Vitello Balsamico

veal-chopsSautéed 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-pinot-noir

La Crema 2014 Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

City Scampi

scampi

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.sancerre

 

Scallops Dive ~ Last Debate

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.

Chicken Rosh Hashanah

For a sweet and tender start to the Jewish New Year. Enjoyed at a family get together a few blocks south this year. Happy 5777!

Place chicken thighs and breasts, bone-in, skin-on, in a large baking dish. Rub each piece with salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste.

For sauce: In a small saucepan, bring to a boil 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tbs. Dijon mustard. Pour sauce over chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, basting once.

Debate Steak

1 prime strip steak / person from Citarella or your favorite butcher. Pat dry each steak. Press cracked black peppercorns into each side of the meat. In a large preheated cast iron skillet, sear steaks dry until blackish on each side. Finish in preheated 400 degree oven to desired wellness from 3-6 minutes depending on thickness of steaks. Remove from pan. Add 3 tbs. butter to same skillet and brown a finely diced shallot. Add chopped Crimini mushrooms, and 2 cloves mashed garlic. Stir until mushrooms are tender. Add 1/2 cup Pinot Noir and another 1-2 tbs. butter, stir and reduce liquid by half. Cut steaks into thick slices and plate. Pour sauce over them. Prefer steak sliced so the sauce permeates the meat. But, can plate steaks whole with sauce over each as well.

Drink the rest of the Pinot with dinner. Serve with string beans and a crusty bread. Ready for a rowdy Clinton-Trump debate.

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Into a large bowl add~ 6 peeled sliced pickle cukes. 1 small sliced red onion. Generous amounts of dried oregano, cracked black pepper, fresh basil chiffonade. Sprinkle celery salt to taste. 1/2 cup red wine vinegar. Toss. Taste. Add more vinegar as desired. Toss. Chill until ready to eat. Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature. Add 1-2 sliced native tomatoes. Toss. Serve with grilled meat.

Note: Do not put tomatoes in until ready to serve. They get tough if chilled in the vinegar.

Labor Day Tandoori Chicken

Use parts of one chicken. Breasts. Thighs attached to legs. Skin on and bone-in.

For the marinade, in a large bowl mix:

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 lime, juice
3 scallions, sliced with part of the green
6 mint leaves, chiffonade
1 jalapeño, de-seeded julienne
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin

Roll chicken parts in the blended marinade to coat. Put them in a shallow glass pan and pour remaining marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to grill, take chicken out of marinade and put on plate, still with as much coating as possible. Skewer 2 large farm stand bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into quarters. Skewer 1 red onion, cut into large chunks. 2 whole jalapeños. Coat veggies with olive oil and garlic powder. Grill in stages, chicken first to sear and cover until mostly cooked through. Then put it off to the side of the grill while cooking skewered peppers and onions over the fire, turning until charred but not burned. Serve with basmati rice, chutneys, and homemade raita.

Watermelon-Goat Cheese Salad

Watermelon. So refreshing in hottest humidity of summer. Recently at Jean-Georges’ Nougatine restaurant had the most sinfully simple salad. Cubes of seedless watermelon with dollops of whipped goat cheese, drizzled with virgin olive oil and finished with cracked white pepper. Superb.

Jean-Georges prefers white to black pepper in most things.

Note: Don’t look up whipped goat cheese recipes. Just whisk softened goat cheese by itself. Don’t add cream cheese or anything else.

Watermelon Laced Gazpacho

It’s that time of year again. Chilled sipping soups. Watermelon and cucumbers balance the acid for this twist on a classic.

6-8 pickle cukes, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 ripe garden tomatoes, peeled, cored, de-seeded
2 bell peppers, de-seeded, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, de-seeded, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 slices day old bread, crusts cut off
6 2″-cubes watermelon, de-seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
6 tbs. red wine vinegar
celery salt, ground black pepper to taste

Soak the bread in water and wring dry. Put equal parts bread and above ingredients in stages into a blender and pulse so consistency is smooth. Stir and taste for seasoning, vinegar balance. Adjust as needed. Pour each stage into a pitcher. Serve either in small glasses to sip or in bowls with chunks of veggies, onions and parsley to garnish.