Tag Archives: Cooking

Scrumptious Summer Salads

July-August-2017

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2017.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Calamari and Kiwi

While a crispy fried calamari is a favorite appetizer, especially in restaurants, there are a myriad ways to prepare squid as a first course.  I am trying my hand at cooking squid as it takes only a few minutes (easy for a weeknight) and is very reasonably priced (about $7.99 per pound).  Last night, I created this dish as I had a jalapeño in my vegetable drawer and a golden kiwi in my fruit bowl.

For this appetizer for two, use four medium to large squid tubes and four tentacles.

After rinsing the squid, use kitchen scissors to slice the squid bodies into rings of about 1/4 inch wide.  Roughly chop about four thin slices of jalapeño – this quantity depends on your heat tolerance! Slice the kiwi into eight slices and fan them along the bottom of an appetizer bowl or plate (I used two small antique vaseline glass bowls).

Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil in a wok until it sizzles.  Then, add the jalapeño and sauté for about two minutes.  Add the squid and cook for two minutes.  While the squid is cooking, move it around with a wooden spoon and coat it in the oils.  Spoon the squid atop the kiwi along with the oils and jalapeño, and season with sea salt to taste.

calamari-and-kiwi

The sweetness of the kiwi is a bright balance to the kick of the jalapeño!

Curry Lamb Chops with Mint

Mint cools off this very simple, spicy summer lamb dish.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (I used pineapple mint from my herb garden…)

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon curry

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt

4 lamb loin chops

Rough chop the mint and cilantro and place in a bowl.  Pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the paprika, allspice, curry and red pepper flakes.  Mix with a spoon and add sea salt to taste.

Lamb Marinade

Place the lamb chops in a plate and spoon the spice mixture on both sides.  Let the lamb marinate at room temperature for one hour.  Then, grill on medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side for medium rare, and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Consider serving with a side of grilled eggplant or ratatouille.

Summer Pasta with Onion, Bacon and Tomato

During this heat wave, a light dinner showcasing fresh ingredients is ideal.  This pasta with onion, bacon and tomato is simple enough to prepare while enjoying some Olympic events.

Ingredients:

1/2 sweet onion, diced

Extra virgin olive oil

2 slices slab bacon

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes

Fresh ground pepper

6 to 8 ounces egg capellini

Fresh basil

Sauté the onion in several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent, about five minutes.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Slice the bacon into 1/4 inch strips, then halve each strip.  Add the bacon to the onion and sauté until lightly browned, about seven minutes.  Keep stirring the onion and bacon with a wooden spoon, and season with pepper to taste.  Stir in the tomatoes and sauté for several minutes until they “pop”.

Throw the pasta into the boiling water and stir.  The pasta is so delicate that it should only take about two minutes.  When al dente, remove the pasta with tongs and add to the onion, bacon and tomato mixture.  Also, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan to help the sauce stick to the pasta.  Using a wooden spoon, coat the pasta with the sauce, and toss in some fresh basil.

Pasta!

Serve with grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.  Enjoy with a light red wine, such as a Grenache.

Rustic Summer Tart

For a simple, fruity dessert on a summer’s day, all you need is a good crust and some stone fruit…

Ingredients for the crust:

2 cup flours

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

Iced water

Ingredients for the filling: 

4 red plums, pitted and cubed

4 nectarines, pitted and cubed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten

Mix the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  With a sharp knife, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.  Rub the pieces of butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is broken into tiny pieces.  Make a well and add the egg and drizzle in the iced water.  Begin to knead the dough quickly into a ball.  Add more iced water until the dough is just wet enough to form a ball.  Wrap the dough in waxed paper and chill for an hour until it is firm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and add flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface.  Roll the dough into a circle until it is about ¼ inch thick and place it on a baking sheet.

Toss the fruit with the lemon juice.  Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving the outer 1 1/2 inches of dough uncovered.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Fold up the uncovered edge of the dough and pinch so that it stays overtop the fruit.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg.

Rustic Summer Tart

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is golden and the crust is lightly browned.  Cool slightly before serving with a chilled French rosé, such as Château Pesquié Terrasses (2015) from Ventoux Rhône Valley Vineyards.  This blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah tastes of red berries and pairs well with fruity desserts.

Sweetbreads With Some Heat

This recipe for offal is a simple summer appetizer with a kick…

Rinse one pound of sweetbreads, then cover them with water in a large pot.  Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar and two pinches of salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a colander to rinse, then place in a bowl of water and ice to cool.  Remove the sweetbreads from the bowl and drain on a paper towel.

Use your finders to separate the sweetbreads into small pieces, removing the membrane.   Season with salt and pepper and dredge in cornmeal.  In a nonstick pan, heat several tablespoons of olive oil then sauté the sweetbreads until golden brown and no longer pink.  Add slices of jalapeño to taste as they sauté.  Arrange on an appetizer plate alongside several slides of focaccia.

Sweetbreads and Jalapeno

If you have never enjoyed organ meats, sweetbreads are a good place to start due to their mild taste and smooth texture!

Eggs with Dukkah

I return to my posts with this recipe starring a favorite staple food – the egg.  My goal is to continue with regular postings on recipes and restaurants.  As I have been focusing on a more varied use of spices in my kitchen, I decided to offer this recipe featuring Dukkah, an Egyptian nut and spice blend.  It is a flavorful way to “spice up” your morning eggs and is inspired by a recipe I found in Eggs on Top by Andrea Slonecker (2014), an excellent cookbook all about the egg.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coriander

1 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons roasted salted pistachios, shelled

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sea salt to taste

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 eggs

Focaccia

To make the Dukkah, heat a small nonstick pan over medium heat.  When it is hot, add the coriander, cardamom and pepper, moving around with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.  Add the fennel seeds and continue to toast for another 30 seconds.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for several minutes.  Roughly chop the pistachios, then add them to the spice mixture.  Finally, stir in the sesame seeds and salt.

Dukkah

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Pour the oil into a 9 inch nonstick frying pan.  Crack the eggs into the pan and spoon the Dukkah on the top.  Bake for about 11 minutes for loose yolks, or a few minutes longer for more fully set yolks.  Serve with slices of focaccia to sop up the egg and spice – perfect for a weekend breakfast!

Eggs with Dukkah

Three-Cup Chicken a la NYTimes

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to select at least one recipe per week from Sam Sifton’s free NYTimes Cooking newsletter.  Several times every week I look forward to opening an e-mail containing Sam’s ideas for both weeknight and weekend meals from famous chefs, food columnists and cookbook authors.

On Sunday evening, I tried the below recipe for “Three-Cup Chicken” and served it over basmati rice. For additional flavor, I cooked the rice in coconut milk rather than water or chicken stock.

I suggest you sign up today – always something new and creative to please your palate.

Asian Chicken

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017456-three-cup-chicken?em_pos=medium&emc=edit_ck_20160215&nl=cooking&nlid=67817547

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Your menu for today is set…perhaps you are already placing the turkey in the oven or slicing the Brussels sprouts.  After today’s comfort foods of mashed potatoes, stuffing and candied sweet potatoes, you may be interested in a light meal for the weekend.

How about Nantucket Bay scallops? We enjoyed our first of the season earlier this week.   Consider sautéing these tiny, sugary scallops for just a few minutes in salted butter and tossing with Yudon noodles and Asian greens.

Nantucket Bays

Bon appétit today and always.

Coffee and a Swizzle

An after dinner treat – coffee with a swizzle stick…oh, and a slice of New York style cheesecake.

Coffee and Swizzle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat