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.


Black Cod~ Nobu Nod

Nobu not Next Door. Downtown. Still worth the trip. But. Found gorgeous filet at Citarella couple blocks away on Broadway. Marinade 2 pieces cut crosswise in their Miso Asian Sauce or any of your favorite Miso Sauce. Refrigerate at least a few hours. Overnight to 48 hours is great. Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature. Wipe excess marinade from the cod with paper towels.

skin side upCoat non-stick skillet with oil and on high flame brown skin side up to almost black. Turn and brown the skin side, 2-3 minutes. glazed cod 2

Cover and on medium cook until opaque. Maybe 5 minutes depending on thickness. Can add more sauce if desired.

Finally figuring out new stove. Yay.


Plated glazed black cod with peas and mushrooms. plated black cod

Cooking’s A Gas

A new experience. Gas stove and oven. Learning tricks and pitfalls. Burners are different sizes for various purposes. Simmering vs. boiling. After not getting a good sear on Dover sole, may have to heat the pan first to get proper crispness. Also, broiler was not hot enough to brown veal chops. Mark Bittman of the NYTimes and many others confirm that this is typical. So. Suggest turning oven up to highest temperature before broiling to get preferred crunch. It’s a process.