Tag Archives: Kosher Salt

Squash zucchini and shallot bake

zucandsquash

Are Starches ruining your complexion? Do you miss potatoes like crazy but must reduce your carbs? Then this zucchini, yellow squash and shallot bake is just for you! What an simple and elegant dish to accompany a roast, baked fish or scrambled eggs. If you add tomatoes you’ll have a completely deconstructed ratatouille ! It’s extremely fast to make , it took us 1 minute  of prep time  and 20 minutes of baking. A great recipe to keep in mind if you have unannounced extra guests!

 

Ingredients:( for 4 side portions)

1 large zucchini
2 medium yellow or crooked neck squash
1 Shallot
1 medium carrot 
3 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp herbs de Province

With a mandolin on number 1 ( or thinnest size) slice zucchini, the squash, the carrot and the shallot into a large bowl. Carefully toss with olive oil, and the condiments.. Arrange mixture  in a 8×4 loaf pan and bake for 2o minutes  in a 325 degree oven. The vegetables will be cooked but still crisp  and not mushy! Use a pair of cooking tong for serving or to arrange on serving platter. Enjoy!

 Tools:

Kyocera 10.5-in. Double-Edged Ceramic Mandoline Slicer with Handguard, Black Kyocera 10.5-in. Double-Edged Ceramic Mandoline Slicer with Handguard, Black 

Get the advantage of ceramic using this Double-Edged Mandolin, the perfect tool for quickly and evenly slicing vegetables and fruits. Made by Kyocera, leading manufacturers of professional knives, the double ceramic edge is second only to diamonds in sharpness and holds it’s edge 10 times longer than stainless. So sharp, it makes it a cinch to create paper-thin slices of food like potatoes, carrots, jicama, cucumbers, squash or apples, to name a few. Won’t discolor or rust. Safety handguard included. Dishwasher safe.

 


OXO 16-in. Mandoline Slicer OXO 16-in. Mandoline Slicer 

OXO’s very versatile V-Blade Mandoline slices fruits and vegetables with ease. Four blades and a simple height adjuster let you make straight slices, crinkle cuts, French fries and julienne strips in a variety of thicknesses. The blades store on board and are easily removable for cleaning. We’ve added bonus cubing blades for large or fine dice too! A textured surface keeps food from sticking to the Mandoline and the food holder securely holds food and protects your fingers. The handle and turning knob are soft for comfort and non-slip feet keep the Mandoline secure on your work surface. Fold the feet and lock the Mandoline for compact and safe storage. Hand wash the blades; the Mandoline body and food holder are dishwasher safe. Features Include: Sharp, V-shaped blade of hardened stainless steel easily slices both firm vegetables like potatoes and soft fruits like tomatoes Straight and wavy blades for straight or crinkle cuts Four easily adjustable slice thickness settings: 1.5mm, 3mm, 4.5mm and 6mm Julienne blades for French fries or fine julienne strips Straight, wavy and julienne blades conveniently store on board and remove for cleaning Bonus cubing blades for large or fine dice store in a handy box Soft handle and turning knob for comfort and non-slip feet for safety Textured runway keeps food from sticking Food holder securely holds food and protects fingers Mandoline locks closed and feet fold in for safe and compact storage Hand wash blades. Mandoline body and food holder are dishwasher safe

 


 

 

 


Baked Whole Wheat Tomato Pockets


It is calzone? Is it a pie? No it’s a baked tomato pocket, the perfect little snack, appetizer or to have a couple for lunch. These delicious, lasagna-like treats are quick and easy to make. The crust is loaded with the goodness of whole wheat and olive oil, or use store bought rolled up pie  crust instead.  Try it instead of pizza for a change!

It make an excellent tapa and can be enjoyed  with blue cheese, sopressata, and a glass of Fernet Branca

Ingredients: (makes 12 pockets)

1 recipe pie crust
3 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped basil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta or cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste

 

For the crust:

2 cups  whole wheat flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar 
1/2 cup chilled water 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Meanwhile , prepare crust. Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix .  Turn mix to on and add the olive oil by  drizzle . You should have a weird looking wet sand mix. With the machine on, add water by tablespoons till a ball forms and stop. Take dough out and place in bowl and cover with plastic and place in the fridge. Let rest for 15 minutes .

Take out of the fridge and roll out pie crust ,cut 2 to 3 inch diameter circles.  You may use a biscuit cutter,  but a can or a an inverted glass work just as well. Place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl, add the chopped basil, add salt & pepper to taste.
In the center of each dough  circle, place 1 tbsp of the tomato mix and a teaspoon of ricotta. Seal the circle to the top by wetting the crust and pinching it together with your fingers.

Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil, place the pockets 2 inches apart and brush the rest of the olive oil on top of the pockets. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pockets are golden brown. Enjoy with blue cheese, sopressata, and a glass of Fernet Branca

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

oatmeal-raisin

Craving for cookies that are delicious and good for you? Try these ultra- rich oatmeal raisin cookies. They are semi-soft and simply scrumptious.  The recipe is so simple !
There is a funny story behind the  recipe; The first time I tried oatmeal raisin cookies worth eating was at the Naples Ritz Carlton.  At that moment I realized these were extraordinary cookies with an amazing flavor. They had a secret ingredient for sure !

Ever hear of the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip cookie urban legend?  A lady wanted the recipe and she was charged $250 dollars for it, well it is an urban legend. Believe it or not, the secret to their recipe is  a touch of espresso powder. In the case of the Ritz cookies.. it’s apple sauce!  Try them once and you’ll never think of oatmeal the same way ever again. 

Ingredients ( for 3 dozen good size cookies)

1 stick butter softened
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of kosher salt
3 cups of rolled oats ( quick or old fashioned)
1 cup of raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile in a food processor, cream softened butter with both sugars, add applesauce and eggs and mix till combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon , mix well and add the raisins. Gently mix the creamed butter with the flour mix, then add the 3 cups of oats and mix well.

Drop on non- greased baking sheets by   fully loaded, heaping tablespoon leaving  2 inches on every side for expansion . Place in oven and cook for 13 minutes or till you see the borders getting slightly golden.  Please note that time will change according to your particular oven’s conditions. Remove from oven immediately and let cool on wire rack.  For best results, bake  one cookie tray at a  time. ENJOY!


 

 




To Brine or Not to Brine

 

Does your turkey or other poultry come out a tad dry, gamey or tasteless? Must you and your family load piles of cranberry sauce,  gravy and other goodies to mask the “turkey taste”. If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to BRINE your TURKEY. Brining not only introduces flavor, but also gives moisture to the meat The result is a tender, succulent  roast, both in white and dark meat. 

Brining is simple, it consists of submerging the meat in a liquid called brine;for best results it’s better to brine your bird 24 hours or at least overnight. Mainly, brine can be as simple as a mixture of salt, sugar and water, or get really fancy with garlic, herbs and spices. Brining works both on whole birds and parts, so if your family is of the white meat only kind, brine the breast.

The key is to have a thawed bird, use plenty of ice to prevent bacterial growth, and  completely submerge it in the brine. This can present a problem if you have a big bird. We placed our mammoth turkey in a clean bucket with enough icy liquid to cover it, then left it in a cold place. A small turkey, a chicken, duck or turkey parts could easily fit in big zip-top bags or large bowls. The is to male sure the meat is completely submerged in the brine. Buy using this method you will not have to have the bird take valuable space in your refrigerator.

Please DISCARD the liquid after brining is complete and wash your container thoroughly  with warm soapy water.

 

There is no need to run to a gourmet store to buy turkey brine , all the ingredients you need are probably in your pantry already. Keep in mind that brines are really concentrated and that the ice with help distribute the flavors to all surfaces of the meat. OUR FAVORITE BRINES are:

SIMPLE BROWN SUGAR BRINE:( enough for a 12-15lb turkey)

1 cup kosher salt
1 cup Brown sugar 
3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

Combine ingredients over low heat in saucepan, stir till sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool then prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart or two of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.

 

SWEET AND SMOKEY TURKEY BRINE:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup liquid smoke
2 and 1/2 cup of chicken or beef broth

Combine ingredients over low heat in saucepan, stir till molasses and salt dissolves. Let cool then prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart and one half or about 10 to 12 cups of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.

 

GARLIC AND SPICE TURKEY BRINE:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
10 garlic cloves pealed
2 Tbls of red pepper ( anaheim) flakes, chipotle flakes
1 bay left 
3 cups vegetable broth 

Combine ingredients over low heat in saucepan, stir till sugar and salt dissolves. Let cool then prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart or two  of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.

 

APPLE  and SPICE BRINE

 

1 quart apple juice
1 cup brown sugar 
1 Kosher Salt
3 oranges, washed then quartered
2 Tbls ounces fresh ginger thinly sliced
15 whole cloves
2 bay leaves

Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve and let cool. In a large non-reactive container, combine the apple juice mixture with the remaining ingredients. When adding the oranges, squeeze each piece to release the juice into the container, then drop in the peel.

Prepare your bird for brining: remove excess fat, neck and giblets. Place in container, add the brine, then add enough ice to cover all the meat . You will need about quart or two  of CLEAN ice. Once you have the right quantity, cover the top with plastic, then foil. Let brine overnight or up to 24 hours, then remove the bird, rinse and prepare as usual.