Category Archives: Vegetarian

Crab Sauce

Crab Sauce

I got this recipe from an old friend. I personally think crabs are a lot of trouble to eat. It seems to me that it’s too much work cracking those shells for just a tiny bit of meat. Nevertheless, they make a delicious crab sauce.

(You can have your fish market clean the crabs or you can do it yourself.)

Crab Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic sliced
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • 6 crabs
  • 2 – 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine

Slowly simmer the garlic in the oil in a pot on low eat or until it begins to color. Discard the garlic and season the oil with salt, black and red pepper. Add the crabs (broken in half) and toss in the oil for 8 minutes.

Crab Sauce

Crab Sauce


Add the crushed tomatoes and 1 tomato can full of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Crab Sauce

Cook the pasta al dente, add the sauce and crabs and serve.

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Roasted Poblano Pasta

Roasted Poblano Pasta

This recipe is adapted from Gretchen McKay | The Seattle Times.  She calls Roasted Poblano Pasta a “an Italian-meets-Mexican fusion dish,” and I agree. 
Roasted Poblano Pasta
Ingredients:
  • 5 poblano peppers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 12 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • ½ cup packed parsley
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Pinch or two crushed red pepper flakes optional
Char poblano peppers on all sides over a gas flame until skin is blistered evenly all around. (If you don’t have a gas stove, char them under the broiler.) Once all of the peppers are roasted, place in plastic bag and let them sit for 5 minutes. This helps loosen the skin to make them easier to peel. When they’re cool to touch, rub the charred skin off with the back side of a knife blade. Remove stem and seeds.

Roasted Poblano Pasta

Roasted Poblano PastaWhile the peppers are sweating, bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until just shy of al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving about ½ to 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Set aside.
While pasta is cooking, add 3 peppers, parsley, cumin, garlic, chicken stock and ½ cup heavy cream to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Slice 2 remaining peppers into thin strips.
Once drained, add the poblano cream sauce to the pasta, along with the remaining heavy cream, minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes. Sometimes poblanos can be very hot, so taste before adding any more pepper. Taste and add more salt or cumin, if desired. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until slightly thickened and the pasta absorbs some sauce, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the sliced peppers and cook until pasta has absorbed sauce. Stir to combine and give one final taste to see if you need more salt and/or pepper.Roasted Poblano Pasta

 

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Cubanelles

Cubanelles

Generally known as Cubanelles, some people refer to them Italian green peppers and my mother called them “frying peppers.” They’re easy to prepare and are good as a side dish, with fried eggs, and cold or room temperature in an antipasto or in a sandwich.

Cut the stem end off the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Slice them in half or quarters lengthwise.
Heat the oil and add the two crushed garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the garlic starts to brown.
Discard the garlic and place the sliced peppers in the pan. Weigh them down to flatten them. You can use a dish and tomato can (or whatever weight you like) and fry for a few minutes on each side.
When they’re done, place them in a container layered with the sliced garlic clove. Add a little extra oil if it’s to dry.  It’s good to let them marinate in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

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Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant

I know people who said they didn’t like eggplant until they tried it done like this. Grilled eggplant can be served room temperature or chilled as a part of an antipasto, side dish or on a sandwich.

Grilled Eggplant

Ingredients:
  • 2 medium to large eggplants
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Trim the stem ends off the eggplants and slice lengthwise, about ¼-inch thick. Grilled EggplantLay the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle salt on both sides. Wait 15 minutes and blot up moisture.

Prepare the marinade:

Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant
Heat the oil in a small pan, add salt, black and red pepper and lightly sauté the chopped garlic. Add the herbs, lemon zest/juice, and the garlic/oil mixture to a blender, food processor or if you need the exercise use a mortar and pestle.
Grilled Eggplant

While you heat your grill (charcoal, gas, or a grill pan), use a brush to lightly coat each eggplant slice with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the eggplant slices on the grill oil side down and add oil, salt, and pepper to the top side of the eggplant. After you get nice grill marks on one side, turn and grill the other side. They cook fast so watch them.Grilled Eggplant

Prepare a large serving platter with some of the marinade on the bottom. Layer the eggplant slices as they are done and spoon some of the marinade on each layer. Leave them for an hour at room temperature to marinate, then cover and refrigerate.

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Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

This is a big recipe. You can serve half of it hot, and the next day serve the remainder as a salad.

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 2 broccoli heads (about 1 ½ lbs.)
  • Olive oil for frying and drizzling
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 6 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste or 5 anchovies
  • 1 large lemon cut into 8 thin rounds and 1 tbsp.  juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Trim the broccoli into small florets with some stem remaining. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for 5  minutes, drain and set aside.
Bring about 5 tbsps. of oil to medium heat in a frying pan and add the peppers. Fry for 10 minutes, add the garlic and anchovy paste. Blend and cook for 5 more minutes. If you’re using whole anchovies, cook until they break down.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Heat a well-oiled grill pan. Toss the blanched broccoli with 3 tbsps. oil. Once the pan is hot, grill the broccoli, turning so there are grill marks on both sides.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Grill the lemon slices for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to get a nice char. Chop the slices and add to a bowl with the parsley, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tbsps. olive oil.
Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Place the broccoli in a large bowl and add the pepper mixture and the lemon/parsley mixture and toss.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Arrange in a serving platter and serve hot or if you prefer, chill and serve as a salad.

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Seared Scallops

Sea scallops are found in deep, cold ocean waters—up to 200 meters deep—around the world. In the U.S., they are typically caught in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sea scallops are up to three times larger in size than bay scallops, with some reaching up to two inches in diameter.

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 olive oil
  • 1 lb. sea scallops
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

For The Lemon Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of ½ lemon & ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Seared ScallopsRince scallops in cold water and dry. Season with salt and black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Working in batches, add scallops to the pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown – about 2-3 minutes per side. Don’t crowd the pan. Set aside and keep warm.

Seared ScallopsFor the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, wine, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Seared ScallopsServe scallops with lemon butter sauce and garnished with parsley.

Seared Scallops

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Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Every so often I make a recipe with my doctor in mind. She always tells me, “Less meat and more grain and greens.” Roman Grain and Greens soup is just what the doctor ordered. In addition to barley, lentils, split-peas, and chickpeas there are 5 kinds of greens.

Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Ingredients:
  • 1⁄2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 10 cups water or more
  • 1 14 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 2 Tablespoons coloratura de alici
  • 1 large or 2 smaller leeks, white part and 3 inches of green part, split, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped Savoy cabbage, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fennel leaves, packed
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
Place barley, peas and lentils in a heavy pot. Rinse and drain. Add water and bring to a boil. Skim off foam. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are becoming tender. Add water if too thick.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks, cabbage and greens. In a frying pan, cook them gently in olive oil until wilted.Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Add the chickpeas, salt, oregano, oregano, ground fennel and coloratura de alici to the soup. Simmer 5 minutes.Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Stir the greens into soup. Simmer, stirring frequently, just until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.
Taste, and add salt as needed.

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Roasted Broccoli Pasta

Roasted Broccoli Pasta

I know that lots of people don’t like broccoli and this recipe is for them. Roasting it gives it a crisp flavor that makes the difference. This is adapted from Melissa Clark’s recipe in the New York Times.
Roasted Broccoli Pasta
Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ lbs. broccoli cut into bite sized florets
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. small pasta
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 12 oz. whole milk ricotta
Pre-heat your over to 425o.
Roasted Broccoli Pasta
In a bowl, toss the broccoli, 2 tbsp. oil, salt, black, and red pepper. Place it in a large sheet pan and roast for about 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 10 minutes until edges start to lightly brown. Remove, set aside, and set the over to broil.
Cook the pasta according to package instruction, drain and set aside.
Mix together the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
In the large bowl, mix together the broccoli, cooked pasta, and ricotta. Add the Parmesan mix and combine.Roasted Broccoli Pasta
Spread the pasta and broccoli evenly in the sheet pan, drizzle with oil and broil for 2 to 4 minutes until pasta is lightly crisped and serve.Roasted Broccoli Pasta

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Breaded Flounder Filets

Breaded Flounder Filets

 

I grew up with a kid named Vinny. We’d eat with each other’s families  often. This was as close as I could come to his grandmother’s recipe for breaded flounder filet. I think I did it justice.
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb founder fillets
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves of finely minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Lemon for serving
Cut the filets into portion sizes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to come to room temperature.
Prepare three dishes – one with flour, one with the beaten eggs and one with the breadcrumb mixture containing the garlic, parsley, and oregano.
First dredge the filet in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then coat it with the beaten egg letting any excess drip away. Dredge the filet in the breadcrumbs, pressing it so it sticks. Put the filets aside for 20 minutes to let the coating stick.

Add about ¼ inch of oil to a frying pan and heat to medium. Fry each side until golden brown. Don’t crowd the pan. Drain the filets and paper towels and serve with sliced lemons.

If there’s any egg wash and breadcrumbs left over make a breadcrumb polpette.

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Marmite Roast Potatoes

 

A while back I did a post on umami and at the time, I had never tasted Marmite and didn’t include it. Their advertising slogan is “Love it or hate it,” and I wondered which way I’d go. I tried it in a recipe that I adapted from Karen William’s Marmite Roast Potatoes on Delish – a British cooking site. Maybe I don’t love it yet, but it works for me.

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MARMITE ROAST POTATOES“Vegans, Love It or Hate It, You’re Going to Need It”


 

MARMITE ROAST POTATOES“New ways with Marmite: top cooking tips”


 

Marmite Roast Potatoes

MARMITE ROAST POTATOESIngredients:
  • 2 lb white potatoes
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 tbsp. Marmite
  • 1 tbsp. bourbon
  • Thyme leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400o.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the peeled and cut into 2 inch potatoes and boil for 10 mins. Drain, shake well to rough-up the edges and leave them in the pot, covered, for 10 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small pot and whisk in the marmite and bourbon until blended.MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

Put the potatoes into a baking tray and pour the marmite over them. Turn potatoes to coat. Cook for 20 minutes, turn the potatoes, and cook for another 20 minutes.MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

Sprinkle with black pepper, thyme leaves and serve.MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

MARMITE ROAST POTATOESMARMITE ROAST POTATOESBased on Melissa Clark’s suggestion. I tried Marmite on a scrambled egg sandwich.  Very good but if you try it, don’t add any additional salt.

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