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September 13, 2012
When you buy pot roast you have to get a little more than the usual half pound per person since there is a lot of shrinkage and loss of fat. If you plan on serving another meat, half pound will be fine. Cut garlic cloves into quarters. Poke knife into meat and slip garlic into slits. Season meat with sea salt, pepper, paprika, smoked Spanish paprika. In this photo I added some short ribs. The bones add flavor to the dish but they are not necessary. Cut up and add onions, carrots, celery parsley and add to pan. You can also include fresh ginger, scallions and/or jalapeños for additional depth of flavor. (Remember, make it yours.) Add water, wine, beer or broth or any combination thereof. Cover and bake in oven at 400° for an hour.
Take out of oven and slice meat and put in back in the pan. Recover and cook about 300° for about two hours.
The reason I don’t give you exact time and temperatures is because every oven is different. You will need to check every half hour and adjust accordingly. The slower it cooks, the better it will taste. You can also cook the night before and re-heat for serving. This dish goes well with any starch such as roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or noodles. Enjoy!
February 10, 2012
There are a lot of expectations for Valentine’s Day. Many of us expect gifts and special dinners. But they don’t have to be expensive especially since the economy is so rough right now. Think about a handmade gift like this delicious brownie dressed for love. Just about any sweet will suffice as long as you add a little something red. Berries are perfect. The second idea would be to take a special photo of the two of you and make a frame decorated with love. Or you can make a small album of your life together using paper from a craft store and adding dried leaves or flower petals. And if you aren’t creative at all you can print up a booklet of gift certificates giving your lover the ability to cash in on a full-body massage, foot massage and breakfast in bed, for example. Then let them redeem one immediately. If you are alone this Valentine’s Day, love yourself. Plan a bubble bath by candlelight and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly or a dish of your favorite ice cream.
December 06, 2011
We all know that this time of year is filled with temptations. But that doesn’t mean we have to eat everything put in front of us using the holidays as an excuse. Here are some suggestions:
1. Be selective. Offices are filled with deliveries of sweets. Holiday parties provide extra noshes. Choose a small taste or pass on foods you wouldn’t usually eat during the year.
2. Don’t skip meals for party food. Just because you know that evening will be the office party, eat a healthy lunch so you aren’t starving by the time the party food comes around.
3. Eat normal portions. Small plates can be deceiving. What you place on 3 plates might equal a whole meal. When you sit down to a family style meal only fill your plate with what you would at a normal meal at home or even in a restaurant. If you want to taste everything serve yourself small portions. Don’t be afraid to insult your hostess. Accept a passed around platter and move it along. If you intend on eating dessert stay away from sweet side dishes. And when you have dessert, one piece of cake is enough. Remember, the second piece of cake tastes the same as the first, but eating it will double the calories.
4. Don’t skip your normal exercise routine. Exercising regularly will help you to avoid the big promises you’re going to make to yourself about taking off the weight after New Year’s.
5. Watch out for the egg nog. That goes for all alcohol consumption. Alcohol, especially when served as egg nog or punch contains large amounts of sugar. Drinking too much can also slow your body down from processing fat.
Just use your judgment and remember, everything in moderation.
March 29, 2011
One day last week I had one of my what-can-I-cook-from-what’s-in-the-refrigerator moments. Or what I call, “food on the fly.” Having been too busy to shop (yes, that even happens to me) I didn’t have much to choose from. So I pulled out fresh pasta, which had been frozen, grape tomatoes, pecorino romano cheese, garlic and parsley. First step was to start boiling the water for the pasta. When you are cooking for one you’ll need only a half pot of water. Caramelize the garlic in olive oil. I chopped the tomatoes and added them to the garlic. Take note that the moisture of the tomatoes will cease the caramelization of the garlic so add them when the garlic begins to brown. As that cooked down I added fresh parsley. When the pasta was cooked I put it back in the pot with about a heaping tablespoon of butter, freshly ground pepper and sea salt. When the butter melted I added the tomato mixture to the pasta. Then topped it with freshly grated pecorino romano. The whole dish took less than 15 minutes to cook and it was quite satisfying, and of course, delicious.
February 18, 2011
I have recently met the owner of a fabulous line of balsamics, oils and marinades called Tavern on the Green (TavernDirect.com). Lou Bivona’s products are made from pure ingredients in Napa Valley. Until now I have been making all of my own salad dressings and marinades. You can see that on many of my videos. But no more. These flavors just blow me away. And when you order any of their fairly priced products a donation is made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Lou and I had the pleasure of catering a press event for Jensen Martin at their pop-up store at the Roger Smith Hotel. Here’s what we made: The pork loin was marinated in the Central Park Dipping Oil, sea salt and pepper, and then seared in a grill pan. The freshly baked baquette was spread with the Toscana Garlic Parmesan Marinade. Simple and delicious.I make hummous all the time. Follow the directions on the hummous video but instead of olive oil the Chili Pepper Garlic Oil adds just the right amount of heat and flavor to the hummous. We roasted red peppers in the oven by cutting them in half, rubbing them with olive oil and roasting in the oven for about 45 minutes or until tender. When they cool, remove the skin. Then cut in strips and marinate in the Chili Pepper Garlic Oil. Fill half of a small pita with the hummous and top with a strip of red pepper.The Asian Wonton was the biggest hit of the evening. We marinated chicken breasts in Wasabi Wonder, sea salt and pepper. The chicken was pan sauteed in a little olive oil. When cool cut into very small pieces along with a couple of celery stalks. Add equal parts mayonnaise and Wasabi Wonder and chill. The Asian Slaw was made with napa cabbage sliced thinly, carrots, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds. The Asian Lemon was the perfect flavor for this slaw. We just added the juice of half a fresh lemon, salt and pepper. The chicken and slaw were placed side by side on a fried wonton skin. A perfect combination.
Because all of our dishes were savory, we garnished the platters with strawberries for anyone that needed a little sweet.
July 19, 2010
Lobster is considered an expensive delicacy. Usually because restaurants charge so much for it. However, if you buy it and cook it at home you’ll find it to be much more economical. Due to a wonderful surplus of live lobsters there are times I have purchased lobsters as little as $5.99 a pound. At that price you can make a meal for a date for about $20. Or you can create some delicious lobster rolls.
First steam the lobsters (watch the “Steaming Live Lobsters” video if you need some help). Cook the lobsters on ice. Don’t use cold water because the lobsters can tend to become waterlogged. Crack the shells and remove the meat. Break the lobster meat apart with your hands into large bites. Try not to shred it.
Add celery, scallions and/or parsley. Whatever your tastebuds desire. Season your mayonnaise in a separate dish. I like to use sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of ground cayenne and smoked paprika for heat. Try not to overwhelm the lobster by adding too much to the salad.
Lobster rolls are usually made with hot dog rolls. I prefer using a nice egg based roll like an onion roll. Top with shredded lettuce and tomato as desired. Yum. Enjoy.
May 06, 2010
Last night I attended the 4th Annual Brooklyn Uncorked at BAM [Brooklyn Academy of Music] which was a wine and food tasting event. It was co-sponsored by Edible Brooklyn Magazine, http://www.ediblebrooklyn.com Uncor,k New York, http://www.nywines.org Long ,Island Wine, http://www.liwines.com and the NYC Food Film Festival.
The evening’s delicious food offerings were provided by local restaurants who presented a variety selections. I decided to hit the food tables first to make sure I tasted everything. The wine keeps flowing but the food tends to run out as the evening progresses at these events.
Although, I promote home cooking, I can’t help but point out the highlights of the culinary treats. I loved the gazpacho served by Watty & Meg, http://www.wattyandmeg.com It wa.s deliciously creamy with a little float of olive oil.
The Middle Eastern food of Tanoreen, http://www.tanoreen.com is the BEST I have eaten outside the Mideast. Yes, I said, BEST. You know if you’re a regular follower of the show that we’ve made several Middle Eastern dishes and even shot travel videos there. (See hummous, shakshuka, Israeli salad, and Israeli Trailer).
The ceviches served by Palo Santo, http://www.palosanto.com were dreamy.
There is an overwhelming amount of wines available across the world. We are currently creating a wine show to help you navigate your way through a wine menu and liquor store choices. The evenings wine all came from Long Island wineries. Because the climate and soil are similar there are similarities from winery to winery. Although there were many that stood out among their peers. The Syrah from Martha Clara, http://www.marthaclaravineyards.com was warm and soft and very romantic.Being a prosecco drinker, I was thrilled by the Croteaux Vineyards, http://www.corteaux.com Crote,aux Cuvée Sparkle, made in the French Charmat style. It was not too sweet and the tiny bubbles brought out the subtle flavor of tangerine.
If you get a chance to attend one of the many events like this around your city I would definitely advise it. It’s a great value and gives you an opportunity to discover the flavors you like. The key is to be focused on what you’d like to taste and take notes or business cards, otherwise it could be very overwhelming.
April 20, 2010
Those of you who watch the show know I don’t use recipes. I’ve made a lot of easy desserts using elements that don’t need to be baked, or using simple already baked goods like Strawberry Shortcake. I was thinking some of you might want to get a little more sophisticated with your dessert recipes. So I did some research and put together this combination of recipes that made this dessert so easy.
You’ll need: puff pastry (usually comes frozen), tart apples like Granny Smith (who is Granny Smith anyway? does she know Aunt Jemima?), sugar, lemon, cinnamon stick, butter, heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar. Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface. Cut into 6” squares, place on cooking tray. Put 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup water and the juice of half a lemon in a saucepan. Add a cinnamon stick if you like. Cut apples in thin slices, no more than 1/8” thick. Heat mixture until sugar is melted. Toss apples in syrup but do not cook them. Drain liquid from apples and put the liquid back in the saucepan. Lay apples on puff pastry. Sprinkle with brown sugar or turbinado sugar. Put in oven for about 15 minutes until pastry is golden. In the meantime, add about two tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of heavy cream to syrup and cook until it caramelizes. Swirl caramel on plate, place tart, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. If you want to add whipped cream, watch the video.
Enjoy and indulge!
March 16, 2010
I’m just going to go ahead and toot my own horn. This is the best veal chop I ever ate. This dish exuded my philosophies of cooking. Use fresh ingredients, proper cooking temperatures, keep it simple. This delicious meal cost me about $8.50 which is quite a bargain compared to an average of $25 you’d pay in a NYC restaurant. I ordered two veal chops from http://www.FreshDirect.com which were on sale for $9.99/lb. One of my favorite dishes is veal milanese which is a pounded, breaded chop, fried in olive oil and accompanied by an arugula and tomato salad. Different restaurants use only slight variations of a theme. Some are pounded so thin they cover a plate but tend to dry out. Since my chop was a loin chop (like a t-bone), and the bone was in the middle, I couldn’t pound it that thinly. But it worked out. After I trimmed the edges of fat, pounded the meat, dipped in egg with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, herb breadcrumbs and fried in olive oil I realized the thickness of my chop (3/8”) allowed it to stay moist inside while the outside was perfectly crisp.
I decided to use the shiitake mushrooms I had in the fridge. I heated butter in a small fry pan. Sliced shiitakes and added to the butter. Added red wine, salt and pepper. Cooked over med-hi heat until sauce reduced. The combination of all three were so delicious. I had to lick my plate.
Oh, I only wish I was on Food Network’s Chopped hearing the judges applaud. LOL.
March 11, 2010
Well almost. Obviously, there isn’t anything as fresh as freshly picked, fished or baked food. Freezing fresh food is the best way to keep it in your home. Many of the foods we eat are always previously frozen such as shrimp and sushi grade fish which is always frozen when caught. Any shrimp you buy which is not frozen has been defrosted. The best way to buy shrimp is frozen in pre-packed bags. They are individually flash frozen which allows you to use as much as you need.
I made this delicious, easy soup with all fresh ingredients that had been frozen. They are: chicken stock which was made at my favorite supermarket, Fairway, fresh linguini pasta, shrimp, frozen peas and fresh scallions. I sauteed some thinly sliced onion in butter (olive oil is also good). Then I added the defrosted chicken stock to that pan. Threw in the shrimp to cook right into the stock which gave the stock a slightly fishy flavor. I added frozen peas and scallions. The pasta was broken into short spoon-size and cooked separately. All the ingredients were blended together to yield a hearty, fulfilling meal.
This can also be a good option if you have leftovers or just a little bit of fresh ingredients. Read the ingredients on packed soup stocks. Some of them contain a lot of chemical additives. Most of them, unless they are marked “concentrate” are under salted so you’ll have to add salt to taste.
Three to four weeks is the maximum time frozen foods should remain in your freezer. Frost free refridgerators (which is what most of them are nowadays) blow both hot and cold air on food which causes the icing and “freezer burn.” So don’t neglect your food. Once it’s been a couple of weeks, please cook. Or make a lovely soup such as this. By the way, baked goods keep very nicely frozen. Cake will defrost easily outside the fridge and will be ready to serve in a couple of hours.
Feel free to write to me about suggestions for soups and for frozen ingredients. I’m here for you!
February 15, 2010
As promised to the women in the audience at the Women in Social Media event I attended on February 3, 2010, here is the list of bloggers who wanted to share their craft.
Congratulations to you all for your creativity and perseverance. Keep up the good work.
Amy T. Zacks: http://www.amysafternoonreading.com
Lauren K. Goodwin: http://littlelg.tumblr.com
Ali Privitera: http://threeinchheels.com
Vicki Salemi: http://www.vickisalemi.com
Kanako Shirasaki: http://proglo.tumblr.com
Meghan Butler: http://www.megsmumbo.blogspot.com
Molly Aaker: http://www.wanderingpondering.com
Melissa Davis: http://www.TheFatApplenyc.com
And the women on the panel:
Casey Carter: http://caseyculture.tumblr.com/
Alexa Hirschfeld: http://www.paperlesspost.com
Meghan Muntean: http://www.ChickRX.com
Jordan Reid: http://jordan.nonsociety.com/
Neha Chauhan: http://mysocialimpact.com/
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