Thursday, March 1, 2012

Seared Tuna, Golden Beet Puree, Daikon Radish/Apple slaw, Edamame

I havent made a seared tuna in a few years, since I began dating my wife actually.  As a matter of fact, the first meal I ever cooked for my wife while we were dating was a seared tuna.  Guess it worked.  Give it a try, you will be rewarded.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Soul Food: Fried Chicken, Braised Collard Greens, Corn Bread & Mashed Potatoes

 Ok, so we went all the way on this one.  Twice fried chicken, collard greens, corn bread, and mashed potatoes.  That sauce you see in the photo is a sriracha honey that I nicked from Michael Symon. I recently saw him mix honey with a little sriracha hot sauce on his new show.  I just added a little rice vinegar for a little more tang and thinned it out with some water.  We also had a side of roasted brussel sprouts that didn't make it onto this plate.  Did I mention I fried the chicken in duck fat?  Oh, cause, I fried the chicken in duck fat.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Filet Mignon". Blueberry Reduction. Polenta. Spinach.

 I stopped in at the grand opening of Prime Butcher Baker yesterday, the brand new kosher butcher and bakery on 2nd Ave. and 83rd St. brought to you by the owners of Prime Grill, Solo & Prime KO.  The place is really nice, clean, well lit and has a wide selection of interesting cuts that you don't usually find at most butchers.  With all the interesting variety of meats offered at Prime, it looks like the focus of the store is going to be their dry aged beef, so of course thats what I went with for this little Valentine's day dinner for me and my wife.

I noticed a "filet mignon" in the butcher case, which I found odd considering the filet is an inherently unkosher cut as it comes from the tenderloin - located in the hindquarter of the cow.  All cuts from this region are deemed unkosher by Jewish dietary law.  The butcher attempted to create a kosher version of the filet by cutting out the "eye" from the ribeye in order to mimic the shape and texture of the tenderloin and then dry aging it.  It's a bit expensive, but it was really flavorful and tender.

I pretty much knew immediately that I was going to sear off the beef and finish it in the oven, but I had no idea what I was going to pair it with until I got home and started digging around the fridge.  We had some blueberries, so I figured I might as well make a sauce out of it.  It was a total experiment, but the sweetness and acidity really complemented the beef nicely and I think it looked really dramatic on the plate.  The spinach and polenta were a complete afterthought, but they really rounded out the dish.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tile Fish Curry with Glazed Rainbow Carrots

A couple times a month we'll order in from our favorite Indian restaurant here on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and very often, I'll hit up Kati Roll for lunch (If your in Midtown Manhattan, try the Paneer and Unda Aloo rolls and thank me later).  My point is, I love Indian food and it wasn't until pretty recently that I was able to get my wife into it, which is great for me, because I get to eat it more often.

This dish is a little bit of a riff on the popular "Tikka Masala" sauce that is very often paired with chicken, lamb or paneer (cheese), here I paired it with a tilefish filet, which is very mild flavored firm flesh white fish.  Next time, I'd probably use a fish that is a little stronger in flavor, like a sea bass, in order to stand up to the mildly spicy sauce.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are a popular Morrocan and Middle Eastern ingredient, typically found in tagines and stuff.  You can buy them, but you might as well make them, its so easy, it just takes about a month.  

Here, I used Meyer Lemons which are not as sour as regular lemons.  Cut an X through the top of the lemon, going most of the way down, just leave it connected at the bottom.  Fill each lemon with salt  (I used kosher salt, French gris sea salt and Hawaiin Alaea salt) and smash all the lemons into the jar, so some of the juice is released. Toss in some chili flakes, bay leaf, coriander and fennel seeds and top it off with some more lemon juice if necessary to cover all the lemons.  Leave it on the counter for a couple days then stick it in the fridge for a few weeks.  You can then use the rinds in a variety of dishes.  Check out the risotto recipe below.


Roasted Root Vegetable Risotto with Preserved Meyer Lemon Ricotta

Like ravioli, risotto is one of those perfect vehicles for leftovers.  Once you get the risotto technique down, there are endless possibilities.  You can pretty much throw anything in there.  We had a bunch of leftover roasted root vegetables from dinner on Friday night- sweet potato, golden beets, brussel sprouts and zucchini, all simply roasted with olive oil, salt & pepper-  so thats what went into this risotto. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Duck Breast, Rutabega Mash, Sauteed Chanterelles, Pomegranate Gastrique

I love duck.  I love the slight gaminess, almost a cross between chicken and beef, but totally not. It's it's own ducky thing. The problem is, my wife has always hated it; or so she thought, until today.  She would never let me cook duck in the house, because I made it once while she was pregnant and she got sick from the smell, but in all fairness, she got sick from almost EVERYTHING while she was prego.... so thats not a very good indicator anyway.  Nevertheless, she LOVED this dish.

I found this website, that sells really high quality Glatt Kosher grass-fed beef and lamb, and organic, humanely and sustainably-raised poultry (hows that for buzz words).  So I ordered a bunch of stuff from there including these duck breasts.  Experiments with the rest of my order from Kol Foods coming soon (duck liver, lamb sausage, really thick rib eye steaks). Exciting stuff, so go over to the ROCK THIS ONION Facebook Page and "LIKE" it so you can keep up with the updates.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Miso Udon With Cod

A lot of these ingredients were just things that I happen to have around, so it was perfect for cleaning out my fridge.  Theres a good amount of vegetables in here so it makes it pretty healthy and it hits the salty spot, if you're into that.  You can also use any other vegetables that you may have lying around -  string beens, parsnips, celery, sugar snap peas, cabbage, spinach... all good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Leftover Butternut Squash Soup Ravioli

So, it's been a while since my last post, but its been a busy couple weeks.  But I'm back now, so here we go.  
I don't know about you, but I made way too much butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving.  This dish is the perfect way to use some leftover soup- stuff it in a ravioli and serve it with sage brown butter!
"Ravioli are just a delivery system for leftovers" - Mario Batali

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Red Snapper. Butternut Squash. Balsamic Pickled Beets. Sunchokes.

Sunchokes, butternut squash, beets... fall is in full swing.
Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem Artichokes, bear no resemblance to artichokes and they don't come from Jerusalem.  In fact, it's a root vegetable that is part of the sunflower family.  It looks like a ginger root but has a sweet and nutty flavor that actually tastes like sunflower seeds.  Very cool vegetable if you're looking for something new to add to your repertoire this season. It can be roasted, mashed, pureed, and in this case very simply sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper and finished with a little butter to enhance the natural sweetness.
The pickled beets give a nice brightness that contrasts the creamy sweetness of the butternut squash and the nuttiness of the sunchokes. The crispy fish skin gives a textural contrast to the puree and the pea tendrils add a fresh... "pea" flavor.  That's right, these little green shoots from pea plants actually taste like peas, but they look like a micro green.  They're not always available, so take advantage if you see them in the market.   You can use them in their raw state, like I did here, or they can be sauteed like spinach or myriad of other ways...but that's for another post.

Oh...and Bruce Springsteen announced a new album and world tour today.  Happy days.