Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fennel and Orange

I know its been way too long...not that I've stopped cooking... more that I have been lazy. 

So I'm back now with a simple fennel salad.

Fennel and Orange Salad
one bulb fennel, thinly sliced
one orange, cut into supremes
feta to taste
pomegranate seeds
salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Slice the fennel and toss with the orange supremes. Squeeze the remaining center of the orange over and toss with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve top with feta and pomegranate seeds. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Simple Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils are great because they cook so quickly. In less than 30 minutes you have your soup ready to go. 

Quick Red Lentil Soup
8 oz red lentils
4 cups water or stock
salt to taste

2 - 4 TBS olive oil
2 - 4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tps cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1/2 tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper

Boil the lentils in the liquid for about 15 to 20 minutes until the begin to soften.


Meanwhile heat the oil and add the garlic.


Cook until just soft then add the spices. 


Add this to the lentil and cook another 10 minutes until fully cooked.

To serve top with hot sauce, 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Simple Cucumber Salad

The summer is the best time to make super simple salads. My friend Adam gave me some great cucumbers and I turned them into this simple salad that was a crowd pleaser.

Simple Cucumber Apple Salad
Apple, something firmer so you can thinly slice
juice of half a lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the cucumber in half and remove the seeds using a spoon. Then thinly slice. Thinly slice the apple as well.


Mix in a bowl with the mint and chives and toss with lemon juice and oil.


Season with salt and pepper


Friday, May 25, 2012

Nettle Pesto

Stinging nettles do actually sting, so be careful. You can pick them up at your local farmers market or if you are brave find them in the wild. 

You have to avoid touching them, gloves work well as does a pair of tongs. To remove the sting, blanch them for about a minute, then they are safe to touch. 

Nettle Pesto
one bunch stinging nettles
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1 - 2 oz nuts, pine or walnuts
1 - 2 oz Parmigiano 
salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Be careful not to touch the shining nettles. 


In a large pot of salted water cook the nettles for a minute or two.


Drain the nettles, and when cool place in a food processor with the garlic. 


Meanwhile toast the nuts in a dry pan for a minute, making sure not to burn them.


Process the nettles and garlic for a minute. Season with salt and pepper and add a little oil to start to form a smooth paste.

After a few minutes, add the nuts and cheese. 


Continue blending until smooth, adding oil to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

One of our favorite ways to enjoy this is as a dip with crusty bread. Add a tablespoon or two to a bowl and thin with oil, add a touch more cheese to taste. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greek Potatoes

Here is a simple Greek potato dish. It goes great with a simple salad with cucumbers and feta. 

Greek Potatoes
about 1 lb potatoes 
1 or 2 lemons
3 -4 gloves garlic
salt and pepper
about 1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup water or stock

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the potatoes into large wedges. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper.


Bake about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and squeeze the lemon and toss in the halves. Toss to mix. Return to oven and cook another 10 minutes.


Add the stock and oregano. Toss and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes until most of the liquid is observed and the potatoes are cooked through.


Monday, April 16, 2012

For when you can't decide

Sometimes you can't decide when you want a brownie and when you want a blondie. Here is the perfect solution... both.

Start by make half recipes of both chocolate chip cookies and brownies

Butter than line a pan with parchment and butter again. Preheat oven to 375.


Spread the cookie layer on the bottom, spreading into an even layer.


Pour the brownie batter on top.


Bake until done about 45 minutes.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blood Orange Onion and Avocado Salad

This is a super simple salad with blood oranges. Get them while they are still available.

Blood Orange Avocado Salad
1 small red onion

2 blood oranges

1 avocado 
seasoned rice wine vinegar 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the onion and place in a small bowl with the vinegar. (If you don't have seasoned rice vinegar, other vinegar will work, just add a pinch of salt and sugar.)

Let soak about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut the orange into supremes and add to the onion.


Let marinate another 10 minutes.

Slice the avocado and arrange on a plate. Top with the orange and onion and some of the vinegar. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Zucchini Cakes with Celeriac Puree

We are not huge fans of summer squash or zucchini, and having just made a huge batch of zucchini bread wanted to used what was left. Fritters are always a crowd pleaser and aren't that hard to make. I pair it with celeriac puree.

Herbed Zucchini Fritters
2 -3 zucchini shredded
2 - 3 sprigs mint
2 - 3 sprigs parsley
2 - 3 chives
2 - 3 scallions
1/2 small red onion
salt and pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 flour
oil for frying

Greek yogurt for garnish 

Celeriac Puree
1 bulb celeriac, skinned and diced
1 small apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 leek, cut into thin strips
2 - 4 cups water or stock
salt and pepper
olive oil

Toss the zucchini with a touch of salt and let drain in a colander over a bowl for about an hour.


While the zucchini is draining, start the celeriac puree. In a medium pot heat oil and add leek and sauté over medium about five minutes until soft. 


Add the celeriac and cook another five minutes.


Add the apple and enough liquid to cover and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes until soft.


To finish the fritters, finely chop the herbs.


Place the zucchini on a dry kitchen towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid.


In a small bowl mix the rest of the ingredients adding more flour until mixture comes together. Let stand about 10 minutes.


To finish the celeriac, puree in a blender until smooth.


Fry the fritters in a touch of oil, turning once. Then drain on a towel and sprinkle with salt.


To serve, place a scoop of the puree on a plate and top with a couple fritters and a dollop of Greek yogurt. 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cheesy Grits with Rainbow Chard

Ever since picking up grits the other week, I have really been enjoying them. Last night brought a great cheesy version with some simple sautéed kale. It was based on this recipe from This dish would easily work with any other green, such as spinach, kale or arugula.

Cheesy Grits with Rainbow Chard
1 bunch rainbow chard
1/2 onion, sliced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tbs vinegar, I used apple cider
1 1/2 cups water or stock
1 Tbs butter or oil
1/2 cup grits (not quick)
1/2 cup milk
1 - 4 oz cheese to taste, I used Parmigiana
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry the leaves and cut out any think stems. Then roll and cut into strips. 


In a medium pot add the water or stock and butter or oil. Heat on high to bowl and add the grits while stirring. 


Cook over medium heat about 15 - 20 minutes. Then add the milk. Cook for another 10 minutes until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.


Meanwhile, sauté onion in a little oil for a minute, then add garlic and a touch of salt.  


After a couple minutes, the onion will soften add the chard.


Cook over high heat about 5 minutes until the chard is cooked through. Then add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.


Right before serving, add most of the cheese to the grits and season again with salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve, place a generous portion of the grits in a bowl, top with the kale and a sprinkle of the extra cheese.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cheesy Grits Souffle

I picked up some white grits at the store yesterday and was looking for something interesting to do with it. 

After a little hunting I came across several recipes for grit soufflé. What a great combination, the creamy cheesy with the light fluffy eggy... yum!

Cheesy Grit Souffle
1/2 onion, diced
small pat butter
olive oil
1/2 cup grits
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 oz grated cheddar
salt and pepper 

Pre-heat oven to 450. Melt the butter and add a touch of oil, add the onion and sauté over medium heat about 5 minutes, until soft. Season with salt.


Add 1 1/2 cups water, and bring to boil over high heat.


Add the grits in a slow stream, stirring as you add it in. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically.


Meanwhile, oil or butter 4 large ramekins. Mix the milk with the yolks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix.


After the grits are cooked and thick, season with salt and pepper. 


Add in the milk mixture and most of the cheese. Sir to combine. 


Whip the egg whites until they form peaks. Then GENTLY fold into grit mixture.


Fill up the ramekins and top with the extra cheese.


Bake for about 20 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tofu Banh Mi

I have always been a fan of Vietnamese cooking. It combines the great flavors and freshness of asian cuisine with the techniques of French cooking. 

I have only had an bank mi once, but instantly fell in love with this simple sandwich (and who doesn't love a great sandwich?) I had some tofu in the refrigerator and found this simple recipe

Top it with tons of fresh veggies and a little sriracha to add a kick. 
Lemongrass Tofu for Banh Mi
1 pkg of firm tofu
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
5 table spoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 -2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped should be about 1/4 cup.

Drain Tofu and blot dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Slice into about 1/4 ” pieces.
Wash lemongrass and chop bulbs and remaining of stalk that is tender. Place chopped lemongrass in mortar and pestle and continue to crush pieces till they are small and pulverized. Add 2 cloves of garlic and salt  in mortar and crush garlic together with lemongrass.


Mix crushed lemongrass, garlic, vegetable oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


In a shallow bowl, lay tofu slices on top of each other so that they don’t break. Top with the marinade making sure to coat each slice. Let marinade for at least 1 hour or until all tofu slices soak up the marinade.


Heat up frying pan. Do not add oil to the pan because the tofu is well oiled. Fry slices of tofu until both sides are golden brown with a nice firm crust.


Let cool before making sandwich.

Top the tofu with sliced cucumber and carrot, and sprinkle with fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro or basil.