4 Zucchini – 2 Meals




2 medium zucchini
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. salt

Into a colander, grate zucchini (peeled or partially peeled) on medium holes of box grater. Add diced bell pepper and salt. Let stand in colander for 10 minutes to render moisture. Wring out water with cheesecloth or paper towel.

Mix together:

1/3 cup all purpose flour
kosher salt
ground black pepper
pepperoncini flakes
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup grated parmesan
2 cloves minced garlic

Add grated zucchini and diced bell pepper and blend well.

In a large skillet, with olive oil to coat and a little butter on medium high heat, ladle the mixture into round mounds with a tablespoon and fry on both sides until golden brown & crispy on the outside. Let cool. Refrigerate to reheat later.



Note: If I had scallions, I would have added them, thinly sliced as well.




Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut 2 zucchini crosswise in half. Trim off the ends. Slice lengthwise into thin flat strips. Slice 6-8 mushrooms.

In a small bowl, beat together 1 cup ricotta and 1 egg, dry basil to taste. Slice 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese.

Use a non-stick loaf pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with your favorite marinara sauce. Add half the zucchini strips, half the mushrooms. Season with dried oregano and ground black pepper. Spoon half the ricotta in dollops over the zucchini & mushrooms. Add half the mozzarella cheese. Pour marinara sauce on top to cover all the vegetables and cheese.

Repeat layering the rest of the zucchini, mushrooms, season again. Add the rest of the ricotta in dollops and mozzarella. Top with another covering of marinara sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let set or refrigerate covered for next day reheat.




Note:  Could brown ground beef in a skillet, let cool and then add it as a meat layer. Also, leftover cooked veal or pork chop cut into small pieces.



Baked Chicken Tikka

Stonewall Kitchen Tikka Masala Simmering Sauce is the base. In a large bowl pour half a jar with 1 tbs. plain yogurt. Blend. Add 4 chicken thighs and coat with the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, take chicken out of the fridge. Slice 1 large bell pepper, 2 small chili peppers, and 1 medium-sized onion. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a deep baking dish, put the peppers and onions in the pan and drizzle with olive oil, season with garlic salt & pepper. Stir around to coat. Push aside to have each chicken thigh coated with the sauce rest on the bottom of the pan with peppers and onions around each of them.

Place baking pan into the oven and after 15 minutes, turn heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until sauce turns a little crispy black on top and onions & peppers are blackened and crispy.

Serve with rice.


Note: You could use any favorite Asian or barbecue sauce as a marinade without yogurt in place of the Tikka Masala using the same baking method.

mAd Ben Deglazed

Amazing what culinary prowess is revealed when a creative advertising executive can’t go out to NYC restaurants for a while.

From his great UWS kitchen, with a Whole Foods nearby. And plenty of good wine. Which must always be consumed after uncorking it for the deglaze.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Zucchini & Mushrooms


1 lb. pork tenderloin. Pat dry and season on all sides with and rub into the meat a little garlic powder, then sea salt & pepper. Lighter on the salt.

In a dry, hot cast iron skillet, sear & brown the tenderloin on all sides. As you turn the tenderloin, press in dried rosemary with the back of a spoon. Once all sides are browned, put skillet into a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small fry pan, brown a small zucchini and a few mushrooms, sliced. Season with ground black pepper to taste.

Remove the pork loin from the oven to a plate. Let rest for 10 minutes while you open a bottle of a nice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and deglaze the skillet with 1 cup. Stir with all the bits from the tenderloin. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and reduce the sauce by half.

Slice the tenderloin and plate with the zucchini, mushrooms and resulting sauce over the pork. And. Savor the rest of the Pinot.


Chicken Breasts w/ Lemon & Capers



Lightly pound boneless skinless chicken breasts. Coat with bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Put water to boil in a large pot and add pasta until al dente & drain. In a fry pan, brown chicken on both sides in olive oil. Put chicken on a plate.

To the fry pan add butter and stir until browned, deglaze with a little Savignon Blanc. Add juice of 1 lemon, a mashed garlic clove, and capers with a little of their brine. Stir sauce until heated and slightly reduced. Add back chicken breasts and pasta to the fry pan.

Serve chicken with all the sauce on the pasta. And. Of course. Enjoy with the wine.




Seared Sea Scallops

Fresh sea scallops from Whole Foods on Columbus Circle. Season with ground black pepper. In a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil on high heat, sear scallops to a golden brown on each side. Add a little butter and brown. Deglaze with a dry French white wine. Serve with fresh greens vinaigrette and a baguette.

And. De rigueur. Sip the rest of the Sancerre.





– Ben Levine


Pork Chop w/ Mustard Sauce & Tangy Artichoke Slaw

Another gem from mAd Ben




Drain liquid from one can of quartered artichoke hearts into bowl. Add 1/3 cup of Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp. paprika, 1 tsp. cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Blend.

Artichoke Slaw

Chop drained hearts into strips as if they’re going into a chopped salad and put in separate bowl. Squeeze half lemon over artichokes, add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss together in bowl and put to side.

Loin Pork Chop

Rub garlic powder, salt and pepper on both sides of pork chop. In skillet, add tbsp olive oil and bring to heat. Place pork chop in skillet. Should immediately sizzle. Brown both side of chop (1 minute each). Put chop in preheated over 300 degrees for 10 minutes or until 130 degrees internal temp. Remove pork chop and place aside on plate to rest.


In skillet, turn down heat and add 2 tbsp butter as well as sauce mix (if you need an excuse to open a bottle of white wine, add a splash of that too). Lightly scrape bottom of skillet, mix contents, let simmer for 5 minutes. Add chop back to skillet and spoon sauce over for 1 minute.

Plate pork chop and pour sauce from skillet over it with artichoke slaw on top.

– Ben Levine



Beth’s Seafood-Stuffed Lobster

From Beth Larsen, owner/fishmonger
The Net Result, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Click on the above link – they ship!



As shared with Beth’s friend, my sister Deb –

Boil lobsters until slightly undercooked. Take claws off, pick out the meat & reserve. Split the body only, leaving the tail meat intact.

Make a white sauce with equal parts butter to flour, and heat up to make a roux. Add milk or cream to this until you get a creamy sauce, stirring constantly. Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste.

In a skillet sauté baby shrimp, bay scallops, and fresh crabmeat in melted garlic butter and a little white wine. Put into the cavity with the claw meat on top.

Pour the cream sauce over the seafood in the cavity and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.


Gwen’s Wine-Braised Chicken w/ Olives

2-3 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
2-3 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat pan)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 tbsp butter
Juice of 1 lemon (~2 tbsp)
1/2 cup chopped parsley, basil or other fresh herb (Optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Pat dry chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet (I used an 8” skillet for two thighs) and, once hot, place the chicken, skin-side-down in the pan, allowing to brown for 3-4 minutes until skin is crisp. Flip chicken and brown for an additional 3-4 minutes (chicken will not be cooked through). Remove chicken from pan to a separate plate.

In the same pan, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in wine and vinegar and deglaze the pan (scrape up brown bits from the bottom). The vinegar will smell quite strongly, but it’ll mellow during the cooking process.

Add the chicken back to the pan, skin side up, making sure the onion-wine-vinegar mixture does not cover the chicken. Put in the oven for 15 mins or until cooked through.

Remove from oven and place chicken on the serving plate. Put the skillet back on the stovetop over medium heat (be careful as the handle will be hot!). Mix in olives and fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute.Stir in butter until sauce becomes glossy and slightly thicker.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve!

Because of its acidity, recommend serving with a rich side dish like risotto or mashed potatoes


– Gwen Hasenauer

Joey 3 Sticks Grilled Steak

For those lucky enough to have yards and grills during these cloistered times. This is the recipe for Joey 3 Sticks Grilled Steak.

And I quote-

Buy meat
Cook meat
Slice meat
Eat meat
Poop meat





And. For all those asking about the cutting board. It was a gift from Joe’s son Chris from personalizationmall.com

– Joe Colitti III

Crab Cakes w/ Paprika Slaw

Get fresh uncooked crab cakes and cole slaw delivered from Whole Foods or Fresh Direct. Brown the crab cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side in a skillet with a little olive oil until golden brown. Put skillet in preheated 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes until cakes are cooked through (interior temperature 165 degrees).

In a small ramekin, thoroughly mix 2 tbs. mayonnaise with 1 tsp. sweet paprika & 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Serve on the side with crab cakes and coleslaw.

To make your own cole slaw – Quick Slaw

Carmelized Rutabaga

Cut the skin off a medium to large rutabaga (yellow turnip). Chop into 1″ sized pieces. Put into a large saucepan and cover with cold water and season with salt. Boil uncovered until the turnips are soft and there is no water left in the pan. Add 2-3 large pats of butter and stir on medium high heat letting the turnips brown in the butter. Add generous amount of ground black pepper.

Serve as is in chunks, or hand mash.