~Little Necks Nectar~
Serves 4. Figure 1 dozen little necks per person.
In a bowl or glass container, add the following: A generous half cup of olive oil, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 6 cloves of garlic (3 chopped, 3 mashed), 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 3 tbs. UNsalted butter.
In a deep stock pot, heat 3 tbs. vegetable oil. Add 4 dozen cleaned little neck clams. Cover on high heat until clams start to open and release their juices, 4-5 minutes. Add above sauce ingredients, stir and cover for another 3-5 minutes until all clams have opened and sauce is heated.
Concurrently prepare enough linguine to serve 4. Ladel clams and sauce over the pasta. Have a crusty bread on hand to sop up extra sauce.
We use a lot of garlic, you can use less. Never use salted butter. Clams have enough. The star is the sauce, finished by the nectar of the little necks.
Clean and devein 6-8 large shrimp per person. Dry shrimp and place in a bowl. Coat shrimp with olive oil. Season with finely chopped fresh garlic, add garlic powder, pepperoncini flakes, oregano, black pepper to taste. Stir so shrimp are coated with mixture and refrigerate until ready to cook. Let come to room temperature before broiling. Place coated shrimp on a shallow baking pan, not touching. Top with any leftover olive oil mixture. Pre-heat broiler to high. Place shrimp on top rack and broil for 6 minutes. No need to turn.
For the pasta. Mince together a couple anchovy filets, a couple leaves fresh basil and 1 tbsp. capers. Place in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup red wine and a few pats unsalted butter. Use fresh pasta, fettuccine is great. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place back in saucepan and stir in caper, anchovy, basil, wine, butter sauce. Garnish with lemon zest.
Slice 2 small zucchinis lengthwise, cutting off ends. Place in a baking pan, peel side down. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread a pinch of cayenne on each. Place in the oven until it reaches 400 degrees. Then, broil until crisp on top. Remove from oven. When cool, cut into small chunks. Finely chop 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes.
In a large non-stick fry pan, heat a thin coat of olive oil on high heat. Quickly brown milk-fed veal cutlets, pounded to about 1/4″, on each side. Do it in stages so they don’t touch. Sprinkle with ground pepper and garlic powder. Remove to a plate after each stage. In the same pan with leftover drippings, brown a minced shallot. Add a couple pats of butter. Deglaze with 1/4 cup dry white wine. Add juice of 2 lemons and 1/3 cup capers. Stir. Turn off heat.
In a large pot, add fresh cavatelli to boiling water. After water comes to a full boil again, cook for 5 minutes until tender and not too al dente. Drain. Bring fry pan back to high heat and place veal cutlets and juices back into the sauce until just heated. Serve with shallot, lemon, caper sauce and cavatelli topped with zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with romano-parmesan grated cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup plain yogurt, 3 tbs. crushed dill weed, juice of 1/2 lemon, ground white pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more. When ready to cook, bring sauce to room temperature.
Sprinkle Spanish paprika on both sides of a 1 lb. cod filet. Sauté the filet in a fry pan in a little olive oil and butter. Quickly brown on each side, so moist and not overcooked. Remove from skillet and spoon sauce over cod. Serve with rice and fresh asparagus vinaigrette. Serves 2.
Lovingly derived from Birdie Sandler Strahl’s original, enhanced by daughter Betsey Strahl Levine’s creative touch:
4-5 lb. first cut fresh brisket of beef. Not too lean, need some fat. Serves about 8-ish. It shrinks. In a dutch oven, brown brisket well on both sides to sear. Take out and place on dish. Brown at least 3 large sliced onions, the more the better. Put the brisket back into the pan and season with generous amount of paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt. Pour 16 oz. canned tomato sauce over the meat.
Bake at 350 degrees tightly covered for one hour. Uncover and add 1 cup sweet Jewish or another fruity red wine. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and take out the pot roast and slice against the grain. Put sliced meat back into the pot and make sure it is covered with liquid, add chicken broth if necessary. Bake another hour or until it falls apart.
Serve with hot horseradish and Dr. G’s Potato Latkes.
Grouper is a red-meaty dense fish. It should be treated more like Hake. Braise. Deep fry. Bake on high heat. Do not use the method of baking at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. It gets rubbery and does not flake like salmon or lighter white fish.
Live and learn.
A flat fish native to Northern Europe. It is neither truly sole, nor lemon-flavored. The name is a French derivative which describes the outer scales of the fish and its shallow waters habitat. Since filets are thin, it cooks very quickly. A cartilage spine splits it and small bones need to be removed. Cut the fish away from the spine to form the 2 filets. Season with crushed white pepper.
In a non-stick fry pan, melt 3 tbs. butter and add capers to taste. Place filets in pan and on medium high heat sauté for 2 minutes on each side, basting with the butter sauce. Turn off heat and add juice of 1 lemon. Serve filets with the butter caper lemon sauce. Rice and a veg.
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 steaks from Citarella. So we watched. This is what he took from her ideas and it was delizioso.
Place patted dry swordfish steaks 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.