Archive for the ‘Food/Recipes’ Category

How To Boil A Lobster

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

So this week lobsters were on sale at the supermarket for 5.99 a lb.  This is hard to beat but you may be intimidated about cooking a live lobster.  It is actually quite easy but you do need to be fearless when it comes to dropping them into that pot of brisk boing water.  Fast is always best.  The main thing is the lobsters must be alive. If you can’t cook the lobster right away you can wrap it in wet newspaper and keep it refrigerated up to 2 days.  If you think you can’t bear cooking them live very often fish markets and supermarkets will steam them for you.

Chick, cull, bullet…all words you may need to know when buying lobster.  A chick is a pound or less, a cull is one claw, and a bullet is no claws at all.  There is always debate on which is the tenderest.  The biggest lobster I ever ate was 13 lbs.  and everyone loved it.  The littler lobsters are easy to serve..figure one to two lbs per person.  Baked potato and corn on the cob make great sides for this festive dish.

The easiest way to make a live  Boiled Lobster is simply drop it  head first into a pot of salted boiling water for 10 minutes for the first pound and 3 minutes each additional lb.  So if they are a pound and a half…..eleven and a half minutes should do the trick.  Do not over cook lobster as it will get tough.  If you have some sea water go ahead and boil that up.  Otherwise salted water is fine.  You can add wine and bay leaf for extra flavor.  Serve with melted butter and lemon.  You will also need a nut cracker and lobster forks are very handy for getting those hard to get sections of meat.

You can also steam, grill, or bake a lobster.  You can stuff the tail traditionally with crab meat and some breadcrumbs and butter.  Leftover lobster is great for lobster salad or a dip.   You can find this recipe in our online cookbook.  Enjoy.

Matzo Ball Soup…The Ultimate Comfort Food and Cure

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Nothing beats this classic Jewish soup for comfort and curing the common cold!  You don’t need to be sick to enjoy it because it is sooo delicious.  Anyone who knows my son Jack Mitrani knows he is a matzo ball lover.  If you know him well then you have shared this soup with him as it is his most requested food when he is at home.

Matzo balls are like dumplings made with matzo meal.  Add them to a classic chicken soup and you have a soup that you will crave forever.  I of course like mine with noodles but you don’t have to add them.  Fresh dill and the addition of some root vegetables like parsnip and turnip give it a distinctive ethnic flavor.  Some refer to this classic soup as Jewish penicillin for it’s healing qualities for the common cold.

Try this delicious recipe for matzo ball soup and be sure to make enough to share.

Alembic, Restaurant in San Francisco’s Haight

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Alembic Bar. Small and sweet… Short luscious menu… Long intricate cocktail list… So much to tempt with the libations and yet I went for the Pisco Sour and a bowl of grilled, salted peppers. Similar in essence to the bowl of edamame at a sushi restaurant. The bowl of popcorn that they bring out with your cocktail was savory. Herbed, spiced, and I am debating if it was cooked in olive oil then buttered or if it was just butter? Even some seaweed as seasoning. I wanted a bag to go. I enjoyed it so much last night that I had to return again tonight.

I am in San Francisco taking a perfumery class from the infamous Jeanne Rose, renown herbalist and aromatherapist extraordinaire. Staying at a modest hotel at the edge of the Haight, the Stanyan Park is a few blocks from my class.

Stanyan Hotel then

and now

Jeanne had listed Alembic in an email. I noticed it because that is the name of the distilling apparatus for producing essential oils and also for distilling liquors and liqueurs.

There is a woman in my class from Chile and that made me feel sentimental about the Pisco Sour on the cocktail menu. I firts had a pisco sour in Santiago, Chile and then I had a pisco sour wherever I went in South America( Terra del Paine I had the calafate sour, calafate being a local berry growing wild in the high rugged mountains) and was so excited about my pisco discovery that I carried 4 bottles of the grape distillation home with me. I was happily surprised to find that the Pisco cocktail was already discovered and being reproduced  in bars and restaurants in the states already. In Vermont I was so excited to find a pisco cocktail at my favorite restaurant in South Londonderry, Solo, Farm and Table.

Here they created something very summery and unique with a house made rhubarb syrup.

Sausages and Peppers Morning Noon and Night

Friday, August 10th, 2012

You just can’t beat this classic dish of sausages and peppers.  So easy to make and so casual and tasty!!   I like sweet Italian sausage with fennel.  It is worth going to a gourmet butcher or Italian specialty grocer for trying the wonderful variety of sausages out there! The supermarket does have a decent selection these days too.  When I can get the ring of basil and cheese sausage , I spread mustard over sausage ring and grill.  Delish.

At night  I  like to serve this dish with  a side of pasta.  Sausages and peppers pair well with Sarnataro Brocoli and Spaghetti or a simple pomodoro.

At noon or lunch time sausages and peppers are perfect for making heroes.  I like to put out a bowl of tomato sauce and a bowl of ricotta cheese for creating the most wonderful sausage and pepper hero on Earth.

In the morning a frittata is the perfect solution for leftover sausage and peppers. Simply cut up sausage into bite size pieces and saute to reheat in a frying pan,  whisk together some eggs in a bowl, pour egg mixture and scramble together with sausages and pappers, at last minute add some fresh mozzarella and finish under broiler for a minute to melt.

Sausages and Peppers…morning, noon , and night.

Houston’s Inspired Cole Slaw

Monday, August 6th, 2012

This cole slaw recipe is one inspired by the delicious cole slaw served at the famous restaurant chain Houston’s.  It is not your ordinary cole slaw.  It has a horseradish bite and is sophisticated using parsley for color and variation.  Scallions are used instead of onions.

You chop the cabbage rather than shredding it.  Combine the greens, salt, and set aside.  The dressing is  combination of mayo, sour cream, horseradish, pickle juice, white vinegar, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper.  Simply fold dressing in and you have created a memorable cole slaw.

Tonight I am serving this lively cole slaw with ribs. I am using another restaurant’s recipe  (The Dumont in Brooklyn, NY) for their incredible macaroni and cheese.  Some grilled corn on the cob to seal the meal.

Diet out the window.  Did I mention the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for dessert?  Oh to be an American!  Time to splurge on this indulgent  summertime meal!

Leeks, Shrimp and Lentils

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Still don’t know what to make for Saturday night dinner with the friends? Leeks, lentils and grilled shrimp is another simple and delicious dish from the Moms kitchen. Start by cleaning the leeks making sure to get rid of all the sand. Cut into  small pieces and saute with olive oil and chopped garlic.  When the leeks are translucent, add lentils and vegetable stock, lower the heat.  Brush shrimp with oil and grill on a grilling sheet, turning once and remove before fully cooked. Add shrimp to leek and lentil mixture and toss. Cover with a lid, turn down the heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. From start to finish, this meal takes about 20 minutes! Serve with grilled asparagus or a leafy salad with a lemon herb dressing.

Easy Thai Chicken and Veggies

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

The moms love easy recipes that you can whip up quickly. This recipe calls to the pantry with a jar of store bought curry sauce and cans of coconut milk and bamboo shoots.  Buy chicken tender and pound them flat. If you really want easy then get the already packaged, cleaned and prepared veggies. For this dish, saute both veggies and chicken in coconut oil. Blot excess oil with paper towel, return to the skillet and add the curry sauce and coconut milk.  Simmer for 15 minutes and it’s a super simple and delicious meal.

Summertime Meals

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

It’s summer. The idea of spending hours preparing a meal in a hot kitchen or even eating anything hot and heavy is so unappealing. Check out the cookbook for some of these easy to have on hand, minimal prep salads and sandwiches.

Easy pulled Chicken

Cindy's Famous Chop-Chop Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad

fruit salad

Don’t spend a beautiful day in the kitchen.  Pack up a picnic and get out.

Asparagus For Grilling

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It’s summer and that means time for grilling!  Grilling asparagus is an easy thing to do and I love it because it really brings out the flavor of this delicious vegetable.  Just toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper.  Try some balsamic vinegar either while tossing or sprinkling on just before serving.  Place on a hot grill and just keep “rolling” them til they are slightly charred on all sides.  Use a tongs to place on and off the grill.

Grilled asparagus are great hot or cold.  They are a healthy snack that you can just grab cold out of the fridge.  I like to eat them with my hands.  They can make an easy appetizer or the perfect side dish.

  • Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
  • Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.
  • Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24-hour period.
  • Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.
  • The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking…early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours.
  • After harvesting is done the spears grow into ferns, which produce red berries and the food and nutrients necessary for a healthy and productive crop the next season.
  • An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
  • A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
  • The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
  • Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
  • Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.
  • Sweet Potato Fries

    Friday, July 20th, 2012

    These sweet potato fries are healthy, delicious, and fun to eat.  Whenever I make them they are a big hit.  Serve them instead of  french fries to brighten up any burger.

    So simple!  Peel, cut into strips, toss with some vegetable oil, dust with salt,  pepper, and the secret ingredient brown sugar.  The touch of sugar enhances the already sweet sweet potato and adds a bit of caramelization.  Bake at 450 for about a half an hour and serve.

    Sweet potatoes are considered an anti-aging food.  They are rich in beta-caratine, fiber, vitamine b6, and A.  Often referred to as a super food.  Try this tempting recipe to add this beneficial potato into your diet.