Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Lobster Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction and Parmigino-Reggiano Crisps

Summer Lobster Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction and Parmigino-Reggiano Crisps

If you’re looking to wow your sweetie or make a big hit at your next pool party give this amazing dish a try. Serve this with a good champagne or crisp white wine!

Serves: 4

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction:

2 C Balsamic vinegar

Parmigino-Reggiano Crisps:

1/4 C Parmigino-Reggiano cheese, grated


3 OZ Fresh goats cheese

3 TBL Heavy cream

1½ TSP Finely chopped Italian parsley

1 PINCH Kosher salt

1 PINCH Black pepper

1 Chive stem, minced


1 BTL Dry white wine

1 16 oz. Lobster Tail


3 TBL Extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ TBL Balsamic vinegar

6 C Sprin mix (assorted baby lettuces), well rinsed and dried

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

1. Slowly reduce the vinegar in a saucepan, over very low heat, to about 1/4 cup. It should never simmer. Only a fine mist should be rising out of the pan. This process takes about three hours.

2. Allow to cool. Pour into a squeeze bottle, set aside.

The Parmigino-Reggiano Crisps

1. Make 4, 1 Tbl. Mounds of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on an Exopat on a sheet pan or a not-stick baking pan, about 6 inches apart.

2. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese has fallen and is turning deep golden brown.

3. While still very hot carefully remove the sheet pan from oven and immediately place each of the hot cheese crisps in a mold (* see note) and press down forming blossom.

4. Allow to cool. If you take these out of the oven too early they will be chewy and if you take them out too late they will shatter. I usually do a test batch to get them just right. They should crunch and break but not until they are served.

5. *Note: I use a little butter mold. But you can use a mini muffin tin, egg carton or even a sqautty shot glass, anything that will give you the blossom shape.

The Mousse

1. In a small food processor, process the goat's cheese, adding the cream a little at a time, until smooth.

2. It should be processed to the point that it is not runny but will hold its shape when piped.

3. Add parsley

4. Salt and pepper and mix well

5. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Pipe into Parmigiano-Reggiano crisps just before serving salad and sprinkle a few chive pieces over top of crisps.


1. Pour the wine into a wok and bring to a simmer.

2. Place the lobster tail in a steamer basket over the simmering wine. Steam for exactly 18 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and plunge into ice water for two minutes.

4. Remove lobster meat fro shell in one piece by cutting the shell open with kitchen scissors.

5. Slice the lobster into 12 medallions. Set aside


1. Whisk the oil and vinegar together.

2. Pour the dressing over the spring mix and toss well.

3. Using 4 large white dinner plates, place on Parmigiano-Reggiano crisp in the exact center of each plate.

4. Divide the dressed spring mix between the plates, placing it directly below the Parmigiano-Reggiano crisps or at six o'clock.

5. At the top of the plate place three steamed lobster medallions on each plate.

6. Avoiding the lobster, Parmigiano-Reggiano crisps and the spring mix, drizzle some of the balsamic vinegar reduction over the plates.

The Devil's Pasta Salad with Habanero Chile

The Devil's Pasta Salad with Habanero Chile

We’ve made this delicious pasta salad for 25 years. It is our most requested recipe for vegetarians. Great also with any grill roasted meats, fish or poultry!


1/3 C Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 C Chopped Cilantro

1 1/2 TSP Dijon Mustard

1 1/2 TSP Dark Brown Sugar

2/3 C Olive Oil

2 CLOVES Garlic, minced

1 1/2 TSP Salt

1 TSP Ground Black Pepper


3 C orzo or other small pasta

1 Yellow and Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/4" pieces

2 Habanero Chiles Diced (add the seeds for unreasonable heat)

1 C Whole, medium, pitted, olives

1 C Golden Raisins

1/2 C Chopped Italian Parsley

1/3 C Diced Red Onion

10 OZ Frozen Sweet Peas, cooked and chilled

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes until just tender.

2. Remove from water, rinse well in warm water and drain.

3. In a large salad bowl whisk all vinaigrette ingredients except oil together and then drizzle in the oil while whisking.

4. Add the orzo and toss well.

5. Add all other ingredients, toss again.

6. This salad is best if chilled over night in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry.

7. Serve at room temperature.

Cherry & Mesquite Cold-smoked La Reserva Tequila-cured Salmon

Cherry & Mesquite Cold-smoked La Reserva Tequila-cured Salmon

2 Large Salmon Filets

1-1/2 LB Kosher salt

1-1/2 LB Dark Brown Sugar

1/2 C Jose Cuervo La Reserva de La Familia Tequila

1. Scale the filets (this step is optional). Remove any finger bones and cut at least 6 1" long holes in the skin to allow penetration of the brine. Place salmon in a hotel pan

2. Mix brown sugar and salt well and spread over the salmon. Drizzle tequila over salmon. Place a second hotel pan on top of the salmon and place a approximately 6LB weight in the upper dish (I use a #10 can). Set both dishes on a baking sheet to catch drippings, and let cure in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

3. Remove from refrigerator and turn salmon over, scoop brine back on top to cover, place weighted pan back on top and let cure for 12 more hours.

4. Removes from refrigerator, rinse well, paper towel dry and place in clean baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for 1 more day.

5. Cold Smoke with Cherry wood chips soaked in apple juice.

6. When salmon is done smoking, lightly brush with olive oil. Serve sliced paper thin. If you have access to a food sealer, seal the salmon and refrigerate. Date sealed salmon; it will remain fresh for about two-and-a-half weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Simple Smushy Summer Salad

Simple Smushy Summer Salad

This is great recipe for gardeners that have too many tomatoes on their hands.

3 C Assorted Tomatoes (you know little ones, big ones, in as many colors as possible)

3/4 C Kalamata Olives, with pits

1/2- 3/4 Cups Fresh Arugula Or Basil

For the Dressing

2 TBL Red Wine Vinegar

1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

If using salad tomatoes cut them up first. If using only the little baby tomatoes no need to cut them. Smash the tomatoes, in a large mixing bowl, until broken up but not pulp, with a large fork or potato masher. Smash the olives on a cutting board with a rolling pin and remove the pits. Add to the tomatoes Toss in arugula or basil. Whisk together oil, vinegar and pepper. Stir in just before serving. Salt to taste.

Also great on cold, oiled, angel hair pasta.

Serves 4-6 as a salad