Growing up if you asked me my favorite food , there was only one answer: Shrimp – lots of it fried. i considered myself a fried shrimp connoisseur in those days. Although, i have really expanded my food horizons, shrimp is still one of my favorite foods and I am always looking for new ways to prepare them. I first tried Harissa, a spicy paste, on a buying trip to Paris and I have enjoyed experimenting with it as an ingredient ever since. You can find Harissa as a paste in either a tube or can from food specialty stores. It is from North Africa and it is made primarily of chili peppers and garlic along with cumin and coriander. It’s a great quick way to add heat to a dish. My favorite use is in this shrimp dish. The Harissa mayonnaise is also a great complement to potato fries, with grilled meats or to use on sandwiches.
From by the bay wishing you spicy food memories!
Grilled Spicy Shrimp with Harissa Mayonnaise
1 lb Raw large shrimp, cleaned with tails
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons Harissa Paste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Place all ingredients into a sealed plastic bag and marinate for at least 2 hours. Soak wooden skewers in water for one hour. Heat outdoor grill or grill pan, skewer shrimp and grill shrimp approximately 3-4 minutes per side until pink. Serve with Harissa mayonnaise.
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Harissa Paste
1 tablespoon Ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a bow, and mix well. Serve with grilled shrimp
Let leg of lamb stand at room temperature for one hour. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Rub lamb with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 pepper. Place into a heavy roasting pan. Meantime, rub head of garlic with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 1 hour until very soft. Let cool. Cut off the head of the garlic and squeeze cloves into a bowl. Use a fork to mash garlic into a paste. Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, parsley, thyme leaves and remaining salt and pepper. Mix well and place to the side. Place lamb into the oven and roast for approximately 1 1/4 hours. Rotate pan and roast another 30 minutes. Remove lamb and slather it with the roasted garlic and herb mixture and place back into the oven to roast another hour or until thermometer inserted at the thickest part reads 160 degrees for medium and 170 degrees for well done. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Transfer lamb to cuttting board and cover with foil. Pour off fat from the roasting pan and place on medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir with wood spoon. Pour in chardonnay to deglaze pan, scraping up the brown bits, reduce liquid to 1/2 and then add the chicken broth, stirring to combine. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the lamb and serve with the gravy to the side.
I officially have Spring Fever! Outdoors the days are becoming longer and lighter, the weather is warmer, my spring bulbs are all sprouting and the pansies are planted . Indoors, I have tucked away my winter pillows and throws and have brought out my brighter ones in happy colors and lighter weight fabric, I have filled a bowl with bright citrus fruit and have shopped the product aisle looking for all those wonderful spring vegetables that start to appear this time of year. My latest trip “down the aisle” turned up the following: fresh english peas, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, red baby pearl onions and asparagus. I used all of these vegetables in this wonderful veal blanquette recipe. It’s become one of my spring traditions to make veal blanquette. Veal blanquette is a french dish in which the veal meat is stewed in broth , the veal and the butter is never browned. It’s a perfect dish to welcome Spring!
Place a large pot on a medium heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes , add pancetta and saute until crisp, then add garlic and onion, saute until soft, about 5 minutes add chili flakes and pepper and saute another minute. Add to the pot the tomatoes with liquid breaking the tomatoes with the back of your spoon, next add the clam juice and thyme. Bring to a boil add the clams and cover. Cook until clams are open, discard any unopened clams. Serve immediately with bread or pasta.
At this time of year, I find joy in putting some great ingredients together and letting them braise slowly in the oven. This is inspired by a dish I had once in a London restaurant. When I returned from my trip, I worked on recreating my meal. Over the years I have tweaked the ingredients. I believe this version is actually better than the original! I attribute it to the final ingredient added in this last version the juniper berries, it adds a nice herbal under note to the favor of the stew. On the next cold wintry night fill your kitchen with the warmth and fragrance of this delicate stew.
From by the bay wishing you warm food memories!
Red Wine Braised Pork and Chestnut Stew
2 ½ lbs cubed pork loin
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bottle red wine
2 bay leaves
4 juniper berries
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
15 oz whole roasted chestnuts from jar
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour together flour with salt and pepper in bowl. Add pork cubes and coat well. In dutch oven heat both oil and butter, sauté pork cubes until browned on all sides. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Next add the red wine, bay leaves, juniper berries, sage and chestnuts. Bring to a boil, then turn off flame. Cover and place into the oven for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with noodles, rice or steamed spinach.
Cranberry Glazed Ham
Serves 12 Dinner
Serves 18 Buffet
1 6-7 lbs fully cooked spiral-cut bone in half smoked ham
4 oz cranberry jelly
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup cranberry juice
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
Preheat over to 350F. Place ham in an aluminum foil lined baking pan. In a bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk together, Brush on to the ham and between the slices. Bake for one hour, until the ham is fully heated. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I think people fall into one of two categories at Thanksgiving – those who love leftovers and those who hate them. I fall into the love category. Although Thanksgiving lends to alot of food in the house, I love the challenge of trying to make something new out of what is left. Many times I enjoy just reheating dinner from Thursday, but it’s more fun to fiddle around with the ingredients so that it becomes a dish you would just love to eat at any time of the year. The first recipe is my take on a post thanksgiving day sandwich. I use a nice sliced brioche bread and make a cranberry mayonnaise using leftover cranberry sauce. It’s layered up with turkey, pear slices, brie and proscuitto. The brie and proscuitto are leftover from my Thanksgiving cheese platter that I serve accompanied by fruit – including of course some pears. The second dish is Hunter Stew with turkey. This is a french stew that typically uses chicken. Instead, I made a stew of mushrooms using some of the leftover turkey gravy along with chicken stock and then add the cooked turkey at the end. You’ll love this dish. If you don’t have gravy leftover just add another cup of chicken stock along with 1/2 cup of white wine and increase the amount of flour by another two tablespoons. If you know any leftover haters, these recipes could convert them!
From by the bay wishing you the happiest thanksgiving and fond food memories!
2 slices turkey
2 thin slices pear
Makes 4 sandwiches
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
Mix both ingreidents well.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
12 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chardonnay herb gravy ( or whatever turkey gravy you have leftover)
1 bay leave
2 springs thyme
4 cups cooked turkey cubed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Thanksgiving has always been a very special holiday in my family. Our celebrations, always wonderful, still left my sisters and I yearning for the day we could go into Manhattan to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. When my niece was just 4 years old, we decided this was the year to start going to the parade and that I should prepare the Thanksgiving meal in my city apartment. I was frightened at the thought of cooking this meal. So, I decided to buy a semi prepared meal from a great caterer. The turkey still needed to be cooked in the oven. Unfortunately, I didn’t really think the logistics through. The caterer was in midtown Manhattan and my apartment was in Queens. The caterer was not delivering , it was pick up only. I did not think about the boxes or how big they might be, or what if there was bad weather, or how much space I might need to actually need to cook or heat up the entire meal. So when Thanksgiving morning arrived, it was snowing- hard. In fact, I think it was the most snow I had ever seen for Thanksgiving. My family was coming into Queens from Long Island, we quickly ditched our plan to see the Thanksgiving Day parade. Now we just hoped that the roads would be clear later in the day to travel. I went to the caterer with a friend ( at least I had the presence of mind to not go to the caterer alone) to pick up the meal. It was three enormous cartons of food. We somehow got the boxes out onto the street slipping and sliding in the snow trying to hail a cab. If you are not from New York, let me share with you that cab drivers are not very happy with a fare to Queens, especially in the snow. Finally, I was able to plea with a driver to take me and the boxes to Queens. Naively, I thought the worse part of my day was over. It was just beginning. The directions to complete the meal were long and needed a much bigger kitchen than my little narrow gallery kitchen. I did, finally, manage to complete the meal but not all at the same time. The final vote from the family was the meal was ok, but I could make a much better one on my own. Lesson learned. I have been making the Thanksgiving meal ever since, whether it was in my Manhattan apartment or by the bay. Either way, I want to share my easy recipes for making a successful Thanksgiving meal – starting with my roasted honey herb turkey, always tender because it’s brined the night before! This turkey has big fresh and bright flavor from the lemons and herbs. It’s simple to prepare and delicious and moist. Give it a try!
From by the bay, wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving and fond food memories!
Check in for more Thanksgiving blogs on gravy, side dishes, desserts and leftovers!
Honey Herb Roasted Turkey
1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic
16 cups cold water , or more to cover turkey
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup fine sea salt
1 cup fine granulated sugar
3 lemons , quartered
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 springs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
1 cup honey
2 onions , peeled and quartered
3 sprigs sage leaves
To roast turkey
1 lemon, quartered
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup honey
Prepare brine by combining water, sea salt, honey, sugar, onions, rosemary, thyme, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cut 2 lemons into wedges, squeezing juice of lemons into the brine along with the wedges and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base. Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night. The next day remove turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degress F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice into the cavity and add the quarters along with rosemary and sage. Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter and honey together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350 degrees F. For an 18 lb. turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175 degrees F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and honey mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready, remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.