Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sloppy Joe recipe

I have always loved Sloppy Joes, even as a little kid when we made them with a packaged spice mixture and canned tomato paste.  This recipe is great with ground turkey (by itself or mixed with turkey sausage) – just be sure to add a bit more olive oil when you brown the meat so that it doesn’t dry out.  The sauce should cling to the meat – do not let so much liquid cook off that the sauce sticks to the pan.

So simple!

So simple!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Heat the garlic infused olive oil over medium (4 out of 10) heat.  Saute the onions, 1/4 tsp salt and ground pepper for one minute.  Then add the green pepper and continue to cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove the vegetables to a plate.

Turn up the heat to medium high (7 out of 10).  Add the ground meat without crowding the pan – make two batches if necessary – and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook until all of the meat is browned.   Remove any excess (greater than 2 TB) fat then add the vegetables back to the pan.  Stir in the tomatoes, 3 TB of reserved tomato liquid vinegar and worcestershire sauce and bring the mixture to a boil on high (9 out of 10) heat until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, sauce like consistency.  Turn the heat back down to medium low (3 out of 10), add the paprika and chili powder and simmer for 15 minutes.  Lower the temperature if necessary – do not let the sauce stick to the bottom of the pan (if it does add tomato liquid,  stock or water until the consistency is right).  Add the basil infused olive oil.  Adjust the spices and salt to taste.  Serve on buns or rolls.

Slow Braised Short Ribs

This easy to prepare, but time consuming, dish was inspired by a wonderful meal at Daniel, where the short ribs are braised for 8 hours!  I keep it down to around 5, and the ribs ain’t Daniel’s, but the final product is melt-in-your-mouth good.  The fig vinegar adds a wonderful dimension to the dish, as the sweetness highlights a similar flavor in the meat.

5 hour Braised Ribs

5 hour Braised Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 4             Short Ribs (about 1/2 LB each)
  • 4 TB       Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 tsp Salt (high quality)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1 tsp      Smoked Paprika
  • 2             Carrots (about 1 C, coarsely chopped)
  • 1             Onion (about 1 C, coarsely chopped)
  • 4             Garlic cloves (2-3 TB, finely chopped)
  • 1 C          Lucini Organic Plum Tomatoes (about 1/2 jar, finely chopped)
  • 3 C          Red Wine (preferably full bodied, definitely not sweet)
  • 4 C          Stock (beef or poultry)
  • 2              Bay Leaves
  • 3 TB       Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Pat wash the ribs and dry well.  Season the ribs all over with the salt, ground pepper and paprika and then dust with flour.  Add 12 TB oil to a heavy, oven-safe pot and sear the ribs on all sides until well-browned (about 7-10 minutes).   Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 TB olive oil and add the carrots, onion and garlic. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add wine and boil again, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

Add wine, stock, bay leaves, 2 TB vinegar, and remaining salt and pepper to sauce and bring to a simmer.   Skim fat from surface, then add beef along with any juices accumulated on plate and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to oven and braise until beef is very tender, 4 to 5 hours.  Every 30 minutes, skim and discard fat from the surface.

Pour sauce through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl and then skim fat from sauce.  Boil sauce, if necessary, until thickened and reduced to 2-3 cups.  Drizzle with remaining TB of fig vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the sauce with the ribs.

  • 4 (8-ounce) pieces bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice, puréed in a blender with juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 cups brown veal stock or 1/2 cup Demi-Glace Gold concentrate (concentrate requires a dilution ratio of 1:8; 1/2 cup concentrate to 4 cups water)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Banyuls vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Peach & Tomato Salad

I stumbled on this wonderful combination accidentally, when I set out to make a tomato salad, but returned home to find I had purchased weakly flavored tomatoes.  Luckily, I had also picked up some peaches at the same stand that sold the tomatoes.  I decided to add the peaches to ‘cover’ the lack of sweetness in the tomatoes and the fuzzy fruit took the dish to a new level.  This is a seasonal recipe – fresh, full flavored peaches are a necessity and great tomatoes really do make for a mush tastier salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2          Peaches (pitted and sliced thin)
  • 1/2     small Onion (sweet – Vidalia, etc., quartered then sliced thin)
  • 1          Tomato (sliced to medium thickness, soak in balsamic and salt if the flavor is weak)
  • 1/2 C  Cucumber (seeded and sliced to medium thickness, about 1/4 inch)
  • 1/4 C  Lucini Cucumber & Shallot Vinaigrette (start with 1/4 C, adding more to taste)

Preparation:

Soak the onions in ice water for 10 minutes to mellow their flavor (soak the tomatoes in balsamic and salt, if necessary).

Toss the peaches, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Add dressing, salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil Preserved Mushrooms

I love pickled mushrooms of all kinds, but find this recipe works well with wild mushrooms (I find them at farmers’ markets or specialty stores like Whole Foods).  The recipe is incredibly easy – just bringing your liquids and mushrooms to a boil then covering them with a great olive oil.  The only hard part is waiting a month for the finished product!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Sterilize picking jar or jars sufficient to hold your mushrooms (usually 2 pint jars).  Clean the mushrooms well, removing any blemished or woody sections.  Cut any musrooms that will not fit easily into the jars whole.

Heat the scallion, vinegar and wine in a large saucepan – as it reaches a boil, add the mushrooms, salt and garlic.  Boil for 3 minutes then quickly drain well in a colander.

Pack the mushrooms in to your sterilized jars and cover with the olive oils (do not forget the infused oil!) so that there is no air left in the jar.  Cover and store in a dark, cool spot for 4-9 weeks.

Gazpacho recipe

With tomato season approaching, I’m posting a quick recipe for Gazpacho.  The recipe works year round and uses wonderful Lucini tomatoes, but it tastes especially great with fresh, in-season tomatoes (use 3 cups).  You can garnish with chopped veggies, reduced vinegar, olive oil or shredded basil.

Finished with chopped green pepper, olive oil and reduced balsaimc.

Finished with chopped green pepper, olive oil and reduced balsaimc.

Ingredients:

Preparation:
Combine all the ingredients except olive oil and blend until smooth in food processor or blender.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.  Remove from the refrigerator and whisk in olive oils.  Finish with chopped cucumber, tomato or bell pepper and a few drops of the Basil infused Oil and reduced Balsamic, if so desired.

Elote – Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob

Here is a twist on that Mexican street food favorite – Elote.  There are many toppings available, but I love the most common combination of  heat, salt and citrusy lime.  Traditional recipes use butter and mayonnaise, but this healthier alternative is just as bursting with flavor.

Grilled corn goodness

Grilled corn goodness

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Start your grill.  Prepare the ears of corn by carefully peeling back the husk without damaging and then removing all of the silk.  Tie the open end with a piece of husk or cooking twine  and then soak the corn (husks and all) in cold water for 20 minutes.  Remove the and grill on a rack set about 6 inches over hot coals until the husks are charred – about 12-20 minutes.  Grills seem to heat radically so keep a close eye on your corn.  The corn is cooked when the kernels feel tender.

While corn is grilling, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and spices.

Brush the olive oil mixture onto hot cobs of corn and sprinkle with the cheese.  Season the corn with more salt, chili powder or paprika if desired.  Serve corn with the lime wedges – one wedge per ear of corn.

Summer Squash with Smoked Paprika

Summer squash has started to appear in local greenmarkets and reminds me of a yellow squash dish my mother used to make.  We grew squash in our garden and I always preferred sauteed squash to baked.  After trying to recreate the dish from memory, I found that the addition of smoked paprika really made this a more interesting dish and have added up to a tablespoon depending on my mood.

This makes a great side dish and also stands alone over pasta, lentils or quinoa.  Vegans can omit the sour cream – I find that doubling the vinegar works well when making the dish without dairy.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Cut the squash into 1/4 inch thick discs (if using patty pan, half or quarter for similar size)

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until the garlic just starts to brown. Add squash and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the salt, pepper and paprika and mix well.  Continue cooking until the larger discs of squash just starts to wilt.  Pour in the sour cream or yougurt and stir until well distributed.

Remove from heat.  Add the parmigiano (if using) and season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika.  Ready to serve.