Monday, January 25, 2010
Kegeree [kehj-uh-REE], made from rice, lentils, and onions, comes from East Indian cooking. In the United Kingdom, they add fish and hard-boiled eggs, creating one of the most popular English breakfasts of all time. This dish is prepared similarly to risotto. We're using salmon which has a nice subtle flavor allowing the Indian spices to really be prominent. Don't be tempted to over-spice this dish. The natural ingredients have so much flavor you really want them to be in the forefront.
1 lb. Salmon
1 tsp. Turmeric
1-1/8 C. Basmati Rice
1 Pinch of Saffron
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 lb. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
4 Large Eggs
2 C. Vegetable Stock
2 Shallots, chopped
5 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp. Parsley
Salt & Pepper
Cut the salmon into chunks, sprinkle with turmeric, then set aside. Put the rice in a pan with 2 cups of cold water. Bring the rice to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. We don't want to fully cook the rice. We just want to blanch it. Once the liquid is absorbed, put the rice in a bowl and sprinkle with saffron, and set aside.
Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a pan and sear the salmon for 1 minute on each side. Remove the fish and set aside to drain on a paper towel. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and the tomatoes to the same pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and set aside.
Boil the eggs for 7 minutes, shell, halve, and set aside. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and keep the liquid at a low simmer. Heat the remaining oil, using the same pan as before, and cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes to soften them. Add half of the butter, then the blanched rice, and cook. Stir the rice often to coat with the butter.
Add a ladle of hot vegetable stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the stock in this manner until the rice is fully cooked. Add the remaining butter and stir until melted. Add the salmon, tomatoes, parsley, and salt, gently heat through. Serve the kedgeree with the halved eggs and freshly cracked pepper.
Monday, January 18, 2010
When you hear "bruschetta" you think tomatoes. Technically the term bruschetta, meaning "to roast over coals", refers to slices of bread that are rubbed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil, salted, peppered, and baked. Essentially it's a crostini... a crostini that we're going to top with marinated tomatoes and freshly cut basil.
1-1/2 C. Olive Oil
1/2 C. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 oz. Basil, chiffonade*
1-1/2 lb. Roma Tomatoes, small dice
*To chiffonade the basil simply stack a bunch of leaves on top of each other, roll them up width-wise and slice them into little ribbons.
Start out by making a vinaigrette by combining the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. A vinaigrette, like this one, containing three times more oil than other liquids will emulsify when whisked vigorously. If you prefer, you can simply combine the ingredients without whisking. This is called a "broken" vinaigrette.
Combine the diced tomatoes, basil, and vinaigrette mixing gently so as not to smash the tomatoes. Let marinade for 24 hours - up to 5 days. If you like a stronger tomato flavor, let your bruschetta sit long than 24 hours. The vinegar will begin to break down the tomatoes, releasing tomato juice into the olive oil.
To serve, brush some toast points with olive oil and freshly cracked pepper. I'm using a garlic infused olive oil because I like the combination of garlic and tomato, but regular oil is perfectly acceptable. Bake the toast points at 500 degrees until golden brown. While they're still warm, top the toast points with the bruschetta mixture.
Monday, January 11, 2010
This isn't your kid's Kraft mac & cheese! The bleu cheese and savory mushrooms really make this dish quite an amazing compliment to almost any entree. It's the simplicity of this dish that makes it so remarkable. It's mac & cheese with just a touch of extra effort.
1 lb. Macaroni
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 lb. Mushrooms, sliced
2 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 lb. Bleu Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Add the macaroni to a large pan of boiling water with the olive oil and cook for 7-10 minutes until the pasta is just tender. Drain and rinse the macaroni under cold water. Return the pasta to the pan and set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan. Add the mushrooms and saute them until softened and golden, then season them with pepper. Preheat your oven to the Broil setting.
Add the heavy cream to the macaroni and crumble about 2/3 of the bleu cheese into the pan. Heat slowly for a few minutes, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Season with pepper.
Transfer the macaroni and cheese to an oven safe container and top with mushrooms and the last of the bleu cheese. Place it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Typically, my soups have stock in them for a nice hearty base, but this simple soup is just broccoli and water. We're going to throw in some creamy cheese and warm walnuts for a twist, but the soup itself is as simple as can be. As you're eating this dish, the cheese melts into the soup creating a velvet texture on the back of your spoon.INGREDIENTS
2-1/2 lb. Broccoli
1 Slice of Goat Cheese*
1/4 C. Walnuts or Almonds
Salt & Pepper
*I took some goat cheese and rolled it in some Italian Herbs, then formed it into a roll and placed it in the fridge to set. This way I could cut circles out of it.
Cut the broccoli into florets. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the broccoli, then salt the broccoli in the pot. Simmer the broccoli for about 3-4 minutes with the pot covered. Keeping the lid on the pot will boil the broccoli rapidly and maintain it's bright green color. Drain the broccoli and reserve the boiling liquid.
Puree the broccoli in a blender or food processor, with enough of the liquid to fill the blender half way. Reheat the soup in the pan; adjust the seasoning. While the soup is reheating, toss the walnuts into a dry skillet and toast until fragrant. I placed the walnuts in the center of the bowl, then placed the wheel of herbed goat cheese on top and seasoned with cracked pepper. Finally, I poured the soup down only one side of the bowl making sure not to cover the goat cheese. I finished the soup with a drizzle of olive oil.