Ceviche de Camaron

Liz Goldberg

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound cleaned and peeled cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegary Mexican bottled hot sauce
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced peeled cucumber or jícama (or 1/2 cup of each)
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • Salt
  • tortilla chips

Defrost and marinate shrimp in lime juice for 1 hour in ‘fridge.

Add all other ingredients and enjoy!


Birthday Prosecco

Stuffed Cabbage

When I was a youngster, my Birthday Dinner was Veal Marsala and Pineapple Cream Pie. My mom made a great dish with pounded beef, mushrooms, and marsala - we never saw $$$ veal in our house - and she served it over buttered egg noodles. Delicious.

Fast-Forward a few years and the Birthday Dinner has become Stuffed Cabbage.

What makes this so special is Victor has never really been fond of cooked cabbage, but, knowing how much I like it, he made it for me one year - and liked it, too! It's become a twice-a-year dish - once in winter and once for my birthday!

And since this was a birthday celebration, we started off with prosecco and homemade goat cheese, along with little crackers and hot peppers. Victor made the cheese yesterday. It is outstanding! We both really like hot peppers - there is always a container of peppers in the 'fridge - and we've taken to jacking up the heat from the store-bought peppers with a couple of the hot peppers from our yard.

More calories than we normally have for dinner, but... what the hell.

Birthday Prosecco

From cheese and peppers to stuffed cabbage served over rice. The rice is perfect for sopping up all of that delicious sauce.

Stuffed Cabbage

The recipe originated with Ina Garten. It takes time to prepare - and it's worth every second!

Stuffed Cabbage

Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large head Savoy or green cabbage, including outer leaves

For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, and cook over medium-low heat for 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, raisins, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Stuffed Cabbage Sauce

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Remove the entire core of the cabbage with a paring knife. Immerse the head of cabbage in the boiling water for a few minutes, peeling off each leaf with tongs as soon as it s flexible. Set the leaves aside. Depending on the size of each leaf, you will need at least 14 leaves.

For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, rice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the meat mixture and mix lightly with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

To assemble, place 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Remove the hard triangular rib from the base of each cabbage leaf with a small paring knife. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling in an oval shape near the rib edge of each leaf and roll up toward the outer edge, tucking the sides in as you roll. Place half the cabbage rolls, seam sides down, over the sauce. Add more sauce and more cabbage rolls alternately until you ve placed all the cabbage rolls in the pot. Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls.

Stuffed Cabbage

Cover the dish tightly with the lid and bake for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked and the rice is tender.

Serve hot.

It really is one of those classic meals that succeeds on every level. It's a perfect agrodolce - sweet and sour - with perfect textures and perfect flavors. We each had two rolls. More than enough after cheese and peppers, although a part of me wanted to finish the pan.

We didn't have the Pineapple Cream Pie, though. I think Victor asked me half a dozen times if I wanted a birthday cake - and I repeatedly said no.

We had fresh fruit. But... we get to have the leftovers for dinner, tomorrow!

It's better than cake!

 

 

 

 


Goat Cheese with Apricots and Pistachios

Goat Cheese with Apricots and Pistachios

We were at the Bryn Mawr Farmer's Market, today, and found raw goats milk.

Victor has been making his own cheese for a while, now, and raw goats milk is not easy to come by - we picked up a quart to make some!

Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 qt goat milk - raw is best, cannot use ultra-pasteurized
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar white
  • 1/2 tsp salt

optional

  • Dried herbs of your choice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Instructions

Line a colander with two or three layers of fine cheesecloth.

In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the goat milk until it reaches 180'F. Stir frequently to ensure even heat throughout.

Remove from heat immediately; add the lemon juice, and stir a couple of times until combined.

Add the vinegar, stir briefly until combined and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.

The curds will not be large, on the contrary they will be like tiny specks.

Slowly ladle into the cheesecloth. Add the salt and stir lightly.

Gather the ends of the cheesecloth, and tie them with kitchen string. Tie to your faucet.

Allow it to hang and drip for about 1 hour.

Place on a cutting board and shape - mixing in fruits and nuts or sprinkling with dried herbs of your choice.

Refrigerate and serve when set.

Goat Cheese with Apricots and Pistachios


Parmesan Pepper Biscotti

Parmesan Pepper Biscotti

Victor was perusing some old Gourmet Magazines looking for some inspiration when he found a recipe for Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti. It's the Year of the Biscotti around here, so we had to make them! I mean... without even looking at a recipe, how good does that sound?!?

I had subscribed to Gourmet on and off over the years. It was overly pretentious, at times, but the recipes were sound. Convoluted, at times, but sound. Condé Nast closed it down in 2009. This was one of the non-convoluted recipes. Pretty basic and straightforward.

The recipe stated: These savory biscotti are ideal for a soiree. Their crisp texture is accented by the richness of parmesan and the bite of black pepper — perfect for nibbling in between sips of wine.

I didn't nibble them between sips of wine, tonight, but they sure as hell went good with ravioli!

Ravioli

The recipe is very much like a quick bread or biscuit with the butter cut into the flour before adding the liquid. It also calls for a quarter-pound of cheese, whole milk, and real butter. The recipe is not for the faint of heart - but... you're also not supposed to eat twenty of them.

Moderation, my friends... Moderation...

Parmesan Pepper Biscotti

adapted from the defunct Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper - you want it coarsely ground - not fine
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups cheese, and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Mix 3 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into four pieces. Form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log (about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets.

Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper.

Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total.

Cool about 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Carefully transfer 1 warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total.

Cool biscotti about 15 minutes.

I did mention you're not supposed to eat twenty of these, right?!? You're not supposed to - but, given the opportunity, I think it could easily be done. They'e good. Really really good!

They went great with the ravioli. Simple cheese ravioli in a sauce of ground beef, peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, peperocino, and a package of Marinated Mediterranean Antipasto Vegetables from Trader Joe's. A really simple sauce that had tons of flavor.

We'll be saving some for our Christmas Eve Dungeness Crab Cioppino and sending the rest up for the Seven Fish Feast in North Jersey that we will be missing, again.

This is a recipe you should be making this week.

Really.

It's that good.

 


Ricotta with Date and Pecan Pesto

Here we go with another fantastic recipe from our new cookbook Shaya!

It's one of those recipes that is just so simple that it has to be good! We brought it for Easter dinner and everyone loved it!

There's not a lot of ingredients, so make sure the ones you use are top-quality. Go for whole milk ricotta, good quality olive oil, and a really good balsamic.

You'll be glad you did.

And buy the book. You'll be glad you did that, as well!

Ricotta with Date and Pecan Pesto

adapted from Shaya, An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel
By Alon Shaya

  • 2 cups parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta, drained

Place parsley, pecans, and dates in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Blend in cheese, olive oil, and balsamic, and add salt to taste.

Place drained ricotta on a rimmed plate and spread out - making a well in the center. Place the parsley mixture in the center.

Serve with crusty baguettes or your favorite cracker.

Alon makes his by hand-chopping the ingredients - making for a much chunkier dish. He also uses less dates and parmesan.  I went with the food processor but made sure there was still a lot of texture. I definitely wouldn't want it as fine as a traditional Pesto Genovese.

And if you really want to blow their socks off - make your own ricotta!

Fresh Ricotta

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a heavy pot and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Scoop curds into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and drain about 30 minutes.  Squeeze to remove as much whey as possible.

Cover and chill.

It's ridiculously easy - and ridiculously good!

 

 


Piadine

• 4 flour tortilla shells
• 3 thin slices mild Provolone or fresh Mozzarella (3 ounces total)
• 4 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and minced
• 2 pitted green or black olives, minced
• 12 basil leaves, thinly sliced, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees(preferably set on convection bake). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 2 flour tortilla shells on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Top each with half of the Provolone, sundried tomatoes, olives, and basil. Top each with a second tortilla shell.

Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden and crisp.

Serve hot, cutting each into quarters as a main course or into 12 triangles as finger food.


Arancini

  • 500 grams of rice
  • 400 ml of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 scrambled eggs
  • 3 hard boiled eggs cut into pieces
  • bread crumbs as needed
  • parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 300 grams of ground beef
  • 150 grams of green peas
  • vegetable oil for frying

In a large pot cook rice until tender, then drain and rinse it in cool water.

Pour the rice in a large bowl and add the parmesan cheese, 200 ml of tomato sauce, parsley, black pepper and a little salt. Mix all the ingredients well.

Then in a frying pan put in the ground beef and cook it till brown, add 200 ml of tomato sauce, green peas, salt and pepper to taste, and cook till nice and thick. This is the Ragu sauce. Set as aside and let it cool.

Now take a hand full of rice mixture in your hands and flatten it , make an indentation in the middle, add the Ragu sauce, a 2 cm chunk of mozzarella cheese, cut boiled egg, then add more rice on top to form a round ball.

Dip the rice ball in the liquid eggs and then roll the ball in breadcrumbs and put it aside.

In a frying pan heat the oil and fry the rice balls until they are golden brown (fry only a few at a time).

Remove from the oil and put on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Serve after cooling.


Asiago Dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup (about 1-1/2 ounces) grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato sprinkles
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (1/4 ounce) grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 32 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted (about 2 baguettes)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; spoon into a 1-quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with toasted bread.


Vegetable and Tofu Triangles

  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu -or- fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheddar or mozzarella cheese, grated (optional)
  • herbs and spices to taste
  • 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry -or- 8 sheets frozen phyllo pastry
  • 1 egg white, beaten (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

Grate vegetables in food processor. (Try different veggies. If you don't
have all of the 3 listed you can use just 1 or 2.) Process tofu in food
processor until crumbly. Mix vegetables, tofu, and cheese together in bowl.
Mix in herbs and spices such as dried basil, coriander, onion powder,
garlic powder, freshly ground pepper, etc.

Line a baking tray with grease proof baking paper or spray lightly with
oil. Cut pastry sheet into 4 squares. Put about 1 heaping tablespoon (or as
much as will fit) of the vegetable mixture onto square. Fold into triangle
shape, sealing with beaten egg white or water. Put triangle onto baking
tray. Repeat until you run out of pastry or veggies. (Extra veggie mixture
can be frozen). Poke a couple of holes in the top of each with a knife. If
you wish, brush the top of each triangle with egg white and sprinkle with
sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.


Ham and Gorgonzola Won Tons

This is an easy recipe that can be changed to suit your tastes - or things in the refrigerator!

• 6 oz Ham Steak
• 3oz Gorgonzola Cheese
• 1 leek (green onions or other onions work fine, too!)
• Won Ton Wrappers
• Black pepper to taste

Finely chop leek and sauté in a bit of butter. Place in food processor with ham and cheese and process until almost pasty.
Place won ton wrapper on board and fill with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of filling. Dampen one side of wrapper with moist finger, and fold over on the diagonal and seal, creating a triangle. Bring up long edges and pinch together. Repeat with remaining won ton wrappers.
Deep fry about 1-2 minutes or until crispy browned. Drain on paper towels and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

My favorite all-purpose dipping sauce is merely
• Apricot Jam
• Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek)

Add desired amount of Sambal Oelek to Jam and serve.

You can add
• Soy Sauce
• Sesame Oil
• Chopped onions or any number of flavors to suit your taste!


Gougères (Cheese Puffs)

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup milk8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 425°. Bring milk, butter, salt, and ½ cup water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Add flour; stir until dough forms. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring dough constantly with a wooden spoon, until slightly dried, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; using a hand mixer, beat in 1 egg until smooth. Repeat with remaining eggs, beating each one at a time, until dough is smooth; stir in cheese.

2. Using a large tablespoon, drop balls of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Place in oven; reduce temperature to 375°. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.


Fried Lumpia (Lumpiang Prito)

Filling

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ lb ground pork
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup diced turnip
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, pared and diced
  • ½ cup green beans, julienne
  • ¼ lb small shrimp
  • one egg, lightly beaten (optional)

Wrapper
Frozen Chinese spring roll wrappers or Lumpia wrappers (available at Asian groceries)

1. Saute garlic and onion in hot oil. Add pork, sauté until fat comes out, add water, cover and simmer10 to 15 minutes or until pork is tender. Season with salt, fish sauce and pepper.
2. Add rest of ingredients and sauté for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are done.
3. Let cool to room temperature.

To wrap:
Place the wrapper diagonally so that a corner is pointing at you. Place two tablespoonfuls of filling near the corner of the wrapper that is facing you. Shape filling like a mini log, making sure to leave at least 1.5 inches edge space all around. Fold corner facing you over the filling, then tuck the sides and roll neatly. Seal the roll by moistening edge with water or egg that is lightly beaten.

To cook:
Deep fry lumpia rolls until golden brown, around 5 minutes. Serve with ketchup or sweet and sour sauce.