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Friday, July 10, 2015

Breaking Paella and Orecchiette Traditions - Forgiveness not Sought

Great little lesson in lesson in Pasta Recycling.  What do you do when  you have less than 1/2 lb of Farfalle and less than 1/2 lb of Orecchiette ? Well just cook them together .

Next question. And what do you do with fresh broccoli di rape that yould would like to sweeten up  abit . Well. Add some sugary baby sweet peas. Simple as that. And there you go, a very different twist on Orecchiette , vegetarian friendly.

Mixed Pasta with Peas and Broccoli di Rape 



For the fun of it . Another variation on a very tasty , tender seafood risotto like dish.  Two tricks here. Let the seafood cook very slowly. Then pack , a 3/4 of the way cooked arborio rice on top of the seafood - yes  I said on top - and let it absorb any of the remaining liquids. See , with risotto the rice and seafood are mixed. With dish, the rice and seafood are stratified.



Saturday, June 13, 2015

Seafood Bulgar . A Risotto Alternative

Every wonder about Bulgur Wheat ?  Well, I do . and sometimes come up with some great tasty dishes. Here is Bulgur wheat prepared with seafood : shrimp and scallops..






Salute !

LINKS:  Bulgar on Wikipedia -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgur

Friday, May 29, 2015

Pasta Favorites - Pici Toscani

I love Pici.It has got great texture,  it's got flavor. And yes, reminds of of spaghetti. So if you are a Spaghetti lover, then you  definitely need to try this pasta type when you come across.

Here is a simple recipe idea-  Pici with Sauteed Brocolli (actually slightly stewed) along with some yellow pepper flavor,topped with some fresh goat ricotta cheese. Perfect combo

Go for a crisp white wine.


Pici Toscani with Brocolli , Yellow Peppers and Goat Ricotta 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Caribbean Contributions: A Tale of Caldrons and Authenic Dominican Delights

Who doesn’t love a vacation? Especially in the Caribbean in the middle of the winter.  I recently had the privilege of visiting my beautiful Country, the Dominican Republic during the holidays.  Between the perfect 80 degrees weather, beautiful beaches and festive atmosphere every day of the week, the only complaint that I have are the 4 pounds that I gained from eating everything that I came across.

I can’t speak for other nationalities, but I feel like everything on my island tastes better than back home in the United States. I mean something as simple as a ham and cheese sandwich will leave you nibbling on the crumbs.  It might the fact that things are grown naturally, or the fresh air, or maybe even the fact that you can sit down at noon with your family and enjoy lunch stress free. Whatever the case might be, they have some really good food in the Dominican Republic.
Fried Fish :sunbaths near the beach


Here are some of the delicious dishes that I enjoyed while on my trip:

1. Sancocho: This is one of the most popular dishes of the Dominican culture. It is a thick stew, with different types of meats. Typically the perfect sancocho is called “7 carnes” or 7 meats, It has chicken, beef and pork and even hen (gallina). No worries the rest of the meats fall under that category, (sausage, pork ribs, etc.)  The thickness of the soup is gained from the multiple root vegetables that are included.  You can pretty much add anything from yucca, plantain, and potatoes.

Marileidy : The Social Butterfly


Sancocho is our go to plate for almost everything.  It is our comfort food in a cold day, the perfect cure to a hang over, and a great dish for a get together that will guarantee a lot of guests will be showing up.  Sancocho is yummy anyway that you have it, but it is best served with a side of white rice and a slice of avocado.

2. Mangu: Ever heard the term, “ I am more Dominican than mangu?” that is because Mangu is literally the most Dominican food in existence. Sure we share other dishes such as sancocho and rice and beans with other Latin American countries. But the mangu is an authentic dish of the beautiful Dominican Republic. The plantain is a tropical fruit that is very abundant and affordable in our land. People in the country grow it in their back yards and Dominicans eat it in every way possible.


Mangu Platter


During some point in Dominican history, someone had the bright idea of smashing the plantains, frying some onions and throwing it over it.  There are many things that you can eat mangu with; but there only 3 sides that makes it a great dish, which are called “ Los Tres Golpes” The Three Hits. The sides which are by the way all fried, are eggs, cheese and salami.  The peculiar thing about this dish is that the sides are not really sides; but displayed gracefully on top.

3. Fried Fish: Okay, so I won’t sit here and claim that fried fish is a Dominican invented dish.  It’s something that you can pretty much have anywhere. However, you can’t just go to any beach in the world and have fresh fish that was just caught friend on front of you. That is the beauty of my land, we pride ourselves in freshness and flavor. A Dominican “sazon” or seasoning is unmistakable.  It takes some special hands to marinate a good fish just right.

Fried Fish

You can enjoy your fried fish are some fried plantains,  fried sweet potatoes and some breath taking views of the Caribbean sea.

Contributed by : By: Marileidy Morel


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pork Lovers, Wake Up . Dinner is served !

Continuing with my them of playing with contrasts, for all you meat lovers out there, here is a dish that my guests and fan club loved. Can you count the ingredients here ?

Braised Pork Chop , Sweet Corn Fennel Medley , Spanish Membrillo Cubes

Salute!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cute Caramelized Cipollini Anyone ?

I love playing with bold flavors, combining them so that they play off of each other  I came up with the side dish idea of juxtaposing the sweetness of sweet potatoes, mild taste of cipollini , wrapped in a veil carmelized goodness and dashes of aleppo pepper. Oh yes, the flounder filets too, were excellent. 


Flounder in Lemon Butter, Side of  Carmelized  Sweet Potatoes and Cipollini, Aleppo Pepper 

Salute!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Expressions of Love , Squared - Part I


Two Back to Back Events - Both Connected with :Love , Expressed with Food made with Love


Anniversary Appetizer 


Lite ‪bay‬ ‪scallop‬ ‪chowder‬ 

Anniversary Main Dish

Garden vegetable Spelt freekeh topped with lump lobster and Japanese mushroom in white wine butter reduction.





Anniversary Salad

Baby spinach sumo mandarin salad cranberry orange vinaigrette , black cheeries and pistachios


Cin Cin My Friends


LINKS
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/portchester

Monday, January 19, 2015

Finding Roots: Spaniards, Ancient Greeks and My Own Kind

Sometimes I get very excited about my roots. I suspect that a part of me radicated from some noble clan from old Spain; I suspect too that, going in back even further to some earlier time , that another part of me, can claim blood from ancient colonial Greeks, who occupied the South of Italy; and of course, I know, not that much suspect, that the most recent part of me, is as Italian as you can get, off the boat, stuck in a cultural purgatory, with roots in two continents,  stuck in a time warp of traditions, old and new.

All this contrast, friction and excitement pushed me around,  a set of forces that just told me: "cook it away , dancing Chef , cook it away ". And so I did .The result, a set a creations that thanks all in equal parts, well almost: I do recognize that some pork is missing: that's a different topic all together.

So here you are my friends, here are  two interesting dishes, elaborate in their own way , elaborate in their emotional and mental genesis, tasty , bold, and yet authentic with a touch of modern.



Papparde with Black Chickpeas, Calamari Rings, Topped with Sauteed Frisee



Braised Octupus with Purple Dandelions in Lemon Wine Sauce 

Braised Octopus Lemon Wine Sauce


Do you know where your roots are ?

Salute !


Monday, January 12, 2015

When in Stress, COOK !

This is what happens when I feel like de-stressing: Spaghettoni in a zesty tomato scallop sauce


Spaghettoni Zesty Scallops


Happy to report that I was able to fall  back to my normal self after fan club applauded.

Salute !



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Warming Up The Coldest of Nights

What better way to warm up an entire family on the coldest of nights, than with a bowl of vegetarian pastina, a broth-based delight, a lite and fast soup, born in a time and a place very different than the fast and fancy world we live in today, a pauper's broth that only soothes and enriches the soul, one slow spoonful at a time ?

Here's a dish born out of love , so worth passing on from aunts to nephews.

Pastina alla Zia Vittoria 

Warm night of peace, my wish to all of you .


Ingredients

1 small yellow squash , diced
2 small potatoes , diced
1 cup of  anici di pepe  pastina
1/2 cup  grape tomotoes
Italian Parsely
1/2 cup of cooked white beans , the small kind

EVOO  and Salt

Serve warn, topped with fresh , raw EVOO, and small cubes of Crotonese cheese cubes.


Preparation Tips 
Bring your 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil , add veggies, cook for 3 minutes, add pastina, EVOO , salt.  Add pastina, cook until potatoes tender and pastina is al dente.




Friday, January 2, 2015

Noah's Pudding , Symbol of Togetherness and Friendship

It's only January and Pink Party Nostalgia is already in the air, a party that brings together a United Nations of cultures and food, a gathering  often held on , luck has it ,  stormy , wintry evenings somewhere in Central New Jersey.  It's a time of expanded fun, a gathering where Turkish meets Italian , and Chinese meets Braziilan  and food meets song meets dance.

So yesterday when I saw the Facebook post that the hosts Miriam and Erbil had shared of a beautiful festive dish , my anxiety about the Party was not just  a hunch , it was fully warranted, as if I had a sixth sense predicting what I was about to come across.

So , I reacted, A quick note out to Miriam about sharing this wonderful dessert dish with my readers, and , et voila, permission granted, picture and story, all in my in box within minutes.


Ashure , Noah's Pudding

It turns out that Ashure, a pudding made grains, fresh and nuts, topped with vivid and crispy pomegranate seeds, and shredded coconut,  a true Turkish delight, has a very interesting story . We are told, from that great authoritative source in the cloud that is Wikipedia:

In anecdotal history, it is claimed that when Noah's Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, Masis sar in northeastern modern-day Turkey, Noah's family celebrated with a special dish. Since their supplies were nearly exhausted, what was left (primarily grains, dried fruits and the like) was cooked together to form a pudding, what is now call Ashure.

What wonderful fact. Can you imagine! Noah , a common ancestor , respected across many cultures and religions and the legend of Mount Ararat, all coming together in a traditional dish.  The case for a new dessert, needs no more. It's now added to my recipe box, and yes, special thanks to my good friends Miriam and Erbil.

Salute !


LINKS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashure
http://www.miriamsfitness.com/


Saturday, December 27, 2014


Simple  Family Style  Holiday Eats

Holiday Cheese Platter




Korean Short Ribs Cooked In White Wine



Simple Roasted Potato


Artichokes and Pinoli




Something about these colors that makes me hungry.  What dish would you add these to ? 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Side Dishes - Make a Meal Out of them

Here are few sides that I prepared

Cilantro Cremini

Almond Beet Salad 

Sproutsm Beets and Puffy Cranberries

Lost and Found - Goodiness Rediscovered

A few plates that we lost, now found amongst the hidden archives . What a treat

Catalan Inspired Cod Salad and Filling 


Tofu and Peppers
Turnip Fritters

Sword Fish with Turnip Fritters , Turnip Hotcakes Over Bed of Sweet Yellow Squash
Pepper Salmon