Eggless Egg Salad
I have been on a cholesterol-lowering regimen for over 5 months now. My total cholesterol has gone from 280 on July 29th to 209 on December 17th. It is definitely a lifestyle change, one that I will continue forever. And I’m fortunate my cholesterol can be controlled through diet and exercise.
Friends and family ask, “how’s it going?” To be honest, it’s kinda fun. I just choose to eat the foods higher in fiber, lower in cholesterol, ones that include the heart healthy oils. One of the best parts of cooking is the creativity, and this heart healthy cooking is no exception. Occasionally I eat my old favorites (like gorgonzola with truffle honey)
, just less frequently and in smaller portions. In fact, we will be having a Porchetta Party here next weekend! So I’ll be enjoying (a smaller portion of) that luscious crispy pork too, but I’ll probably have oatmeal for breakfast. And I’ll skip the leftovers.
Here’s a recipe I came up with after trying the eggless egg salad from Trader Joe’s. Theirs is pretty good, but doesn’t compare with good ol’ homemade.
Continue reading “Eggless Egg Salad”
Leek & Celeriac Soup
Toasted Sesame Oil & Black Sesame Seed Garnish
Ciabatta Toast with Smoked Gouda
We recently had one last Holiday Party…
Pork Potstickers, Apricot Dipping Sauce
Elegant Leek & Celeriac Soup, Smoked Gouda Ciabatta Toast
Pork Roast Roulade
Stuffed with Sausage, Pistachio & Chestnut
Wild Arugula Salad with Pistachios, Sherry Vinaigrette
Chocolate Pineapple Soup, Pound Cake Crouton
Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 (Thanks Adam!)
Cheese Fondue – the National Dish of Switzerland
So… we were snowbound in New Jersey (not Switzerland) on a cold blustery winter night. But we were not lacking provisions. Susan held her fabulous annual Holiday Party the night before, and there were leftovers galore, including lots of fine cheeses and French bread…and it turned out she had a fondue set in the pantry just waiting to be broken in.
Fondue – it’s easy, social, delicious, cheesy, fun, unique, and oh so 60’s. We went online to find a fondue recipe, the one by Tyler Florence
sounded good, but alas, we did not have all the ingredients. So we improvised, and it turned out great! Don’t be afraid of fondue…melt cheese in wine, eat with bread. Instant party success.
- 1 pound of mixed cheeses including Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 T. flour
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 c. dry white wine, we used our favorite, Grüner Veltliner
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1 T. Rémy Martin (Cognac)
- 1 T. Grand Marnier (Orange-flavored Liqueur)
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
Grate the cheeses and toss with flour, set aside. Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove. Then add wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Gradually stir in the cheese, adding more as the cheese in the pot melts. Traditionally Kirsch, a cherry brandy, is added at this point. We used what we had on hand, Rémy Martin and Grand Marnier. We also added a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and a pinch of ground nutmeg. I think it is important to use fine cheeses and high-quality wine for a superior result.
Serve with cubes of French bread and blanched vegetables. Have your guests swirl the bread cubes in a figure-eight motion. Mixing of the cheese by the guests keeps it from separating. And if the fondue starts to clump, just whisk in a tablespoon of lemon juice to smooth it out.
We hope you had a wonderful warm cozy holiday celebration
with your family and friends and pets.
Did you get a Snuggie for Christmas?
Unique Almond Pizza
Sliced Blanched Raw Almonds, Mozzarella,
Shaved Garlic, Olive Oil, Sea Salt
I buy pizza dough and shredded mozzarella at my local Italian Market, the A-1 Deli.
Roll out the dough and arrange on a pizza screen. Top generously with shredded mozzarella and shaved garlic. Drizzle olive oil on top. Scatter sliced blanched raw almonds about and finish with course sea salt. Bake at 450° until golden.
This pizza is great with a green salad for lunch, or cut into small slices and served as an appetizer at a party.
And thanks to the folks at Foodbuzz for choosing Unique Almond Pizza as one of the Top 9
photos last week! Please give this unique pizza a try, you won’t be disappointed!
My nephew Stone was setting up a “restaurant” in my kitchen. He put out his “Help Wanted” sign and I applied for the job. After I was hired, he crossed out
Help Wanted, applications were no longer being accepted.
That is Jett in the left of the photo, he calls himself the “King of Liberty.” The King is an excellent waiter.
The “restaurant” served Cheese Pizza for the kids and Maple Barbecue Smoked Chicken Pizza for the adults.
The pizza screen is such a handy tool. It makes it much easier to spread out the dough, and get the pizza into and out of the oven. The perforated surface allows moisture to escape during baking, resulting in a nice crispy evenly-baked crust.
Those of us who were fortunate to attend the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco
received a goodie bag including products from a company called Made in Napa Valley, of which one was this tasty Maple Barbecue Sauce with Horseradish.
Maple Barbecue Smoked Chicken Pizza
Spread a mixture of half pizza sauce and half the barbecue sauce over the pizza dough, top with shredded mozzarella and shredded smoked chicken. If you shop at Whole Foods Market definitely try their fabulous whole smoked whole chicken from the smokehouse.
The restaurant was a huge success, food and service were exceptional. Three Stars. Congratulations Stone & Jett!
Organic Rainbow Carrots
Roasted with Toasted Sesame Oil
Splash of Tamari
Miso Butter with Ginger and Garlic
Sesame Seed Garnish
Who could pass up these beauties at the market?
Looking for a holiday side dish? Something colorful, tasty, not too complicated, unique, not too rich, that complements a variety of foods? Try roasted rainbow carrots with miso butter!
Preheat oven to 350°. Peel the carrots. Toss lightly with toasted sesame oil. Roast on a sheet pan or oven-proof dish in a single layer. (I found it is best to roast the purple carrots in a separate pan to keep the color from bleeding onto the other carrots).
- 1 stick softened butter (I used Challenge Butter)
- 2 – 3 T. white miso (depending on saltiness)
- 1 1/2 t. garlic minced
- 1 1/2 t. fresh ginger minced
Mix all ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor. You can make the miso butter ahead of time and keep it on hand. It is great on vegetables, fish,
noodles, and oh, please try it on a grilled rib-eye steak!
Melt some of your miso butter in a saucepan.
When the carrots are al dente, after about 25 minutes or so, remove from oven, add a splash of low-sodium tamari. Arrange on a platter. Then drizzle with melted miso butter, and finish with a black and white sesame seed garnish. This side dish has the lovely depth of umami flavor yet is not too heavy.
A Chance To Win
I purchase Challenge butter all the time. Happy to endorse their excellent product.
Bonne chance mon ami!
Peruvian White Asparagus
Shaved Californian Avocado
I was shopping at Whole Foods Market today for meat to make a very Autumn-Style dish for a big party this weekend: Stout Braised Short Ribs, a two-day process which we will be starting tomorrow morning.
Walking into the produce section, I noticed this big display of asparagus, the quintessential Spring vegetable, right? Turns out this asparagus was from Peru. Where Spring has sprung! In solidarity with my Southern Hemisphere Cooking Compadres, I picked up some asparagus to serve along side a Whole Foods pre-cooked smoked chicken tonight. Their smoked chicken is really good.
Trim off the end of the asparagus, then shave the entire stalk with a vegetable peeler.
Place shaved asparagus stalks in salted simmering water with a bay leaf. Cook until tender, taste for doneness. This was about 8 minutes. When tender, place asparagus in an ice bath to stop the cooking, then dry on paper towels.
Mix mayonnaise with finely chopped fresh tarragon, salt and pepper, and a splash of tarragon vinegar. Tonight’s dinner had to be effortless, considering the upcoming party and all the cooking involved. But…
Mayonnaise aficionados might appreciate an “almost effortless” homemade version, compliments of Julia Child, that I paired with fresh swordfish here.
“Mayonnaise is one of the finest and most important sauces in classic cuisine. The shame is that few of us ever taste the kind of fresh handmade mayonnaise that deserves such culinary status – and even dedicated home cooks don’t realize that making their own is a simple process that takes only minutes and, if you use a food processor, almost no effort at all.” Julia Child
Shave a slightly under-ripe avocado into strips with the vegetable peeler. Season asparagus with salt and pepper, ladle tarragon mayonnaise over the center, top with shaved avocado ribbons. Add a tarragon sprig for garnish. This side dish was really simple and quite lovely.
Happy Spring to My Blogger Friends in the Southern Hemisphere!
For more information on Peruvian White Asparagus, please visit Gourmet Trading Company here.