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Yellow Squash And Root Vegetable Gratin

Yellow squash and root veg gratin whole dishYellow squash and root vegetable GratinGratin Fixings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 Lb of Yellow Squash sliced into 1/4th Inch rounds
  • 8 Ounces of sliced Baby Creamer Potatoes
  • 1 Ounce of thinly sliced Garlic Scapes
  • 1.5 Ounces of thinly sliced Scallions
  • 4 Ounces of pre-sliced Pepper Jack Cheese with Jalapeno and Habanero Peppers
  • 8 Ounces of pre-sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • Black Truffle Salt as needed (regular table salt will do)
  • Black pepper as needed
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • Bread crumbs for topping (optional)

Putting it together:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and have a medium sized baking dish handy.
  2. After rinsing your veggies, slice the yellow squash and potatoes.
  3. Slice your garlic scapes and scallions.
  4. Layer your yellow squash across your baking dish, followed by your potatoes. Sprinkle some garlic scapes and scallions over the potatoes. Sprinkle a generous amount of black truffle salt and black pepper.
  5. Add a layer of Pepper Jack cheese and repeat layering with your yellow squash and potatoes, followed by your mozzarella cheese, making sure to sprinkle salt and pepper over every other layer.
  6. When you reached the final top layer, sprinkle some bread crumbs over the top, drizzle with some Olive Oil and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes (until the cheese is melted and you can pierce the potatoes without any resistance).

Nourishment for your body:  Creamer potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C, fiber (if skin is left on) and are high in potassium. Yellow squash is loaded with vitamins! Vitamins A, B and C. It also contains fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron and folate.

Tips when cooking: You can use Zucchini in place of the yellow squash or in addition to it. I just happened to have Pepper Jack and Mozzarella cheese in my fridge but other great melting cheeses to consider would be Cheddar, Gruyere, Parmesan, or Fontina.

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Monkfish Oreganata With Beurre Rouge Sauce

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

  • 2 center cut portions of  Monkfish tail  (about 1.175 Lbs)
  • 3/4th of a cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp of herbs de provence
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • salt as needed
  • 3 sprigs of Thyme
  • 3 Italian parsley stems
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 30 grams of button mushrooms, thinly sliced (2 mushrooms)
  • 50 grams of shallot, thinly sliced (2 shallots)
  • 25 grams of carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 inch long piece of carrot)
  • 150 grams of cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 400 grams of red wine
  • 125 grams of port wine

Putting it together:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a small sheet tray with parchment paper.
  2. Prep your Oreganata mixture for the fish. Place 3/4th of a cup of breadcrumbs in a bowl. To that bowl add your herbs de provence, garlic powder, some salt and enough olive oil until you reach a wet sand like consistency. Set aside.
  3. Make sure your fish looks uniform in shape and size and remove any excess silver skin with a sharp knife. When oven reaches 350 degrees, place your fish on your sheet tray and cover the entire top of your fish with the oreganata mixture, giving each fish an even amount of coating. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. While fish is baking you can make you sauce. Make an herb sachet by placing your parsley stems, thyme, peppercorns, parsley stems and bay leaf inside of a cheesecloth. Wrap the cheesecloth around your herbs and using some kitchen twine, wrap each end of the sachet and tie a slipknot in the center.
  5. Combine the sachet, wines, shallots, carrots and mushrooms in a medium saucepot and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes , until the mixture has reduced by half.
  6. Strain the reduction through a sieve into a small saucepot (pressing the vegetables against the sieve to release as much of the reduction as possible). Discard your vegetables and sachet. If your fish is finished cooking, take it out of the oven and cover with foil to keep warm.
  7. To complete the sauce, simmer the reduction for another 10 minutes or so until large bubbles form and the consistency appears more syrupy and begins to coat the sides of the saucepot.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and begin adding the butter one piece at a time and whisk continuously to maintain an emulsion. It is important that the sauce does not get too hot so if you need to take it off the heat a few times that’s ok. Once the sauce is the desired level of richness, season with salt to taste.

Nourishment for your body: Monkfish is a great source of protein and incredibly low in fat. It also contains vitamins B-6 and B-12. However, it should be eaten sparingly because it contains more mercury then other types of fish.

Tips when cooking: It is important not to add too much oreganata mixture to your fish. Otherwise, the flavor will overpower the sauce. The monkfish has a firm texture and a delicate and subtle sweet flavor so it pairs really beautifully with this sauce, which comes out tasting a little sweet. I used Cabernet Sauvignon but you can use any of the following; Merlot, Tempranillo , Cotes Du Rhone, Malbec. While making the sauce, all the alcohol gets burned off so there is no need to worry about alcohol consumption if you or your children cannot have any. While making the sauce,  it is very important to add the butter at the right time. If you add it too early before the reduction has a chance to become syrupy, then you run the risk of your sauce being too runny. Once you add the butter, you cannot reduce the sauce or else you can ‘break it’. This sauce can also pair really nicely with a steak.

 

 

 

 

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Smoked Trout Salad With Marinated Snap Peas And Kombu

Smoked Trout salad with Marinated Snap peas and Kombu

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 2- 4 ounce pieces of Smoked Trout
  • 4 Ounces of raw snap peas
  • 2 cold Kombu sheets that have been previously cooked (see ‘Kombu broth’ recipe below for details)
  • 1/4th of a cup of sesame oil
  • 2 Tsp’s of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of honey
  • Furikake seasoning for garnish (optional)

Putting it together:

  1. Make your marinade first by placing the lemon juice, chili sauce, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey in a medium bowl. Whisk in your sesame oil.
  2. Rinse your snap peas. Afterwards, cut off each end tip with a pairing knife and pull the pod string attached to the pod off. Cut each snap pea on a bias or into small chunks. Place all the peas into the marinade and give them a good mix.
  3. Take your Kombu sheets one at a time, roll them up and cut each roll vertically so you get ribbons out of them. Place all the ribbons into the marinade and give that a good mix. Let all the ingredients marinade for about 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, using a set of tongs, place half the mixture in the middle of a plate and place a 4 ounce piece of smoked trout on top. Garnish with furikake seasoning and enjoy!

Nourishment for your body: Kombu is high in iodine and iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. Like many ocean vegetables, Kombu in particular is one that is considered a ‘nutritional powerhouse’ because of how nutrient dense it is.  Smoked trout is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins B-3, 6 and 12 and a good source of protein.

Tips when cooking: I’ve used this marinade several times when marinating fish. Of all the smells wafting through my kitchen there is something about this particular marinade with its rich, savory and sweet smell that gets me really excited to eat! You may be surprised that the snap peas are raw but it is perfectly safe to eat them that way. In fact, the taste of raw snap peas are more flavorful and sweet then if their cooked unless of course your seasoning them well. Cooking snap peas makes them lose their delicious juicy and crunchy texture.  This salad would also pair well with poached shrimp, smoked white fish or crabmeat. Ducktrap is a company that makes great smoked seafood. 

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Kombu Broth With Mai Fun Noodles

 

Kombu broth with Mai Fun Noodles

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

Serves 8

  • 2- 4 inch dried Kombu sheets
  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 baby bok choy
  • 6 shitake mushrooms
  • 2 Ounces of whole wheat Mai Fun noodles
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 2-3 tsp’s of fine himalayan pink salt (to taste)
  • 2 tsp’s of trader joe’s “mushroom & company multipurpose umami seasoning blend” (optional)

Putting it together:

  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a simmer in a medium soup pot.
  2. Using a moist paper towel you can wipe off the Kombu sheets to clean them but it is highly recommended to leave the white powdery substance on them for extra umami flavor. 
  3. When the water starts to simmer, add your Kombu and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse off your bok choy and mushrooms. Slice the vegetables into strips. If your mushroom stems are not too gritty you can just slice them into little pieces and use them too (I highly recommend this as they too have umami flavor).
  5. While you are slicing your vegetables, place your noodles in a deep dish and pour boiling water over them till they are fully covered. Let them soak for 6 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes, take out your kombu using a set of tongs (carefully holding them over the pot to drain and set aside). Add your ginger, pink salt, and umami seasoning blend and with a whisk, whisk all the spices into the broth until well dissolved.
  7. Add your mushrooms and bok choy and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the veggies are tender. Then add your Mai Fun noodles and cook for another 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Nourishment for your body: The Japanese consider this broth a soup stock and the base for creating many other authentic dishes. There are other variations you can make.  Many people familiar with making this may add dried bonito flakes to deepen the flavor or dried anchovies and/or sardines. The white powder on the surface of Kombu seaweed is called Mannitol (it is an umami substance). They are nutrients derived from Kombu and have no harm to the body and quality of product. Kombu is high in iodine and iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. You can get more info about it in this great article published by the Washington Post; https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/kombu-a-nutritional-powerhouse-from-the-sea/2013/01/29/aa4bb830-4ad4-11e2-a6a6-aabac85e8036_story.html

Tips when cooking: To extract extra flavor from the Kombu you can make several slits in it using a knife prior to immersing it in the water. You can also make the Kombu by placing 2 sheets in a large bottle and steep it between 3-6 hours. The leftover kombu can be repurposed into another recipe. I love eating it cold and marinating it for salads.  Maifun noodles are almost identical to Vermicelli noodles. The Trader Joe’s “Mushroom & Company multipurpose umami seasoning blend” is one I recommend to have in your pantry. It has a mixture of ground mustard, onions, porcini and button mushroom powders , red pepper flakes , black pepper and dried thyme.

Kombu broth ingredients

 

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Creamy Avocado Salad With Surimi

Creamy Avocado Salad with Surimi

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag of chunk surimi
  • 1 large hothouse tomato
  • 1 very small white onion
  • 2 Persian cucumbers
  • good quality Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp of pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp’s of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Snipped herbs for garnish (optional)

Putting it together:

  1. Score the flesh of the avocado and scoop it out into a medium bowl. Chop up your tomato, finely dice your onion and small dice your cucumbers. Add all those ingredients to the bowl.
  2. Add in your olive oil (about a tablespoon and a half), the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and stir everything together well.
  3. Place salad on plates, garnish with your salt, black pepper, surimi chunks and snipped herbs. Enjoy!

Nourishment for your body: Surimi is low in fat and calories. It contains phosphorus which is essential in maintaining healthy teeth and bones (people who are gluten sensitive or with celiac disease should be cautious, as surimi contains starch). It is also high in vitamin B-12 and Selenium. Avocados are renowned to provide your body with healthy fats. They are loaded with vitamins K, C, E, and B  ,folate and potassium. They do not contain sodium, cholesterol and are low in saturated fat and high in fiber. 

Tips when cooking: I garnished this salad with fennel fronds. You can use chives, parsley, dill , or mint if you don’t have fennel fronds. I absolutely love having surimi in my fridge . It is so versatile and has a long shelf life. I like to snack on it. You can throw it in a soup, stir-fry, casserole. This is one of my favorite go to salads. It is simple, refreshing with bright flavors.