The recipes I provide are approximate guides but are by no means exact. I come up with my menu ideas, prepare them, then sit down to approximate the recipes.
A good rule of thumb when tasting food: If something seems too acidic or bitter, add a sweetener (I swear by honey). If something is too sweet, add fresh herbs, oil or an acid- whatever seems appropriate with what you are preparing. If you taste something that is under seasoned, add salt! Salt is a flavor enhancer and will make flavors more inherent. Finally, be wary with black pepper. When added too liberally, it actually changes the flavor of dishes and can make them bitter.
Forgive me, I digress. Nonna Tata was delicious as always. Our table of 5 decided on an antipasto to share then split:
Tortolli with Goat Cheese
Veal Osso Bucco with Arborio Rice
Chicken Lasagna with Pesto
All three were delicious, but I couldn't stop eating the chicken lasagna. It was surprisingly light, yet rich at the same time. Our evening ended with a little too much wine and shots of Limoncello- much fun until I awoke the next morning...
Later that weekend, my partner and I had a Private Chef Event: A Summertime party for 45!
Crostini with Walnut Pesto, Roasted Sliced Beets, Summer Squash and Fresh Mozzarella
Meringue Cups with Lime Curd, Blackberries and Lime Zest (shown at right)
Calamari with Roasted Cashews, Julienned Veggies and Spicy Ginger Soy Sauce
(I liked the crab but the vinaigrette tasted like oil to me. I tasted no citrus or watermelon. Maybe we got the wrong vinaigrette?)
Pan-Fried Cod with Dijon and Morels
On the eve of fourth of July, I had a girlfriend over for a movie, wine and some (semi) healthy chicken burgers. Although I seldomly grill burgers without some type of cheese, these were perfect without. The avocado added a simple buttery texture, heirloom tomatoes added tang and the tarragon mayo added an anise flavor surprise.
Herbed Chicken Burgers with Heirloom Tomatoes, Avocado, Tarragon Mayo and Micro Greens
1 T kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T chopped sage
1 T chopped tarragon
For Tarragon Mayo:
1/3 c tarragon, minced
1/2 T lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1 large squeeze of lemon juice
1 ribeye steak (approximately 1 pound)
Combine brown sugar, honey, sriracha, lemon juice, lime juice, lime zest and salt and whisk to get the flavor of your liking.
I served the warm brownies with vanilla ice cream mixed with a drizzle of vanilla bean paste and cinnamon. The ice cream was fantastic with the rich brownies.