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


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


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


 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 


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.










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     


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


I added some red peppers as well


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


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.


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


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!!