Sautéed Flounder with Broccoli topped with an Apple Lemon Beurre Blanc

7 Mar

Ahhh, it’s been a while. I have been so busy with work that I haven’t had time to cook. I got out of work early last night and decided to make dinner. I ended up sprinting across the parking lot to whole foods before the closed. Flounder was on sale. So that is the fish I used. This meal would be great with any type of fish. Or chicken for that matter. Or even steak. The Beurre Blanc has so much flavor and a creamy texture that it can hold up to just about anything. So I recommend you save a few bucks and get whichever fish is fresh and on sale at your local market. I decided to make my Beurre Blanc with apple cider, lemon juice, and a dry pinot grigio I had left over in my fridge. Again, get creative with it; the sky is the limit when it comes to an amazing Beurre Blanc.

I am rambling again. Ignore that and enjoy the recipe below!

 

 

Sautéed Flounder with Broccoli topped with an Apple Lemon Beurre Blanc

Ingredients: 

  • Broccoli
  • Flounder Filets
  • Cooked Bacon (Crumbled)
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Sticks of Cold Butter (cubed to 16 even pieces)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp of Apple Cider
  • 4 Tbsp of Dry White Wine
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon and set aside
  2. Steam broccoli
  3. Dredge flounder fillets in flour.
  4. Add dredged fillets to a hot pan set to a medium high temperature with a small amount of olive oil. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side (or until each side is nicely browned)
  5. Combine lemon juice, Apple Cider, and White Wine in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 min to reduce (should be just before you get to a glaze texture).
  6. Lower the heat on the reduced liquid to a temperature just below medium.
  7. Slowly add in the cubes of butter to the liquid and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk. (NOTE: Only add one pad of butter at a time and allow it to melt completely before adding the next. If you aren’t patient with this you will break your sauce and get melted butter rather than a creamy and delicious sauce… so take your time!)
  8. Once your sauce is completed plate your broccoli and fish and crumble bacon over the top. Drizzle on your Beurre Blanc and enjoy!
  9. (NOTE: When you store the remainder of your sauce in the refrigerator, it will solidify and you will need to redo the whole emulsifying method if you would like to reuse it. The solidified Beurre Blanc also goes great with a toasted bagel!)

 

Roman Gnocchi with a Sicilian Twist

14 Nov

Not going to lie. This is by far the guiltiest recipe I have put up yet. First bite I took of this dish was phenomenal, I was speechless and the only way I could describe it was, “This tastes like it is going to make me fat”. The recipe that follows is for Roman Gnocchi that I got from Mario Batali’s cookbook titled, “Molto Italiano”. I got this cookbook as a gift from my mom a few years ago and sadly this is the first recipe I have used out of it. With the way it turned out, I will be using this cookbook again soon.

For those who didn’t know, Roman gnocchi is unlike your typical gnocchi. The main difference is that Roman gnocchi is potato-less and is shaped differently. Anyways, I took Mario’s Recipe for Roman gnocchi and I added some cooked lobster meat that I chopped up on top before baking.

There are a few things I wanted to change about this recipe for next time I make it, I would add garlic and some fresh lemon juice, (I have included these changes in the recipe that follows). Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp butter (2 tbsp diced)
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 ounces taleggio cheese, you can use another soft fragrant cheese like brie if you cant find taleggio (diced)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • meat from 3 lobsters (steamed)
Directions:
  1. Butter rimmed baking sheet
  2. In a deep saucepan, sautée garlic in 6 tbsp butter. Once fragrant add whole milk, salt, and lemon juice and bring to just under a boil.
  3. Vigorously whisk mixture and add semolina flour, once it thickens, switch out the whisk for a spoon or spatula.
  4. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of parmigiano-reggiano cheese and egg yolks. Mix well.
  5. Pour mixture into a buttered baking sheet and spread evenly.
  6. Let the mixture cool.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Cut the cooled mixture into desired shapes (I used the rim of a glass to cut small circles).
  9. Butter a baking dish, (I used a baking sheet) and arrange gnocchi pieces slightly overlapping each other.
  10. Top with lobster meat, remaining parmigiano-reggiano, remaining diced butter pieces and the taleggio cheese.
  11. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  12. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

14 Nov

This recipe is another homage to my amazing mother, the one person I owe thanks to more than anyone else for introducing me to my passion for cooking. Every Halloween she would take all of the pumplin seeds we scooped out of our pumpkins and roasted them simply in the oven. Needless to say Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without pumpkin seeds. I have mentioned in previous posts that I love to innovate and this recipe is no different.

I was asked to make them sweet this year, and anyone who knows me well enough knows I am really not a huge fan of sweets and again I couldn’t resist my urge to stick to my savory food profile. I did try to make the seeds sweet but to balance the sweet flavors I added some heat in the form of cayenne. When my seeds were nice and brown I pulled them out of the oven and found them to be kind of bland. So I added salt, and accidentally I added what I thought was too much salt. I was wrong.  They were perfect (I got some serious compliments on these seeds). The recipe follows, enjoy!

I know I am very late posting these because Halloween was like 2 weeks ago, and I am sorry but these are delicious and a must make so go out and buy some pumpkins!!!

Ingredients:

  • Seeds from two pumpkins (cleaned and patted dry)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 2-4 tsp of cayenne pepper (more or less depending on the level of spiciness desired)
  • salt to taste (may be more than you would expect, It was for me)
  • Olive oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Add all ingredients including a small amount of salt (maybe 1 tsp) into a mixing bowl, mix well.
  3. Pour coated seeds on a sprayed baking sheet and place in oven.
  4. Remove seeds from oven when they are nicely toasted and brown (keep an eye on them, they turn from perfect to burnt in a blink of an eye).
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Enjoy.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Warm Crab Dip

16 Oct

In New England, Sunday means football, and for me, football means food. I wanted to switch it up this time around from my usual buffalo chicken or spinach and artichoke dip. Another New England tradition is seafood, and until just recently, I despised most shellfish like crabs, lobster, mussels, clams, etc… Needless to say, I have fallen in love with them all. Totally hooked. I’m addicted.

With that said, you can probably see where this is headed… I got the creative juices flowing (along with my mouth-watering) and created a brand new dip, Warm Crab Dip! Not too heavy, yet creamy and rich and the crab brings some sweetness to the palette. The end product came out delicious, although next time I might add some romano cheese to the Ritz crumbs to create a crunchier topping. Spinach also wouldn’t be a terrible addition. If you’re looking for something to bring to your next potluck, bring this the way it is below or have some fun with it and make some changes of your own!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 3-4 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 3+ cloves of garlic (chopped…can you ever have too much garlic?)
  • 2 6-oz cans of lump crab meat (drained)
  • 1 8-oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • Ritz crackers (processed into “crumbs”)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (Franks!)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Paprika (to top Ritz crumbs)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Sautee onions, peppers, celery, and garlic in a large sauce pan until the onions are translucent and the celery and peppers are softened.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning.
  4. Add cream cheese and mayonnaise, allow cream cheese to melt.
  5. Stir crab meat to mixture.
  6. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
  7. Top with Ritz cracker crumbs
  8. Sprinkle paprika over the top.
  9. Heat in the oven uncovered until the crumbs are browned. (about 10-15 min)

Crab dip before baking

Finished Crab Dip!

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

5 Oct

Today I was asked to make a classic dish, actually one of my favorites! Meatloaf is a recipe that I think I perfected, but I almost never make the same thing twice, at least not exactly the same. So today I tried to switch it up a bit. I was thinking of what kind of a sauce to make with my meatloaf. This sauce needed to be big enough to stand up yet compliment the big flavors of the meatloaf… I immediately thought gravy. too boring. Then a sudden flash of inspiration, the recipe follows…

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large handfull of spinach
  • 2 large roasted red peppers (the ones in the jars)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 splashes of chicken stock (water can be substituted)
  • a squeeze of agave nectar
  • a splash of the liquid in the pepper jar
  • a splash of white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients besides cream into a food processor and puree til smooth
  2. Transfer pureed mixture to a sauce pan, cook on a medium temperature and reduce by half
  3. Add heavy cream and stir until the sauce thickens
  4. Season to taste and serve!

 

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Spinach, Topped with Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

 

 

So here goes nothing…

14 Sep

Well here we are, my first blog.

Deciding which recipe I would start with was not difficult a difficult task for me. This is a recipe brings a lot to my mind. It reminds me of my friends, my family, my childhood, and it reminds me why I learned to cook in the first place… my loathing for washing dishes.

This new recipe I created is an ode to all those mentioned above.

I came up with this recipe by mixing my Mom’s traditional “sauce” recipe with my friend Adri’s cherry tomato sauce recipe together and adding my own flare with the red pepper flakes. The end result was extraordinary. A light but thick tomato sauce loaded with flavor. (I’m sorry mom but I may never go back to making your sauce!)

Grape Tomato Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of grape tomatos, halved
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 palm-full of dried basil
  • 1 palm-full of dried parsley
  • crushed red pepper (the more the merrier!)
  • 1 palm-full of sugar
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • a splash of red wine
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • (Optional: a splash of heavy cream)
Directions:
  1. Sauté  onions and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat until translucent .
  2. Add the halved grape tomatos, Basil, Parsley, Crushed Red Pepper, and Sugar. Continue to cook over medium heat until the tomatos start to break down and release their juices.
  3. Once the tomatos begin to release their juices, gently crush them with a wooden spoon or spatula to encourage the release of more liquid.
  4. Add chicken stock and red wine. Turn the heat to medium-high and reduce liquid by half.
  5. Transfer mixture from the saucepan to a food processor and purée.
  6. Return the puréed tomato sauce to the saucepan and let it continue to reduce to your desired thickness.
  7. Taste it then add salt and pepper to taste!
  8. (Optional: add a splash of heavy cream)

Chicken Parmesan and Green Beans (Made with my Grape Tomato Sauce)