Tag: Recipe

Salad with honey-poached plums

While the Serious Foodie philosophy is to cook what’s fresh, what’s in season, sometimes, there are exceptions.  There were beautiful plums at the local store, coming from Chile in October.  We secured a bunch of large black and red plums, along with red-tipped lettuce, arugula,fresh radishes, and a sprouted celery root. It made for a pretty, and awesome, salad. The poaching recipe used here is a variation of a recipe we created for poached apricots, peaches, or poached pears used in desserts. POACHED PLUMS Ingredients – 4 cups dry white wine (Italian Soave or Pinot Grigio work well) – 4 tablespoons honey – 3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped – 1/2 teaspoon cardomon – Two whole peppercorns – Juice from 1/4 lemon, and zest – 4 medium sized plums, cut into 1/4 inch slices 1. In a saucepan large enough to hold the plums, combine the first six ingredients. 2. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the honey has dissolved. 3. Add the plums, and simmer for 15 minutes. 4. Remove the plums.  Remove 1 cup of the poaching liquid, and reserve for making the dressing.  Strain the liquid, removing the peppercorns and bits […]

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey – Brick It!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] There always seems to be a lot of Thanksgiving angst about cooking turkey – worries about underdone parts, overdone parts, and the dreaded dry parts.  We’ve seen a lot of recipes and cooking techniques – roasting versus frying, brine versus dry rub, etc.  What most of the turkey recipes have in common is a lot of work, and a lot of remaining anxiety. In our video series, we show you how to make tender, juicy, fast, and easy chicken every time by grilling under bricks (click HERE to see the video).  The same technique can be used for turkey – and the results are just as consistent – and impressive. The core of the technique is using a butcher’s cut called spatchcock – which is just a weird term which means butterflied turkey (removing the backbone and flattening the bird).  The Serious Foodie video for chicken shows the method – and we also found this awesome YouTube video talking about the virtues of spatchcocked turkey, and shows a great version of the butchering technique: With this technique, you can also toss out the brining step – your spatchcocked. brick grilled turkey will be moist and tender without it.  You […]

Versatile Vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes are simple, flavorful, and versatile sauces. We use them over grilled and smoked fish, with grilled pork and chicken, and even sometimes use them on salads. In this article, we share some of our favorite recipes & techniques for these amazing sauces that can do it all.   Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Lemons are nice – but Meyer lemons are great.  If you have never experience the delight of using Meyer lemons, find a few and try substituting them in some of your lemony recipes. They are sweeter than conventional lemons, and have a much more floral aroma.  Be forewarned:  the commercial harvest in the US is typically from December through May.  I will buy about 2 dozen, then freeze the zest, and separately freeze the juice (usually in ice cube trays to get individual 1 tablespoon quantities). Ingredients: Juice from 2 Meyer lemons Zest from 1 Meyer lemon 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbs  apple cider vinegar 1 tbs minced shallot 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil DIRECTIONS Place the lemon juice,  zest, mustard, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a food processor with a steel blade (you can also do this […]

Know Your Pestos – Recipes for Classic Sauces Part 1

Pesto is simply a technique which combines nuts, salt, herbs, aromatics (such as garlic), and oil together to form a paste.  The word pesto derives from the Italian verb “pestare,” which means to crush.  Originally, all pestos were made by crushing and grinding the ingredients in a mortar and pestle. Most of the Italian recipes add cheese (almost always Parmesan), and quite a few use vegetables such as roasted peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes.  There are versions of pesto that are found in other cuisines (such as the Spanish Romesco sauce) – but we’ll address those in another article. The pesto sauces are very versatile – you can use it with any pasta, or mix it with marinara sauce.  It is also a great cooking sauce for basting roasted chicken or on roasted vegetables.  Use it as a finishing sauce or condiment on burgers, fish, or make a pesto butter for using on steaks. In this article, we explore some of the classic Italian recipes.   Pesto Genovese      Ingredients 1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts 4 cups washed and dried fresh basil (about 3 large bunches) 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1/4 lemon 1/2 cup […]

A New Take on Chicken with Lemon, Olives, and Capers

We have made versions of this recipe for quite a few years, and it is close to a classic recipe.  When we came across a bottle of preserved Meyer lemon (Lulu Gourmet, found at Sur La Table), we thought we’d take a shot at updating this classic recipe.  This recipe would probably work with regular preserved lemons, but the Meyer lemons definitely took this dish up a notch. Ingredients 4 chicken breast halves, or 8 thighs (or a combination) All purpose flour (about 3-4 tablespoons for dusting) Italian seasonings (we use the Serious Foodie Sette Erbe) 4 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 1 cup dry white wine (Soave works well in this recipe) 1/2 cup sliced pitted green Sicilian olives (or other brine-cured green olives) 2 tablespoons drained capers 1 1/2 cup chicken stock Juice and zest from 1/2 Meyer lemon 1 piece preserved Meyer lemon, finely diced Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons butter 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Directions Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and the Italian seasonings.  Dust the chicken pieces with flours, and shake off any excess. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high […]

Braised Swiss Chard

We have an Earth Box filled with Swiss Chard, that keeps giving, and giving, and giving – so we have the advantage of having fresh greens all year round in Florida, picked on our lanai.  Since it is in the same family as beets, we will often combine beet greens with our fresh Swiss Chard. I was talking to my friend Sherry today, who is a great vegetable grower in NJ – and she really hasn’t tried growing Swiss chard (this recipe works well with kale or collard greens).  I promised to post this recipe – a quick, delicious way to cook greens. Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings) 1 bunch Swiss chard 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon salted butter 1 leek – well washed; julienned 1 medium tomato, diced 1/2 cup white wine (Orvietto, Soave, or Pinot Grigio work well) 1/4 cup chicken broth Juice from 1/2 lemon 1/2 teaspoon sugar Salt and pepper to taste Directions Thoroughly wash the Swiss chard; drain, and pat dry.  Cut off the ends of the stems, to about 1-2 inches from the greens (if you want to braise longer, the stems can be added).  Roughly chop the Swiss chard. Place the olive oil […]

Chocolate Decadence

One of our very “Serious” friends – Texans Alan and Jacqui – agreed to share their amazing chocolate dessert that paired perfectly with the wines from our recent Sangiovese Tasting event.  It is a simple, elegant recipe that will surely impress your guests.  Try it with red wine, or wines that were suggested during our great chocolate/wine pairing event. From Chef Wayne Brooks Ingredients: 1 lb butter 1 1/2 cups sugar 6 large eggs 10 oz dark chocolate, cut into pieces Directions: Heat oven to 325° F. Gently heat the butter until just melted. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, over simmering water.  Take the chocolate off the stove, then slowly whisk the butter into the chocolate. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale yellow, thick, and a ribbon forms when beaters are lifted. Fold one fourth of egg mixture into chocolate mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining egg mixture. Pour into a 9-inch cake pan that has been lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Place the cake pan into a larger dish, and fill with enough water to […]

An Excellent Evening with Chef Cristian Feher, And a Recipe for Herb Crusted Lamb Chops

We received a wonderful gift from our future son-in-law (he’s getting lots of brownie points) – a gift certificate to have Chef Cristian Feher cook for us (The Tampa Bay Chef: http://www.tampabaychef.com/). Chef Feher is well-trained, and has traveled the world to learn his craft. As a life-style choice, he decided to become a personal chef, and has done very well for himself in this business model. He came to our home with a stack of food, his personal kitchen tool kit, and an eagerness to get started right away.  Our dinner was learning experience besides a culinary experience, as we gleaned some wonderful (and simple) techniques along the way.  Ever dish was garnished to perfection:  simple and elegant.  We even learned how to use a Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer (a long forgotten kitchen tool stuck in the bottom of one of our drawers). The menu included a gigantic stuffed portabella mushroom, herb crusted lamb chops, and a classic paella. We were surprised by the quantity, and we enjoyed left-overs for a week! We would strongly recommend Chef Feher for a special evening, cooking lessons, or an event.  We are sharing one of the recipes from the evening: herb crusted […]

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak – Alla Serious Foodie

One of our go-to recipes for parties is our grilled marinated flank steak, served with an arugula, fennel, and toasted pine nut salad (we like to use the Meyer lemon vinaigrette – see our previous blog on vinaigrettes).  It’s simple to make, and we never have leftovers – always a good sign. Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Ingredients: 1 flank steak (2-3 pounds) 1/2 cup dry red wine (Chianti works well) 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/2 cup soy sauce 2 tbs minced garlic 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary 2 tbs brown sugar 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup chicken stock 1 oz white roux (1/2 oz butter, 1/2 oz flour.  See this All Recipes article for directions). DIRECTIONS Place the flank steak in a large plastic, resealable bag.  Whisk together all the ingredients, except the chicken stock and roux.  Marinate for 4 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the steak from the marinade; pre-heat a gas or charcoal grill.  Strain the marinade into a sauce pan, then add the chicken stock (we use veal stock for extra flavor).  Bring to a boil, then reduce the sauce over medium heat until it is reduced by one […]

Poached Dried Figs

When traveling through central Italy, especially Tuscany, you will find that the concept of dessert is often not what we see in the USA.  Most often fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and cheese will be served after dinner. In many cities and regions, it is not unusual to see sweet & savory desserts, such as a sweet spinach pie.  There was a very good discussion of such desserts in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of La Cucina Italiana. One recipe in particular caught my attention.  When in season, Italians love fresh figs; when not in season, Italians use dried figs.  We Italians love figs, and will use them in appetizers, incorporated into a main course (think about stuffing pork, beef, or lamb with goat cheese and figs), for breakfast, or for dessert.  I was making a Tuscan meal for a small party, and decided that figs needed to be on the menu.  Fresh figs are not quite in season, so I resorted to the dried variety. Most folks are familiar with the Turkish figs – those squat orbs of intense sweetness, having a honey aftertaste.   I have often use black mission figs, which have more of a mocha aftertaste.   […]

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