Category Archives: Vegetarian

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. 

Click logo for full article – 

 


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

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

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

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

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

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

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

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

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

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Grilled Broccoli

Grilled Broccoli

 

I got this grilled broccoli recipe from Julia and Bridget on America’s Test Kitchen. They came up with it for an outdoor grill, but it works just as well indoors. We live in an apartment building in Manhattan so no outdoor grill for us but a grill pan over two burners on a gas stove does the job.
Grilled Broccoli
Ingredients:
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1  lemon cut in half
Pre-heat the over to 375o.
Wash the broccoli and trim its stems. Put it in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with minced garlic, juice of ½ lemon and olive oil. Toss the broccoli until it’s thoroughly coated. Grilled Broccoli

Place the broccoli on a large sheet of aluminum foil, fold the sides up and add a ½ cup of water. Completely wrap the broccoli in the foil and tightly seal the edges. Reseal it in another piece of foil. Grilled Broccoli
Place it in the oven  for 30 minutes.

Place the ½ lemon cut side down on the grill alongside the broccoli on a grill and cook until the broccoli begins to sear. Grilled Broccoli

Place it in a serving dish and squeeze the grilled lemon half over it and serve. Grilled Broccoli

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Basilicata Frittata

Basilicata Frittata

I had some leftover fresh horse radish from the Basilicata Style Pasta, so I used it for a frittata.
Basilicata Frittata
Ingredients:
  • About 12 oz./2 cups of potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 oz. grated Parmigiana cheese
  • 3 oz. grated fresh horseradish or more to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enough olive oil for frying
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the cheese, horse radish, parsley, and seasoning. Mix in the mashed potatoes and blend until you have a fairly smooth mixture. Don’t worry about a few little lumps. If you made the mashed potatoes fresh, make sure they cool off before you mix them so they don’t cook the eggs.

Basilicata Frittata

Basilicata Frittata

Heat the oil in an oven proof 10 inch pan, pour in the egg mixture and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once the eggs begin to set, place the pan under your broiler for another 5 minutes to cook and brown the top of the frittata.Basilicata Frittata
 

Basilicata Frittata

Slice and serve either hot or at room temperature.

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Basilicata Style Pasta

Basilicata Style Pasta

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I encourage you to not limit yourself to using just grated Parmigiana or Loccatelli type cheese on your pasta. For this recipe it’s grated fresh horse radish. The use of ground walnuts and breadcrumbs in the sauce and a good sprinkle of grated horse radish is typical of Basilicata, where my paternal grandparents are from. Fresh horse radish is common in Basilicata but not so much in New York expect around Passover. It’s the bitter herb in the Seder meal that represents the bitterness of slavery.Basilicata Style Pasta

Basilicata Style PastaIngredients:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • Salt, black pepper & red pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb. short pasta – fusilli, gameli, rotini, cavatappi,
  • Fresh horse radish
Start a pot of salted water for the pasta and lay out your ingredients.Basilicata Style Pasta
Basilicata Style PastaHeat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions on medium low. Add one tablespoon of tomato paste, salt, black, and red pepper. Cook low and slow until the onions are soft and translucent – don’t brown. The onions add a little sweetness to the sauce which is a nice counterpoint to the horse radish.

Basilicata Style PastaAdd the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste to check for seasoning. If you want a meat sauce, now is the time to add some nicely browned sausage or braciole.

Cook the pasta until almost done, drain it and add it to the sauce where it will finish cooking. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta water if the sauce is too dry. Pour in the walnuts and breadcrumbs, stir to thoroughly combine and serve. This is still a very good sauce even if you don’t have fresh horse radish.
Basilicata Style PastaCut about an inch of the end of the horse radish and remove some of the bark with a potato peeler. Pass the horse radish and a grater at the table and top each dish with a good amount of horse radish. Sometimes when the horseradish hits the hot steamy pasta it can make your eyes tear. Don’t let it bother you.

Basilicata Style Pasta


Cover the cut end of the horse radish with some foil and refrigerate.  Basilicata Style Pasta

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Barramundi

Barramundi

Barramundi
Barramundi is a flakey white fish with a thin easily editable skin. It’s a new-to-the-market type of sea bass from the South Pacific and our imports come mainly from Australia. 
Barramundi
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Barramundi fillet
Melt the butter in a small pan on medium heat. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the lemon juice. Stir, remove from heat and set aside.  (This combination of ingredients works  for  lots  of  different  types  of  fish. ) Barramundi

Blot the fillet dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Barramundi
Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Cook the filet skin side down for 3 minutes to crisp the skin.. Turn it over and cook the other side for 2 minutes.

Barramundi
Place the fish in a serving dish, pour the sauce over it and serve.

Barramundi
Barramundi

 

More on Barramundi here.   

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp

Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Étouffée

Different families have different Étouffée recipes. I got this one from a friend with a Louisiana connection. Ideally, it would have been made with crawfish but they’re not so easy to get on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Shrimp is a good substitute.
Shrimp Étouffée
Ingredients:
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cups Cajun trinity
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. Panola or Tobassco hot sauce or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Cajun spice mix
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and shelled
  • 2 scallions, green part choppedShrimp Étouffée
Heat the butter in a large pan and add the trinity. Cook until it’s softens and then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour, mix and cook for a few minutes then add the tomato paste. Stir and cook for a minute.
Shrimp Étouffée
Stir in the stock and 1 cup of water. Cook on medium until reduced by half. Now add the hot sauce, bay leaf, Cajun spice mix, salt, and black pepper. Raise heat and continue cooking until the sauce thickens.

Add the shrimp, reduce heat, and stir and coat with the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink. Sprinkle the scallions on top and serve with rice.
Shrimp Étouffée

Click here for updated GALLERY
Portfolio and Yelp