Tag Archives: Room Temperature

Grape Tomato Italian Bruschetta

Bruschetta are delicious starters, they appeal to most palates and are so easy to prepare. A key ingredient is a tasty tomato, but where to get a tomato that is tasty in the middle or winter? It’s not that there are dozens of farmers markets with luscious fruits on display. Market tomatoes are , well, forcefully ripened, mushy and bland in flavor. The solution a miniature gem that grows year-round in hothouses :the grape tomato! If you never had one they are sweet, have the taste of a a full size summer tomato and are simply delightful to serve! Up until now they were reserved to prepare salads, but when duty calls this mighty fruit can live up to the most demanding fresh tomato recipes, like this bruschetta. Enjoy!

2 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup black pitted olives, sliced
1/3 cup green olives, sliced
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 sweet onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, onion and garlic in bowl and mix gently. Let sit for a minute , then add the olives, the oil, vinegar and salt pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. Serve over grilled sliced Italian or French bread sliced 3/4 inches thick. If you are on  a gluten-free diet, serve on rice crackers instead.

Steak Diane

 

Steak Diane

The classic steak dish as prepared by world-class Master Chefs just in time for a romantic for two menu.   The question remains: who is Diane? 🙂 Believe it or not, steak Diane is a tribute to the goddess of the hunt herself: Diana! How the pepper and the wine came in to play is still a mystery . But we all enjoy the end result.  Enjoy with a robust Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Ingredients:( for 2)

2 rib-eye steaks (3/4 inch thick)
6 Tbls butter
1/2 tsp Rosemary
Cracked pepper and salt to taste
1/2 cup red wine

Rinse and pat dry the meat with a paper towel to eliminate odor from packaging an any loose particles. Trim the excess fat of the steaks, rub the steaks with the Rosemary and the pepper. Set aside till they reach room temperature. Heat a heavy sauté pan very hot. Place a pat of butter in the pan then place the steaks to sear; DO NOT TOUCH OR MOVE THE STEAK!, let it cook according to your liking flipping only once! :3 min on each side for rare, 4-5 on each side for medium, 6 minutes on each side for well done. If your steak is thicker you will need to increase the cooking time.
Remove the steak from the pan and place on serving dish “to rest” remember the steak will continue to cook while on the dish due to the absorbed heat.
Put the pan back on the burner and lower the heat to medium; add the butter and stir with a wood spatula or spoon, add the wine and stir, try to get as much brown as you can from the bottom of the pan. Let the alcohol boil off and pour on top of the steak. Serve immediately.

Baked Potato Chips

pchips

We LOVE potato chips! We love the crunch, the taste and , like any finger food how much fun the are to eat! It is believed that the first potato chip (as Americans know them) appeared in the 1950’s.  Potato Chips come in baked or fried versions. Most commercial versions are fried in soybean oil and laden with salt.  So we tried to produce a chip just as delicious without as much oil by baking them in a mix of olive  and canola oil. The result: delicious! We flavored ours with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and rosemary, or try using paprika for a fun twist.

Ingredients ( for 2 LARGE portions)

2 medium potatoes sliced in setting 1 on a mandolin
1 tsp olive oil 
1 tsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and arrange rack to middle.  Meanwhile, toss potatoes with the oils and gently mix with both hands  trying not to break the thin potato slices. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sheet with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on sheet, not letting overlap or touch. Sprinkle top with more salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or till the sides begin to toast, remove from oven and turn potatoes once with the help of a spatula or cooking tongs. Bake for 3 more minutes and remove from oven.  If you like ,sprinkle with rosemary or the spice of your choice.  Let cool and enjoy!
 

 

Cannoli Pie

cannoli-pie

 

We Love cannoli, but do not have the patience or the equipment for making and frying the whole deal. So  we tried to get the lovely flavor of the traditional Italian  cannoli in an easy to assemble pie . After several tries with an array of ingredients, we hit the best combination of flavor and texture!
So if you are in the mood for cannoli and there is not an Italian bakery in sight, or if you want to surprise your guests with the perfect end to an Italian menu ,  this easy cannoli pie will fit the bill . In case of nut allergies, please  omit the pistachios.

 

Ingredients:

1 pie shell
3 cups ricotta , drained if too liquid
1 cup sugar
juice of one orange
rind of one orange
1 Tbsp orange liquer
1 egg
Dark chocolate shavings ( for decoration)
1/4 cup chopped pistacchios

 Heat oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, in a food processor, mix the ricotta cheese with the sugar and the orange juice, the rind and the liqueur.  Mix smooth ( about 2 minutes). Add the egg and continue to mix till uniform.

Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 55 to 60 minutes (depending on your oven) till the top has a shiny sheen, and the consistency of  cooked creme brule ( it will wiggle slightly when shaken) . Let cool  to room temperature  or at least for 4 hours before serving, Slice the pie and top with chocolate shavings and pistachios ( if using) .ENJOY!

 

California Fresh Salsa


What to spice it up without adding mega-calories? This salsa will definitely do it! If you never made salsa, don’t worry :it’s quick and easy and has very few ingredients. Take your time to make your own salsa it is really worth it, The flavors exude to compliment the best of fire-roasted chicken, steak or mahi-mahi

This Recipe was given to us by “MasterChef RoD” the definite king  of spicy chiles.  Thank you oh great master of spice for showing us the right way to spice!

Ingredients:( for one cup of salsa)
2 tomatoes, peeled
1 jalapeno with seeds
1 green onion white and green parts
4 or 5 stalks cilantro
1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic ( the fresher the better)
1 pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp lime juice

Chop all ingredients into 1/4 inch bits. Mix in a large bowl and let cool in refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Serve at once, since it is not recommended to save. Those who like it hot, add two Thai-Sri Lanka peppers per tomato. Serve with salt free blue corn chips or as a compliment to fire roasted meats. Enjoy!