"Cajun-Creole Jambalaya"

It's been a long break from cooking or blogging recently..

I've been away these past few weeks on a much needed vacation to New Orleans and the Mexican Riviera..

New Orleans is one of my most favorite places in all the world to be..

I love the history, the atmosphere, the sights and sounds of this Southern U.S. city—and don't even get me started on their cuisine..

I could go on forever and a day about the food—from the coffee & chicory with beignets, the étouffée's and gumbos, the seafood and the down home southern food..

There's a never ending supply of variety and an endless parade of new food experiences to explore inside Nawlin's.. 

It's because of this wonderful mix of French, Spanish, American, African, Island and Native influences thrown together with all of the new culinary discoveries and imports from around the world that makes it such a special "Foodie" city..

Now though, after thoroughly devouring the streets and food scene in the Big Easy, I'm back home..

An though sadly my journey to New Orleans is over, it didn't take long before I felt the need to do a little culinary invention of my own and get back into my favorite room in the house—the kitchen..

An what better dish to make on my return from NOLA, then my own version of a Cajun-Creole standard—"Jambalaya"

Using a mix of chicken, andouille sausage and slow cooked beef stew meat with my peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs & spices to create this "just spicy enough" version of a tasty jambalaya was the result..

Came out perfectly and such a nice addition with the beef—was practically ready to fall apart as soon as you put it in your mouth. An the heat, just perfect—spicy enough to enjoy but not so hot as to wake the dead down in Louisiana..

Just be sure leave a bottle of hot sauce on the table for those in your home that will only settle for a "Four Alarm Fire" in their mouth and nothing else..

"Definitely Delish" an definitely a dish that you, and your family, will absolutely enjoy—trust me...

 

"Cajun-Creole Jambalaya"

Ingredients:
For Jambalaya:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless white meat Chicken cut into pieces
3/4 pound andouille, sliced or diced (pre-cooked is easier to slice)
1 medium Sweet Vidalia Onion, chopped
2 ribs Celery, chopped
2 Bell Peppers, chopped (I used a mix of yellow, orange and green for color)
1 Bay Leaf, fresh or dried
1/8 teaspoon hungarian Paprika
2 to 3 tablespoons (a handful) all-purpose Flour (plus more for coating chicken and beef)
1 (14-ounce) can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes in juice
1 (14 ounce) can crushed San Marzano Tomotoes
2 cups low sodium Chicken Stock or Chicken Bone Broth
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) Cumin
1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) Poultry Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse Sea salt and Black Pepper
Chopped Scallions(green onions), for garnish
Chopped Chives, for garnish
Chopped fresh Italian Parsley, for garnish
Fresh Thyme, chopped for garnish

For Beef:
1 pound Beef Sirloin, cut into a mix of 1 or 2 inch cubes
2 cups of Beef Broth
1/4 Red Wine
pinch of dried Thyme and Sage
enough Water to cover meat
1 tablespoon Butter & Olive Oil
2/3 cup Flour, 1 tsp. Sea Salt and Black Pepper for coating

For Risotto:
2 cups of Risotto rice
2 cups of Chicken Bone Broth or Stock
2 cups of Water
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1 tablespoon of Butter

Directions:
For Beef:
1. Mix 2/3 of a cup of flour (or gluten free alternative) with a teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Then slice your beef sirloin into cubes of about 1 or 2 inches in size. Toss together to coat all sides of your beef with the flour mixture..
2. Add beef broth, red wine and herbs to a small pot with butter and bring to a low boil on medium heat..
3. In your main chef's pot or saute pan with deep sides, heat a tablespoon of butter and olive oil on medium high heat--then add your beef, in batches if necessary, searing/browning all sides of your beef stew meat..
4. Remove from the beef from the pan and transfer to the simmering broth and add water, if needed, to cover completely. Bring the small pot to a boil, cover and reduce temperature to simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or till almost ready to shred, then remove from heat--be sure not to over cook as we want it to retain it's shape and not have the beef falling apart..

For Risotto Rice:
1. Add two cups of risotto, 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 cups of chicken bone broth, 2 cups of water and sea salt..
2. Bring to a boil, stir and then cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook on a low boil/simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and leave covered till needed..

For Jambalaya:
1. Slice and chop your andouille sausage, chicken (small 1 to 2 inch pieces), vegetables, onions and garnish in preparation. Take several tablespoons of flour, or leftover from the beef, and toss your sliced chicken in it to coat..
2. Heat a tablespoon of butter and olive oil on medium high heat in your deep sided saute or chef's pan. Add chicken in a layer and let sit for 2 minutes before flipping to sear, cook for an additional minute to brown slightly before adding the slice sausage and cooking for 2 more minutes..
3. Add the chopped onion, celery,bell pepper, bay leaf and paprika (can sub cayenne for a spicier flavor). Saute the vegetables with meat, stirring the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour over the pan and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring..
4. Stir in your tomatoes and chicken bone broth(stock), then season with cumin, chili, poultry seasoning and worcestershire sauce. Bring everything to a low boil, adjusting heat if necessary..
5. Strain liquids out of the small pot of beef, then transfer beef to the main saute pan and stir to mix. Cover loosely and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes..
6. Ladle servings into your serving bowls and using a small ice cream scoop, place a scoop or two of rice onto the center of the bowlfuls of jambalaya. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, black pepper, chopped scallions, chives, minced parsley and thyme to garnish..

Notes:
1. For thicker jambalaya you can add additional flour or "Wondra" to the pan as a thickening agent near to the end of cooking..
2. I enjoy the low sodium Chicken Bone Broth for the extra nutrients, but Chicken Broth or Stock is fine as a replacement..
3. For a spicier version use a whole teaspoon of chili powder with 1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne instead of the paprika and smaller amount of chili powder..
4. I like the sticky, creamy texture of the risotto but you can sub in plain enriched white rice. You want it to be sticky for the effect of scooping it on top, but it's not a deal breaker if it's not..
 

"Kobe-Wagyu Burger Benedict with Avocado"

"Kobe-Wagyu Sirloin Burger Eggs Benedict" with "Avocado" and "Peppered Asiago" on top of a buttered & toasted "English Crumpet"

It's been a rough couple of weeks for cooking; between my birthday, the holiday, doctors and other things—just hasn't seemed like I had it in me to do much in the kitchen...
Now, though, after a week or so of abject laziness on my part, or so it might have appeared, I've decided to jump back in with a simple "Sunday Brunch" style dish with a tiny twist all my own...
So feast your eyes on the yummy pictures because this week we're pretty much heading straight to the recipes; give it a try yourself, all or in parts, I think you'll find it to be oh so "Definitely Delish"

 

"English Crumpet"

"English Crumpet"

"Warm Crumpets"

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups plain flour (all purpose)
1 level teaspoon salt
1 level tablespoon dried yeast
1 level teaspoon caster sugar (regular sugar will also work)
1/2 pint milk (just over 1 cup. You may need a little more.)
6 Tablespoons cold water

Note:
You need some egg rings or metal rings to shape the crumpets when they are cooking. If you don’t have, use a clean shallow can with both ends removed...

"Eggs Benedict"

Directions:
1. In a jug measure out the milk and place in the microwave for 80 seconds. It needs to be warm to touch and NOT hot. Then add the 6 tablespoons of cold water, stir and then stir in the sugar and dried yeast and leave it in a warm place for 10-15 minutes till there is a good frothy head on it...
2. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the center then, when the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it all in. Next use a wooden spoon or hand whisk, to work the flour into the liquid gradually and beat well at the end to make a perfectly smooth batter. The batter should be like pouring consistency, a bit like drinking yogurt. Not thick. If it is too thick, add more milk until it is loose enough...
3. Cover the basin with a tea-towel and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes - by which time, the batter will have become light and frothy...
4. Then we cook the crumpets: grease the insides of the egg rings well, and grease the frying pan as well before placing it over a LOW heat. I put some vegetable oil in a bowl and keep it handy to brush the pan & rings...
5. Arrange the rings in the frying pan and, when the pan is hot, spoon 2 tablespoons of the crumpet batter into each ring. Depending on the size of your rings, the batter should be 1 inch high...
6. Let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes: First tiny bubbles will appear on the surface and then, suddenly, they will burst, leaving the traditional holes...
7. When your crumpets look like they're beginning to set, this is when you need to take a knife and go around the inside to release the crumpet (it might have stuck to the ring) and carefully push the crumpet through onto the pan and then they are ready to carefully turn over. It is only when you see the holes and the surface begin to set, you need to release the crumpet from the ring and turn them...
8. Please be careful when touching the rings..they will be hot! So use a cloth...
9. Now take a large spoon and fork, lift off the rings and turn the crumpets over. Cook the crumpets on the second side for about 1 minute only. Re-grease and reheat the rings and pan before cooking the next batch of crumpets...
10. Serve the crumpets while still warm, generously buttered. If you are making crumpets in advance, then reheat them by toasting lightly on both sides before serving...

"Creamy  Hollandaise  Sauce"

"Creamy Hollandaise Sauce"


"Hollandaise Sauce"

Ingredients:
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cream
1 cup (1/2 pound) melted butter, cooled to room temperature
2/3 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
 
Directions:
1. Use a small, thick ceramic bowl set in a heavy-bottomed pan, or a heavyweight double boiler. Off the heat, put the egg yolks and cream in the bowl or upper section of the double boiler and stir with a wire whisk until well-blended — the mixture should never be beaten but stirred, evenly, vigorously and continually...
2. Place the container over hot water (if you are setting the bowl in water, there should be about 1 1/2 inches of water in the pan; in a double boiler, the water should not touch the top section)...
3. Stirring eggs continuously, bring the water slowly to a simmer. Do not let it boil. Stir, incorporating the entire mixture so there is no film at the bottom...
4. When the eggs have thickened to consistency of very heavy cream, begin to add the cooled melted butter with one hand, stirring vigorously with the other...
5. Pour extremely slowly so that each addition is blended into the egg mixture before more is added...
6. When all the butter has been added, add the lemon juice or vinegar a drop at a time and immediately remove from heat. Add salt and a mere dash of cayenne...

Note:
If you proceed with care your Hollandaise should not curdle. If it does, however, don't despair. Finish adding the butter as best you can. Remove sauce to a small bowl, clean the pot and put a fresh egg yolk in it. Start over again, using the curdled sauce as if it were the butter...

"Plastic Wrap for the Win"

"Plastic Wrap for the Win"


"Poached Eggs Easy"

Ingredients:
Eggs
Plastic wrap
Nonstick Spray

"Poached Perfection"

"Poached Perfection"

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to just under a simmer. It should be steaming, but not boiling or simmering at all...
2. Working with one egg at a time, line a bowl with a piece of plastic wrap about 8 inches long...
3. Spray the plastic wrap very lightly with nonstick spray...
4. Crack an egg into the center of the bowl. Pull the edges of the plastic wrap up to form a little packet with the egg in the center...
5. Twist the plastic so it seals at the top and make sure to keep it secure. Do as many eggs as you want this way!
6. When you're ready to cook the eggs, just dangle them in the water and make sure they aren't touching the bottom of the pan. Move them around slowly so the water circulates around the eggs. Cook them for about 3-4 minutes depending on the size of your egg. At any point you can lift the eggs out of the water and feel them, they should be firm and white around the outside but give a bit in the center...
7. When they are done, move all the eggs to an ice bath to stop the cooking...
8. When you're ready to serve the eggs, just dunk them back in the hot water or about 15 seconds to reheat them. Then cut off the top of the plastic and the plastic will fall away and you'll be left with a perfect soft cooked egg...


"Kobe-Wagyu Sirloin Burger"

Ingredients:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of Wagyu Beef Sirloin (I ground it myself, but you could find pre-ground)
1 teaspoon Sea Salt

"Benedict with a Twist"

 

Directions:
1. Mix together and form into patties and then cook in a fry pan or on a grill at medium to medium high heat until cooked to liking, aprox. 3 to 5 minutes....

 

 

 

 

"Delish Brunch"

"Kobe-Wagyu Sirloin Burger Eggs Benedict" with "Avocado" and "Peppered Asiago"

Ingredients:
Pre-made Crumpets (from above recipes)
Pre-made Burgers (from above recipes)
Pre-made Hollandaise (from above recipes)
Poached Eggs (from above recipes)
1 ripe Avocado, seeded and sliced
1 chunk peppered Asiago cheese, shaved/grated
Fresh chopped Chives for garnish
Fresh chopped Italian Parsley for garnish
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste
Butter for Crumpets

"Like my Burger on the rare side but you can cook to liking"

Directions:
1. Make above recipes in amounts needed for the amount of people you plan to serve, saving extras in the fridge if not needed...
2. Toast and butter a crumpet, place a cooked kobe-wagyu burger on top and follow that with one poached egg...
3. Place 3 slices of avocado on top followed by several spoonfuls of Hollandaise sauce, then a teaspoon or two of grated cheese...
4. Garnish with chives, parsley, salt and pepper to taste...

Serve and Enjoy........

"Sunday Brunch Benedict"

"Healthy Faux PF Chang's Mongolian Beef" with "Noodles"

"Healthy Mongolian Beef with Ramen Substitute"

Every once and awhile I will see a picture, walk by an item or think of something and say to myself—"You know what, I just have to try that"

Recently I had experienced an almost cascading avalanche of these ideas an fixations as a plethora of thoughts went tumbling through my mind...

 

 

"Blue Orchids"

It all started, simply enough, with a discussion of ramen noodles and how I first got into cooking as a kid by playing around with the seasoning and cooking method of this simple, cheap staple of college students and kids practically the world over...

Shortly after this; and with the thoughts of ramen still percolating through my subconscious, like magic, I wandered across the image of an Asian beef dish while skimming an article which included, amazingly enough, ramen noodles...

"Faux-PF Chang's Mongolian Beef with Ramen"

It was then that I truly began to get intrigued. I mean, I haven't had ramen in so long but maybe just maybe it'd be worth it—still I wasn't sold just yet...

Finally as I walked the aisles of my local market I passed, in the freezer case, what just happened to be the exact same beef dish I had just seen in the article—"PF Chang's Mongolian Beef"

This is what finally set off the shock-wave within my brain causing my thoughts to begin that headlong rush, that unstoppable tsunami, which would culminate in the creation of a new landscape and, I hoped, a new recipe worth sharing...

 

"Descending"

I began researching and almost gave up the journey; the carbs, the sugars, the sodium was just massive—I mean I just don't eat like that anymore, being on the wrong side of "40" and all that...

It was then I said to myself that it must have been "kismet" or "serendipity" that brought me here through this congruence of events, that the universe itself must be telling me to look further into this and not give up so easily—that just maybe I could find a better way to a better recipe...

And I did...

 

Using every trick in the book, and a few I didn't even know where an option, I eventually came up with what so closely resembles the flavors and textures of "PF Chang's Mongolian Beef" but with a vastly healthier list of ingredients and all of it finished off with my newest, favorite noodle substitute—the "Miracle Noodle" or "Shirataki Noodles"

None of the fat, sugar or heavy starches of the ramen dish I first saw but with all of that amazing flavor. Try it out yourself; I think you'll find that it is, most assuredly, oh so
"Definitely Delish"

"Healthy Mongolian Beef"

"Healthy Faux-PF Chang's Mongolian Beef" with "Noodles"

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb lean Sirloin, sliced/cut small (I used lean Filet Mignon cuts)
2 tbsp Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Coconut oil
1 Bell Pepper, sliced into thin strips (I used a mix of Orange and Yellow)
3 Green Onions, chopped
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 package Angel Hair Miracle Noodle (Shirataki Noodles)

For Sauce:
2 tbsp Toasted Sesame oil
1/2 cup Tamari Lite Japanese Soy Sauce
3-4 tbsp Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
1 1/4 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
5 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

"21day Fix Mongolian Beef"

Directions:
1. Slice the lean beef into small thin pieces against the grain, pat dry with paper towels. Then place the beef in a medium sized bowl with the cornstarch and mix together to lightly coat...
2. Prepare your "Shirataki Miracle Noodles" by first rinsing them off in a colander for 2 minutes under warm water. Then place them in a small pot of water and bring to a boil, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. When ready drain in the colander and rinse again for 30 seconds under warm water. Finally place drained noodles in a large non-stick pan and cook on medium heat, without oil, for approximately 8 to 10 minutes to dry and toughen up the noodles, being careful not to overcook...
3. In a wok, or non stick skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil on medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add beef and cook until browned on all sides. It will take 2 to 3 batches because you want the beef to brown without sticking together. Also add another tablespoon of coconut oil after the first batch and feel free to add more if needed...
4. Remove beef from the wok to a plate, covering with foil and then add the 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan...
5. Add the bell pepper and saute it for a couple minutes just until it begins to soften. Remove the pepper from the skillet to a plate and set aside.
6. In that same skillet add all of the sauce ingredients, the sesame oil, tamari soy sauce, truvia brown sugar, garlic, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens a bit and reduces by about a quarter. It can take up to about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and reduces. You don't want to reduce it by too much because you want enough sauce to coat the noodles and beef...
7. Return the beef and bell pepper to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Add the cooked shirataki miracle noodles to the wok and toss everything together. Top with sliced green onions and serve while hot...

"Window on the Wetlands"

"The Perfect Steak"

"The Perfect Steak"

It was another wonderful night with my Baby and I decided to cook us up some yummy steaks tonight...

So, after a quick trip to the butcher, I came home with some beautifully marbled and extra thick Aged Shell Steaks...

Letting them sit on the counter and come to room temperature (for about a half hour or so) is key, otherwise you will over cook the beef before the center warms at all...

"Sunlight breaks across the Shore"

While they were sitting I prepared some asparagus with heirloom tomatoes, lightly smashed garlic and thyme for the oven-a little sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste, and then it was time...

Turning on both the oven, and stove top, I began preheating both; 400 degrees for the veggies to roast and high heat for my cast iron skillet...

"NY Shell Steaks-thick cut and delicious"

Now, using paper towels, I dried off the steaks and then seasoned them simply with some fresh Cracked Pepper and "Fleur de Sel" Coarse Sea Salt...

A quick drizzle off "Kalamata" Olive Oil into the super hot pan and in go the Steaks...

With the pan so hot the steaks get a nice sear going quickly and after just a few seconds they're ready to be turned over...

A little attention, turning the steaks every 30 seconds to cook evenly and just the simplest of ingredients-garlic, thyme, salt and butter...

"The Sunrise rainbow-hearted steals athwart the misty brine"

Then in almost no time at all you're left with these beautifully crusted and seared Steaks cooked to perfection...

So unbelievably tasty and flavorful; and with the roasted Asparagus, Tomatoes and Garlic on the side-just like fine dining in the best Steakhouse in town...

A wonderful & simple dish that me and my Sweetie enjoyed immensely- and oh so "Definitely Delish

"The most beautiful Steak in the World"


"The Perfect Steak"

Ingredients:
2 Thick Cut Steaks (I used NY Shell Steaks)
2-3 large cloves Garlic
6-8 Sprigs fresh Thyme
1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil (Kalamata)
2 tablespoons Irish Sweet Cream Butter
Coarse Sea Salt (Fleur de Sel)
Cracked Black Pepper

 

"Perfectly Crusted & Delicious"

"Perfectly Crusted & Delicious"

Directions:
1. Remove packaging and pat meat dry with paper towels. Line a plate with paper towels, place meat on top and set aside to dry further and come to cool room temperature (30 to 60 minutes, depending on the weather). Turn occasionally; replace paper towels as needed...
2. Place cast-iron skillet on high heat on stove top and preheat for 5-7 minutes...
3. Grind fresh pepper over steaks and sprinkle liberally with coarse salt; mopping up seasoning from cutting board with steaks...

"Love mine on the rare side...Yum"

4. When pan is preheated, add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and immediately place steaks in pan. (Should hear the steaks sizzling)
5. After 30 seconds turn steaks over, they should already have a nice brown sear going-continue cooking turning steaks every 30 seconds to insure even cooking...
6. Place the steaks on their edges, tilting the pan so the drippings run towards the meat...
7. Place Steaks flat again and add the lightly crushed cloves of Garlic, sprigs of fresh Thyme, a touch more Oil and a light sprinkling of Sea Salt...

"So Stunning & So Simple"


8. Add 2 tablespoons of sliced Irish Sweet Cream Butter, melt and then baste steaks with it and the pan drippings...
9. Check for your desired level of temperature (rare to well done) with an instant-read thermometer or cut and check the color...
10. Rub steaks with the garlic cloves from in the pan and when cooked to your liking remove to a cutting board and cover loosely with tin foil for 3 or so minutes...
11. Slice and serve with roasted vegetables or whatever side you prefer...

Notes:
1. Serve with a nice full bodied Red Wine; my favorite for this is an Italian Amarone or South American Malbec..
2. Side dishes can range anywhere from baked potatoes, creamed spinach to prosciutto wrapped roasted asparagus-use your imagination and go crazy...

"Veal Bolognese Balls with Pasta & Garlic in Oil"

"Veal Bolognese Meatballs"

I love coming home, or getting up on a weekend and throwing a huge pot of sauce on to simmer the whole day. Especially when it's my "Sunday Gravy" or "Bolognese Sauce" recipes; which are just full of a ton of yummy, delicious flavors & meats...

Time, though, is not always on my side. So not to long back I worked out a way of cutting the time down on my personal "Bolognese Sauce" recipe from 6 or 7 hours of slow cooking, simmering, goodness to a more manageable 3 hours or less - which has been nothing short of incredible if you ask me...

Now after years of doing certain things a certain way; my "Bolognese" perfected, my meatball recipe for my "Sunday Gravy" set - I decided it was high time to try to play around with everything and make something new out of thin air...

"Baked Meatballs & Pasta"

 

So taking up some of my very best, tried and true recipes; I then force-ably smashed them together, and from the scattered remnants I started picking through the fragments of tasty puzzle pieces left hither & thither across the length & breadth of my kitchen island...

 

From these bits and pieces of culinary invention I began to cobble together a new, imaginative, culinary creation for me and the family to enjoy - and that's where this delicious dish first sparked to life...

"Venice, bella Venezia"

So fitting some of the tastes and ingredients of my "Bolognese" with my recipe for "Meatballs" and throwing that in with a slightly altered version of my "Capellini Aglio e Olio" I ended up with this extremely tasty dinner treat; which, for want of a better name, I am calling for now "Veal Bolognese Balls with Pasta & Garlic in Oil" or "Vitello Bolognesi Sfere con Capellini & Aglio e Olio"

I know, I know; I definitely need to figure a better name down the road for this tasty pasta dish but for now it'll do, because regardless of what it's called - it is, oh so "Definitely Delish"

 

"Veal Meatballs & Pasta"

  "Veal Bolognese Style Meatballs with Pasta & Garlic in Oil"
  (Vitello Bolognesi Sfere con Capellini & Aglio e Olio)

Ingredients:
For Meatballs:
1 pound ground Veal
4 ounces lean Pancetta (or Prosciutto), thick cut & diced
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan, Asiago & Romano cheese, grated & mixed
1/4 White Wine
1/4 Red Wine
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 cloves fresh Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup Fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 sweet Vidalia Onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon each of Sea Salt and Black Pepper

"The Grand Canal in Venice"

For Pasta:
1 lb dried Capellini pasta
1/2 cup Olive Oil
4 tablespoons Butter
9 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
3/4 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
1 teaspoon fresh Basil, minced
1 teaspoon fresh Oregano, minced
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 cup Parmesan, Romano & Asiago cheeses, freshly grated & mixed together
1 teaspoon Pink (or Sea) Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced 

Directions:
For Meatballs:
1. Place ground Veal (Beef or Beef substitute if desired) in a bowl and then add both the red and white wine; mix them together, then allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes...
2. Meanwhile grate your cheese, chop your parsley and mince your onion and garlic in preparation...
3. At this time heat a small frying pan over medium to medium high heat and cook your pancetta (or proscioutto) till it just begins to brown, 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. (Do not overcook, it will cook more in oven)
4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (see Notes for options); then add all of your meatball ingredients to the bowl containing your meat, and mix extremely well using your hands...
5. Take out a cookie sheet or baking tray with a lip and begin rolling your meatballs; I try not to pack them overly tightly, and stick to medium and small sizes so that you make a good amount of meatballs from the bowl of mix...
6. Place each meatball onto the baking tray, and once you've used up all of the meat, place them into the oven to bake for 30 minutes or cooked through. (Do not overcook to avoid drying them out) While they bake, prepare your pasta...

"Baked Meatballs with Pasta and Garlic"

For Pasta:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta, cooking until al dente, about 3 minutes (for Capellini); reserve 3 cups of cooking liquid from the pot on the side, then run the pasta itself under cool water to stop the cooking process....
2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat...
3. Add garlic and stir frequently until the garlic is nice and golden...
4. Then add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper...
5. Next add 4 tablespoons of butter and melt, stirring...
6. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes more, then add in the 3/4 cup of white wine and cook for an additional minute or two before adding the pinch of basil and dash of paprika...
7. Add the Al dente cooked Pasta directly to the pan. Toss until it is thoroughly coated with the garlic oil, add reserved cooking liquid (1/2 cup at a time) as needed to thin the butter/wine/garlic/oil sauce on the pasta...
8. Add several pinches of parsley and a couple of tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan, Romano & Asiago cheeses along with the juice from 1 lemon and stir...
9. Now add the baked Veal Meatballs to the pot, mix in and cook - stirring to meld flavors for a couple minutes more.... 
10. Remove pan from heat; add the remaining parsley, grated cheeses and then toss well. Check for flavor and adjust the salt & pepper if necessary. (If needed add additional reserved cooking liquid
11. Garnish with more Parsley and Parmesan if desired—then serve and enjoy....

"Saint Mark's Square, Venice"

Notes:
1. Serve with a nice white wine; such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Also, hot crusty Italian bread with plenty of softened butter as well as extra grated cheese is a must in our home when serving this up...
2. Alternatively you can cook the Meatballs in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until cooked through...
3. If you are against veal, or dislike beef or pork you can also try this with ground turkey or chicken - though the taste will be different depending on the meat or meat mix you use...

                                 

                                

"Cooking up some Korean style BBQ way ahead of the Summer Weather"

"Korean Beef Bulgogi"

After a week of crazy weather here in New York; from warm and wet to freezing cold with "tornado like" gusts of wind, we finally have some calmer skies and sunshine...
So since the day is remarkably nice out for a change, I decided to try out a little something new on the menu today...
So, cranking up the grill (and it's not even summer grilling season yet), I got to work...
What I ended up making for us was "Korean Filet Mignon Beef Bulgogi"
Bulgogi means "fire meat" and has more to do with the style of cooking involved; though I have to say, that there is definitely a nice lil kick to the sauce I created as well...

"Beef Bulgogi with Pickled Veggies"

"Beef Bulgogi with Pickled Veggies"

It was so tasty; from the toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onion and tender sliced filet - all the way thru the varied flavors of the "Homemade Sauce" it was tossed in, to coat....
Alongside of that I added a small serving of thin rice noodles tossed in toasted sesame oil with toasted sesame seeds an scallions to garnish, and a spoonful of vegetables pickled in sugar, vinegar, lime juice and chili-garlic sauce....
Loved the taste, because it was so "Definitely Delish"

 

"Sun light through the clouds at the Peace and Plenty Inn"

"Korean Beef Bulgogi"

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons Scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons Japanese Soy Sauce
1/4 teaspoon fresh Ginger, finely grated
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Chili-Garlic sauce
1 tablespoon Water
1 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper, to taste
12-16 ounces lean Sirloin (or Filet Mignon), sliced
1 package Thin Rice Noodles

Directions:
To Make Sauce:
1. Simmer brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili-garlic sauce and sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes...
2. Combine water and cornstarch and whisk it into the sauce; return to a high simmer and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from heat and set aside...

"Korean Beef Bulgogi" with "Pickled Veggies" and "Thin Rice Noodles"

Remaining Directions:
1. Toast sesame seeds in a 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (being careful not to burn), remove and set aside till ready to use...
2. Turn on grill and/or pre-heat grill pan; then slice beef into strips about 3/4's of an inch thick and several inches long...
3. Pat dry and season with a tiny bit of sea salt and pepper; also begin to cook rice noodles according to package directions at this time...
4. Brush grill top with oil and arrange slices of beef and cook for about 2 minutes per side (or a little less if you prefer it to be rarer) - once done toss cooked beef in a bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of the prepared sauce, tossing to coat...
5. Arrange on a plate and garnish with sliced green onions (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds...
6. Serve with cooked rice noodles tossed with toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions (I served mine with pickled matchstick cut vegetables-see Notes for info)

Notes:
1. Serve left over sauce in small dipping bowls on the side of each serving plate...
2. For a side dish try this one below or serve with fresh stir fry veggies of your choice, mixed with some of the "Beef Bulgolgi" sauce...

"Pickled Matchstick Cut Vegetables" (additional side dish recipe)

"Korean Filet-Mignon Beef Bulgogi"

"Korean Filet-Mignon Beef Bulgogi"

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Red Cabbage, sliced/shredded
1 1/4 cups Carrots, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup Yellow Squash, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup Bean Sprouts
1 teaspoon Soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Lime juice
1-2 teaspoons Chili-Garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh Ginger, grated (or minced finely)

Directions:
1. Cut vegetables accordingly and toss together; then in a separate bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together...
2. Toss vegetables with liquid ingredient mix and cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to meld flavors, adjust taste with sea salt, pepper or additional vinegar & oil if necessary...