Friday, July 18, 2014

Culinary Institute of America.......

How do I begin to describe how thrilling it was to take a cooking class at the esteemed CIA in Hyde Park New York this past spring?  There really are no words.  The class was titled Spring in the Hudson Valley with Chef Martin Matysik. The menu was extensive and varied and cooked by the students. Here is the menu from my dream come true weekend.
  • Watermelon and Feta Salad
  • Spring Salad of Asparagus, Ramps and Peas, with Poached Egg and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Trout with Lemon Crust and Wild Garlic Sauce
  • Pan- Fried Wild Striped Bass with Bacon and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  • Grilled Cornish Hen Breast with Dandelion Greens and Mustard herb Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Duck Breast with Pickled Watermelon
  • Roasted Rack of Lamb Persille, Fresh Spring Pea Puree with Mint and Roasted Garlic
  • Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Asparagus with Wasabi Hollandaise Sauce, Sauteed Foie Gras with Caramelized Pearl Onions
  • Chilled Wild Blueberry Soup with Poached Pears
  • Warm Chocolate Fondant with Rum Marinated Berries
  • Hudson Valley Cheese Platter with Truffle Honey
This is one of the many kitchens inside the CIA.  A classroom to learn, create and master your craft. Thank you Mary and Rick for inviting me to participate in something I derive so much joy from.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Portuguese Style Stuffed Chicken........

Hello out there. It appears that I have been on another vacation from blogging. I have missed posting on a regular schedule but especially missed reading everyone's blogs. I hope to get my blogging mojo back with this post.  This recipe is based on Emeril's mothers stuffed chicken.

Ingredients and directions. 
1 roasting chicken weighing about 7 pounds, with livers and giblets
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup dry white wine

For the Stuffing

2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Giblets and liver from the chicken
1 link hot chorizo
1/2 pound ground lean pork
4 cups bread crumbs
4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup port wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a bowl combine the garlic, kosher salt, 1 tablespoon of the paprika, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Beat together until smooth. Rub this mixture all over the chicken, inside and out. Place the chicken in a shallow bowl, cover , and refrigerate overnight. For the stuffing: In a skillet heat olive oil, add onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Then add chorizo, the pork, breaking up the pieces as it cooks. Meanwhile, in a bowl toss together the bread crumbs, eggs, olives, paprika, parsley, mix well. Add the sausage mixture into the bowl. Pour in the port and chicken stock to moisten the stuffing. It should be moist, not soggy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the stuffing.. Don't pack it in. Rub the outside of the chicken with the olive oil, and place it in a roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees, brush the chicken again with the olive oil and the pour the white wine over the chicken. Continue to roast for  2 hours or until juices run clear.

The chicken turned out moist and delicious. The stuffing, savory with just enough spiciness from the chorizo. I will make this again for sure.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hedgehog Cookies......Gluten Free

You have to make these.  I got the recipe from my sister Mary who makes them for her daughters all the time.  Only five ingredients and your ready to make these little jewels.   I'm embarrassed to say I was a glutton for these gluten free cookies.  Here's the recipe courtesy of my sister and Taste of Home.
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, divided
  • 1 egg

  1. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, dates and brown sugar.  Add 1/2 cup coconut and egg, mix well.  shape into 1 in. balls and roll in remaining coconut. (I used my food processor to chop everything individually and then mixed it all in a bowl.)  
  2. place on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool on wire racks.  makes about 1 1/2 dozens cookies.   Enjoy!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simple Pleasures.. Simply Delicious..Let's Share

Another one of my simple pleasures or perhaps I should say treasures.  Moro oranges, gorgeous, delicious, juicy and good for you.

I would enjoy and genuinely appreciate if you would graciously share one of your simple pleasures.  It might not involve simple foods like my simple pleasures do but might include knitting, reading, gardening or hiking. Whatever makes you content, satisfied, pleased, gratified, fulfilled or just plain happy,  I'm interested Please share one with me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Have Some Honey.......

Stocking up for the winter on my local cranberry bog honey is a must for me. I LOVE IT.   It not only tastes delicious, it's beneficial to your health.  A tasty health gift so to speak.  Local honey has made a substantial difference in my seasonal allergy symptoms.  The health advantages are tremendous.  Besides helping with allergies it reduces cough and throat irritations, has anti-bacterial and anti fungal properties and is a probiotic.

My favorite way of eating honey is with yogurt, fruit and nuts.  This afternoon though, I had it in tea with cinnamon and lemon.
“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

Monday, February 17, 2014

White Mountain Weekend..........

My sister Mary and my brother- in- law Rick invited us up to their home in the mountains.  Sparked by the frigid weather and the snow falling wildly on the mountains we partook of a delicious lunch enjoyed leisurely and interrupted only by the stunning view.  We had our choice of a hearty beef stew or a cream of roasted butternut squash soup.  Both were served up in large dark brown earthenware mugs which seemed to echo the whole rustic elegance of both their home and the view.

Because we were in the heart of the mountains our appetites seemed almost as expansive as the view through the windows.  We ate more than usual and savored every bite. Having supporting roles to the stew and soup but just as enjoyable was the cured hard Italian sausage and local aged sharp cheddar cheese.

Next up,  Castelvetano olives and imported cornichons from France.  The vinegary tartness of both the olives and pickles were perfect accompaniments to the sharp cheese and sausage.  A choice of red or white wine smoothed and mellowed out the lunch.
This is the view from the living room. Isn't it beautiful. I wish you could actually see how tall the mountains are from my photos. To gain some perspective, the little specks on the mountains are the skiers.  The gray hue of the photos is from the snow that fell most of the weekend.  Thank you Mary and Rick it was a lovely weekend and just what we needed.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kale and White Bean Soup with Chorizo

Like everyone else these days, I am in love with kale and eat it when ever I can.  This soup has just the right amount of spice from the garlic, heat from the chorizo and creaminess from the white beans.  Delicious!
  • 1lb. chopped kale, large stems removed
  • 3/4 lb. chorizo, casing removed ( its usually 2 links)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 32 oz. low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chicken base
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot with 2 tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom saute the chorizo, onion, garlic, kale, carrots, bay leaves and red unpeeled potatoes.  Keep stirring everything around until the chorizo is nicely brown and the onion is cooked.
Add the chicken broth, water, tomatoes, chicken base, drained beans and simmer for 45 minutes. It's ready that quick.  Enjoy!
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