Month: September 2010

Strawberry, Concord Grape, Red Onion, Baby Lettuce Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Chopped Hazelnuts

  Pour some sugar on me, salad baby!  This salad is bursting with Summer and sweetness and color.  The fruit and poppy seed combo is nothing new (who doesn’t love a lemon poppy seed cake?!), but when combined with the tang and bite of red onion and buttery baby greens, the mix just comes alive and skips on your tastebuds.  Making this salad was a lot of fun, and it was even more fun to eat.  The sweetest part about this salad is the low-calorie value–Livestrong.com/MyPlate tells me the dressing is only 70 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.  The dressing comes straight from the sweetest cook on TV, Paula Deen, while the salad mix is my own.  Enjoy! I started with some gorgeous strawberries and concord grapes from the farmers market in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  The grapes were supplied by Red Jacket Orchards.  Concord grapes are my new favorite grape (and maybe fruit… though the Honeycrisp apple really is sooooo fantastic.)  They are bursting with flavor and taste exactly like Welch’s grape juice.  …

Grilled Pizza: Zucchini, Red Onion, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts

One of the many great things about making your own pizza is that you can choose any toppings you like!  From my experience, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.  I followed the exact cooking method as outlined in my Grilled Pizza: Pizza Margherita post, except I substituted whole wheat pizza dough and different toppings.  Another hit–and a healthy one too.  The key to this pizza is the thinly sliced vegetables–I used a mandoline to achieve them. Grilled Pizza: Zucchini, Red Onion, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts Dough technique adapted from Gourmet, June 2003; toppings original to OlivetoCook.com Ingredients (to make 3 thin-crust pizzas) 1 store-bought whole wheat prepared pizza dough, cut into thirds 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 zucchini, thinly sliced on the bias on a mandoline
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced on a mandoline 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a saute pan until slightly browned Optional: red chili flakes Directions 1.  Cut store-bought dough into thirds and roll into balls.  Gently dredge 1 ball of dough in a bowl …

Grilled Pizza: Pizza Margherita

With Summer winding down and temperatures dropping, I’ve been thinking about our charcoal grill–and getting a few more runs out of her before it’s time to close her down for the season change.  We’ve made plenty of sliders and kabobs, but for some oddball reason, we never tackled grilled pizza this Summer.  Armed with Stew Leonard’s store-made whole wheat pizza dough and regular white pizza dough, we had a grilled pizza party. To get things started, we kept it basic with a classic–Pizza Margherita.  Other variations were Zucchini, Mozzarella, Pine Nut, and Pecorino pizza + Shiitake, Cremini, Garlic, and Parmesan pizza.  I will share them in my next post.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, I give you Pizza Margherita–made with love by my #1 love, Nick and my best friend, Lauren, visiting from Vermont. A quick comment on the pizza dough.  I’ve made pizza dough from scratch before, with mixed results.  I never seem to be able to get the right amount of airy bubbles when I do.  Instead, I save myself the trouble by …

Last Meal on Earth

One of my favorite, most mouth-watering, questions to ask someone is: If it’s your last day on earth, what would be your last meal?  There are no limitations.  You can have 10 things from 10 different restaurants in the world… you can have 20 different tastes of things… you don’t have to concern yourself with fat and calories and cost… you don’t have to worry about having enough room in your stomach… you can have whatever, wherever you want. The highly awesome Serious Eats just asked their readers that same question, this time they phrased it “What’s your ‘Death Row’ meal?”  The comments were hysterical–many of the commenters appear to be my long-lost best friends, as I would love to share my ‘Death Row’ meal at their table. So here you have it, MY last meal on earth, in no particular order.  What’s yours?? Pearl Oyster Bar lobster roll with shoestring fries One dozen raw oysters and jumbo shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce, loaded with extra horseradish Vietnamese fried spring rolls Doritos, any flavor Pepper …

Korean Chicken Tacos with Cilantro, Red Onion, and Gochujang Sauce

Ever heard of Kogi BBQ?  It’s a food truck based in Los Angeles serving thousands of very lucky Californians everyday.  Oh, how I wish they would send a truck to New York… I love the genius combo of Korean meets Mexican–two packed-with-flavor cuisines.  Since Kogi BBQ hasn’t rolled up to my door (yet,)  I decided to try to recreate it at home.  Two of their dishes really popped out to me.  One, the Pineapple Pork Kimchi Quesadillas and two, the Chicken Tacos, Kogi BBQ prepares the chicken tacos with ginger-soy marinated chicken thighs, salsa roja, an onion-cilantro relish, and a salad with a chili-soy vinaigrette. I decided to first try to recreate Kogi BBQ’s chicken tacos at home, but with some modifications.  I was super happy with the results.  Confession time: I’ve actually made these three times in the past week.  Yeah, they’re that good.  And the best part… they’re healthy. To start, I cut up a pounded, boneless, skinless chicken breast and marinated it in a sweet-soy mixture, including grated ginger and garlic, soy …

Soldier Fare: Pork ribs, sauteed kimchi, and cassoulet?

    Whenever my father talks about cooking during the Vietnam War, he always mentions S.O.S. (sh*t-on-a-shingle)  S.O.S. was made by cooking crumbled ground beef and adding it to a cream sauce.  This ground beef cream sauce mixture was then poured over fried potatoes, and then the whole dish was topped with a fried egg.  S.O.S. has dozens of variations (sometimes with chipped beef or tomatoes), but one thing was consistent–S.O.S. stuck to the ribs–it filled you up and kept you going for a long time.  Wartime fare has come a long way–and even has a global foodiness-factor to it.  New York Times writer Ashley Gilbertson put together an awesome piece on soldier grub today–chronicling the rations soldiers are provided with, sorted by country of origin.  Here are a few other samples.  Check out the full article here.  

Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy, Red Chili, Garlic, and Pecorino

  I love cauliflower.  I love it raw and dipped in fresh Ranch dressing.  I love it mixed with broccoli and cheese.  I love it cooked in roti with cilantro.  This love is why I feel so disappointed when I find it on the side of an entree plate as an afterthought… usually combined with some sliced carrots and green beans in a puddle of steamy water.  Cauliflower deserves to stand on its own–crisp and meaty and full of flavor.  This dish puts cauliflower at center stage.  I’ve also prepared this dish with chopped moroccan olives and capers (instead of the anchovies) and loved the results. First, prep the cauliflower.  A great trick to prepare cauliflower is to rinse it off and turn it upside down.  Cut off the green leaves to reveal the stalks.  Voila–you can now easily cut into florets by the stem.  Now chop up the anchovies, garlic, and parsley.  I like to keep the garlic in BIG chunks as when cooked, the chunks will become mild and caramelized. Add the olive …