This is one of my favorite dishes to make. Many elements but REALLY easy to make. Let me show you
2 - 1/4 lb center cut Salmon Steaks. ( be aware of where they come from - I prefer Northern Atlantic or Chilean.)
1/2 cup - 100% real maple syrup
2 tbsp. - red miso paste
pepper to taste
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup fresh grated parmesan
1/2 cup pan toasted pine nuts
1 zucchini diced into small cubes
3 table spoons basil pesto ( preferably home made but store bought will do).
1/2 tomato diced into small cubes
salt and pepper to taste.
I was never a fan of French toast till my dear friend, restaurateur and former employer Sandra Carlisi showed me the path to it's Nirvana. This is my version of her classic on a classic.
1 - bakery fresh baguette
2 - eggs
1 - cup half & half or heavy cream (don't use MILK blech!)
1 - 3 TBSP of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of apple pie spice
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
butter to fry in
Let's make some: Cut your baguette into 2" thick, diagonal cut pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, beat your eggs cream and sugar together with a hand wisk. Then add the apple pie spices and vanilla and beat again till mixed. Let the custard stand for about 5 min.. Now it's time to soak and fry these babies. In a large skillet at medium heat. Melt some butter down till it's just bubbling and throw in your 1st batch. When you see the edges of the custard splash start to puff up and turn golden brown. It's time to flip them over and repeat.
To serve: Surely you'll pair it with other dish choices. this French toast is best served with a pure, real maple syrup and a GOOD butter. Irish or French preferably. You can always gussy it up with a fresh compote of berries & whipped cream. If that's your thang! I prefer it traditional.
Sometimes in your life's travels you work with and meet some extraordinarily talented people. I would like to dedicate this dish to my dear friend, the late Lester Smilowitz. This is a play on his Italian Wedding Soup BUT on steroids. I thought of Pasta Primavera but in an unctuous lemony broth. So let's get started......
1 cup cauliflower - chopped
1 cup carrots - cubed
1 chayote squash - cubed
1 cup celery - diced
1 cup zucchini - diced
3 cloves garlic - sliced
1/2 yellow onion - diced
1 1/2 tsp Thyme
1 1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. of fennel seed pan toasted
tsp black pepper
tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp. of good Balsamic vinegar
1 carton Swanson free range chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of water
tricolor Rotini pasta
Publix free range mild Italian chicken sausage
To begin: In a medium 2 liter stock pot. Puddle the bottom of the pan with some extra virgin olive oil. add you onions and sliced garlic clove to the cold pan. Now turn on your burner to a medium heat so as not to quick sear you garlic and onions but allow the essential oils to flavor the olive oil. Then add your carrots, celery, chayote squash, cauliflower and zucchini. Allow the lot to sauté until your onions are translucent. Then add your stock, lemon (halved and squeezed and tossed in the pot whole), and all your seasonings (toast your fennel seeds in a dry pan to release their essential oils). Leave it at medium heat for about 45 min. to simmer covered.
Now to prep the sausages: Preheat your oven to broil and in a medium skillet liberally puddle it with extra virgin olive oil. Place your sausages in (about 6 links) and roll them around in it. Put them in the oven and start your pasta. Once you've gotten a golden brown on both sides of the sausages. Take them out and allow them to rest before you slice them. Once the pan has cooled. I pour the remaining broiling juices into the soup pot and recover while you slice you sausages into 1/4" pieces. Put the sausage slices in the soup pot as well. By now your pasta should be ready and it's time to serve it up.
To plate: In the bottom of a substantial soup bowl. Layer some pasta, next ladle in the broth, finally the veggies and sausage. Top with some freshly chopped Italian parsley and some finely grated mozzarella.