Mastering the Art of Sous Vide Cooking

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What’s up foodies?  I am happy to announce that my new cookbook is now available! Published by Page Street Publishing and distributed by Macmillan. The book takes readers around the world with exciting recipes prepared using the sous vide method. Mastering The Art Of Sous Vide Cooking features delicious recipes such as Read the rest of this entry

Interview with Fire & Water Cooking (Podcast)

 

Happy 4th of July! I hope you all are enjoying the Summer thus far. Last week I had the opportunity to chat with ISVA committee member and founder of Fire & Water Cooking Podcast, Darrin Wilson. He is a sous vide enthusiast that loves to fuse the method with smoking and cooking BBQ. Read the rest of this entry

Stone Chef’s Notebook: Is It Worth It?

As a chef I have learned over the years that being organized is a very necessary skill to possess. Inventory, food cost, recipes, procedures, schedules, and keeping important notes are all part of the day to day operations in the food industry. Having a good notebook has always been essential to me, especially since my memory is not a good as it once was. Read the rest of this entry

Grilled Rosemary Leg of Lamb (Sous Vide)

 

Easter is once again upon us and leg of lamb is usually a go to dinner for my family. Preparing leg of lamb via the sous vide method takes the guesswork out of cooking it properly. This leg of lamb is marinated with fresh and dry herbs and placed in the water bath for 24 hours then finished on the grill. What you end up with is the most succulent tender and flavorful lamb you have ever tasted. Read the rest of this entry

Chengdu-Style Spicy Crab

I have been a fan of authentic Szechuan cuisine since I first tried it at Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco a few years ago. I love the bold, pungent, and spicy flavors. This recipe is my riff on the flavors from that region.
Read the rest of this entry

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

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This glazed salmon recipe is big on flavor and easy to prepare. Fish lovers will rejoice in the combination of sweetness, spice, and the right amount of acidity to balance this meal out. Read the rest of this entry

The Kingsford SteakAger: Is It Worth It?

I must admit that I have a love affair with steak, especially when it’s dry aged. I have been to some of the best steakhouses in NYC and I know that dinner in a quality steakhouse here can easily cost in excess of $200+ for two people. So I usually reserve a trip to this type of restaurant for special occasions only. The reason why these places are so expensive: dry aged steak. (plus, this is NYC)

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Take a Walk On The Wild Side III: Southern Fried Python

When most people hear the word “snake”, the last thing on their mind is food. Believe it or not, eating snake in the United States is not all that uncommon.

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Interview with Hungry Squared Podcast

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Win a free copy of Mastering the Art of Sous Vide Cooking! Enter to find out how…

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Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate Dressing

 

Take some of the uncertainty out of cooking perfect duck breasts with the sous vide method. Then dress your field salad up in pomegranate seeds and let the duck be the star of this simple plate. The tartness of the pomegranate dressing complements the rich flavor of the duck and crispy texture of the skin. Read the rest of this entry

New Orleans-Style BBQ Prawns

This simple and easy recipe is inspired by a BBQ shrimp dish I had at Mr. B’s Bistro in New Orleans many years ago. These massive prawns are tossed in a buttery Creole sauce and served with crusty french bread. It makes a great appetizer at your next dinner party! Read the rest of this entry

Madras Curry-Spiced Lamb Chops (Sous Vide)

Lamb is one of those meats that you either love it, or you hate it. Folks that don’t like it usually suggest that the meat is too gamey for their taste. This can be true in some cases, but not all. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Cranberry & Walnut Stuffed Turkey Roulades

Thanksgiving & Christmas are both within the next 60 days. This is a time when folks from all over America are getting their holiday recipes ready so they can impress friends and family with amazing holiday dishes. The single universal dish served in most American households during Thanksgiving is turkey cooked one way or another. There is nothing like a slice of juicy turkey breast to go with all of the yummy and festive side dishes. But the one problem cooks encounter with turkey, is that the breast meat can easily become dry if over-cooked, even by a little bit. The solution… Sous Vide! Read the rest of this entry

Venison Tenderloin w/Blackberry Sauce

Venison has always been one of my favorite wild game meats. More and more these hunted animals are popping up in local supermarkets around the U.S. And while the number of hunters has declined in the last few years, farmed game is growing in popularity. National organizations representing deer and elk farmers are reporting rapid growth and substantial economic impact of their industries, indicating consumer demand. Read the rest of this entry

Herb Crusted Sous Vide Pork Chop w/Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce

The sous vide revolution is in full effect! If you have not tried this type of cooking yet, you are truly missing out! And if this method is new to you, let me explain to you what it is. Sous vide is low temperature cooking that involves vacuum sealing food items in heat safe cooking bags and placing them in a precision temperature water bath for a period of time. Your food maintains it’s nutrients and remains juicy and flavorful. Pork does particularly well when cooked with the sous vide method. In this recipe Read the rest of this entry

A Foodie Roadtrip In St. Petersburg, Fl

Lionfish Ceviche

Happy Independence Day! The summertime is here and I know you have not heard from me in a while, but for good reason. I have some amazing news! Read the rest of this entry

Savory Veal & Pork Meatballs

This recipe is a riff on the popular dish, Swedish meatballs. The combination of lean veal and fatty ground pork will have your family lining up for seconds. Read the rest of this entry

Zoodles w/Shrimp & Grapes (The Paleo Edition)

Lately I have been experimenting with Paleo recipes at home in my effort to eat cleaner. I have never tried to add grapes to seafood because it sounds like a not so good combination. I proved myself wrong with this recipe. Read the rest of this entry

Butter Poached Lobster w/Shellfish Ravioli

Summertime in NYC will always be the season for great seafood. This recipe doesn’t skimp on it either. The combination of butter poached lobster, spicy Alfredo sauce, and shellfish ravioli (made easy with wonton wrappers) work together magically.

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Spicy Crab Dip

Here is a crab dip that will have your dinner guest begging for the recipe! Read the rest of this entry

A Taste Of India… Goat Vindaloo

Living in NYC, I have access to all types of authentic food from all over the  world. If you ask me what is my all-time favorite type of cuisine, I’d tell you Indian food. Read the rest of this entry

Buttermilk Fried Rabbit

12377796_10206261911331515_5064676380027482463_oWhile some of us view rabbits as a cuddly and furry pet, then there are those of us that view them as a food source. In fact, rabbits have been raised for food for thousands of years. I tried it for the first about 25 years ago and I’ve been hooked on it since then. Frying it is my favorite way to cook it, especially after letting it marinate overnight in buttermilk and herbs. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Shrimp Bisque

shrimpbisque1This easy bisque recipe is both flavorful and comforting for the cold winter season. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

North African Camel Meatballs

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Happy New Year everyone! We are going to kick off the year with a yummy recipe using camel meat. People always ask me, “what does camel taste like?”. I can only best describe it as slightly gamey and a cross between beef and lamb. Read the rest of this entry

Foie Gras au Torchon

foie-18One could never accuse me of being fancy when it comes to food and cooking. But there was something about the idea of preparing one of the world’s luxury food items that sounded like a good challenge to try at home… Read the rest of this entry

Sriracha & Honey Glazed Duck

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There is nothing like a delicious roasted duck with a crispy skin and a tasty glaze. This recipe is right on time for the holiday season, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Silky Chicken In Red Coconut Curry

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A black-skinned chicken? Say it ain’t so. This was my first reaction while shopping at a new Asian market in my neighborhood. I have heard that chickens like this existed, but I have never actually come across one myself. There was no way I was going to leave the store with out one! Read the rest of this entry

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

12360021_10205553325377309_920911959672135154_n Fall  is once again upon us in the Northeast, and it is now time for comforting stews and roast. I’m gonna start the season off with one of my favorite recipes when it gets a little chilly outside, Chicken Pot Pie! Read the rest of this entry

Meatless Monday! Easy Hummus Recipe

img_5653Hummus has always been one of my favorite side dishes. This recipe is pretty easy to prepare and delivers big on flavor. Enjoy!

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Turkey Meatball Sandwich w/Provolone Cheese

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Here is a very flavorful recipe with some Italian flair, Enjoy!

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Skate Wings à la Grenobloise

I have loved to go fishing since childhood, and as I got older I have grown to love it even more. There was a time when my father and I would catch fish that we sometimes considered, “a garbage fish” and we would throw them back. The fish we threw back would consist of small sharks, Sea Robins, and the fish highlighted in this recipe, skate or stingray.

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A Taste Of The Caribbean! Swordfish Ceviche Recipe

Swordfish Ceviche

Swordfish Ceviche

Hello everyone, I am back from my very first trip to the US Virgin Islands. There was plenty of fun in the sun, but as usual I was excited to try the food! We were staying on the island of  St. Thomas at Point Pleasant Resort and our villa was right on the ocean in Water Bay. Another cool thing, is that our unit featured a full kitchen which made me very happy. So I decided to do a combination of cooking Caribbean dishes and visiting local eateries. Read the rest of this entry

Getting Over The Hump & Sous Vide BBQ Camel Ribs…

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Some of the dishes from my pop up dinner.

What’s up foodies? First I would like to thank those of you who attended my first pop-up dinner at Clemenza’s Restaurant in Queens, NY.  The event was sold out, the guest were great, and the food was magnificent. I look forward to doing this more often at different locations. I will keep you all posted!

Now today’s recipe features an ingredient that is not very common here in the United States… Camel meat! Read the rest of this entry

Join Me For a Pop-Up Dinner…

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Come on out and join me as I host my very first public event being held in Queens NY on April 16 2016.  There is a limited amount of tickets available for this exclusive event and at a low price of $85 they will sell out fast, so don’t hesitate or you will miss out on a night of great food and fun! See you there!

** It will be greatly appreciated if ticket buyers email me their entree choice for yourself and your guests in advance to help me calculate inventory and food cost for the event: Justiceserved7@yahoo.com. Thank you everyone!

6PM dinner (seating begins 5:30pm)* SOLD OUT

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8:45 PM dinner (seating begins 8:30pm) *SOLD OUT

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Pan-Fried Catfish w/Shrimp Diane Sauce

919679_4827271044477_365564863_oThis is a dish I had at a restaurant some years back during a trip to New Orleans. There is something about Cajun/Creole food I absolutely love. Maybe it’s because the flavors are big, bold and comforting at the same time. Some think that all Cajun food is spicy, but that is not completely true. Like other cuisines, you can always adjust the spice level to your liking. The Creole seasoning recipe given here I would say the level of spiciness is medium. Feel free to use red snapper or drum fish for this recipe if you do not have catfish. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Caribbean-Style Chicken Curry

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What inspired me to cook this dish? Last year I had the opportunity to attend the Jamaican Jerk Festival in NYC. I was invited by my a good friend of mine Chef Eddie G of “Coast To Coast Cuisine’. He was doing food demonstrations throughout the day with fellow celebrity chef, Chef Irie of “Food on Fiyah!”. With about 40,000-50,000 people expected to attend including the mayor of NYC, how could I turn that down? Read the rest of this entry

Thai-Style Chicken & Kale w/Red Coconut Curry

798364_4268208468262_1331174216_oI really love the all of the different types of curries from all over the world, such as Indian, Jamaican, Middle eastern, and Asian. I especially love Thai cuisine so this easy to make recipe is my version of this Southeast Asian dish. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Salmon Cakes

11924678_10205027027460190_1260643832_nDuring my childhood, the salmon cake was always one of my favorites. These tasty patties can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it’s also an inexpensive meal that can feed up to 4 people per can. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Thai-Style Crispy Shrimp w/Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

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Once I learned to cook shrimp this way, it was over for me ordering take out, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Meatless Mondays! Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread

Jalepeno cheddar cornbread

Jalepeno cheddar cornbread

Great way to enjoy spicy homemade cornbread, and drizzled with honey for good measure… Read the rest of this entry

Have A Veggie Merry Christmas

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This was a Christmas side dish experiment that turned out really well. The sweetness of the squash, savory chard, crunch of the nuts, and some holiday spices make this veggie dish a winner, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Hot & Sour Shrimp Curry

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Shrimp Puli Munchi

 

This  quick and easy dish hails from the south-west region of India, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Lobster Chowder

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This is a warming comfort food especially popular in the Northeast, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Rabbit Chasseur

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This is another comforting winter stew that can also be prepared with chicken if rabbit is not available. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Venison w/Chanterelles & Fettuccine Rigate

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A few years ago I became friends with legendary chef Jeremiah Tower via social media, and every now and then I would seek his advice on food and cooking. There was one time I came to him to seek his advice on the best way to cook dried chanterelle mushrooms. Read the rest of this entry

Slow Cooked Chicken, Guinness Stout, And Leek Stew

Brrrr. The cool air has finally moved into NYC this weekend. The weather sucks but it’s perfect for cooking those one pot comfort foods. I have not used my crock pot in ages and almost forgot how great they are. The chicken was fall apart tender and the stew itself rocked! So many layers of flavor with the leeks and stout, and don’t worry about the alcohol in the stout, it will burn off during the cooking process. This recipe should warm you up, Enjoy!78326_3943576192658_503504131_o Read the rest of this entry

A Foodie Road Trip Part II (The Northern California Edition)

My goal: Eat everything in California!

My goal: Eat everything in California!

What’s good everyone? I recently traveled back California to enjoy more of its beautiful scenery, the wine, and most of all, the FOOD! Plus I wanted to be able to brag that I drove the entire length of the State and visited every county, lol. My last visit here we covered 1230 miles from San Francisco to San Diego visiting different cities over a 2 week period (read about it HERE). This time we are heading to see what Northern California has to offer. Read the rest of this entry

Mediterranean Seafood Paella Risotto

11422690_10204523110222574_664402655_nSummertime in NYC is here! I want to bring seafood back to my blog during the season. I love risotto and I love paella, so why not combine the two? Ok seriously, I could not find Spanish short grain rice (Bomba Paella Rice) so I used the next best thing, Risotto. I also did not have a paella pan handy (I recommend one), so I used my 16 inch cast iron pan to get the job done. Enjoy!

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Lobsterlicious Pasta!

 

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Lobster Pasta

With this recipe I poached the lobster in a sous vide bath. If you don’t have a sous vide device, you can simply just steam or boil your lobster with a bit of lemon juice and skip the first step. Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times. Read the rest of this entry

A Foodie Road Trip (The Las Vegas/Grand Canyon Edition)

Having fun with shrimp at Madison Square Garden

Having fun with shrimp at Madison Square Garden

Hey everyone! I am back from a long hiatus and ready to start blogging regularly again. Some very positive things have happened in my life since last fall. Read the rest of this entry

Chicken Gumbo

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A wonderful and authentic gumbo recipe ” Str8 Outta The Bayou”! Read the rest of this entry

Jamacian-Style Curry Shrimp

Jamaican-style curry shrimp

Jamaican-style curry shrimp

Living in Brooklyn, NY I have had my fair share of great island food, since we have a huge Caribbean population here in the Boro. Here is my spin on Jamacian curry shrimp, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Cajun Style Fried Frog Legs

I’m Back! I have not been posting for a little bit due to computer issues(burnt out Laptop). I am officially back up and running with a new and better PC. I will be posting a whole lot more, because we have so much catching up to do! Lets get back into the flow with another Cajun dish straight out of the bayou, Enjoy!10436280_10202324262972767_210687890293012934_n Read the rest of this entry

Shrimp and Grits

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One of my favorite dishes breakfast, lunch, dinner! Read the rest of this entry

Llama, Alpacas, and Elk…Oh My! An Evening at the Exotic Meat Market

 

If you read my last blog post, you would know that Emily and I just returned from a 2 week California road trip. It was a great trip that took us to many destinations in the Golden State. One of the more memorable stops along the trip was the Exotic Meat Market in Perris, CA. Those of you that know me personally, or follow this blog are also aware that I am an adventurous foodie and I am willing to sample different types of foods. I may not be as extreme as Andrew Zimmern, Read the rest of this entry

My Great West Coast Road Trip!

1-DSC05137 - Copy - CopyHello everyone, I’m back! I’m fresh off a two-week road trip down the coast of California. My girlfriend and I rented a convertible and drove from San Francisco to San Diego on highway 1, better known as “PCH” or the Pacific Coast Highway. It was my first time to California and we covered 1200+ miles and visited an astonishing 21 cities on our way down! (talk about a grand tour) Some places were on the beaten path and some were off. Read the rest of this entry

Salmon En Croute w/Creamy Watercress Sauce

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This dish is one I had in a French restaurant years ago. I have always wanted to make it and I think I nailed it! Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

The Perfect Rack Of Lamb

I have had my problems cooking lamb racks in the past. They turned out either too rare, or overcooked. Then, finally after a lot of trial PicMonkey Collage3and error my last 3 attempts at cooking lamb rack were very successful. I got the result I wanted; perfectly cooked juicy medium-rare rib chops and a nicely seared crust. One of the keys to success was using a cooking thermometer the last few times to keep tabs on the doneness of the meat (I hardly ever use one). My target temperature was 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and using a thermometer helped me achieve the perfect results. Here is my recipe for a perfectly cooked rack of lamb, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Meatless Mondays! Easy Honey Glazed Carrots

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Simple sweet and delicious baby carrots, enjoy! Read the rest of this entry

Take a Walk On The Wild Side II (“Leave It To Beaver” Edition)

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Beaver Meat

By now, you know I am a very adventurous cook & foodie who is willing to try all types of cuisines and ingredients. But I really love cooking and eating  wild game meats as explained in previous posts such as  Take a Walk On The Wild Side pt.1  It’s All In The Game. Read the rest of this entry

Lobster Fra Diavolo

1-IMG_0011-001Ingredients:

Three 1-1/4 lb boiled or steamed lobsters (chix) de-shelled and meat removed
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red chile peppers, thinly sliced
2 peperoncini peppers, thinly sliced
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 lb heirloom or plain cherry tomatoes halved (leave the small ones whole)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
cooked pasta of your choice to serve
Salt and a dash of black pepper (to taste)1-IMG_0026

Directions:

Heat the oil in a pot with a lid over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the chiles, peperoncini, garlic, and shallots. Cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes (optional) and stir in the sherry and tomato paste. Cook until it is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and oregano, cover and cook until the small tomatoes burst, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in the basil and parsley and cook an additional 8-10 minutes. Add the lobster meat and simmer until meat is heated through, do NOT overcook or the meat will be rubbery. Remove from the heat and serve with your favorite pasta or rice, I chose to use some store bought crab stuffed ravioli. Bon Appetit!!

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Meatless Mondays Are Back! Greek -Style Stuffed Tomatoes

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This dish was inspired by my good friend and fellow blogger Rena from Athens, Greece Read the rest of this entry

Vietnamese-Style Roasted Pompano

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Pompano aka Jack-fish

The Florida pompano is a species of marine fish that is considered the tastiest of the species. It also is a valued commercial food fish of the American Atlantic and Gulf coasts.Enjoy!
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Grilled Rib-Eye w/ Bourbon Marinade

Summer is here! That means it’s time to dust off those BBQ grills and get out to the parks and beaches. I love grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, but there is nothing like a steak grilled to perfection. Sirloin, porterhouse, and rib-eye are amongst my favorite cuts to grill. I believe a good marinade is key to a tasty, tender, and juicy grilled steak. This marinade  is one of my favorites , especially since it is easy to prepare. Read the rest of this entry

Blackened Salmon

Blackened Salmon Filet

Blackened Salmon Filet

This easy to make blackened seasoning can be used on a range of foods such as chicken, steak, fish and vegetables. Read the rest of this entry

Shrimp Po’ Boy w/Spicy Remoulade Sauce

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Shrimp Po’ Boy w/ Spicy Rémoulade Sauce served on crusty french bread

Ingredients:

For the shrimp

3 cups large peeled and deveined shrimp
1  tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper Read the rest of this entry

Cajun-Style Seafood Boil

1-IMG_8442-001Spring is here, and it’s time to pump out the seafood dishes! Living in NYC I do not get to eat Crawfish aka “Mudbugs” a lot here. After a trip to Louisiana a few years back, I have come to love these fresh water crustaceans. Recently I found some at my local market and decided to do a tasty seafood boil. Read the rest of this entry

Oriental-Style Sesame Chicken

Gourmet De-Constructed

1-oriental-style-sesame-chickenIngredients:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts

For the sauce:

3 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chili paste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
Salt
1-2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
2 Tbs chopped scallions, for garnish

For the marinade/batter:

4 Tbs cornstarch
6 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbs all-purpose flour
4 Tbs water
1 tsp baking powder

Directions

Wash the chicken under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes/strips and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the sauce.

In a saucepan, add the sesame oil and set over…

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Shrimp & Broccoli In Black Bean Sauce

Shrimp & Broccoli in Black Bean sauce

Shrimp & Broccoli Black Bean Sauce

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb large shrimp in shelled and deveined
1 – 1 1/2  lb broccoli florets
3 tablespoons rice wine Read the rest of this entry

It’s All In The Game… Are Roo Ready?

Grilling Abalone at Sik Gaek Restaurant

Grilling Abalone at Sik Gaek Restaurant

If you have been following this blog, you know that I love preparing different types cultural cuisine and experimenting with game meats. I have prepared more than a few dishes consisting of game that were made available to me from my good friends at Fossil Farms. Read the rest of this entry

Venison Osso Buco

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Venison Osso Buco

This tasty Osso Buco dish can be served with risotto, polenta, or pasta. I chose to pair it with Orecchiette pasta with black truffle oil, garlic and rosemary, which perfectly complimented this dish. If you cannot get your hands on venison, feel free to use veal or wild boar osso buco. Enjoy! Venison Osso Buco is a product of http://www.exoticmeatmarkets.com Read the rest of this entry

Easy Shrimp Scampi

shrimp scampi

shrimp scampi

This quick and easy to make shrimp dish is a great option for a weeknight dinner. You can even add seared scallops, which go really well with this dish as seen below.  Enjoy 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Citrus & Rosemary Cornish Hen

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Ingredients

two cornish hens 1 1/2 lbs each
2 medium carrots sliced
8-10 small new potatoes Whole (or buttercream potatoes which are used here)
1 lemon quartered Read the rest of this entry

A Taste Of Sweden…. Baked Salma Salmon w/ Creamy Dill and Parmesan Sauce Recipe

Cuttin' Chris & Eatin' Ehrlund

Cuttin’ Chris & Eatin’ Ehrlund on the set of Neighborhood Chefs

I hope everyone had a great time bringing in the New Year. I will kick off 2013 with a great tasting and easy to prepare salmon dish. It actually ended up being a Swedish/Italian fusion of flavors. But before I give you the recipe, let me tell you about some of the fun things I did last month and what inspired me to cook this dish.  Read the rest of this entry

Sweet & Spicy Walnut/Chili Chicken

Sweet & Spicy Walnut/Chili Chicken

Sweet & Spicy Walnut/Chili Chicken

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless chicken breast cut into 2-3 inch strips
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup vegetable oil Read the rest of this entry

Grouper Confit

Grouper Confit

Grouper Confit

Ingredients:

4 grouper filets 6oz each
2-3 large garlic cloves crushed
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup of quality olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice Read the rest of this entry

Loco Moco….With A Veal Twist!

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Loco Moco

I am really not big on breakfast. It’s not that i don’t like eating it; it’s more the fact that I like to keep breakfast simple. Turkey bacon and eggs, waffles, simple omelets, and sometimes I even make pancakes. Today I wanted something a little different, and as usual, it needed to be relatively easy. Read the rest of this entry

Seafood, White Bean & Vegetable Chili, well sort of…

Seafood, White bean, and Vegetable Chili

Seafood, White bean, and Vegetable Chili

So far it has been a stormy fall season in the northeast. I mean 8 days ago we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the tr-state area. As I write this blog we are currently being walloped by a Nor’easter that rolled in this afternoon bringing snow to NYC in early November. So as you can imagine I have been stuck at home the past week, which I don’t mind because that means more kitchen time! With this kind of weather rolling in, it is time to roll out the comfort food.  I am a big fan of seafood of all types, and I also love comfort foods such as chili. So the idea of combining the two in a comforting Fall/Winter chili made my stomach growl. The funny thing about this dish is that it was made with ingredients I never intended on using, this is why I call this “sort of chili”. I accidentally added too much heat to my sauce, and although I love spicy foods, this had a bit much. (oh no!)

It was a mean and spicy sauce which consisted of chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, green chiles,  and jalapeno peppers, Whew! I needed to find a way tone the spices down without hurting the flavor in order to save my sauce. I added a tablespoon of sugar which did not have much affect, and I decided not to add anymore because it would suck if I were to end up with a sweet chili “dessert” instead of dinner! What I did next was dice up a small potato and a one medium sized green zucchini into small pieces and added them to the sauce to absorb some of the heat. Not only did this work, it surprisingly added another dimension of flavor and texture to the dish. The chili sauce maintained some of the heat, but it was much more tolerable. After a 90 minute simmer I added the seafood which consisted of shrimp, whole baby clams, calamari, sliced octopus and other goodies. Overall, this meal was a hearty, surprisingly good, and a really comforting seafood chili, well sort of a chili… Bon Appetit!  *My prayers and support go out to all the victims of Hurricane Sandy*

Honey Roasted Breast Of Lamb

Honey Roasted Breast Of Lamb

Ingredients:

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cloves
1 pound of the meatiest lamb breast you can find.
5 tablespoons honey, divided
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp canola oil
1 small onion sliced thinly
sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a large Ziploc bag, shake together the pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, and clove. Add the ribs to the bag, and shake to coat. Marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight. In a small pot, heat 3 tablespoons honey with the vinegar and oil, until the consistency is runny. Line a  baking pan well with foil. In a large bowl, toss the ribs with salt, sliced onion, and the honey mixture. Arrange the ribs in a single layer on the baking sheet, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 2 hours, turning twice during cooking. After 2 hours, take off the foil, and bake an additional 30 minutes until nice and browned. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons honey in a small pot until runny. Brush the finished ribs with the hot honey, and serve. Bon Appetit!

 

 

Easy Crab Cake Recipe

Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup small finely diced red onion
1 large stalk of finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 pound lump crab-meat, drained and cleaned of shells
1/2 cup panko or finely crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil

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Directions:

Place the 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil,hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, celery, red bell pepper, parsley,old bay seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes, Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, break the lump crab meat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the cooked mixture and mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to an hour. Shape into medium-sized crab cakes.

Heat the butter and olive oil for frying over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the crab cakes and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in an oven and serve hot with your sauce of choice. Bon Appetit!

Slow Cooked Goose With Cranberry Beans

With the Fall season upon us and school about to start, It is about time to shift gears in the kitchen. This is the time of year when we begin baking and preparing stews more often. The comforting aromas of roasting poultry, pot roast, stews, pies & cakes fill most households. My kitchen will be no different, that is why I am kicking off this Fall with an easy to make stew prepared in a slow cooker. I was out shopping this past weekend and decided to pick up a  slow-cooker to make chili dishes during the upcoming football season. When I returned home with it, I decided “why not use it tomorrow?”. I had Half of a young goose in the freezer that I have been dying to cook for a couple of weeks, so that would be my protein.

Fresh beginnings

I also had some fresh cranberry beans still in the pods handy. Now cranberry beans have no relation to cranberry the fruit. Upon doing a little research, I learned that cranberry beans originated in Columbia as cargamanto beans. The variety I am using with the crimson stripes are a relatively new cranberry bean. I found these beans similar to pinto beans but milder in taste. Another thing I noticed was that it did not take long during the cooking process for that beautiful crimson stripe to disappear, oh well.

Slow Cooked Goose & Cranberry Beans

My only experience with cooking goose was a couple of years ago when I roasted one for Christmas dinner. The meat is red and similar to duck, and it also has that thick layer of fat like its cousin. So you really want to trim it good before sticking it in your slow-cooker. I decided to cut the meat from the bone(with a very sharp knife), and cube it like beef stew. I also decided to use some French spices and garden fresh herbs for this stew. The good thing about this recipe is that you can just throw everything into your slow cooker walk away for 6-8 hours, and come back to a delicious comforting meal. The end result= Goose that melted in my mouth and beans cooked to perfection. Bon Appetit!

Slow Cooked Goose & Cranberry Beans

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 pounds of goose breast cubed

1 cup of fresh cranberry beans

2 medium potatoes quartered

1 medium onion thinly sliced

2 medium carrots chopped

2 Tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 tsp of Herbes de Provence spice

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup red wine

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig of fresh savory herb

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

First, season the goose meat with the Herbes de Provence spices and a little salt and pepper. In a large saucepan melt the butter under medium-high heat and saute the garlic and onions until translucent. Add the goose meat and brown on all sides then remove from heat. Add the potatoes, carrots, and the contents of the goose pan into the slow cooker. Pour the red wine and chicken stock into the slow cooker(be sure to submerge the meat and vegetables) and set the timer for 7 hours and the crock pot to high setting. After 3 hours add your cranberry beans.When there are 2 hours left add your fresh herbs. When finished, add to bowl and serve with rice or crusty bread.  **When using a slow cooker, I recommend that you not add fresh herbs until there is only 1 1/2 – 2 hours cooking time remaining. This is because fresh herbs can lose flavor if they cook to long. Enjoy!

Mid-Summer Coolness… Orange/Mint Ceviche & Shrimp Salad

Orange/Mint Ceviche & Shrimp Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked shrimp
1 lb cod or other firm white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves minced garlic
1 red chilli pepper, minced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
juice from 6-8 limes
juice from 2-3 juice oranges
salt/pepper to taste
3 Tbsp of fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
1/2 Navel orange, peeled and segmented
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cilantro roughly chopped

Did I mention shrimp are my specialty?

Directions:
 
First sear the shrimp in one Tbsp of the olive oil over high heat, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the fish, garlic, chilli pepper, and onion to a medium bowl, and then add the lime and orange juice on top. Be sure to submerge the fish completely into the citrus juice.
Cover and Allow the fish to marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until the fish is white and opaque and no longer translucent.
Toss in the cooked shrimp, cut up oranges, mint leaves, cilantro, then add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well drain the juice into a bowl. Refrigerate the seafood for an hour.
Plate your Ceviche, and whisk the olive oil with the strained juice citrus juice and pour it on top of the ceviche and served garnished with mint leaves or edible flowers for the ultimate summer feel:)
Bon Appetit!

Hawaiian Papaya, Kiwi, and Shrimp Salad!

Hawaiian spices

My inspiration for this dish came from a recent trip to the Hawaiian islands. The fresh sweet papaya and slightly tart kiwi complimented each other so well. I seasoned the shrimp with some local organic spices I purchased during my visit to the islands.This seasoning mix consisted things like Organic Nori (seaweed), Hawaiian sea salt (which is sea salt & ‘Alaea Hawaiian red clay). I then quickly pan-seared the shrimp in a little canola oil before tossing them up with the salad. This dish is quick and easy and makes for a perfect healthy summertime meal. It is also sure to be a hit at your family barbecue. Bon Appetit!

Hawaiian Papaya, Kiwi, and Shrimp Salad!

Ingredients:

1 Lb of large shrimp shelled and deveined
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp of organic Aloha seafood seasoning*(for shrimp)
1 small papaya, seeds removed and cubed
4-5 fresh kiwis peeled and cubed
1 small red onion roughly chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper diced
1 small tomato diced
1 Tbsp freshly minced ginger
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
juice of one lime

*Note: you don’t necessarily need to use this seasoning. You can use your seasoning of choice for the shrimp.

Directions:

Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Season the shrimp and sear them for about 3 minutes or until no longer translucent. Set them aside and allow them to cool down to room temperature. In a large bowl add the papaya, kiwi, red onion, tomato, ginger, cilantro leaves, and bell pepper. Add the cooled shrimp and lime juice and toss well. You can serve it immediately or refrigerate it for a couple of hours if you want a refreshing, chilled salad. Enjoy

Middle Eastern-Style Lamb Necks w/ Saffron Cous Cous

While in the market last week I came across an interesting cut of meat, lamb necks. Now I know every part of the animal is used in the food world, but this was new to me.  I decided to challenge myself and cook this part of the lamb, so I grabbed a couple of packages of it. Also it didn’t hurt that this cut of meat was quite inexpensive. This is not uncommon with unusual cuts of meat such as necks, shanks, liver, and tongue; all are usually cheaper. With cheaper prices comes the challenge of cooking these items properly because the meat is usually tougher.

The great thing about this meal is that you can turn $10 ingredients into a restaurant quality meal! I decided to cook the neck the same way I would prepare shanks. The dish I decided on had a Middle Eastern flair with spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Since I’m a fan of  the bold flavors from the Middle East. I then paired it with a bright saffron cous cous cooked with golden raisins. The verdict = Thumbs up! You should try this recipe at home and tell me: Should I pay for this in a restaurant or cook it myself?  Bon appetit!

Lamb necks

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds of lamb necks
1  onion, halved, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp turmeric
3 cups chicken stock
1  can diced tomatoes
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
greek-style yogurt, to serve
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Directions:

First season the lamb necks with the salt & pepper. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb necks and cook, turning, for 5-7 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
Return the lamb necks to the pan with the stock and tomato. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 1:30 – 2 hours. Uncover and cook, stirring, for 30 minutes or until the lamb is tender. Transfer the lamb necks to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to high and bring the stock mixture to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Skim any fat off the top and discard. Plate the lamb with the cous cous and drizzle with the pan sauce. Serve with Greek style yogurt and garnish with Coriander or parsley leaves.

Saffron Cous Cous

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
1 medium onion, sliced into crescents
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken stock (you can use reduced sodium if you prefer)
One 10-oz. box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a medium frying pan (with sides at least 2 in. high) over medium heat, melt butter. Add saffron and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add onion and salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add the raisins and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 7-8 minutes.

Add chicken stock and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork, then gently stir. Garnish with parsley or coriander leaves and serve.

No knife needed!

Meatless Monday! Jicama & Cannellini Bean Salad

1-1-img_63121 large jicama (1 1/2 pounds), peeled & cubed
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 14 oz can of Cannellini Beans (drained & rinsed)
1 large fresh nectarine sliced into small squares
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 mint leaves finely chopped
1/3 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
dash of cayenne
dash of paprika
Salt

Directions:

Simply toss all ingredients  together (except lime juice, salt, and olive oil) and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Remove and add lime juice and olive oil and toss well. Salt to taste and enjoy. Bon Appetit!

Later Gator! My valiant effort at cooking Creole-style food…

I took this picture in Louisiana during a visit to the bayou in 2007

Cajun & Creole cuisine are a couple of my favorite types of food to eat. These cuisines are similar to each other but also quite different, which is something I learned a few months back from my friend, ex-Army veteran, Derrill Guidry.  He is a great cook from Louisiana and should know such things, so I trust him. Also on his food page, The “G” Spot,  he displays his skills in the Cajun and Creole arena. Both of these cuisines have roots stemming from French cuisine, along with influneces from Africa, Spain and to a lesser degree a few other countries. One of the major differences between Creole and Cajun food is in the type of roux (pronounced “roo”) used as the base of sauces, soups, stews, and other savory dishes. Creole roux is made from butter and flour (as in France), while Cajun roux is made from lard or oil and flour. Most people have the misconception that all Cajun food is spicy, which is not the case. There are a few more differences, and I hope to cover this subject in more detail in a later post, but right now let’s get on with tonight’s dish: Alligator & Shrimp Creole!

Creole Roux

Now most of the people I know (excluding chefs) hear the word “alligator” and run for the hills! They wont go anywhere near it, even when it is cooked  — and no longer baring teeth. The fact is, alligators have been hunted and consumed by humans for centuries. The tenderloin I purchased looked no different from boneless chicken cutlets (certainly not green and slimy like some of you think). There are two different species of alligators, one in North America and the other in China. The Chinese alligator is listed as a critically endangered species, while the American alligator is plentiful, and can be found throughout the Southeastern United States. Louisiana and Florida have the most alligators: over one million wild alligators in each state with more than a quarter million more on alligator farms. Obviously, I will use farm raised alligator, and obviously an alligator from Louisiana since it’s Creole. The meat yielded a mild taste somewhat like chicken, and unlike its wild counterpart, which I am told tastes a tad bit more like frog legs or fish. The soft texture is sometimes compared to veal. While this wasn’t my first time cooking gator, it was my first try at a Creole-style dish and it was just absolutely delicious! The Creole flavors where exciting to the taste buds and the alligator and shrimp cooked to perfection.  Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup butter
1 cup peeled chopped tomato
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 whole chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/4 cups chicken or fish stock
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp  Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 bay leaves
1 lb alligator tenderloin cut into 1 or 1 1/2 inch sized cubes
1 lb large/jumbo shrimp, shelled (tail on is optional)
3/4 lb smoked chicken sausage, sliced (Traditionally, you’d use Andouille sausage, which a more heavily spiced sausage, but I used chicken since I don’t eat pork)

Directions:

Mix together oregano, salt, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and basil in a small bowl; set aside. Brown the sausage slices is a small frying pan and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan oven over medium heat; stir in tomato, onion, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion is almost translucent, about 4  minutes. 

Stir in chicken or fish stock, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, hot pepper sauce, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and bring sauce to a simmer. Stir in seasoning mix and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 20 minutes.

Gently stir in shrimp and alligator; bring sauce back to a simmer add sausage and cook until the shrimp and gator are done, about 20-30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and garnish with yellow celery leaves or parsley.  Serve with a crusty bread or rice.

Shrimp & Alligator Creole

Stir-Fried Calamari, Shrimp, & Tilapia With Cilantro and Garlic

This is a quick and easy stir-fry recipe for seafood. This is the type of meal I usually prepare during the work week when I get home and I am too tired to cook a more complicated meal. I am sure there many of you home cooks and foodies who do not cook for a living  feel the same way. With this recipe I suggest that if you are impatient with prep work (we all are) buy your squid already cleaned  and ready to cook. I chose to clean my own squid, but it was well worth it as I was able to salvage and cook the tentacles as well as the calamari rings. 🙂 So I hope you enjoy this quick and easy Stir-fry! Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

1 lb shelled and deveined shrimp

1 lb squid cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces

2 tilapia filets cut into 2 inch chunks

2 tablespoons of peanut oil

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger

1/2 tsp – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust the heat to your taste)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup fish stock

cooked Jasmine or white rice

Cilantro (minced) or chopped scallions for garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

First rinse and pat dry the cleaned shrimp, squid, and fish. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat and add the peanut oil. Immediately add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 10-15 seconds stirring a couple of times, and when the garlic begins to color add the fish, shrimp, and squid and cook stirring frequently until all the seafood is opaque. Add the stock  and cilantro leaves; stir and simmer for about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Garnish with fresh minced scallions or cilantro and serve with cooked rice of your choice.

French-Style Antelope Chop /w Herbed Merlot Sauce

Now to put the spotlight one of my favorite meats, antelope! Many of you have never tried it, but trust me, I think it’s time you should. Antelope is indigenous to Africa, and parts of Europe & Asia. North American antelope are referred to as “Pronghorn”. I do not hunt so I purchase most of my game meat from www.Fossilfarms.com. The animals are farm raised and fed naturally with no hormones. The meat is very lean and high in protein, and most of all it’s tasty. This was my first try at antelope chops and I loved it!  They may resemble deer but they are actually members of the same animal family as goat.  The meat is mild tasting with a similar taste to venison, finely grained, and get this, one-third the calories of beef!

Antelope that are hunted in the wild are said to have “gamey” or “sagey” taste.  As I explained in previous posts, the “gamey” flavor comes from the fact that the animals in the wild eat a very varied diet of weeds, acorns, wood bark, etc. This flavors the meat distinctively. Sagebrush makes up a large part of the antelopes diet, which may explain the “sagey” flavor. Since we are used to eating meat that is grain fed, which has a much milder flavor, game meat tastes strange to us now. We don’t need to worry about that here since this meat is farm raised. I cooked this the same way I would prepare a lamb chop, pan seared it and popped it in a 450 degree oven for a few minutes. I then pair it with roasted asparagus & potatoes (cooked in a bit of duck fat), and added my herbed merlot sauce to seal the deal. All I can say is wow! It was very tasty and a big hit in my household. So I highly recommend you try antelope — you wont regret it. Bon Appetit!

French-Style Antelope Chop /w Herbed Merlot Sauce

Pan Roasted Halibut w/ Parmesan Baked Asparagus

Roasted Halibut w/Parmesan Baked Asparagus & Herbed Potato Medley

Ok home cooks & foodies, This is a relatively easy recipe for a very delicious fish, Halibut!  You can use fresh or frozen, this is sure to be a hit at your dinner table.This no-fuss recipe is big on flavor and looks delicious on the plate. You can use halibut, cod, or haddock for this dish, it does not matter because they all work. I served it up with parmesan baked asparagus (recipe coming soon) and potatoes. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

1 lb  halibut fillets (thickly cut)

2 Tbsp olive oil (divided in half)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (you can use less if you can’t tolerate heat)

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/8 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt or to taste

pinch of dried parsley & oregano

Directions:

Combine all the dry spices and mix well. Rinse the fish in cold water then pat dry. Brush the fish with half of the oil and season it generously with the spice mix. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the remaining oil (or you can use a high heat non-stick spray) in a cast iron skillet or other heavy bottomed pan and heat over medium-high flame. Sear the halibut on one side for 3 minutes. Flip the fish and place the pan in the pre-heated oven for 5-7 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Plate the fish and served immediately. Enjoy:)

Rabbit Cacciatore

477493_2875894661287_1258048172_oIngredients:

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1 cup of sliced white mushrooms

1 large celery stalk,  julienned

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

3 Lb rabbit cut into 8 pieces ( you can use chicken if you like)

1 large garlic clove crushed

1 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup of tomato sauce

1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth

1 Tbsp freshly chopped oregano

2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley

additional parsley for garnish

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat; then add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside and keep warm. In a large  5- to 7- quart wide heavy pot , heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat . Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pot and place on the side with the mushrooms.

Season the rabbit  generously with salt and pepper. Add  rabbit  pieces and cook, turning pieces several times until lightly golden, about 5 minutes per side. Add the reserved vegetables and mushrooms to the pot, then add the wine. Increase heat to high and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, mix well and bring to a simmer then add half of the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add chopped parsley and oregano, stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding remaining broth gradually as sauce thickens, until rabbit is very tender, about 1 hour. Garnish with parsley and serve with pasta of your choice. Here I served it up with cheese stuffed ravioli.  Bon Appetit! 🙂

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Spicy Seafood & Chickpea Curry

456713_2845827749633_1841213853_oAlthough winter in the northeast has been a pretty mild one with above average temperatures this year, we still look to eat comfort foods such as soups and stews. If you are a follower of this blog you may have noticed by now I am a seafood lover, and while shopping this weekend I bought some Mahi-Mahi filets. Mahi, also known as Dolphin fish, is a very popular fish among chefs everywhere and is highly sought after. Mahi meat is firm with a large flake and a mild, sweet flavor which made it perfect for the type of stew I planned to prepare. I also decided to add two other seafood favorites of mine: fresh jumbo shrimp and blue claw crabs. Along with the fresh herbs and spices I intended to use in this stew, can you say yummy? To top it all off, the stew will be delivered to the table in a fresh sourdough bread bowl which is always a comforting hit at the dinner table. So enjoy this recipe and give me a little feedback on what you think 🙂 Enjoy

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs Mahi Mahi cut into chunks
8 – 10 large shrimp, shelled and deviened
2 blue claw crabs
4 bowl size sourdough loaves, optional
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add spice according to your taste)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 13oz cans of diced tomatoes
6 tablespoons of fish or chicken stock
1 can chickpeas, drained
4 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp mango chutney (homemade or store bought)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro and some leaves for garnish
salt & pepper

Directions:

First remove outer top shell of the crab then clean out the the internal organs and cut each crab in half leaving 4 total clusters (you can have your seafood guy do this). If you are using bread bowls you need to carefully carve it open so it resembles a bowl, and use the scooped out bread for dipping. Heat oil in a large saucepan the add the onions and sautee until soft but not browned. Add tumeric powder, curry powder, chili powder, and garlic to the pan and fry for 3 minutes until spices become fragrant. Add the stock, 2 Tbsp of cilantro, tomatoes, and tomato paste then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add stock as needed if it reduces. Throw in the shrimp, chunks of fish, crab clusters, and the chick peas then simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish has cooked. Mix in the mango chutney and simmer for 1 more minute and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add an even amount to each bowl including 1 cluster of crab for each. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and 1 Tbsp of yogurt in each bowl and serve immediately.    Bon Appetit!

Seared Basil Shrimp with Spinach/Cilantro Pesto

Meatless Mondays! Baked Stilton/Walnut-Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms

At one point in my younger years I really did not like mushrooms and I really could not tell you why. Today I enjoy all different types of them, so I like to experiment and try them in a multitude of ways. This recipe will make a hearty appetizer or if you want you can serve it up with crusty bread to soak up the garlic flavored juices. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

1 lb medium-large baby bella mushrooms

4 oz of Stilton cheese

juice of 1/2 lemon

6 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup of white bread crumbs or panko (I used stale baguette I had in the kitchen already)

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

5 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 oz of freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

First, core the stems from the mushrooms with a pairing knife, leaving only the cap. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit and place the mushrooms in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle half the garlic over them, then drizzle about 3 Tbsp of the melted butter over them along with the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Gently cream the Stilton cheese with the chopped walnuts and mix in about 2 Tbsp of the breadcrumbs, then fill the mushrooms evenly with the mixture, do not over-stuff. Pre-heat the broiler. Mix the remaining garlic, breadcrumbs black pepper, and melted butter in a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese and parsley. Cover the stuffed mushrooms with the breadcrumb mixture and broil for about 5 minutes until crisp and browned. Serve immediately and enjoy 🙂

Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms

 

Pan Seared Shell Steak & Cilantro Citrus Grilled Shrimp

Steak and seafood are my absolute favorites, but when I have a chance to combine the two of them together, it is a match made in heaven. Surf & Turf is on deck, Enjoy!

For the shrimp:

1 bunch fresh cilantro

8 medium chopped scallions

2 green chili peppers

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

3 lbs large shrimp

Wooden skewers soaked in water

coarse sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

chili powder

lime or lemon, sliced

fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

In a blender or food processor place the cilantro leaves and stems, scallions, chili peppers, garlic, lime juice, cumin, and turmeric and blend to a puree. Add some water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Peel the shrimp,devein them leaving the tail intact. Place the shrimp in a bowl, and toss with the cilantro mixture. Marinate for about 3-4 hours.

When you are ready to cook the shrimp, scoop them up so that more of the marinade remains on one side of each one. Use an indoor grill if possible and either use non=stick spray or a bit of olive oil on the grill. Put shrimp on the soaked skewers with the sliced lemon or limes. Heat the grill to medium-high and place the shrimp marinade-side up on the grill. Cook until almost done, about 2 minutes.Turn shrimp over and cook quickly on marinade side, about 1-2 more minutes. Remove shrimp from grill. Divide the skewers among serving plates. Sprinkle the shrimp with coarse salt, pepper, chili powder, a squeeze of lime juice, and a few cilantro leaves.

For the steak:

1 shell steak  1 1/2-inch thick

olive oil to coat

kosher salt and ground black pepper

Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature. When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste. Immediately place steak in the middle of the hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the hot oven for 3-4 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.) Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Just add your steak to the plate with the shrimp you have a mouthwatering Surf & Turf meal! Enjoy 🙂

Trying My Hand….At Lapin Au Vin!

This is a delicious rabbit casserole, cooked in red wine with pearl onions and mushrooms. Just like most casseroles, this benefits from being prepared the night before, cooled and then reheated when needed.

2 lb rabbit cut into 8 pieces

4 tbsp all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

4 oz fatty beef bacon (or pork, which I dont eat) cut into strips

1 lb pearl onions peeled

2 1/2 cups red wine

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1 bouquet garni

1 lb white mushrooms halved

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put flour in plastic bag and season the rabbit with salt and pepper, then add to bag with the flour and coat evenly. Heat the oil and butter in a casserole dish and cook the rabbit over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until browned. You may need to do this in 2 batches, if so, remove 1st batch of rabbit from heat and keep warm. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until slightly crisp, remove and keep warm.

Add onions to the pan and cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes until they begin to brown. Pour in the wine and stir well to remove any sediment from the bottom of the pan.

Return the bacon and rabbit to the pan and add the garlic and bouquet garni, then bring to a boil, cover and place in the center of a preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours.

Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni, remove the rabbit pieces, bacon, onions and mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and put them into a serving dish.

Put the pan back on a burner and bring to a rapid boil to thicken the sauce, then pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Serve with some crusty baguette and Bon Appetit.

Baby Octopus With Spicy Garlic Dressing

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Ingredients:

1 Lb frozen octopus or baby octopus cleaned

1 onion cut into wedges

about 8 cups of water

1 teaspoon of cloves

2 garlic cloves

5 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp white wine vinegar

4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 tbsp salt (for boiling octopus)

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Put the onions, cloves, and one tablespoon of salt in a large saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Using a large metal strainer, dip the octopus in and out of the boiling liquid at least 3 times, returning the water to boil between each re-dipping (this helps the octopus become tender). If you don’t have a metal strainer, use tongs to dip. Then completely immerse the octopus in the liquid and cook very gently for about an hour. I used baby octopus which was ready in about an hour, larger octopus may take 90 minutes of gentle cooking before tender. Allow it to cool in the liquid, then drain, cut into bite size pieces(for larger octopus) and place in a nonmetallic bowl.

Mix the oil, parsley, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper(to taste) and add to the bowl with the octopus. Mix well, cover, and chill for a few hours or overnight. Octopus can be served with crusty bread for mopping up the juices 🙂 Bon Appetit!

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**A Taste Of Greece** Moussaka ( Ελληνική Μουσακάς )

Ok home cooks & foodies, we will prepare a classic Greek dish. I love Greek food, and a couple of my favorite meals to eat on the go are a Greek Gyro and Soulvaki. These quick meals are pretty popular here in NYC and we have food carts all over the place selling these treats. But enter one of New York’s Greek restaurants and you will encounter a variety of very good dishes from Greece such as Αρνι με Πατατες στο Φουρνο (roast lamb with potatoes); απάκι, which is a famous Cretan specialty of lean pork marinated in vinegar, then smoked with aromatic herbs and shrubs, and packed in salt; Χταποδι στη σχαρα (grilled octopus in vinegar, oil and oregano); and the dish I will prepare tonight: μουσακάς 0r moussaka.

Moussaka

I must admit that prior to this experiment I had never tasted this dish. But after talking to my friend Rena, who lives in Athens, Greece, and she has a website called “Cooking in Plain Greek” (which I love), she gave me the all the motivation I needed. We will use the recipe from her site for this classic Greek dish. The first thing I noticed is that this dish is prepared similar to lasagna but the flavors are different. Instead of using pasta for layers, you use long eggplant slices, and I used ground lamb instead of beef. Another thing that makes it different than lasagna is the spice mix. This dish contains nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, which is unheard of when making Italian lasagna. You also must make a Greek bechamel sauce to top the dish with before baking, which consists of milk, flour, butter, and kefalotyri cheese. Unfortunately, I could not find this specialty hard cheese, but Rena gives us a pass and recommends parmesan for those of us outside of Greece :). If you haven’t tried cooking Greek food, head over to http://cookinginplaingreek.com/traditional-moussaka-recipe/ and try your hand at this dish. Bon Appetit!

 

Meatless Monday Is Sproutabulous!!!

For this Meatless Monday I decided to prepare a healthy raw sprout salad using different types of sprouts. This is rather easy to do and a great alternative to meat. You can choose the type of sprouts you wish, I chose to use lentil sprouts, black-eyed pea sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, green & snow pea sprouts, some scallion, and I also prepared some sprouted wild rice by soaking 1/2 cup of the grass (yes, wild rice is a grass/aquatic seed) in water for 2-3 days, changing the water 3 times per day. This causes the rice to sprout and become softer but not as soft as when cooked. I added tomatoes to give the salad a different texture and tossed it all up in a light white wine vinegarette I prepared. This turned out delicious and satisfying, so be sure to make enough so you can bring a bit of it to work with you for a hearty and healthy lunch. Bon Appetit!

Rum and Lime Grilled Chicken With Spicy Salsa

You will need:

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly butterflied

2/3 cup light rum

1/2 medium onion, peeled and minced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp salt or to taste

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp paprika (for color)

2 tbs vegetable oil, divided

Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

Spicy salsa:

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 cucumber, diced

1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced

1 red chile pepper, diced

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (if you dare!)

4 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

juice of 1 lime

Directions:  Mix onion, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, and the diced peppers in a large bowl and refrigerate salsa until ready to use.

Rinse chicken breasts under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Prepare marinade. Place chicken breasts in a 1-gallon, resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, stir together rum, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, and 1 tbs vegetable oil. Pour marinade over chicken, push out air, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Use the remaining oil to glaze the grill and heat up the pan (I used cast iron) to medium-high. Carefully add each breast and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Add 1 chicken breast to each plate and  top with spicy salsa.

Goan “Colossal” Shrimp Curry

Once again I will try my hand at an international dish. This time we go to India’s smallest, yet richest state, Goa, which is in western India. Goan cuisine is famous for its wide variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconuts and curries are widely used in Goan cooking along with chili peppers, spices and vinegar, giving the food a unique flavor. Fish curry with rice is one of the main dishes in this region.  A rich egg-based multi-layered sweet dish known as Bebinca is a favorite during the Christmas holiday, which was the inspiration for this dish. I found the dish to be like most of the Indian dishes I have prepared, except the coconut milk which I have found more common in Thai cooking. This dish is BIG on flavor and, because I happened to find colossal shrimp at Fairway, the dish is big — just check out the photo of an uncooked shrimp. It has a has a nice amount of heat for the foodies who love spicy dishes (but not over-spicy). Bon Appetit!

Colossal Shrimp!

Colossal Shrimp!

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp fresh crushed black pepper
3 tbsp water
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 lbs of shrimp
1 cup coconut milk
1 medium tomato diced
1 tsp salt
4 hard-boiled eggs
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
Your choice of rice to serve (I used basmati)

 

Directions:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the coriander, fennel, turmeric, chili powder, and pepper. Add the water and make a paste. Reduce the heat to medium, add the paste to the onion mixture, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then add the coconut milk and salt, bring to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, shell the eggs and, using a sharp knife, make 4 slits lengthwise on each egg without cutting through. Add the eggs to the pan along with the shrimp and increase the heat to cook for 6-8 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice and half the cilantro. Remove from the heat and transfer the curry to a serving dish. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro and serve with basmati rice.

Goan Curry Shrimp

 

Rabbit Stew

Rabbit Stew

It’s January and the cold weather has moved in, and kitchens all across cold regions of the world begin to smell of stews and soups, which are so comforting in the winter months. Let’s talk about rabbit. I have had my experiences with cooking rabbit. I have tried different techniques such as marinating it overnight in buttermilk & herbs then deep frying it. I have also baked it alongside my Thanksgiving turkey to give the holidays a twist, which turned out to be a hit. Lately I have been trying to learn French techniques in the kitchen and the French love rabbit. Fricassée de Lapin is the sort of comforting home cooking you will find in farmhouse kitchens and small, cozy neighborhood restaurants in France. In some regions such as Normandy, rabbit is treated much like chicken is in America and enjoyed frequently. Some say rabbit tastes like chicken, but in my opinion it has the same texture as chicken but its own wonderful flavor. This is another easy French dish the home cook can make for the family during these cold winter months. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lb rabbit

2 cups chicken stock

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup of red wine

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 all-purpose four

3 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 cup white mushrooms

1 tbsp butter

Cut the rabbit into eight pieces. Put the flour into a plastic bag and add the rabbit. Shake to dust with flour. Melt the butter over medium-high heat; add the rabbit, turning to brown evenly.Add the wine and boil for 1 minute. Add enough stock to just cover the meat. Add the garlic and herbs and simmer for 1 hour, or until the rabbit is very tender and the juices run clear. Stir in the mustard, and mushrooms cook for 10 more minutes and add salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce. Serve the rabbit with a bit of the strained sauce. You can also add the cooked mushrooms to the finished dish.

Chevreuil aux Pois Chiches (Moroccan Venison Stew)

The delicious spicy cuisines of French colonial North Africa have left their mark on French cooking, which some of you know I’ve been exploring. This dish is traditionally prepared with lamb (d’Agneau), but tonight I will use venison since I have an abundance of it from a friend who hunts. Lamb stew meat should be easily available at most local markets so don’t break your neck looking for venison. The word “tagine” is the name for the conical-shaped pottery dish in which this delicious meal is usually cooked. I don’t have a tagine so I guess pots and pans have to do. 🙂 Despite the lengthy ingredient list and multiple steps, this dish is simple to make for the home cook so I encourage all to try this recipe. Dont be shy, leave feedback telling me if it worked for you. Bon Appetit! (special thanks to George Perkins for donating the protein for this dish)

Moroccan Venison Stew

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups dried chickpeas soaked in cold water overnight

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp powdered saffron or paprika

3 lbs of venison stew meat OR lamb shoulder trimmed of all fat cut into 2 inch pieces

2 medium onions coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 tomatoes peeled, seeded, and diced

2/3 cup golden raisins soaked in warm water

10-20 black olives (such as a kalamata)

2 preserved lemons or the grated rind of 1 lemon

6 tbsp fresh cilantro

salt and pepper

cous cous (to serve)

Directions:

Drain the chickpeas, rinse under cold running water and place in a large pan, cover with water and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Drain the chick peas and return to pan and cover with cold water  and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 -1 1/2 hrs until peas are tender. remove from heat and add about 1 tsp salt and set aside. In a large bowl, combine half of the oil (2 Tbsp) with the sugar, ginger, cumin, tumeric, saffron or paprika,pepper and about 1 tsp of salt. Now add your lamb or venison and toss well to coat all sides and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add enough lamb to cover the pan in one layer but do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes, turning the pieces to brown all sides, then transfer to a large casserole dish. Keep browning all the lamb in batches until all the lamb is cooked and in the casserole. You may find you have to add a little more olive oil between batches.

Add the onions to the pan and stir constantly until browned. Stir in garlic and tomatoes along with 1 cup of water, stirring and scraping the base of the pan. Pour this mixture into the casserole and add enough water to cover. Heat the casserole dish on the stove top, bringing the stew to a boil and skimming off any foam, then reduce and simmer for an hour.

Drain the chickpeas and add to the lamb with about 1 cup of the drained off liquid. Stir in the raisins and the liquid they soaked in, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the olives and sliced preserved lemons or lemon rind and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, then add half the chopped cilantro.

About 30 minutes before serving, prepare the cous cous according to package instructions. Serve side by side or with the stew over a bed of cous cous, and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Meatless Monday: Tagine of Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Butter Beans

We will kick off this Monday with a vegetarian dish that is easy to make and sure to get your taste buds kicking! This recipe will make a good side dish, or a main entrée if you add some crusty bread. Whatever your choice may be, this is pure delicious and healthy eats.

Ingredients

4 oz butter beans, soaked overnight (or 2 14 oz cans, drained)

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 oz ginger root, peeled and chopped

pinch of saffron threads

16 cherry or large grape tomatoes

pinch of sugar

handful of kalamata olives, pitted

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

salt and ground pepper

Directions

If using dried beans, rinse and drain them and place them in a large pot with water. bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook beans 1-1 1/2 hours until tender. If using canned beans, just drain, rinse and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat the oil then add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the saffron threads, followed by tomatoes and sugar. As the tomatoes begin to soften, add the butter beans. Once all ingredients are heated through, stir in the olives, cinnamon and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately, plain or over rice or pasta.  Bon appetit!

Stir Fried Mahi Mahi with Rice Noodles (Thai style)

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs Mahi Mahi, cubed
4 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
2 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
Grated rind plus the juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp fish sauce
4 oz wide rice noodles
2 shallots, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp hot chili sauce (Sriracha)
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Directions
Place the fish in a shallow bowl and in a separate bowl make the marinade. Mix half the oil, green chilies, lime juice and rind, and fish sauce together and pour over the fish. Cover and chill for two hours. Put the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 8-10 minutes (or check your package instructions). Drain well and set aside. Heat the second 2 Tbsp of oil in a wok or large skillet and sauté the shallots, garlic, and red chili until lightly browned. Add the soy sauce and the chili sauce. Then add the fish with the marinade to the wok and stir fry gently for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Add the drained noodles and stir gently. Mix in 1 Tbsp or cilantro and serve immediately.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side!