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Carnival Squash Scarpinocc with Sunchoke

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Carnival Squash Scarpinocc with Sunchoke

Still on my pasta kick after a few months ago getting back from Italy. This recipe is celebrating the different squashes during the winter months. I made a soup with butternut squash and made the filling for the pasta with carnival squash. I decided to make another pasta shape Scarpinocc. It is a fun shape to make and probably will take a few extra minutes to shape. It originates from northern Italy, Scarpa, which translates into shoe, though to me it doesn’t really resemble a shoe but who am I to judge. The pasta shape isn’t hard to make at all you start off with a rectangular shape and place your filling ( in this case squash and cheese) then you fold over the pasta once over the filling and then one more time to seal it. You pinch both sides of the rectangle and then using your finger make a little dimple in the top of your filling. Unfortunately I am not a very good blogger because I don't have a video out there to show you but I think there are some online. I do have a picture of the raw shape along with some other shapes of pasta. Here is the pasta recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Carnival Squash Scarpinocc Pasta with Sunchokes

1 1/2 cup of roasted carnival squash

1 ricotta cheese

2 oz parmesan cheese

1 tbsp of chopped basil

salt and pepper


Basic Egg Pasta see recipe

Butternut squash soup

1 small butternut squash roasted

4-5 cups of chicken broth

2 tbsp of butter

1/2 onion sliced thin

3 cloves of roasted garlic

Salt and pepper to taste


12 oz roasted sunchokes (2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, roast for 25 min 375 degree)

3 sunchokes shaved thin and fried chips

3 tbsp of pumpkin seed oil

3 tbsp of chopped chives


For the Filling,

Place roasted carnival squash, ricotta, parmesan cheese, and basil, into food processor along with salt and pepper.  Puree until the mixture is completely smooth.  Then place into a pastry bag with a plan tip.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up the filling slightly.

 
For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the number 6 or 7 setting depending on the strength of the dough.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  If you feel like the dough is very strong and good density to it you might be fine with a 7 setting.  If you feel like the dough is "loose" and doesn't have the structure to it then you might want to go a little thicker with a number 6 setting.  One you have the flat pasta all laid out you can take an adjustable pasta cutter (here) and cut 1inch by 1/2 inch rectangle. Place a dollop of filling in the center of the rectangle pasta. Then you fold over the pasta once over the filling and then one more time to seal it. You pinch both sides of the rectangle and then using your finger make a little dimple in the top of your filling. Should look like this picture in the upper left corner ( the sides are pinched and there is a dimple in the top of the filling )

Pasta.jpg

For the Soup,
In a small sauce pot add butter and onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes and then add roasted garlic and roasted butternut squash. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Place in a vitamix and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

To Finish,

Place a pot of boiling salted water on. In a large saute pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil and butter. Slice roasted sunchokes and add to the pan. Place scarpinocc pasta in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Then strain out and pasta and place in the saute pan with the sunchokes. Season with salt and pepper. Then in your bowl add some of the butternut soup. Add a few pieces of the pasta with the sunchokes. Top with some fresh parmesan cheese. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and seeds. Top with sunchoke chips and chives. Serve and enjoy!

squash scarpinocc with sunchoke.JPG


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Sourdough Crusted Onion with Olive and Balsamic

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Sourdough Crusted Onion with Olive and Balsamic

Here is a simple dish that really turned out amazing. A few good ingredients that are executed correctly and that is what good cooking is all about. The key to this dish is really cooking the onion to where the onion is cooked all the way through with it still upholding its structural integrity. This is a great vegetarian appetizer that will really be a crowd pleaser. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Onion Sourdough

4 medium to large cippolini onions

2 tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wood chips


Onion purée from scraps

2 tbsp of butter


Green olive purée see recipe

Sourdough bread gjusta

Aged Balsamic vinegar


For the Onion,

Place onions and wood chips on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle onions with olive salt and pepper. Place in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until just tender all the way through. Take out and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled peel the outer layers of the onion and save for the puree. Reserve for the onions for later.

Place peeled outer layers of the onion into a vitamix. Puree until smooth with 2 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Olive Puree,

For the green olive puree (tapanade) place olives and garlic into a food processor.  Puree and add the oil during the process.  No need to season because of the saltiness of the olives.

For the Sourdough,

Take slices of sourdough bread and take a round cookie cutter just a hair bigger than the onions and punch out 8 rounds. Set aside until ready to serve.

To Finish,

If the cipollini onions are really big you can cut then in half width wise (think of an orange cutting it on its side to have two perfect sides of the fruit). Otherwise you can trim the tops and bottoms if need be. Season the onion with a little salt on both sides. Then add a few spoonfuls of the green olive puree on top of one side of the each onion. Place the round sourdough on top of the green olive puree. Then take a large saute pan and add 3 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Place the onions face down so the sourdough is in the pan and you are looking at the onion. Cook for 3 minutes and then place in a 400 degree oven and cook for 5-7 minutes. Take out and flip over and let them rest for a minute in the pan. While they are resting place a spoonful of the onion puree in the middle of the plate. Then take aged balsamic and drizzle around the plate. Take the onion out of the pan and place right on top of the puree. Top the onion off with a touch of salt and micro greens. Serve and enjoy!

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Strawberry, Avocado, and Pepper Salad

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Strawberry, Avocado, and Pepper Salad

Here is a great salad using peppers from the farm in Michigan Sunset. One of the largest green house organic farms in the country. They also have amazing strawberries. My boss had made a stop at this amazing farm and brought back cases of both ingredients. Strawberry season is just starting for some states and spring is almost here. So I decided to share this strawberry and pepper salad to get us ready for that warmer weather. This was a salad that both Jp and Eloise absolutely loved!. There is obviously some sweet to this dish but there is also acid and heat. This gives the dish a well rounded flavors that really worked well with one another. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry and red pepper salad

2 roasted red peppers deseeded and large diced

2 red radish sliced

1 cup of strawberries sliced

1 avocado diced

Micro cilantro


Strawberry and pepper “chutney”

1 cup of strawberries

1 1/2 red pepper diced

1 Jalapeño diced

1/2 small onion diced

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

Salt to taste


For the Chutney,

In a small pot add 1 tsp of oil with onion and jalapeño. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rest of the ingredient. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and holds together. Turn off and allow to cool to room temperature. Reserve for plating.

To Finish,

Add a spoonful or two of the chutney onto your plate. Then some of the roasted peppers on top. Add the diced avocado and season with salt. Finish with radishes and strawberries. Season everything again lightly. Then garnish with micro cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

strawberry and Pepper salad.JPG


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French Onion Soup

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French Onion Soup

Here is the classic french onion soup recipe. This is with a vegetable stock and you would never know it by the taste. The caramelized onions is what marries together with the vegetable stock along with a few splashes of worcestershire gives you an illiusion of meatiness to the soup. No frills, no secretes, no long recipe, this is just straight forward easy to follow and great for those cold winter nights. Here is the recipe great for vegetarian dinners and even the meat eaters won’t know the difference!


French Onion Soup

3 yellow onions sliced then

1/2 red onion sliced then

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp of worcestershire sauce

2 quarts vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste


Vegetable stock

1 onion charred

2 leeks

3 stalks for celery

4 carrots

2 parsnips

1 celeriac

1 cup of mushroom stems if you have them 

5 cloves of garlic

2 bay leafs

1 sprig of thyme

12 cups of water


4 Sourdough toast

8 oz Gruyere cheese


For the Vegetable stock 

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and reduce by half or until the stock (water) taste flavorful.  Strain out and season with salt. 

For the French Onion Soup,

Add oil and butter to a soup pot along with all the sliced onions. The key here is to not add salt to the onion (that would draw out the water in the onion) and let the sugars in the onions caramelize completely. They should be dark caramel in color without burning. Once they have all cooked down (25-30 minutes) add salt to the onions and your vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then season with worcestershire and salt and pepper if need be.

To finish,

Simply place soup in bowls add a piece of toasted sourdough and grate gruyere cheese over the top. Place in the broiler until the cheese has browned and melted. Serve and enjoy!


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Radish, Blood Orange Salad with Bacon Avocado and Mint

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Radish, Blood Orange Salad with Bacon Avocado and Mint

This is one of the easiest recipes I think I have. This recipe will take about 10-15 minutes to make. It is perfect for winter or summertime when citrus is ripened and the radishes are being harvested from the ground. This is light and refreshing and it will be hard not to eat the whole plate. A great vegetarian and vegan dish that really everyone can love unless you don’t like citrus, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like citrus. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 watermelon radish peeled and sliced 1/16-1/8 inch thick

2 avocados sliced

2 red radish sliced thin

2 blood oranges peeled and sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

4 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Blood Orange Dressing

1 blood orange juiced

1/4 cup white balsamic

1 tsp of salt

For the dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt. Stir together until ready to plate.

To Finish,

On a plate add sliced watermelon radishes all around the plate. Season aggressively with salt. Then add the sliced avocados to the plate and season them well. Then add the blood oranges slices to the plate. Take your dressing and spoon all over the radishes, avocados, and fruit. Drizzle the plate with olive oil. Then add the sliced red radishes to the plate and finish with the fresh mint. Season again with a pinch of salt all over and a dash of black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

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Cauliflower Rice, Almond, Curry

Here is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that everyone immediately fell in love with. At first glance this really doesn’t look or sound like an exciting dish but the surprise is underneath the vegetables. The secrete sauce is creamy in texture but without the fat. It is basically a indian flavor romesco sauce that was fantastic with the cauliflower. This is a go to vegetarian dish that is bound to make any guest go wild. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Cauliflower

1 lb of riced or diced cauliflower

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder

2 tbsp of olive oil and butter


“Indian Romesco Sauce”

2 roasted yellow peppers

1 Serrano

1/4 cup marcona almonds

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp of graham Marsala

1/3 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1 head of purple cauliflower

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of ras al hanout

Salt to taste

1/2 cup of roasted sliced almonds

Cilantro


For the Romesco,

Place all the ingredients into a vitamix except for the olive oil and salt. Puree all the ingredients for 30 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

For the Cauliflower, Preheat oven 400

Place the cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Season with salt, and ras al hanout powder. Toss to incorporate everything evenly. Spread evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil ( optional, I do this to make clean up easier ). Place the cauliflower in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile

To Finish,

In a small pot add butter and oil to a pan along with the rice cauliflower add a tsp of salt. Cover and turn on medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the curry powder. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Using a round cookie ring add some sauce in the bottom of the ring. Then add the riced cauliflower on top of the sauce. Then take the roasted cauliflower and place on top of the riced cauliflower. finish with toasted almonds and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


Rice Cauliflower .JPG


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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

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Gnoccetti Sardi with Pesto

How To Make Home Made Pasta Gnoccetti-Rocchetti

What is one of the easiest and classic pasta recipes to make? Pesto pasta! How about home made Gnoccetti or rocchetti. Southern Italy uses more of the duram wheat or semolina flour without the use of eggs in their pasta dough. This is a great pasta for anyone who is allergic to eggs. The key to using the semolina flour is using warm water which hydrates the flour. Traditionally the pasta is just semolina and water. I added a little bit of 00 flour which makes the pasta, I think, a little softer and tender, than just all semolina. This pesto sauce you use can be the traditional recipe if you using pine nuts but in this case my son is allergic to all nuts; so I’ve made pesto for him a few times using pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts and he absolutely loves it! Another win for pasta because he doesn’t like tomato sauce. We now have another alternative for school lunches instead of sandwiches everyday. He can easily take this to school and eat it cold for lunch. Not only do the kids love it, which they normally complain about anything green, pumpkin seeds are a lot cheaper on the wallet than pine nuts. I saw recently they were almost $20 a pound. Not cheap. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


Pesto

4 oz basil

2 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of roasted pine nuts ( pumpkin seeds if nut allergy)

1 oz of parmesan cheese

1 -1/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Take the slices and roll using your hands into a rope. Cut the rope into dime size pieces that are round. Then using a pasta board take your thumb and apply a little pressure and flick them off the board. Here is a video I made to show you the technique. This is exactly what you would do if you were making gnocchi hence the name Gnoccetti.

For the Pesto,

Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Puree for 15 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil until you have a smooth paste. If you want a thicker pesto use less oil to make a thick paste. If you want a more runny sauce use more olive oil. Season with salt and set aside.

To Finish,

Have a pot of salted water on high heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling add the gnoccetti to the water and cook for about 3 minutes until they start to float and are tender. Meanwhile add 4 tbsp of pesto to a saute pan on medium heat. Strain out the pasta and add 4-6 oz of pasta water to the pan with the pasta and pesto. Toss the pasta around a few time so the sauce coats the gnoccetti ( you could easily add cream and a little butter to make it a little richer but I didn’t here). Then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Check seasoning and then place a few spoonfuls on to a few plates. Grate with fresh parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this easy pasta dish!

gnoccetti sardi pesto2.JPG

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Sweet Potato with Thai Red Curry, Black Garlic, and Myoga

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Sweet Potato with Thai Red Curry, Black Garlic, and Myoga

“Twist on Thai”

Want a new and exciting sweet potato dish that is not only delicious but healthy too? If you are like my wife and not the biggest fans of sweet potato this is a recipe bound to convert all those haters into believers. Not only is it easy but it is absolutely delicious!

This recipe could be served as an appetizer or an entree. This was a huge hit with Jp and his guests that I served recently. This dish has everything from sweet, to spice, to crunch and acid. A great balance of flavors and textures that is bound to make any guest extremely please. This is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that could easily be a whole meal in itself. This a not a time consuming recipe as well and the sauce can be made ahead of time and just reheated when you need it. Here is the recipe on a asian inspired sweet potato. I hope you enjoy it!

Red Curry Sauce

1 finger of ginger sliced

1 lemongrass stalk sliced

1/2 onion sliced

4 garlic cloves

1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 limes Kaffir lime leaves (if you have them)

2 red peppers chopped

2 cans of coconut milk

4 oz of red curry paste

2 1/2 oz of palm sugar or granulated sugar

1 tsp of fish sauce (optional)

2 tsp of sesame oil

1/4 cup of each fresh thai basil, mint, cilantro leaves

4 white sweet potatoes roasted

1 cup of wild rice fried (see recipe)

Pickled Myoga Ginger

6 myoga ginger cut in quarters

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup of sugar

Black Garlic Mayo

2 bulbs of black garlic peeled

1 cup mayo

salt

micro cilantro

For the Red Curry,

In small sauce pot on medium heat add sesame oil, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon stick, red pepper, star anise and kaffir lime leaves.  Cook for 10 minutes without browning.  Then add sugar and red curry paste and cook for 1 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.  Then add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat, add fish sauce and your herbs to steep for 10 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, keep warm until ready to use. You might need to adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Take sweet potato and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place the sweet potatoes in a roasting and place in the oven.  Cook sweet potatoes for about an hour or until tender.  Take out and let them rest. 

For the black garlic mayo,

Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Place into a squeeze bottle until ready to use.

For the pickled myoga,

Place vinegar, salt, and sugar into a pot. Bring to a boil, place sliced myoga in a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot vinegar over the ginger. Cover and allow to come to room temp.

To Finish,

Simply take the sweet potato and cut it into 1 inch thick pieces. Place it in the bottom of the bowl. Add some hot red curry sauce around the sweet potato. Take the black garlic mayo and place dots of the sauce around the bowl. Add the fried wild rice on top along with myoga, and cilantro sprigs. Serve and enjoy this sweet and spicy vegetarian dish!

sweet potato and red curry.JPG

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

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Jicama Rose with Black Garlic and Avocado

Healthy Snack

Here is a great appetizer that will quench any craving. A guiltless snack that packs a big punch in the flavor face. This is a great raw, vegetarian dish that can be eaten anytime of the day. It is only a few ingredients and anyone can make it. This is a great, healthy bite after a hard workout to get your body recovering after all those calories you burned. The great thing about this recipe is people who don’t like this “healthy” kind of food will immediately be hooked. This recipe has everything from crunchy, to salty, to spicy, to creamy with the good fats from the avocado.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make it in about 20 minutes if you have all the ingredients on hand. An easy recipe that can be made before your guests arrive and can leaving you feeling stress free about entertaining for your dinner party. This is definitely one that will be a go to. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 Jicama peeled and sliced 1/16-thick

1-2 avocados

4 red radishes sliced thin

4 oz ssamjang paste

1 cup of fresh mint leaves

1 oz of micro cilantro

Black Garlic Mayo

3 black garlic bulbs peeled

1 cup of mayo or veganaise

salt to taste

For Jicama,

Peel and slice the jicama thin on a mandolin.  Lay down 7 slices of jicama in a row, slightly overlapping each slice. Add a tsp of ssamjang paste to the row of jicama slices. Then add the sliced avocados on top of the row of jicama with ssamjang paste, season them with salt. On top of the avocados add a row of the sliced radishes and season them lightly with salt. Then starting at one of the jicama roll the long row up into a a cylinder or rose shape. You might have to trim up the bottom with a sharp knife so it can stand easily. Continue the process until you have 4-6 orders.

For the black garlic mayo,

Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Place into a squeeze bottle until ready to use.

To Serve,

Simply place one jicama rose on a plate. Using squirt bottle add dots of black garlic mayo on the inside of the rose. Then garnish with some of the micro cilantro and herbs. Serve and enjoy this wonderfully healthy snack!

jicama rose.jpg

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Pici cacio e pepi

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Pici cacio e pepi

“Cheese and Pepper”

There is nothing more basic and easy then this classic pasta recipe that is nothing more than black pepper and parmesan cheese. The secrete to making this easy pasta recipe is making the “sauce”. With the addition of butter, and a little pasta water added to the cheese; the whole things comes together as one of those sauces that hangs on to each individual piece of pasta. The French have a sauce called buerre monte. This “sauce” is simply prepared with a touch of water while you whisk in cold butter to make an emulsion, its not really a sauce. It really is melted butter that has been emulsified when its still warm and hasn’t separated from the milk solids. But you can add this warm emulsified butter to any protein or vegetable and it glazes and stick to whatever you add it to without separating. This is basically the same principle that you would use to make this cacio e pepi sauce with the addition of parmesan cheese and black pepper to the water and butter. This is the secrete to have a “sauce” stick to the pasta without having your pasta covered in a mound of sauce (like how all american pasta is cooked with loads of sauce”, I’m guilty at times doing this, I love sauce! )

Using the pasta water gives you a little salty pasta flavor that is traditional Italian cooking. Now you can use any noodle that you prefer. This recipe was one that was inspired by my recent trip to Tuscany. I have never had Pici pasta before, I don’t think I have ever seen it, before spending a week in Cortona, Italy. I had Pici on three different occasions during that week. Once was with squab that was amazing and the other two were with ground veal which was equally amazing. I was in love immediately with Pici. All three dishes had this basic butter sauce, maybe a touch of cream added, but typically what you would see in northern Italian pasta cuisine. Pici noodles are a mix between spaghetti and bucatini except the noodle aren’t hollow like bucatini. It is a basic eggless or dried pasta dough that is rolled out into ropes. Not too thin, the noodles should be a little bigger/thicker than spaghetti. I didn’t take the time to completely dry these noodles out so I used them more like a fresh pasta. Here is the easiest pasta recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Semolina Pasta

2 cups semolina

1 cup 00 flour

1-1/4 cup warm water

salt optional


3/4 cup pasta water

4 oz of shredded parmesan cheese

1-1/2 sticks of butter

12 oz of pici pasta cooked

1-2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

salt to taste


For the Pasta,

In a bowl with both flours mixed well. Make a hole or well in the center of the flour. Add the warm water and mix with your hands until you make a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and then wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Then using a bench scrapper or knife cut the dough in half. Then cut the dough into 5 equal slices. Cut those slices in half again so you should have 10 small pieces of dough about an inch long or so. Take one piece and start rolling them with your hands into long ropes. You don’t want to stretch the dough but the pressure from your hands should lengthen the pici pasta. Continue rollin until you have long noodles ( you might have to cut them in half if they are really long) that a touch bigger than spaghetti. Then place on a sheet pan lines with parchment and lots of semolina flour. Try not to add a lot of flour when your rolling out the pici (this might dry out and crack your dough)


To Finish,

Fill a large pot with salt water and bring to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Meanwhile in a large sauté pan add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the grated Parmesan and Butter. Swirl the pan around so that the butter and cheese start to melt and become a sauce like consistency (1 minute). Add the drained pasta, toss to coat the pasta well and season with salt. Garnish with black pepper and more parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy this fantastic, easy pasta dish that will quickly be a go to, in your recipe book!.

Pici a pepi .jpg


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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

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Pine nut Custard with Matsutake and Wasabi

Here is a little appetizer I made a few weeks ago utilizing some matsutake mushrooms which are very limited and normally very expensive because of the lack of abundance in the wild. It sometimes can be called a pine mushrooms because they normally grow at the base of a variety of pine trees. The matsutakes have a firm, meaty texture with a earthy flavor. In this recipe I thought it would be fun to pair the matsutake mushrooms with pine nuts. I thought a warm savory custard with cooked and raw matsutake would go great with a smoked beef/mushroom broth. Topped with a little fresh wasabi. This was a fun dish that was loved by Jp and Eloise. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pine nut custard

1 1/2 cup cream hot

2 eggs plus 2 yolks

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Salt to taste

Smoked bone broth

5 smoked beef rib bones

4 oz mixed mushrooms dried

1 leek

1 garlic bulb

10-12 cups of water

Salt to taste

6 matsutaki mushrooms quartered

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

2 matsutaki mushrooms sliced raw

1 wasabi fresh grated

Opal basil and cilantro

For the Smoked beef broth,

Place all the ingredients into large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until you have about 4 cups left. Strain and season with salt. Set aside and keep warm

For the Pine nut custard, Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Place cream and roasted pine nuts in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it has come to a boil place in a vita mix and puree until smooth. While the blender is on add the eggs one at a time. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Strain (if desired) and pour into 6 small ramekins that have been sprayed or buttered. Place the ramekins into a baking dish and fill the dish half way up the sides of the ramekins with hot water. Cover with foil and bake 17-19 minutes or until the custard has just set. Take out and let it cool.

To Finish,

Place the custard back in the oven just for a 3-4 minutes to warm back up. Meanwhile in a small sauce pan add olive oil, butter, and quartered matsutake. Cook for 4-5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Using a paring knife run your knife around the the inside wall of the ramekin. Flip the pine nut custard into the bowl. Add the cooked and raw mushrooms to the dish. Add a small fresh grated wasabi on top of the custard. Add the smoked bone broth and some herbs. Serve and enjoy!

pinenut custard.jpg

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Tomato and Gala Melon "Terrine" with Blis Solera Vinegar

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Tomato and Gala Melon "Terrine" with Blis Solera Vinegar

This was a simple dish using just a few ingredients and take a little extra time to present it in a "fancy" way.   This is what summer eating should be about, less time in the kitchen and more time outside with friends and family.  I served this recipe for dinner guests late this summer as tomatoes were still in full swing and melons become ripen.  The garden had some amazing varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I normally wait until they are just ready to pick.  Tomatoes really only need salt and olive oil when they are that fresh.  Melon and tomatoes are a perfect combination that go together seamlessly with little added flavors to compliment one another.  In this case basil, olive oil, a really good aged vinegar and salt.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Galia melon sliced 1/8 inch thick  (Mold)
4 large heirloom tomatoes 1/8 inch thick
Blis aged Solera sherry vinegar (here)
Olive oil
Salt 

1 oz of sunflower sprouts
3 tbsp of sunflower seeds
3 tbsp of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Salt 

For the Terrine,

You will need a square pastry mold  or something similar to have the shape of the terrine.  I peeled and cut the melon into slices and then used the mold to cut perfect squares.  I continued until the majority of the melon was cut into squares (Set the scraps of the melon aside to eat later or maybe use in a gazpacho for another recipe).  Repeat the same process for the tomatoes insuring that you use only the center cuts of the tomatoes and not the skin.  Once you have the perfect squares of each melon and tomatoes, alternate melon and tomatoes inside your pastry mold until you reach the top.  Then carefully holding on the top remove the mold.  I then carefully wrapped them in plastic wrap somewhat tight and placed them in the refrigerator until I was ready to serve later that evening. Repeat the same process until you have 5 terrines.  You should have something that looks like this picture.

tomato .jpg

 

To Finish,

Simply take all the ingredients for the salad and place them in a bowl.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and salt and set aside.  Take the terrine out of the refrigerator and slice the terrine in half right down the middle keep the plastic wrap on to help keep the shape (continue with the others).  Then after the terrine is cut place each half on a plate carefully removing the plastic wrap (should have enough for 10 servings).  Drizzle the top with olive oil and salt.  Place the salad next to it.  Then add some of the age blis solera vinegar to finish the dish.  Serve and enjoy!

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Artichoke and Black Truffle

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Artichoke and Black Truffle

Here is a summer artichoke and truffle recipe.  This is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that uses just a few ingredients.  Artichokes can be a intimidating ingredient but it really just takes a little time taking the outer leaves away and peeling the green stem.  Once you have done that you can remove the hearts on large artichokes.  Depending on how big the baby artichokes are, you can sometimes leave the heart intact because of the maturity of the vegetable.  This recipe is really simple in concept. You cook the artichokes in a flavorful broth, add some truffle and fat to the dish and that's basically the recipe.  Jp absolutely loved this dish and hopefully you will too.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Artichoke Baragouile
3 large artichokes and 12 small baby artichokes
4 lemons
1 cup of white wine
7 cups of water
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme , 1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt 

Artichoke and Black Truffle Puree
6 small artichokes cooked from above
1/3 cup of cream heated  
2 tbsp of black truffle (winter Australian)
splash of truffle oil (if desired)
1 tbsp of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh black Australian truffle slices
Tarragon leaves and amaranth

For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves of the large and small artichokes (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact.  Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin.  Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process.  Place in a pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled; the large artichokes should just be the bottoms and the small artichokes should have some of the inner leaves intact and you can cut them in half. Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt to the pot.  Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large square.  Then fold it over in half and then in half again.  Then fold it diagonally into a triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the artichokes to keep them submerged under the water.  Bring the pot up to a slowly to simmer, where the water is just barely bubbling.  Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through.  Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness.  Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.  

Take half of the small artichokes and place in a vitamix with cream, truffle, and oil.  Puree until smooth and add butter salt and pepper.  Take out and keep warm.  

To Finish,

Take the large artichoke bottoms and slice in 1/8 inch thickness.  Place them in the pan with a little of the artichoke cooking liquid, butter, and olive oil.  Take the baby artichokes and quarter them and add to the pan as well.  You are just heating the artichokes up and seasoning them with a little salt if need be.  Once hot, then add truffle puree to the plate.  Add the sliced large artichokes on the bottom.  Then add the quartered baby artichokes on top.  Add sliced fresh truffles, tarragon, and amaranth to garnish.   Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired.  Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Tomato "Salad" with Porcini, Hearts of Palm, Chrysanthemum

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Tomato "Salad" with Porcini, Hearts of Palm, Chrysanthemum

June, 2018 in California was a busy time for the Dejorias, with dinner parties nearly every day. That makes it a busy time for me, too, and a challenge to think of a variety of menus. It also happens to be the month of JP and Eloise’s 25th anniversary.  A few guests were invited for the evening. What to fix? JP was not eating red meat, and I had served fish many times in the week already. I didn’t want to serve chicken or run to the store for some other protein. Earlier in the week I had visited a local organic farm. I bought all kinds of vegetables and fruit, more than I actually needed, but summertime in California means abundance of fresh produce. Depending on the weather and month, you have many wonderful varieties of vegetables and fruit, week after week: berries, stone fruit, melons, squashes, blossoms, greens, peas, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, citrus, onions, carrots, beets, salsify, corn, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, and I could go on. With so much to choose from, sometimes the hardest thing is actually deciding what to make. So I decided not to run to the store and buy a protein for the main course.  This was one of the 5 courses I served that evening for the special anniversary dinner. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!  

 

Tomato “salad” hearts of palm, porcini and chrysanthemum

1 cup of cherry tomatoes roasted
4-5 large heirloom tomatoes roasted (for tomato water see below)
1 yellow heirloom tomato sliced
1 large red radish sliced thin
1/2 cucumber shaved on mandolin
1 cup of sourdough croutons
1 porcini shaved
Mint leaves, radish flowers, chive flowers

8 1 inch pieces of hearts of palm
2 1/2 cup water
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt

Chrysanthemums oil
1 large bundle chrysanthemum blanched
1 1/4 cup oil
Pinch of salt

Tomato water here

For the Hearts of palm,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for roughly 20 minutes or until the hearts of palm are tender. (Time really depends on how thick and big the palms are).  Once tender allow to cool to room temperature and you can pour all the liquid into a container to keep and preserve the hearts of palm.

For the Chrysanthemum oil,

Place blanched chrysanthemum leaves and oil together in a vita mix and puree for 45 seconds.  Then pour into a chinos and let it strain without pushing the pulp through the chinos ( let it drip that way you don't get any of the pulp in your oil).

To finish,

Take a one slice of yellow heirloom tomato and place in the bottom of each bowl.  Season with a  pinch of salt.  Add slices of hearts of palm around the bowl.  Add the roasted cherry tomatoes, the sliced porcini, and radish the bowl.  Ladle 2 oz of tomato water to the bowl.  Finish with herbs, flowers, and croutons.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

hearts of palm.jpeg

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Summer Vegetable "Tikka Marsala" with Chutneys

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Summer Vegetable "Tikka Marsala" with Chutneys

This is really a summer vegetable dish with a tomato "broth"  The idea was to have like a vegetable "curry" bowl with a tomato butter sauce, but instead of a red, somewhat thicker tomato sauce I decided to make it out of the tomato water.  I wanted to have the consistency more like a broth than a thick sauce.  The color I was looking to be more clear as well.  I think overall it was a success.  The tomato broth didn't have that deep indian flavor I was looking for because it just simply wasn't cooking a long time like a traditional marsala might be.  Flavors were good and light which is what you want on a hot summer evening. The chutneys went well with it and gave a another layer of flavor.  Here is the recipe for my interpretation of a vegetable "tikka marsala" I hope you enjoy it

1/2 head of cauliflower sliced 1/8 inch thick roasted
12 oz of brussels cut in half roasted
8 oz baby squash blanched
6 oz of blanched green peas
8 oz of blanched chopped green beans
8 oz of roasted baby tomatoes
8 oz of baby carrots roasted and sliced
1 tsp of minced garlic and ginger
1 tbsp of curry powder plus 1 tsp
1 tbsp of cumin plus 1 tsp
1/4 tsp of cayenne
1/2 tsp of graham masala
1/4 cup of fresh mint and cilantro
1/4 cup of pea flowers and sorrel

Curry oil

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder
1 cup of vegetable oil 

Mango Chutney
1 1/ 2 cups cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp of oil
1/4 cups raisins
1 cup sugar
1 clove
1 star anise
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger and garlic
1 cinnamon stick
1 jalapeño cut in half
2 large fresh mangos medium diced

Tomato Chutney
1 cups cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp of oil
1/4 cups raisins
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp of cumin
1 tbsp of graham masala
1 star anise
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger and garlic
1 cinnamon stick
2 jalapeño cut in half

Tomato Water
700g of tomato (7-8 tomatoes roughly)
4 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of curry, cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of cayenne
salt to taste

For the Tomato water

Juice tomatoes in a vegetable juicer.  Then take juice and place in a pot, heat over low heat. Simmer for 15 min until solids separate from the liquid.  Remove from heat skim the pulp from the top.  Then strain through a fine mesh strainer that is lined with cheese cloth or coffee filter.  You should be left with a clear tomato broth.  Then place tomato water back in the pot, add spices and cook for 5 minutes.  Then stir in the butter and until smooth. Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Chutneys,

In two different pots one for the tomato and one for the mango.  In a hot sauce pan add one tbsp of oil to each pan, and cook the onions with the ginger and garlic, cinnamon and star anise for about 3 minutes then add the raisins and mangos/and tomatoes for the other pot. . Add vinegar and sugar Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens but some juices remain, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Then (Can be prepared  days ahead.) Cover and refrigerate.

To Finish,

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a stainless bowl add cauliflower and drizzle with a little oil and 1 tsp of curry and cumin, and salt.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Repeat the same process for the brussels and carrots although they might need a few more minutes in the oven than the cauliflower (17 min for the brussels and 25 minutes for the carrots).  In a small saute pan add olive oil and salt to the baby tomatoes.  Roast them in the oven as well for 18 minutes.  Take out and cool all the vegetables.  Then in a large saute pan add 2 tsp of curry oil, ginger, garlic, and all the vegetables with the remaining spices 1 tsp of cumin, curry, cayenne, graham marsala.  Cook for 3 minutes until hot.  Adjust seasoning with a some salt if need be.  Then portion out the vegetables in 4 separate bowls.  Add 4 oz of tomato broth to each bowl.  Top each one with the herbs and flowers.  Finish with a spoonful of each chutney with the vegetables.  Finish with another drizzle of curry oil around the bowl.  Serve and enjoy!

Vegetable %22tikka Marsala%22.JPG

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Cheese Agnolotti Chestnut Pasta with Brussels and Basil

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Cheese Agnolotti Chestnut Pasta with Brussels and Basil

Here is pasta dish that I wanted to highlight with chestnuts.  Chestnuts are fantastic ingredient in the winter that have that natural kind of sweetness to them.  Chestnuts can be very versatile from simply roasting them to ground up into pastry or in this case pasta.  I had an impromptu dinner and decided to serve this as one of the courses.  Here is another great vegetarian recipe that will please any guests you might have over for dinner or lunch.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chestnut pasta
200g or roughly 1 1/3 cup chestnut cooked and peeled
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup semolina
4 eggs plus 2 yolks
2 tbsp water
Salt

8 oz petit basque finely grated
4 oz Comte finely grated
2 oz  sartori bellavitano Espresso coating removed and finely grated
8 oz creme fraiche
Salt  and pepper 

10 oz Brussels sprouts slice in thirds and fried
8oz mitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chestnuts halved
8 oz chicken broth or vegetable (vegetarian)
1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper 

Basil leaves

For the Cheese Filling,

In a bowl mix all the finely grated cheese with creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper.  Then place in a plastic disposable pastry bag.  Set aside in the refrigerator until the pasta is ready.  

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and chestnuts in a food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  Then add the rest of the flour with semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends.  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  

For the Brussels 

In a small sauce pot add 1/2 cup of grape-seed oil and bring up to 325 degrees.  Take your brussels that are sliced and quickly add them to a pot and immediately cover the pot.  Cover the pot for about 20 seconds until all the natural water in the brussels has been cooked out.  If you don't do this the oil will splatter everywhere ( just think water and hot oil, bad combination) After 3-5 minutes the brussels will become nice and crispy and golden brown.  Take a strainer and strain out.  Season immediately with salt.  Set aside

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, oil, and mitake mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add your chestnuts and cook for another 2 minutes and then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth.  Meanwhile place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan.  Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes and then add the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Place a few spoonfuls of pasta and mushroom into each serving bowl.  Finish with the fried brussels and fresh basil leaves, Serve and enjoy!

 

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Vegan Curry with Sorghum, Winter Vegetables, and Mustard Seeds

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Vegan Curry with Sorghum, Winter Vegetables, and Mustard Seeds

Here is a recipe that was inspired by a lunch I had not too long ago at a local indian restaurant.  They vegetable curry that was saturated with mustard seeds.  Mustard seeds I know is local staple of the Indian cuisine but I haven't seen indian dishes that have been dowsed with mustard seeds.  I had a bunch of winter vegetables in the refrigerator fennel, kohlrabi, turnip, white sweet potato, and romanesco.  They all made it into this dish.  Sorghum is a grain that is typically used in india and it is used in two different methods here.  The first is simply boiled, the second is popped, like popcorn.  Because the grain is small the popcorn is really small.  This looks like a creative dish but it has all the flavors of an indian comfort food.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Vegetable curry
1 small fennel sliced
2 turnips medium diced
2 white sweet potatoes medium diced
1 large kohlrabi medium diced
1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp of ginger diced
2 tbsp of yellow mustard seeds
3 tbsp of brown mustard seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp garlic chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander crushed
1 Serrano sliced
Tops of kohlrabi chopped
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup sorghum water
Salt to taste and cayenne if needed

1 cup of sorghum soaked
1 finger of ginger and turmeric
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
Pressure cooker for 20 minutes 

1 Romanesco
1 cauliflower
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp tandoori paste
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1/3 cup sorghum popped in microwave 

Brassicas flowers
Cilantro
Mint

For the Sorghum 

Soak the sorghum in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour if possible.  Then add the rest of the ingredients to a pressure cooker and bring up to heavy pressure. Cook for 20 minutes and then allow the pressure to release naturally.  Meanwhile place a 1/3 cup of dried sorghum in paper bag and place in the microwave.   Cook for 1:30 minutes season with salt (and other spices if desired). Take the lid off the pressure cooker and drain the excess water and reserve for the curry.  Set aside and keep warm. 

For the Curry,

In large braising pan on medium heat add ghee, ginger, mustard seeds, cardamon.  Cook for 1 minute to release the aromatics. Next add fennel, kohlrabi, turnips, sweet potato, serrano, garlic,   curry, mustard seeds, cumin, and coriander.  Sauté for 5 minutes and then season with salt, add coconut milk, and 1//2 -1 cup of the sorghum water.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables.  Once all the vegetables are tender add the kohlrabi tops and turn off the heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees,

In a blender add yogurt, water, olive oil, and tandoori paste and puree until smooth.  Cut the romanesco into individual pieces.  Take the yogurt mixture and slather the romanesco all over.  Season with salt and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take out and finish the dish.

To finish

Heat curry up for a minute to make sure everything is hot.  Add a few spoonfuls of the vegetables into a bowl.  Add the tandoori romanesco on top.  Add some of boiled sorghum to the dish.  Finish with mint leaves, cilantro, popcorn, flowers, and micro cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

Vegetable Curry.JPG

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Eggplant "Parmesan"

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Eggplant "Parmesan"

Here is a little modern take on eggplant parmesan.  Instead of breading the eggplant I simply grilled it.  There is something so delicious about charred eggplant. There isn't an easier way to prepare eggplant then simply charring the outside completely and then allowing it to steam until soft.  When eggplant is charred the inside becomes this creamy, smoky, and this wonderful luscious texture.  The flavor is one that is hard to describe and beat.  Simple, but it goes a long way.  Once it is charred you peel the outside and cover with a rich tomato-butter sauce.  It really is that simple.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

10 medium size eggplants grilled (completely charred) 

Yellow tomato butter 

3 yellow tomatoes
1 garlic clove
4 basil leaves
1/4 cup of champagne or white wine(leftover)
1/4 cup cream
1 stick of butter
salt to taste

1 cup of tasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of basil leaves
3 tbsp of chive flowers and basil flowers
1 tsp of espelette pepper
Salt to taste

For the eggplant,

2 ways to do this.   First is you place your eggplant directly on the hot spot of your grill and just let all sides get black or if you have a gas stove you can put the eggplant directly on the flame of your gas burner and do the same.  The eggplant should begin to release its juices.  (approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.)  You want to char the eggplant really good but not burn the eggplant so much that there isn't any "meat" left inside the eggplant.  If you cook your eggplant for about 15-20 minutes and it is charred on every side and feels pretty soft then place the eggplant in a bowl (while hot) and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to cool completely Basically you are steaming the eggplant at this point to insure that the eggplant will be cooked all the way through.  Once cooled the eggplant should be very soft all the way through.  Carefully peel the eggplant leaving the stem on and set on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

For the tomato butter

Chop yellow tomatoes with garlic and place in a small sauce pan with white wine or champagne.  Season with a pinch of salt and turn on medium heat.  Cook for 10-12 minutes until all the wine is almost gone and then add the cream.  Cook for another 10-12 minutes and then place in the vita mix with basil.  Puree until smooth and then slowly add the butter piece by piece until a smooth consistency is formed.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and set aside and keep warm.  

To Finish,

Simply add a small spoonful of sauce on top of each eggplant and place in the a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until completely hot.  Then take out and place one on each plate.  Spoon over another ladle of sauce over top.  Garnish the eggplant with toasted bread crumbs, esplette pepper, fresh parmesan cheese, basil leaves and chive flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

eggplant parmesan.JPG

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Summer Squash-Zucchini with Koji, Shiso, Chile

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Summer Squash-Zucchini with Koji, Shiso, Chile

Summer squash and zucchini to me is a really hard ingredient to elevate to an extraordinary flavor.  But there are so many varieties in the summer that have different colors and textures you can play with. This recipe is just from having those multiple varieties like 8 ball, yellow zucchini, patty pans and blossoms.  For this recipe I wanted to have a very french approach with subtle heat and asian influence.  The result was really a great dish with unexpected heat and flavor.   This is a fantastic vegetarian dish that would make any hater of squash fall in love immediately.  There is a few steps involved but some of this can easily be made ahead of time, especially the pickled yellow zucchini.  This dish has a little bit of everything with the squash, grilled, raw, pickled, and pureed.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it. 

Summer zucchini and squash

Yellow zucchini puree
4 yellow zucchini diced
1/2 onion sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tiny red chile cherry, or fresh cascabelle
1-2 tsp Koji to taste

3 each green and yellow pattypan shaved thin
Koji water

8 ball squash sliced grilled with olive oil
1 Serrano
Salt
4 leaves green shiso chopped fine

Pickled yellow zucchini-apricot add 2 yellow zucchini julienne to recipe (see recipe)

10 each green and yellow patty pan squash cut in half
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp koji
Salt if needed

4oz oyster mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt

Chile flowers
Shiso leaves

For Puree 

In a small pot on medium high heat add oil, butter, onion, diced zucchini, chile and a pinch of salt.  Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes or until the zucchini are completely tender.  Then pour everything into vita mix.  Add a touch of koji and puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning with koji, set aside and keep warm.  

For Grilled Zucchini compote,  Start grill to get hot

Slice 8 ball zucchini 1/4 inch thick.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Also grill the serrano on all sides.   Take off the grill and cool.   Then diced up the zucchini very fine and place in a bowl.  De-seed the serrano and dice finely and add to the bowl. Add chop shiso and add to the bowl as well.  Mix all the ingredients and adjust seasoning if need be.  Set aside for later.

For the pickled zucchini and apricot (other fruit can easily be substituted or left out)

Simply add julienned yellow zucchini to the recipe link  for the apricot and set aside.

To finish the dish,

In a small pan add butter, oyster mushrooms, and a pinch of salt.  Let it cook for 4 minutes. Meanwhile in another small saute pan add butter, oil, and patty pan squash cut in half.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add koji and cook for another minute, keep warm.  Take the three green and yellow squash and shave thin.  Place in a bowl and lightly toss with koji water.  To plate add puree in a round circle.  Also place another streak of puree to the side of it.   Then add mushrooms and squash on top of the puree.  Add the sliced raw squash on top of the mushrooms and patty pan.  Then add a quenelle of the grilled squash compote to the side.  Add a touch of the pickled zucchini on top of the grilled quenelle.  Finish the dish with chile flowers, and shiso flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Legume Salad with Green Goddess

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Legume Salad with Green Goddess

Here is a great salad that was a huge crowd pleaser a few weeks ago when I served this recipe for lunch.  It is a simple salad that is grounded in the basis that the majority of the ingredients are legumes.  Legumes are basically vegetables and or fruit that are grown in a pod (beans, peas, peanuts...).  This salad takes a lot of simple ingredients and turns into a fantastic salad that leaves you not only satisfied but also feeling great.  There a few variations that you could easily add to this recipe like cheese or lettuce which I did on another version but not seen in the photo.   I remember everyone cleaning their plates and saying that this was a fantastic dish.  What a great way to either start the meal or if you are a vegetarian as a main course, either way this is one you want to keep in your back pocket for unexpected surprise.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Legume salad 

1 cup of beluga lentils cooked with charred onion,1 sprig of rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, salt
1 cup of rice beans cooked with charred onion,1 sprig of rosemary,2 garlic cloves, salt
1 cup of heirloom (black) beans cooked with charred onion, 1 sprig of rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, salt

1 cup of fava beans blanched and peeled
1 cup of snap peas blanch and chopped and hulled
1 cup of green beans blanched and chopped small
1/2 cup roasted peanuts salted
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 cured egg yolks (4 yolks, 1 1/4 cup of sugar and salt)
2 oz of manouri cheese (optional not shown in picture)
1 oz of pea sprouts 

Garlic Goddess dressing 

3 anchovy
1/4 cup roasted garlic with oil
1/4 cup white balsamic (good quality) 
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch basil
1 cup veganaise or mayo
Salt and pepper to taste

Chive flowers

For cured egg yolks,

In a bowl mix together salt and sugar.  In shallow dish add enough of the salt and sugar mix to coat the bottom.  Then make 4 indents and carefully place the yolks in each indent.  Then cover the yolks with the remaining cure mix.  Place in the refrigerator for 4 days.  Then take out and carefully remove all of the salt and sugar from the yolks.  Heat oven or dehydrator to 150 degrees.  Spray wire rack with non stick spray and place yolks on them.  Place in the oven or dehydrator for 2 hours until the yolk has firm up.  Let it cool, then keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator until needed.  

Cook beans, lentils, and heirlooms filled with water in 3 separate pots with charred onion, rosemary, garlic, and salt.  Cook until tender (lentils aprox 30 min, beans aprox. 1 hr)  Set aside to cool in their cooking water. 

Blanch snap peas and then shock in an ice bath.  Repeat for the green beans and fava beans.  Cut to desired shapes and set aside.  Keep a few snap peas whole and take off one side for garnish.

For the Green Goddess

Place anchovies, roasted garlic, white balsamic, and herbs in a vita mix.  Puree until smooth.  Then fold puree into veganaise or mayo.  Season and set aside.  

To finish the dish,

Strain out the beans, keep the water for another purpose.  Place 1 cup of each rice bean, heirloom, lentil, fava, green bean, pea, snap peas in a mixing bowl.  Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place a generous spoonful of green goddess on the plate.  Then add all the legumes to the plate.  Add peanuts to each plate.  Grate cured egg yolk on top.  Add (cheese if desired, not shown) pea sprouts, 1 pea pod, and chive flowers.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

 

 

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