Tinned Fish

Tinned Fish

It’s been around for a long time but suddenly it’s become a thing – tinned fish. When I was growing up if I wanted a snack, I could always open a can of sardines, squid, or tuna. It’s a very old way of preserving food. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and isn’t perishable until it’s opened.

Here’s an informative post from Epicurious

The Can of Food That Makes Dinner Parties Delicious, Easy, and Insanely Fast

The easiest dinner party you’ll ever throw is the one where all you do is make a few salads, open a few tins of fish and put out a few baguettes. The reason you aren’t throwing this party already is because you think that tinned fish is cheap, acrid, odorous stuff that you’d never serve to company, much less yourself. But that line of thinking stops now. 

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Tinned Fish Pasta

Here’s a recipe that works with almost any type of tinned fish. I used sardines. 

Tinned Fish PastaAdapted from Bon Appétit

Tinned Fish PastaIngredients:
  • 1 cup unseasoned toasted breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup. olive oil
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 cans sardines packed in olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped capers
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or linguini
  • Chopped parsley for serving

Tinned Fish Pasta


Lightly sauté the garlic in olive oil in a small pan until it’s fragrant. Don’t let it brown.Tinned Fish Pasta

Put the garlic and oil it cooked in, sardines, lemon zest and juice, capers, salt, and pepper in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water to gently heat the ingredients. Remove the bowl and cook the pasta in the same boiling water.Tinned Fish Pasta

When the pasta is done add it to the bowl with 1 cup of the pasta water and the parsley. Mix and serve with a sprinkling of the toasted breadcrumbs.Tinned Fish Pasta

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Braised Chicken with Olives

Braised Chicken with Olives

 

Braised Chicken with Olives

Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs. of chicken pieces (I used legs & thighs)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 5 anchovies packed in oil
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup green olives roughly chopped and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. rinsed capers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup white wine and 1 cup water
Pre-heat oven to 350o.
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken and all but 4 tablespoons of the fat and oil.Braised Chicken with Olives
Braised Chicken with OlivesThere’s nothing like the bottom of a Coca Cola bottle for smashing olives to remove the pit.

Add the garlic and anchovies to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, olives, capers, bay leaves, lemon zest and red pepper. Blend and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and water, mix well.Braised Chicken with Olives
Return the chicken to the pan. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and place the pan the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.Braised Chicken with Olives

Remove the chicken to a serving dish. Check the sauce for seasoning and remove the lemon zest and bay leaves. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.Braised Chicken with Olives

 

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Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and SausagePasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Simple ingredients and an easy preparation – this one is a classic. Whoever first put this combination together deserves a medal. You can get this in almost any Italian restaurant, hero shop and even in some pizzerias.
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
Ingredients:
  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, black and red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 Italian sausages (sweet or hot) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb. short pasta
Start a pot of boiling salted water for pasta. Remove stems, cut into 2 inch pieces and wash the broccoli rabe.
Boil it in the pasta water for 8 – 10 minutes until tender. Remove and drain. Add 2 tablespoons more salt to the water and cook the pasta in the same pot until almost done.Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Fry the sausage in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until browned. Add garlic, salt, red, and black pepper and lower the heat so the garlic doesn’t burn. Cook for 5 minutes and add a half cup of pasta water and deglaze the pan. Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Add the prepared broccoli rabe and another half cup of pasta water. Blend and cook for 8 minutes. Add the drained pasta to the sausage and broccoli to finish cooking. Serve with grated Parmigiana cheese.Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

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Thai Sweet and Salty Shrimp

Thai Sweet and Salty Shrimp

Thai Sweet and Salty ShrimpWhen I was a little kid shrimp was the only seafood that I would eat. As I got older my tastes broadened but shrimp remained one of my favorites. Here’s a simple and quick recipe that tastes a lot more complicated than it is. I adapted this in the New York Times where they give credit to Kris Yenbamroong and Ali Slagle.

 

Thai Sweet and Salty Shrimp

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. medium to large cleaned, shelled shrimp
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Asian fish sauce or coloratura di alici
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced  green and white
  • Red pepper flakes
Dry the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Mix the fish sauce, vinegar, oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Heat a frying pan to medium high and add the mix. When it begins to simmer, add the shrimp, and cook until it begins to color on both sides.Thai Sweet and Salty Shrimp
Add the peanuts, lime juice,  scallions, and red pepper. Stir to combine and serve.
Thai Sweet and Salty Shrimp

Thai Sweet and Salty Shrimp

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Three Classic Cocktails

Three Classic Cocktails

Sidecar

Three Classic Cocktails
Ingredients:
  • Granulated sugar
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, plus more for glass
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau or triple sec
Wet the rim of a coupe glass with lemon juice and dip it into sugar sprinkled on a plate.  Shake off excess and set it aside. Three Classic CocktailsPut  the lemon juice, brandy, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake. Strain into the sugared glass.Three Classic Cocktails

Boulevardier

Three Classic Cocktails
Ingredients:
  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • 1oz. Campari
  • 1oz. sweet vermouth
  • Lemon twist garnish

Pour the Bourbon, Campari, and vermouth into a  rocks glass filled with  ice. Stir and garnish with lemon twist.

Three Classic Cocktails

Mai Tai

Three Classic Cocktails
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ oz. white rum
  • ¾ oz. orange Cointreau or curaçao
  • ¾ oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ oz. orzata or orgeat
  • ½ oz. dark rum
  • Lime wheel and mint sprig for garnish
Add the white rum, Cointreau, lime juice and orzata to a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a rocks glass. Float the dark rum over the top. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.Three Classic Cocktails

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Milk Fried Chicken

Milk Fried Chicken

A problem that sometimes comes up with fried chicken is this – If you just fry it until the crust is the perfect golden color the chicken might be left under done, and if you fry  it so that the chicken is thoroughly cooked, the crust might burn. The milk fried chicken cooking method solves that problem.  The chicken is almost completely cooked in the milk and after that it only takes a few minutes to brown the crust. 

 

Milk Fried Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 2 bs. chicken pieces
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cup vegetable oil

For the spice rub –

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Cajun spice
  • ½ tsp. sweet (or hot) paprika
  • ½ tsp. garlic power
Bring the milk to a boil in a pan and add the chicken in one layer. Cover and boil it for 8 minutes (medium heat so it doesn’t boil over). Turn the chicken and cook for another 8 minutes, remove and let it cool.Milk Fried Chicken

Thoroughly coat the chicken with the spice rub and then dredge in the flour. Let rest for 20 minutes before frying.Milk Fried Chicken

Fry in batches until golden brown. Do not crowd the pan. Drain it on paper towels and serve.Milk Fried Chicken

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Mussels with Red or White Sauce

Mussels with Red or White Sauce

Wash the mussels in cold running water and pull off any of the beard that might be attached to some of them. Discard any mussels that don’t close when tapped.
Either of these recipes can be served as a sauce for linguine or spaghetti but I prefer them  simply with a loaf of good Italian bread.

Mussels in White SauceMussels with Red or White Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 small shallot diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 lbs. cleaned mussels
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
Mussels with Red or White SauceHeat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the shallot until it’s translucent. Add the garlic and stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the white wine and raise the heat. When it boils add the mussels and cover the pot.
Mussels with Red or White SauceShake the pot and check after 5 minutes. The mussels should be starting to open. Cover and wait until they’re all opened and discard any that didn’t.
Remove them with a slotted spoon to a serving dish leaving the sauce in the pot. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.Mussels with Red or White SauceWhisk the butter and parsley into the sauce. Check for seasoning and pour the sauce over the mussels and serve. If you’re serving with pasta, add one cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce.
Mussels with Red or White Sauce

 

Mussels in Red SauceMussels with Red or White Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • Salt and black, and red pepper to taste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 – 28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 lbs. cleaned mussels
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Mussels with Red or White Sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt, black, and red pepper.

 

Mussels with Red or White Sauce

Add the red wine and tomatoes, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and steam for about 15 minutes, shaking the pot or stirring from time to time. When the mussels have opened, stir in the chopped parsley, and serve. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.

It works with pasta too.Mussels with Red or White Sauce

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Chicken and Corn Stir-Fry

Chicken and Corn Stir-Fry

 
I adapted this recipe from one in Bon Appetite. Corn my seem like an odd ingredient in an Asian stir-fry, but it really works well in this one. Different people have different methods and devices for removing the kernels from the cob. I just use a sharp knife and slice them off. That works  for me. If you can’t get fresh corn on the cob, try using different vegetables like peas, peppers, or mushrooms. Unless you have a large enough pan or wok, cut this recipe in half.
Chicken and Corn Stir-Fry
Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3 or 4 thighs) cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 6 tbsp. vegetable oil divided
  • ½ small red onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 1inch piece of peeled ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 3 ears of corn
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
Combine the oyster sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of water together in a small bowl and set aside.  

Chicken and Corn Stir-FryStir-frys  go quickly. Have all ingredients mixed, chopped, prepared, and ready to go.

Season the chicken with salt and sprinkle with the corn starch and toss. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok on medium heat and cook the chicken until it begins to color. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Cook until the onions are soft. Add the corn and stir and toss for about 3 minutes.Chicken and Corn Stir-FryStir in the oyster sauce mixture and toss for about 3 minutes. Add in the scallions toss and serve with white rice.

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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 egg onto the other side. Cook the egg, break it up mix it 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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