Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beet Salad with Buttermilk Whipped Ricotta, Pistachios, Sherry Vinaigrette and Horseradish



This salad is a cheat. What I mean by that is I hate hate hate cooking beets. Yes I hate the mess and the time involved. So I found a great product and I used it to make this salad and I'm not sorry. Not fuss, no mess, no trying to get red stains out of my kitchen. I'm not sorry.

So how do you make this salad?  And I'm telling you you should make this salad if you like beets because it's so simple and so delicious.

First you take ricotta and you put it in a bowl. You add salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons of buttermilk. Then you take a whisk and you whip it till combined. Then cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for about three hours.

When you are ready to make the salad this is what you do. You take a jar...yes a jar of Trader Joes beets in vinaigrette. This product is amazing. It's not your normal pickled beets (which you could use) but you don't even have to cut up the beets cause they have done it already. You just drain them really well. As you can tell from the picture I did not do that too well on this batch but oh well it was yummy.

Take your serving plate. This will serve 2 to 4 people depending on what else you are serving as a first course or salad. Take you ricotta and mound it in the middle of the plate. Then using a large tablespoon push the ricotta out of the center forming a barrier or wall of cheese in a circle. Then in the empty space carefully pour or spoon in your beets. Pour a little Sherry vinegar and really really good olive oil over the beets and season the top with sea salt flakes and pepper. Top with a few dallops of prepared horseradish and sprinkle with the nuts. If you want to get fancy zest some lemon over the top. Garnish with whatever green herb you have on hand. I used chives.

That's it. It's so easy and such a cheat and so so so good. I love it and you will too!

Ingredients: for a portion serving 2 to 4

1 jar Trader Joe's Beets in Vinaigrette - drained
1 8 Oz container Ricotta, (You'll use about 2/3's of this for the salad but mix the whole container with with the butter milk and use the rest later)
3 tablespoons buttermilk
Pistachios
Prepared Horseradish
Salt and pepper
Sherry Vinegar
Olive oil

Please feel free to comment I'd love to hear from you.




Sunday, July 16, 2017

Smoked Salmon and Egg Breakfast Smorebrot


Smoked Salmon is probably one of the best known and most popular smoked fishes there is. I mean you'd almost have to be living under a rock these days in the U.S. not to have had exposure to it. It's good many times of the day but truth be told breakfast is my favorite time of day to enjoy it.

I'm obsessed with opened faced sandwiches and ever since being a kid and growing up with mother and grandmother who had Scandinavian roots I have loved sandwiches like these.  They are called Smorebrot that's the original term and they are normally served at lunch or for a light supper. Not having the top piece of bread just makes the sandwich more about the filling than the bread I feel. Unless you are grilling a sandwich or making a deli classic I just enjoy a good opened faced dish.

To make a great opened face Smorebrot or you have to start with great bread. So here I started with a delicious sourdough 7 grain loaf that I got at the Oakland farmer's market and brought back to NYC with me.

To this I added a layer of scallion cream cheese mixed loaded with scallions and chives. Then I added the Salmon. Now mind you this was no ordinary smoked salmon, no this was Pastrami smoked salmon. It has an unrivaled flavor and is so herbacious it makes one's taste buds spin. Pastrami we normally think of as beef. But here the same spices used to cure pastrami are used to sure the salmon. It's delicious.

But since this is breakfast we topped this off with a fried egg and then some chives for color and taste.

So give these a try you can easily find all the ingredients at the market and frying the egg is the hardest thing.  Enjoy!


Smoked Salmon Smorebrot
Serves 4

4 slices of good bread cut 1/2 inch thick and toasted
12 ounces of pastrami smoked Salmon
Scallion cream cheese ( You can buy this from your favorite bagel place or supermarket or make it yourself by blending room temperature cream cheese with loads of chopped scallions and chives and some salt.
4 eggs cooked sunny side up.

Assemble all ingredients as shown in order and garnish with some parsley or more chives and some sea salt and pepper


Monday, July 10, 2017

Egg Salad



Eggs are probably one of the most versatile foods around and egg salad is definitely one dish that most people first encounter at home. Your Mom probably mashed up eggs, mayo, maybe onion or celery and some salt and pepper and piled it on bread or toast. It's a simple dish and one that can bring back the memory of weekend lunches or Summer picnics.

Egg salad is also a deli case favorite and here in all Deli's all over New York. It's served up traditionally on sandwiches and even for breakfast on bagels toasted and crispy. Often this egg salad is also pretty simple and often the bagels chosen as a favorite is the everything bagel which is a bagel covered with spices and seeds and is in fact just delicious.

So I found myself with some eggs I needed to use up and a bottle of "Everything Spices" from "Trader Joe's" and I thought lets try and make a really cool egg salad that takes the salad and the bagel and brings it all together.

Now let's face it. The base of any great sandwich is the bread. But these days many of us are trying to eat less bread. Having grown up in a family that was half Scandinavian I grew up eating open face sandwiches. As they are traditional in the nordic kitchen. They are also a way to cut down on the bread factor without taking away all the "carby" enjoyment that goes along with eating a sandwich.

I used a sourdough 7 grain loaf from the farmer's market that I sliced the perfect thickness and toasted. Delicious!

So here's my take on Egg Salad. I hope you enjoy!

7 eggs boiled cooled and peeled
2/3 cup mayo plus one Tablespoon
1/4 cup very finely chopped green onion white and green
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 Tablespoon dill or sweet pickle relish (depending on your taste)
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 teaspoons lemon juice
dash of curry powder
2 teaspoons "Everything Seasoning" (Contains salt)
Japanese Style Fried Onions
Dried Parsley for garnish

Method:

In a bowl mash eggs and add all ingredients mash again to combine then stir to make smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning add salt and pepper as desired.

Top toast generously with the egg salad and sprinkle with more "everything seasoning" and top with the fried onions. Enjoy!
  

Friday, May 12, 2017

"Ham and Eggs" Pasta with Broccolli and Goat Cheese Cream Sauce


INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 oz. bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup shredded or diced cooked Ham
  • 2 cups blanched brocolli florets cut up in small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 ground pepper
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese
  • 3 ounce can french fried onions
  • Grated Parmesan and Fresh ground pepper for garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the ham, eggs, sour cream, garlic and onion powder, cheese, brocolli, and half of the onions to the bowl and stir well to combine.
  4. Pour into prepared baking dish and top with the remaining onions.
  5. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more.
  7. Serve immediately.




Friday, April 28, 2017

Lobster Noodle Bake



Sometimes I wish I had been an adult when my parents were entertaining at our house and I was just small.

The swank and sexy nature of home entertaining in the late 1960's and early 1970's is really misunderstood. All to often we relate the spiral groovy tie-dyed visual to the period. However, when one looks at fashion and design trends the images are quite different. Drawing on a variety of influences including the 20's and the jazz era the design from the 1970's was anything but hippy dippy. I mean Halston was designing amazing things and Warhol was pushing pop art into a new place in the American consciousness.

Home decor had what appears today as a sleek shiny look. Home entertaining also was changing. Casseroles and chafing dishes, fondue pots and electric table top woks were all the rage. Meals were communal and interactive or somehow a bit of show was involved like flaming brandy on Steak Dianne or Baked Alaska. It all seemed fun and I didn't get to participate that much when I was little but it seems to me that I would have liked it a lot.

So this casserole dish is an example of a the Lux life from that time period. It's a rich carb and crustacean laden treat which really resembles what would be the best Lobster Mac and Cheese you've ever ever had. The modern day equivalent of this dish today served up during the Summer in the Hamptons to much applause.

So make this with a dinner salad and channel a little 70's on a Saturday night at a fabulous dinner party.

Lobster-Noodle Bake
( serves 8 to 10 )

10 Rock lobster tails 4 oz. each frozen cooked as directed on package ( Trader Joe's carries these )
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon aromatic bitters
1 dried bay leaf
4 cups milk
1 cup light cream
1/2 cup sherry
1 package (12 oz)  broad egg (country style) noodles cooked to just barely done and drained
1 cup buttered breadcrumbs (panko)
1/4 cup drained capers

Remove shells from cooked lobster tails leaving meat in one piece
Cut 5 of the tails into bite sized chunks
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a pot
Stir in flour, salt, paprika pepper, garlic, onion and bitters
Slowly whisk in the milk then the cream add bay leaf
Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring with spoon contantly.
When thick add sherry and lobster chunks, remove bay leaf
Combine noodles and sauce and pour into a round 3 Quart Baking Dish
Top with buttered bread crumbs
Bake at 375 uncovered for 30 mins until hot and bubbly
Cut remaining tails into half lengthwise
Place on top of noodle mixture and brush with remaining 1/4 cuo melted butter and sprinkle with the capers.
Return to oven for 10 mins or a bit more.
Serve after letting sit for 5 mins.









Thursday, March 30, 2017

Guten Appetit!! Pork Schintzel, Munich Style Sauerkraut and Mustard Mashed Potatoes



Last year my friends and I went on a fantastic vacation to Europe. We ate our way through all kinds of countries and all kinds of cuisine. We had Italian and Seafood in Italy in Florence and Venice. We had Swiss food and German food in Switzerland and Munich. And we had Greek and Turkish and Pizza and Moderne German cuisine in Berlin. We sampled all kinds of fare in between and sweets and coffee and brandy brandy brandy. Who knew I liked that.

It was however in Munich we fell in love with the German Beer hall fare. I mean like crazy tourists we really got into it. pork knuckles and spatzel and sauerkraut and bratwurst oh my! In fact after one dinner our shared plates kinda looked like this.





But it was the Schnitzel in Berlin and the Sauerkraut from Munich that my Chef friend Lauren and I figured out how to try and replicate here at home. So here is the effort. The recipes are actually very easy and the Sauerkraut starts with your favorite quality store bought brand. The potatoes are great. All in all this is a week night dinner if you have an hour to get it all together. So give it a try and Guten Appetit!

  • 12lbs pork tenderloin or 4 boneless Pork Chops
  • 1Pound  Mushrooms sliced or quartered
  • 13cup white wine
  • 12tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 -2tablespoon olive oil
  • 2tablespoons butter 
  • 12cup flour
  • 12teaspoon onion salt and garlic powder and paprika each

  1. Directions
  2. 1. Slice the pork tenderloin into ½ inch slices on a diagonal.
  3. 2. Pound thin between plastic wrap with a meat mallet.
  4. 3. Sift together the flour and onion salt garlic powder and paprika .
  5. 4. Lightly dredge the pork and shake off any excess flour.
  6. 5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  7. 6. Cook the pork 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and transfer to a warm plate. Then saute the mushrooms hold on the side
  8. 7. Wipe out skillet.
  9. 8. Heat a tablespoon of butter in skillet.
  10. 9. Add the capers, white wine and lemon juice.
  11. 10. Allow to reduce just a little before adding the final tablespoon of butter.
  12. 11. Mix slowly to incorporate and remove immediately from the heat.
  13. 12. Place pork and Mushrooms in skillet to reheat when warm plate the pork then spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the pork and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired for color.


Sauerkraut

1 large jar sauerkraut - drained
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chicken or beef stock

Saute the onion in the garlic
Drain and add sauerkraut to the pot
add caraway and parsley
Cook on low for an hour.

Mustard Mashed Potatoes

3 lbs cubed and peeled yukon gold potatoes
1 stick butter
3 tablespoons Yellow or brown Mustard
1/2 cup cream warmed
1/4 cup chopped chives
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil potatoes then drain add butter and cream and mustard and mash
Stir in chives season with salt and pepper and serve











Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pastrami Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs



Deviled Eggs are high on every one's list these days. Caterers, Restaurants, Gastro Pubs and bar menus are all featuring these retro tasty throwbacks to the 1950's and 60's cocktail parties.

I personally love them. They are like all the things I love to eat in one package. They immediately remind me of being 5 or 6 years old again and eating deviled eggs at a church function or at my house when company would come over. I loved them then and I love them now.

For Christmas entertaining this year I made these deviled eggs. They could not have been easier. And they could not have been more delicious. Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) first introduced smoked salmon deviled eggs to me.

But a few years ago when I was introduced to pastrami smoked salmon ( ie. Salmon cured with the spices from Pastrami curing and then smoked) by my friend Fred I thought what madness is this! It's truly beyond delicious.

So I saw it at the local supermarket over Christmas and thought lets use this to make deviled eggs. And wow are they good. So if you want to try something new for your next party, brunch or even just a family dinner or picnic. Try these. You won't be sorry! Yum Ya'll  

The Ultimate Pastrami Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs 

8 eggs hard boiled and peeled
1 heaping spoonful Dukes mayonnaise
4 heaping spoonfuls of chive and onion cream cheese in a small tub
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
6 Tablespoons finely minced pastrami smoked salmon ( or other if using)
16 small slices of salmon for garnish
4 Tablespoons chives chopped finely ( a few cut into batons and reserved for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the eggs in half. Scoop out the yokes into a bowl you'll have 16 halves
Mix with the other ingredients except salmon
Mash until a smooth paste forms
Add the salmon and mix into the egg mixture
Place the filling in a plastic bag refrigerate for about an hour.
Cut a corner off the bag
Fill the whites
Place a sliver of the salmon on the top to garnish
Garnish further with chive batons