What to do when your son texts last minute he’s free for brunch on a sleety cold Sunday? And there’s no food in the house? Go to the corner bodega. Potatoes. Chicken andouille sausage. Cheddar cheese. Red pepper. Red and yellow onions. Eggs. Okay. Maybe Starbucks across the street for fresh squeezed OJ.
Skillet Frittata & Fried Potatoes:
Peel and quarter 3 large russet potatoes. Par-boil until fork just slips in. Drain and dry. In one large non-stick skillet heat olive oil and brown 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced. Cut potatoes into 1″ chunks and add to the onions. Brown on high heat, tossing. Then press down and let crisp on one side. After several minutes, turn and brown to crisp on the other side. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and paprika. Re-heat when frittata is done.
In a cast iron large skillet, heat olive oil and a pat of butter. Brown chopped red onion, red bell pepper; slices of andouille sausage. In a large bowl fold together 6-8 eggs and 3/4 cup plain yogurt, cracked black pepper. Pour over browned onions, peppers, sausage. Shred cheddar cheese on top. Let eggs set on the bottom over medium heat. Meanwhile put oven on high broil. Place skillet under broiler until puffy and brown on top. Serve in wedges with fried potatoes and fresh squeezed OJ alone or in a Champagne Mimosa.
Lidia Bastianich’s PBS episode on swordfish agrodolce hit our TV screen as Dr. Husband arrived with gorgeous filets from Citarella. So we watched. This is what he took from her ideas and it was delizioso.
Place patted dry swordfish filets in a hot non-stick fry pan, no oil. Sear 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness to achieve a golden color. Remove from pan. Turn heat to medium. Add 3 tbs. olive oil, 4 tbs. capers, 4 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 2 large pats of butter. Sauté for 1 minute. Add 1 cup dry white wine. Increase heat to medium, stir and reduce by half. Adjust vinegar for balance and taste. Place swordfish in the sauce and turn for 30 seconds on each side. Serve with sauce on top and seasonal veggies.
Access to fresh pasta has rekindled a preference for it when possible. It is different, lighter and a bit stickier which makes sauces adhere better. It cooks much faster 2-3 minutes. No. I won’t go as far as to make it from scratch. But. When available, it’s great.
Last night made it with a veggie cheese mix. In a non-stick fry pan, poured oil from fresh mozzarella balls which contained hot pepper flakes, fresh parsley. Heat oil and add fresh chopped mushrooms, brown. Add par-boiled asparagus pieces and brown. Or broccoli will do. Season with dried oregano, basil to taste. Add a couple pats of butter and heat to finish.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil water and cook fresh pasta, 2-3 minutes. Serve pasta covered with the sauce. Toss in small fresh mozzarella balls. Top with grated romano/parmesan mix and lemon zest.
Best dish I’ve made in a while. In a non-stick fry pan, heat oil from jar of Sicilian anchovies. Add wedges of a fresh radicchio and brown. Add 6-7 of the Sicilian anchovy fillets from the jar, minced. Pour in 1/2 cup chicken broth, bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Add another cup chicken broth and 1 cup fresh pasta. Cover. Stir to make sure pasta is separated. When pasta is cooked and tender, about 2-3 minutes, uncover and heat for another 2 minutes. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Serve in bowls garnished with anchovy fillets to taste and grated parmesan/romano cheese. Should be brothy and anchovy taste subtle.
Spicy start to 2017. Trim a 2 lb. leg of lamb and cut into 1-2″ chunks. Dry on paper towels. In a stock pot, brown meat, in stages to assure browning. Sprinkle meat with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Stir. When browned, remove meat to a bowl. In the same stock pot, to the browned bits, add a little olive oil and brown 1 red and 1 yellow onion, sliced. Add 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced. Brown. Add 2-3 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and sliced. De-glaze with 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Turn off heat.
In a small bowl, mix 2 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Turn up heat and add 1-2 cans whole San Marzano tomatoes. Stir tomatoes with peppers and onions. Sprinkle half the spice mix over them. Add the lamb with any juices into the pot. Stir. Sprinkle the rest of the spice mix over the lamb and sauce. Stir. Bring to boil. Cover. Turn to low.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp. cardamom, 1-2 tsp. cayenne, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, generous 2-3 tbs. sesame seeds. Can add 1 tbs. poppy seeds as well. In a small fry pan, heat 4 tbs. olive oil. Toast spice mix in the olive oil, stir and when hot, pour into stock pot. Add a little water to the fry pan to get any leftover spices, scrape and add to pot. Stir spices and olive oil into lamb and tomatoes thoroughly. Bring back to boil. Cover. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours.
An hour before serving, add raw carrots, chunked; small or diced potatoes; and/or large cauliflower florets. Serve when vegetables are cooked tender but not mushy. Can add a handful of frozen peas until tender, a couple of minutes. Stir and serve in large bowls with naan and chutneys.
Christmas Eve. After decades of Lobster Newburg, no such sauce to be found in Manhattan. So. A new recipe. Lobster in a butter sauce over fresh pasta.
1/4 lb. cooked lobster meat from Citarella per person. More is fine. In a large stock pot on medium high, heat 2 – 3 lbs. lobster meat in 1 lb. melted butter, juice of 2 lemons. Add cracked pepper to taste. Serve over fresh pasta and garnish with diced sun-dried tomatoes, whole capers, and dried basil. Buon Natale!
Aragosta v. Astice. It looks like a New England lobster is astice. A warm water langouste appears more aragosta.
After you’ve trimmed the tree, it’s time for a hearty reward. Shell, clean 6-8 large shrimp per person. Dry and set aside in a bowl. In a large deep fry pan, heat 1-2 jars Rao’s or Citarella Arrabbiata sauce depending on how many shrimp. For each jar of sauce, add 1/2 cup dry red wine, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, pepperoncini flakes and dried oregano to taste. Stir. Add shrimp to the sauce and cook on medium heat to keep a low boil until done, about 6 minutes. Serve over linguine or favorite pasta. Top with spicy fresh mozzarella balls, basil leaves and lemon zest.
You can use any tomato sauce, just add more pepperoncini flakes than you would for Arrabbiata. It’s meant to be spicy hot. Il diavolo!
Sautéed Veal Chops with Balsamic & Thyme.
Bring 1″ veal rib chops to room temperature. Pat dry. Season on both sides with ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, sea salt to taste. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On the stovetop, heat a dry sauté pan until hot. Place chops into pan and sear on both sides for 4 minutes each side until carmelized. Place pan with carmelized chops into the preheated 400-degree oven and bake for additional 4-5 minutes, depending on preference for medium-rare to medium. Remove pan from oven. Place chops on plate to rest for 5 minutes.
On the stovetop, under low heat, place 3 tbs. butter into the original sauté pan with veal drippings, and add 3 tbs. Fini or best Balsamic vinegar to deglaze for a sauce. Scrape and stir to incorporate all drippings. Serve chops drizzled with sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and string beans. Serves 2.
La Crema 2014 Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Usually broil scampi for 6 minutes. The Pierre Franey way. But, with city gas broiler, doesn’t work as well. So. Went for the sauté.
First, in a small bowl, add 8 large dried, cleaned shrimp per person. Coat with extra virgin olive oil, not too much. Add cracked black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes to taste. Add as much minced garlic as you can stand, the more the better. I even add some garlic powder for good measure. Mix the shrimp around to coat with all of the spices, olive oil, and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Take shrimp out and bring to room temperature before cooking.
Bring a large skillet to high heat so that shrimp will sear immediately. Place shrimp in the skillet so they don’t touch. Pour any excess sauce on the shrimp. Sauté for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn shrimp and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. No more than that. Make sure to pour any excess olive oil garlic sauce over the shrimp and serve with rice mixed with roasted vegetables.
See Autumn Candy. Delish!
Le Bois Boutteux, Sancerre 2015. From Corks on Columbus. UWS.
In a fry pan, crisp up pancetta cut into small pieces to taste. Remove to a paper towel on a dish. In the same pan sear sea scallops in the pancetta drippings and if necessary a little olive oil. Scallops should not be touching and will be golden brown on both sides and opaque in the middle. Do not overcook. Season with cracked brown pepper. Add a few julienned sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with minced garlic and melt a pat of butter to finish. Serve scallops, sun-dried tomatoes and butter-garlic sauce over pasta and garnish with the pancetta.
Serve with a Sancerre and sip liberally to get through the debate.