lunedì 24 maggio 2010


Appetizer - side dish - complete meal - entree

For the dough:
2 2/3 cup 00 flour
6 tbsp butter, diced really cold
2 eggs

For the filling:
3 leeks, thinly sliced, white and green parts only
3 oz ham, thinly sliced
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp Extra virgin oive oil
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
Salt and Pepper

First of all prepare the dough. In a bowl mix flour and a pinch of salt; add butter and eggs; mix quickly to combine all ingredients but not too long otherwise the butter warms up too much and the crust will become hard.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrp and put it the refrigerator for 30 minutes, at least.

In the mean time prepare the filling. In a large skillet warm up the live oil and sautee the leeks until tender, season with salt and pepper and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it over a flour-dusted table, thick about 1/4".

Line buttered and floured a 9" tart-pan, leaving 3/4 to 1" overhang, and poke it with a fork.

Place the ham on the bottom of the tart and spoon leeks evenly in the pan.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with milk and thyme and pour over the filling; fold the edges over and bake for 40 minutes, until olden and set.

Wait 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe serves 8-12 depending on the part of the meal you're serving it; it can be served as appetizer, entree, side dish.

If there is some dough left you can either freeze it (wrapped with plastic wrap), in order to use it later.

lunedì 17 maggio 2010


Pasta entree - vegetarian

1 lb. orecchiette (ear shaped pasta)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, when ready add salt 2 tbsp oil and orecchiette (trying to let them pass through the oil), stir well and often until "al dente", about 9/10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining olive oil and add the shallot, sautee until translucent and then add tomatoes and olives, stir and cook until pasta is ready; if needed, add a few tbsp of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce; season with salt and pepper.

Drain pasta and transfer it to the skillet, add basil, toss to coat evenly, sauteing for 1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4

- If you can't find sweet, flavorful tomatoes, use San Marzano peeled ones: they're the sweetest.
- I suggested the addition of oil in the water: it is the only case I use it. Orecchiette really tend to stick together so easily!
- You can use parsley instead of basil

lunedì 10 maggio 2010


Fish entree

I was talking with Luciano (our friend chef and owner of Luciano's Restaurant) about fish and he came out with this recipe, good for all fishes but, especially, for freshwater fishes.

2 trouts
1 cup frozen of fresh peas
2 bunches parsley, leaves only
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp bread crumbs

Preheat oven at 350.

Open trouts lengthwise and debone them (you can avoid this step buying trout fillets).

Arrange peas, parsley leaves, a pinch of salt and garlic in a blender and process, adding oil in a slow stream, until you obtain a smooth pesto.

Brush, with 1 tbsp of olive oil, an ovenproof dish and arrange trouts skin side down; spread with peas pesto.

Bake on central rack for about 10 minutes, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and cook for 5 more minutes, or until a golden crust forms.

Serve immediately with a fresh salad and/or steamed or sauteed vegetables.

This recipe serves 4 (depending on the trouts size).

lunedì 3 maggio 2010


Entree - meat - Low cholesterol

1 slice turkey breast about 1/4" thick and about 12"x10"
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (Italian are more flavorful)
2 cups frozen peas
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper

Soak porcini in 1 cup of lukewarm water for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put a skillet on medium-high heat and warm 1 tbsp of olive oil; sautee onions for a couple minutes, season with salt and pepper, cover with lid and lower heat to minimum.

Once mushrooms are ready, take them out of the water, reserving and carefully filtering it, and add them to the onions. Cook until mushrooms are done and onions almost melted, about 15 minutes.

Open your meat slice on a flat surface and cover with the onion/mushrooms mixture leaving 1" free each side, in order to close it.

Fold as a pocket and close with toothpicks, dredge into flour (shaking excess away).

Warm up the remaining oil in a big skillet with lid over medium-high heat. Sautee meat until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes each, season with salt and pepper and add wine. When wine is evaporated, add the reserved mushrooms water and cover with lid.

When it comes to a boil add peas, then lower heat to minimum and stew it for about 20 minutes, turning meat pocket once in a while.

Serve it immediately with peas and cooking juices.

This recipe serves 4.

Instead of folding it, you can roll it and tie with butcher's string.
You can use 4 half chicken breasts, creating a deep pocket with a sharp knife.
If onion/mushrooms mixture is too much, you can add the remaining part to the peas when they're almost done.
This is a really low cholesterol dish, being both turkey or chicken really low in cholesterol.