook them or they’ll dry out. Place them in the dutch oven with the other ingredients. Maintain the heat on low to keep the Stew warm.

6. Add one Chicken Thigh to each plate, & liberally spoon the sauce & Vegetables on & around. Top with (optional) chopped Parsley & serve immediately.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

Not that a recipe is actually needed, the photo says a lot. Boneless thighs, Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella and a dash of dried Oregano does it.

INGREDIENTS

4 Boneless Chicken Thighs (skin on)
8 oz of Marinara Sauce (homemade or Rao’s)
A couple of slices of Mozzarella Cheese (Buffalo preferred)
3 TB of Butter
Salt & Pepper
Dried Oregano

METHOD

1. Season the Chicken Thighs. Heat a non stick pan, (stove or electric) with Butter, when it stops sizzling add the Thighs, skin-side down. Saute for about 5 minutes, turn and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Keep warm.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F

3. Heat the Marinara Sauce to a simmer. Set aside & keep warm.

4. Spoon the sauce into two small casserole dishes. Add the Thighs, two to a dish. Top with the Cheese.

5. Oven bake until the Cheese melts & the Thighs are heated. Remove, add a dash of Oregano & serve.


RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

While preparing dinner, my thoughts were carried back to the streets in New York Chinatown on an evening like this — clear, brisk and early September. Ever since I was a small child it was our family’s Sunday lunch place, and there’s nowhere like it in the city. And the longer I stay away, the more I’m haunted by memories of dark alleys, neon signs and the freshest, most exotic food stands in the city. May it never change.

INGREDIENTS

1/3 C of Soy Sauce
2 oz of fresh Ginger (diced)
1 tsp of Sesame Oil
1-1/2 tsp of Cornstarch
2 TB of Chicken Broth
3/4 lb large Sea Scallops
2 slices of Bacon (chopped)
1/2 lb of fresh Mushrooms (sliced)
1 Red Bell Pepper (cut in strips)
4 oz Snow Peas (halved)
1 tbsp of Water
Sesame Seeds
Black pepper

METHOD

1. In a medium bowl, mix together Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil & Ginger. Whisk until well blended, add Scallops & toss to coat. Set aside. 

2. In a second bowl, mix together the Cornstarch & Chicken Broth, set aside. 

3. In a wok, cook Bacon over medium heat, stirring until crisp & brown. 5-7 minutes. Remove Bacon & set aside. Drain all except 1 TB of fat from wok.

4. Add Scallops & stir-fry until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Add Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper & Snow Peas to the wok. Stir fry 2-3 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

5. Return the Bacon & Scallops to the wok. Add Water & stir-fry until hot. Season with Black Pepper. Sprinkle on the Sesame Seeds & serve.

 
 


RECIPE
Serves 2 generously

A CookTale

Steak as a component of a salad turns it into a dinner. The protein and nutrition of a good piece of meat and the refreshment of Endive, Cucumber, Mint and Peanuts brought together with an Asian sauce results in a savory combination. We enjoyed this on late Summer evening with the doors wide open and early September breezes blowing through. The night before was a delicious take-out from our favorite Japanese restaurant, Tomo Sushi in Saugerties, NY. It looked so beautiful, I had to take a picture of a Sushi plate focused on different preparations of Smoked Eel, and a Sashimi plate highlighted by slices of White Tuna.

INGREDIENTS For the Salad

12 oz of Porterhouse or Rib Eye beef
2 Belgian Endive. (sliced thinly, trimmed, washed & dried)
1 C torn fresh Mint leaves (trimmed, washed and dried)
1/4 C minced sweet white Vidalia onion
1 medium Cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded & diced
Juice of 1 Lime
1 TB of Fish Sauce (Nam Pla, available at Asian markets, or more to taste)
1/2 tsp of Cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of Sugar (to taste)
Peanuts

METHOD

1. Start a charcoal or wood fire or heat a gas grill or an oven broiler. Oven rack should be about 4 inches from heat source. Grill or broil Beef until medium rare, 3 minutes a side. Set aside to cool.

2. Toss the Endive with Mint, Onion & Cucumber. Combine all of the remaining ingredients with 1 TB of water. Mixture will be thin and you may want to increase the seasonings. Toss Salad ingredients (except for the beef) and Dressing and remove to a platter. Reserve the Dressing remaining at bottom of Salad bowl.

3. Slice the cooled down Beef, reserve the Meat’s juice. Combine these juice with the reserved Salad Dressing at bottom of the bowl. On two plates, lay slices of Beef over the Salad, drizzle Dressing all over, add the Peanuts & serve.