Category Archives: main dish

Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam

I have a bit of a competitive streak when it comes to cooking. Each year we have an outdoor grilling get together where we try to out do one another for the best burger recipe. This year I went for a burger made of ground short rib. Short rib has just the right fat ratio for a juicy burger. Next, I made some vidalia onion jam as a topping that along with melted smoked cheddar cheese, crisp cooked pancetta and a little arugula made for a real winning burger! Try it for your next cookout and get rave reviews!
From by the bay, wishing you winning food memories!

blog onion jam

Rosemary Onion Jam

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large vidalia onions, chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 springs rosemary, leaves chopped
In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil and add onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute onions until soft, about 15 minutes, stir so that onions to not burn. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to saute until onions are brown and the consistency is jam like. Remove from heat and cool. Place into a jam jar until ready to use. If not using within a few hours refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.
blog onion jam burger
Short Rib Burger with Rosemary Onion Jam
Serves 6
2 pounds ground short rib
6 sesame seed buns
6 slices smoked cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons onion jam
12 slices pancetta cooked, crisp
4 ounces baby arugula leaves
Cook burgers , as preferred. Cut rolls through middle and toast. Add the cheddar cheese to top of burger and melt. To assemble place some arugula to the toasted bottom of the bun. Place burger with cheese on top of the arugula. Top with the onion jam and then the cooked pancetta. Finish with the toasted top of the bun and enjoy!

Cubano Burger


Summer is almost here! The pool is open. The lounge chairs and umbrellas are set up. Blue skies and bright sun are overhead. I can walk into my backyard and imagine I’m on vacation, hmmm the South of France, Southern California, I think today feels like South Beach, Miami. South Beach is my inspiration for this Cubano Burger. Poolside dining doesn’t get better than this american twist on the cuban sandwich. I make my burger with ground pork mixed with fresh citrus, then  accented with ham, cheese and roasted garlic. Try this burger and whisk yourself and your guests off to South Beach too!
From by the bay, wishing you South Beach food memories!
blog cub burg
Cubano Burger
Serves Six
1 head of garlic
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill
2 pounds ground pork
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons orange juice
6 ciabatta rolls
12 slices baby swiss cheese
12 dill pickle slices
6 slices boiled ham
1/2 cup store bought mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rub olive oil on head of garlic and wrap garlic in aluminum foil. Place on baking sheet roast for 30 to 35 minutes until garlic feels soft, then remove from oven and cool. Cut top off garlic head and squeeze garlic cloves out of skin and into a bowl. Mash garlic and then add mayonnaise and mix well. Cover and place into refrigerator until ready to use. In a mixing bowl add the ground pork, pepper, cumin and citrus juices. Mix well with your hands and form 6 patties. Fire up the grill. Brush grill with olive oil and cook patties approximately 15 minutes per side, until pork is cooked through. Once ready, cut rolls in half, place on baking sheets and top each side with a slice of swiss cheese. Remove from oven once the cheese starts to melt. To assemble : take one half of bun with cheese, place burger on top, spread garlic mayonnaise on burger, add slice of ham, then pickle slices and top with other half of the bun. Repeat to make the remaining burgers. Serve immediately.

From by the bay wishing all my readers a Happy Memorial Day!

Grilled Spicy Shrimp with Harissa Mayonnaise

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!


 foodgawker harissa shrimp

Grilled Spicy Shrimp with Harissa Mayonnaise
Serves 4
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.

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

Herb Crusted Leg of Lamb

My mother’s parents immigrated to the United States in the early part of the 20th century from Greece. Easter by far and away is the most important religious holiday in the Greek Orthodox Church. Growing up my mother and her family would celebrate Easter with family and friends with a whole roasted baby lamb. My grandfather, my Papou, would buy the lamb and bring it to a bakery on 14th St. and First Avenue in Manhattan to be roasted. Papou would then take the subway home to Brooklyn, lamb in hand, so the family could celebrate Easter. As much as I would like to recreate my mother’s wonderful childhood memories, I’m not prepared to roast a whole lamb, but I do look forward to celebrating with the family by slow roasting a leg of lamb in the oven. I have tried different recipes over the years, but this recipe from Martha Stewart Living, is my favorite. I have adapted it a little over the years so this is the version, I’m sharing with you today. Kalo pasha……….
Happy Greek Easter!From by the bay wishing you the happiest Easter and food memories! Maryann
blog leg of lamb
1 leg of lamb approximately 9 pounds, bone in
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head garlic
1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chardonnay
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary


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.

Veal Blanquette with Tender Vegetables

blog veal blanquette

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!

From by the bay , wishing happy spring food memories!
blog veg
Veal Blanquette with Tender Vegetables
Serves 6
To make blanquette:
3 pounds veal, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs tarragon, plus 3 tablespoons chopped
2 bay leaves
12 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1.5 ounce store bought veal demi glace
juice and zest of one lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Assortment blanched vegetables
Melt 8 tablespoons butter in heavy bottomed casserole on medium heat. Saute the veal one minute per side, cooking the veal from pink to white without browning. Add to the casserole the stock, 3 springs of tarragon and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until veal is fork tender. While the veal is cooking blanche your vegetables . Once the veal is cooked, remove veal into a bowl and strain broth in a another bowl. Place the empty casserole back on to medium heat and melt the remaining butter, once melted add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring, Whisk in the broth along with the veal demi glace and cook until thickened. Stir in the cream, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste. Ina big bowl or platter top veal with sauce and mix. Toss the vegetables over the veal, sprinkle with chopped chives and tarragon and serve immediately. This can be served as is or with small new boiled potatoes.
Blanche Vegetables:
1 cup fresh english peas, shelled or frozen baby peas
12 baby carrots, whole and peeled, with green tops cut off
12 pencil thin asparagus, woody bottoms cut off
24 sugar snap peas
16 red or white baby pearl onions

Bring a large pot of water to boil, Have a large bowl of ice water ready and a strainer to remove vegetables from boiling water. You will cook each vegetable separately in the same pot of boiling water and use the strainer to remove and place into the ice bath. The peas  and sugar snap peas will take 1 to 2 minutes, the asparagus and baby carrots will take 3-4 minutes depending on size. You are looking for the vegetables to be slightly tender, yet bright in color. Lastly, boil the pearl onions, then strain and rinse with cool water. Let the onions cool off , then pop them out of their skins. Strain vegetables out of the water and keep in a bowl to the side until ready to add to the blanquette.

Clams in Broth

If I want to watch my mother’s face light up when she is visiting, all I need to say is do you want clams for dinner? The answer is always a resounding yes! That would explain all my variations of clam sauce or clams cooked in broth. This is one of my favorite versions of clams, especially when I’m looking for light meal. I just skip the pasta and eat the clams and broth with a spoon and little bread. It makes a great appetizer for six or dinner for four. If you want to use as a meal for Lent – just omit the pancetta. Try it this weekend and watch the faces at your dinner table light up too!
From by the bay wishing you lovely clam memories!
blog clams broth
Clams in Broth
Serves 4
4 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, cubed
1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, with liquid
8 ounces clam juice
1 tablespoon thyme leaves

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.

Red Wine Braised Pork and Chestnut Stew

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!


blog pork and wine

Red Wine Braised Pork and Chestnut Stew

Serves 4-6

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

I started entertaining over the Christmas holidays, when I moved into my first apartment. I had moved from my parents home on Long Island and into a small apartment in Queens. That first year,  I had a small Christmas party so that my parents could come and pick up all the Christmas presents and drive them back to Long Island so I didn’t have to carry them home on the train. So I started in a very small way something that has become an elaborate tradition. I was not a very accomplished cook and I didn’t have alot of extra cash, so the menu was simple and economic – baked ham,deviled eggs, mimosas and cookies. It was an easy brunch and everyone had a great time and I’ve been entertaining for the holidays ever since. I still like to make  a baked ham, it’s easy , delicious and looks like alot more effort than it really is. This cranberry glazed ham is one of my favorites – whether it’s for Christmas Day, Christmas Eve or any other Holiday meal you have a lot of guests to feed. It’s great for get togethers with children accompanied with macaroni and cheese or for adults served with cornbread and cranberries, like the recipe below. I find that most guests are excited to see a festive holiday baked ham on the table. Start your own holiday traditions using this recipe, it’s a perfect one to prepare!
From by the bay wishing you the berriest Christmas memories!
blog ham


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.


Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayonnaise and Turkey Hunter’s Stew


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!

blog turkey sandwich

Turkey Panini with Cranberry Mayonnaise
Serves 1
2 slices brioche bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cranberry mayonnaise
2 slices turkey
2 thin slices pear
1 slice proscuitto ham
2 tablespoons softened brie cheese, no rind
Heat panini press or skillet. Butter two slices of bread. Buttered sides are the outside of the sandwich. On one side of bread – not buttered spread the cranberry mayonnaise, add the turkey , then pear, proscuitto. Last spread the brie across the top of the proscuitto. Top with the other slice of bread , press down and then toast until cheese is melted and bread browned. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Mayonnaise
Makes 4 sandwiches

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce

Mix both ingreidents well.

blog turkey hunter stew

Turkey Hunter’s Stew
Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
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
Heat in a dutch oven butter and olive oil. Add garlic, shallots and rosemary and saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 8 to 10 minutes until mushrooms are also softened and brown. To this add the flour and stir, saute for another minute then add the tomato paste , gravy , broth, bay leave and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Add the turkey and cook long enough for the turkey to warm in the gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately accompanied with egg noodles.



Honey Herb Roasted Turkey

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!

blog turkey 2012

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
To baste
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.