Fresh Tomato Soup with Ricotta and Chorizo Croutons

Time: Approx. 1 hr
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
6-8 large very ripe Italian tomatoes (or if you want to cheat, 1 can of whole Italian tomatoes)
4 cups boiling water
1 -2 tbsp olive oil
4-6 fresh basil leaves coarsely chopped or you may use baby basil as I did
2 tbsp red pepper paste (sweet not spicy - such as Ajvar)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
Water or tomato juice as needed
1/2 day-old baguette (or fresh is ok too)
3 tbsp Ricotta cheese
1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1 tbsp black olive paste
6-8 slices of Chorizo (I use the Portuguese kind), sliced then chopped
6 tbsp plain yogurt 


Turn oven to broil. On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper place very thin slices of baguette and broil on each side until quite golden. Careful because they can burn very quickly! Set them aside to cool.
In a large saucepan, boil 4 cups of water. Prick each tomato with a sharp knife and boil for several minutes until the skins start to peel off. Strain and with rubber gloves remove skins. Place the tomatoes in a food processor (not blender) and blend until almost a puree, but there will be small chunks. If the consistency is too thick you may add some water or tomato juice. Add olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper to taste, red pepper paste and basil (keeping a few for garnish). Place in a bowl and refrigerate. 
In a small bowl mix ricotta with sun-dried tomato paste and olive paste until well blended. Place in refrigerator to chill. 
When soup is well chilled, serve in small glasses with a spoonful of yogurt at the bottom, garnished with fresh basil. 
Spread ricotta mixture on each cooled baguette crouton and sprinkle with chopped chorizo.

New Potatoes with Asparagus

Time: 20 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
10-12 small new potatoes, quartered
10-12 fresh green asparagus spears
2 tbsp salted butter
salt & pepper


In a medium saucepan, steam potatoes and asparagus until almost tender. Strain and set aside. In the same saucepan, heat butter until almost smoking, add potatoes and saute until browned on all sides, then add asparagus and season to taste. Serve immediately. (Also good with finely chopped parsley or cilantro).

Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Croissants

Time: 20 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
Pre-made croissant dough - enough for 4 croissants
1 box baby mushrooms 
6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil


Turn oven on to 375o. On a large cutting board, roll out one croissant triangle and cut into two strips with a sharp knife. (The pieces will be uneven, but that's ok). On each strip place one sun-dried tomato with a little of its oil, a small bunch of baby mushrooms and roll up the dough so that part of the mushrooms are exposed. Close the bottom of your wrap by pinching with your fingers. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue to do the same with the rest of your dough and mushrooms, placing them approx. 2-3 inches apart on the sheet. Bake until the croissants have fluffed and are quite golden. Serve alongside any of your favorite dishes, or by themselves as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce.

Chicken with 2 Mustard Sauce

Time: 45 mins
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
4 Chicken thighs with legs and skin on
2 shallots, sliced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Grainy (old fashioned) Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup heavy cooking cream
2-3 Bay leaves
Salt & pepper


Turn oven on to 400o. Place chicken thighs (whole or cut into pieces) on a rack in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Bake until well done and skin is crispy. (Note: This is the recipe I posted earlier for Crispy Chicken). Meanwhile, slice shallots (not too thin) and saute them with the olive oil in a small saucepan until browned. There should be some nice residue at the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the pan with the water and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add both the mustards, cream,bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste, ensuring all is well blended. I prefer to use the back of a wooden spoon to blend sauces. Return to medium/low heat and simmer for a few minutes. Don't let the sauce overboil. Spoon on to a plate and place chicken pieces on top. Garnish with bay leaves that were in the sauce.

Berries with Mango Froth

Quinoa Salad

Time: 35 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 cup organic Quinoa
 1/2 cup each chopped sweet peppers - yellow, red, orange
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 scallion (spring onion) cut into strips for garnish
Sprig of fresh parsley for garnish


In a medium sized saucepan boil 1 1/2 cups water with the bouillon cube. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to medium/low and let simmer gently until all the water has absorbed. You will probably have to stir once or twice to ensure it does not stick to the bottom. Once cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. While quinoa is cooking, in a medium sized bowl add oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper and blend well. Add peppers and cilantro, then fold in the quinoa. Turn into a pretty serving bowl and garnish with spring onion and parsley. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Chorizzo Frittata with Baby Zucchini

Time: Approx. 45 mins
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
1 semi-dry chorizzo (I used Portuguese Chourico), sliced
5-6 baby zucchini with flowers on, washed & chopped into big pieces
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled & boiled then cut into chunks
2 shallots, diced
4 eggs beaten
1 tbsp olive oil plus 1 tsp to grease baking dish
Cherry tomatoes for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste


Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add chorizzo, cooked potatoes and zucchini and saute until well browned. Heat oven to 425o then grease a square or round baking dish with 1 tsp oil using a brush or a paper towel. Beat eggs and add salt & pepper. Turn the chorizzo and vegetable mixture into the greased baking dish and pour eggs over them ensuring they are well coated. Bake in oven for approx. 20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through. Garnish with slices of cherry tomatoes. Serve hot or cold in large or small slices. (Note: I decided to bake this frittata instead of pan fry it as it turns out less greasy and a lot more fluffy.)

Chilled Yellow Bean Soup with Saffron and Nutmeg

Time: 30 mins
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
1 lb yellow (wax) beans, tips trimmed and cut into pieces
1 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small onion, quartered
2 cups water
1 cup beef stock or if you don't have, dissolve 1 beef bouillon cube in hot water instead
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 cup light cream or milk
2 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper
2-3 tsp saffron for garnish


In a medium pot, boil beans and potato in water, vinegar and beef stock until very tender. Strain over another pot, keeping the liquid. In a food processor puree the vegetables until totally smoothe and no lumps. Add a little of the liquid and the yogurt. Blend well. Add the puree to the pot with the remaining liquid and stir well, adding the nutmeg and salt to taste. Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve garnished with sprinkles of Saffron and about 2 tbsp cream or milk.

Satay My Way

Time: 2 hrs
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 lb lean pork cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp sweet red curry powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, quartered
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 large plantain (firm not soft!) sliced


In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the lemon quarters. Place in refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour. Alternate meat and plantain on skewers and lather with the remaining yogurt marinade. BBQ on medium until all sides are browned and well cooked. (See BBQ cooking times chart). Remove from skewers and garnish with lemon, served here with Quinoa Pilaff. http://jumpintomykitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/quinoa-pilaff.html

Gazpacho

Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Time: 5 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 cup plain, firm yogurt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt to taste


Mix all ingredients and let sit for approx. 10 minutes. Voila !


Bon Appetit !

Skillet Veal

Time: 15 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1/2 lb ground lean veal
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste


In a medium skillet, saute onions with oil until quite browned. Add veal and saute until almost crispy. Season with oregano, red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Serve as is alongside a vegetable dish, or use as a stuffing for either tortillas, tacos or even in a hollowed vegetable.


Bon Appetit !

Ratatouille, Summer Version

Time: 30 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 each red pepper, green pepper cut into 1" chunks
3 shallots, coarsely chopped or one large Spanish onion
4 celery stalks cut into chunks
2 large ripe tomatoes diced, or, 10-12 cherry tomatoes halved
1 each yellow and green zucchini cut into 1" chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Hungarian Paprika
Salt & pepper to taste


In a large skillet saute peppers, shallots and celery with olive oil until almost tender. Add tomatoes, paprika and simmer until the tomatoes are almost dissolved. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Add-ons or substitutes: Eggplant, dried sausage slices, chunks of ham... Or, make the recipe with only peppers and more onions, keeping the tomatoes of course....Be creative ! 


I used this recipe last night to fill tortillas, then sprinkled them with grated parmesan cheese and melted them in the oven, topped with spicy yogurt. Alongside I served the Skillet Veal. 


Bon Appetit !





Balsamic Reduction

Time: 20 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


In a small saucepan, simmer balsamic vinegar on low heat until it has been reduced to half its liquid.


Remove from heat, add olive oil, salt & pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. 


Drizzle over fresh lettuce leaves garnished with walnuts and raisins. (Substitutes: Roasted pine nuts, craisins, tangerine pieces, green apple slices, slivers of parmesan cheese, it's endless !)

Grilled Garlic Pouches

I called them "pouches" because after a head of garlic is grilled the cloves shrink and look like they are in little pockets !


Time: 20 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
2 Garlic heads
1 tsp olive oil
Pinch of salt


Cut top off the garlic heads and drizzle with olive oil. Grill until well browned on a very hot BBQ. Sprinkle with salt and serve alongside your favorite dish.


Bon Appetit !

Baked Baby Zucchini and Cauliflower

Time: 35 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
6 baby zucchini with flowers on
1/2 cauliflower broken into large pieces, steamed until crisp
2 tbsp + 1 tsp salted butter
1/4 cup toasted plain breadcrumbs


Butter a shallow baking dish with 1 tsp butter. Make a slit into each baby zucchini and arrange in dish alternating with cauliflower. Spoon butter in small pieces over the top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 425o until the vegetables are tender and browned. (Approx. 25 mins.)


Bon Appetit !

Pork Tenderloin with Grainy Mustard Sauce

Time: 40 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin, membranes and fat removed, but into 4 equal lengths 
1/3 cup each: Condensed beef stock, water, porto (optional)
2 tbsp grainy Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
Parley for garnish


Cut tenderloin into 4 equal lengths and place in shallow baking dish. Mix all ingredients and spoon over loin ensuring all is well coated. Marinate for approximately 15 minutes (or longer for stronger flavor). Drain all the marinade into a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.


Turn BBQ to high, sear each pork loin on all sides and cook for another 5 minutes. I like my pork pink on the inside, but if you prefer yours well done, cook a little longer. Pour sauce onto a serving platter, add pork loins and cut thick slices. Serve hot or cold garnished with parsley.


Bon Appetit !

Cucumber Salad with Hungarian Paprika

Time: 15 minutes
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
1 whole seedless cucumber (or English) sliced extremely thin with a mandolin
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup cold water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt) (optional)
2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tsp ground pepper
4 tsp sour cream
Parsley for garnish


In a nice serving bowl, add sliced cucumbers and salt. Mix well with your hands to ensure all slices are coated in salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes then squeeze out excess fluid. Add sugar and mix again. Then add vinegar, garlic, water and mix. Garnish with Paprika, sour cream and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This salad is actually better served the next day.)


Bon Appetit !

Baked Radishes

Time: 1 hour
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
Approx. 35 red radishes in different shapes (I used the long ones as well as round ones) washed and trimmed
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
salt
2 shallots thickly sliced


Heat oven to 395o. Place radishes, garlic, shallots In a shallow baking dish & drizzle with butter and salt. Bake until tender and browned - approx. 45 minutes. They will get shriveled but are so tasty !


Bon Appetit !

Herbed Baby Potatos

Time: 25 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
Approx. 20 - 25 baby potatoes
1 box fresh baby mushrooms
3 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
chopped fresh herbs such as Thyme, Coriander, Basil
Salt
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar


In a medium pot, boil the potatoes in 3 cups water until tender. Strain. In a large saucepan heat olive oil but not till burning point, add potatoes & mushrooms. Saute until golden. Add seasoning, herbs and vinegar. Saute until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Serve immediately.


Bon Appetit !

Grilled Pork Loin Stuffed with Apricots and Peppercorn Cream

Time: 1 hr approx
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
1 pork loin roast (approx. 1.5 lbs), leaving fat on
8 dried apricots
Salt, fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp dried Thyme
1/2 cup 35% cooking cream
1/4 cup hot water with a beef bouillon cube dissolved in it
1 tbsp green or multi-colored canned peppercorns, or dried ones soaked in warm water to soften them up
1 pinch fresh parsley


Turn BBQ on to high, and turn oven to 400o. With a sharp long knife, pierce a hole through the middle of the pork roast and stuff it with the whole apricots. Smear the Thyme all over as well as salt and pepper. Sear all sides of roast on the BBQ, then turn it to roast in the oven. No need to add any fat to your pan as the fat from the roast will suffice. When well cooked, (see cooking guide) remove from oven and place roast on a plate. With the 1/4 water and bouillon, deglaze the roasting pan by pouring the water over the drippings and scraping the bottom. Turn all the liquid into a small saucepan, add cream peppercorns and salt & pepper to taste. Simmer slowly to form a smoothe sauce. (You may add Sherry or White Porto to the sauce to add a bit of punch!) Serve under slices of pork with your favorite vegetables and a pinch of fresh parsley.


Bon Appetit !

Crispy Chicken (Baked not Fried !)



Time: 35 - 45 minutes
Effort: Easy !!!


Ingredients
4 Chicken thighs, wings or legs - skin on*
Sea Salt (fine)
Canola or other neutral oil for brushing


Heat oven to 425o.
Line a roasting pan (with rack) large enough to hold chicken pieces without overlapping, with foil. Brush the rack with oil and place chicken pieces on it (Do not prick the skin !). Sprinkle generously with fine sea salt. 
Bake until golden and crispy on the outside and well cooked. (About 45 minutes) 





Bon Appetit !

Summer Vegetable Stir Fry

Time: 20 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
2 cups fresh cauliflower broken into small pieces
2 small zucchini cut into quarters
10 medium sized mushrooms, quarterd
1 bunch of Kale, coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
3-4 scallions, chopped
1 red pepper cut into thick strips
1/2 tsp Chinese allspice
3 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Sesame oil
1/3 cup water


In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute the scallions. Add cauliflower and kale, saute until almost tender. Add mushrooms and saute for another 2-3 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Vegetables should be tender but crisp. (You can use this easy recipe to stir fry any veggie in your fridge ! No need to go shopping - just improvise !) This is great by itself, served as a side dish or over rice noodles. Try adding some shrimp to it or some peanuts or walnuts - delicious !


Bon Appetit !

Oriental Dumplings with Peanut Sauce

Time: 1 hour (approx.)
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
10 pre-made wonton wrappers (round or square)
6 oz ground beef, pork or chicken ( you can use shrimps also, if you do, use about 10 medium sized, cut into small pieces)
4 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions or shallots
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
2 tbsp black & white roasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter
4-5 cups water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes


In a small bowl mix ground beef (or pork or chicken or shrimp) with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic, ginger, 1 tsp scallions so it is well blended. Take one won-ton wrapper (usually square) and with your fingers wet the edges with warm water. Place a teaspoon of the meat mixture in the middle and with both hands bring all the sides up, squishing it around the neck to make it look like a little package (there are many different ways to fold these little things: crescent shape, hugs, etc. if you look on uTube you'll find lots of demonstrations.)(I have included a link at the end of this recipe)  Place on a damp cloth. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers. (You can also cheat, and buy pre-made wontons to save time, but I prefer making my own when I can). Cover them with the damp cloth & prepare sauce.


In a medium sized bowl, add peanut butter, remaining soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic, scallions, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup water. Mix well - until it's creamy. Add approx. another 1/2 cup water so that the sauce is a bit runny because once you heat it up it will thicken quickly. Set aside. In a medium sized saucepan add 3 1/2 cups water (approx) and bring to a rolling boil. Quickly add dumplings and boil for no longer than 2-3 minutes. Remove and strain. Heat up sauce but don't let it get too thick - if it does, add more water. Add dumplings and serve immediately, garnish with sesame seeds and ground peanuts. (Note: I don't recommend making this dish in advance because every time you heat it up the sauce thickens and the dumplings get mushy).


Bon Appetit ! 


Video on how to wrap a wonton:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wUiwMOa-BI

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Time: 40 minutes or so
Effort: Medium


Ingredients
10 zucchini flowers, washed and split in half
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
4-5 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
6 strips bottled red peppers (in oil) (I make my own - recipe coming soon!) - chop only 4 of them
salt, pepper
Pinch of dried oregano
2 small zucchinis cut into 1/4 " lengthwise strips
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbs creme fraiche
2 tbsp toasted plain breadcrumbs


Heat oven to 400o. Grease a shallow baking dish lightly with some of the olive oil. Line the bottom with zucchini strips. In a small bowl, mix cheese, tomatoes, peppers, oregano. With a teaspoon, fill one side of each zucchini flower with cheese mixture, top with the other half of the flower, and repeat until each flower is "stuffed". Arrange them nicely over the zucchini strips. Decorate with the remaining peppers, drizzle with oil and creme fraiche. Salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for about 1/2 hour or until the top is golden brown.


Bon Appetit !

T-Bone Steaks with Tarragon Butter

Time: 15 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
2 t-bone steaks about 3/4 inch thick
2 tbs salted butter
2 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt, Fresh ground pepper


Melt butter and add tarragon & garlic. Refrigerate. Heat BBQ to high. Grill steaks to desired doneness. (See grilling chart). Salt & pepper to taste. Serve topped with 1 tbsp (more or less) of tarragon butter.


Bon Appetit !

Constructed Chicken Sandwiches

Time: 25 mins
Effort: Easy


Ingredients
4 chicken thighs, deskinned and deboned into large pieces
1 large red pepper cut into thick strips
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh basil leaves finely chopped
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
3-4 sundried tomatoes, minced
1/2 tsp sweet Paprika
4 mixed greens - Arugula, curly lettuce or whatever you like
4 slices of country bread (I used Olive bread as it's my favorite)


Place chicken pieces in a shallow dish with oil, basil and salt & pepper. Let sit while you prepare the mayonnaise and turn on BBQ grill. In a small bowl add mayonnaise, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and paprika, mix well and set aside. Grill chicken pieces and red peppers until crisp and well cooked. Lightly grill each piece of bread on each side. 


I made one closed sandwich and one open-faced, held together with Mexican toothpicks. To construct your sandwich, lather the inner sides of two pieces of grilled bread with the sun dried tomato mayonnaise, top with chicken, lettuce greens and then peppers. You can leave it open-faced or use two pieces of grilled bread. (Optional additions: Goat cheese; Bacon; Fresh Basil Pesto - get creative!) Yummy served with a green salad and herb vinnaigrette).


Bon Appetit !

Corn Salad

Time: 20 mins
Effort: 1 / Easy


Ingredients
3 cups cooked sweet corn kernels
2 Granny smith (green) apples, unpeeled, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste


In a large bowl add all ingredients and mix well. That's it ! 


Bon Appetit !

Grilled Pork Chops with Olive Bread

Time: 25 minutes
Effort: 1/ Easy


Ingredients
2 large pork chops about 3/4" thick
2 tbsp condensed beef stock
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp fresh or dried Thyme
1 tsp Honey
Coarse;y ground pepper
5 slices Olive bread
1 - 2 tbsp butter


Mix beef stock, wine, thyme and honey and pour over pork chops. Let marinate while you prepare your bread. You may marinate it all day if you like ! Butter each side of your bread slices and set aside. Light BBQ and grill chops until crispy on each side, basting with frequently with marinade. Garnish with coarsely ground pepper. (See grilling guide for desired doneness). At the last minute grill each side of the olive bread slices and serve alongside pork chops. 


Bon Appetit !

Easy Lobster Bisque with Porto and Red Pepper Mayonnaise

Time: Approx. 1 1/2 hrs
Effort: 4 / Medium


Ingredients
4 precooked lobster shells or whole lobsters
4 cups water
1 cup condensed chicken stock
4 medium sized carrotts, peeled cut into chunks
1 small onion or shallot
4 celery stalks cut into chunks
1 small can (5.5 oz) tomato paste
2-3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour or fast dissolving flour
1 tsp Fins Herbes
1/2 cup Tawny Port
1 whole red pepper, pureed
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
Salt & Pepper to taste


In my recipe I had saved the shells of 4 lobsters and used them for my stock, then later added the lobster roe and contents of their heads, however if you are buying lobsters specifically for this recipe, then shell the lobsters - saving the meat, roe and heads. Cut the tails into large pieces.


Place the lobster shells in a large pot with 4 cups water. Cover and simmer for approximately one hour. Take the shells out and set them aside. Add the celery, carrotts, onion, tomato paste, fins herbes and chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Puree the vegetables in a blender or food processor and return them to the stock. Add salt, pepper and butter. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Scour the lobster shells and remove any remaining meat along with the contents of the head (known as Tamale) as well as the roe which should be mashed and broken up. Set aside. Take your stock and strain it through a thin wire sieve over another pot. Then strain it again to remove any larger pieces. Add lobster pieces and simmer again for about 5 minutes. Add Porto, salt & pepper. In a small cup mix the flour with a little of the stock into a smooth, thin paste and gently add it to your stock, mixing constantly until the stock has thickened slightly. It can be served immediately or chilled. Serve with a tablespoon of red pepper mayonnaise.


Red Pepper Mayonnaise
Puree the red pepper in a blender or food processor, add mayonnaise, salt & pepper to taste.


Bon Appetit !

Grilled Baby Octopus Salad

I did not take this picture...

Time: 1 hour
Effort: 1 / Easy


Ingredients
About 10 baby octopus, cleaned washed and patted dry. 
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
Sea salt
Pepper
Cilantro and Parsley, finely chopped
1 red pepper finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 shallott finely chopped


Marinate cleaned octopus in olive oil for a few minutes while you prepare your vegetables, adding the lemon juice, salt and pepper and herbs. Light BBQ to high, drain octopus from oil, saving the oil, and grill untill all sides browned - a few minutes each - not too much or they will become rubbery ! Remove from grill and cut them into pieces. Add to vegetables and pour the left over olive oil over it. Mix and let stand until you are ready to serve. 

Salade Nicoise, Daniella's Way

Time: 15 mins
Effort: 1/ Easy


Ingredients
Serves 1 person
4 curly lettuce leaves, washed & cut into large pieces
2 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and cut
1 egg, hard boiled (5 mins) cut into 4 lengthwise pieces
1/2 red pepper cut into strips
6 green olives, whole
2 large black olives, sliced
1 tbsp capers
1 can packed white Tuna
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt, coarse ground pepper


Arrange lettuces on a large plate, place tuna in the middle and add the rest of the vegetables. Decorate with the eggs. Drizzle with oil, vinegar and lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note: For those who like Anchovies - decorate with 4-5 canned anchovies. This salad is delicious served with Olive or Cheese bread !


Bon Appetit !

Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Time: 1 hr, 35 mins
Effort: 1 / Easy


Ingredients
6 chicken thighs, deboned & deskinned cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped Cilantro or parsley (optional)
1 cup Greek style plain yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint (or dried)
Salt & Pepper to taste


Marinate chicken pieces in lemon juice, oil, salt & pepper and Cilantro (or parsley) for approximately one hour (or more if you want). Skewer the chicken pieces tightly. (I use bamboo skewers which I soak beforehand in warm water for about 10 minutes). Light BBQ or grill to medium high and grill chicken skewers until crisp on the outside. (See grilling chart for fowl - very important that it be well cooked !) While chicken is grilling (keep an eye on it and turn frequently) prepare yogurt dip: Add fresh mint to yogurt & mix. Serve with sauteed vegetables or a green salad. (As in the picture, I served it with the sauteed Asparagus and grilled sun-dried tomato focaccia).


Bon Appetit !

Baby Carrotts with Parsley Chiffonade

Time: 20 mins
Effort: 1 / Easy


Ingredients
10 -20 Baby carrots, washed but not peeled leaving heads on
2 cups water
1 tbsp butter
1.3 cup fresh curley parsley well washed
Salt to taste
1 tsp fine cane sugar
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar


In a medium size pot with steamer basket, add water and carrotts. Steam until tender but crisp. Remove from heat and drain out water, setting carrotts aside. Add butter and carrotts (to the same pot) and saute until golden, meanwhile chop parsley until very fine (Chiffonade). Add vinegar, sugar and salt to the carrotts and saute until some of the vinegar has evaporated. Mix in the parsley and serve immediately. Yummy !


Bon Appetit !