Archive for May, 2007

Good that i pulled out the Casa Moro book yesterday: the idea for tonight’s dinner came from it – swordfish steaks marinated in pomegranate molasses and cinnamon. As well as a carrot dip though this one i made spicy by adding harissa and balanced with Montegottero raspberry vinegar (this vinegar is an amazing stuff btw). 


The recipe for swordfish is available online. For serving instead of pomegranate seeds i used dried currants soaked in sweet sherry with some lemon juice. The swordfish steaks were pan roasted for about 4mins on each side until the internal temp reached 120F. The impeccable texture – tender and moist.


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A bag of artichokes in the fridge begged for attention (sorry for a lame pun) – finally a chance to make Boulud’s artichoke radicchio clafoutis.
An appropriate light dish for a late night dinner but requiring some sauce or something – of piquillo peppers maybe – they would compliment artichokes nicely – Casa Moro is one of the books for this kind of ideas. Bingo -  jamon serrano and parsley sauce.

Both things came out great:  the clafoutis had a perfect texture of dense artichokes enveloped in airy filling. And the sauce was quite unusual – salty, hot and zesty and definitely goes into my repertoire – should be great with broccoli or asparagus (this is how it’s used in the book).

Couple of notes on recipes:
clafoutis (i actually got the recipe from Off Duty cookbook) – to prevent discoloration i covered the artichokes with a large handful of parsley sprigs – and though artichokes still got gray in spots parsley enhanced the flavor nicely. Skipped arugula and used all radicchio (half of a small head), as well as oyster mushrooms instead of white – more flavorful and more appropriate texture for this dish. And i’m thinking of adopting the batter formula for making frittatas, they always seem to come out too dense and eggy… For variation on the theme there are at least two other Boulud’s savory clafoutis i’m aware of – of belgian endive (in the Cafe Boulud book), and of asparagus.

serrano ham parsley sauce – used prosciutto, more parsley, and also added a large jalapeno, seeds and all – outstanding,  not only it worked great with clafoutis but also with baby roma tomatoes and radishes we had on the table. The recipe is simple – 4oz of prosciutto finely minced, 2 garlic cloves pounded with 1 chile and 7tbs of chopped parsley into a paste, then the meat and 4tbs of olive oil mixed in, and some lemon juice added to taste.

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Couple of days ago we had a marvelous dinner at our friends’ house. As a main course a swordfish slow cooked with lettuce and herbs was served. It was excellent and i demanded more details at which point the host produced a book that was on my wishlist for quite a while – French by Damien Pignolet. What was even more interesting that the recipe was of a chartreuse of swordfish, and an obvious deja vu – i actually got fascinated by this very recipe about 4 years ago and made it guess what from… chicken! So anyway i loaned a book, and tonight made a great Aubergines en Persillade, eggplant saute with parsley, mushrooms and breadcrumbs.


To reinforce the funghi theme served it with Portale’s truffled mushroom spread.

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Paradise City Arts Festival is one of the best arts and crafts shows and we try to attend at least once a year. This time we happened to catch it at Northampton. The location was fairgrounds of sorts so the show was huge with quite a few of outdoor items, some of them in a natural backyard-type environment… A lot of interesting works, and of course a great opportunity to talk to artists…

And this beautiful young lady is now bringing joy to our home.


She is created by a very talented Ann Light whose works are not only very imaginative but with a great sense of humor!

Sculptures in wood and metal by Carlos Federico Page are riveting and we plan to visit his gallery in Hoboken. Another interesting artist incidentally working in metal was Rob Glebe – he is replicating classic pottery shapes but in soft metal. Immediately reminded me of other pieces made of soft metal and wish i remembered the name of the artist – we made this pic in one of the galleries in Scottsdale last year.


We also had a chance to chat with folks from Snow Farm so the glass blowing and metal workshops very well might be in our near future.

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This Sat we decided to go to Laconia and rent a boat at the Winnipesaukee lake. To our utmost disappointment the NH state law requires a boat license. Though one can take a computer test and get a temporary permit, it’s very hard to pass the test w/o any preparation so no surprise that H.failed.

Not to waste two hours drive we took a turn to Canterbury and visited the Shakers Village.


And we’re so glad we did. A visit to the past in a breathtaking and serene milieu.

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My admiration for Gennaro Contaldo goes way back to the days when i got introduced to wonders of pork belly through his wonderful porchetta. Of course i own the Passione book though i never cooked from it. Until today – the truth is having my cookbook library divided between our two houses i learned to cook relying on memory and short notes instead of a precise recipe. And just recently i made such notes spending several delightful hours leafing through the Passione book.

The result was a halibut with capers and dill – basically pan roasted fish fillet covered with sort of salsa verde in the last min or so. Italian salsa verde is a mix of herbs, anchovies, garlic and capers; the twist on this particular recipe was the inclusion of dill. I had halibut steak which i roasted according to the perfected technique. The rest of salsa was smashed into boiled baby white potatoes.

Honorable mentions: broccoli slaw and freshly made apple/peach/grapefruit juice.

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When was last time i mentioned any red meat? And it’s not terribly surprising considering a shock of Fast Food Nation (though i don’t recall when was the last time we actually had a meal at a fast burger joint – probably quite a few moons ago…)

But Fra Mani pork comes from local farmers who care about their animals. So i got some soppressata, salame nostrano and salame toscano and we had an excellent dinner with ossau-iraty and camembert cheeses, some greens and a bottle of excellent french red.  Soppressata was especially remarkable.

Now speaking of remarkable products i just discovered another excellent tea from Numi – White Rose, it smells divine and pure.

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