Man In The Kitchen

Summer Salads

Cool and light, quick and easy, with minimal to no cooking required, salads are the perfect summer meal. There’s also no better way to sample the abundance of seasonal fresh produce now available. I recently had the opportunity the work on Imagine Academy’s gorgeous, hardcover salad cookbook “Greens and Grains”. The book features an incredible variety of over 100 different salad recipes, with spectacular photos by Morris Gindi. The recipes below are two of my favorites.

Grilled Lemon Basil Tofu


Ingredients:

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

2 tablespoonsDijon mustard

2 tablespoonshoney

2 teaspoonslemon zest

1/4 cupfresh lemon juice

1 tablespoonsolive oil

1/2 teaspoonsalt

1/4 teaspoonground black pepper

4cloves garlic, minced

1 poundextra firm tofu, drained

Directions:

1.      Cuttofu into 6 slices.
2. Combine basil, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt & pepper.
3. Add tofu to marinade, let stand one hour.
4. Lightly oil grill pan, grill tofu slices, 3 minutes each side.
5. Brush with remaining marinade.

Arugula Salad with Figs & Pomegranate

Ingredients:

2 boxesof baby arugula

1/2 bunch basil, chopped

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 box of fresh or dried figs, sliced

Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cupbalsamic vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt & pepper

Directions:

1.      Toss together salad ingredients.
2. Blend dressing ingredients in blender.
3. Dresssalad to desired taste.

Ask the Chef

Chef Elliot

I saw your recipe for Miso Glazed Cod which looks delicious. However, I
cannot use sake. Is there a non-alcoholic substitute that I can use?
Thank you,
Sarah F.

Hi Sarah!

When making a substitution for wine (like sake), it’s helpful to think about the purpose it serves in the recipe. Does the wine add acidity, sweetness, depth, brightness? Is it used to provide moisture, tenderize meat, or deglaze a pan? Knowing this can help you decide on a good substitute. Some options for red wine are beef stock, grape or cranberry juice with an added Tbsp. (per cup) of cider vinegar for sweetness and acidity. For white wine (like sake), try chicken stock, white grape or apple juice, with the same ratio of cider vinegar above.

Bon Appétit!

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Special Sukkot Edition

Of all the holidays on the Jewish calendar, Sukkot is my favorite. There’s nothing better than terrific ‘al fresco’ dining on a crisp fall evening (or warm afternoon), surrounded by family and friends. Many of us take advantage of the added outdoor eating space by inviting a few extra guests! These recipes are a couple of traditional Sephardic classics guaranteed to please a crowd.

Rub’uh (Stuffed Breast of Veal with Fava Beans)

This may be one of my favorite things in the world to make and eat. It combines a few different cooking techniques but the end result is rich, tender and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

4 lb. bone-in breast of veal (with pocket)

1 lb. hashu meat (recipe below)

1 large onion (chopped)

3 ribs celery (chopped)

3 whole garlic cloves (minced)

1 tsp Allspice

Kosher Salt & black pepper

3 bags of frozen fava beans

DIRECTIONS:

1.      With your hands, apply a liberal coating of vegetable oil to the veal and generously season with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic and Allspice. Stuff the veal breast with the hashu (recipe to follow). Set aside.

2.      Heat a little oil in a roasting pan over moderately high heat. Sauté the onion and celery until just soft. Place stuffed breast of veal on top of the sautéed aromatics and place under the broiler until lightly browned. Place any extra stuffing in the roasting pan, add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan, cover very tightly with foil and braise for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

3.      Remove roasting pan from the oven. Add the fava beans, season beans with salt, pepper and allspice. Add another cup of water, cover the pan tightly with foil and return to the oven for another 1 ½ hours. Uncover and roast for 20 more minutes.

Hashu

Hashu is a simple, all-purpose meat and rice stuffing used in a wide variety of Syrian dishes. Use medium or short grain rice for their starchier content and get the fattiest ground beef you can find. Yes, really. Fatty ground beef = best beef flavor. Ask your butcher.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup short grain rice

2 tsp each – Allspice, kosher salt, cinnamon

Directions:

1.      Soak rice in water until the rice absorbs some of the water and softens a bit, about 30 minutes. Drain.

2.      Combine the rice with the ground beef and spices in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Stewed Sweetbreads with Mushrooms

Okay, I’ll admit it. This dish is a little more “out there”. Sweetbreads are actually the thymus gland located in the neck of a veal calf. When prepared properly, they’re creamy soft and delicious. My grandmother used to serve this on holidays but my guess is, it doesn’t appear on too many holiday tables anymore. To people who love sweetbreads, there is nothing better. To the uninitiated, there is a little “fear factor” to overcome. In French cuisine, they’re often paired with mushrooms as we do in the following recipe.

Ingredients:

1 ½ – 2 lbs. sweetbreads

1 large onion, chopped

4 ribs celery, chopped

1 container baby bella mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup White Vinegar

1 tsp dried thyme leaves

Kosher Salt and pepper

Directions:

1.      Put sweetbreads in a pot and just cover with cold water. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Rinse sweetbreads under cold water and peel away whatever thin membrane might be present. Chop sweetbreads into bite size pieces and set aside.

2.      Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms develop a nice color and start to shrink, about 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

3.      Add the sweetbreads to the pan and add water until just barely covered. Put the lid on the sauce pan, bring to a boil, drop the heat to low and gently simmer for about 30 minutes, until a broth has formed and the sweetbreads are soft. Serve over rice.

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