Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't let Sandy get you kitchen! kitchen!

Roasted Potatoes With Garlic, Bread Crisps, And Roasted Duck

Golden Roasted Potatoes With Garlic
 Why let a hurricane get you down. Okay, we had power outage for 5 days. The house was freezing cold, no hot water, and my instant coffee was warmed on a chafing dish with sterno. But, after we got our power back, I refused to let Sandy have the last word. The duck breasts I had at my niece's freezer (powered by a generator) were immediately roasted. Accompanied with roasted potatoes and garlic, bread crisps, brushed with olive oil and toasted to a golden color in the oven. 

Roasted Potatoes:
Wipe generously your non stick oven proofed roaster pan with olive oil.
Quarter the the potatoes; add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the potatoes; add salt, black pepper and a tablespoon of spicy Spanish pimenton powder. Coat the potatoes well with the oil and pimenton. Roast for 40 minutes until golden brown in a 350 preheated oven. Who's the winner now?!

Please refer to my previous posting on roasted duck **

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

poached salmon & shark steak....really?...really! kitchen! kitchen!

Poached Salmon and Shark Fish Steak.....really!
These were poached separately in the same broth seasoned simply with
sea salt and some chopped onions. The chinese bok choy, also cooked in the same
broth was a perfect vegetable for these 2 different fish.
The cilantro pesto with a hint of heat added another dimension to 
this simple but delicious dish! So who says, simple, healthy eating is boring?
Not in my home!
I just happen to have these 2 steaks and I decided to cook both...
regret never existed in my vocabulary.
 Preparation and Ingredients:
Salmon Steak/ or shark steak
2-3 cups of water with 1 medium size onions quartered
1/2  bunch of fresh dill
Sea salt to taste
Combine the onions and fresh dill on a deep pan with seasoned water and let boil; slowly submerge the salmon steak and cover for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Remove and set aside on a deep dish. Next, put in the vegetables and cook until just welted. Transfer the vegetables  on a serving dish and put the poached salmon on top. Spoon some of the pesto cilantro on top of the fish and serve with rice or boiled potatoes. Serve the broth separately as a sauce if so desired.

Cilantro Pesto:
1 bunch of cilantro - roughly chopped including the stems
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
sea salt to season
A pinch of red pepper flakes
A pinch of cardamon seeds
A pinch of cumin seeds
1 garlic roughly chopped
Combine everything except for the olive oil in a food processor and pulse; slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. Transfer to a small serving bowl and add more olive oil just to create a film on top. Refrigerate any leftover pesto.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bischofsbrot....for "tarts & quiches" kitchen! kitchen!

Bishofsbrot..(Bishop's Bread)
A decadent holiday cake in Germany.
It's a delicious buttery dessert with a mother load of candied fruits of
orange, lemon, almonds, chocolates and raisins with a hint of rum.
As if perfection is not enough, the cake is glazed
with valrhona melted chocolates.
A holiday dessert??? I will have this all year round!

Monday, October 1, 2012

chick peas kitchen! kitchen!

Chickpeas Patties
Nothing more delicious than served with spiced pineapple vinaigrette

FOR RECIPE: See previous posting on BEAN CAKE BURGER
dated: 6/14/12
Instead of canned beans - used canned chickpeas


Saturday, September 15, 2012

apple cinnamon bread for "tarts & quiches" kitchen! kitchen!

Apple Cinnamon Bread With Crushed Toasted Pecans
Could this be a dessert or simply a bread! It's both!
So deliciously addictive that you can't help having
this for breakfast with coffee, as a dessert,
a snack, or as a nibble. It is an absolute treat!
That is how delicious this apple cinnamon bread is!
Special order only at "tarts & quiches"
contact via email:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another kitchen! kitchen!

Another testing and tasting for the food fair. This time it's a deep, deep dark
chocolate fudge cupcakes, with melting semi-sweet Barry Callebaut
chocolate chips. They are just as good without the frosting.
But, since it is for a food fair and we are nearing the
witching hour of halloween. What a better way
to finish this off with rainbow colored
sprinkles topping!
As my neighbor Peggy would say, " it is everything I want in a chocolate
dessert...good rich flavor...not too sweet....really wonderful"!
Thank you Peggy, you have just been designated as one of my tasters!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

figs & kitchen! kitchen!

Figs and duck don't rhyme but they are beautifully delicious together!
Breast of duck seared and topped with sauteeds figs in butter.
Beautiful together!
I am like a kid in a toy store, when I am at Delicious Orchards. They have all the freshest and rarest produce, meat, cheese, etc. that you seldom find in any supermarket. Then there it is, a table with nothing but just figs was just incredulous. Looks like a truckload was just unloaded this morning.  Not too ripe, nor bruised , and the size of the fruits are perfect. I've got to have some figs! And in the meantime, I will just mosey over to the meat section. Aha! A breast of duck! Perfect!

Serves 2

1 large package of breast of duck (deboned)
Season with salt and black peppepr generously
About 6 - 8 figs cut in half
1 shallots roughly chopped
Olive oil/butter
A tablespoon of honey
A drizzle of brandy
Kosher or sea salt/black pepper

On a very, very hot cast iron pan with a little olive oil- sear each side (skin down first) for 3-4 minutes until all sides are golden brown and continue cooking in a 400F degree preheated oven for another 10-15 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil, set aside and let it rest before slicing.
On a separate pan, heat some olive oil and a tablespoon of butter, sautee the shallots until soft, add a pinch of salt. Add the sliced figs, some honey, stirring until well incorporated (add some duck juices from cooked duck). Add a drizzle of brandy or white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Check for seasoning and pour the fig sauce over the duck.

Serve with boiled potato and salad.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

light, simple yet incredibly satisfying and kitchen! kitchen!

A salad of sliced baby beets, green beans, baby carrots,
slivered sweet, sweet apples, perfectly boiled eggs
drizzled with mustard vinaigrette
and a piece of 7 grain cracker.
Simple, light, but incredibly satisfying and delicious!
A perfect lunch after a very energizing walk of 4.58 miles today at Holmdel Park. Feeling good after a walk in the park, meandering though the woods with my niece Ann Millicent was one of the best walks I had. I highly recommend a nice walk with a friend or a member of the family. Have a nice friendly conversation and you won't notice the time or how far you have walked. You not only bond with a friend or family member, but with nature as well. The walk is very calming, and somehow gives me a new perspective on things and clears the cobwebs gathering in my head. So, coming home, I rewarded myself with this light and delicious lunch. You may add chicken, meat or shrimps to this salad if you wish. Reward yourself with something delicious and healthy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

testing & tasting for the Matawan food kitchen! kitchen!

Banana Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Original recipe of this one is from King Arthur Flour,
I needed to tweak it a little and the result is
sinfully good.

Topped with crushed honey roasted peanuts
Mango Cupcake with Fresh Pureed Mango Frosting
Here I am quite busy poring over and tweaking recipes from my collection; testing and tasting for my town's food festival in October. I have a few more to go before the final decision. It is not really an easy task, but I must forge on. The 2 cupcakes are just one of the sets, there are 2-3 more recipes to test and taste. I am really looking forward to the festival, the experience I will gain and the fun!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

baking kitchen! kitchen!

A huge wire basket of baking tools!
I have an incurable penchant for all kitchen and baking tools, old and new alike.
The more strange looking a tool is, the better and interesting it is for me.
I have to have all my kitchen tools within seeing distance...visual is
very important to me otherwise, I'll end up buying something
I already have. Let's say, out of sight out of mind.
So I have this huge wire basket I got at a garage sale for five bucks. At first,
I had no idea what to do with it - but my inner kitchen goddess kept telling me to just get it.
So, it sat in the garage for while until the idea struck me that this is where I will put all
my baking tools and keep them in the kitchen within arm's reach.
And guess what? While perusing in a kitchen boutique in
the meat packing district in NYC, I saw exactly the same wire basket..
I told the owner, I have exactly the same thing.
He offered to buy it from me if I want to part with it. I don't think so thank you very much!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

a simple & light kitchen! kitchen!

A simple light brunch of Wasa's crisp'n light 7 grain crackerbread
with slices of lean roasted turkey, slices of jazz sweet apples;
baby arugula and home made jalopeno mayonnaise dressing.
All for 197 calories with fresh brewed coffee!
A lip smacking good brunch...without the guilt!
For the home made jalopeno mayonnaise:
2-3 pieces of jalopeno very finely chopped
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
a bit of salt or none at all!
Mix thoroughly

You may substitute the crackerbread with any toast of your choice.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lamb kitchen! kitchen!

Don't you just want to devour these lamb chops right off the photo! I wish!
A sinfully tempting dish of seared lamb chops with sauteed mushrooms
and grilled red potatoes on a bed of baby arugula.
So easy to make, that it only took me a good 20 minutes!
Here's the trick!
(Serves 2 )  or 1 if you're really mad hungry!
2 pkgs. of baby chops ( 5-6 small chops each package)
6 small red potatoes
1 sm. pkg. of mushrooms
2 cups of baby arugula
1 choppped shallots
1 teaspoon flour in 4 tablespoon water with sour cream/thoroughly mixed without lumps
1/4 cup white wine
Kosher salt/black pepper
Olive oil
Boil the potatoes ahead of time and let it cool completely and make sure it is well salted -
Cut in half after it has cooled and brush with olive oil - this will be grilled on a grilled pan while you are prepping the lamb chops about 3 minutes on each side just to get the grill marks.
When you're comes the easy one!
Sear the lamb chops on a very, very hot large cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
On the same pan, add a pat of butter; sautee the shallots until soft, add the mushroom; season with salt and pepper, add the wine and stir for a minute or 2. Then add the flour mixture stirring constantly until well incorporated. To thin the sauce add more wine. Taste for seasoning.
On a large serving platter make a nesting of the arugula; arrange the chops to your liking, add the grilled potatoes and lastly add the mushrooms sauce over the chops.
Now, you're ready to devour those delicious chops!

Monday, August 27, 2012

caponata & jersey tomatoes! kitchen!

Caponata of fresh jersey tomatoes and baby eggplants.

I have not made caponata in a long while, and with the summer abundance of jersey tomatoes and young and firm baby eggplants, I decided to do one. I simply googled on a "Classic Caponata". I did substituted some ingredients. but there is no reason that you shouldn't follow the classic recipe unless you are feeling kind of adventurous like me.

Here is a list of some of the key ingredients that I substituted:
Classic recipe:

1- 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes  - Instead I roasted 8 luscious medium size ripe jersey tomatoes, salted and some sprinkling of olive oil for 40 minutes in the oven along with 6 cloves of garlic with the skin on. After it cooled - I removed the skins of the tomatoes and roughly chopped them. I did the same with tha garlic. Transfered them to a bowl with juice and all the bits in the pan.

Wine Vinegar - I used a good balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of good white wine

Simmer for 12-15 minutes until cooked - I simmered the dish for 15 minutes on the stove top and continued to simmer it in the oven at 350F for another 30-40 minutes until completely cooked and soft. I did this to avoid the vegetables to stick to the bottom of the pan and thus avoid the constant stirring. Becaused I used young firm baby eggplants, it took longer to cook.

It's great topping on fish, meat and just about on anything!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

summer vegetable kitchen! kitchen!

A frittata of summer vegetables
A layering of summer vegetables of baby eggplants,
zucchini blossoms, lemon basil,
and some wonderful sun dried tomatoes from Todaro's and toasted pine nuts.
I actually got this idea when Fauziah, a friend (and another foodie) posted an aubergine quiche on fb (thank you Fauziah for posting those delicious dishes on fb). Gosh it looked so divine and sinfully delicious. So, I said to myself, I will make something like that but it will be a frittata since my son prefers it over quiche to skip the dough. Although one of these days, I will make a similar quiche. It is so easy and I served it cold as an appetizer when I had Halina and Mieszko over for an impromtu dinner. For recipe, check my previous posting on frittata and use the listed ingredients or your own summer vegetables of choice.

8-10 large eggs- beaten
1/2 cup of shredded Montasio cheese mixed with 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan reggiano cheese
Some lemon basil (or Italian basil) torn roughly
4-6 zucchini blossoms **optional
2 small eggplants sliced and roasted
4 pieces of good sun dried tomatoes sliced (reserve 4 halves to put on top)
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts to scatter on top

Serve warm or cold with a dressing of mayonnaise pesto, salsa verde or as is. It's sinfully delicious.

Friday, August 24, 2012

kitchen! kitchen's lunch after a great Holmdel Park

A 15 acre Holmdel Park
The starting point of my nature walk

Then into the woods where nature boast its' beauty and bounty.

The trail starts to get challenging and my heart rate begins to climb

One of my trusted companions- a bottle of water along with  my ipod
I come to a clearing......hmmmm looks very uphill...
Another mile walk to reach to the other side

Then I saw a friend....Mr. Bench....let's forget about Lady Liberty for now,
A desperate need to rest my tired feet and throbbing knees.

A turkey sandwich on toasted wheat potato bread with thinly sliced apples,
flat leaf parsley, and home made dressing.
Made my 4.12 miles walk worthwhile!

Looks like my feet after the walk! I am doing this again on Sunday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

haddock and the summer kitchen! kitchen!

Haddock and the summer vegetables of zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
Pan fried haddock smothered with roasted summer cherry jersey tomatoes and
roasted garlic nestled on a blanket of paper thin sliced zucchinis.
Perfection for a light and delicious summer meal.
 Easy to prepare and a truly perfection for a delicious light summer meal. Samaha market is brimming with the summer vegetables such that it is quite difficult to decide what to get. There were about 3-4 varieties of everything. The zucchinis looked so freshly picked, and the cherry tomatoes are so red and sweet and inviting. Perfect for what I have in mind for a light dinner.

1 container of sweet cherry tomatoes
2 medium size fresh young zucchinis
6 cloves of garlic with skin on
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup or more of a good white wine
Kosher salt/black pepper
2 medium haddock fillet cut into 3's and season with salt & pepper

Thinly sliced the zucchinis in a mandoline about 1/8" thick or in a food processor slicer. Sprinkle with a little salt; drizzle some olive oil and set aside in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degree F
On a small baking sheet lined with foil, spread the tomatoes and cloves of garlic (with the skin on). Sprinkle with olive oil, some white wine, and salt. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes start to get mushy and starting to carmelize. Remove the garlic and peel the skin after it has cooled. Transfer the roasted tomatoes, juice and all into a deep pan; mashed the roasted garlic and add to the pan. Add some olive oil and a teaspoom of sugar and stir. Let simmer on low heat. Check for seasoning.

On another skillet heat some olive oil and pan fry the haddock on both sides until golden. About 2 minutes on each side.

Take out the zucchinis and transfer them to a deep serving platter; sprinkle some olive oil: add 1/3 of the roasted tomatoes on top of the zucchinis. Place the pan fried haddock on top and add the rest of the roasted tomatoes on top of the haddock.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

ham, apples, and kitchen! kitchen!

It's not green eggs, and ham, but apples, figs, and ham!
And how about some boiled baby potatoes and creamed mushrooms
to go with it!!! Dr. Seuss will be so envious.

Baked ham slathered with sauteed apples and figs sweetened with honey.
A perfect rhyme for your table!

I seem to be gearing up for fall, with all this comfort food that I seem to craved. Apple picking is just around the corner, if you think about it. Although I still want to hang on to summer, I do longed for fall.
This longing is sometimes reflected on what I prepare. Like my apples, figs and ham. It is quite easy. Have your deli or butcher sliced an inch thick of ham and follow the instructions on my previous posting of smoked pork chop.

Serves 2:
Creamed mushrooms:
A package of sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup of sliced green onions/or flat leaf parsly coarsley chopped
Kosher salt/black pepper
2 tablespoons of sour cream or cream fraiche
1-2 tablespoons of flour (for thickening)-Add the flour to the sour cream with 1/2 cup water and mix until smooth (set aside).
1 large shallots sliced
2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan
Sautee the shallots until soft; season with a pinch of salt; add the mushrooms and stir for about 5 minutes until cooked; add the sour cream/flour mixture and stir thoroughly until well mixed. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Apples and Figs:
1 large gala or granny smith apple- cored and sliced to about 1/4" thick
A juice of half a lemon
1 or 2 sage leaves
2 large dry figs sliced
2 tablespoons of butter
A good squirt of honey (according to desired sweetness)
1 teaspoon of sugar
A tiny pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the apples, lemon juice, figs, and the rest of the ingredients except for the honey until the apples and the figs start to carmelized; then add the drippings from the ham; add the honey and continue cooking on medium low for another minute or so. Add the sage leaves just before you shut off the flame. Drizzle over the ham.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

braised breast of kitchen! kitchen!

Braised Breast Of Veal
Braised with sparkling Shiraz wine and stuffed  with
manchego cheese and french brie.
It's comfort indulge in even in the summer!

Breast of veal is the most ignored and least expensive of the veal cuts. But don't let it fool you, because it is one of the most suculent meat to indulge yourself in and worth forgetting your diet for a bit! It could be the tenderest and tastiest, if you treat it right. You could also order a breast of veal deboned from your butcher.They will tie it for you for easier brasing. But why bother with the extra expense? I braised my breast of veal with bones and all. It is so decadent and almost sinful!

1 Pkg. of breast of veal
baby carrots
celery stalks - cut up in large piece
*mushrooms would be lovely to add to this - but I was out of mushrooms -nada*
sprigs of thyme  - optional
sprigs of rosemary - optional
1 medium onion quartered
4 cloves garlic - cut in half
Kosher salt/Black pepper to season the meat well and all over
1 tablspoon amazing dry rub to sprinkle on top of the meat
2-3 cups of Sparkling Shiraz - or champagne; or Reisling
3 oz. of brie cut in cubes
2 oz. of manchego cheese cut in cubes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste

Trim off some of the fat and remove the ligaments from the meat (as much as you can or as little as you can -let your mood dictate).  The meat has a little pocket between the ribs and the top part of the meat- insert some onions and garlic inside -season the inside of the pocket too.
Season well and heat a large cast iron pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Brown all sides about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the meat and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste; mixing and stirring the pan for those bits and pieces left after the browning. Add 2 tablespoons of butter (optional), Pour the 2-3 cups of sparkling shiraz and return the meat to the pan and let simmer to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Pour some of the liquid from the pan over the meat. Add the baby carrots, rest of the onions; garlic, celery, and herbs. Let simmer and cover with aluminum foil and braise in the oven at 325F for 3-1/2 hrs. After 3 hrs. take the pan out, uncover it and stuff the 2 cheeses pushing slowly with a spoon into the pocket of the veal (be careful because the meat will be very hot). Put the cover back and continue braising  for another half hour or until the cheese starts to ooze out of the pocket. 

Serve with boiled baby potatoes, some green salad, and a glass of the leftover sparkling shiraz of course!

* to my readers in places where braising means using up a lot of electricity or gas or your are in a rush, I suggest that you cook the meat first in a pressure cooker to make the meat fork tender before doing all the steps described. Then you may only braise the meat in the oven for an hour or or less.*

Friday, August 10, 2012

"man hungry" for smoked pork kitchen! kitchen!

Smoked pork chop  with mushroom in a cream sauce
and baby golden potatoes simply boiled.

Golden smoked pork chop that would delight anyone even a "man hungry"!
I have not done smoked pork chop for a while, and if I ever do, it's normally reserved in late fall or winter. But, then the craving stepped in when Wolfgang asked me how to prepare smoked pork chop. Having a cooking blog, family and friends tend to ask me how to prepare this or that. Wolfgang's pork chop was a success. So a trip to Delicious Orchard was planned to get this wonderful smoked pork chop to satisfy my own cravings. The chop I got was 1.56 lbs. with just the right amount of fat in it....and quite a big guy too! I know it would be enough to serve 2, but just to be prepared, I got 2 chops. The second one was a smaller piece.

How I prepared my smoked pork chop:
1 piece - 1.56 lb
Preheat oven to 400 F
Put the chop in a baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter and completely cover with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes (if baked at 350F - it would take about 30-40 minutes)
Uncover and broil for a minute or so to brown both sides. (Put another tablespoon of butter on top when browning)...(another option: you may also brown each side on a pan).
Serve with cream of mushroom sauce and mashed or boiled potatoes.
(google for cream of mushroom sauce).
I'm glad I did not have to wait for the cold weather to set in. The dish was delicious!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

dry adobo.....a tribute to my mother and my kitchen! kitchen!

Dry Adobo On Sweet Yellow Rice

Dry Adobo On White Jasmine Rice

A dish of dry adobo, one served on sweet yellow rice and
the other served on white jasmine rice both sprinkled with
toasted garlic. It is to die for!

I don't know where the "dry adobo" originated from, but I remember when I was young that my  mother and our eldest sister Patring makes this. I think this dish is also one way of extending it's flavour. This dish seems to get better each day. As a tribute to my mother and my sister Patring, who were both absolute and excellent cooks, I decided to make it. My sister had my mother's talent in the kitchen and my father's brains for business. My niece Pam, came to NJ for a visit along with her daughter and my sister Cora. She was the one who imparted her mother's recipe for "Patring's adobo", as we call it and my sister's own version of course. But, I've always wanted my mother's dry adobo. I could literally taste it in my mouth everytime I think of it. So with my sister's recipe of her classic adobo I was able to duplicate my mother's dry adobo. Talking about 2 in one. The technique of turning the classic adobo into the "dry adobo" defers from region to region or from cook to cook. My technique is a bit time consuming. However, you can achieve the same result by doing the classic Filipino adobo. And this could either be chicken, pork, beef or any meat for that matter. The classic recipe involves a lot of garlic, vinegar, soy, etc. So for a recipe, google "Filipino Classic Adobo" and let it simmer until the liquid evaporates and allow the meat to brown and carmelized. If the meat starts to break down while the liquid is evaporating, take the meat out until the liquid is completely gone and put the meat back into the pan to brown and carmelized. Add a little vegetable oil or olive oil to keep the meat from drying out.
Serve with mango salad.
Meat Suggestion:
Pork - use pork belly
Beef - use the part with some fat in it
Chicken - use dark meat, like thigh, legs, and wings

Friday, August 3, 2012

fish fillet encrusted in shredded kitchen! kitchen!

Fish Fillet Encrusted In Shredded Potato

With Sauteed Apples And Sour Cherries
(This dish was inspired by Jacque Pepin on one of his cooking shows)
Well, I said to myself, I could do that and make it my own, so I did.
This dish is so simple to make yet lusciously delicious and satisfying. The interplay of the crunch of the potato as you make your first bite - then the fresh sweet taste of the fish, and the sweet and sour taste of the sauteed apples and sour cherries lingers with you - making your eyes roll with satisfaction. Looking at this dish, you'd think that I labored for hours in the kitchen. Truthfully, not at all! I made this in less than an hour. This dish serves 2.

Fish Fillet Encrusted In Shredded Potatoes:
3 medium size white fish fillet (any white fish like cod or haddock) - cut into 3's depending on the size of fish...season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle a tablespoon of flour; set aside.
1 egg beaten
1-2 large russet potatoes - shredded; squeeze out the water and set aside in a large bowl. (do not salt the potatoes or you will draw out more water from it). Add a tablespoon of flour to the shredded potatoes; add some roughly chopped flat leaf parsley and the beaten egg. Mix thoroughly.
Heat a large cast iron pan with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and preheat your oven to 375F.
Gather about a tablespoon of the shredded potatoes and flatten it on your palm; put one piece of the fillet on top and cover it with another layer of shredded potato and pat lightly. Just like making a sandwich. Slowly drop the encrusted fish into the hot oil to brown and cook. Wait for the sides to turn golden brown before slowly flipping it. Takes about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer all the browned potato covered fish into a lined baking sheet; sprinkle some salt and bake for another 10 minutes to continue cooking.

Sauteed Apples and Sour Cherries Salsa:
2 Gala apples or granny smith - cored and cut in cubes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped dried sour cherries
2 tablespoons butter
A dash of salt
A squeeze of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of sugar
a dash of nutmeg
A drizzle of Calvados (apple brandy) ---optional
Use the same cast iron pan used on the potatoes. Remove the oil and add 2 tablepoons of butter, followed by the apples, and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until the apples have carmelized and browned a little. Drizzle with Calvados and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add a small pat of butter and stir. Serve over the encrusted fillet.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ladles and kitchen! kitchen!

Ladles And Spoons
As part of my blog, my love for unusual and old kitchen tools.
A collection of wooden ladles and spoons
Some of the primitive antique collections are from the Philippines's mountain province
where handles are intricately carved. These ladles are hanged in the kitchen and
 the smoke coming from the hearth causes the ladles and spoons to blacken
over time and the result is this beautiful patina. The natives of the mountain province 
take pride in their craftsmanship.
The newer ones are from Africa, just as beautiful and intricately carved from
a solid wood and the handles often decorated with animal bone.

Primitive yet intricately carved handles
of the finest hard wood. A beauty to behold.
These small spoons were collected by my niece Stephanie
who in turn gifts it to me on her yearly visit here.
The origin of these simple but beautifully carved
and decorated spoons is Africa.

Monday, July 30, 2012

saucer size portabella kitchen! kitchen!

Saucer Size Portabella Mushrooms
Great stuffed with chopped olives, tomatoes, and basil,
Topped with the parmessan and mozzarella cheese is
just one delicious dish! Serve it as first course
or even as your main course with a bowl of
soup! Your inner goddess will love you more!
Here's how!

1 pkg. of saucer size portabella mushrooms
Stuffed with:
1 medium size tomato chopped
kalamata and green seedless olives roughly chopped
Italian basil/or lemon basil basil -  just tear up the leaves and sprinkle on top. Combine parmessan cheese with chunks of mozzarella (shredded  will do too);and sprinkle on top of each stuffed mushrooms; bake in preheated 350 F oven for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
Sprinkle some kosher salt while it is hot -drizzle with some olive oil and garnish with basil.

Friday, July 27, 2012

simply jersey kitchen! kitchen!

Truly ripe jersey tomatoes and some greenhouse grown sweet
yellow cherry tomatoes don't need much.
These tomatoes are simply delicious.
Cut the ripe jersey tomatoes into small pieces, halves the
yellow cherry tomatoes, sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper.
The juice from these sweet tomatoes will serve as your dressing
Scatter some fragrant lemon basil and you're good to go.
(You may drizzle some olive oil and lemon too).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

turkey burger- a summer kitchen! kitchen!

A summer classic turkey burger blanketed with grilled vegetables of
 zucchini, eggplant, and red onion.
Topped with a slice of Jersey tomato and
a dollop of lemon basil mayonnaise.
My guilty pleasure!
I have done several turkey and chicken burgers on my blog in the past - but always with a twist. Let's say, this is another one of those "guilty pleasures" of mine with a twist and a tribute to lemon basil. I have to think fast on what else I could do with this heavenly herb before it disappears. This herb is not as widely available as the classic Italian basil. So here goes!
A pkg. of ground turkey/or chicken ( you may substitute with ground beef or any meat you so desire).
1 very fresh small zucchini shredded
1 clove minced garlic
1 minced shallots
1/4 cup of roughly chopped lemon basil
My amazing dry rub or simply salt and black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup of grated parmessan cheese
2 tablespoons of buttter milk (optional)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Bread crumbs - for lightly dredging the burgers
Canola oil for cooking the burger
Combine all of the above in a large bowl except for the bread crumbs and canola oil
Form into a patty, dredge in bread crumbs lightly and cooked in a very hot cast iron pan with canola oil. Wait for the sides of the patty to turn golden before flipping. Drain  on a tray with paper towel.
Note: you could also cook the burgers on a grill and skip the bread crumb dredging

Lemon Basil Mayonnaise:
Leaves of 1 bunch of lemon basil/rinse and put in a salad spinner to dry
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
A bit of salt
Combine all of the above on a cuisinart and pulse until combined.

Monday, July 23, 2012

steamed kitchen! kitchen!

Branzino, wrapped in parchment paper and steamed.
A reward of a delicious and sweet taste of
this fresh fish awaits you.
Served with boiled potato, organic carrot sauteed in butter.
Treat this fish simply and you will be amply rewarded!
All I did was season the fish with sea salt, pepper, a squeeze  of
half a lemon, a small pat of butter, and some lemon basil in the cavity.
Wrap in parchment paper and steamed it  
for about 30-40 minutes.
This fish is indeed a gift from the heavens!
(check  the recipe also on my previous posting of Branzino Fish)

Friday, July 20, 2012

a lemon basil mojito .....cheers to Linda! kitchen! kitchen!

Lemon Basil Mojito
Take the recipe for a classic mojito and instead of mint
use lemon basil.
You will not be is delicious! Cheers to my friend Linda!
This lemon basil cocktail started with a conversation with my good friend Linda, one Saturday, (she is a fabulous hairdresser/artist at Robert Gerbers' salon in Keyport, NJ). Getting back to that Saturday, we were talking about the lemon basil she got at Samaha farm. An idea struck her about doing a cocktail out of the herb. And I said to her how about a mojito made of lemon basil???? Well, Linda, did you make that cocktail? I did and here's to you friend! A big cheers!

lemon basil pan roasted kitchen! kitchen!

I loosened the skin of this half chcken and inserted some
bunches of lemon basil and garlic under the skin.
The result was a time travel back to my childhood.
Just to make it a one dish meal, I roasted quartered
potatoes, poblano peppers, and shallots with the chicken.
The drippings becomes the sauce for this delicious dish.
The How And The What: Serves 2
Half a Chicken/Natural or organic
Season generously with the amazing dry rub both inside out
Lossen the skin gently and insert some lemon basils under the skin and 2 cloves of garlic that is cut in half (make sure you season the inside also before stuffing it with basil).
On a separate bowl season with salt and drizzle some olive oil on the potatoes, poblano peppers, and shallot; then scatter them around the chicken on a large cast iron pan.
Bake on a preheated oven 350F for 50 minutes until done. Broil for 3 minutes on high to get that blackened roasted color.
Garnish with bunches of fresh lemon basil and serve with jasmin rice.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

home made hummus kitchen! kitchen!

A delicious lunch of grilled vegetables with home made hummus.
It's just screaming with pure delight!
You may add any grilled meat to this dish.

2-3 Japanese eggplants/pan grilled and cut up
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 can of 15.50 oz chickpeas (or white beans)- rinse and drained
1/4 cup of olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley
A squeeze of 1 lemon (include the zest of a lemon)
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency.
I love my Hummus with some bits of the eggplants and chickpeas - not pureed.
Delicious served with grilled vegetables, as a dip, or with any roasted meat.
Have fun with it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

lemony, minty....lemon kitchen! kitchen!

A wonderful and gloriously fresh bunch of lemon basil.
The fragrance of this herb brings me back to my childhood.
My mother introduced the herb to the family by way of
putting the herb on practically anything that my mother cooked.
From roasted chicken, to steamed fish, to soups and
even omelettes! Well, it did not stop there. We even
put the herb in the condiments, sauces and dressings.
 A plate of freshly picked lemon basil that we know as
 "KADYA" was always on a platter for us to add to the dishes on the table.
It makes just about anything taste fresh.
My mother had several plants of this
lemon basil in her garden, like shrubs that bordered the property.
My sisters carried on this tradition of
having several plants of the lemon basil in their gardens as well.
This fresh tasting, lemony, and minty lemon basil
 is a regular staple in the family gathering.
There is always someone asking for "KADYA".

Cheers! To a lemon basil mojito!

Monday, July 16, 2012

minced garlic pork and poblano kitchen! kitchen!

Minced Garlic Pork With Poblano Chili
A simple dish of minced garlic pork belly and slivered poblano chili.
My late brother Claud loved this simple type of a dish.
I remembered him hanging around the kitchen when
our cook would brown minced pork in garlic and onions 
for a vegetable dish. He enjoyed picking on the browned
sauteed pork just before the vegetable was added.
Well  the cook was not too happy about it.
I replicated this way of cooking and it is delicious! No wonder my brother
loved to hang around the kitchen when lunch or dinner is being prepared.

1 lb. minced pork belly- season with amazing dry rub and let stay for an hour.
2 tablespoons of olive oil or canola oil
1 to 1-1/2 minced garlic head (the more the merrier!)
Kosher salt/and black pepper
1 Poblano pepper - seeds removed/cut into thin strips
Sautee the pork in a hot pan until it starts to brown, add the garlic and continue
stirring on medium heat. Keep stirring and cook for about 20 minutes
before adding the poblano pepper. Stir to mix, correct seasoning,
add a teaspoon of paprika. Add a tablespoon of water to scrape off the
bits and pieces on the pan from the carmelized pork. Cook for another
5-8 minutes. It is great served over cooked jasmin rice.