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.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

just grill it! kitchen! kitchen!

Grilled chicken thighs smothered with home made spicy
barbecue sauce. Served with grilled
vegetables of zucchini, bell pepper, and large shallots.

Pan grilled of my favorite farm fresh vegetables
For recipe- you may refer to my previous postings of grilled
chicken and vegetables. The shallots are transported
into the mildest and sweetest when grilled!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mutti's potato kitchen kitchen!

Celebrating Mutti's Potato Pancake
Served with a dollop of sour cream
and carmelized sugared apples.
Mutti will be so proud!

My own twist of her potato pancake
Mutti is mother in German, and it was through my son's grandmother on his father side that I learned how to make potato pancake, rouladen, gruenkohl, and other German dishes that I still make up to now. I usually make them in the fall or winter since these dishes are quite very filling. Her name was Gertrude but I called her mutti, so did my family and friends. The name just stuck and she didn't mind at all being called mutti by everybody, even people she just met. She was one unique lady. She could out climbed you on a 5 flight of stairs carrying luggage on both arms. She was an avid gardener and a wonderful cook. I remember on one of her summer vacations with us, she was going to make this potato pancake and was going to show me how. She asked if I had any lard. A lard!!! I almost fell over. I've never used it for frying. So I tried to explain to her in the best way I can in German, that vegetable oil or canola oil is better for frying. She was old school, so I understood the "lard" issue. She was very hesitant but kind of gave in, but not without giving the bottle of vegetable oil that look of "let's see if you can really do the job" thing.  I watched her manually shred 8 Idaho potatoes by hand or was it 12? I don't remember. I was in awe! She does not want the cuisinart shredder. Nothing like the old fashion way, I suppose. She attacked that shredder like the world was coming to an end. And here I am thinking, I will probably end up with bloodied hands doing it her way. But, you know what, I did it with just a few scrapes on my hand on my first try until I mastered that shredder just liked her. There is nothing like being challenged by a whiz in the kitchen.  Her birthday is coming up on July 28th. So in her memory and honor, I decided to make potato pancake with a twist and making it my own and hopefully impart it to my daughter-in-law in the future. Way, way future!
Danke mutti! Your memory lives on!

In the meantime my dear friends, family, co-blogger and followers, this is my twist of mutti's potato pancake.
Serves 2
4 large white thin skin potatoes
Sliced thinly about 1/8" in a mandoline (be very careful in using the mandoline and follow the instruction that came with it).
Kosher salt/1 tablespoonful
2 tablespoons all purpose flour/or potato flour
1 beaten egg
Mix everything in a bowl, and in the meantime, heat some vegetable oil in pan and let the oil come to about 1/4 of an inch in the pan. The oil must be steaming hot.
Put together 3-4 pieces of the potato slices doing a free form kind of a thing, like a shape of a star and put in the hot oil until brown and crispy and flip on the other side and do the same thing. Tip: wait for the sides to brown before turning each piece over. DO NOT crowd them, do 3 or 4 at a time so as not to steam them. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Sugared apples/To Serve With Potato Pancake
2 cooking apples cut in thin wedges
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
A squeeze of 1/2 a lemon
Do this on the same pan but make sure you remove the oil, add the butter, apples, sugar, salt, lemon juice. Stir to mix until the apples carmelizes. Make sure the apples do not get all mushy. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

have brunch with us! kitchen! kitchen!


Two soft boiled eggs with a serving of potato wheat bread,
slices of Jarlsberg cheese, thinly sliced tomatoes,
and basil delicately toasted in a panini press.
It is just irrisistible! So come, and have
brunch with us!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

pan grilled kitchen! kitchen!

What could be more simpler than a pan grilled steak with your
favorite vegetables!
I am never without my favorite vegetables of zucchini and bell peppers.
They are so versatile, that you could literally do anything with them.
They are great as a side dish, as a salad, and especially  great for grilling. Well, it's too hot outside for grilling, so indoor it is! Out with my grill pan, that seems to be reluctant to come out. I have to finiggle it out of its resting place. Looks like it got stuck with my other pans or its' feeling the heat already. So, here goes, just follow me.....

Your favorite cut of steak - seasoned generously with my amazing dry rub (see previous posting) or simply salt and black pepper.
Zucchini - sliced lenghwise and coat with olive oil
Bell Pepper - quartered; seeded and coat with olive oil
Rock salt (or sea salt) to sprinkle on the vegetables
A steaming hot grill pan - brushed with vegetable oil
Grill one side of the steak (my sirloin is a smidge more than a 1/4" thick) for 5 minutes and another 4 minutes on the other side for a medium well.  Set aside and cover with foil.
On the same pan, line up the zucchini, grilling each side for a minute or so until you have those wonderful grill marks. Next, the bell peppers. They take a bit longer than the zucchinis - about 2-3 minutes on each side (brush the pan with oil if it starts to dry up). Coat the grilled vegetables with your favorite vinaigrette and serve with the sliced steak. This dish is hot!!!! in "WOW"!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

a trio of cheese crisps kitchen! kitchen!

A Trio Of Cheese Crisps Goodness

Clockwise: Cheese crisps with pepper flakes; crisps with basil,
 & pepper flakes; and plain cheese crisps. A delightful pick me upper!
The curled in crisps are with pepper flakes, just to
differentiate it from the plain ones. The crisps with basil
are left flat with the basil peeping out, and
the plain ones are left flat as well.

Make a mound of about about 1-1/2 tablespoons on a baking sheet
lined with a non-stick mat or lined with parchment paper.
I used 3 different cheeses here, parmessan cheese,
shredded swiss cheese, and cheddar cheese (just for a bit of color).
You may use any of your favorite cheeses but make sure you
include parmessan or reggiano as your "hard" melting cheese.

Preheat oven at 350 degree F and bake for 8 minutes
and let cool before scooping up slowly into a serving dish.
To curl it in - use a rolling pin as a mold by lining each on the whole
length of the rolling pin while the crisps are still hot. 
Use a bench scraper to do this so you don't burn yourself.
The crips will take the shape of a half curl of the pin while it cools.
I always get into  situation where I have a lot of bits and pieces of different cheeses that are either too odd a size and shape to slice. So what to do? I grate them and turn them into CHEESE CRISPS. Nothing goes to waste in this household. If you love cheese like we do, this is a good way of turning those leftover cheeses that's been sitting in the fridge for a while. You will be rewarded with a very delicious crisps for snacking. Great as appetizers too when you have company!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

gravlax avocado tartare 2 & potato kitchen! kitchen!

This is what I call "braving the uncomplicated". A classic example of how
a dish evolves. A wonderful appetizer that would impress even he most
discerning foodie. It may look complicated, but all it needs is a bit of
patience and imagination. This is nothing than a layering of
of simple ingredients of gravlax; or smoked salmon;
or crab meat! Just follow my previous posting of
"Gravlax & Avocado Tartare" and give it your own twist.
My additional ingredients are:
4 hard boiled eggs with yolks and egg whites chopped finely and separately
Add a tablespoon of mayonnaise each on the chopped egg yolk and egg whites
and layer them on a 4 inch mold and you will be rewarded with
an impressive and delicious appetizer.
Serve with potato blinis or potato pancake.
*Please google for potato pancake or potato bilini recipe*

Thursday, July 5, 2012

homemade pineapple kitchen! kitchen!

This homemade pineapple vinegar's origin is in Puerto Rico. I can't seem to find the
exact recipe for it. However, I remembererd that it has some fresh pineapple parts,
garlic, peppercorns, chili pepper, and bay leaf.
As I was slicing off the skin of the fresh pineapple, there is quite a bit of waste once you start cutting around the area of the fruit's eyes. I am just thinking to myself, this is such a waste and not to be able to do anything with it. I know that a watermelon rind is pickled and jarred. So, remembering a recipe of a homemade vinegar I saw on one of my magazines, part of the ingredients were the pineapple peels to make this vinegar. Well, I wasn't too crazy and sure about including the peels. However, I saved the large pieces of the parts that were removed when I was slicing up those nasty "pineapple eyes" minus the skin part. So, what you need are.....

3 cups of distilled vinegar
Excess parts of a pineapple meat and juice if any
1 head of garlic sliced
1 chili hot pepper (optional)
1 tablespoons of peppercorn
2-3 bay leaves
Boil in a deep pan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes
Let cool and store in a jar
*Add salt only on every serving*
It's great for just about anything!

summer is definitely here....and so is my mango kitchen! kitchen!

Summer is definitely here!......and so is my first summer mango tart!
At kitchen! kitchen! for Tart & Quiches.
Special Order Only:

Monday, July 2, 2012

a minchi what?!! kitchen! kitchen!

My version of  Macau's national dish called minchi.
This simple dish dates back to the Portuguese settlers
in Macau over 400 years ago.
The original recipe calls for a stir-fry with lots of fried diced potatoes,
ground beef or pork topped with a sunny side up egg.
Nothing is contant and food is always evolving so I tweaked the dish
to accomodate the ingredients that I currently have in my pantry.
Some might think this is like a corn beef hash. Maybe! But I can tell you that
it's much better and delicious!
Pretty basic ingredients:
2 cups of diced fried potatoes (fry until golden and set aside)
1 cup of diced/or cut into strips of chicken scallopine * you may use ground pork or beef*
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/4 cup of diced white onions
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
A very HOT WOK - stir fry the garlic and onions until golden, adding the meat.
Season with salt and pepper ( I used fish sauce) and a dash of soy sauce.
Toss in the potatoes (already deep fried and browned)
set up the stir fried on a plate; cook a sunny side up egg and slide it on top of the dish.