Monthly Archives: May 2009

Herb/Olive Spread

This is my rendition of the ever-popular Olive salad used by many when preparing a Muffuletta Sandwich. I think you will like this spread and use it for any sandwich you decide to build. The recipe below will give you enough to cover a 9″ Focaccia round or one 6 x 12″ Ciabatta loaf.

You will Need:
Pimento Stuffed Olives – 3/4 cup
Pitted Black Olives – 1/4 cup
Capers – approximately 2 TBSP
Fresh Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves
Fresh Basil – 1 ounce
Fresh Mint – 1 ounce
Orange Zest – approximately 1/2 TBSP
Lemon Zest – approximately 1/2 TBSP
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – use the good stuff here – approximately 3 TBSP
Balsamic Vinegar – 1 tsp

In a food processor place basil and mint in a food processor and chop to a fine past. Add both zests, garlic and half the olive oil, vinegar and process until garlic gloves are incorporated. Add both olives and capers and pulse until the olives are approximately 1/8″ dice. You might need to add some of the balance of the olive oil if the product gets too dry. This is a visual step depending on how much liquid is exuded from the olives and capers. You can make this ahead and store in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature before use.

Kalamata Olive on Foodista

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Shell Pasta with Mushroom and Onion

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This simple and fast dish is perfect for a light meal or side dish. I had some mushrooms and onions leftover from diner the other night and wanted to use them. I had a taste for a pasta dish and came up with this.

You will need:
Mushrooms – approximately one cup/serving
Sweet Onion – approximately one cup/serving
Olive Oil – approximately two tsp/serving
Tomato Paste – approximately one tsp/serving
Oregano Pesto or Fresh Oregano chopped with olive oil to form a paste – approximately 1 tsp/serving
Garlic – approximately one clove/serving
Salt/Pepper
Shell Pasta

Prepare pasta according to package directions. In the mean time medium dice mushrooms and onion and puree garlic. In a sauté pan large enough to hold mixture heat olive oil until hot, add mushroom, onion and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent. Make a small clear area in the pan and add the tomato paste and pesto/oregano and sauté a few minutes then combine all elements. Salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is cooked drain well and return to pot add mushroom mixture and heat through.

Pasta con Cinque formaggi e el Pancetta

Pasta with Five Cheeses and Pancetta

This is not your kids mac and cheese but they will love it too. You can adjust quantities according to your personal taste.

You will need:
Parmesan Cheese – shredded – 1/2 cup
Mozzarella Cheese – 1/2 cup (use fresh not smoked)
Asiago Cheese – shredded – 1/2 cup
Fontina Cheese – shredded – 1/2 cup
Gorgonzola Cheese – 1/4 cup
Whole Milk – 4 qts – heated
All purpose Flour – 8 TBS
Butter – 8 TBS
Fresh nutmeg
Pancetta – 1/4 inch thick slice – 1 or 2 depending on taste
Good quality Italian/french bread (use food processor to crumb) – approximately 1/2 cup
Salt/pepper – to taste (if you want a cleaner sauce use white pepper)
Olive Oil
Tubular or shaped pasta such as penne rigate, radiatore, farfalle, cavatappi or conchiglie – 1 pound

Prepare pasta by bringing large pot of salted water to a rapid boil, add pasta and cook until just below al dente. In a dutch oven or pot large enough to hold cooked pasta plus one quart liquid heat one tablespoon olive oil. Cut pancetta into 1/4 inch dice, when oil is heated add pancetta. Cook pancetta until crisp, remove from pot with slotted spoon and reserve. Pour off any fat left from pancetta add butter and flour and cook until combined scraping up brown bits from pan. Slowly pour heated milk into pot stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring milk to a fast simmer then add Parmesan, Asiago and Fontina cheeses stirring well to allow cheeses to melt. Add salt and pepper to taste and 4 or 5 scrapes of the nutmeg, stir well. Remove from heat, fold in cooked pasta until well coated, crumble gorgonzola cheese into mixture, combine well, cut mozzerella cheese into 1/2 inch chunks then fold into mixture

Butter a 9 x 13 oven proof dish, pour cheese and pasta mixture into pan and level top, combine bread crumbs with parmesan cheese and cover top. Bake in a 350° F oven until top is golden brown. This works well as a side dish or main course.

Loin Lamb Chops with Oregano Pesto

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If you love lamb and Greek style cooking this delicious dish will satisfy your appetite.

You will need:
Loin lamb chops – approximately 1 1/2″ thick 3 or 4/serving
Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Kosher or Sea salt
Oregano Pesto

Heat sauté or grill pan, large enough to hold all the chops, until very hot. Coat both sides of chops with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat oven to 400° F. Sear chops until a nice dark crust or grill marks appear turn over and repeat. Remove chops from sauté/grill pan and keep warm. Spread Oregano Pesto on one side of the chops, place on a sheet pan and finish cooking in the oven. Thickness of the chops and desired doneness will determine time. For medium rare, a thermometer inserted into the chop should read approximately 145 to 150 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil an let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with Rosemary Oven Roasted Potato.

Grilled Lamb Chops on Foodista

Oven Roasted New Potato

This very simple, easy to make side dish enhances any meal. For a picture of these delights see Lamb chop recipe

You will need:
Red Potato “B” (standard size letter) – approximately 3/serving
Olive Oil – enough to coat
Kosher or Sea salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Fresh Rosemary approximately 1 tsp/serving

Heat oven to 400° F. Strip rosemary leaves from stalk then chop finely. Cut potatoes in half length wise, coat all sides with olive oil then season with salt and pepper to taste place on roasting pan cut side up then sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary. Roast until fork tender.

Oregano Pesto

A very simple alternative to the typical Basil Pesto.

You will need:
Fresh Oregano approximately 1 ounce.
Olive oil
Lemon zest from one lemon
Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
Parmesan cheese
Pine nuts

In a dry sauté pan, toast the pine nuts just until they begin to brown. Break apart the parmesan cheese for easier chopping and place in a food processor and chop until coarse, add oregano and continue to process until oregano is well chopped. Drizzle in enough olive oil to produce a silky mayonnaise consistency product, add lemon zest and juice to taste (you can omit the juice if the product gets too moist, the zest will provide enough flavor). Remove mixture from food process and stir in toasted pine nuts.

Grillied Pork Chop with Teriyaki Glaze

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Pork has always been one of my favorite proteins. I wanted to add an Asian element to my repertoire so came up with a simple recipe for Teriyaki Glaze to add that facet. With the summer soon to be at hand I prepared this dish with grilled pork loin chops but it works well with other cuts.

You will need:
Loin pork chop – approximately 6 oz./person.
Olive oil
Salt/Pepper

For the glaze you will need:
Soy Sauce (I used Tamari Soy for this recipe) – approximately 1 TBS/2 servings
Mirin – approximately 1 TBS/2 servings
Sesame Oil – approximately 1 tsp/2 servings
Ground Ginger – approximately 1 tsp/2 servings
Brown Sugar – approximately 1 tsp/2 servings

Grill pork chops as you traditionally would except that they need to be just undercooked as they will be finished in the glaze.
In a sauté pan large enough to hold the chops combine all elements and at medium heat cook until the sauce starts to thicken, turn off heat, cover to keep warm. When chops are ready place them into sauté pan with glaze turn once to coat the pork. Cover pan and put in oven heated to 350° to complete the cooking process. The time needed will depend on the thickness of the chops cook until internal temperature reaches 160°/165° remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

I served this dish with