“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

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

Cucumber Radish Herb Crunch

A recipe example of “Less is More”.  I am amazed that something so simple can be so good.  I make versions of this Crunch all summer long, everyone loves it.   The first time I tried this salad was at the home of a friend, she served just cucumbers and herbs to accompany our aperitivi, what a great idea!!  This is a fun way to use all the herbs from your garden all summer long,  try it!!

Cucumber Radish Herb Crunch

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Letting the veggies sit in the lemon herb salt for at least an hour increases the flavor

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Ingredients

3 large English style seedless cucumbers or 5 firm long homegrown cucumbers

10-12 large radishes

Herbs of choice  mint, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano.  chopped yielding at least 1 cup

Sea Salt 2 heaping tablespoons course grind (*Salt is our friend in this recipe…..the salt is the most important component but it must be Sea Salt Course grind)

2-3 large lemons or lemons and limes

Directions

-Peel and Cut the cucumbers, if seedy scoop away the seedy area cut into finger size pieces

-Clean radishes and cut into halves or quarters

-Add vegetables to a bowl, add the juice of your lemons, limes or combination of both

-Add salt

-Chop together all your herbs and toss them into the bowl with the cucumbers and radishes

-Let sit in or out of the refrigerator

-Serve as snack or as a salad

Bruschetta with Tomatoes

Everyone needs to have this in their recipe boxes.  Bruschetta, this  one, topped with tomatoes (the CH is pronounced like SK,  please!!).  A grilled piece of garlic rubbed Italian style bread topped with chopped fresh tomatoes.  Yesterday, for Mother’s Day, I served it along with  baby buffalo mozzarella balls as an appetizer, it was a big hit!  I like making it early in the day so the tomatoes become flavored with the garlic, olive oil and basil.  Lets cook!!

Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Always good to have this as a go to recipe, put it in your recipe boxes

Ingredients

2 lbs of ripe plum tomatoes (* I used Piccadilly tomatoes)

2 large cloves of garlic peeled

4 tbls extra virgin olive oil (Imported)

Sea Salt course ground

1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped

for the bread:

12 large slices of Italian style crusted bread

3 tbls olive oil

2 cloves garlic crush

 

Directions

  • Rinse the tomatoes, cut them in quarters then chop into even sized pieces, place in a serving bowl
  • Add the olive oil, generously add sea salt to taste
  • Cut the garlic in quarters and add the pieces (*if they are visible you can remove them before serving)
  • toss in the basil
  • Let sit at room temperature, the tomatoes will breakdown a bit, and the flavors will develop.

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For the bread

-Heat grill pan, gas grill or the oven broiler

-In a small bowl, add the olive oil and the crushed garlic, mix

-With a pastry brush, lightly brush one side of the bread with the garlic oil and grill.  Grill or broil the bread watch it carefully it browns very fast, brown both sides of the bread

-Serve the bread oil side up and spoon the tomatoes with their juices onto the breadfullsizeoutput_3e

-Enjoy

 

Buon Appetito

Mickey

 

 

Chive Potatoes with Greek Yogurt

Here is a light take on a favorite summer side, Potato Salad.   A Meatless Monday recipe that also works for summer cookouts , these potatoes are easy to prepare, light and healthy.    I love adding lots of fresh chives, they add an light oniony crunch along with a beautiful dark green contrast.   Pack your picnic basket with, Chive potatoes,  Tangy Grilled Chicken Tenders in a Garlic, Basil Lemon Oil Marinade or Thyme-burgers  and your ready for Summer.  Lets cook!!

Chive Potatoes with Greek Yogurt

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Light and Healthy version of a Summer favorite

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Ingredients

8 large potatoes or 16 small potatoes

2 containers of plain greek yogurt (* I used 0% fat)

3/4 cups of chopped fresh chives

Sea salt fine and course grain and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • Scrub the potatoes, put them in a pot, add cold water, course sea salt, bring to boil.  Depending on the size, potato cooking time will be 10-15 minutes after water boils. The potatoes are cooked when a knife inserts easily. Drain and let cool.
  • When potatoes are cool , peel (optional), slice into large bite size chunks, place in a large bowl
  • Add the yogurt, salt (fine) generously to taste and fresh ground pepper
  • Add the chives and mix wellFullSizeRender 14
  • Serve at room temperature

 

Buon Appetito !!

Mickey

 

 

 

Grilled Eggplant with Basil, Parsley and Garlic Oil

Grilled Eggplant is a great summer side dish, cover it with lots of fresh chopped basil and parsley seasoned with garlic oil.   If you are lucky to find the long eggplant use them, if not, the large globe eggplants will work too.  Another fast and easy recipe, just give yourself time to salt the eggplant so it can expel some of it’s water before grilling.  Let’s cook!

Grilled Eggplant with Basil, Parsley and Garlic Oil

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Nothing says summer, like vegetables on the grill, try this delicious eggplant recipe, so much flavor

Ingredients

3 large globe eggplants or 6 large long eggplants

1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped basil leaves

3 garlic cloves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea Salt course grain

Directions

-Cut the eggplant into 1/2″ slices lay them in a colander, generously salt the layers, allow the eggplant to rest for 1 hour to expel its water

-chop together the basil and parsley, place in a bowl

-add the garlic (either minced or pressed), and the olive oil to the parsley and basil leaves, mix and let sit IMG_1265

-heat the grill direct heat, medium low

-Place the eggplant on the grill, each side should take about 3-5 minutes,with tongs, carefully turn

-Place the hot eggplant on a platter and pour on the herb oil mixture, try to coat all the pieces with the herbs

-As the eggplant sits it will absorb the oil and herb flavors, can also be served at room temperature

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Buon Appetito!

Mickey

 

 

Green Beans with Balsamic Glazed Red Onions

It is another  Meatless Monday.  On Monday’s I try to post meatless ideas.  Today, I am making an easy side dish market fresh green beans topped with balsamic glazed red onions.  A recipe to keep for all your summer entertainment, dinners, picnics and bbq’s.  Let’s cook!

Green Beans with Balsamic Glazed Red Onions

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Summer recipe winner, great to serve at all your outdoor events

Ingredients

1 lb of green beans ends snapped and washed

1 cup of thinly sliced red onions

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

2 tbls balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

-Snap and wash the green beans

-In a pot large enough to hold the beans, fill with cold water, add sea salt and boil the beans until they are to your desired doneness.  *note- I like my green beans cooked a little longer than normal until they are soft, but not mushy.

-Drain beans and place in a serving bowl

-Thinly slice the red onions, in a small skillet, add the olive oil and the onions, on low heat, slowly cook the onions until they become soft

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-Add the balsamic vinegar to the onions, cook for a few minutes until the onions are sweet, tender and the flavors meld

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-Add the balsamic onions to the green beans, mix well  *note-try to add the onions to the beans while they are still warm, it enhances the flavors .  Adjust salt and pepper.

-Serve and enjoy as a side dish with all your grilled meats/fish/poultry

Buon Appetito!

Mickey

 

 

 

Grilled Roman Artichokes with Lemon, Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

It is great when you  find grilled artichokes on a restaurant menu,  I always order them for an appetizer, with the delicious dipping mayonnaise served alongside, they are so good.  Well I decided  to try and make my own version of the recipe I love so much in my kitchen….Do not let the artichoke intimidate you, clean, cut, boil and grill them, it is as easy as that!!  Let’s cook!!

Grilled Roman Artichokes with Lemon and Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

  • Difficulty: easy
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A great party appetizer, easy to make, fun to eat

Ingredients

Artichokes

4 large Roman Artichokes (if you can find ones with their stems, better yet, the best part)

Extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

Sea salt course grain

 

Directions

-Cut the Artichokes in half taking care to split the stem evenly, remove the outer hard leaves.

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-With a paring knife cut away the choke (the spiny part of the inside) being very careful not to cut away the heartIMG_1192

-Next, cut the top thorns of the leaves, the inside and top should look like the photo below

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-Place the cleaned artichokes in a pan with cold water and add a sliced lemon, this will prevent discoloration. IMG_1194.JPG

-Add the artichokes to a pot of cold salted water, bring to boil and boil for at least 10 minutes, testing the artichokes, they should be soft, but not be falling apart.

-With cooking tongs, carefully remove the Artichokes from the water and let drain

-Preheat a gas grill direct heat

-Place the artichokes on a tray and drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt

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On med/low direct heat, place the artichokes on the grill carefully with kitchen tongs leaf side down first, turn after 3-4 minutes onto the heart side and grill another 3-4 minutes until light golden brown being careful not to burn the artichoke

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-Place the artichokes on a platter with the lemon garlic mayonnaise, serve hot

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Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

 

Lemon and Baked Garlic Mayonnaise

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

6 tbls mayonnaise (high quality)

2 tbls lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp sea salt course grain

2 tbls finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 head of  garlic

fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

-Wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil and either bake in the oven or place on the grill, bake until soft.

-Squeeze the garlic from the clove it should come out like a cream, use the quantity of baked cloves to tasteIMG_1201 2.JPG

-Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, ground pepper and parsley.  Stir until blendedIMG_1202 2.JPG

-Serve withGrilled Roman Artichokes with Lemon, Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise