Pepper

Cooking With Lemons

January 9, 2016

Cooking With Lemons

Lemons are a chef’s secret ingredient. Most chefs will tell you that acidity elevates any dish. There is no need to get all fancy by using twenty year old balsamic vinegar. Just finish most of your dishes with a humble squeeze of lemon juice. Most line cooks have quart containers of wedges at their stations for juicing in the moment. Why lemon? Aside from the fact that you can always find one, you’ll taste what it does to the food, not the lemon itself. Along with salt and pepper, it’s all you need to season everything from simple pastas to grilled fish, roasted meats, and sautéed vegetables, as well as pan sauces, grain salads, and even run of the mill lentil soup. In your own kitchen cut lemon wedges ahead of time, then squeeze as you cook for the brightest flavor.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Watermelon

August 21, 2015

Watermelon

Watermelon is the ultimate summer snack. As a kid growing up in Nebraska, my favorite way to eat watermelon was outside, with the juice running down my face and arms. Here is how I’m eating watermelon this summer.

Treat It Like A Steak
Cut watermelon into 2 inch slabs and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and red pepper flakes. Eat with a steak knife.

Make A BLW
Forget the tomato and use a few thin slices of watermelon on your sandwich instead. Add some cheese for good measure.

Blitz It
Purée watermelon (seeds and all), strain, then add honey, and lime juice. Serve on ice with a mint sprig. Add rum or tequila if you want to be naughty.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Spring Ravioli

May 14, 2015

Spring Ravioli

Capture springtime on the plate with fresh ravioli enveloping a purée of sweet English peas that is bolstered with a touch of cheese and herbs. Simmer these ravioli for just a few minutes, drain (but not too thoroughly) and add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once the butter melts, return the ravioli to the pan, add a bright toss of lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Some grated Parmesan and slivers of fresh mint or a handful of pea shoots are worthy embellishments.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Roasted Leg of Lamb Roman Style

November 10, 2013

 

Roasted Leg of Lamb Roman StyleRoasted Leg of Lamb

This is such an easy Sunday meal.  For this traditional Roman dinner, purchase 1/4 of a nice fat “abbacchio”.  In Rome “abbacchio” is a very young lamb, which has been fed only with milk. I usually purchase my “abbacchio” from a nice butcher in the Arthur Avenue area of the Bronx. If you don’t want to buy 1/4 of a young lamb then just get a decent sized leg of lamb that will accommodate the size of your family (make sure it’s not been previously frozen).  Insert cloves of garlic, both lean and fatty ham, chopped stalks of rosemary, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and brush all over with olive oil.  Salt again and roast in a medium hot oven (350 degrees) for 1 hour together with lots of raw potatoes either whole (small potatoes) or cut into pieces (larger potatoes). After about half an hour, add 1 glass of dry white wine and turn the lamb over and cook the other side for another half an hour.  When the lamb is done roasting, cut into pieces and serve with the potatoes, steamed asparagus and a nice chicory salad. 

Note:  By the way, if you’ve never been to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx then you’re really missing quite an experience.  Forget Little Italy downtown because Arthur Avenue is the real deal although tourists have discovered it as well. A great time to go is during the Christmas season.  Often times they have Frank Sinatra piped Christmas songs blaring from loud speakers posted high up on the lampposts.  My Arthur Avenue butcher is a total crackup.  He’s in a great mood during the Christmas season because according to him it’s the one time of the year that his wife is “nice” to him if you know what I mean and he’s not shy to chirp about it either.  My husband is Italian and looks it so much that they say the map of southern Italy is stamped on his face.  One time I needed to pick up a few things on a Saturday during the holidays and it was so busy that there was no parking to be found.  My husband found a spot, but the meter was broken.  There was a “group” of Italian men donned in the “I can’t fit in my clothes” velour track suits (adorned with gold chains carrying either St. Christopher or the Virgin Mary herself) hanging around by the broken metered parking spot.  My husband was inspecting the broken meter worrying about a parking ticket when the guys pipe up, “Heeeey don’t worry bout it.  We’ll watch to make sure you don’t get a ticket. We’ll take care of it.”  Sure enough we get back to the car after about an hour and no ticket even though we could see the NYC parking police patrolling the streets.  My husband said a sincere, “thank you” to which he received a sincere “don’t mention it” and we were on our way. 

Leg of Lamb

 

 

Lamb Cooked 3 Ways

September 30, 2013

Lamb 5

Lamb Cooked 3 Ways

Cooked low and slow, lamb shanks become rich with complex flavors.  Lamb shoulder is also a great choice for slow cooking.  Good value cuts are: Shoulder Chops, Stew Meat, Ground Lamb, and Leg Steak.

The USDA recommends cooking all whole muscle cuts of lamb to at least these temperatures to ensure that potentially harmful bacteria are destroyed.  Some people may choose to cook their meat to lower temperatures, depending on preference.  Ground lamb should be cooked to 160 degrees. 

Desired Doneness:

Medium – Target Temperature 145 Degrees, Texture Warm/Firm, Center Color Pink

Medium Well – Target Temperature 155 Degrees, Texture Very Warm/Firm, Center Color Gray – Tinged With Pink

Well Done – Target Temperature 165 Degrees, Texture Hot/Dense/Hard, Center Color Gray

Best Cooking Methods For Lamb

Shoulder Blade Chops (Shoulder): Braise, Broil, Grill, Roast, Pan-Fry, And Stew

Rib Chops (Loin): Broil, Grill, Roast, Pan-Fry, And Sauté

Loin Chops (Loin): Broil, Grill, Roast, Pan-Fry, And Sauté

Whole Leg (Leg): Braise

Leg – Boned, Rolled, Tied (Leg): Grill, And Roast

Rack of Lamb (Loin): Broil, Grill, And Roast

Crown Roast (Loin): Roast

Top Round Roast (Leg): Braise, Roast, And Stew

Stew Meat (Various): Braise, And Stew

Sausages (Various): Braise, Grill, Roast, Pan-Fry, And Sauté

Shanks (Leg): Braise, And Stew

Lamb Chops 2 Ways

Classic Broiled: Preheat broiler. Arrange chops on broiler pan and season with kosher salt and pepper. Broil 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until target temperature. Remove pan from broiler, cover with foil and allow chops to rest 10 minutes before serving. 

Rosemary Garlic: Puree 6 garlic cloves with 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Marinate chops 30 minutes or overnight. Grill over medium-high heat, or broil according to above directions.

Roast Leg of Lamb With Mint Jelly: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine 2 Tablespoons kosher salt, 1 Tablespoon black pepper, 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary and 1/3 cup olive oil. Rub mixture all over roast. Make a few dozen small slits in lamb and insert garlic slivers. Place lamb in roasting pan and roast 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 325 degrees and roast until target temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Serve with mint jelly.  

Lamb 4

 

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part II

September 18, 2013

Patriots

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part II

The standard grains included wheat, barley, oats and rye.  Finely ground wheat flour, “boulted” or sieved through a fine cloth, was used to make white bread for the rich early in the fifteenth century.  Most of the gentry ate what we would call cracked or whole wheat bread.  The poor ate bread of coarse-ground wheat flour mixed with oats, ground peas or lentils. 

During the ocean crossing to the New World, immigrants subsisted on an even more monotonous diet for weeks.  The Mayflower provisions were typical – brown biscuits and hard white crackers, oatmeal, and black-eyed peas, plus bacon, dried salted codfish and smoked herring for animal protein.  The only vegetables on the trip were parsnips, turnips, onions and cabbages.  Beer was the beverage. 

As pilgrims set foot on their new homeland, they hardly knew what to expect.  Each brought a stock of basic foods to get them through the first year, as well as a variety of basic utensils and kitchen tools.  Also included were the essential accompaniments for whatever they found or could raise when they arrived – a bushel of coarse salt, 2 gallons of vinegar, a gallon of “oyle” and a gallon of aquavite. 

Nothing they had been told, however, prepared them for the staggering variety of totally unfamiliar plants that were being used as food by the Indians – corn, sweet potatoes, peppers, pumpkins, squash, sunflower seeds and cranberries were examples.  In addition to the strange food, there were strange ways of cooking.  In Europe, meat was boiled; the Indians, lacking iron pots, roasted theirs on a spit over a fire.  The Indians also had a long, slow cooking process that yielded what we now call Boston baked beans, and they used a fire-heated, rock-lined pit for what we would now call a clam-bake.  Where the pilgrims were accustomed to raised wheat bread, the Indians introduced them to corn based spoon bread.  Corn also provided hominy, used as a vegetable, and later, of course, as grits.  For sweetening, the Indians used maple syrup and honey, as sugar was unknown. 

Although many of the food the Pilgrims and other colonists found were totally strange, others had travelled the route before them.  The Spanish had brought pigs, which thrived especially in areas where peanuts grew.  Peaches and oranges were also native which spread throughout climatically suitable areas in a short time. 

Even the white potato was an early migrant to the New World, following a zig-zag route, from its original home in Peru to Spain in 1520, from Spain to Florida forty years later, from Florida to England in 1565, always being treated as a culinary curiosity.  By the 1600’s they had become a popular food staple in Ireland, and were carried by Colonists both to New England and Virginia, where they quickly established themselves.  There they served as a valuable source of vitamin C, protein and trace minerals, in addition to the starch. 

Potatoes, incidentally were significant in another, later migration to America: the climate in Ireland proved so amenable to their culture, and their nutrient content was so high, that many poor Irish farmers grew only potatoes on their small farms.  In fact, as fathers subdivided farms for their sons, many found themselves supporting whole families on the potatoes grown on less than an acre of ground, while the family itself lived in a roofed-over ditch.  When blight struck in 1845, the sole food source of millions of people literally withered away before their eyes.  A half-million of the 8 1/2 million population died of starvation or disease, and 1 1/2 million emigrated to England or America – following the “Irish potatoe.”

Spices were in short supply in America’s earliest days.  The English pretty well monopolized the trade with the New World.  Within a few years, however, settlers had planted the seeds they had brought or imported, and most had adapted to the climate and were flourishing in orderly rows and patterns in kitchen gardens all along the Atlantic Coast.  There were a few – ginger, pepper, cloves, mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice – that simply couldn’t cope with the weather or soil – and were scarce.  Olive oil, lime juice, prunes and saffron were available, but only at high prices. 

To Be Continued…

 

Grilled Steak 3 Ways

September 11, 2013

Steak 2

Grilled Steak 3 Ways

Honestly, you don’t need a barbeque to make grilled steaks.  Just go out and get yourself a grill pan and you will be wonder what took you so long in getting one.  If you do want to throw your steaks on the barbeque then I certainly hope that you’re using a charcoal grill!

Classic

Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, Porterhouse, T-Bone or Strip Steaks

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper

Buy 1 steak per person.  Bring steaks to room temperature.  Preheat your grill or grill pan to a medium-high heat.  Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and pepper.  Grill, turning 3 times (for crosshatch grill marks), until target temperature is reached – anywhere from about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.  Remove from heat and allow to rest off heat for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 

Black Pepper Crusted

Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, Porterhouse, T-Bone or Strip Steaks

Olive Oil

Coarse Ground Black Peppercorns

Buy 1 steak per person. You will need about 2 tablespoons coarse ground black peppercorns per steak.  Preheat your grill or grill pan to a medium-high heat. Brush steaks with olive oil and coat with peppercorns. Grill, turning 2 times (for crosshatch grill marks), until target temperature is reached –anywhere from about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.  Remove from heat and allow to rest off heat for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 

Carne Asada Tacos

2 Pounds Flank or Skirt Steak

Marinade:

5 Cloves Minced Garlic

1 Diced Jalapeno Pepper

2 Teaspoons Cumin

1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro

Juice of 2 Limes

1/3 Cup Canola Oil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Place the steaks in large ziplock bag.  Pour in the marinade.  Place in the fridge for 2 to 12 hours.  Preheat grill or grill pan.  Grill over a medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side to target temperature.  Medium-rare is suggested.  Remove from the heat and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.  Slice thinly across the grain, serve with tortillas, salsa, and avocado.

 

Roast Beef Tenderloin 3 Ways

September 10, 2013

Tenderloin

Roast Beef Tenderloin 3 Ways

Here are three different ways to cook Beef Tenderloin.  Remember to let your roast rest for a bit after removing from the oven because it will continue to cook. 

Classic

1 Two to Six Pound Beef Tenderloin

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

3 Tablespoons Rosemary

2 Tablespoons Thyme

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

2 Tablespoons Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  With 2 tablespoons olive oil lightly oil a roasting pan.  Position the oven rack on center rack.  In a small-size bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of tenderloin. Place into roasting pan and place into oven.  Cook for about 35 to 55 minutes depending on target temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 6 depending on size of tenderloin. 

Smoked Paprika

1 Two to Six Pound Beef Tenderloin

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika

1 Teaspoon Oregano

Zest of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  With 2 tablespoons olive oil lightly oil a roasting pan.  Position the oven rack on center rack.  In a small-size bowl combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, smoked paprika, oregano, zest & juice of lemon, kosher salt, and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of tenderloin. Place into roasting pan and place into oven.  Cook for about 35 to 55 minutes depending on target temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 6 depending on size of tenderloin. 

Cajun Style

1 Two to Six Pound Beef Tenderloin

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning

1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  With 2 tablespoons olive oil lightly oil a roasting pan.  Position the oven rack on center rack.  In a small-size bowl combine Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of tenderloin. Place into roasting pan and place into oven.  Cook for about 35 to 55 minutes depending on target temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 6 depending on size of tenderloin.  

Pasta Salad Ideas

June 25, 2013

VegetablesPasta Salad Ideas

Here are some super easy, but versatile Pasta Salad Ideas from Tiny New York Kitchen.  All you need to do is add 3 cups of cooked & chilled pasta (of your choice) and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to one of these inspiring combinations.  Try them all throughout the summer for a whole treasure trove of side salads.  If you want to make any of these a main dish then add 1 pound of protein such as grilled chicken breasts, grilled flank steak, grilled shrimp, grilled tuna (or canned tuna) or tofu.  All recipes below serve 4.

For the Pasta: Cook 3 Cups of Pasta, Toss With 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Then Chill Until Ready To Use.  Add the Pasta to One of the Salad Combinations Below.

Nutty Beans & Greens

1 Cup Trimmed & Steamed Haricot Verts

1 Cup Baby Arugula

3 Tablespoons Toasted & Chopped Walnuts

1 Ounce Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

 

Snow Peas & Carrots

1/2 Cup Grated Carrot

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Snow Peas

1/2 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage

1/4 Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts

 

Cheesy Chickpea & Pesto

1/2 Cup Cooked Chickpeas

1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese

1 Cup Halved Grape Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Prepared Pesto

 

Mediterranean Medley

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Cucumber

1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese

1 1/2 Ounces Sliced Kalamata Olives

 

Peppery & Nutty

1 Cup Arugula

2/3 Cup Thinly Sliced Radishes

3 Tablespoons Toasted & Chopped Walnuts

2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese

 

Melon, Mint & Parm

1/2 Cup Fresh Cubed Cantaloupe

2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves

2 Ounces Thinly Sliced Prosciutto

1 1/2 Ounces Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Freshly Ground Pepper

 

Cherry Almond Crunch

3/4 Cup Pitted Halved Fresh Cherries

1/4 Cup Toasted & Thinly Sliced Almonds

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese

 

Picnic Superstar

1/3 Cup Sliced Avocado

1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper Strips

1/4 Cup Fresh Corn Kernels

2 Cooked Crumbled Center Cut Bacon Slices

2 Ounces Quartered Fresh Baby Mozzarella Balls

 

Easy Non-Salad Radish Ideas

May 20, 2013

Easy Non-Salad Radish IdeasRadishes

I love radishes and am always drawn to the pretty color of a pile of radishes.  Most of us just slice them into a green salad and the left-over radishes die a fateful death in the fridge.  Here are some non-salad ideas that will expand your radish repertoire.

Radish Sauté   – It doesn’t really occur to many people that you can cook radishes (as with cucumbers).  It’s so simple to sauté radishes in olive oil or butter.  They are delicious and make you appreciate radishes in a while new way.

Kimchi – Sprinkle the radishes with a bit of kosher salt and a little chili paste.  Toss together and then pack them into a glass jar.  Place in the back of the fridge for two weeks.  Excellent on top of a burger.

Butter & Sea Salt – A fine butter and a pinch of sea salt on top of a radish slice make the perfect summer bite.

Radish “Sauerkraut” – Slice 1 pound of radishes and toss with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.  Pack tightly into a glass jar.  Weigh down with a wrapped can and place on a shelf for two weeks.  Makes a great addition to a sandwich.

Shaved & Lightly Poached In A Tasty Liquid – Slivers of radish dropped in a simmering stock and/or wine for 10 seconds are a great compliment to fresh fish.  They let go of their bite, but retain some of their unique crunch we all know and love.

Braised – Sauté a little onion and garlic.  Add in some radish quarters and a healthy splash of red wine.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar.  Excellent draped over a grilled steak or pork chop.

Pickled – Slice some 1/4 inch coins and throw them into a jar.  Pour brine over them (1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar).  You may want to throw in a few dried chilis if you want a bit of spice.  Let sit in your fridge for a week.

Soup – Simmered for 30 minutes in a soup.  The radishes will take on a sweet and velvety character.

Grated – Grate the radishes along with some freshly grated ginger and use as a condiment with any oily fish such as trout or mackerel.

Roasted – Quarter and toss with a little olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Roast in an oven at 425º F for 20 minutes.  They should be a little brown and will become sweet.  Toss them with some toasted nuts.  They are a great side dish at any potluck picnic.

 

 

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