Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is when you celebrate all mother’s for what they do and what they sacrifice, to support their children to grow up to be whole, responsible, loving, good citizens in the world. Mothers would give up their lives for their children. ….At least the Mothers I know.img_4447Because I have been a 20 plus year subscriber to Bon Appetit Magazine at the end of Every year I receive a book that usually features the best photos of that calendar year.

This year the sent a book  called Tacos

Recipes and Provocations

I was inspired to

make a (sorta)”All Mexican Dinner” for my family  for Mother’s Day

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My first mission was to find an authentic Mexican Taco Press, which was not difficult to find on the internet. 

What turned out to be a greater challenge was to find Masa Harina img_4483

Its easy to find corn flour or corn meal, but Masa Harina is a special grind of corn meal that is particular to Mexican Tacos. img_4475I searched 4 upscale supermarkets on the upper East side to no avail, In spite of carrying that brand of flours. I gave it one last try in a Latin bodega on the way home and BINGO there it was on the lowest shelf of this particular brand of organic flour.

Ok Forward to Taco making!!!img_4501 I took the recipes from a chapter called Neo- traditional Tacos

I had this crazy idea that I would make three different Taco shells in the colors of the Mexican Flag (yes I’m that crazy!)

Red, White and Greenimg_4484 The dough is relatively easy to make, just add water. However it takes  while to get the texture right. img_4486

Shape the balls to put in pressimg_4487Chill then place a piece of plastic wrap on the base of the taco press and over the top of the taco ball and press down once or twice to get the appropriate thinness.

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img_4491img_4488I then made a batch of red coloring by using canned beets and pureed them in a blenderimg_4463

and added water until it was a liquid

img_4496I did the same thing with cilantro leaves to make the green colored water

I made 2 additional batches of colored masa harina

I then fried them in a little canola oil on both sides until lightly browned and when the were still warm folded them in half and let them cool.img_4497

Meanwhile I made 3 different fillings for the tacos. Chicken , Steak and Tilapiaimg_4461The chicken was flavored with a lot of cumin and salt and pepper,img_4462

To the steak I first added sautéed onions, garlic, Teriyaki sauce and sautéed garlic

img_4459img_4519The Talapia was backed and seasoned with salt pepper, paprika and lemon juice.

I went on to make Guacamoleimg_4499img_4512img_4515

Then I made a corn salad, using boiled corn that was removed from the cob, cooled and then added some red pepper

img_4518using red peppers onions and herbs

Then I made a tomato saladimg_4474img_4467In addition I made a spinach saladAnd finally some black beans and yellow riceall of which could be used to fill the tacosBambi came to visit during all thisAnd now for a little beach artAnd finally on my way home I met this character who had just (I’m sure illegally) the Ocean Beach Water  tower Turns out he travels around the world climbing things.

AHHHH FIRE ISLAND YOU GOTTA LOVE THIS PLACE

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

“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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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!!!