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



Linguine alle Vongole

At mAd Ben’s uptown NYC flat. What a treat.

Sweet & fresh little necks from Whole Foods Columbus Circle.

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 so that a drop of water sizzles. Add the 4 dozen cleaned little neck clams. Cover and keep 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. Typically a clam or two won’t open, so don’t overcook the others, just discard the unopened ones.

Concurrently prepare enough linguine to serve 4.

Ladle clams and sauce over the pasta evenly in each pasta dish. Have a crusty bread on hand to sop up extra sauce.

The star is the sauce, finished by the nectar of the little necks. mAd Ben’s were perfectly cooked.