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
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.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
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.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This was my first time using cardoons. I stumbled upon the celery stalk impostor while perusing fresh direct and I ordered it without having any idea what I would do with it or even how to cook it. I asked some friends about it and people speak of the mild artichoke flavor with such reverence, that despite it being a bit of a pain to prepare, I couldn't wait to try it. Mario Batali commented on my twitter post, saying it is his favorite fall vegetable. I did some research on how to cook the thing and found that most recipes call for either breading & frying it or have a beschamel or cheesey/saucy component. I asked Iron Chef Marc Forgione on twitter and he suggested a cardoon and celery root gratin; sounds delicious, but wasn't exactly what I was looking for. After giving it some thought, I came up with this dish as my first experiment: Rib Eye with Cardoon, Fennel & Brussel Sprout Leaves and Cardoon Fries.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
this is a play on the classic italian caprese salad and is perfect as a first course, salad or snack. instead of the traditional buffala mozzarella, tomato and basil combo, i gave this version a little bit of a mediteranean/middle eastern twist by using grilled haloumi cheese, tomatoes, mint instead of basil and topped it off with a very simple balsamic glaze. i'm really psyched about this dish and its a pretty cool way to have grilled haloumi. if you're not familiar with haloumi, it is a firm greek cheese that is very popular all over the middle east made with either sheeps milk, cows milk or a combination of the two. haloumi does'nt melt, so you can fry it, pan sear it or in this case, grill it. the grill gives the haloumi a really nice smokiness that contrasts the freshness of the cold tomatoes and mint; the balsamic provides a welcome sweetness that you will be mopping off the plate. theres a lot of stuff happening in this very simple dish - hot, cold, sweet, salty, savory, smoky & fresh all in one bite. its pretty impressive considering its simplicity. awesome.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
this dish was inspired by a meal that we had at cafe boulud here in manhattan this past august. the whole meal was spectacular and the service and wine were tops but this particular dish really stood out in my mind, so figured i'd try to recreate it; plus it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new mandolin.
Monday, October 17, 2011
For the first post on Rock This Onion, I've made a dish that I've been thinking about putting together for a while now, but just never got around to trying; maybe because I didnt really do very much braising during the summer months. It is based on a dish that I've grown up with and have eaten a million times: Kibbe Cherry. Check out thekosherfoodies.com for a more traditional recipe, but here, I've taken the traditional Syrian sauce and merged it with some not so traditional short ribs, served it over mashed potatoes and garnished it with a little torn mint. This dish came out better that I expected. The short ribs were super tender and the sauce was a little tangy and a little sweet which was balanced by the mashed potatoes. The mint did a nice job of cutting through the richness of the meat and sauce. Some chopped scallions over the top might be a nice addition to add even a little more freshness to cut that richness because, well...it's a pretty rich dish which makes it very satisfying now that it's getting cold out.