Salmon Rillette

If you are talking fish in NYC, there is no place better than Le Bernardin. Chef Eric Ripert is a genius and I came across this recipe for his house starter, which is served before every meal. I took the recipe down exactly, so credit where credits due. Bravo Chef Ripert!



Ingredients

2 cups dry White Wine
1 Tbsp. minced Shallots
1 lb. fresh boneless, skinless Salmon filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 oz. Smoked Salmon, diced
2 Tbsp. fresh Chives, chopped
½ cup Mayonnaise, this would be a good place to make your own.
3 Tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice
Sea Salt, Black Pepper
Toasted Baguette slices

Combine white wine and shallots in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes until shallots are tender. Add the salmon pieces and poach for just 2-3 minutes until they are barley opaque.

Remove the salmon pieces from the wine and drain them on a baking sheet lines with a towel. Strain the wine reserving the shallots. Place both salmon and shallots together and put into refrigerator to cool.

Combine the cooled salmon pieces, shallots, smoked salmon, chives and some mayonnaise and lemon juice and gently fold together.

Use lemon juice and mayonnaise sparingly, so you have just enough to moisten the mixture. Stir until just mixed, but do not over mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve cold with the toasted baguette slices.

This would be perfect with champagne or a white burgundy.

Cuban Black Bean Chicken

This is a really good Cuban dish, which is easy to prepare and very hearty. The interplay between the black beans and the vinegar is wonderful and perfect for colder weather. The recipe can be doubled to make a meal for a larger family. Enjoy


Ingredients

4 Chicken Thighs, skinless, bone in.
1 large Onion, chopped
1 Shallot, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 pieces roasted Red Pepper, chopped. The kind from the jar is perfect.
1 Tbsp. Oregano
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp. crushed Red Chili
1 Tbsp. Dry Sherry
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 can of Black Beans, with juice
1/4 cup of Water
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Sour Cream

Begin by salt and peppering the chicken and sauteing it until it is well browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and add in the shallot, garlic and onion and saute until caramelized.


Add back the chicken and add the sherry and vinegar and cook until reduced, then add all of the remaining ingredients except the sour cream.


Stir well, cover and cook over low heat for approx 11/2 to 2 hours and until the chicken is very tender. Serve over rice and with a dollop of sour cream.


This would be perfect with a cold beer or a dry white wine.

Steak au Poivre – Perfect French Bistro Dish

This one of my absolute favorites, as it combines the wonderful flavor of beef, with the perfect compliment of copious amounts of cracked black pepper.

There are few points, which must be followed, to ensure that this dish is ideal. Firstly, I recommend that you use a sauté pan, which can go from stove top directly to the oven.


This is the best way to guarantee the flavors stays in the steak and keeps the meat moist. Secondly, you must use freshly crushed black pepper and not ground pepper. If you use ground pepper the end result is over powering.

Ingredients

1- 10 to 12 oz. Steak, NY strip sirloins are perfect
Freshly crushed Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp. Shallots, minced
1 cup Heavy Cream
¼ cup Cognac
Salt

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Put your pan onto the stove and preheat until it is very hot. Once it is ready, salt the meat and then roll it in the freshly crushed black pepper. Make sure it is completely coated.

The easiest way to make the crushed pepper, is to put the whole peppercorns in a plastic bag or wrapped in a cloth and pound it with a mallet or a rolling pin.

Add the oil and when it is smoking, gently lay the meat into the pan and sear on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Then transfer the entire pan into the preheated oven. The timing with depend on your preference, but it will be best either rare or medium rare. Approx. 7 to 8 minutes for medium rare.

Remove the pan from the oven and set the meat onto a cutting board or dish and cover with aluminum foil to rest.

Put the pan onto the stovetop and add your shallots and sauté lightly, then pour in your cognac and deglaze the pan. You may flame the cognac if you desire. Once the alcohol has cooked away, add your heavy cream and bring to a soft boil and reduce until a sauce texture is obtained. A good way to check a sauce, is to see if it will coat the back of a spoon. If it coats the spoon, it is perfect.

Plate the steak then finish with the sauce and serve immediately. Oven roasted potatoes or french fries are a good accompaniment to this dish.

Braised Beef Ribs in Coconut Milk

This creates such tender meat; it is almost difficult to eat. It literally falls off the bone. I like to serve this with Thai jasmine rice and ladle the sauce over the rice. It is amazing.






Ingredients

6-8 Beef short ribs, bone in, trimmed of all visible fat
2 cans of coconut milk
2 whole star anise
2 whole cinnamon sticks
3 green onion, loosely chopped
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mirin, rice wine
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
5 pieces of ginger root, sliced
1 Tbsp chili oil
1 Tbsp Sugar

Begin by thoroughly trimming the beef ribs. They will have fat inside the meat, so you need to remove the fat on the outside.

Salt and pepper the ribs and brown on all sides in a few Tbsp of vegetable oil. While the meat is browning, mix together all of the braising ingredients and bring to a soft boil.

When ribs are browned, add them into the braising liquid, cover and cook gently for 3 ½ to 4 hours until tender.

Serve over Thai Jasmine rice and enjoy.

Roquefort and Asparagus Tart

Since this was a hands down winner in the office taste test, I am passing along the recipe. As with all quiche/egg tarts, this is a very simple dish to make and is perfect with a salad to create a full meal.


Ingredients

1 Piecrust, either home made or store bought
8 oz of asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
4 Eggs
¾ cup and 2 Tbsp of Heavy Cream, or Whipping Cream
5 oz of Roquefort, cubed into ½ inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Parchment Paper
Dried beans, approx 2 cups

Begin by blind baking the crust. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, use a fork to gently prick the crust on the bottom and on the sides.

Cut a piece of parchment paper so it overlaps the crust slightly and lay it onto the unbaked crust, and fill with dried beans. Push them so you have more beans on the sides and less in the middle. Then bake for 10-15 minutes.

After baking, remove the crust and lift of the parchment paper and allow the crust to cool. The beans can be stored and reused. They will be hot when they come out, so handle with care.

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Quickly blanch the asparagus in boiling water, for 3 minutes max and then shock in an ice water bath. Drain the asparagus while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Beat the eggs together with the cream, and chives and salt and pepper.

Arrange the asparagus in the piecrust and intersperse with the cubed Roquefort. Once it is fully packed, gently pour the egg mixture, until it just reaches the bottom edge of the crust. 

Put the tart into the oven on a baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before slicing.

Smoked Salmon and Goats Cheese Tart

I made this yesterday afternoon and realized this is perfect for a Sunday brunch. It’s not difficult to prepare. Just be careful on adding salt, as the smoked salmon can be quite salty, and this may be just enough. Adding the ingredients in layers, helps to keep everything well distributed.

Ingredients 


1 Piecrust, either home made or store bought
4 oz of Smoked salmon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
4 Eggs
¾ cup and 2 Tbsp of Heavy Cream, or Whipping Cream
4 oz of Goats Cheese cubed into ½ inch pieces
3 springs of fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Parchment Paper
Dried beans, approx 2 cups

Begin by blind baking the crust. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, use a fork to gently prick the crust on the bottom and on the sides.

Cut a piece of parchment paper so it overlaps the crust slightly and lay it onto the unbaked crust, and fill with dried beans. Push them so you have more beans on the sides and less in the middle. Then bake for 10-15 minutes.

After baking, remove the crust and lift of the parchment paper and allow the crust to cool. The beans can be stored and reused. They will be hot when they come out, so handle with care.

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs together with the cream and salt and pepper. Gently fold in the smoked salmon, goats cheese and dill

Gently pour the egg mixture into the crust, until it just reaches the bottom edge of the crust. Do not overfill, or it will spill over turning cooking.

Put tart into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes. You can check for doneness by looking at the surface and also by gently shaking the tart. When it is just set, remove and allow to cool before serving. 

Kerala Chicken Curry

This is a typical curry from the south of India, in that it’s spicy and it uses coconut as one of its ingredients. It can be made as a vegetarian dish, which is also very common in the south. Adjust the heat based upon the number and strength of chilies you choose.



Ingredients 


2 lb. Boneless chicken breast, cut into 21/2 inch pieces
1/3  cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. Ghee or butter
2 Medium Onions, sliced thin
6 cloves of garlic, mashed and then minced fine
2 inch fresh ginger, mashed and minced
3 fresh green chilies, minced
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cardamom
3 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
½ Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup water

Heat oil and ghee over medium heat and add garlic, onions, ginger, fresh chilies and sauté until well caramelized. Then add spices and sauté until the spices have lost their raw smell.

Now add the chicken pieces, and lightly sauté them as you coat them thoroughly with the spice mixture. Then add the water and bring back to a soft boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes and then add coconut and continue cooking until the oil separates. Usually, about 15 additional minutes. If the mixture starts to dry out, add little bit more water and continue cooking.

Serve over basmati rice with Indian pickles or relish of choice.

Hint: To make this as a vegetarian dish, you may substitute sweet potatoes or cashews 

Penne Carbonara

This is a wonderfully rich dish and is one of my favorites. It\’s easy to prepare and very satisfying.

People are not entirely clear of where this dish originated, but it can be found on menus all over Italy. This is true comfort food.



I would serve this with champagne to completely make this decadent!


Ingredients

4 oz of Pancetta, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 Onion, chopped
5 Egg Yolks
1 lb of Penne Rigate
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Sauté the pancetta and onions in the butter in a deep sauté pan (As you will want enough space to add back the pasta at the end, don’t make the pan too small) until they are completely cooked and soft. Add the white wine and reduce down and then take off the heat.

Start your water with added salt and cook the penne until they are just al dente. While the penne is cooking, whisk together the egg yolks and cream.

When the pasta is done, drain and then add back to the pan with the onions and pancetta and put back on medium high heat. Slowly add in the egg and cream mixture and cook until thickened.

Add the Parmesan and the black pepper, toss well and serve immediately.

Chicken Jambalaya

Here\’s a really easy dish to throw together when you come home late. It\’s really good and great for lunch the next day. It\’s worth searching for the medium grain rice, as it does give it a more creamy texture.


When visiting the countryside of Louisiana, I found a small church fair and tasted this done over an open fire. The smoky flavor and creamy texture was unlike anything I’d ever tasted.

After much experimenting, I found the perfect combination to recreate the special flavor I remembered. Maybe one day I’ll get back and try the gumbo.

Ingredients

2 lbs of boneless Chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
4  Tbsp of Vegetable oil
¾  lb of Andouille sausage, cut into quarter inch cubes
1 cup of green Pepper
2 cups of Onion, chopped medium
5 cloves of Garlic
1 tsp. Sugar
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
Freshly ground Black Pepper
2 tsp. Liquid smoke
4 cups of unsalted Chicken stock
2 cups of Rice, medium grain is best
1 cup of Green onions

Preheat your pan and oil, and render down the Andouille until well browned. Remove the Andouille and caramelize the green pepper, onion and garlic. Add the chicken and brown.

Add all of the spices, sugar and liquid smoke and mix well. Now add the rice and cook for a few minutes until it is well coated. Keep stirring to avoid burning it.

Add the chicken stock slowly, and bring the mixture back to a boil. Cover and cook on lowest heat until the liquid is completely absorbed. Usually about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the green onions and serve with hot sauce on the side.