June 23, 2017

Roast beef and csa veggies (for dummies)

Got hours to spend poring over recipes and even more time to futz around the kitchen while nanny takes care of the kids and maid does your dishes and laundry? Yeah, me neither. So when I cook at home it’s all about KISS. Google that if ya don’t know it.

Here’s what you do for a nice roast beef and veggies dish. I like to do this on weekends when there is a few hours to cook before dinner. Actually work time is minimal. You just rub, season and get it into oven. Then play with kid or spouse till dinner time.

A Chef On A Diet

I have started a new diet and in order to keep myself accountable it is now a website.  A Chef On A Diet follows my journey of weight loss, diet exploration, recipes and tips on dining out.  My diet of choice is the 4Hr body slow carb diet by Tim Ferriss. Please join me and […]

Not your Bubby’s chopped liver

Some years later while eating at a friend’s restaurant I was introduced to his house special amuse bouche. He was famous for a small ramekin of pate with toast points which appointed every table upon being seated. The pate was delicious and he chuckled when I asked for this obviously expensive secret recipe. It was nothing more than chicken livers (discarded during prep) sauteed with copious amounts of butter and cheap brandy, some onions and yesterdays stale bread for toast points. That’s it. Well that and a chef’s talent for turning bits and pieces into a four star dish. I was hooked! Who knew butter went with everything? Well, the French did and my childhood friend of course but it was new to me. Life was getting better and you weren’t going to get struck dead.

Green market Tuscan vegetable soup

In soup pot, pour in oil to cover bottom of pan. Saute onions to soften. Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Crush tomatoes by hand and add to pot along with juices. Add all remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and let cook uncovered one to two hours. The longer the better. This dish is even better the next day. Adjust for seasonings.

Ladle soup into big bowls. Each bowl gets a drizzle of oil and dollop of basil oil (below).

Serve with grilled or toasted good bread slices, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.

Green market butternut squash soup

The fall harvest is crazy with colors and flavors from dark leafy greens to heavy yellow and orange squash. The green market had it all. I scooped up some butternut squash, carrots, apples and onions. Another farmer inspired me to purchase dark green Tuscan kale, zucchini, basil, celery and garlic. Some canned goods and other items from kitchen pantry rounded out the ideas brewing for the day’s soups.

Scenario: Sicily, it’s snowing, sexy date says yes to dinner at your place.

You frantically yet coolly survey the kitchen pantry. Take a beat, then slow down and think. It’s cold out so a hot dish but nothing too heavy so she, or you, don’t conk out by 9pm on the couch. Something with some spice and a bit exotic. In the pantry I see a tin of skinless, boneless sardines packed in olive oil and a box of pasta. In the fridge we have fennel, a lemon, parsley, garlic cloves and anchovies in oil. In Sicily this classic pasta with sardines dish would also have raisins and Pignoli nuts but for tonight we go with what we have.

Happy Rosh Hashanah

Tonight we spent the holiday at home just the three of us. I wanted my son to experience flavors from my childhood with grandparents long gone. My family comes from the regions of Austria, Hungary and Russia along the Polish border or Poland along the Russian border. It all depends on what era we were looking at. Suffice it to say, we are looking at classic Eastern European Jewish cooking. In the fall that always meant sweet and sour dishes. Both grandmothers were from the Russian Polish border region. They both made perfect yet slightly different versions of sweet and sour cabbage soup with flanken (short rib meat) and raisins. I could eat this stuff forever. It was just that good.

Birthday dinner for your teamster

What a woman, mother and wife really wants for her birthday, after a long day’s work, is to be treated like a teamster. It’s true. When my lovely wife arrives home she gets to put her feet up, hang out with our son and relax. When cooking for your teamster always remember the six main food groups. Meat, fat, starch, veg, sweet and booze. Don’t forget the birthday candles and don’t even think of asking her to clean up. It’s her big day after all. And yes, gifts are important too. I didn’t forget that either.

Most of the ingredients came from the cornucopia of food shopping that is 30th avenue in Astoria. The rest of the goodies came from the farmers market at Socrates sculpture park.

Chef demo at Socrates sculpture park farmers market


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Come on down to the Socrates Sculpture Park Greenmarket tomorrow, Saturday, from 11:30am to 1pm for a chef’s demo.  I will be preparing two delicious alternatives to your everyday salsa.  Each sauce will feature produce from the market.  Dan at Hudson Valley duck has promised some goodies for the tasting.  We love this guy. For […]

Blueberry mint ice cream and dark blueberry sauce


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Summertime and a new ice cream machine make for lots of fun and adventure. Just last week our family was in Connecticut and did some blueberry picking. Haven’t done that in years and man was it fun. The blueberries were sweet perfection, my son showed us the proper picking technique and some raw cream was gifted to us by some friendly neighbors. Looks like it’s time for ice cream!

The purest strawberry ice cream


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What happens when fresh strawberries hit the farmer’s market and an evil friend offers this lactose-intolerant chef raw cream and her Cuisinart ice cream maker? Fresh strawberry ice cream that even lactose-intolerant foodies can eat, that’s what.

“No Cook” Summer Menu


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Today’s post and video was inspired by a fantastic Spanish dinner we had courtesy of some new friends in Brooklyn Heights. See my take on it!

No Cook recipe: The Creamsicle Cup


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Today’s no-cook item is a new take on a childhood classic: the Creamsicle! Great for adults and kids and made with a whopping two ingredients. Check it out!

Chef on a diet: Peruvian green sauce


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Dieting is tough stuff. You want to eat good tasty foods but those calories and WW points get in the way. Here’s the recipe for one of my favorite recipes that’s tasty and diet-safe: a Peruvian green sauce.

Chef on a diet: Caribbean stew with shrimp


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Caribbean stew with shrimp It’s a cold and rainy day here in New York City.  My diet is hobbling along with no end in sight.  What I really want right now is something special, something not New York, something that reminds me of warmer times. Just last month I was with my family in St. […]