Wednesday, July 27, 2011

potato kitchen! kitchen!

Cheese and Potato "cake"
With carmelized sweet onions as inspired by
"Lidia's Italy"
A great side dish anytime.

What you need:
2 medium-large Idaho potatoes
1-3/4 cups of Montasio cheese (shredded)- option: fontina cheese or Monterey Jack
1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large vidalia onions carmelized in 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
What to do:
Boil the peeled potatoes  for 25-30 minutes (keeping them on the firm side)
In the meantime - shred the Montasio cheese to get the 1-3/4 cups.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, sliced them into 1/4" thick.
Melt the butter/olive oil combo in a non-stick, oven proof pan. Turn off the heat, arrange the potatoes,making them overlap a little in concentric circle until the entire pan is covered. Season with salt and pepper. Layer the carmelized onions on top of the potatoes, sprinkle evenly with the cheese and cook covered over moderate heat for 8 minutes until browned on the bottom. Preheat oven to broil, put the pan on the middle rack and brown the top for about 8 minutes or so until golden. Or if you are brave enough and oozing with confidence, flip the potato onto another pan and allow to brown on the stove top.
Let cool and slice into wedges just like a pie. Great side dish!!!!.

Monday, July 25, 2011

grilled chicken & radish kitchen! kitchen!

Grilled chiken and sauteed young radish
I guess this is the perfect time for young radishes. I seem to have found a penchant for this root vegetable.

These wonderful young fresh radishes are available at the PA Thursday farm market. They are just as wonderful as the ones I had in Maine. It's peppery and tangy taste is great sauteed in olive oil with garlic and onions. Topped with grilled chicken breast drizzled with some of the almond tomato pesto is like a walk in the park, so easy to prepare and completely satisfying to the palate.  (See previous posting of pasta! pasta!).

For recipe on Grilled Chicken - check out previous posting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A tribute to Linda O's. leg of lamb......for kitchen! kitchen! ...a road trip to Maine..

After 3 days of seafood in Maine, we were treated to a mouth watering dinner of
home roasted leg of lamb fresh from a farm in
Massachusetts. Not too shabby huh!?
The lamb was embedded with tons of fresh garlic, seasoned
with salt and pepper and Linda's secret seasoning.
(you may use the Amazing Dry Rub for seasoning)
Baked at 350 preheated oven to desired doneness and
served with sauteed string beans and toasted almonds.

Lamb sandwiches for lunch the next day was a MUST!
I have to asked,  do we I deserve all this????...... YES!
That's the way we  like it.....uh-huh, uh-huh!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

radish tops..playing havoc in your taste! kitchen! in Maine....

Nothing goes to waste in Eric's vegetable garden. The radishes are picked
and washed, getting readied to be munched like chips.
The radish tops are chopped roughly
and sauteed in olive oil, garlic and onions.
A tangy and spicy taste that plays a havoc of delight in your palate.
It's like eating a broccoli rabe and arugula at the same time,
a wonderful surprise to the taste buds.

Friday, July 15, 2011

4th of July at the Ostensjo's in! kitchen! a road trip.....

Linda O's roasted vegetable salad with her secret dressing.
You may use a balsamic/olive oil vinaigrette.
A pure delight!

The uber succulent pork ribs barbecue, a truly
finger licking delicious!
(for recipe - see previous posting of pork ribs)

A spread of roasted vegetables, roasted corn, chicken and
pork rib barbecue and the good reliable potato salad and chives.
What is the 4th of July without such
goodness to satisfy our palate!

The 4th of July celebration has become a tradition at the Ostenjos in Maine, where neighbors who lives along the same point come, bringing desserts and other dishes. One appetizer was a divinely delicious shrimp scampi of sort that the guests just devoured in no time. Too bad, I was too busy serving margaritas that I didn't have time to take a photo. However, we asked the neighbor for the recipe at the tail end of the party and by then I've given up keeping track of  how many margaritas I've consumed, but I still remember what she enumerated - sage, tons of garlic and olive oil. I will have to duplicate that dish and will post it here at a later date. The spread in the photo is the Ostensjos household contribution to the party, cases of wine, and the "cadillac margaritas" were flowing freely. Being the margarita bar tender - I was flowing along with it too. The only thing missing were the fireworks....alas! It's against the law in Maine to have fireworks. But, who needs them when you have the most wonderful and insteresting people living in the point for entertainment, great food and drinks! Happy 4th!.....and if you're wondering.....all the guests have a designated driver...just so you know.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

potato salad and! kitchen! .... a road trip.....

A simple dish of potato salad and chives with mayonnaise and sour cream
You just want to dive into it.
How can one not be inspired in Maine to stay in the kitchen and make something simple but wondrous for your friends to enjoy, when the freshest ingredients are right in the front yard.

This is what it's like in the summer in Maine at the Ostensjos. Linda's flower garden for fresh cut flowers for the table, and Eric's vegetable garden to feed the road trippers. Facing the house is a backdrop of a vast water teeming with lobster, fish, clams, mussels, and who knows what other goodies are there.

Listening to the whooshing sound of the lone clammer digging in the early morning low tide. He is pulling this large bucket on some kind of a sled like contraption ziggaging from one end to the other digging for clams. It's a back breaking job but somehow the whole picture seems poetic.....The haze across the water, a light chill in the breeze, a bald eagle perched on top of the tree in the distance and the manic sound of the feeding birds.....this is nature at its' best!

10-12 red potatoes cleaned and boiled
In a large bowl cut the cooked potatoes in half season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of minced chives. Mix in 1/2 cup sour cream and about 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Garnish with chive florets.

Sunset in Maine

not to be outdone..Linda's flower! kitchen! a trip to Maine....

The purple lupines a native to Maine growing profusely
in Linda's garden.

The bees just love to hover and linger in these beauties
for its' nectar.

The pride of Linda's  hard work, her flower bed

The flower bed in the early morning mist.

The flower bed is a "mix" of different varieties of
flowering plants that serves as a bakdrop
against a vast calm water.

Always a cutting of fresh bouquet for the table from the garden.

Linda the gardener and the gatherer.
I remember when Linda started her garden 2 years ago. She seemed to be a hesitant gardener, not quite sure of what to plant. Her good eye and inquisitive nature to ask questions about plants, and what grows well in Maine finally paid off. Well done my friend! Well done indeed!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

the bounty of Maine.......from kitchen!!... a road trip to Maine.....

Sweet delicious Maine crabs cooked to perfection.


Freshly caught Maine lobster .
Never tasted so sweet and succulent.
Mussels just gathered that morning
to be enjoyed with a glass of wine.

The road trippers
L to R - Chris, Nina, Livy and Eric (the host)
We are getting ready to dig into those
succulent lobsters!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eric's vegetable garden - where the greens are picked for the table....

Green onions soaking up the sun.

A salad of lettuce tomatoes and nectarines

Chives proudly displaying its lavender colored flowers.

The lettuce head in its glory!

Radishes sweet and spicy!
Eric's vegetable garden is boasting  with rows and rows of tomatoes, garlic, lettuce, cabbages, potatoes, chives, basil, green onions, and I can go on and on. This to me is a feel good garden. A garden that sustains and feeds both body and soul. The first time we picked the radishes, I asked Eric, what do  you do with the leaves? If we can eat the roots surely the leaves will just be as wonderful. And true enough, Linda and I cleaned the leaves and sauteed it in olive oil and garlic and wow! It did not disappoint us! The taste is a bit spicy and tangy just like arugula. Perhaps they are cousins!

greens and Maine....for kitchen! kitchen!

Eric's vegetable garden has rows and rows of lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes,
basil, radishes, green onions, chives, and garlic just to name
a few, is just bursting to be noticed.
And that day, the lettuce won out and got noticed.
A delectable salad of lettuce, tomatoes
and wedges of just ripe nectarines
garnish with the lovely
lavender florets
of the fragrant chive.
Add a simple vinaigrette of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

With a fork on one hand and the beckoning
of the sunset....what else is there, but to
enjoy the bounty of Eric's garden with friends while
watching the sun go down.