Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with mushroom sauce is an easy recipe for a rich tasting sauce.

Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 hot or sweet Italian sausages
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta (penne, fusilli, gemelli, etc.)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
Pasta with Mushroom SaucePut the chicken stock and dried mushrooms in a small pot and bring it to a boil. Remove it from the stove and set it aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Sauté until translucent. Add the sausage meat and brown it.
Remove the mushrooms and save the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan with the onions and sausage meat.Pasta with Mushroom Sauce
Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes until the alcohol evaporates. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of the mushroom/chicken stock, oregano, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes or so until it thickens. If it get’s to dry mix in some more chicken stock or pasta water.Pasta with Mushroom Sauce
While the sauce simmers cook the pasta until almost done. Drain it and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Sprinkle with parsley and place the pasta in a serving dish. Serve with grated Parmigiana cheese.Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

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Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

This is a fast-cooking recipe so have all the ingredients prepared and ready to add to the pan. In place of, or in addition to the peas and carrots use what ever vegetables you like – broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus. Instead of shrimp try this with a boneless pork chop cut into small pieces. Someday I think I’ll make it with pancetta for a Chinese-Italian fusion.
Shrimp Fried Rice
Ingredients:
  • 6 oz shrimp (small shrimp or large cut small)
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil divided
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ¾ cup peas & carrots
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups cooked rice (cold)
  • 1 tbsp. each soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp. chopped green onion
Preheat a large fry pan or wok to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Sauté the shrimp with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes until they start to color. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.Shrimp Fried Rice
Add the onion, peas and carrots and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent. Slide the onion, peas, and carrots to the side (if you pan isn’t big enough, temporally remove the vegetables) and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Cook the eggs, break them up mix them with the vegetables.Shrimp Fried Rice

 

Shrimp Fried Rice
Add the rice and mix thoroughly with the egg and vegetables. Then add the shrimp. Pour in one tablespoon each of the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and oyster sauce. Stir and fry until everything is combined.  Add chopped green onions and serve.Shrimp Fried Rice

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Marietta’s Tomato Sauce

Marietta’s Tomato Sauce

A friend I used to work with and had lunch with almost every day invited me home to dinner with him. He said his wife, Marietta, was Italian like me and a great cook. When I arrived and was introduced to Marietta, we made the standard exchange that Italian-Americans often do – “So, where in Italy are your people from?” Since we were both of Italian descent, instead of the general “Naples,” I more specifically said Salerno and instead of “Sicily,” Marietta said Trapani. And so, the inevitable cooking rivalry began. She knew her husband’s friend was coming for dinner but didn’t know I was Italian-American. She made, among other things, what she called simply ‘tomato sauce.’ She knew I would silently compare it to my family’s ‘tomato sauce.’ Before we started eating, I mentioned that my mother’s sister married a Sicilian and learned recipes from her mother-in- law which she introduced to our family. I made it clear that I was familiar with Sicilian cuisine and appreciated it. We put a love of cooking and good food before the old regional rivalry and had a great dinner. Before I left, Marietta wrote down her sauce recipe for me. Keep in mind that you only need just 5 ingredients for a simple tomato sauce – olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. This one has a lot more than that! That’s a ton of flavor.
Marietta's Tomato SauceMarietta’s Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of long pasta (ideally perciatelli or bucatini but spaghetti will work)
  • 1/2  cup olive oil
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. chopped beef
  • 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • * Sachet – 10 black peppercorns, 1 dried chili, 2 bay leaves, 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 – 8 oz. can peas

* Sachet – little cloth bags are available in supermarkets or Google, If you can’t find them, cut a white handkerchief into quarters, wrap the ingredients and tie it with a string.


Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil, salt, black and red pepper. Don’t brown it, just cook until it’s translucent. Add the chopped beef and brown it. Add the tomato paste, blend well, and cook about 8 minutes.Marietta's Tomato Sauce

Start a pot of salted water and cook the pasta.
Add the red wine to the sauce and deglaze the pan. Add the can of San Marzano tomatoes, a sprig of fresh basil, the sachet, and simmer for 30 minutes. Marietta's Tomato Sauce
At the end of 30 minutes add the 8 oz. can of drained peas to the sauce, simmer 5 minutes and serve. Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of basil chiffonade, and pass grated Parmigiana around the table.

Marietta's Tomato Sauce

Variations:
  • It you intend to add additional meat to the sauce (sausage, meatballs, braciole) brown it in a separate pan, deglaze the pan with some wine and add it all to the sauce for that last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • If you make Sicilian pizza try this sauce without the chopped beef. When the sauce is cool mix in ¾ cup of unseasoned breadcrumbs.

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Lemon Grilled Sword Fish

Lemon Grilled Sword Fish

 

Lemon Grilled Sword Fish

This is perfect for an outdoor grill and it works just as well with a grill pan. A few simple ingredients for a marinade and it’s done.

Lemon Grilled Sword FishIngredients:
  • 1 swordfish steak, about 1 lb. and 1 inch thick
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • Red pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 whole lemon
Season the fish on both sides with salt and black pepper. In a bowl, add the oil, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, rosemary, red pepper, garlic, coriander, and lemon rind. Lemon Grilled Sword FishMix well and pour it into a zip lock bag with the fish. Let it stand for 20 minutes.

Lemon Grilled Sword FishHeat your charcoal/gas grill or grill pan. Cut the lemon half and place it face down on the grill. Cook the fish 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter, squeeze the lemon over it and serve.
Lemon Grilled Sword Fish

This recipe was adapted from Pierre Franey’s in the New York Times.

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Dutch Oven Roast Chicken

Dutch Oven Roast Chicken

It’s July and hot in New York but I was dying for roast chicken. We turned on the oven, cranked up the AC and got started. We have an old cast iron Dutch oven. It’s ugly but it works perfectly. You might be temped to cook this recipe at  higher temperatures and for a shorter time, but don’t. Slow cooking leaves the chicken juicy, and the vegetables stew at a leisurely pace in olive oil and chicken fat. It’s worth the wait. The leftovers are great for chicken sandwiches.
Dutch Oven Roast ChickenIngredients:
  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 – 4 lbs.)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 potatoes
Pre-heat the oven to 275o.
Dutch Oven Roast Chicken
Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and coat it with a mixture of the salt, pepper, paprika and thyme inside and out. Stuff the cavity with half of the onion and tie the legs.
Cut the carrots, celery, potatoes, and the remaining ½ onion into approximately one-to-two-inch pieces, toss with salt, and pepper, and the remaining olive oil. Put them in the Dutch oven.
Dutch Oven Roast Chicken
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, Cover and cook for 1 hour. Uncover, raise the temperature to 375o, baste, and cook for an additional 50 minutes. If the vegetables seem too dry add a half cup of liquid (water, white wine, or chicken stock).
Dutch Oven Roast ChickenDutch Oven Roast Chicken
Let it rest for 10 minutes, carve, and serve.

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Egg Cream

 

Egg Cream

The Egg Cream started as a New York thing about a hundred years ago. Lately it’s become more widely known but in case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a New York candy store fountain drink that doesn’t contain eggs or cream. It’s made with some milk, chocolate syrup (or sometimes vanilla),  and topped off with seltzer to give it a frothy head There are lots of theories of why its called an Egg Cream and I’ll leave you to Google that. 
Egg Cream aficionados say the only correct way to make one is with Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup and seltzer from either a  soda fountain or a seltzer syphon.  I’m not so strict. If you can’t get U-Bet, Bosco is a good substitute. Egg Cream
Bottled seltzer is fine and better than club soda which contains some salty minerals.

Egg Cream

The ingredients are simple:
  • 2 oz. whole milk
  • 1 1/2 oz. chocolate syrup
  • Seltzer
Start with the milk, add the syrup and stir, then fizz it with the seltzer. If you want a white head instead of brown, just change the order – milk,  seltzer then add the syrup and stir.Egg Cream

Egg Cream

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Daiquiri

Alec Guinness in ‘Our Man in Havana’ at his local bar where he drank quite a few Daiquiris.

 

Daiquiri

The Daiquiri was invented in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Instead of calling it something bland like a ‘rum sour’ it was named after a local beach, the Daiquiri.

The Classic Daiquiri

The original and simplest –

Daiquiri

Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup*
  • Garnish: lime

1 cup of sugar & 1 cup of water – heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear. 

Add the rum, lime juice and syrup to a shaker with ice. This is a classic so serve it in a classic Nick and Nora cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime. This can easily become a frozen daiquiri by making it in a blender that will slush the ice.

Daiquiri


Hemingway Daiquiri aka Papa Doble

Invented by Ernest Hemmingway when he lived in Havana –

Daiquiri

Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • Garnish: lime
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lime.Daiquiri

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

You don’t need a slush machine for this one –

Daiquiri

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • ¾ oz Key Lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • A few strawberries
  • 6 ice cubes

Daiquiri

Add the rum, lime juice, syrup, strawberries, and ice to a blender. Mix until you get a slushy consistency. Pour into a coupe and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Daiquiri


Banana Daiquiri

A subtle hint of banana –

Daiquiri

Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 3/4  ounce banana liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • Garnish: banana slice
Add the rum, banana liqueur, lime juice and syrup into a shaker with ice. No bananas here except for the liqueur and  garnish. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a banana slice. You can easily make this a frozen banana daiquiri by making it in a blender with the addition of about a ¼ of a sliced banana.Daiquiri

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SalvaDor Dali’s Cookbook

SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK

SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK

Salvador Dali’s Cookbook ‘Les Diners De Gala’

A surrealist cookbook with interesting recipes and beautiful illustrations.
It comes with this disclaimer – “If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.”

Here are a few of the recipes in case you’d care to try them.

SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK


Some cooking terms defined in Le Diners de Gala:
  • Deglaze – To pour a liquid in the cooking pan and profit from its boiling to recover and incorporate with the sauce the browned bits from the bottom.
  • Lute – to seal the cover of a cooker with flour dissolved in a small amount of water.
  • Salpicon – Composed of different sorts of aliments, diced, such as truffles, quenelles, mushrooms.

The illustrations are amazing even if you don’t intend to make any of the recipes.

SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK

SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK


If you’d like more information on Dali’s cookbook and perhaps even get a copy, go to SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK

Salvador Dali Les Diners De Gala First Edition English 1973 Surrealist Cookbook

SALVADOR DALI'S COOKBOOK

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Shrimp with Chard and Ginger

Shrimp with Chard and Ginger

Here’s another one adapted from Melissa Clark (my favorite chef) in the New York Times.

 

Shrimp with Chard and GingerIngredients:
  • 1 lb. large shrimp
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt for seasoning shrimp
  • 1 bunch chard, washed (about ½ lb.)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 thinly sliced hot chili (optional)
  • 1 medium shallot chopped
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tsps. Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsps. white wine or sherry vinegar
Blot the shrimp dry and season with salt. Cut the stems off of the chard up to where the leaves begin. Roll a hand full of chard leaves like a cigar and cut it into ¼ inch strips.
Shrimp with Chard and Ginger
Shrimp with Chard and Ginger
Add some olive oil to a large skillet and on medium hear lightly brown the shrimp on each side. Remove the shrimp to a dish, add some more oil and add the garlic, chili (if you’re using), shallot and ginger. Sauté for about 3 minutes and then add the sugar and season with salt and black pepper.
Put the greens in the skillet with ¼ cup of water. Mix to coat them with the liquid in the pan. Cover and steam for a few minutes so the greens wilt. Return the shrimp to heat them, drizzle with the vinegar and serve.
Shrimp with Chard and Ginger

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Pasta with Fried Lemons

PASTA WITH FRIED LEMONSPasta with Fried Lemons

This is adapted from a Melissa Clark recipe in the New York Times. No garlic or onion – the lemon acts as an aromatic for this simple sauce.
PASTA WITH FRIED LEMONS
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. linguini
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese
Start a large pot of salted water for the pasta.
Finely zest one of the lemons and set aside. Cut the tops and bottoms off the remaining two lemons and stand on end. Cut them into four quarters and thinly slice each quarter into triangles. Blanch the lemon slices for two minutes in a small pot of boiling water. Set them aside on paper towels and blot dry.PASTA WITH FRIED LEMONS

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the dry lemon slices. Add salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Cook for a few minutes until the edges brown and remove them.PASTA WITH FRIED LEMONS

Add the butter, lemon zest, red pepper and a half cup of pasta water to the pan. Mix in the drained pasta and coat with the sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon wedges and cheese. Serve with additional cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
PASTA WITH FRIED LEMONS

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