Aug 23, 2017

Peach and Ricotta Crostada

2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 TBL Sugar
2 Stick Cold Unsalted Butter Cut Into Small Cubes
¼ to ½ Cup Ice Water
2 Cups Whole Milk Ricotta
1 Lemon Zested
2 TBL Honey (or to taste)
2 Ripe Peaches, Thinly Sliced
2 TBL Toasted Chopped Pistachios

1 TBL Demarara Sugar
1 Egg beaten wih 1 TBL of heavy cream


Combine all the dry ingredients together in a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the butter; pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal, with some pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly, if the dough is dry, add more cold water, 1 TBL at a time. Careful not to over process.

Transfer half of dough onto lightly dusted work surface. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 2 disks.

To Make the Crostada:

Preheat oven to 375 F or on Convection at 350 F

In a medium bowl, whip together the Ricotta, lemon zest and honey.  Add a couple pinches of sea salt to balance the sweetness if you like.  Set aside.

Roll out the dough to a 12” diameter on a lightly floured work surface, flipping over during the rolling process to ensure the dough does not stick.  Transfer to a parchment or silpat lined sheet tray.  Spread out the ricotta mixture in the center of the dough, leaving at least a 2 inch border all the way around.

Arrange the peach slices, artfully in concentric circles all the way around the ricotta.  Fold the edges of the crostada dough up around the ricotta/peach filling and create pleats all the way around. 

Brush the edge of the dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with demarara sugar. 

If you want a flakier dough, place in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. 

Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to rest and sprinkle with pistachios before serving. 

Aug 16, 2017

Carnitas Quesadillas

·         4-5 lbs Pork Butt or Shoulder trimmed and cut      into large chunks
·         2 TBL Canola or Vegetable Oil
·         1 TBL Kosher Salt
·         1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
·         1 TBL Dried Oregano 
·         1 TBL Ground Cumin
·         1 Large Brown or White Onion, cut into        wedges
·         6 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
·         2 Limes, Juiced
·         2 Large Oranges, Juiced
·         2-4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock (or    enough to cover the meat while braising 
·         2 Bay Leaves
·         3 Sprigs Cilantro

      2 Cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
      8 Flour Tortillas
      ½ Cup Steamed Corn Kernels
      ½ Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper)
      1 tbsp Canola or Vegetable Oil
      ¼ Cup Thinly Sliced Scallions
      Salt and pepper
      Fresh Cilantro, Finely Chopped (optional garnish)
      1 Cup Sour Cream, For Garnsih

Preheat the oven to 400 F
After the pork has been cleaned, trimmed and bone has been removed, season generously all around with salt and pepper.
Heat a large dutch oven to a medium high temperature, add the oil, then add the pork pieces and sear on all sides until a nice crust forms.  Next, add the onions and garlic, plus a little bit of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom.  Now add the cumin and oregano, cook until fragrant.  Next add the orange juice, lime juice, bay leaf, cilantro sprigs, remaining chicken stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. 
Cover and transfer to the oven for 2 ½-3 hours.

Remove pork and shred with two forks (DO NOT DISCARD THE LIQUID!) Ladle left over, strained liquid over the shredded pork, and set aside. (Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time)

Preheat griddle to 375 F.

Lay out the tortillas. Divide the cheese between the tortillas, scattering evenly across half of each tortilla. Top with pork carnitas, corn, diced red pepper, scallions, and more cheese. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Fold the tortillas in half.

Brush the griddle or griddle pan lightly with oil. Add as many quesadillas as will fit in the pan. Cook until nicely browned on one side then flip over the folded edge. Cook the other side until browned, then remove from pan. Tip: Keep cooked quesadillas warm in a very low oven. Keep then in spread out in a single layer so they stay crisp.

Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

Petite Farcis Nicoise

4 Medium Zucchini
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan
1 tsp Finely Minced Thyme
1 TBL Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1-2 TBL Olive Oil or Neutral Cooking Oil
1 lb Ground Lamb
1 small onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ cup Grated Parmesan
1 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh thyme
½ tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Small Clove Garlic, Minced
¼ tsp Crushed Red Chili Flakes
1TBL Minced Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the zucchini into 2-3” long pieces, with a melon baller, scoop out the inside of the zucchini, but leave the walls about ¼” thick. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Make the stuffing: Bring your skillet to a medium-high temperature.  Add the olive oil, then onion and garlic, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Remove from the heat. Next, add the fennel seeds, and crushed red chili flakes.  Once the essential oils in the spices have been activated and they become fragrant, add the ground lamb, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook until the lamb is no longer pink.  Remove from heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl with a slotted spoon, discarding any extra fat or oil.    
Add the egg, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.  Using your hands; combine until everything has been mixed through. Set aside.
Next brush the zucchini cups lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Now assemble the topping by combining the rest of the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Divide the meat mixture among the zucchini cups, stuffing it carefully and deeply inside each one. Stand the vegetables, on a wire rack lined sheet tray, and top with bread crumb cheese mixture.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are browned.  Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, can be served lukewarm.

Quail Egg Shakshuka

3 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Onion minced
3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
1 Large Red Bell Pepper Diced Small
1 tsp Toasted Ground Cumin
1 tsp Sweet Pimenton
1/8 tsp Crushed Red Chilies
1 (28 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Dozen Quail Eggs
1 Cup Crumbled Feta (optional)
2 TBL Chopped Cilantro
Pita Bread for serving

Preheat Oven to 375 F
Bring a large cast iron skillet to a medium temperature, add olive oil.  Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and pepper and cook until softened.  Add the garlic, after 1 minute add the spices.  Once you smell the aroma of the spices add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the Feta (if using), remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Using a spoon, make small evenly spaced wells in the tomato mixture.  Crack the eggs, one at a time into a small ramekin, and transfer into wells.  Season the tops of the eggs with salt and pepper, and transfer to the oven and bake until the eggs set, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with warm pita bread. 

Dried Cherry Vanilla Scones

·         2½ cups all-purpose flour
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         1 tablespoon baking powder
·         cup granulated sugar
·         1 egg
·         ½ cup cream
·         1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
·         ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
·         1 cup dried cherries
·         1½ cups confectioners sugar
·         2 tablespoons milk (may need more)
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste
Egg wash, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon heavy cream, beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet tray with silpat or parchment paper

In a food processor pulse together the flour, salt, baking powder, and granulated sugar. Add cold cubed butter and pulse until course crumbs forms - do not to over-mix, transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and vanilla then add it to the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients, Mix with a wooden spoon or by hand, add dried cherries and mix through. The mixture will be sticky.

Lightly flour a clean work bench and turn the dough out.  Lightly kneed until the dough comes together. Form the dough, by hand, into a large circle (or 2 circles for smaller scones) about 1” thick. Use a bench scraper to cut scones into 8 wedges. Place on the silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool.

Glaze: add all the glaze ingredients into a bowl and whisk - glaze will be thick.  Transfer to a squeeze bottle, and drizzle on top of the scones. Allow glaze to set, serve.

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad
1 Cup Le Puy Lentils (rinsed)
2 Cups Water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 Gala/Jazz Apple, diced
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
2 TBL Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste

¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small shallot finely minced
2 TBL Honey
1 TBL Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Cook Time 1 hour/Serves 4-6 ppl


Preheat Convection Steam Oven to Convection Steam setting at 210 F

Spread lentils evenly into a ¼ sheet tray (deep enough to hold lentils and water), place garlic on top, cover with water, season with salt and pepper.  Carefully transfer to the oven and cook/steam for 45 min. 


Whisk together the Apple Cider Vinegar, Shallots, Honey, and Lemon Juice.  Slowly drizzle the Extra Virgin Olive Oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify the dressing.  Season to taste. 

Once the lentils are tender, remove them from the oven and allow to cool.
When the lentils are cool to touch, transfer to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients, toss together and dress to taste. 

Halloumi Salad with Orange and Pomegranate

1 (8 oz) pkg Halloumi Cheese sliced into ½” thick pieces
1 Pomegranate, seeded
1 Orange, supremed
1 TBL Mint Chiffoned, for garnish
1 TBL Basil Chiffoned for garnish
1 Cup Steamed Farro or Arugula (optional)

Juice of 1 Orange, strained
I TBL minced shallot
1 TBL Pomegranate Molasses
1 tsp minced basil
1 tsp minced mint
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Preheat griddle to 350 F

Steam Farro in CSO on steam setting for 20 minutes (if using) and allow to cool.

Once the griddle has come to temperature, evenly distribute the Halloumi across the top.  Allow the natural sugars to caramelize and one side of the Halloumi has turned golden brown.  Flip it over and allow the other side to brown. Transfer to a plate or sheet pan and allow to cool slightly.  Cut into medium cubes.  

Dressing: In a medium size bowl, whisk together the orange juice, shallot, pomegranate molasses, mint, and basil.  While vigorously whisking, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil until dressing has emulsified.  Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Assemble the salad by arranging the Halloumi, orange, and pomegranates together on a plate or platter, drizzle with desired amount of dressing and garnish with mint and basil. (If using Farro or Arugula, gently toss all the ingredients together with the dressing, top with mint and basil and serve)