Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

stuffed cabbage and ground kitchen! kitchen

Cabbage leaf blanched in hot water to make it work friendly.
About 2 tablespoons of turkey stuffing, rolled and wrap like
gift secured with a tooth pick.

Happily simmering in the pot.

Serve with some slivers of Montasio cheese
or grated parmigiano reggiano
It has been a while since I made stuffed cabbage and with so many versions of this dish, it is hard to pin down the best recipe...and to me all versions of the stuffed cabbage are good.
 So, I decided to make it with what I have on here goes......

8-10 cabbage leaves (bottom vein trimmed off) - blanch in hot water for a few minutes to soften and making it manageable to work with. Drain and let cool for a few minutes....
In a large bowl combine ground turkey (any ground meat you have will do). Add....and combine....
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 egg
2 tbsp. buttermilk
Place one leaf on a flat surface and put about 1-1/2  to 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture and fold one end closest to you - then fold the 2 sides (just like wrapping a small package) and close by securing the ends with a toothpick. Set aside.
In large deep oven proof pan sautee with olive oil .......
2 roughly chopped garlic
1 small roughly chopped onion
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 can (15.oz) of tomato sauce
Season with salt and pepper
Add some sprinkling of dried oregano
Let it simmer for a few minutes then add all the prepared stuffed cabbages, cover and finished cooking in the preheated oven of 350F for 50 minutes until cooked. If you want to reduce the sauce, simmer on a stove top for another 15-20 minutes. Correct seasoning and serve with slivers of Montasio cheese or parmigiano reggiano.
You could also serve this over is very satisfying and delicious -yet light..

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"chicken barbecue" oven baked kitchen! kitchen!

Barbecue Sesame Chicken Oven Baked
to perfection!
On a bed of baby spinach and tomato salad

One of my "basic ingredients"
on my adventure to Korean dishes.
 I have been an avid follower of the "Kimchi Chronicles", a show on PBS hosted by Marja, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's wife. Part travelogue and part food fantasy of all Korean dishes that your mouth waters just watching all those wonderful dishes being whipped up on the small screen. I craved to be in Korean town in NYC that very moment and taste every single dish that I see on the screen. (impossible of course). Although the name of the dishes are a bit of a tongue twister, it did not stop me from buying the basics of Korean cooking. So, here I was with my "chicken barbecue" baked oven style with one of my basic ingredients for a taste of the "kimchi chronicles" in my own kitchen, my way.

1st adventure: Barbecue Sesame Chicken
2 large chicken thigh and legs (the pkg. comes with 4 pcs.)
6-8 cloves of minced garlic (the more the merrier)
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1/2 cup of Korean barbecue sauce (available in any Asian food mart)
*Optional: 1 heaping tbsp. of korean chili paste stirred to the sauce* (for the more adventurous like myself).
1 tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds (for sprinkling on the barbecue later on)
Amazing dry rub (or salt and pepper)

Season the chicken with the dry rub inside out sparingly (the sauce is salty already), rub the minced garlic & ginger all over the chicken. Pour the1/2 cup of barbecue sauce all over the chicken and let sit for about 20-30 minutes.
Put in a baking sheet covering it with foil and bake in a 375 F preheated oven for 40 minutes (turn over after 20 minutes and pat the chicken with the juices); uncover after 40 minutes and continue baking for another 20 minutes and broil to brown. Pour over the leftover juices in the pan to the chicken and serve with rice and some kimchis  (if you are brave enough). Or simply nestle the chicken on a bed of your favorite salad. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

unfolding the cheddar cheese for "tarts & quiches" kitchen! kitchen!

Cheddar Cheese Wafer
With a spread of my friend Halina's homemade figs and cranberry chutney,
it is perfect for breakfast. Now, where's that coffee??

Cheddar Cheese Wafer
Special Order Only at kitchen! kitchen! for Tarts & Quiches.

  As the holiday unfolds, it  is a good excuse to indulge myself  in baking all these wonderful cookies both savory and sweet. Thankfully, it only happens once a year. One christmas, I was just doing pistachio butter cookies;  I love anything with nuts in it. This season, I came across a recipe for cheddar cheese wafer. With a little tweaking of the recipe, I made it my own for "tarts & quiches". Savory  rather than sweet. I think of it as a small pause from all the sugar rush! Fantastic top with cheese (again!), marmalade, as a soup accompaniment or simply to munch as a snack!! Where have you been all my life, you wonderful cheddar wafer you!

Friday, December 16, 2011

pan seared salmon simple as that! ... at kitchen! kitchen!

Pan Seared Salmon Steak
Nestled on a bed of greens with lemon-honey-mustard dressing,
and slices of toasted, buttered  multi-grain bread.

Sometimes you just had to make do with what you have at the moment.
I'm kind of good at that - a last minute thing coupled with a desire to
to rest after a day's work keeps my adrenaline going. It seems like
my hands are doing the thinking when this happens. 
or maybe it's just me.

Pan Seared Salmon Steak:
Salmon Steak  ( 5 to 6 oz.)
Season with salt and pepper and brush with a bit of olive oil.
Pan sear in a very hot pan with olive oil - skin down first for about 2-3 minutes on each side - longer if you want the salmon fully cooked. (I prefer my salmon a bit raw in the middle).
Serve with toasted multi-grain buttered slices or boiled baby potatoes and mix greens with honey mustard dressing. (See previous posting for honey mustard dressing).

You will be rewarded with a perfect dinner at the blink of an eye! honestly!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Refreshing cannellini salad and kitchen! kitchen!

Cannellini Salad With Cucumbers
This is the same salad as in my previous posting dated
Oct. 3, 2011 -"Pan Seared Steak with Cannellini Salad".
Make a can of cannellini as your blank canvas, add some sliced
 red onions, mozzarella, goat cheese, or maybe blue cheese for a bit of spunk;
a pint of yellow or red grape tomatoes, and basil for touches of color.
The result? A dish,  just like a painting to be enjoyed
and nourish the soul.
You may add an ingredient or two to your dish or take out one as long as the result is delicious and to be enjoyed by your family and friends. I added some diced english cucumbers to the salad and a squeeze of 1/2 a lime with extra virgin olive oil. Let the salad stand for a half hour for all the ingredients to absorb the lemon and olive oil. It is a great accompaniment to any meat dishes. It makes everything taste light and refreshing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

holiday kitchen! kitchen! for tarts & quiches!

Barely a a week and half  'til Christmas and "tarts & quiches"
has been busily preparing for the holiday give aways of
cupcakes and mini loaves of cakes
for friends and love ones!
Happy Christmas indeed!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

nutmeg .....a humble spice kitchen! kitchen!

This humble spice is not just one spice but two.
Mace is derived from the nutmeg fruit.
This wonderful spice works well in dessert and savory recipes
I use nutmeg in most of my dishes - it adds bit of a
"nice wonder" to the dish when used sparingly.

With some of my old kitchen tools collection.
Collecting old and unsual kitchen tools
is a hobby of mine that I never tire of. I scour flea markets and
antiques for unsual pieces. Some I use and others
I display to remind me that these tools have
served a purpose once to a cook just like me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A happy Christmas to all!! .... from kitchen! kitchen!

A Happy Christmas and a Joyous New Year
to all my friends, readers and co-bloggers!
May the new year bring
 blessings and peace
to all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

roasted goose, a holiday kitchen! kitchen!

Roasted Goose
A tribute to the holiday table

My holiday table is never without a roasted goose as soon as Thanksgivng comes around. Growing up, home cured ham made by my aunt graced our holiday table. Then I got myself integrated in a household with a German ancestry and roasted goose became our staple. I actually prefer the goose than ham although as a tribute to my mother and my aunt who cures the wonderful succulent ham, it too graces my table on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Preserving some traditions that you grew with reminds us of where we came from and who we are.

13 lbs. of fresh young goose from your butcher only or Wholefoods
2 pkgs. of roasting herbs (a combination of rosemary, thyme and sage)
4 cloves of garlic
1 medium size onion quartered

Wash and remove the innards from the goose and dry thoroughly
Season generously with salt and black pepper inside out
Stuff the goose with the herbs, onion and garlic
Roast for 4 to 4-1/2 hrs. at 350F (or follow the instruction on the wrapping - usually 20-30 minutes per 1/2 lb.) *Or simply goggle on how to roast goose*
Garnish with your favorite vegetables

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Table Of "Sweet Nothings" kitchen! kitchen!

"Table Of Sweet Nothings"
Apple maple cake, pecan tart in a buttery crust, pumpkin cheesecake
with toasted sugared pecan topping, pretzel cookies with all the
holiday sprinkles, and some tasty Polish glazed cookies and chocolates.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

happy thanksgiving to all!...from kitchen! kitchen!

A thanksgiving tradition in my home is a freshly baked
cornucopia for a bountiful  year of good health, peace and happiness.
So, to all my friends, readers, and bloggers, enjoy and appreciate the bounty
of life and what this mother earth has given us to nourish our soul.
For that I am humbly thankful.
Wishing you all a very happy thanksgiving!

a club chickpea crepes sandwich? why not! only kitchen! kitchen!

Another idea for any leftover chickpea crepes is make a club
like sandwich out of it!! Just as I have done here, are 2 golden
breaded panko chicken breast scallopini and some steamed
chinese baby broccolini; topped with your
favorite dressing or sour cream.
Definitely to die for dish!
(For recipe on panko breaded chicken/turkey see previous postings 5/27/11)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a tower of chickpea crepes and beef kitchen! kitchen!

Chickpea Crepes and Beef Stew With Sour Cream
A Sunday dinner beef stew transformed into another appetizing dish for a Monday dinner. Don't you sometimes find yourself drawing a blank when you think of what to make for dinner? Monday is not my favorite day of the week. It's that first work day, and after a glorious weekend - well, definitely not my fav day. Then there is that leftover from Sunday night that you don't know what to do about. I try to think beforehand what to cook, but sometimes, my mind is still on the rest mode and refuses to cooperate. So, I'm on the bus thinking, "we will just have to finish off the beef stew leftover tonight". Then my mind switches to "I need to think of something to go with one of my thanksgiving side dishes of braised pork and sauteed apples".This thought was still on my mind when an idea lit up. Well, well, well. So the rest mode is now fully awake. I now have a sprint in my steps as I got off the bus and started walking home. 
Got hold of my bag of chickpea flour and started throwing things to do a small tower of crepes and use the leftover beef stew as the filling for the crepes. Brilliant!. This will also serve as a staging for my braised pork and sauteed apples for thanksgiving. Brilliant again!!

Chickpea Crepes: Serves 6 small crepes

1/3 cup chickpea flour
2 tbsp. all purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt
1 whole egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbps. of homemade pesto (only if you have it) *Otherwise substitute with finely chopped of 1 tbsp. flat leaf parsley.
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and combine until smooth - add a bit more water if necessary to get the consistency of "heavy cream".
Heat the crepe pan (or non stick pan) and brushed with olive oil.
Ladle about 2 tblsps. of the batter in the middle of the pan, lift the pan and swirl it a little to spread the batter forming a round shape about 3" diameter or so. (it does not have to be a perfect shape) When the edges start to color flip to cook the other side for about half a minute. Do this untill all the batter is done.
Fill the each crepe with any of your leftover dish of meat, chicken, or vegetables. (Shred the meat if the pieces are large - stack up about 3 crepes). Note: It's best if the leftovers have sauce or gravy.

As for my braised pork and sauteed apples for Thanksgiving?'ll just have to wait ......!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A bit of twist on the stuffed kitchen! kitchen!

With a bit of tweaking  - this eggplants get a new "life". How?
By stuffing these gorgeous vegetables with ground meat
making it one delicious dish to add to your repertoire.
I was going through an "eggplant phase" in my kitchen when I could
still get those wonderful freshly picked aubergines from my
favorite farm stand (unforutnately, they are closed now
for winter---double sigh!). I have to think of several ways to
make use of these young freshly picked eggplants. Using it as
one of my ingredients for a ratatouille, an eggplant dip, to
stuffing it with  sweet onions, to salads, and to babaganoush.
With such versatility...why not stuff it with ground meat?!
So here goes!

4-6 pcs. of medium size eggplants
1/2 lb. of ground pork (ground chicken or turkey is just as good too).
1 egg
1 medium size chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 tsp. of chili powder (optional)
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tbps. of paprika
Amazing dry rub seasoning
Sautee all of the above except for the eggplants, egg, and the ground meat in olive oil in a pan on a medium to high heat.
Season with salt and pepper until onions are soft and let cool. In the meantime season the ground pork with amazing dry rub,combine the sauteed onions and the beaten egg with the ground meat.
Put the eggplants on a baking pan lined with foil - make a slit in the middle and carefully scoop out some of the meat without puncturing the bottom of the eggplants (sprinkle some olive oil). Reserve the scooped out eggplants for later. Stuff each one with the ground meat mixture and sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and a sprinkling of some olive oil too. Bake at 350F preheated oven for 50-55 minutes until the eggplant is fully cooked. 
**Diced the scooped out meat of the eggplants and sautee in olive oil with chopped onions, tomatoes, roughly chopped red bell pepper, and minced garlic until fully cooked and season with salt and pepper. Put in a food processor, add some olive oil. Great for toasted bread for munching**

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

tilapia and "stewed" heirloom cherry tomato sauce kitchen! kitchen!

Tilapia And Stewed Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes With Capers
Delightfully served with haricort vert and brussel sprouts...
an absolute delight to the palate.
For the "stewed" heirlom cherry tomatoes:
1 pint of heirloom (yellow) cherry tomatoes (or regular red cherry tomatoes )
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. of capers (rinsed in cold water and drained) or you may use black pitted olives roughly chopped.
Pinch of kosher salt/black pepper
A sprinkling of peperoncino flakes (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients except for the capers in a small non-stick -oven proof skillet - the best is a cast iron pan and roast for 20-30 minutes at 375F heated oven until the tomatoes start to pop. Broil for 5 minutes until they get that "grilled" color. Transfer to the stove top and add a teaspoon of tomato paste; a teaspoon of sugar stir and let simmer on low-medium heat to reduce the liquid. Add the capers and more olive oil if necessary.
For the brussel sprouts and haricort vert:
A pint of brussel sprouts washed and cut in halves
1/4 lb. of haricort vert or string beans cut in half
1 small onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1/2 cup of halves cherry tomatoes
olive oil and a pat of butter
kosher salt/freshly ground black pepper
In a large heated pan with olive oil and butter sautee the garlic and onions until translucent; add the cherry tomatoes, stir and add the brussel sprouts; next add 1/4 cup of water or stock- keep the lid on to simmer for 10 minutes; add the haricort vert last and simmer to desired doneness. Taste to correct seasoning.
For the Tilapia (6 small ones in this recipe):
Season the fish with amazing dry rub or salt and pepper
Coat lightly with flour (to keep the fish intact while it sits in the pan "getting fried").
In a large heated pan with olive oil - fry the fish until done and drain on paper towel.
To Serve:
Spoon some of the "stewed tomatoes" on the serving plate - place 2-3 pieces of the tilapia and the sauteed brussel sprouts and haricort vert. Add more of the "stewed tomato" sauce on top and watch it disappear before your eyes! Guten appetit!

Monday, October 31, 2011

chickpea galette of kitchen! kitchen!

Chickpea Galette of Vegetables
Butternut squash, mushroms, and baby spinach with
egg topping and a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
Galette, is a French word of any sort of flat, round cake batter or pancake.
It could be sweet or savory.
This is a savory version of such, what I call a chickpea galette of vegetables.
Great also with ham, bacon and cheese or just about anything
you can think of.
For galette batter:
1-1/4 cup of chickpea flour
1-1/4 cups of water
1 egg - beaten
Pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, egg and gradually add the water. Stir vigorously, breaking up any lumps until you have a smooth liquid. (A bit thicker in consistency as the heavy cream). Refrigerate while you are doing the veges.
For Vegetables: (you may use ham, bacon, etc.)
1-2 cups of butternut squash cubed
1 pint of sliced mushrooms
1 sm. onion diced
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (Swiss cheese, Fontina or Monterey Jack )
A pinch of cumin powder and cardamon powder
In a hot pan, with olive oil sautee the garlic and onions until translucent; add the spices and the butternut squash stir and cover for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cover until cooked. Add the baby spinach last and stir until welted. Let cool.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium -high heat and brush with olive oil or butter (just for a bit of confidence). Ladle about 2 spoonfuls of batter into the center of the pan and tilt it so that the mixture spreads easily on the hot pan, shaking it a bit. The batter should just be right- not too thin and not too thick to hold the vegetable fillings. Cook the galette for about 2 minutes until the edges looks a bit dry and flip to cook the other side. Continue cooking until you have used up all the batter, You should have about 5 crepes (and 3-4 misshapen crepes and thumbs up for trying).
On the same non- stick pan - melt a pat of butter or a tsp. of olive oil in the skillet and heat the galette; scatter some shredded cheese around the galette, add 2 tbsp. of the vegetables spreading it around the center, crack an egg over the vegetables and gently fold each side of the galette so that the filling is sealed in. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese. Cover with a lid until the egg is cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.

Monday, October 24, 2011

avocado cheese kitchen! kitchen!

A gloriously fresh avocado salad on a crisp cheese tartlets.
Simply delicious!

This dish is very simple to make. All you need is time and patience, just like everything else we do in life. This might sound weird to some, but while I was making the crisps, it actually relaxed me. This is how these tartlets came into focus. I was making some cheese crisps on Sunday as munchies (my son loves them), and I was feeling very relax and comptemplative, (who else would be feeling relaxed while in front of a stove making the cheese crisps, but myself)! So I was thinking, " hmmm, what else could I do with this cheese crisps - then the "aha"! So, here goes my "aha" cheese tartlets.

Cheese Tartlets:
"Time and Patience"
1 to 1-1/2 cups of shredded swiss cheese (I combined 3 different swiss cheeses - this is great way to get rid of your little pieces of  leftover cheeses).
1/4 cup of shredded parmessan (or romano pecorino)
*Use the 1/2 measuring cup or 1/4 cup to shape the crisps and keep this on the "ready"*
Combine the 2 cheeses in a bowl. (You need the parmessan- this is a slow melting cheese and if you only use swiss cheese you might as well be doing a fondue instead of crisps).
Small non- stick pan heated - (do one crisp at a time - this is where your patience comes in handy).
Slowly scatter about 1 tbsp. of the shredded cheese onto the pan and if some pieces stray away, coach it back to the group and don't worry about the shape. Wait until the sides start to color then slowly with a thin spatula, loosen the sides by scraping it slowly until you get to the middle and flip it on one side; count to 15- take it out and immediately- place it in the cup to shape (be careful because it's hot). You need to do this while it is still hot, (once it cools and you will not be able to shape it). As soon as it takes the shape of the cup - it cools immediately, and you can take it out and set aside so you could do the next one. This is where your "time and patience" comes in real handy.

Very Easy Avocado Salad: (for 6 tartlets) your patience is not needed here just a bit of your time.
1 ripe avocado diced
1/2 lime juice
8-10 cherry tomatoes  diced
1 diced shallots
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
2 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 small clove of garlic pounded to a paste
Combine all of the above in a bowl and toss
Fill each cheese tartlets with the avocado salad and watch your guests devour them.
You'll be glad you haven't lost your "patience" - and if you did you can always command it back!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

hashed vegetables and steamed kitchen! kitchen!

Steamed branzini fillets with hashed vegetables
An absolutely light, satisfying, and delcicious
meal......and's healthy too!

A Side Dish Of Hashed Vegetables
that you would love to make over and over!
Everytime I go to Wholefoods supermarket, I always fall victim to their farm raised Norwegian salmon for my gravlax and their branzine. All lined up behind the glass "sneeze" divider fresh as a daisy! So, this time I had my branzine cleaned and cut into fillets. By the way, I don't mind falling victim to these gorgeous items.

For the Hashed Vegetables - follow the recipe on previous posting of ratatouille, except cut the vegetables into small cubes and cooked for 10-15 minutes until completely tender and all the juices are absorbed.

Branzine Fillet:
Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of half a lemon.
Line your oven proof pan with (3-4) stalks of cleaned scallions/green onions, and a handful of dill; sprinkle a little salt; pour in 2 tablepoons of white wine; stock or water (this will serve to steam the fish) and lay the fillets on top, completely cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350F until the fish is cooked. (You could do this on a steamer as well). Sprinkle with balsamic reduction..(optional)

For Balsamic Reduction:
1/2 cup of good balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and reduce on a medium to low heat stirring every now and then until it has the consistency of heavy cream......or simply buy a bottle of balsamic reduction.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

chickpea flour....loving it! kitchen! kitchen!

I love my chickpea flour.
A zucchini and sweet red pepper frittata... just like
a quiche.

My east meets west frittata of zucchini & sweet red peppers
with tahini sauce.
I've fallen for my chickpea flour head over heels! A staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi dishes; and just as widely used in Italian and French cuisine. The flour contains a high proportion of carbohydrates but no gluten.....with quite a high proportion of protein.
Recipe serves 6-8
6 med. eggs or 4 large ones
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Large zucchinis sliced to about 1/8 inch or just sliced thinly and evenly
1 large roasted yellow or red pepper (skin removed and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
minced fresh thyme or oregano
1 cup of shredded swiss or montery jack cheese
Kosher salt/freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. of pepperoncino (dried red pepper flakes) --Optional
2 tbsp. olive oil/grape oil
Sautee the zucchinis in a large pan until soft; add the red peppers and season with salt and pepper.
Let cool.
In a separate bowl - break 6 small eggs; 1/4 cup heavy creame; a pinch of salt, add minced thyme and 2-1/3 cups of CHICKPEA FLOUR whisk until well incorporated and has a smooth like consistency. Refrigerate.
Heat up a large cast iron pan brushing the pan thoroughly including the sides with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Lower the heat and pour about 1/3 of the batter onto the pan; spread the sauteed vegetables on top; sprinkle the shredded cheese; chopped parsley and pour the rest of the batter and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with tahini sauce ( google for Tahini sauce recipe)
Best served at room temperature or slightly warmed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

apple cake & maple tarts & quiches for kitchen! kitchen!

Abegail's apple harvest ... an apple cake with maple walnut glaze.
A perfect dessert when the weather starts to get nippy!
Apple picking, the changing color of the trees,
pumpkins and goblins! Fall is here!
Freshly baked with the freshest of apples make this a delicious
and mouth watering dessert.

Special order only at: TARTS & QUICHES

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

clear soup... just that!! kitchen!

A clear soup of mini turkey meatballs
Seasoned with slices of ginger, garlic, a few slices of
red pepper for heat, and scallions. Don't forget to
garnish with basil leaves to add freshness to the soup.
I was feeling quite under the weather last Friday with a sore, dry and scratchy throat that seem to signal a flu. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep it off. Not so fast missey! A package of Jennie-O turkey burger patty sat in the refrigerator daring me to do something about it. My son, Jens normally has a package of this brand just in case he has to do the cooking himself, which is usually a turkey cheese burger. Well, I decided to make a clear soup out of just 1 patty
It turned out to be very light, satisfying, and delicious. So I extended this kind of soup for the Saturday and Sunday dinner for myself to indulge in and soothe my sore throat as well. Paired with a toasted buttered baguette is perfection.

Serves 1
4 oz. Jennie-O turkey patty rounded into miniature balls (yields about 8-9 pieces)
1 tbsp. fresh ginger cut thinly (to soothe my scratchy throat)
1 clove garlic cut thinly
1 scallion chopped
1/4 of red chili cut into rounds (add more if you want more heat) or do not add at all.
Basil for garnish
Tamari soy sauce (optional)
In a small pot add 2 cups of water or unsalted chicken stock; add the ginger, garlic, and chili. Let boil and add the turkey meatballs. Scoop out the "scum" on the side; add a pinch of salt and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the scallions and transfer to a bowl - add a teaspoon of Tamari soy sauce and garnish with basil. ( you may season this according to your taste).
This is a make me feel good soup any time!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

stuffed eggplant ....from ordinary to kitchen! kitchen!

Stuffed Eggplant
Simple ingredients and making it into something extra-ordinary and
delicious to be enjoyed by your family.
Stuffed with sweet onions-frangranced by cardamon pods and garam masala.
This could be served as an appetizer or a side dish.
 Perfect for the breaded turkey scallopini I made for dinner.
 For breaded scallopini (see previous posting on breaded chicken)

Stuffed Eggplant:

2-4 medium firm eggplants
1- 2 large sweet onions - sliced thinly
4 cardamon pods smashed
1 tsp. garam masala
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. of middle eastern paprika (or whatever paprika you have in your cupboard)
1 tsp. amazing dry rub for seasoning (see previous posting) or use kosher salt and pepper
2-4 tbsp. olive oil

Sautee the onions in a well heated pan with olive oil. Season with amazing dry rub stir; add the cardamon pods, garam masala, and paprika. Stirring until well blended. Simmer on medium low until onions are carmelized and real soft. While you are cooling the onions; sprinkle some olive oil to the eggplants and with a sharp paring knife, make a long slit and scoop out some of the meat - just deep enough to stuff the onions in. Sprinkle more paprika on top add and bake/roast @350F for 1 hr. and 10 minutes until eggplant is fully cooked. (roasting time will be less if you are using smaller eggplants).

There is nothing like making something extra-ordinary out of the ordinary. The simple eggplant becomes simply delicious!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

chicken scallopini with salsa kitchen! kitchen!

Happy Chicken breast with cilantro salsa verde.
This dish is sooooo....easy to prepare and incredibly delicious and satisfying.
I call this a "multi-function - no brainer - make me skinny" chicken dish. You could slice it up to make a wrap; as a sandwich; over pasta or simply served with boiled baby potatoes and green salad. It's a happy dish!!!

Season with 2 tbsp. reduce fat buttermilk; Amazing dry rub and slather some salsa verde on the chicken breast; bake at a preheated 375 F oven for 15-20 minutes until chicken is done. Switch your broiler on to high to brown the top for 5-8 minutes. Transfer on a serving platter and slather more of the cilantro salsa verde (see previous posting) on top and serve. Now, wasn't that easy???? And if you're watching your calorie count ...this is even more amazing!!!! ...but who's counting!!!!

your calorie guideline:
Cilantro salsa verde about 34 cal/1 tbsp.
Chicken breast (boneless) 49 cal per oz.
2 tbsp. reduced fat buttermilk 32 cal/2 tbsp.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pan seared sirloin kitchen! kitchen!

Pan seared sirloin steak and cannellini bean salad
I made this over the weekend for our Saturday dinner.
Cannellini salad with sweet cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese,
capers and basil was such a success that I had to do
another one for our Sunday dinner.
To me both were paired accidentally and to the delight of the family.
Sometimes, if you don't think too hard of what to cook, it's more often than not
you'll get one of those "aha" moments.
I needed something light to go with the pan seared steak, so I figured why not
a bean salad? And to my delight, a can of cannellini beans stood out in my pantry.
I always have a constant supply of different kinds of cheeses including mozzarella
and my sweet cherry tomatoes from Samaha's farm. A jar of capers stands guard
in my fridge always to the rescue.

Serves (1)

1 piece of sirloin steak (or any of your favorite cut)
Season well with the amazing dry rub (see previous posting)
Heat a non-stick pan with a little olive and a bit of butter - sear one side for about 5 minutes and the other side for about 4 minutes to desired doneness (for well done about 7 -8 minutes on each side). Don't forget to sear the 4 ends for 50 seconds each to brown. Set aside on a platter and cover with foil let the juice re-circulate in the meat for at least 5 minutes.

Cannellini Bean Salad:
1 can of 15 oz. cannellini beans - rinse with cold water and drain completely
1 small red onion sliced thinly in rounds
1/2 of the mozzarella cheese cut in small cubes
1 quart of sweet cherry tomatoes rinse and dried
2 tablespoons of capers
Combine everything in a large bowl
Add 1-2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss
Season with a dash of salt and some white pepper
Granish with a scattering of chopped basil

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Abby's picking! ktichen!

One of the signs of fall is the start of apple picking.
The sky is a bit cloudy with a threat of rain seem to be a perfect day
for my niece, Abegail and her friends to go apple picking.
These looks so luscious and just waiting to be eaten,
or made into pies or just about anything you can think of.
They are so crisps and delicious with a hint of tartness
 perfect for salads, and for baking. Or simply bite into one of these..
Now, I think I understand why Eve could not resist the temptation!!!!!
An apple cake would be perfect !
A posting of the apple cake to follow soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Perfection..yet so kitchen! kitchen!

A branzino fillet browned in butter & olive oil
snugly cushioned by a dollop of ratatouille
and served with browned roasted baby potatoes.
Perfection.. yet so simple at
kitchen! kitchen!
(Serves 1)

1 fillet of branzino at your fish monger or Wholefoods
* or use sea bass*
Season the fillet with amazing dry rub/or if you prefer salt and white pepper
*see previous posting of amazing dry rub*
A tbsp. of olive oil/and a bit of butter
2 Medium size golden potatoes quartered  (see previous posting of roasted potatoes).
In a non-stick pan heat the olive oil and butter;  gently drop the fillet skin side down until the sides start to brown and gently flip and cook until done - about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Serve with roasted potatoes and ratatouille and a scattering of basil.

Simplicity and perfection !!! that's all you need to enjoy the meal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet cherry tomatoes .......roasted to kitchen! kitchen!

Sweet delicate cherry tomatoes roasted to perfection.
My patience was rewarded with this delicate, sweet and delicious
roasted cherry tomatoes.
2 containers of cherry tomatoes from Samaha's  farm (washed, rinse and dry)
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F
Place all the tomatoes in a roasting pan; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar then toss with 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
45 minutes into the roasting, switch oven to high broil for 5-6 minutes to brown the tomatoes.
Let cool and drain to reserve all the liquid. Transfer the roasted solid tomatoes in a separate bowl.
Pour the tomato liquid that you drained into a deep pan - (correct for seasoning) and simmer to reduce until thick (about 15-20 minutes). Pour back the reduced thickened  tomato liquid into the bowl of roasted tomatoes and stir to mix.
Add roughly chopped basil leaves and enjoy on toasted baguette . (you may sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top).
Your patience will be rewarded with a rich and delicious tomatoes!!
Fantastic as a crostata, or pasta topping.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ratatouille & cheese kitchen! kitchen!

Ratatouille and Cheese Crisps
Another way of serving the vegetable ratatouille is with
cheese crisps - served as an appetizer.

My cheese crisps are a combination of shredded montasio cheese and  swiss aged appenzeller cheese
(Any swiss cheese or shredded parmesan will be good as well)

Cheese Crisps:
1 cup of shredded cheese
In a heated small non- stick pan - spread about a tablespoon of the shredded cheese on the heated pan and wait for the sides to color and slowly with a spatula flip on one side and wait for 1/2 a minute, slowly remove from the pan unto a waiting plate to cool. This whole thing only takes about 1/2 a minute on each side. Do one at a time (this is one of those that requires your full attention or you'll end up with a burned cheese crips). The cheese will be crispy once it has cooled. It is delicious!
Another Suggestion:
Preheat oven to 350F - line a baking sheet with parchment paper and do several spreads of a tablespoon of the shredded cheese and bake for about 5-8 minutes. Remove as soon as the cheese starts to color. Leave in the pan to cool. *do not remove while it's hot*

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ratatouille ....of kitchen! kitchen!

Ratatouille of Vegetables
With fried egg and steak slices..... a comfort food fit for
day like today, when the weather is misty,
and there is a threatening of rain in the grey sky.
The ratatouille of zucchini, red and green peppers,
and baby eggplants will brighten any rainy day.
My catch of the day at Samaha farm of:
(Sliced all vegetables to about the same size )
1 med. size zucchinis
A container of zucchini blossoms
1 med. red sweet peppers
3 small green peppers
1 med. size onions sliced
8 baby eggplants (or 1 large eggplant)
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
2-4  tbsp. of tomato paste
Some basil

In  a large wok/or non-stick pan, sautee in olive oil, sliced onions and garlic until soft. Add the sliced zucchinis stir for about 2 minutes until well incorporated. Next add the green peppers and stir. Make a well at the center of the pan and add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Add a little olive oil if needed. (these veges love to drink up). Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt everytime you add the veges. Lastly, add the sliced baby eggplants stirring to incorporate with the rest of the vegetables. Add some water if the pan starts to dry up. Keep cover for 8-10 minutes until all the vegetables are fully cooked. Two minutes before you shut off the flame add the zucchini blossoms.Taste to correct seasoning.
Sprinkle some chopped basil leaves on top to garnish.

Serve with fried egg and any meat you may have at the moment. Or simply grab some slices of Italian bread and soaked up a bowl of this wonderful ratatouille.

My catch of the day at Samaha! kitchen!

My Catch  of the Day at Samaha Farm
It saddens me to know that I only have a month to be able to do all my Saturday
gatherings of fresh vegetables and herbs at this wonderful farm in my area before they
close for winter.
It's refreshing  to have this family owned farm  in Matawan and Aberdeen, New Jersey.
I've lived in Matawan for decades and my son grew up here. I saw all those farm lands turned into residential communities...a community of  "mac-mansions".To have this family owned farm still thrive in this "mac-mansion" age is very refreshing.
Going there to get my fresh produced in the summer is always a treat every Saturday.
They have fresh vegetables that they grew, fresh flowers for the table, corn that is so sweet that you've got to eat at least 3 (or 4 and no one will have to know).
The lettuce is so fresh, and hearing that "crunch" as you bite into it -is like music. They have honey, jams, fresh bread, eggs and just about everything you need. All homemade by some of the local suppliers.
Watch out for a posting of the VEGETABLE RATATOUILLE out of the vegetables that I just gathered today at Samaha.

Monday, September 19, 2011

black forest cake....a time of decadence without the kitchen! kitchen!

Black forest absolute decadent without the guilt.
I saw this featured in the special issue of Cooking Light magazine....their
 "baking light" special issue. With a bit of tweaking of the recipe to make it my own,
I came up with this decadent of a dessert! Just perfect for the holidays that is
approaching so fast that if you blink, you might miss it!
The luscious cherries were "stewing" in cherry brandy
for 2 days before it was drained and readied for the crowning of the cake.
To order this version of the decadent black forest cake contact: JAENWITT@AOL.COM
Special order only at TARTS & QUICHES.
(The original recipe could be found in the special issue of "Cooking Light Magazine")

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

grilled baby makes you say, "oh" kitchen!!

Grilled baby eggplants with garden variety green peppers,
 yellow cherry tomatoes, sweet onions and some goat cheese and basil.
Drizzled with reduced sweet balsamic vinegar.
(be warned - there will be more of these baby eggplants in the coming blogs)
The farm stand in my area is just overflowing with different varieties of eggplants. But my favorite are the baby eggplants. A lady asked me when I started shoving in those baby eggplants in my grocery carryall with a strange question of, " what do you do with them"? I was caught off guard with her question. What do I do with them??? Does she think I might have plans of doing a "floral" arrangement with these baby eggplants? Well, then again, looking at my carryall loaded with these goodies, I don't blame her if she does think that way. I graciously told her that these are great for grilling or roasting for salads and they cook just as good as the regular ones if not better. Then she gave me an, "oh". I don't know whether her "oh" is said in a positive or negative way. It really doesn't matter to me because my "oh" is like saying OMG these are good!!!

1/2 lb. of baby egg plants
3 cubanels or 1 medium size garden variety green pepper
1 medium size sweet onions

In a small pan bring to a boil 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar with some honey and simmer until reduced to almost like a syrup. Taste for seasoning and set a aside.

In a large baking sheet lined with foil, sprinkle some olive oil on the foil and spread all the vegetables and gently coat them with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and roast in a 350F preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until the eggplants are soft and offer no resistance when you poke them with a fork. Let cool and peel off the skin on the peppers and egg plants leaving them whole. Cut the pepper lenghtwise and sliced the onions. Gently combine the roasted vegetables in a bowl. Transfer to a serving platter, add some yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half and drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar and add your favorite goat cheese.
Garnish with basil or your favorite herb.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bison Cheese burger...and cilantro salsa verde kitchen! kitchen!

Bison cheese burger blanketed with sauteed mushrooms, onions,
tomatoes, and cilantro salsa verde.
It's sure to hit the spot and you'll be wanting for more!

2 pkgs. of ground bison (Stop & Shop and Shoprite has this wondrous lean meat)
Season with amazing dry rub
For the ground meat:
Sautee 1 medium onion chopped; 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves in a hot pan with olive oil for about 2 minutes until the onions start to turn transparent. Let cool and set aside
After it has cooled, In a large bowl combine with the seasoned ground meat; add 1 beaten egg, mixing thoroughly without handling it too much; form a large patty about 4-5 oz. each and set aside.
In the same pan add some olive oil and carmelized a large sliced onion; add the chopped mushrooms, season with salt and black pepper stirring until the mushrooms are cooked. Add a little liquid (or white wine) if the pan starts to dry up. Set aside and put on warm.
Heat a large grill pan with olive oil and cooked the bison patty for 7-8 minutes on each side. Add a large slice of your favorite cheese on top of the burger on the last 2 minutes until the cheese starts to melt. Put  each one on a serving platter. Pour over the sauteed onions on the burgers. Add dollops of the cilantro salsa verde on top; garnish with slices of tomatoes and serve. Make sure you have an extra serving of the salsa verde on the side and watch it disappear!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

chicken thighs & salsa kitchen! kitchen!

Baked Chicken Thighs
with broccoli; sweet oinons and cauliflower/mashed potatoes.
Topped of with CilantroSalsa Verde
Simple, satisfying and delicious!!! Another center stage for the cilantro salsa verde. This salsa or you may call it also as cilantro pesto is just great on everything and anything!!!! Licking the plate is permitted.

6 pcs. of Coleman's organic deboned chicken thighs (Costco has this )
Amazing dry rub to season the chicken
2-4 cups of broccoli florets (steamed in the microwave/covered with wet paper towel for 2 minutes)
1 large sweet onions
half a head of cauliflower
2 med. size white potatoes (quartered)
Sea salt or kosher salt

Boil the potatoes and cauliflower in a salted water for about 20 minutes and drain saving a cup of the liquid.
Season the chicken thighs with amazing dry rub and 2 tablespoons of butter milk to marinate for 20 minutes. Lay on a baking sheet and baked at 350 F preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked but not over done. Schmear with the cilantro salsa verde and set aside and keep warm.

While the chicken is baking....
Sautee the onions in a heated pan with olive oil until carmelized, then add the steamed broccoli florets combining thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the cauliflower and potato in a large bowl mashed/or use a potato ricer, add some butter/or olive oil and 2 tbsp. of heavy cream combining thoroughly. Taste to correct seasoning.

Always have an extra bowl of salsa verde on the side.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

desserts at "tarts & quiches" ......for kitchen! kitchen!

Clockwise: savory scones - with Spanish sausage and minced jalopeno; with
ham and green onions, cheesecake with strawberry coulis;
A large and a small mango tart.

The flirty cheesecake with strawberry coulis

A glazed sun kissed mango tart .

Only at Tarts and Quiches
Special Order/Contact:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cilantro salsa verde and a crusty bread... in anticipation of hurricane "Irene" kitchen! kitchen!

Get some crusty baguette, tenderly boiled eggs, and the lovely,
versatile cilantro salsa verde.....and you've got yourself an appetizer
soo good that you'd wish you were having hurricane party!
In anticipation of hurricane "Irene". 
A crusty toasted baguette schmeared with cilantro salsa verde
served with egg salad and a sprinkling of chopped shallots. You'd wish "irene" will never make an apperance.