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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: Sauce


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.

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A CookTale

To those who remember Gino’s on Lex and 61st, I’m certain you’ll recall their famous Segreto Sauce. Never would they reveal the recipe – when asked their answer was always, “come back tomorrow”. Opened in the 40s, they closed after 65 years, and the Segreto Sauce closed with them. Before that regrettable event, I persuaded friends who were coming for the weekend to do their utmost to wangle a quart container from Franco, a partner and the chef. They did, and I transferred it into four 8 oz containers to be frozen and enjoyed as a wonderful reminder. Last evening, the last one found its way to the dinner table. I wonder if it might have been the last ever to be enjoyed anywhere? If Gino’s brings back memories to you, I’d love to hear about them.


RECIPE

A CookTale

There are so many, more than just good Marinara Sauce brands at better food markets. Rao’s, Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich to mention just three. But for those willing to start from scratch, I add the version that I use, which I adapted a while back from the wonderful Rao’s Cookbook.

INGREDIENTS

2 28 ounce cans of Italian Plum Tomatoes with Basil, preferably imported San Marzano Tomatoes
1/2 cup of EVOO
4 ounces of Fatback or Salt Pork
4 TB of minced Onion
3 Garlic Cloves (peeled & minced)
Sea or Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste
12 leaves fresh Basil torn, (optional)
1 tsp of dried Oregano

METHOD

1. Remove the Tomatoes from the can, reserving their juice . Using your hands, crush the Tomatoes. Gently remove & discard the hard core from the stem end & any skin or tough membrane & save the Tomatoes in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Put the EVOO in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Cut the Fatback or Salt Pork into a small dice & add it to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes or until its fat has been rendered. Remove & discard the meat.

3. Add the Onion & saute for 3 minutes or until translucent & beginning to brown. Stir in the Garlic & saute for 30 seconds or until just softened. Stir in the Tomatoes, reserved juice & Salt.

4. Raise the heat & bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to a very low simmer & cook for just about an hour or until flavors have combined & the sauce has slightly thickened. If you prefer a thicker sauce, simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the Basil, Oregano & Pepper. Cook for an additional minute. And the sauce is made.


RECIPE

A Cooktale

This rich savory sauce combines splendidly with Fish, Seafood and Chicken. The exotic aroma of Coconut and Curry will fill your kitchen and spirit you away to a tropical isle.

INGREDIENTS

1 TB vegetable oil
1 medium Onion (thinly sliced)
4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
2 tsp. Curry Powder
1 can Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
2 medium Carrots (peeled cut to matchstick-size pieces)
Kosher Salt & White Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the Onion, Garlic & Curry Powder. Saute until the Onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

2. Mix in the Coconut Milk & Chicken Broth. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to avoid overflowing, & boil until the mixture is reduced to a thin sauce consistency.

3. Add the Carrots, simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper.

4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Keep warm.


RECIPE

Makes about 48 ounces

A CookTale

Working women in Southern Italy eager to get back to what they do best, cooked this sauce called ‘sugo alla puttanesca” over in an oil drum on street corners. That is the legend of the “whore’s sauce” called Puttanesca. It does make the sauce, saucier. Not that it’s needed it’s saucy enough.

INGREDIENTS

3 TB of EVOO
3 or 4 Garlic cloves (peeled & lightly smashed)
4 or more Anchovy Fillets
1 Red Onion (cut to a small dice)
2 28-ounce cans of whole Tomatoes
Sea Salt & Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup pitted Black Olives (preferably oil-cured)
3 TB of Salt Capers (soaked to remove salt)
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
Chopped fresh Parsley & Basil leaves

METHOD

1. Heat 3 TB of EVOO to medium-high in a large deep saute pan, add the Garlic, Onion & Anchovies. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Garlic is lightly golden, the Onion is translucent, & the Anchovies have melted.

2. Drain the Tomatoes & crush them with your hands as you add them to the pan, add the Salt & Pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Tomatoes break down & becomes sauce like, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Olives, Capers & Red Pepper Flakes, & continue to simmeruntil the sauce slightly thickens.

3. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste. I prefer a spicy Puttanesca. Add the chopped Parsley & Basil to the pan & gently mix.


RECIPE
Serves 2A CookTale

Sauce alla Norma is an Eggplant and Tomato-based sauce with a glorious history, originated in the city of Catania in Sicily. The most popular version of the story is that it was named after Italian composer Vincent Bellini’s much-loved 1832 opera Norma. Others believe that Bellini’s opera was such an outstanding work, the name Norma simply became associated with what’s wonderful — hence the Norma sauce.

INGREDIENTS for Sauce alla Norma

1 large firm Eggplant
2 TB of EVOO (more as required)
2 TB of dried Oregano (more as required)
1 tsp of Red Pepper flakes
4 Garlic cloves (peeled & finely sliced)
Basil leaves from 8 stems (sliced to a chiffonade)
1 tsp of White Wine Vinegar
2 14-ounce cans of diced Tomatoes
Sea Salt & fresh Black Pepper
4 oz of grated Salad Ricotta or Romano Pecorino (when plating)

METHOD

1. Peel the Eggplant & cut it into bite size pieces.

2. Heat a large nonstick saute pan & add 1 TB of EVOO. Fry the Eggplant pieces in two batches, adding extra EVOO as needed. (Eggplants soak up a great amount of EVOO). Toss the Eggplant with the EVOO to coat, then sprinkle with 1 TB of the dried Oregano. Using two spatulas, turn the Eggplant until golden on all sides. Remove to a plate & repeat with the remaining Eggplant.

3. When the second Eggplant pieces have cooked, return the first batch to the pan & add the Red pepper Flakes. Reduce the heat to medium, add more EVOO, the Garlic & half of the chiffonade of Basil, stir together. Add the White Wine Vinegar & the diced Tomatoes. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to bring the flavors together. Add the Salt & Pepper & the remaining half of Basil leaves & gently toss the sauce together.

RECIPE For Swordfish Steak
INGREDIENTS
2 Swordfish steaks (8 oz each, 1″ thick)
2 TB of EVOO
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Lemon Juice (optional)
METHOD
1. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking hot. Add the prepared Steaks & grill, weighed down with a meat griddle for 2 minutes a side, no more or the result will be a dry juiceless fish.


RECIPE

A CookTale

Ambition hit me, off I went and bought a bunch of Basil and decided, Summer be damned, I’m making a batch of Pesto in November. It’s so easy to prepare with a food processor thatI asked myself what’s taken you this long? The taste of fresh Basil is one-of-a-kind, and so versatile it works with vegetables as well as it works with Pasta.

INGREDIENTS

1 Bunch of fresh Basil (leaves removed)
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 cup of EVOO (more if required for a thinner sauce)

METHOD

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 cover 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.