Eggplant Sandwich with Garlic Mayo

It's true that the simplest things are the best. I am still exhausted from being up most of the night with E, so "Something quick" was on the menu today. I made sandwiches from yesterday leftover grilled eggplant. It tasted even better today as it had time to marinate in the balsamic sauce. I made garlic mayo to put on the fresh ciabatta loaf my mom brought over and it made for a perfect, and fast sandwich. I think we finished the loaf. I guess I'll work on reducing the carbs in the menu tomorrow.


Eggplant Napoleon with Lime Shrimp

I am not sure if I had really took time to plan the menu, if I would have come up with this combination, however it was better then I expected. Napoleons formed with grilled eggplant, fresh tomatoes from Verrill Farm, roasted onions, sandwiched with a goat cheese paste and a sweet balsamic sauce. The shrimp were simply grilled with sea salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice.

Breakfast of Eggs, Zucchini and Ham

Picture by Husband.


Roasted Chicken with a Hint of Hickory Smoke

With lots of herbs growing in my garden, I made a rub for the chicken and the husband had the brilliant idea to add some wood chips (hickory) to the grill. We roasted it on 400 degree heat for about 5-10 minutes, flipping it once, and added a stainless steel bowl of water to cook at 350 for about 20-30 minutes more, so it didn't dry out. It was amazing, crispy skin and tender meat, full of flavor.

very finely minced lemon thyme, sage, marjoram, with salt, pepper and olive oil, to make a paste

Young whole chicken with fat removed and placed into the inner cavity (just for the cooking, removed and discarded when it was done). Rub the afore mentioned paste inside and out, and place a few sage leaves under the breast skin. So good!



Tomorrow is another hot summer day, like today was. This is going to be a great treat from the freezer, when it's ninety out.
simple syrup
lemons...lot's of lemons


Ramp Wrapped Flounder, Gold Beets and Cilantro Pesto

As I was picking up my tomato seedlings at Verrill Farm, I stopped by the farm stand, more like a farm tent. They had a very small selection, which is what attracted me to take a quick look. I assumed small equals homegrown or local. I am glad I looked. Freshly pulled parsnips, fiddleheads, bok choy, spinach, asparagus, and of course, ramps. My interest in ramps as of late is due to a dish at Chef's Table at L'Espalier. Specifically, ramp leaf wrapped halibut served with pungent lobster roe butter. I've been looking forward to recreating this at home. Now ramps in hand, I stopped by the Whole Food. No halibut! I grabbed flounder fillets. Although not the same, this is as close as I could come. I was so excited debating when I would actually have time to make this that I forgot lobster, thus I changed the dish quite significantly.

Baked or steamed gold beets, peeled (warm) and sliced thinly
5 ramp leaves, separated from the stalks
1/2 lb of skinless flounder fillets
4 slivers of butter, unsalted

1/4 cup of cilantro, blended into a paste
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/2 tsp walnut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
5 ramp stalks, separated from the leaves, finely sliced
1/4 tsp sugar
dash of cayenne powder
salt, to taste

Arrange the sliced beets on a plate and scoop some of the sauce over them. Let stand and marinate as you prepare the fish. Lay out ramp leaves overlapping them to make the "wrapper". Salt a fish fillet on both sides and lay it atop the leaves. Place a couple of thin slivers of butter on top of the fish, and roll leaves over the fillet to wrap. Secure with toothpicks on both ends. This isn't really necessary, but I wasn't sure how this was going to hold up after steaming. Place in a steamer for 4 minutes. Serve immediately on top of the beets.


Jamon. Need I say more?

Smoked Shrimp

Large tiger shrimp: 25 minutes on hickory wood chips, with salt, white pepper and olive oil

Patatas Bravas

Steam or boil 1lb of young potatoes in salted water. Drain and let dry well on a paper towel. In a saucepan, add a generous amount of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and mix just until the garlic starts to turn a light golden-yellow. Add the dry potatoes, salt and spices (paprika, cayenne powder, turmeric, dry orange peel powder, and a tiny bit of cumin). Roast for 1 more minute and serve hot.

Asparagus Spear and Pea Risotto

This was a very "spring-y" dish. I kept to seasonal ingredients but wanted a rich base since there is still a chill in the air.

2 tbsp butter
3 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of rice
1/2 cup of asparagus spears
1/2 cup of shelled peas
pinch of salt
a little young Gruyere cheese

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and add the rice, just to toast for 40 seconds or so. Add 1 cup of the stock and cook it down on medium heat, until most of the water is absorbed. Mix with a wooden spoon and add asparagus and remaining stock in small amounts letting it evaporate. You really have to watch the stove here, and it pays off at the end. When the rice in almost done, add the peas. As you noticed in most of my recipes, I prefer to keep peas as fresh as possible, since I don't love the texture of cooked peas. If you like them slightly mushy, feel free to add them in with a little more time reserved. Take off the stove when the rice is tender and creamy. Add a bit of salt and the cheese.

Halibut and Peas


Cinco de Mayo: Chunky Guacamole

I love guacamole, but for some reason almost never make it. Today seemed like the most fitting time to make it, especially since I had every ingredient.

2 avocados
1/2 a small onion, finely minced
1 tomato diced
several stems of cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lime
chili powder

Cut avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut within eat half to make a small grid/squares pattern. Scoop avocado out of it skin into a bowl. Add the other ingredients and season to taste. Serve with a toasted tortilla.