Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

This recipe is adapted from one I found in Bon Appetit. It’s hardy and make a good winter dish.

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Start a pot of water for the pasta.
Begin by browning the mushrooms in oil. Do this in one-layer batches. Mushrooms have a lot of moisture and if you put too many in the pot at one time, they’ll steam instead of brown.Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce
Remove the mushrooms from the pot and add the shallots. Cook until translucent and soft, not brown. Return the mushrooms to the pot, season with salt and pepper and set aside until the pasta is ready.

Cook the pasta until almost done. Use any kind you like. We got this colorful pasta as a Christmas present. They’re colored with carrots, spinach and beets.
Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce
Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce
When the pasta is almost done drain and transfer to the pot with the mushrooms and toss. Add the cream and one cup of the pasta water and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and then add the lemon juice and zest, parsley, butter, and toss. Serve with additional grated cheese.

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Sword Fish Sicilian Style

Sword Fish Sicilian Style

Sword Fish Sicilian Style

2 things you should know about sword fish – 1. It’s expensive and 2. Don’t over cook it.
Sword Fish Sicilian Style
Sword Fish Sicilian Style
Heat oil and add salt.black and red pepper. Add the onion and simmer until it’s soft. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Pour in the tomato puree, stock and peas.
Sword Fish Sicilian Style
Simmer while browning the swordfish in another pan. Pour the sauce over the fish, add a sprinkling of chopped parsley and serve.Sword Fish Sicilian Style

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Chicken Farro Soup

Chicken Farro Soup

Farro’s been cultivated since before recorded history. Many of the grains we’re familiar with today are descended from farro. It was regularly eaten on the Italian peninsula when Rome ruled the Mediterranean. It is still common throughout Italy today. Here’s an old Salerno recipe.

Chicken Farro Soup

Chicken Farro Soup

Chicken Farro Soup

Chicken Farro Soup
Remove the bones and skin and cut thigh meat into small bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and black pepper and brown the chicken in the oil and remove. If there’s too much fat left from browning the chicken, drain the excess.
Chicken Farro Soup
Chicken Farro Soup
Sauté celery low heat until soft then add oregano and sliced garlic and cook briefly. Add stock from drained, cooked farro, bring to a boil and deglaze the pot. Add the cooked farro, return chicken and bring to a boil. Add hot water to keep a soupy consistency. Simmer for another 10 minutes covered. Check for seasoning.
Chicken Farro Soup

More farro recipes hereChicken Farro Soup

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Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables is a fairly simple recipe and it’s a whole meal in one pan. I used thighs but you can use any parts you like.

Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients:
  1. Juice of 1 lemon
  2. ¼ cup olive oil
  3. ½ tsp. oregano
  4. ½ tsp. black pepper
  5. 2 sliced garlic cloves
  6. Turnip, Beet, Butternut Squash cut into ¾ in pieces
  7. Olive oil
  8. Salt and black pepper
Marinate the chicken in the first 5 ingredients for at least 3 hours:
Place the vegetables in a bowl and coat with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Pre-heat oven to 425o
Make a layer of vegetables in a roasting pan. Place the chicken skin side up on top of the vegetables. Roast until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170°-175° and vegetables are just tender, about 40 minutes.
Pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

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Upside Down Peach Tart

Upside-Down Peach Tart

This is a fairly simple recipe for what looks like an elaborate fruit tart. It’s December so I used canned peaches but this works with fresh peaches and apricots too.Upside-Down Peach Tart
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can sliced peaches
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, about 10 by 10 inches, thawed
  • ¼ cup raw pistachios, finely chopped
Preheat to 425° and put a rack in middle of the oven.
Heat honey, sugar, salt, and 2 tbsp. water in a small pot over medium-high heat, until it’s blended and slightly darkened. Turn off heat and add butter and vinegar. Pour the honey mixture into a 9″ spring-form pan. Place the peaches in pan.
Upside-Down Peach Tart
Upside-Down Peach Tart
Roll out the thawed pastry on a lightly floured surface to remove the folds. Prick pastry all over with a fork. Place the pan on top of the pastry and use scissors or a sharp pointed knife trim the pastry to make a circle that’s slightly larger than the circumference of the pan. Place the pastry over the fruit in the pan and tuck in the edges. The pastry with shrink as it bakes.
Bake until pastry is puffed – about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and continue to bake for another 15–20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.
Remove the upper section of the spring-form pan and cover the tart with a large dish. Flip the tart over and remove the bottom of the pan. You may need a spatula to unstick it.
Sprinkle the top of the tart with the pistachios.Upside-Down Peach Tart

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Spring Shabu-Shabu

Spring Shabu-Shabu

There’s an interesting restaurant in Flushing, Queens, New York. It’s called Spring Shabu-Shabu. Webster’s definition of shabu isa Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced beef and vegetables cooked briefly in simmering broth at the table. 
From Spring Shabu-Shabu’s website:
“A Japanese-style hot pot, shabu-shabu is a fun and healthy interactive dining experience. Thinly sliced meat or assorted seafood items along with various vegetables, fishcake, and noodles are cooked in a simmering broth in individual pots at the table. The term shabu-shabu is an onomatopoeia, which is derived from the “swish-swish” sound made when the meat is quickly brushed back and forth through the broth to cook.”

Spring Shabu-Shabu.

There are individual pots built into your table. You control the heat level and have a choice of 5 different types of broth that you cook you meal in.
Spring Shabu-Shabu.

Spring Shabu-Shabu.
You order different kinds of meat or fish that is brought to your table and then help yourself to various noodles, vegetables, and dipping sauces.


Spring Shabu-Shabu.

Spring Shabu-Shabu.

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Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

I got another potato recipe from Tommy the bartender. This one is for baked potatoes. Everybody knows how to bake a potato, right? Well, according to Tommy, if you take a little more care and a few extra steps you can make a really exceptional baked potato.
Baked Potatoes.Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. salt (more for serving)
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Brine – 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in ½ cup of water.

 Pre-heat the over to 400o.
Put the potatoes in a bowl and toss to coat thoroughly with the brine.Baked Potatoes.

Instead of poking holes in the skin, cut a long X across the top of the potato about ¼ in deep. Place the potatoes on a rack in a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut the X a little deeper – about another ½ inch. Coat the skins with the oil and put the potatoes back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Break them open by pushing in the ends and serve them simply with salt and butter or any way you like.Baked Potatoes.

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The Lobster House in Cape May

The Lobster House in Cape May

 

The Lobster House in Cape May

The Lobster House in Cape May

The Lobster House in Cape May New Jersey is a classic seafood restaurant. Lunch and dinner in five dining rooms and a full bar is available seven days a week. The Lobster House is located on an active commercial fishing fleet pier in Cape May Harbor. In the warmer months you can eat out on the pier. They also have a take-out shop and a fresh fish market.

The Lobster House in Cape May

THE COMMERCIAL FISHING PIER


The Lobster House in Cape May

ONE OF THE DINNING ROOMS


The Lobster House in Cape May

The Lobster House in Cape May

A LIGHT LUNCH


The Lobster House in Cape May

AN INTERESTING WALL DECORATION


The Lobster House in Cape May

READY FOR CHRISTMAS


The Lobster House in Cape May

The Lobster House in Cape May

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Sausage and Grapes

Sausage and Grapes

Sausage and Grapes

This recipe is adapted from Melissa Clark’s A Good Appetite in the New York Times. She suggests using any kind of sausage you like. I chose hot Italian sausage because it made a good contrast to the sweetness of the grapes.

Sausage and Grapes

Ingredients:
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsps. olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of stemmed red seedless grapes
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsps. chopped scallions or chives
  • 2 tsps. Sherry vinegar + more to taste
Heat oven to 450o.
In an oven proof pan, toss the onions with the salt, pepper and 2 tbsps. oil. Roast for 10 minutes or so, until the onions take on some color. Remove the pan for the oven and add the grapes, cumin, and the remaining oil. Spread in an even layer and add the sausage. Roast for 25 minutes, turning sausage and tossing onions/grapes halfway through.Sausage and Grapes
After 25 minutes, remove the sausage to a serving plate. Add the parsley and chives to the pan with the grapes and onions and mix. Use a slotted spoon to remove the grapes and onions to the serving plate. Add the vinegar and scrape up any brown bits. Put over the grapes and sausage and serve.Sausage and Grapes

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