Thursday, April 8, 2010

Simple French :: Sole Meuniere

I've been wanting to make Sole Meuniere ever since reading Julia Child's "My Life in Paris" this summer.  But somehow, it's one of those recipes I looked up, and then set aside. ...What a mistake!  

I will warn you, you will become seriously addicted to slightly browned, lemoney butter 
and you'll never want to eat fish any other way.  

And the fact this only takes a few minutes to prepare, makes it the perfect dish.  I served it with slightly sauteed, garlicky greenbeans, and a side of crisp potatoes (boiled, then quickly pan fried with a bit of butter and plenty of kosher salt).  Weeknight dinners here at 337 will never be the same.


Fillets of fresh Sole (I used lemon sole, you can also get grey sole, about 4 ounces/person)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pat dry the fillets of fish.  Dust with salt and pepper.  Place the flour on a plate and dip the fillets in the flour.  Make sure they are evenly covered in flour.

In a non-stick pan over medium heat add half of the butter.  When the butter is bubbling, add the fish.  Allow it to cook about 3 minutes on each side, being careful when you flip over to not break up the fillet.  When the fish is cooked up both sides (slightly browned), remove from the pan and place on a tray.  Add the remaining butter to the pan with the chopped parsley, and lemon juice.  Quickly mix and add the butter-lemon sauce atop the fish.  Enjoy immediately.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finally Spring :: Fresh Beet Carpaccio

I have been quite a lazy cook lately!  A. has been away for work for the last couple of weeks, so I have been on our own.  I have stayed up way past a reasonable bedtime (and been so sleepy the next day!), watched more girly movies than I care to admit, and lived on a dinner diet of granola bars, pasta with spinach, and plenty of eggos.  I really had forgotten how lazy I become when I'm cooking for myself! 

But  A. is finally back home, yay!  And I was excited to get back to the kitchen this weekend.  I tried lots of new recipes, but this was our favorite: a delicious beet carpaccio!  Fresh beets, drizzled in olive oil and lemon juice, and topped with pistachios.  The thinly sliced raw beets are deliciously crispy and refreshing.  It's a delicious alternative to the usual roasted beet salad, and just feels like spring!

So simple and easy... I probably should have been eating this last week! :-)


2 large beets, washed and peeled
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Squeeze of Lemon
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled

Time to bust out the mandolin!  Set your mandolin on the thinnest setting, and slice the beets.  You want the slices to be almost paper-thin.  Place the beet slices in a bowl and toss with a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon), a sprinkle of kosher salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Let the beets sit for a few minutes. 

Separately, chop the peeled pistachio nuts.

To plate, place the beet slices on a plate, drizzle with the leftover oil and lemon juice from the bowl, and top with the chopped pistachios.   You can add crumbled goat cheese to make this a main meal.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Healthy Baking :: Cranberry-Orange Granola Bars

I'm very excited (...and honored!) to have been invited by the fabulous Jenny over at Have Your Cake to write a guest post recipe! I love her fun, useful, and inspirational views on healthy living. ...Believe me, I have drastically cut down my butter intake since I've been following her daily tips!

So, I decided to make a batch of one of my favorite homemade, healthy goodies: granola bars! Sweet oats, with toasted almonds, and the tartness of cranberries and orange zest, all in a little bar. Perfect! ... especially with a bit a greek yogurt!

Not only are these healthier than the store-bought (...I'm assuming corn syrup isn't in your pantry), but they are easy to make (think: rice krispie treats), and there are so many flavor possibilities. Try dates, cherries, apricots, or even chocolate chips! Wrap the cut bars in wax paper or store in an airtight container, they will keep in the fridge for up to a month. You can even make two flavors at once by doubling the recipe and baking the two flavors side by side in a larger baking pan.

Oh, and if you are still scared of attempting granola bars, believe me, I was for quite some time, thinking the bars would just fall apart when I tried to cut them, but just remember that the worse that could happen is you end up with a bag of small granola bar chunks... which will still be delicious.


CRANBERRY-ORANGE ALMOND GRANOLA BARS (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2/3 cups honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a bit for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of one large orange

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x9 baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oats, almonds, and coconut and on a sheet pan cook for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer it to a large bowl and add the wheat germ.

In a saucepan, over medium heat bring the butter, honey, vanilla, and salt to a boil. Cook while stirring for another minute. Then add the liquid to to the bowl of dry ingredients. Add the cranberries and orange zest and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan, and lightly pat down with your hands (it helps if you wet your hands a bit).

Bake at 300F for 30 minutes until lightly browned.

Allow it to cool for at least 3 hours (or overnight) and then cut into bars or squares. Serve at room temperature or store in a airtight container.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Simple Sundays :: Orange Mandarin Spritzers

Doesn't it feel like spring is here?  It was a beautifully sunny weekend in NYC.   The weather was perfect!  After months of winter, A. and I spent the entire weekend outside.  We went for long walks  to Washington Sq. park, had a slow brunch outside Extra Virgin on w4th St. (one of my favorite little west village streets!), and bought dozens of bright fuschia tulips.  It's weekends like these when I remember how much I ♥ the city.  

After a delicious (seriously delicious!) late dinner at Babbo, we had no room for breakfast on Sunday.  So, instead I made a big pitcher of one of my morning favorites: orange spritzers!  Fresh squeezed juice and sparkling water, it doesn't get more simple than that... or refreshing. 

I love fresh squeezed orange juice, especially now when oranges are in season.  It really does not compare to anything you find at the store.  It takes a little bit of effort, but so well worth it.  As soon as I got my Kitchenaid mixer, the first thing I did was buy the juicer attachment.  I can't imagine a weekend morning without it.

To the spritzer, I added a bit of fresh mandarin juice for a twist.  It was deliciously fresh and my new breakfast staple. ...Of course, you can replace the sparkling water with Prosecco for a bubblier breakfast drink.


3 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (about 6-9 oranges)
1 cup fresh squeezed mandarin juice (about 6 mandarins)
1 cup sparkling water
about 1 tablespoon sugar (to taste)

Mix the orange and mandarin juice in a pitcher.  Add the chilled sparking water, and sugar to taste.  Serve with plenty of ice and orange slices.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Pot Meals :: Healthy Turkey Chili

Maybe it's the fact that spring is officially a month away, or the one too many tea cookies I ate last week, or maybe it's all the Olympics A. and I have been watching (snowboard cross is my new obsession!).... but, this week, I've been craving healthier foods.  

So, I was excited to find this deliciously tempting  7 day detox from Self Magazine.  Detox?  Sounds a little extreme, but I think it's just what I'm craving: a transition from rich winter foods into lighter spring meals.  It's one week of whole grains, plenty of fiber, and lean meats.  And, it actually sounds delicious!

So, I printed out a week's worth of menus, convinced A. to join in, went on a little grocery trip to stock up, and we officially started this morning!

So far so good.  Yogurt and cereal for breakfast (I had Iggy's non-fat yogurt and Kashi high fiber), and a toasted whole wheat pita with hummus, spinach and tomato for lunch.  Yum!   For dinner I decided to make a large pot of turkey chili. 

It was delicious!  Plenty of veggies, healthy beans, and low fat turkey, all in a hearty broth! It's so easy to make, you really can't go wrong.   Saute the veggies and turkey, add the spices, then add the tomatoes, and beans.  That's pretty much it!  I freshened up the flavors with a bit of cilantro and topped it with non-fat sour cream and avocado.  Healthy and filling! ...and perfect on a rainy winter night.

Oh ps: I do have one confession to make: I drank coffee.  Ooops.  But there's really no way I can function without coffee. 


HEALTHY TURKEY CHILI (adapted from Gourmet)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb ground lean Turkey, seasoned with salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
2 Bell Peppers, roughly chopped (I used one yellow, one red)
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded & chopped
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 chili peppers in adobo, chopped
1 can organic kidney beans 
1 can organic pinto beans
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1/2 cup water
Salt,  and Olive Oil

Over medium-high heat, in a large pot sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions. When the onions start to brown, add the garlic and saute quickly.  Add the ground turkey, chili powder, and cumin.  Stir with a wooden spoon to break down the turkey into small pieces and mix with the onions and garlic.

When the turkey starts to brown, add the bell and jalapeno peppers.  Cook for about a minute, then lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients.  Add the cilantro, and taste for salt and spiciness, you can add more chili powder of chilies in adobo for more heat. 

Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until the chili thickens. 

Serve with a dollop of non-fat sour cream and slices of avocado.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Breakfast :: Poached Eggs, Crispy Prosciutto & Cheddar Polenta

For valentine's day, I wanted to surprise A. with breakfast!  One of A.'s breakfast favorites:  poached eggs.  Well, this is a bit of a problem, considering I am the world's worst egg poacher, ever.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  I've tried.  Every couple of months I try to convince myself that it can't be that hard, so I try again.  I bring water to a soft simmer, I add vinegar, crack an egg into a ramekin, and then slowly pour it into the water.  I cross my fingers... but then, a few seconds later, there it is:  a pot of mudied egg white water.   Oh well.  Until I found this little invention:  silicone egg poachers.  Perfectly poached eggs every time!  

I woke up craving something sweet and salty....and we had beautiful San Danielle prosciutto in the fridge.  Let's face it, you can never go wrong with prosciutto!  So for breakfast:  poached eggs, a top a honey sweet, cheddar polenta, with crispy prosciutto. The polenta is sweet and cheesy, and goes perfectly with the salty prosciutto, all topped with a delicious poached egg, with a soft yolk.  It was delicious!  I'll definitely be making this again (often!), and not just for breakfast. 

Oh and don't worry about having too much polenta, spread the leftovers in a greased baking dish (small size, I used a 4x4) and place in the fridge.  Let it harden for a couple of hours and then cute into triangles (more pics in this post).  It'll be a perfect to-go breakfast the next day, or a side for dinner.

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and are enjoying President's Day! 

Eggs (1 per person)
Sliced prosciutto (2 slices per person)
Cheddar Polenta (recipe below, about 1/2 cup per person)

Preheat the oven to 500F.  On a parchment lined cookie sheet lay the slices of prosciutto and cook in the oven until crispy (about 3-5 minutes).  

Cook the polenta, and poach the eggs.  If you are using an egg poacher, simply bring a large saucepan with water to a boil.  Butter each egg dish and add the cracked egg.  Place in the water, floating, and cover the pot.  Cook for 5-8 minutes and scoop out of the dish and serve.
(Or follow these egg poaching instructions)

To assemble, serve about 1/2 cup of cheddar polenta on each dish.  Top with the crispy polenta slices, don't worry if they break.  Layer the poach egg on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cheddar Polenta
2 cups of water
1 cup of milk
1 cup dry polenta
sprinkle of salt
teaspoon of honey
1/3 cup cheddar
tablespoon of butter

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil with a sprinkle of salt.  Add the polenta in a steady stream mixing will you pour to prevent lumps.  Lower the heat and continue to mix the polenta until it has a smooth texture.  Add the cheddar and honey, and taste for salt.  When it is fully combined, remove from heat and serve immediately.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's :: Tea Cookies

I am having the most wonderful day! I took the day off... not because I had something planned, just because I wanted a day to rest.  Ahhh...a four day weekend!  :-)  I slept in we went for a long walk in the snow, ate way too many cookies, and I am now sipping a latte from a ginormous mug at my favorite West Village coffee shop.  I ♥ large latte mugs, don't they just feel relaxing?

I'm excited for Valentine's Day and the long weekend!  A. is planning to make dinner for us.  I don't know all the details, but I know there is a whole chicken involved!  I can't wait to see what he has planned.  Humm... maybe I'll have him write a little guest blogger post afterwards.  Ohh, I also want to go try the new Meatball Shop in the LES.  Can you believe it, a place that only serves meatballs?  I want to try the spiced pork! 

Well, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without a little sugar!  So, I decided to bake a few cookies to mail to friends and family.  The twelve dozen cookies I rolled out probably has something to do with how exhausted I felt yesterday! :-)  Oh well, they were delicious so it's all worthwhile!  Apart from basic heart-shaped sugar cookies (from this wonderful recipe, truly the best cut out sugar cookies!), I decided to experiment with tea cookies.  Buttery cookies flavored with tea leaves.  Delicious!  I made a batch of green tea and a batch using my favorite Kusmi Breakfast tea. They are so aromatic and light in flavor.  Not overly sweet, and perfect with a cup of tea of course!

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend! xoxo

ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA COOKIES (adapted from Real Simple)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons loose breakfast tea, ground (use Earl Grey or English breakfast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1 cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grind the tea leaves using a coffee grinder or food processor.  Combine the tea with all the dry ingredients.  Add the vanilla, zest, a teaspoon of water, and butter and mix using either a food processor or a mixer with the paddle attachment until the dough has formed.

Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling out.  Roll out the dough to be 1/3" thick.  Have plenty of flour handy to prevent from sticking.  Cut the cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minute until they start to crisp.  Allow 5 minutes to cool.

GREEN TEA COOKIES (via Lovescool)
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, cut into squares
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon ground green tea or green tea powder
1 cup granulated sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine the confectioners sugar and the green tea.  Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the flour until well combined.  Then add an egg at a time until the dough is formed.  Make a disk with the dough and cover in plastic wrap.  Allow it to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough to 1/2" thick and cut with the cookie cutter.  Have a small bowl ready with the granulated sugar.  As you cut out each cookie dip it in the bowl and completely cover in sugar.  Place on a parchment line cookie sheet and cook for 12 - 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

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