Lamb Tenderloin with Roca Salad


This has got to be the quickest , most flavorful , Greek lamb dish I know of . I love the way it transitions from a weeknight dinner to a sit down dinner plated appetizer . Ofcourse it ‘s not surprising concidering it comes from renound chef Jimmy  Henderson , executive chef at Periyali .

Serves 8

Chef Jimmy Henderson , Periyali NYC

2 lbs lamb tenderloin , trimmed

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for rubbing

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tbs red wine vinegar

1/2 cup black olive puree

8 cups Roca (or Arugula ) , washed , with any long stems removed

1 lb feta cheese

Pitted Kalamata olives for garnish

Preheat oven to 475*F

Rub tenderloin lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper .

In a heatproof pan ( cast iron works well ) over very high heat , sear tenderloin on all sides . Place pan in oven and finish to desired temperature

Rare 4 minutes

Medium 6 to 7 minutes

Well done 10 or more minutes

Remove from oven ; let rest for 5 minutes and slice

While lamb is resting , in a small bowl , combine vinegar , 1/2 cup olive oil and olive puree ; whisk gently .

Dress the greens with vinaigrette . Divide among 8 individual plates , crumble the feta cheese over each and place slices of lamb on top . Garnish with olives.

Orecciette alla Norcina


Pasta is one of my all time comforting foods , I am especially fond of this Orecchiette  ( little ear shaped pasta ) from Landmark restaurant in NYC . It seems like Chef Marc Murphy has found a winning way to combine French and Italian flavors in the most perfect way . This dish contains Italian sausage , which , being a vegetarian ,I do not eat . Feel free to omit or use a ground vegetarian substitute easily found in many supermarkets .

Serves 6 to 8

Chef MarcMurphy of Landmarc restaurant NYC

1 lb Orecchiette pasta

salt to taste

2 lbs Italian sausage ( without fennel seeds )

3 tbs olive oil

3 cloves garlic , sliced thin

1 quart heavy cream

1  1/2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil . Add pasta and cook until al dente . Strain and reserve ; keep warm .

Remove casings from sausage and crumble into small pieces . Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat . Add the sausage and brown lightly . Add garlic and brown lightly . Add the cream and cook 3 to 5 minutes . Add pasta , rosemary and parmesan . Season to taste with salt and pepper .

Place pasta in small bowls and serve with parmesan .

Pan -Roasted Breast of Chicken with Sunchokes and Meyer Lemon


When a prized Michelin star , chef Anita Lo , of Annisa restaurant in NYC , presents you with a dish so simple and sublime it can easily be prepared for a weeknight supper , you just know its got to be good . The chicken is beautifully crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside . The main flavoring comes from the Meyer lemons , which are worth a splurge , if you can find them , for this dish.

Serves 2

Chef Anita Lo , Annisa NYC

2 semi boneless chicken breasts (preferably free range ) , skin on , wing tips attached

Salt and pepper , to taste

2 tbs vegetable oil

8 oz sunchokes , peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds

2 medium Meyer lemons , juiced

3 tbs fruity extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tbs butter

Zest of half a Meyer lemon , white pith removed and julienned ( or grated )

1 pinch of lemon thyme leaves ( or regular thyme )

Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes . Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides evenly . Add vegetable oil to pan and heat until smoking . Place the chicken in pan ,skin side down . Reduce heat to medium high and cook until golden brown and crispy , then turn to finish the cooking on the other side . Remove to a warm plate . Spoon excess oil from the pan and add the sunchokes , Meyer lemon juice and a little water or chicken stock  to cover . Cook until sunchokes become slightly translucent yet retain some crisp texture , about 3 to 4 minutes . The juices should have reduced to about 1/2 cup . Add the olive oil , then whisk in the butter to emulsify . Add zest and season to taste with salt and pepper .

Serve by dividing the sunchokes and sauce between 2 warm plates . Sprinkle with thyme and place the chicken on top .

Corn Soup with scallions and Roasted Corn sauteed in Brown Butter


Corn is an especially favorite in our household and so is this soup with a double dose of corn , pureed and as a topping , just simply grilled and shucked . Chef Bill Telepan from his nameske Telepan restaurant enjoys making this soup when corn is in season , yes , in an ideal situation , but I have used a good organic frozen corn and had equally great results.

Serves 4

Chef Bill Telepan , Telepan restaurant , NYC

4 tbs butter , divided

1/2 Walla Walla onion plus 5 inches of green

1 clove garlic , sliced

6 ears corn : 4 shucked , kernels cut off the cobs to yield 3 cups ; 1 shucked and cut into 2 inch pieces ; 1 unshucked

1  1/2 cups water or vegetable stock

salt and pepper , to taste

5 or 6 scallions , sliced thinly up into green part

Heat 2 tbs butter in a 2 quart pot over low heat . Add the onion with the green section intact and the garlic , cook until tender , about 7 minutes . Add the 3 cups of corn kernels and the cut up cob and water or stock . Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cut up cob and discard . Carefully puree the corn mixture in a blender or food processor . Strain , pressing until solids are dry . Season corn puree with salt and pepper and set aside .

Grill or broil the unshucked ear of corn until husk is charred . Let cool , then cut off kernels . Set aside kernels for garnish.

In a hot pan , add 1 tbs butter and heat until until brown and bubbly .Add scallions and saute for 1 minute . Add corn kernels  and remaining 1 tbs butter and cook additional minute .Season with salt . Set aside .

Put corn puree in saucepot and bring back to simmer .

TO SERVE

Place soup in bowls and put a dollop of corn kernel -scallion mixture in the center .

Crab Cakes with Thai Chile-Mango sauce


At Tao , in NYC , you are completely enveloped in beautiful artifacts from much of the far east including the famous 16 foot Buddha . It is the perfect ambiance for the Pan -Asian menu , including these amazingly succulent crab cakes with a triple dose of mango , “in the cakes , sauce and chutney .

Serves 4

Chef Sam Hazen , Tao restaurant NYC

MANGO SAUCE

1 cup Thai chile sauce

1/2 cup mango puree

Combine and mix well .

CHUTNEY

1/4 cup diced mango

3/4 tsp chopped bird chiles

1/2 cup Thai chile sauce

Mix together ingredients gently

CRAB CAKES

1  1/2 lbs crabmeat , jumbo lump , picked clean

1/2 cup mango diced

1  1/2 tbs kaffir lime leaf , chiffonade

1  1/2 tbs Thai chile sauce

6 tbs mayonnaise

2 tbs diced shallots , sauteed

Salt  and pepper to taste

very fine panko for dredging

Grapeseed or canola oil for frying

Mix first nine ingredients together and shape in 4 molds . Dredge in panko . Pan fry at medium heat in a little oil until golden . Remove to paper towels to drain .

SERVE

Pour a pool of sauce on each of 4 plates . Place a crab cake on each plate and garnish with Asian greens or marche if desired.

Mexican Hot Chocolate


With the winter on in full swing there is something so comforting about GOOD hot chocolate , its like a drink and dessert all rolled into one . The exoctic mouth feel of this fine hot chocolate is the combination of  really fine unsweetened chocolate , spices and creaminess from a small addition of sweetened condensed milk .

Serves 4 to 6

Ron Silver

6 oz good quality unsweetened chocolate , broken pieces

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 pinches cayenne pepper , or to taste

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water , melt the chocolate.

Stir together the milk , cream , and condensed milk in a heavy 2 quart saucepan over low heat . Cook until very hot but not boiling . Whisk in the sugar , cloves , cinnamon and cayenne pepper .

Whisk the melted chocolate into the cream mixture and continue whisking until no chocolate steaks remain and beverage is smooth and very hot .

Pour into mugs and serve.

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies and Cream


This grown up version of the popular children’s cookies and cream is , in a word , sublime . It tastes more like a chilled airy mousse with tangy undertones from the creme fraiche and fresh lemon juice . The recipe suggests using all heavy cream if you do not have creme fraiche , and that’s fine , but the creme fraiche really lends a distinct quality . I have also switched the chocolate wafer cookies to Oreos , just for the kid in me.

Yield 2   1/2 cups cream and 3/4 cup sauce

Source   FINE COOKING

3 cups frozen raspberries ( about 12 oz ) , thawed

5 tbs granulated sugar , more if needed

Few drops fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

2/3  cup heavy cream

1/3 cup creme fraiche

21 Famous Chocolate wafers or Oreos

6 cute mint sprigs

Put 1 cup of the raspberries in a small bowl , sprinkle with 2 tbs of the sugar , mash with a fork , and let sit for a few minutes .

Meanwhile put the remaining 2 cups of berries and another 2 tbs sugar in a food processor and process until the berries form a puree . Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl pressing with a rubber spatula to get the seeds out  . squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice and a tiny pinch of salt .Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice as needed. The sauce should be thin enough to drizzle .If it seems too thick thin with a few drops of water . Cover and refridgerate.

In a medium bowl combine the cream , the creme fraiche , and the remaining 1 tbs sugar and whip with a hand mixer until the mixture forms firm , thick peaks . Stir the mashed berries and sugar and lightly fold into the cream mixture with a rubber spatula , leaving streaks .

Reserve 6 of the cookies for decoration and crunch up the rest into uneven pieces -not too small . Fold the cookies into the cream . Cover with plastic wrap , pressing the wrap into the surface of the cream, and chill until the cookie pieces are throughly softened , at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

To serve , use an ice cream scoop to scoop out a moundinto a small bowl or plate. Drizzle a ribbon of raspberry sauce around the plate , tuck a cookie into the cream , and decorate with a sprig of mint .