Simply Seasoned Salmon

Salmon is one of the easiest, most versatile fish to cook.  Baked, grilled or poached, for lunch or dinner,  Salmon is also a great add on to rice bowls or Summer salads. Today, at the market when I saw wild caught salmon (which is not always available here) I had to buy it.  I am cooking my Salmon “simply seasoned”, fast and easy, it works for a light summer lunch or dinner.  Let’s Cook!

Simple Seasoned Baked Salmon

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Fast, easy, healthy for a Summer lunch or dinner

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Ingredients

3-4 Wild caught Salmon filets

Large handful of fresh thyme

3 tsp capers

The juice of 1 lemon

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

Sea salt, course grain

Fresh ground pepper

-Preheat oven to 350 F

-Place Salmon filets skin side down on an oven to baking dish

-Squeeze the lemon over the fillets

-Drizzle fillets with olive oil, add the course grain salt (to taste)

-Generously add the fresh thyme leaves, the capers and fresh ground pepper

-Pour wine into the baking dish

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-Bake 12-20 minutes (desired doneness)

-Serve directly from the baking dish

 

Buon Appetito!

Mickey

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Tomato Soup on “Meatless Monday”

I love all kinds of tomato soups, even the kind in the can!   Smooth and creamy tomato soup is fast and easy to make.  This soup can be “accessorized” with garnishes like my cheese bread croutons, creme fraiche, or even some baked bacon bits with chopped hard boiled eggs.  This is a versatile soup, it can be eaten piping hot or at room temperature.  Any way you like to eat your Tomato Soup,  here is a good, easy recipe to try.  Let’s Cook!

Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A fast, easy recipe for an all time favorite soup

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Ingredients

2 large cans, 12 oz plum tomatoes with juices (note, I used San Marzano)

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 celery stalks chopped

2 sweet onions

1 small red onion

4 garlic cloves

2 tsp  sugar

2 cups water

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

small piece of fresh hot pepper (optional)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

thyme sprigs to taste

Sea salt course grain and fresh ground pepper to taste

heavy cream (optional)

Directions

-In a medium size soup pot, add the olive oil, garlic, and chopped onions, lightly brown the garlic with the onions stirring, careful not to burn the garlic. (If adding heat add in the hot pepper here).

-Add the chopped carrots, celery and the plum tomatoes with their juices.

-Add the water, sugar, salt, pepper, basil and thyme

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-Stir together, allow to simmer for at least 35-40 until all the vegetables (carrots and celery) are soft

-Using an immersion blender, or regular blender (in batches) blend until creamy and smooth

-Adjust salt

-If adding heavy cream stir in now

-Serve plain with Savory Cheese Bread croutons,  creme fraiche,  bacon and hardboiled egg or just with a sprig of fresh thyme

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

 

 

 

 

Fathers Day BBQ

If you are still looking for some ideas for tomorrows Father’s Day BBQ, here are some suggestions.  These dishes are easy to make, full of summer colors, and very tasty.  I like to keep the meat simple with these sides that are packed full of flavor. They marry well with grilled Pork Tenderloins and Hot and Sweet Italian sausages.

For the appetizers the grilled artichokes with a garlic, lemon mayonnaise on at the blogIMG_1210 2

and after, simply grill up some pork tenderloins and  hot and sweet sausages,  serve  with both the Melon Mango and French Onion Potato Salads  also on the blog

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Add a great Summer Dessert, with lots of chilled wine and beer, and your all set

Happy Father’s Day

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

“French Onion” Potato Salad

Hi everyone, I am sure lots of my American friends are getting ready for their Father’s Day BBQ’s.  Today, I have a recipe for a potato salad that we made on my recent visit to Pittsburgh, it was so tasty we made it twice!!  You might want to add it to your menu for tomorrow.  It is easy and really, really good, it reminds me of a big bowl of potato chips with French onion dip, only lighter….Let’s cook!!

French Onion Potato Salad with Yogurt

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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A light non mayo potato salad with lots of flavor

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Ingredients

5 lb of new potatoes, note I used 25-30 little potatoes

5 medium sweet onions

3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

3/4-1 cup fresh flat leaf Italian Parsley chopped

3 cups plain greek yogurt i.e. Fage

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

-Wash and scrub the potatoes, add to a large pot fill with cold water add sea salt and bring to boil, cook for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potato.  A knife should be easily inserted when cooked, drain and let cool

-When potatoes are cool enough to handle peel and cut into quarters or eights, depending on the size of your potatoes, you will want large bite size pieces add to a large serving bowl

-While potatoes are cooking, peel and thinly slice your onions, cut the slices in half and add to a skillet, add olive oil and cook on a low heat, the goal is to gently cook the onions until they lightly start to caramelize.  Be patient with your onions allow them to cook slowly, you do not want them to burn.  When they are a light golden brown, take them off the heat and add them to the potatoesIMG_0226.JPG

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-Add the salt,  pepper and the parsley

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Add the yogurt and mix well.  Taste to adjust the salt

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Serve and enjoy

Bon Appetito!

Mickey

 

Melon Mango Salad

Melon and Mango Salad, I came up with this idea when I wanted something a little more than just the usual prosciutto and melon that we enjoy so much during the summer months.  When I serve this salad with prosciutto, I call it “Deconstructed Prosciutto and Melon”.  Not only does this go well with thinly sliced imported Prosciutto, but, can accompany grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin.  Its sweet, tangy, spicy, crisp…. we love this salad and hope you do too!! Lets cook!

Melon Mango Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A summertime favorite takes the simple prosciutto and melon to another level

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2 ripe mangos

1 ripe Cantaloupe melon

2 scallions

1 lb cherry tomatoes

1 lemon

1 lime

3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 tbls balsamic vinegar

1 tbls white wine vinegar

1/2 fresh red hot pepper (to taste)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Directions

-Peel the mango and score diagonally on both sides cut the mango off it’s seed

-Peel and cut the melon into bite size pieces place both melon and mango in a serving bowl

-Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to mango and melon

-Peel and dice the scallions into tiny pieces add to melon

-Depending on desired heat, chop the red pepper into tiny pieces add to salad

-Add the chopped basil, the juice of both the lemon and lime, both vinegars and the olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well and serve with imported prosciutto or with grilled pork

Buon Appetito!

Mickey

 

 

Cheese And Tomato Stuffed Eggplant

As promised last week, here is a stuffed eggplant recipe that was not only beautiful, but tasted great.  Eggplants, always so abundant in the summer months are probably one one the most versatile vegetables, they can be fried, grilled, puréed, sautéed and stuffed. Today, we will use this deep purple vegetable as a shell to hold a tomato and cheese filling . Let’s Cook!!

Cheese and Tomato Stuffed Eggplant

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Great as a side dish, appetizer or even as a main course

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Ingredients

4 Globe eggplants

1 Sweet onion

2 Garlic cloves

1.5 lbs of ripe tomatoes

3/4 lb Scamorze cheese

Fresh oregano

Parmesan Cheese

2tbls Extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling

Fresh Basil 
-Cut the Eggplant in half, with a knife carefully leaving 1/2″ border cut along the shape of the eggplant, with a spoon,scoop out the pulp leaving 1/2 along the bottom


-Cut the pulp into cubes place in a colander add salt and let sit for at least 1/2 hour

-Chop the garlic, add 2 tbls olive oil sauté until lightly brown on medium heat

-Chop the onion, add to the garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent, add the eggplant mix well and continue sautéing until eggplant softens

-Chop the tomatoes into cubes or in quarters if using cherry tomatoes, add to the eggplant mixture

-Salt and pepper to taste, add fresh oregano, mix well

-Take the mixture of the heat, add the scamorze 


-Line a baking dish with parchment or foil, fill the Eggplant shells with the filling and place into the baking dish generously sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil

-Bake in 350F oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on oven) until eggplant shell is soft but still holding it’s shape and cheese is melted and golden


-Chop a handful of fresh basil and sprinkle on top

-Serve and enjoy

Buon Appetito!

Mickey

Meatless Monday… Chunky Lentil Stew

Another Meatless Monday, another Meatless Monday recipe. A nice, chunky lentil stew, I like to make a semi-Thai version lots of Cilantro, coconut milk to add creaminess, and  a little Curry powder for some flavor depth.  On a hot Summer day, this stew can be enjoyed at room temperature.  Try adding some avocado slices with basmati rice and you have a delicious meal.  Let’s Cook!!

Chunky Lentil Vegetable Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A filling Lentil stew filled with flavor

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Ingredients

4 Carrots

1 large onion

2 Red peppers

1/2 Butternut squash

4 stalks of celery

2 scallions

1 1/2 Cup of dried lentils

1 Can of whole tomatoes

2 Cups of Vegetable broth

1/2 Cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves of garlic

Fresh hot pepper to taste

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 can of coconut milk

Curry powder to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a soup pot, add olive oil, chopped or crushed garlic lightly brown.  Add onions, scallions, hot pepper,curry powder continue to cook until onions become translucent, add lentils

Clean and chop all vegetables into bite sized cubes add to onion mixture, add tomatoes in their juice, broth, salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for about 45 minutes until lentils and vegetables are soft

Stir in coconut milk and cilantro

Serve with avocado slices and basmati rice

Buon Appetito!

Sunday Salad! Chefs Salad for lunch or dinner

Sometimes it is just nice to have a big, fresh salad that you can put together in no time at all.  On these  hot summer days when you want a dinner that does not need to be cooked, a salad with meat and cheese is a great alternative.   I love to make all kinds of salads, but today’s is one that we have seen so many times on so many menus the famous Chef’s Salad. Let’s cook!!

Chef's Salad

  • Difficulty: super easy
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You can use a dressing of choice, I like mine with Olive oil and white wine vinegar

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1 head of iceberg lettuce 

1 beef steak tomato

1 medium red onion

4 slices of baked or boiled ham sliced 

4 slice of Swiss cheese sliced

Green olives pitted

2 hard boiled eggs

2 tbls Extra virgin Olive oil

1 tbls White wine vinegar

Salt and ground pepper to taste


Rinse and dry the head of lettuce, cut in 1/2″ slices

Cut the tomato into quarters then slice

Thinly slice the red onion, and the olives

Layer the ham and cheese and cut width wide into 1/2″ slice the cut in half

Chop your egg

Add all ingredients to a salad bowl and mix together


Salt and pepper to taste add olive oil and vinegar toss and serve

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

Tuna Stuffed Peppers, Fish on Friday!!

Instead of stuffing your peppers with meat, try stuffing them with a flavorful tuna filling.  This recipe is light, great for summer entertaining, easy to make and has few ingredients.  Now when you see those lovely sweet (or hot)  banana peppers at the farmers market bring them home and make this fun fish alternative.  Let’s Cook!

Tuna Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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An alternative to meat stuffed peppers, light, easy and flavorful

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cup of canned tuna, oil or water

4-6 depending on size,  long, sweet or hot banana peppers

1 cup of ricotta cheese

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (depending on the moisture of the ricotta you might need to add more)

1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano

2 cloves of garlic

1 egg

1 1/2 cup easy tomato sauce

1/2 lb fresh Mozzarella cheese

Fresh thyme to taste

Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Directions

    -Preheat oven to 350F

    -Clean and cut the pepper in half, if the peppers are large you can fill whole

    -Drain the tuna and put in a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, garlic, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, thyme, salt and pepper mix well.  If the mixture is too wet to hold a shape, add more bread crumbs and or parmesan cheese

    -Fill the peppers with the tuna mixtureIMG_1365

    -Top with tomato sauce

  • Slice the mozzarella and lay on top of the each pepper
  • -Bake for 25-30 minutes, peppers should be soft and mozzarella melted

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Buon Appetito!

Mickey

 

 

Pesto Genovese…Basil Pesto

This is one of the most important pasta recipes ever! Really….. I was reading last months issue of the Italian food magazine Sale e Pepe where there happened to be a dedication to Basil.   Among the basil related recipes was “THE” recipe for Pesto Genovese, this is the recipe recognized by the Consorzio del Pesto Genovese (yes there is a an actual consortium for pesto Genovese  and other Italian protected food types!).  I am so happy to have found, and to share this recipe with you  Pesto: The Magnificent  7 (ingredients). Let’s cook!

 

Pesto Genovese, Basil Pesto

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: super easy
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In the original recipe they use a mortar and pestle, feel free to use either a food processor or blender, I tried both and got great results

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Ingredients

The Magnificent 7 

2 packed cups of basil leaves (just the leaves and the baby leaves work the best)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, if you can find oil from Riviera Ligure better yet!

6 Tbls parmesan reggiano

2 Tbls pecorino romano imported

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbls pignoli nuts

Sea Salt course grind

1 lb of pasta, linguine or trenette

Directions

With a mortar pestle, blender or food processor combine the above ingredients, mix or blend until creamy and ingredients are incorporated.  Set aside, if making ahead, cover or seal in an airtight container to keep the top layer from browningIMG_1333.JPG

-Add water to a pasta pot, bring to boil,  add the pasta cook to al dente indication on package….drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.  In a pasta bowl, add the pasta and mix with the pesto, if necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water to create a creamy pasta.

Serve

Buon Appetito!

Mickey