Easter Sunday Brunch

32C77C5B-B0FA-4701-A70F-A193597B4926It was a beautiful Easter Sunday in Central Park. The city was filled with tourists, the boat pound was alive with many boats a floating.DABB4F7C-07F2-4F8C-983E-1C1CD14D69C0The school children were walking in their rabbit ears. The trees were in bloom and the runners were enjoying the mild weather.30E97420-416B-44F8-B685-79F33C9A21DA

The sky could not have been bluer.

9DEF4EE7-3085-4461-A721-4A36A10C8633I was browsing thru the April issue of Bon Appetit looking for some interesting brunch menus. The cover photo was of one of the menus in this issue which was titled Spicy Lamb Meatballs, it sounded perfect for an Easter Sunday brunch, so I gave it a shot. The section of the magazine was titled ” The Way We Eat Now” which was filled with reimagined lighter versions of traditional recipes.DF22F39E-324E-4287-B089-C1CA20960DF2

Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

4 servings

1 large egg

1/2 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)1296BC85-68E9-449A-8840-D72CA84C2E06

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground Turmeric

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley plus 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stemsB6DB2497-602B-4859-986E-9B97B7B9151ECCF25F53-265D-498A-9053-19EED10C98C2

2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

2 cloves of garlic, divided

1 lb. ground lamb 2 cups mint leaves

3 Tablespoons golden raisin plain whole Greek yogurt for servingE6AF547C-EFEF-49FB-99E0-26AAECC1FADB

Directions 

Place rack on the upper 1/3 of the preheated the oven to 425 degreesD0845EC3-4AE4-4F72-92E9-1D29C1973476

Gently roll lamb into 1 1/2 diameter balls ( about the size of a golf ball; you should about 20.)

Meanwhile, puree mint, raisins, parsley leaves with stems, remaining garlic clove,  remaining 1/2 cup oil, and a big pinch of salt in a blender until smooth. Taste pesto; season with more salt if needed.D8F8385C-958A-414E-B0A8-10F4FDBE76B9

Spread yogurt over plates and divide pesto and meatballs on top

Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 2 days ahead and covered and hilled. Meatballs can be formed 2 months ahead; freeze on baking sheet until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen.98E9E306-ABDE-4D74-966D-C201F4A8F103

Shaved Fennel Salad45B8B4DF-E50C-4359-B3B8-FBBE5F02D202

Ingredients

 2 cups coarsely torn sourdough bread5EF0691E-29D5-4D26-B107-D988C5720272

1/2 cup walnuts

6 tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil, divided plus more for drizzling E6AF547C-EFEF-49FB-99E0-26AAECC1FADB

Kosher salt

6 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, finely grated

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 fennel bulbs with fronds0EC6911E-3C19-4737-9A52-4E9394BB63B3

3/4 cup torn  mint leavesA76A3437-1207-486A-8FBC-A6253F95721B

1/2 lemon

2oz Parmesan Cheese 

 Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Place bread on one side of a rimmed baking sheet and walnuts on the other side (they cook at different rates}. Drizzle bread with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt. Toss, squeezing bread with your hands to help absorb as much oil as possible, until evenly coated. Bake until walnuts are golden brown and croutons are deeply browned and very crisp 8-10 minutes for walnuts and 12-15 minutes for croutons. Let cool, then coarsely chop walnuts.

Meanwhile, combine garlic and red pepper in a medium owl. Let sit 10 minutes  to let the garlic mellow and flavor the vinegar.

Whisk 3 tablespoons oil into vinegar mixture, then add croutons and toss to coat and let croutons soften slightly, set aside.

 Remove stalks and fronds from fennel bulb. Remove fronds from stalks and coarsely chop thinly sliced stalks. Place in a large bowl. Cut fennel bulb in half and thinly slice on a mandolin. If you have one or slice very thinly. Add to same bowl along with the mint. Zest lemon half over salad, then squeeze in juice. Salt with salt and toss to combine.

Divide reserved crouton mixture among plates and top with half of the Parmesan. Arrange fennel salad over; top with remaining Parmesan and drizzle with oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZOETRY

 Zoetry was the resort that my kids and I went to last week. It was  one of the most beautiful resorts I have ever been to.  I brought my 2 sons and one of their girlfriends. We had the most amazing time!!! I have many beautiful photos to share with you but this is a cooking  blog so I will start with some recipes and then go on to the vacation photos. Continue reading

Scuttlebutt Salad

 

So there comes a time, (virtually every week) that I have to look in the fridge and try to figure out what to make from leftover stuff that’s still in there. The definition of scuttlebutt is a “rumor” or “Gossip” So the rumor is I will try to make a “salad” from what I have left in the fridge. Scuttlebutt…. such a cool word!!

I researched a recipe it was called:

“Kale and Chickpea Grain Bowl with Avocado Dressing.”

This recipe was from January/February issue of Cooking Light

OK here’s the scuttlebutt

The original recipe:

Kale and Chickpea Grain Bowl with Avocado Dressing     

Ingredients

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup of  bulgur (I used Couscous)

2  (15oz)  cans  unsalted chickpeas

1 1/2 Tbsp.canola oil

2 cups finely chopped carrots

(mine were left over roasted carrots)

4 cups chopped lacinato kale

1/2 cup vertically sliced shallots

1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley 

3/4 teaspoon o salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 Avocado peeled and pitted

2 Tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp.water

1 Tbsp. Tahini 

1 clove of garlic

1/4  teaspoon turmeric stirred

Directions

I added some red peppers as well

Combine

1 cup bulgur ( I used Couscous no bulgar in the house) with one cup boiling water in medium bowl. Let stand for 1o minutes drain well.

pat chickpeas dry with paper towel 

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over high heat.. Add chickpeas and carrots;

cook stirring occasionally until chickpeas browned , about 6 minutes Add kale; cover and cook until kale is slightly wilted and carrots are tender; Add chickpea mixture, shallots salt and pepper and bulgur mixture.

add 1/2 teaspoon of salt in food processor

toss

process avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, Tahini, garlic and olive oil. and 1/2 teaspoon salt in food processor

Next I made what I called:

Drain The Swamp Chili!

After weeks of making a variety of recipes, I found half  jars of many items that in my refrigerator taking up too much room! I needed to clear out the refrigerator and try to figure out what to make with them.

UGH

Ok here we go… I had some chop meat in the freezer so I defrosted it and meanwhile started chopping up other ingredients.

Red Onion

Mushrooms

And then there were the jars of peppers and olives. I started chopping.

yellow pickled peppers

Pickled vegetables, Red peppers

I added this to the browned chop meat and onions.

Which I had been working on in the mean time.

I also found a Pepperoni in the fridge and chopped that up and added to the mix.What the hell everyone into the pool!

I added a large can of tomato sauce and some fresh oregano and bay leafCook down until is a thick mix about 45 minutes stir every 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

I used the left over couscous from the salad to create a base and served the cooked down chili over it.

It turned out delicious!!

And that my friend is that you drain the swamp!!

 

“Super Bowl” of Soup

“The Super Bowl”, although women participate in the festivities, in my mind, this day belongs to men drinking beer and screaming at the TV screen. Although I have hosted many Super Bowl parties in the past AND many an Anti-Super bowl parties (for women  only!)…In both cases you can usually find me in the kitchen whipping up some snacks. 

This year I decided to challenge myself by foraging thru the fridge and see what I could make with the tons of food that was hidden in there!

This first round of ingredients looked like an interesting soup to me. I love making soups out of  leftover ingredients!

The most 

interesting combination being, the Ginger and Tumeric as a flavor

profile.

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Now lets move on to some onions (large Bermuda) and some garlic cloves

sautéed these down in some olive oil.

Add some small diced Tumeric and Ginger

Then add the herbs

I used Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme!!!!!( Paul Simon line)haha!, but what ever you have to give an herby background to the flavor.

I let all this cook in the broth for a while maybe 1/2 hour; the I used a small pasta. small shells or Dilanti  whatever you have.. Let cook until pasta tender. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.You may need to add more chicken broth if the pasta soaks up too much of the broth.

Delicious!!!!

OK what goes with a great Soup … How about a great sandwich!!!

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Left Brain/Right Brain

Theoretically we are all either left brained or right brained. 

Scientists have long hypothesized:
“Left Brainers” tend to be more analytical and objective. “Right Brainers” are more creative. It is believed that the right side of your cerebrum controls the left side of your body and visa versa. The left side of your brain is where you store your knowledge of science and math. The right side of your brain is responsible the arts and your creative abilities. Left brain more organized, right brain more artistic…..

This is interesting to me having 2 sons; one a graphics designer mostly (but also a musician) and one a musician mostly, but I understand that things like pitch, tempo and melody are left brained…..

(Eclipse not really well seen in NY)

Interesting….

So let me go with my right brain this morning. I usually have an anti- Super bowl party for my girlfriends during which the only thing we pay attention to is the half time show. So I was researching really easy snacks to make for this event.

I researched some super simple recipes.

Gouda Chorizo Jalapeno Peppers

Chef Sunny Anderson

Ingredients

2 links Mexican Chorizo, casings removed and broken into small pieces

1/2 lb Smoked Gouda shredded

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 egg

1/2 cup cream cheese

3 tablespoons cream cheese

1 Tablespoon Hot sauce (Franks Hot sauce recommended)

salt and pepper

12 large Jalapenos, stemmed seeded and halved

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Brown Chorizo in a skillet over medium heat 9-10 minutes

Drain Chorizo and into large mixing bowl

Add all the ingredients and press into Jalapeno halves

Place Jalapenos on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes

Mozzarella Sticks

Chef Giada

 Store bought Mozzarella sticks cut in half

Coat Mozzarella sticks with Italian dried bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese before frying in olive oil. Can be frozen for 2 days ahead.

Onion Fried Onion Rings why is my food always looking at me?????

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons smoked Paprika

4 teaspoons Kosher Salt

2 cups Buttermilk

4 eggs

3 cups Panko Bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 large Sweet Onions

Directions

Preheat oven  to 450 degrees.

Place parchment paper onto 2 baking sheets

In a small bowl, place all ingredients except Panko and olive oil

1/2 flour should go into the buttermilk

lightly dredge onion rings into flour mixture, then drop into flour mixture

then Panko mixture

 Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer smaller can go into larger

Bake 14 to 20 minutes flip over at the half way mark

Cannellini Bruschetta

Beans

1 can Cannellini Beans

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1 Cup Italian Pickled Vegetables (chopped) or sundried tomatoes

Italian Bread

1 small baguette, sliced into thick pieces

1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic, plus 1 peeled clove to coat bread

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes

8-10 basil leaves1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes drained or pickled vegetables

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley

lemon juice

salt and black pepper

2 ounces of Ricotta Salata cheese, grated

as seen above

OK Onward!!!!!

Next Bread Sticks with Prosciutto!

So lets talk….I could have just wrapped  prosciutto around bread sticks,   but I’m crazy and wanted to make it more interesting. I wanted to add jam under the prosciutto Now this is not an easy task. Here’s first attempt….Ok 

  IOk that didn’t work  So next I tried putting the Prosciutto under the jam and then wrappedOK much betterimg_3155

 

img_3157Lovely

    now lets get some cheese goingimg_3151img_3152I saw these beautiful goat cheese logs on line…. so I crushed three different whole pepper corns with a mallet then rolled in those goat cheese logs in crushed pepper corns …img_3153

Easy and pretty

So  enjoy your Superbowl Sunday!!!!

I WILL NOT

Santa’s Helpers

My family always celebrates Christmas on Christmas eve. Christmas Day is for the young children to run down to the den and discover what Santa had in fact, arrived at your house, even if you had no chimney. 

Christmas Day

The women were exhausted from doing all the cooking and taking naps on the couch having done all the work for days……AHHH Tradition!!!!

On cue it had snowed a few days before we left for Christmas vacation and my patients got to look outat our terrace and garden while being tortured by me at this beautiful sight.

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I told my niece I would make a fresh spiral ham, a fillet  mignon, grandma’s mashed potatoes, cupcakes, corn salad and salmon and homemade eggnog.

Oh……and

yes I also made cookies!

Granola Cluster Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup old fashion oats

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 extra large egg whites

2/3 cups sugar

Directions

 Pre heat oven to 325 degrees .Toss pecans, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, oats, salt, and oil in on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing once until coconut is golden and mixture is fragrant, 10-12 minutes,

let cool

Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. gradually, add sugar, whisking until mixture is opaque and thick, Add nut mixture and fold to coat evenly. 

Drop 1/4 cupful’s  of mixture onto a parchment baking sheet, spacing evenly. Bake cookies , rotating sheet halfway through until edges are golden. 15-20 minutes until edges are golden. Transfer to cooling rack.

Spiral Ham

The easiest thing to make! You buy it already cured all you have to do is brown and season.

Bake the ham first most of the way (it’s already cooked so you just bake ‘until browned about a 1/2 hour ) follow directions on the label.

 I like to put pineapples on my ham so I buy some fresh pineapple and slice it up and tooth pick it to the cooked ham

I return to the oven until the pineapples are browned.

Once the pineapples are brown I add a combination of herbs and vinegars to pour over the ham and return to oven just before serving to heat up.Christmas cupcakes

The next thing I worked on were the cupcakes which can be frozen and the thawed and frosted the day you need them .

The next thing that I worked on were the cupcakes, which can be frozen and then thawed and frosted the day you need them.

I admit I used a store bought cake mix. I doctored it by adding some chocolate chips

I followed the instructions and baked

Then I made little Christmas tree cupcakes (YES I’M GUILTY) of using premade frosting!!!

Using green sprinkles and red mini M&M’s

Then I made a second batch where I made whipped cream ( yes I made from scratch) and strawberries

Next I made a corn salad

I boiled the corn and when done I cut it off the cob.I looked thru my fridge and cabinet and decided on additional ingredients

red cabbage and onions and a little red pepper .

I made is vinaigrette to dress it with. I also made a Fillet MignonI browned at my house then we finished at my nieces house in the oven 

I also made a whole Salmon fillet but I was so tired at this point I forgot to take a photo of it!!

And then there were those empty mason jars that you saw above. I filled them with homemade eggnog for all those young cousins that were of legal drinking age.They loved it!!!

HaHa

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah Everyone!!

Its Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas

        Its a few weeks before its all on board for holidays. My son Griffin and I decided to see an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum.When I got back I worked on dinner. This is one that I created. I took two whole Pork loins

Then I butterflied them,Then I lined the Pork Loins with Prosciutto I added some broccoli rabe

First then cooled quickly in an ice bathI covered the prosciutto                                         Then I added some sautéed scallions and celery, garlic, sage, salt and  pepper.

Then I tied up this cute little baby!

I browned the pork on the top of the stove, added some chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. About a cup and a half, Finally I put it in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.Let the Pork rest for 20 minutes then remove strings and slice.

Wahla!!

I was on a roll this day, so while this was going on I made 2 other sides!

Sliced up deseeded with the skin on 

I tossed with olive oil and baked at 350 for 20 25 minutes until fork tender.

I put on a sheet pan. I I then added mustard seeds fresh ground salt and pepper. Finally I put this whole crazy thing on top of a bed of arugula and served at room temperature.Finally I added some pomegranate seeds and tossed with a vinaigrette

on to the cauliflower!

I cut the cauliflower into florets. I had some hazel nuts in the cabinet so I roasted those in the for about 20 minutes until the skins are browned. Once cooled you rub the hazel nuts to get the skins come off and they look like this;

Then chop into small pieces

I also added some shallots sliced, and Brussel sprouts and some carrotsI served the cauliflower warm with a dressing based on mayonnaise and buttermilk.

I was on a roll that week.!!!!

Whew!!!