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APPETIZERS

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SHRIMP IS KING

By Nanette Hebdige SHRIMP IS KING  This crustacean has been subtly strutting along, gaining notoriety with every cuisine piling it high. It’s got its very own star on the culinary walk of fame due to its global obsession! Resonating in every culture – shrimp is king. In Italy, Fra Diavolo is served at almost every locale and the Americanized-Italian version of shrimp scampi is prepared in many households. Spanish Gambas al Ajillo marries shrimp with a boat load of garlic,…

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THE INDOMITABLE AND TRENDY KALE

KALE AND SAUSAGE CROSTINI

Oh kale, I love thee, let me count the ways. Kale, the veggie titan that’s killing it in every Farmer’s Market and produce department. Thousands of pounds are consumed and purchased worldwide, as it’s the trendiest and most hyped leafy green on the veggie Vogue parade in recent years. Once unappealing and certainly given the bypass, it’s now the number one contender and much revered by all. Packing a big wallop nutritionally, it’s a giant among veggies, as it’s brimming…

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AVOCADO TOASTS – THE NEW CHAMPION

AVOCADO TOAST

It seems rather silly to post a recipe for avocado toast because what’s to it? However, like with all things there is a method to the proverbial madness and you want your avocado toast to come out scrumptious and dashing looking, good enough to be on the cover of GQ. They’re an amazing snack for lunch, a light dinner snack and my very own personal fave – breakfast. Avo on toast is the breakfast of champions, glamorous enough and guaranteed…

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A THANKSGIVING TABLE – APPETIZERS

CARAMELIZED ONION DIP

It might be abominably indelicate and neglectful not to present some form of pre-dinner nibbly-bits for your guests and family  to munch on while they are catching up on the year’s activities.  What better way to pique the appetite for the main event than with some avant-guard cocktails and some of these amazing appetizers before and the wolves pounce to devour the lovingly prepared dishes at the table?   CARAMELIZED ONION DIP   This is a killer dip and a way better…

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PROSCIUTTO, FIG AND BURRATA SALAD

PROSCIUTTO, FIG, BURRATA AND ARUGULA SALAD

Summer has left us and Fall. has made it’s arrival.  All the adult summer toys will be stored for safekeeping in the cooler climes, and the leaves will start turning their vivid and romantic hues of the most colorful and romantic season in the year.  Although in some parts, the stifling and cloying heat is ever pervasive, seemingly hotter than at the beginning of summertime. Some produce stands are still yielding some remarkable jewels.  The farmer’s market around the corner…

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THE “IT” VEGGIE – THE WINSOME CAULIFLOWER

cauliflower roasted with couscous

Move over Kale and Brussel Sprout – your claim to fame is already longstanding.  I present you the cauliflower.  A lovelier flower has yet to grace your plate. Never an antagonistic veggie, it sat forlorn and bypassed on supermarket shelves, allowing its cousin, the broccoli to receive all the acclaim, never vying for first place. Well those days are over.  No more insipid and lackluster boiled cauliflower, because boiling veggies are not only foul tasting, but have hardly any nutritional value,…

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SCALLOPS – MANA FROM THE SEA

DIVER SEA SCALLOPS

They are luxurious, elegant, decadent and the most amazing jewels the sea yields.  Their fan-like shaped shells are not only gorgeous to behold, but a grilled or well-prepared, pan seared scallop is a joy to behold.  So luscious, rich and addicting that they are one of the most magnificent things to eat. They come in two varieties – bay scallops and sea scallops.  Easy to prepare, however, the only caution is not to overcook them as they will become rubbery…

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CHIVES GLORIOUS CHIVES

CREME OF ASPARAGUS

Chives are somewhat misunderstood as most people believe they’re the finishing touch when presenting any dish. However, they are the kissing cousins to leeks, scallions and onions (belonging to the lily family), and their flavor is subtle, unlike the sharp onions and scallions.  Leeks are more delicate and less pungent, however, chives with their green flavor and subtle oniony undertone are utterly incomparable. A last-minute sprinkling of savory chives intensifies the taste of any dish, taking it from good to umami…

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GUACAMOLE

3 Haas ripe avocadoes – halved and seeds removed ½ jalapeño – seeds removed and minced 1 clove of garlic – minced ½ TSP ground cumin Juice of 1 lime 2 TSP chopped cilantro Pinch of cayenne pepper 2 medium vine ripened tomatoes – seeded and chopped finely ½ medium sweet onion – such a Vidalia or Maui – diced finely ½ TSP of Kosher salt   Halve the, core and scoop out the flesh of the avocadoes into a…

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CRISPY SHRIMP BALLS

CRISPY SHRIMP BALLS

These Asian shrimp-inspired meatballs are not only outstanding but addicting.  I choose to serve them with a healthy dollop of aioli on top of each ball.  If you live anywhere where mosquitoes are raging outside because of the heat and humidity, even more reason to stay indoors and knock these out tonight, as they are pretty light in preparation and rather filling for a weekday meal substituting for the customary meatball.   Try not to omit the bonito flakes –…

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CRISPY CHICKEN TENDERS WITH COCONUT WITH CURRY DIPPING SAUCE

CRISPY CHICKEN TENDERS

These chicken tenders are diabolically juicy and criminally tasty.  Baking them in the oven achieves even crispiness and no-one will ever know they weren’t cooked in the deep fryer.  They are excellent for a party, brunch or light summer lunch.   3 chicken breasts – sliced into tenders and lightly pounded ½ cup of coconut milk 1 TBSP of red Thai curry paste 1 TSP of fish sauce 2 TBSP lime juice ¾ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes ¾ cup…

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STICKY ASIAN MEATBALLS WITH HOISIN SAUCE – TAKE 2

ASIAN STICKY BALLS 2

There is already a post on Asian Sticky Balls which are pretty swanky.  However, I made these for a party and my guests became raving lunatics over the balls and specially the homemade Hoisin sauce, so I think I better share it with ya’ll.   MEATBALLS ½ LB each ground pork and ground sirloin 1 TBSP garlic/ginger paste 2 eggs – beaten 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil ½ cup of minced scallions ½ cup of Panko breadcrumbs Toasted sesame seeds…

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SPANISH CHORIZO CROQUETTES

croquetas españolas

CROQUETAS DE CHORIZO Croquetas in Spain are a diurnal tapas dish that is enjoyed by one and all.  They come in all flavorings – canned tuna, boiled egg and ham, chicken, foie gras, smoked salmon, fish, pork, jamón serrano, shrimp, cheese; the possibilities are endless.  They’re typically served at room temp with or without a sauce and they represent the perfect example of traditional, old-school Spanish fare, served in every household and restaurant.  The liquid for the conventional béchamel can…

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WELLINGTON BITES WITH SHERRY COMPOTE

WELLINGTON BITES

Beef Wellington.  Reading that you may think that it’s an illustrious dish named in honor of the Duke of Wellington, but that isn’t the case at all.  No-one knows exactly where the origin of this puff pastry filet wrapped beef comes from.  It’s a part of British cuisine and very similar to the French filet de boeuf en croute.  Duxelle is a fine mince of mushrooms, shallots and garlic used as stuffing and sauces.  In this recipe it’s mixed with…

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