FRIED CALAMARI WITH PEPPERONCINI MAYONNAISE
1 pound fresh calamari, cleaned and cut into ½ inch rings (keep tentacles intact)
¾ cup rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
8 whole pepperoncini, plus a little liquid from the jar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1. In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot, heat oil until it reaches 375°F.
2. Meanwhile, combine mayo, pepperoncini (with stems removed), pepperoncini liquid, and spices into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined but not smooth, leaving small pieces of the peppers.
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour and spices. Then, take cleaned calamari and pat dry with paper towels. Toss flour mixture with cleaned calamari, shaking off any excess.
4. Once oil is heated, fry calamari a few at a time for approximately 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove cooked calamari with a slotted spoon, transferring to a paper towel lined dish. Repeat in batches, as necessary. Serve immediately with pepperoncini mayonnaise and lemon wedges.
CRISPY EGGPLANT & ZUCCHINI W/ TRUFFLE BURRATA & BASIL PESTO
1 ea. Green Zucchini (Sliced ¼ inch Bias Rounds)
1 ea. Yellow Squash (Sliced ¼ inch Bias Rounds)
1 ea. Baby Eggplant (Sliced ¼ inch Bias Rounds)
NOTE: All vegetables should be similar size in diameter.
TT Salt & Pepper
1 cup AP Flour (maybe a bit more for dusting Vegetables)
5 ea. Eggs (Beaten)
4 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
4 tbsp. Parsley Chopped
2 oz. Parmesan Cheese Grated
2 cups Canola oil (maybe more, as needed for frying)
8 oz. Truffle Burrata (may substitute regular Burrata if desired) (Drained & Dried)
1 cup Basil Pesto
1 bunch Fresh basil (small bunch for garnishing)
1. Season Vegetables with Salt and pepper. Set up a breading station on your counter. First pan the flour (seasoned with S&P); second bowl / pan the egg wash; and the third, pan the panko breadcrumbs. Combine the Parmesan cheese and the parsley into the breadcrumbs and mix well; also season with salt and pepper.
2. Dredge all of your veggies into the flour, lightly dusting, then 1 piece at a time, dunk in egg wash (cover completely), then into the breadcrumb mixture. Once veggies are breaded, store on a small sheet pan, to prepare for frying.
NOTE: when breading your veggies, have 1 dry hand and 1 wet hand, this will make breading procedure easier and cleaner, also wear gloves!
3. Heat Pan on stove to medium high, and oil and begin to fry the veggies until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes per side. Note: be sure oil is hot before you add your veggies.
4. Once done, remove from oil onto paper towels to drain, and season with salt and pepper.
5. To Serve, take 1 Squash, 1 Zucchini, and 1 Eggplant coin per portion, top with about an ounce of the cheese (very soft cheese, spread with a knife), and a heaping tablespoon of pesto sauce on the plate, garnish with fresh basil leaves.
4 oz full fat cream cheese, softened
4 oz Goat cheese, soften
1 stick sweet butter, soften
1 tbls dark rum
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, goat cheese, butter, rum and confectioners' sugar.
2. Gradually add the pumpkin, pie spice, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until smooth.
3. Serve with your favorite crackers.
WATERMELON AND FETA SKEWERS WITH FRESH MINT
8 ounces Balducci’s feta cheese, cut into small cubes
3 cups fresh Balducci’s watermelon, cut into same-sized cubes
24 small Balducci’s mint leaves (torn in half to uniform size)
Course sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbls Balducci’s balsamic vinegar
2 tbls Balducci’s extra-virgin olive oil
Thread a cube of watermelon onto a skewer, add a mint leaf and finish with a cube of feta cheese. Repeat until you have 24 skewers, and set the completed skewers on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and balsamic vinegar.
MARINATED SEARED HALLOUMI BITES
Halloumi 35.25 oz (4 each)
Lemon Juice 3 oz
Olive Oil 2 oz
Garlic, peeled, rough chopped .2 oz (1 clove)
Mint, rough chopped .2 oz
Basil, rough chopped .2 oz
Black Pepper, ground .025 oz
1. Combine garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, basil and black pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
2. Drain the liquid from the packages of halloumi.
3. Slice each piece of halloumi in half (width-wise), then cut each slice in half into 2 triangles.
4. Mix the halloumi with the marinade mixture, making sure to coat each piece well.
5. Wrap and place in the refrigerator, labeled and dated.
6. Marinate the halloumi cheese overnight (keeping in cold holding under 40F).
7. Remove the cheese from the marinade.
8. Heat a medium non-stick sauce pan over medium-high heat (a flat top can also be used). Once heated, pour approx. 1 oz of canola oil in the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray.
9. Pat dry each piece of halloumi cheese before placing it in the pan. Place the halloumi in the heated pan.
10. To prevent the cheese from sticking, move the pan around intermittently.
11. Once the cheese is golden brown on one side, flip to sear on the other side.
12. Remove the cheese from the pan once it’s seared and golden brown on both sides.. Place in the refrigerator on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper until cooled below 40F.
13. Garnish with sprigs of mint and basil and serve.
SEARED MANCHEGO & SERRANO WRAPPED FIG W/ FIG GASTRIQUE
3.5 oz. Mitica Fig Jam
1/4 cup Capirete Sherry Vinegar
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
8 oz. Manchego Cheese El Trigal Reserva 14 month
4 oz. Serrano Ham Sliced Thin.
12 Dried Figs cut in half. (Fresh is fine if available)
1. The Gastrique – Combine Fig Jam, Balsamic Vinegar, and Sherry vinegar in heavy bottom sauce pot. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Reserve for plating.
2. Figs – take 1/2 of the Serrano Ham and cut into 1/2 inch wide, 2 inch long strips.
3. Tightly wrap each Fig (half or quarter) with a strip of the Serrano Ham.
4. Heat a Non-Stick Pan over medium high heat, spray with a bit of pan spray, and begin to sear off the Serrano wrapped figs.
5. Sear on all sides until crisp. Remove from pan and reserve for plating.
6. Seared Manchego – Heat non-stick pan over medium high heat. Cut cheese into desired shape, about a 1/2 inch thick.
7. Cook cheese in non-stick pan for about 45 seconds per side, until golden brown. Remove from heat and reserve for plating.
8. Plating – Cut a Baguette or Ficelle into 1/2 thick pieces. Lay a piece of the seared cheese down first, then take a small piece of the remaining sliced Serrano and put that on top of the cheese. Top it all with a seared Fig, garnish with the Fig Gastrique, and Chives (optional).
1 large bunch Balduccis Kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
1 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Grinding of fresh black pepper
Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.
1. If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don’t overlap. (If the kale won’t all fit, make the chips in batches.). Sprinkle with black pepper.
2. Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total.
3. Store in airtight containers.
TOASTED ALMOND CHEESY STUFFED MUSHROOMS
25 White Mushrooms, brushed clean
1/2 Cup Scallions, minced
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped fine
1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Remove and mince the stems from the mushroom caps.
2. Sauté the stems and scallions in the butter until soft. Stir in the cheese and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Stuff the mushroom caps and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs. Bake for 12 minutes.
BAKED APPLE BRIE WITH CARMELIZED ONIONS, AND BACON
1 14 Ounce Round Brie or 2 or 3 Small Whole Brie
3 Delicious Apples
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
1/2 Stick Butter Plus 2 Tablespoons
4 Slices Cooked Bacon, Crumbled
1/4 Teaspoon Cardamom
1 French Bread Baguette, Sliced
1/2 Stick of Butter, Melted, for the Crostini
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a saute pan. Add the cardamom. Slice apples into thin slices and saute until the apples caramelize, around 10 minutes. Remove apples from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the remaining butter and melt it. Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar, toasted pecans and crumbled bacon.
3. Place the brie(s) on an ovenproof serving platter. Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture over the top of the brie. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and top with the caramelized apples.
4. Serve with French bread crostini
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Place sliced French bread on a large cookie sheet. Brush each piece with melted butter.
2. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
3. Remove and store in a zip lock bag. May be made the day before serving.
For the short crust pastry:
2 sticks soften unsalted butter taken out of the fridge 2 hours before use
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 small lemon rind
2 cups Pastry flour, sieved
1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
5 oz fresh Pecorino Toscano PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), finely chopped or grated
8 oz of fresh whole milk ricotta, drained well.
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup brandy
Pre-heat oven to 325 Degrees F.
For the filling:
1. Mix the Pecorino Toscano, ricotta and sugar: when it is all well combined, add eggs and mix again. Let it rest for 10 minutes and finally add the brandy and let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
For the pastry:
1. Blend the soften butter and sugar, add the eggs and lemon, mix well: when the pastry is smooth, add the baking powder and flour and continue kneading; let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Dust table top with flour and roll out pastry to a 10 inch round circle.
2. Carefully place prepared pastry in a 9 inch fluted baking pan with the short crust pastry, add the filling and decorate with any leftover pastry. Brush with a beaten egg and bake in pre heated oven.
3. Remove Tart from oven and let cool before slicing serve with an arugula salad
1 Pound Frozen Puff Pastry
12 Thin Slices Turkey
12 Thin Slices Gruyere or Jarlsberg Cheese
8 Tablespoons Honey cup Mustard
1 Large Egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Defrost the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Roll out each sheet of puff pastry to smooth out folds. Cut in half across the folds.
4. Spread each half sheet with Honey Cup Mustard.
5. Place slices of turkey and cheese on top of the mustard.
6. Roll the pastry up jelly roll style.
7. Break the egg into a small bowl. Whisk or use a fork to completely blend the white with the yolk. Paint the rolled pastry with the beaten egg.
8. Cut each roll into 12 pieces and place each piece on the prepared baking sheet.
9. Repeat with remaining puff pastry.
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and puffed.
CRAB QUESADILLAS WITH GUACAMOLE
1 small onion
2 fresh jalapeno chiles
4 ripe avocados
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
1 can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes with mild green chiles, drained
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions (white and 1-inch of green, sliced
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper, drained
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 pound Lump Crabmeat
6 flour tortillas (8-10 inch)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1. For guacamole, cut the radishes in half and scoop out most of the white centers with a melon baller. Roughly chop the red outsides. Cut the onion into 1/4-inch dice.
2. Wearing rubber gloves, seed jalapenos and finely chop.
3. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Stir in radishes, onion, jalapenos, cilantro, diced tomatoes, lime juice, salt, and mayonnaise. Cover and chill.
4. For quesadillas, mix cream cheese, corn, cilantro, scallions, roasted peppers, pepper and red pepper in a medium bowl. Fold in Lump crabmeat.
5. Divide the mixture evenly over the tortillas and spread to nearly the edge. Fold the tortillas in half, pressing lightly. Brush both sides of each tortilla with butter.
6. In a large skillet, cook in batches over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, turning once, until light brown. Cut each in half and serve with sour cream and guacamole.
GUACAMOLE MADE IN A MOLCAJETE
1/2 Teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 Teaspoon finely chopped Serrano peppers (for mild version) or 1 1/2 Teaspoons for hot
1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped white onion
1/2 Teaspoon coarse salt
1 Teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Mexican Haas avocado
2 Tablespoons diced plum tomatoes, seeded
1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Using the molcajete (mortar & pestle), mash the garlic, Serrano peppers, onions, salt and lime to release their juices. Set aside.
2. Cut avocado in half around the pit with a knife; twist the halves apart. Carefully remove pit. Hold avocado in hand and cut 1/2-inch pieces. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Use the wooden spoon to mash the avocado pieces in your molcajete.
3. Add avocado to molcajete and mix to a creamy, but chunky consistency. Add the mashed mix, tomatoes and cilantro to the avocado and mix gently.
4. Serve with tortilla chips
1/2 Pound Black Pearl Skinned Salmon Fillet, sliced paper thin
Juice of 2 Lemons, zested
Juice of 2 Limes, zested
Juice of 1 Orange, zested
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
1/4 Cup Chopped Italian Parsley
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1. Combine all the juices, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and herbs together in a stainless steel bowl.
2. Place thinly sliced salmon in a glass Pyrex dish, pour citrus mixture over salmon and cover with plastic wrap, chill. After 30 minutes gently shake dish to distribute juices over salmon, cover and chill for another 30 minutes.
3. When ready to serve, drain liquid from dish and place 'cooked' salmon on a platter and drizzle with olive oil and garnish with cilantro.