Gluten Free

Baked Branzino Fillets

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Makes 2 servings. 

Easy, quick and nutritious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 skinless Branzino fillets, about 6 ounces each

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper 

COATING:

  • ½ cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley

  • 4 halves sun dried tomatoes packed in oil

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.

  2. Pat fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

  3. Place in an oven proof dish.  

  4. Chop the coating ingredients coarsely, combine well in a bowl, and spread on top of the fillets.

  5. Bake for 8 minutes or until the fish has just turned opaque.

 
 

 

Cold Oven Roast Chicken

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Makes 4 servings. 

I must confess that when I first heard of this recipe, I was intrigued and quite skeptical. I have since made it several times and marvel how easy, tasty and moist the chicken is.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 boneless organic chicken thighs with skin, each portion about 6 ounces (See Note)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled

  • 1 bunch thyme

  • Lemon peel from one lemon cut into thin strips (See Note)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper.

  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons

PREPARATION:

  1. Choose a heavy pot, such as cast iron with a lid and large enough to fit the chicken with room in between the pieces. Coat the bottom with olive oil and add garlic, thyme and lemon peel.  

  2. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top, skin side up. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and cover the pot.   

  3. Place the pot into the cold oven, set the temperature to 450F and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the skin is golden and crisped, 15 -20 minutes.

NOTE:

Organic chicken thighs tend to be small, therefore in order to get 6 ounces boned portions per person, I use 2 thighs.

To cut the lemon peel, I use a lemon peeler and then I cut the peel into very thin strips. 

Serve the chicken with spoonfuls of pan juices and garlic.

 
 

Snapper with Olive Topping

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Makes 4 servings.

This main course fish dish is simple, easy and tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 skinless snapper fillets, about 6 ounces each

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

TOPPING:

  • 4 sundried tomato halves packed in oil, cut into thin strips

  • ¾ cup mixed pitted olives, cut into small pieces

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.

  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.

  3. Place the fish on a foil lined broiling pan and sprinkle with the oil and lime juice.

  4. Broil very close to the heat source for about 6 minutes, without turning, or until the inside is opaque.

  5. Keep the TOPPING warm in a small skillet and scatter over the fish.

 
 

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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Makes 4 main course servings.

This dish is well seasoned with a distinct tomato flavor. I serve it with rice, pasta or other grains. The sauce as well as the meat balls can be prepared ahead of time and freeze well.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped,
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 0ne 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 sun dried tomato halves packed in oil, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn into small pieces.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEAT BALLS:

  • 1 pound chopped meat; a blend of ½ pound veal and ½ pound beef
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

TO MAKE THE SAUCE:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

TO MAKE THE MEAT BALLS:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Place the meat in a bowl along with the panko, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix very well with your hands, take your time.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Roll the meat into walnut size balls, or you can use the smallest ice cream scooper to form the balls.
  4. Place on the cookie sheet.
  5. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet and sauté the balls briefly turning them with a spoon. They will be lightly seared. When brown drop them into the simmering sauce and cook for 20 minutes.  
  6. Season to taste.

 

 
 

Chicken with Shiitake Mushroom

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Makes 4 servings.                  

Tasty, easy to prepare with a depth of flavor, this chicken recipe is a nice oven to table dish that can be served with rice, and many vegetables including steamed sugar snap peas, snow peas, or stir fried bok choy.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 boneless, skinless, organic chicken thighs, about 6 ounces each (See Note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons low- sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 3 scallions including green parts, cut into thick rounds
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

GARNISH:

  • ½ cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place skin side down (even though there is no skin) in an ovenproof dish (about 9 by 9 inches).   
  3. In a small dish combine the garlic, ginger, oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin. Spoon over the chicken and scatter the scallions.
  4. Discard mushroom stems and wipe the caps with a damp paper towel. Quarter the caps and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Scatter over the chicken.  Cover dish with heavy foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  5. Uncover, turn the chicken over and bake for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Serve with accumulated juices, and garnish with parsley.

NOTE:

Organic chickens tend to be small, therefore in order to get the 6 ounce boned portions per person I use 2 thighs.

 
 

Mushroom Frittata

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Makes 8 first course servings or 4 luncheon servings.

This is a fall and winter dish when wild mushrooms are in season.  To further enhance the mushroom flavor I add dried porcini mushrooms. I serve the frittata warm or at room temperature with a variety of greens dressed with truffle oil and salt.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ ounce dried porcini mushrooms (See Note)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ¾ pound pound wild assorted mushrooms; shiitake, porcini, oyster, cremini
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped (See Note)
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from 8 full thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the reconstituted mushrooms and squeeze dry all the liquid back into the bowl.        
  3. Place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  4. Wipe all the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. For the shiitakes, discard the stems and quarter.  For the rest of the mushrooms, trim the stems and quarter. Add to the food processor, in two batches, and chop coarsely. Remove to a large bowl.  
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12 inch non- stick skillet, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté over low heat until soft. 
  6. Add 2 tablespoons oil and all the mushrooms. Sauté over high heat until the mushrooms are beginning to release their juices. Cool.   
  7. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, add all the mushrooms, parsley and thyme. Season to taste.
  8. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium/high heat.
  9. Pour in the mushroom-egg mixture, distributing the mushrooms evenly and reduce the heat to medium.  
  10. Cook the frittata, COVERED, over medium heat for about 15 minutes. The sides will be set but the top will be soft to the touch. Shake the pan once or twice.
  11. To serve cut into wedges of your choice.

NOTES:

I chop shallots and garlic together in a food processor and the parsley separately.

I freeze the reconstituted mushroom liquid, which is a wonderful addition to soups, stews and even pasta.

 
 

Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

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Makes 4 servings.

This dish has a robust flavor and a citrus sauce. It can be served from oven to table and it reheats very well. Grains are a lovely accompaniment.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs, each portion about 6 ounces (See Note)
  • 1 lemon, rinsed, cut into 8 wedges
  • Bunch of rosemary
  • ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 3-4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Pat dry chicken and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in an ovenproof dish that fits the chicken in a single layer. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Cover with cling wrap and leave at room temperature for a couple of hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F
  3. Place the chicken skin side down (where the skin would have been). Cover the dish with heavy foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, turn the chicken over and roast for another 20 minutes. Chicken should be tender.
  4. Serve with the sauce.

NOTES:

Organic chickens tend to be small, therefore in order to get 6 ounces boned portions per person I use 2 thighs.

If you are refrigerating the chicken, bring it back to room temperature before cooking.  

 
 

Veal with Herbs

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Makes 4 servings.

When there are so few ingredients called for and such a short roasting time, it is important to buy the best quality meat. I like to serve this dish at room temperature.  It’s easy to prepare and full of fresh herbs.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ pounds veal fillet, rack of veal boned and tied (See Note)
  • 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil

HERB COATING:

  • 3 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 3/4 cuploosely packed tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley   
  • Grated lemon rind from 1 lemon
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Chop as finely as you can the coating ingredients. I use a food processor fitted with a steel blade, scraping the sides of the bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pat dry the fillet with paper towels.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and sauté the fillet over medium- high heat turning for 10 minutes.  The meat should be brown (tongs work very well for turning the fillet)
  5. Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Coat the meat with the HERB COATING and roast for 10 minutes. Turn over and roast for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cover with foil to cool.

TO SERVE:

Remove the strings and cut the meat into medium-thin slices.  Serve with all the skillet drippings.

NOTE:

For 1½ pounds of boned veal fillet, the butcher removed 3 ribs.

 
 

Brook Trout with Almonds

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Makes 2 servings.

Trout is not a popular fish. I recently discovered it and I like its sweet taste and non-oily texture. They are very small, generally 1 pounders. I, therefore, suggest one fish per person. After filleting it renders about 6 ounces.

I like to serve it on a bed of stir-fry spinach

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two, 1 pound trout
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, approx
  • 2 tablespoon toasted blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Have the fishmonger fillet the fish and leave the skin on.
  2. Rinse the fish and dry very well with paper towels.
  3. Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet and sauté the fish skin side down over high heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Flip the fish over with a spatula, season with lemon juice and scatter the almonds. 
  6. Shut off the heat.
  7. I like to serve this fish skin side up with the accumulated pan juices.
 
 

Chicken with Porcini Mushrooms

Makes 4 servings.                                                         

The dried porcini mushrooms and the rosemary give this simple and easy dish an unexpected complexity. I bake it in an attractive dish that can go from oven to table. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Petals from 3 rosemary sprigs, coarsely chopped plus some for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the porcini mushrooms into a small bowl and pour boiling water over the mushrooms. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove reconstituted mushrooms and squeeze dry all the liquid back into the bowl. Chop coarsely. Strain the mushroom liquid through a fine mesh sieve (if you do not have a fine mesh sieve, line what you have with a paper towel). 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place chicken in an ovenproof dish in a single layer (what would have been skin side). 
  5. Combine porcini liquid, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and rosemary. Spoon over the chicken and bake for 15 minutes, turn breasts over and bake for another 3 minutes, or until chicken is pale pink inside.
  6. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let rest for a minute – the chicken will continue cooking.
  7. Serve with the accumulated juices.
 
 

Quinoa with Feta

Makes 4 luncheon servings.

Nutritious, easy, simple and tasty.  What more can I say?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup loosely packed, flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 scallions, including green parts thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mint leaves, loosely torn
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound Feta, crumbled (See Note)

PREPARATION:

  1. In a small heavy covered saucepan bring to a boil over high heat the water and salt. Sprinkle over the quinoa, lower the heat, and cook covered for 13 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. If the grains are still not tender, add 1 or 2 tablespoons hot water and continue cooking. Transfer to a large bowl, add olive oil, combine and cool.
  2. Toss with the remaining ingredients and season to taste.
  3. Serve topped with feta.

NOTE:

Feta comes in many strengths, from mild (which I prefer) to strong.

Before serving adjust the seasoning again. 

 
 

Cauliflower and Chicken Salad

Makes 4-6 servings.

This is definitely a non-traditional chicken salad. I like it because it has so few ingredients and those ingredients complement each other. It is simple to make, it is nutritious and by serving the dressing on the side you can gauge how much or little you like. Both the chicken and the cauliflower have a distinct flavor.    

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • Leaves from 10 tarragon sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons water.
  • Arugula or a mixture of different greens 

DRESSING:

  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Place the chicken skin side down (where the skin would have been) in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper and scatter leaves from 5 tarragon sprigs.
  3. Cut the stalk and leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut the head into small florets and rinse. Place the cauliflower in an ovenproof dish, salt and pepper lightly, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water. Scatter the remaining tarragon leaves.  
  4. Place the chicken and the cauliflower in the oven, side by side.
  5. Roast the chicken for about 12, minutes, turning it once. The chicken should be pink on the inside. Take it out of the oven and cover it with foil; it will continue cooking. Remove the foil after a few minutes, let the chicken cool completely and cut it into 1 inch strips.
  6. Roast the cauliflower for about 30 minutes; turning it once. It should be almost soft.  Let it cool as well.     

TO MAKE THE DRESSING:

  1. Coursely chop the garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkle with the salt and crush it with a knife until it becomes a paste.
  2. Place in a small dish and whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour into a sauce dish.

TO SERVE:

Place the greens into a large bowl. Top with the cauliflower and the chicken with the accumulated juices. Serve the dressing on the side.

You can also pre-plate the salad.

 
 

Wild Salmon with Gazpacho Sauce

Makes 6 servings.       

Wild salmon has a very short season from late spring until autumn. I love this dish which is really easy to prepare even though it appears complicated. You can adjust how rare or cooked you like the fish by adjusting the searing time. The piquant sauce enhances the flavor and gives the dish a tasty and pretty look. Both the fish and the sauce can be prepared ahead of time.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2¼ pounds center cut wild salmon fillet, skinned with no brown spots showing
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

PREPARATION

  1. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the fish to into 4x2 inch pieces, or any other shape that you prefer.
  3. Wrap each piece in foil and fold the ends.
  4. Heat the oil until smoking in a very heavy-iron skillet large enough to fit the fish. Place the salmon in the skillet and sauté over high heat, turning the fish with tongs for 1 minute on one side and 1 minute on the other side (the salmon will be seared on the outside and rare in the center). If you like it more well done, sauté it longer.
  5. Remove with tongs to a plate and open the foil packets, which stops it from further cooking.  Let cool before removing the foil. I like this method of wrapping the fish with foil and sautéing it because you have more control of how the fish will look. And there is virtually no clean up.

INGREDIENTS FOR GAZPACHO SAUCE

  • 1/3 cup homemade mayonnaise (Recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • 3 Kirby cucumbers, peeled, ends discarded, cut into large pieces
  • 3 plum tomatoes, rinsed, cored, cut into large pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR GARNISH

  • 1 English cucumber, rinsed, dried, ends discarded, diced.
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped chives with scissors

TO MAKE THE SAUCE

  1. Place mayonnaise, lime juice, cucumbers, tomatoes salt, pepper and cayenne into a Vitamix. Process until very smooth. Season to taste; the sauce should be spicy.
  2. (Without a Vitamix you can puree the sauce in a blender, but you will have to strain it.)

GARNISH

Season the cucumbers with rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.           

TO SERVE

Spoon the sauce in center of individual plates, place the fish on top.  Garnish with the diced cucumbers and chives. 

INGREDIENTS FOR MAYONAISE

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

PREPARATION

  1. Combine the olive oil and vegetable oil in a measuring cup (the spout of the cup makes it easier to control the slow pouring).
  2. Remove the plastic knob from the cover of the blender.
  3. Place the egg, mustard and salt in the blender. Turn on the blender and after a second, add the vinegar. Pour the oil in a very low stream. As the mixture begins to thicken, add the oil more quickly.
  4. One word of advice:  keep the blender running from the beginning of the process to the end, when all the oil has been added. When finished, transfer the mayonnaise to an airtight container and refrigerate. 
 
 

Baked Lemon Sole

Makes 2 servings.  

I like the combination of this light fish paired with a touch of spice.  The filling can be made any time and the fish can be assembled and refrigerated at any time as well, just be sure to bring it back to room temperature before cooking. A mini food processor is helpful to chop such small amounts of vegetables.

INGREDIENTS

2 skinless lemon sole fillets, about 6 ounces each

FILLING

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for greasing the pan
  • 1 garlic clove, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper seeded, cut into small pieces (See Note)
  • 2 scallions including green parts, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, plus some for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 500F. 
  2. Grease an ovenproof dish.
  3. Place all the filling ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse to a medium fine consistency. 
  4. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and place them on a piece of wax paper. Salt and pepper each side lightly.
  5. Spread the filling with a rubber spatula on the darker side of the fillet (where the skin was).
  6. Fold the thin part of the fillet to the center, and then fold the other side to form a rectangular package.
  7. Place the packages, folded side down in the dish.
  8. Cover the dish tightly with heavy foil. Bake for 13-15minutes, or until the fish has just turned opaque (the fish will continue cooking when it is out of the oven).   

 Serve garnished with cilantro leaves and the accumulated juices. 

NOTE:

When seeding jalapeno peppers, I advise wearing thin plastic gloves to avoid irritating your eyes or your skin.