Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guest Post Spotlight: Broccoli Rabe with Beans & Sausage

Today I am stoked to present the second member of our team, Joan from Foodalogue.  I am telling you between Joan, Jessica and myself; we are gonna make morel mushrooms look good!

I was fortunate enough to meet Joan recently.  She's classy, engaging and truly knowledgeable about food.  This is clearly evident in one of her recent offerings..



Her photography is second to none.  If you appreciate off the charts good photography then this is certainly the site for you.  Joan loves to travel and shares all of her interesting excursions.

All in all, Foodalogue is one of the best and well-rounded food blogs I have encountered.

Enjoy...

Broccoli Rabe with Beans & Sausage



Guest posting is a natural phase of food blogging because that's what the community is all about ... sharing.

It's an honor to be asked to imprint your work on someone's blog because it's their way of saying "I like what you do and I'd like to introduce my readers to you." By accepting the offer, it's your way of saying "ditto, right back at ya".

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Olive Oil Poached Barramundi with Insalata Caprese & Balsamic Reduction

Here's a simple Sunday lunch that was a big hit at the crib this weekend...


Barramundi is a wonderfully sustainable fish.  Farm raised in the United States and Australia in fully recirculating systems.  The flesh of the fish is thick and meaty.  I was able to purchase some through my business, however U.S. farm raised Barramundi is readily available on the net.  Find a reputable supplier and have at it.

I decided to use a two-step procedure to cook the fish.  Here's my method...

  • Preheat oven to 190 F.
  • Remove the fish from the fridge.
  • Lightly season with sea salt and allow to sit on a rack to come to room temp.
  • In a rectangular baking dish, add enough olive oil to completely cover the pieces of fish (without actually adding the fish at this point), 4 springs thyme, 2 bay leafs, and a few black peppercorns.
  • Transfer dish to oven for 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld with the oil.
  • Remove dish from oven.
  • Add the pieces of fish.
  • Poach fish for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the fish from the oven to a wire rack.  Allow excess oil to run off.
  • Heat equal parts clarified butter and blended oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • QUICKLY SEAR THE SKINNED SIDE OF THE FISH.
This cooking method produces textural contrast...
  • Tender moist interior.
  • Crusty exterior.
Best of both worlds.

I served the fish with a simple salad of diced plum tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil & a balsamic reduction.

NOTE: When reducing anything, it's better to go low and slow.  Take your time, be patient, reducing at a low temperature takes time but you'll be rewarded with the final product.  Try and reduce something faster at a high temp and you run the risk of burning it.  

Trust me, it happens much faster than you think and once it burns, it's fucked!

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Post Spotlight: Burrata Salad

Here's my teammate Jessica from Bacon and Souffle.  I am happy to report that we are deep into creative sessions for our Makeover event.  Our team will be doing it up big in late May.  Do not miss it!

Jessica recently shared with us a flavorful, balanced and bold Mustard Seed Pork Chops Dish.



Again, I am fortunate to be working with Jessica.  I have long been an admirer of her cooking style.  She's a smart, fun & creative cook.  Finally, she loves pork, a big plus in my book.

Make sure you stop by Bacon and Souffle.  Here are some reasons why...

  • Fantastic varied range of cuisines
  • Top notch photography
  • Well written
  • Clear, bright, easy to read blog layout.

Enjoy...


Hello, readers of Lazaro Cooks! I'm so happy to be guest posting here again. This time I am even more thrilled because as Laz mentioned in a previous post, we are on the same team for our May 5 Star Makeover! It is going to be mind blowing - just to build some anticipation without giving anything away. Every team is going to be amazing and I am excited to be planning and sharing ideas with a creative mastermind like Lazaro. Taste and inspiration. The two most important things to me when it comes to cooking. Be prepared as we share with you our "menus" in May!
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you one of the best salads I've made. A salad that has sweet cantaloupe with tossed arugula, sliced prosciutto, and fresh burrata. I love the freshness and flavors of this salad. It is the perfect Spring/Summer dish. Enjoy!
Burrata Salad
Ingredients
  • For candied pecans (1 cup sugar, 1 cup pecans).
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp EVOO, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 small sweet cantaloupe
  • 10 cups of baby arugula
  • 4.5 tsp champagne vinaigrette
  • 1/2lb thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 lb fresh burrata
  • 1.5 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
  •  fleur de sel
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied pecans
  • 3 tsp vincotto
  • 3 tsp of chive oil
Recipe
  1. Heat oven to 250F. Combine sugar with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pecans and simmer on low until tender (15 minutes). Strain pecans and spread them in a single layer on parchment paper. Toast until crisp, about 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk vinegar and 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and sugar. Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside.
  3. Halve and seed cantaloupe. Cut cantaloupe into wedges then slice cantaloupe. Arrange them among 6 plates.
  4. Dress arugula with 4 tsp of vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Toss lightly and arrange them among salad plates.
  5. Divide prosciutto among plates and then top prosciutto with fresh burrata. Drizzle 1/4 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tsp of olive oil among each of the 6 plates. Top each salad with a pinch of sea salt. Scatter candied pecans over the salads and drizzle each with 1/2 tsp of vincotto and chive oil.


That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Berkshire Pork Chops with Mozzarella & Yukon Gold Puree

Before we get to this dish...


I have an exciting announcement.  During the months of April/May we have a two month extravaganza for the 5 Star Makeover Event.

Without giving up too much info, what's gonna happen is we broke the group up into teams of 3 for a collaborative project.

Here I will introduce the two creative cooks I have the pleasure of working with.  You'll see them both in the coming weeks here on LC.  Both blogs have many qualities in common I look for in blogs I enjoy reading

  • Good food.
  • Amazing photography
  • Interesting stories
  • Wonderful clean blog layouts that are easy to read

Joan from FOODalogue is a classy and engaging lady from South Florida whom I recently had the pleasure of meeting during a fantastic lunch here in Miami.


Jessica from Bacon and Souffle  is a firecracker.  She's smart, creative and fearless in the kitchen.  Here's some cheesy pork goodness that I am in love with...



Communication and creative sessions with these two amazing ladies has been fantastic.  I can promise that our group's project is going to be pretty fantastic.

Berkshire Pork Chops with Mozzarella & Yukon Gold Puree


About this course...
  • Berkshire pork is expensive but worth every cent.  The best pork money can buy.
  • Use a high-quality mozzarella and be rewarded in the final product.
  • Start the pork chop on very hot pan just to get some good browning on both sides.
  • DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  • Finish under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese
  • If you want my method of making silky smooth potato puree Click Aqui.
  • Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh thyme.
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...peace!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Deconstructed Ravioli with Mahi Balls, Melon Relish, Crispy Prosciutto, and Mint Cream

The more it changes, the more it stays the same.  Balance has been restored to the Force!

Having my dear friend Natasha from 5 Star Foodie back on LC makes me happy.

Natasha, my co-host for our 5 Star Makeover Crew, is one of the best cooks on the net.  She's a creative, fearless and inventive cook.  Her flavor profiles and course presentations never cease to inspire.  Natasha also has a lovely little daughter, 5 Star Foodie Jr, who's a future star in the food world.

A few weeks ago Natasha and I were talking about our love for the sea creature called Mahi Mahi.  From those chats our long overdue next collaboration took shape.

Stop by 5 Star Foodie Culinary Adventures for my Mahi Mahi dish.

Sit back and enjoy the culinary acumen to rise up another level for at least one day on LC.  Don't get used to it.

Enjoy...
***
It has been quite a while since I have been on LC and it is a pleasure to be here again! My friendship with Lazaro has been the best part of blogging for me. Our collaboration posts are always so much fun and inspire me to really focus on what's important for us, food bloggers, and that is to create. I was very excited to work with today's featured ingredient, Mahi Mahi, a delicious fish common in Pacific waters with a Hawaiian name that means "very strong".

The very first time I actually tried Mahi Mahi was in an Italian restaurant, and although I don't remember the way it was prepared then, I decided on making my Mahi dish in the Italian style. I made an open-faced ravioli, circles of handmade delicate egg pasta prepared with the special "00" flour.



The ravioli circles were topped with a melon relish, composed of honeydew melon, cantaloupe, fresh red bell pepper, and green onions. The relish was a very refreshing component bringing a little bit of sweetness and a lot of bright flavors to the dish.



The star part of the dish was the mini Mahi balls, the size the ravioli filling would have been, placed in the center of the melon relish. To make the Mahi balls, I first sauteed the onions and garlic, then put those along with Mahi filets through the grinder. The ground Mahi Mahi mixture was then combined with egg, breadcrumbs, and seasoned with salt and Grains of Paradise. The Mahi balls were tender and had a wonderfully fragrant natural salty flavor.



The crispy fried prosciutto crumbles added a very nice crunchy texture to the dish and went just perfectly with both the melon relish and Mahi balls.



A final finishing touch for the dish was a creamy mint sauce.



This was a very successful dish, with all of the components coming together beautifully.