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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Pies and Skies and Little Guys and yes there is still Mars

 

 

IMG_1081(1)So its now August (huh? How did that happen?) Its peak tomato season!!! IMG_1091

So I decided to make a tomato tart. Its the season for heirloom cherry tomatoes and fabulous beefsteak tomatoes!!! I’m in heaven!! I took 6 sheets of Phyllo dough and spread each with melted butter on both sides and layered them on top of each other, then rolled up edges.

IMG_1125Hello Mars!!099E563D-9F70-460A-A51D-9A1CBF3BFCEA(1) Bake tarts until lightly browned. 350 30 minutes or so.IMG_1089(1)Top baked tarts with a combination of cream cheese (8 oz each tart)  and sour cream ( 4 oz or so )  and lemon zest to taste.

IMG_1098Top cooked tarts with cream cheese and sour cream mixture, sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes top with torn basil leaves.

Salt and Pepper and drizzle of Olive Oil.IMG_1198Beautiful images everywhere.IMG_1127Cut into 8 squaresIMG_1111IMG_1111



Gargoyles guard my house!

Sunflowers a surprise event this summer!Entrepreneurs in townIMG_1134 Yet another lovely sunset

And then there are the children of Fire Island that have the freedom to be children and explore uninhibited, their magical surroundings.

Damn that’s a good photo! Haha Ok I digressed now on to tarts….

Peaches Plums and Nectarines

IMG_1102IMG_1101(1)SORRY, I get distracted by the beauty around me. Here you go plums, peaches and nectarines sliced to about the same size.IMG_1105Add a big squeeze of lemon juice ( 3 lemons) and some gated ginger (peeled and grated about 3 tablespoons) and the seeds of 4 vanilla beans.FullSizeRender(72)IMG_1107IMG_1110OK I cheated I bought pre-made pie crusts. I used the bottom as is, then took the top crust and warmed it my hands as I worked it into ball then rolled out and cut into strips.IMG_1109(1)I criscrossed the pie under/over to make a home made looking pie and sprinkled with brown sugar . I baked at 350 for about 45 minutes until bubbly and brown.

IMG_1112(1)Wha la!!!IMG_0635

 So here’s the deal…you need to pay attention to the beauty and magic of everyday life around you. It’s all there you just need to…

“see it”