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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lamb Chops with Capers, Balsamic Vinegar, and Red Peppers

 So it's been a little while since I posted, so I figured I'd give ya a good one!


4 lamb shoulder chops , about 3/4 inch thick, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion , chopped fine
1 red bell pepper , seeded and diced small
2 small cloves garlic , minced
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 cup canned tomatoes packed in puree, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons capers , drained
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


1. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cooking in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, add chops; sauté until brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.

3. Pour fat from pan; return pan to medium heat, adding remaining tablespoon of oil. Add onion and pepper; sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add wine; simmer until reduced by half, scraping browned bits from pan bottom with wooden spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, then return chops to pan. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until chops are cooked through but tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Transfer chops to each of four plates. Stir parsley, capers, and balsamic vinegar into braising liquid; simmer until sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings, spoon portion of sauce over each chop, and serve.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tzatziki & Beef Pita Sandwiches

Yogurt and cucumbers contain a lot of extra water, so they need to drain in a colander for a min of 30 min. If not drained your Tzatziki sauce will be runny. Greek yogurt can be used in this recipe, but use ½ a cup and no need to drain. Fresh herbs are always recommended, but if using dry remember to reduce the amount as dried herbs tend to be stronger than fresh.

The patties can be prepared through step 3 and refrigerated for up to a day or frozen before cooking (frozen patties should be thawed in refrigerator prior to cooking).
This recipe can be doubled.

For Tzatziki :
1 - Cup plain yogurt
½ - medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 - TBLS lemon juice
1 - Small garlic clove, minced
1 - TBLS finely chopped mint leaves or dill
Pinch of salt to taste

For Beef Patties :
4 – 8 inch pita breads
½ - medium onion, chopped
1 – TBLS lemon juice
2 – TBLS fresh oregano, minced
3 – Medium garlic cloves, minced
1 – Lb ground beef (chuck, lean)
1 – TBLS vegetable oil
Salt & Pepper to taste


For the Tzatziki Sauce
1. Line fine-mesh strainer set over deep container or bowl with 3 paper coffee filters or triple layer of paper towels. Spoon yogurt into lined strainer, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine cucumber, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in colander set over bowl and let stand 30 minutes.
3. Discard drained liquid from yogurt. Combine thickened yogurt, drained cucumber, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, garlic, and mint in clean bowl.

For the Patties
1. Adjust oven rack to middle and pre-heat to 350 degrees.
2. Cut top quarter off each pita bread, tear into 1 inch pieces. Stack pitas and tightly wrap with aluminum foil.
2. Process onion, lemon juice, salt & pepper, oregano, garlic, and pita pieces in food processor until a paste. Transfer mixture to large bowl; add beef and mix by hand until combined.
3. Divide mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Flatten balls into patties and ½ inch thick.
4. Place foil wrapped pitas into oven, heat for 10 min.
5. Heat oil in skillet on med-high heat, add patties and cook until well browned about 3-4 min, then flip, reduce heat to med cook until done, about 5 min.
6. Spread Tzatziki inside each pita, add patty, can top with tomato slices, shredded lettuce, and feta cheese. Serve and ENJOY!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Focaccia with Caramelized Red Onion, Pancetta, and Oregano

To substitute table salt for the kosher salt, halve the amounts called for in the recipe. If you don’t have a baking stone, bake the bread on an overturned, preheated rimmed baking sheet set on the upper middle oven rack. The focaccia is best eaten immediately, but can be kept for up to 2 days well-wrapped at room temperature. The bread will keep frozen for up to a week wrapped in foil and placed in a large zipper-lock bag.


1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast


2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour , plus extra for shaping
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) warm water
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
Kosher salt
4 ounces pancetta , chopped fine (or bacon)
1 medium red onion , chopped medium
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. FOR THE BIGA: Combine flour, water, and yeast in large bowl and stir with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees) overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.)

2. FOR THE DOUGH: Stir flour, water, and yeast into biga with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt over dough; stir into dough until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with nonstick cooking spray; fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 turns). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat stretching, folding, and rising 2 more times, for total of 1 hour.

4. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cook pancetta in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel¬-lined plate. Return skillet to medium heat, add onion and water; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

5. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, being careful not to deflate completely. Lightly dust top of dough with flour and divide in half. Gently shape each piece of dough into 5-inch round by gently tucking edges underneath themselves. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Sprinkle each pan with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Place round of dough in pan, top side down, slide dough around pan to coat bottom and sides, then flip over. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover pans with plastic wrap and let rest 5 minutes.

6. Using fingertips, press dough out toward edges of pan, taking care not to tear it. (If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 to 10 minutes before trying to stretch again.) Using dinner fork, poke entire surface of dough 25-30 times. If any large bubbles remain on surface or sides of dough, pop with fork to deflate. Sprinkle pancetta, onions, and oregano evenly over top of dough. Let dough rest in pan until slightly bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Place pans on baking stone and lower oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake until tops are golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes, switching position of pans halfway through baking. Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pan, return to wire rack, and brush tops with any oil remaining in pan. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

Portabella Mushroom Pasta

This earthy pasta is easy to make and is sure to leave your guests wanting more!


* 1 pound dried fettucine
* 1 large portabella mushroom cap, wipe with damp paper towel to remove dirt
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 clove garlic, minced
* 1 shallot, minced
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
* Salt & Pepper to taste
* Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

How To:

Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water al dente. Drain the pasta in colander, reserving some liquid (about 1/4 cup).

While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in skillet, add minced shallot and cook till tender. Add sliced portabella mushroom, cook until tender. Add minced garlic and cook till fragrant.

Add heavy cream, reduce slightly, about 5 min. Add pasta toss to coat. Adjust consistency with reserved liquid. Add Parmesan and salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh parsley to garnish (optional)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming Soon....

Hello everyone,

I'll be periodically posting recipe ideas, suggestions, and the latest on what's going on through this blog. I've just started the blog, so stay tuned and my first recipe will be posted soon!