Goat Cheese, Concord Grape and Fig Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

 

blog grape salad

Goat Cheese, Concord Grape and Fig Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 6 ounces butter lettuce, lightly torn in pieces
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 fresh black mission figs, cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup seedless black grapes, preferably concord
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions
To make dressing combine olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and mustard all  in a glass jar and shake vigorously. Keep to the side until ready to use. Shake again before pouring onto salad.
To make salad place lettuce, grapes and figs in a bowl and add 1/2 the dressing and gently toss. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle salad with the goat cheese and walnuts. Drizzle extra dressing on top of the salad and serve.

Broccoli Rabe Pesto with Grilled Shrimp and Bread

This dish highlights the bold flavor of broccoli rabe with it’s nutty and distinctive bitter taste, that is much loved in southern italian cooking. I love broccoli rabe not only for the taste , but also that it’s packed with loads of vitamin C and A as well as potassium, while being low in calories. So this delicious and light dish features an easy pesto , grilled shrimp and bread kicked up with some red chili flakes for a little heat. It’s perfect light, delicious and vibrant colored meal!

From by the bay wishing you a bold broccoli rabe  food memories!

Maryann

 

blog grilled shrimp

Broccoli Rabe Pesto with Grilled Shrimp and Bread

Serves 4 

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough lower stems removed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup slice almonds nuts, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • fine grey sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • High-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing (optional)

Directions

In a resealable plastic bag add shrimp, 1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Let shrimp marinade in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Set up a bowl of well-salted ice water. Cook the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes and then immediately plunge in the salted ice water. This will prevent the broccoli rabe from being overcooked and will set the lovely green color.

Drain the broccoli rabe and squeeze out any excess water. Pull out about 1/2 cup of the broccoli rabe, especially the florets and set aside. Place the remaining broccoli rabe  ( approximately 1 cup) in the bowl of a food processor and puree until it is a coarse paste. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, almonds, lemon zest, lemon juice and parmigiano and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature.

In a small bowl add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic and red chili flakes and mix. Cut the ciabatta bread length-wise in half and brush the inside with the olive oil mixture.

Prepare grill . Remove shrimp from marinade and cook until the shrimp turns pink, about 1 1/2 minute on each side depending on the heat of the grill. Remove shrimp and place bread on the grill , cut side with olive oil past down and grill until toasted brown. Remove from grill.

To serve dish add shrimp , cover with broccoli rabe pesto and cut bread into slices arranging around the shrimp and pesto. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.

 

Note: This could also be make on stove top in a grill pan. Heat a tablespoon of  olive oil to cook shrimp on both sides until pink and then grill bread face down in pan until toasted.

 

Tip: When buying broccoli rabe look for bright green and crisp leaves. Never buy with any yellow leaves.

Moroccan Marinated Lamb Chops

The key ingredient to this marinade is the moroccan spice mixture of ras-el-hanout , a exotic mixture that might include up to 30 ingredients such as  rosebuds, cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, turmeric, coriander, cloves, lavender, ginger, pepper and mace. Obviously, you would want to buy this already prepared. When I first started to cook with this moroccan spice it was hard to find ras-el-hanout but today it’s in many supermarkets and of course readily available on-line.  You can double this marinade and use on leg of lamb as well.  The results are a very flavorful lamb with a minimum of effort.  Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you exotic moroccan food memories!

Maryann

blog lambchops

 

Moroccan Marinaded Lamb Chops

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 lamb chops, bone in

for moroccan marinade

  • 1 tablespoon ras-el-hanout
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro coarsely chopped

Directions

To make marinade place all marinade ingredients into a food processor and pulse into a paste. Pour marinade into a resealable plastic bag along with lamb chops. Rub paste into chops and keep refrigerated for at least 4 hours .  Bring to room temperature before cooking on grill or in grill pan using a little olive oil a few minutes on each side until done ( depending on thickness and your preference of color).

Serve with greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce – see recipe for tzatziki sauce

http://blog.entertainingbythebay.com/2014/05/greek-mezes/

 

 

 

Food Beat: Kenney Dale Johnson Drummer for Chris Isaak Discovering Local Cuisine on the Road

Sharing an interview from awhile back with Kenney Dale Johnson the fantastic drummer for Chris Issak – thought I would share again since they are currently on tour and not to be missed!

blog beyond the sun

 

Food Beat: Kenney Dale Johnson Drummer for Chris Isaak Discovering Local Cuisine on the Road

By Maryann Kraker

There has been a lot of chatter over the past few months about food as the new rock and roll and chefs as the new rock stars. While I’m not sure we’ll ever see chefs inducted into a food hall of fame, it seems to me that rock stars and musicians are certainly in a position to be experts on food based on their rigorous touring schedules. They have a unique opportunity to explore foods throughout the world.

I had the chance to catch up with Kenney Dale Johnson the other day about food on the road. Kenney is the gifted drummer for Chris Isaak providing a great beat along with backup vocals. He has been playing with Chris for almost 30 years. Over a span that long, we are talking a lot of gigs and travel.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to sample fare from all over the world, it’s pretty cool. I’m very adventurous.”

I asked Kenney if he has a favorite meal discovered while touring and as if to prove his adventurousness, he said, “so many I couldn’t possibly name only one. We go to Australia, Europe, all over the United States, not just the big cities and there is good food everywhere.” Kenney recalled a favorite meal in Paris “we’ve been there a million times,” where he enjoyed trying local specialties such as the sweetbreads and chittlin sausage.

When it comes to food in the United States, Kenney’s favorite is Tex-Mex. In fact, when I asked Kenney what food he misses while on tour, he said, “naturally it’s Mexican food. It’s my favorite. It’s really hard to get good Mexican food east of the Mississippi.” I asked if Kenney ever tried Mexican food in New York and his response was “I wouldn’t be searching in NY.” It might not be Mexican but Kenney does enjoy dining in New York. Two of his favorite restaurants are “Tratorria Dell Arte and Virgil’s Real Barbecue. “

Now barbecue is something Kenney really knows about being from Texas. Kenney’s favorite barbecue is “brisket and ribs.” Kenney spoke about some great barbecue he had on the road such as, “Carolina’s Mustard-based Barbecue Sauce and Blueberry-based Barbecue Sauce in Nashville.” When Kenney is home grilling he is making ribs , mostly wet, although Kenney found a great dry rub that he uses from “Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs in Memphis.” Kenney “bought a bunch of the rub and uses it to make chicken. That place is a kick in the pants if you ever get to go there.”

Kenney got to recently spend some time in Memphis while recording “Beyond The Sun,” the album recently released by Chris Isaak and the band, as well as their new PBS special “Chris Isaak Live! Beyond The Sun”. The album is a collection of Sun cover songs from the early days of Sun Studio including Elvis Presley’s ”Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire,” Carl Perkins’ “Dixie Fried” and Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” just to name a few of the 36 songs on the album.

Our conversation moved on to some food trivia questions, for example is there a sandwich named Kenney Dale Johnson, if not what would it be? He confessed he had never really given it any thought, but he does know where he can find his favorite sandwiches. He likes Art’s Delicatessen on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, CA. “It’s pretty awesome, where every sandwich is a work of art.”

When I asked if Kenney’s photo was hanging in any restaurants, Kenney’s response , “ Now it’s funny when we were making a TV show up in Vancouver there is this really cool place called “The Crab Shack”. I put my picture up there. Michael Buble` is from there and he would see the picture and go what the…. What is this doing in here?”

Well, if you see Kenney’s picture hanging up in a restaurant, you know you are in the right place, this is a guy who really knows good food when he finds it.

 

Here’s a list of the restaurants Kenney’s mentioned:

Trattoria Dell’Arte 900 Seventh Avenue New York, New York

Virgil’s Real Barbecue 152 West 44th Street New York, New York

Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs 52 S 2nd Street Memphis Tennessee

Art’s Delicatessen Restaurant 12224 Ventura Blvd. Studio City , California

The Crab Shack 2464 Dollarton Highway North Vancouver British Columbia

 

 

Food Musings with Singer/Songwriter Jeff LeBlanc From Simon’s Beach Bakery to Joe’s Pub

jeff le blanc new

Photo Courtesy of Jeff LeBlanc

Food Musings with Singer/songwriter Jeff LeBlanc From Simon’s Beach Bakery to Joe’s Pub

By Maryann Kraker

Jeff LeBlanc’s first single Until We Get It Right quickly entered into the rotation of Sirius/XM’s The Coffee House and lead to his nomination as Sirius/XM “Singer/Songwriter Discovery of the Year”. His latest record, Worth Holding On To, released in August 2011 brought him to national attention, when it hit #3 on the iTunes top 200 Singer/Songwriter Chart. Jeff recently played to a sold out audience at the legendary Joe’s Pub in New York City and has toured with artists such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Shelby Lynne, Matt Nathanson, Chris Isaak and David Archuleta. Jeff recently released his new album My Own Way There  which was recorded in Nashville and debuted in the Top 10 of the ITunes singer/songwriter chart.

MK: I understand you would sing near Simon’s Beach Bakery out in Westhampton. Do you have some favorite treats from the bake shop?

JLB: That place is legendary. It’s actually where I got my start. The crowds were so big in the summertime and they’re open all night. I could literally order anything there… I usually go with the mini-desserts; mini-cheesecakes, cream puffs and mousse pies. However the cream croissant is my new favorite.

MK: I also read that you waited on tables during the day while performing at night when you were starting out.  Any lessons learned from waiting tables that helps you today with the music industry?

JLB: I did. Waiting tables teaches you patience. You also have to have to build a good rapport with your customers. When you’re on stage, the audiences are your customers as well. It also made me crave being on stage that much more.

MK: Do you have any food rituals on the day of a performance?

JLB: I really stay away from heavy and spicy food before a show, you have to feel your best on stage. Drinking water all day is major for me.

MK: What kind of places do you like to eat while on tour?

JLB: Depending on where I am, I try to go with something that’s popular in the local community. For example, every time I’m in the Boston area, you’ll probably find me at the Friendly Toast. but you have to try and find them.

MK: I understand you recorded two albums in Nashville?  They have a great food scene there. Where did you find yourself eating? Any favorites from your time spent there?

JLB: The food scene in Nashville is incredible. Since I’m usually there for a few weeks at a time, I try to experience as many places as I can. Of course the classic “meat and threes” and BBQ joints are what Nashville is known for and they never disappoint. However, I really like the Calypso Café, which is Caribbean themed.

MK: Any thoughts on why so many musicians are expressing themselves not only through the music but with food?

JLB: I’m not really sure. So many people always say that music and food are so closely connected. I think people are really hungry (pun intended) for creativity with their food these days. The expansion of social media has also brought fans closer to their favorite artists interests than ever before. A lot of venues are also bridging the connection with music and food as well. For example, some of my favorite places to play are Joe’s Pub in NYC and World Café Live in Philadelphia. They also have amazing menus.

Rose Sangarita with Mixed Fruit ( Rose Sangria with Tequila)

As we appropriate Labor Day weekend, I decided for my official Labor Day cocktail to combine two of my favorite drinks, rose and a margarita – and the combination of these two drinks is a Rose Sangarita, adding some of the fresh seasonal fruit so abundant right now to enhance the flavor. i like to use berries combined with some stone fruit so bring in the blackberries, raspberries and blueberries along with the peaches, apricots and plums to make your favorite sangarita!

From by the bay, wishing you sangarita food memories!! Maryann

blog sangrarita

Rose Sangarita with Mixed Fruits ( Rose Sangria with Tequila)

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Rose ( 750 ml)
  • 2 ounces gold tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 2 ounces fresh berries ( raspberries, blackberries or blueberries)
  • 2 ounces fresh pitted and chopped stone fruit ( peaches, plums or apricots)

Directions

Put all the ingredients into a carafe. Mix well and refrigerate for minimum 3 hours and up to 1 day. Serve cold.

Mixed String Bean Salad

 

Here is a perfect summer side dish using all the wonderful colored string beans you can find in markets this time of year. The special ingredient that makes this salad so delicious is the peppery taste and earthy aroma of cumin. It lends an exotic note to a simple dish.

From by the bay, wishing you exotic food memories!

Maryann

 

blog string bean salad 2

 

Mixed String Bean Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mixed string beans
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. When cool drain string beans and place in a large bowl. Prepare dressing by whisking the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing over string beans and mix well.  Serve at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

Citrus Pistachio Pound Cake from The Tasting Room

blog pist cake

 

Citrus Pistachio Pound Cake
Recipe published in Bon Appetit 2012 from The Tasting Room in Houston Texas

Ingredients
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided

Directions
Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

A classic Greek salad combination is watermelon with feta., it’s one of those perfect food pairings- sweet and juicy watermelon paired with creamy and salty feta cheese. This recipe gives this classic a new twist by grilling the watermelon. The natural sugars in the watermelon caramelizes when grilled, heightening the sweetness of the fruit. It’s and easy salad to make and perfect summer food fare. Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you sweet and salty food memories!

Maryann

 

blog grilled watermelon salad

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 limes
  • 4 watermelon slices cut inch thick (sweet and ripe)
  • 8 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl adding the juice of two limes. This will soften the onion and making it more transparent and pink.
Slice the the watermelon into 1 inch slices including the rind. Cut into triangle shapes. Heat grill and brush both sides of each watermelon slice using 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on grill for about 3 minutes per side, until  charred.  To assemble the salad place watermelon on platter. Crumble feta cheese over the watermelon. Toss over the salad the parsley and mint. Sprinkle the red onion over the salad along with lime juice. Drizzle remain olive oil and add pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

blog grilled watermelon

Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

 Trying to make the most of this season’s fresh corn, lead me down the path of making corn into a dessert. Summer’s sweet corn makes a wonderful ice cream especially paired with another summer favorite blueberries.  I use both the cut kernels and the cobs with milk, sugar and cream to create this delicious creamy ice cream, mixed and topped with blueberry compote. When you taste the ice cream, it taste familiar and sweet. The taste of corn is subtle and rich. It’s a perfect summer treat!

 From by the bay,wishing you summer sweet corn memories!

Maryann

blog sweet corn ice cream

Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh young corn, shucked
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 cup whole fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

Cut kernels off each ear of corn and place into a large saucepan. Break cobs into pieces and also add to pan. Add to the pan the milk, cream , 3/4 cup sugar and xanthan gum. Place on medium heat , bring mixture to a low boil for 5 to 10 minutes until mixture is thicken slightly and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, remove cobs. Using an immersion blender, puree kernels. ( You can also use a blender to liquidfy but the immersion blender is quickest and easier clean up). Let corn mixture infuse for about an hour and then pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. When straining make sure you are using the back of a spoon to push the liquid through. Also scrap the liquid from the bottom of the strainer in the bowl. Place bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours. In the meantime, to a small sauce pan add blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan . Place on medium heat until the blueberries start to pop and mixture thickens. Set aside to cool. Make the sweet corn mixer in an ice cream maker according to directions. Right when the ice cream is ready slowly pour the blueberry sauce into the ice cream to swirl one or two times. Pour into a freezer safe container and store in freezer until ready to serve.