Arugula Salad

feeds 4

5 oz fresh wild arugula
1 granny smith apple, quartered and sliced thin
1 whole bulb of fennel, quartered and sliced thin
dried cranberries
1 oz Raspberry vinegar
1 1/2 oz olive oil
1 small log of goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar

Make the Raspberry vinaigrette in a small mixing bowl. Add a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper and a touch of mustard. In a large mixing bowl combine sliced apple, fennel and sugar. Mix well and then add arugula. With all ingredients in the bowl, add the raspberry vinaigrette and toss. Plate the salad evenly on 4 plates. Sprinkle walnuts, cranberries and the finish with crumbled goat cheese and serve immediately.

This is a crispy, bitter salad with sweet fruitiness and finished with goat cheese. It is refreshing and healthy and crunchy which is what anybody with teeth wants in a salad. Make sure when you dress the salad you don't overdo it with the dressing. The salad should be erect and stand at attention. Acid will wilt a salad and make it look like someone stepped on your salad. Presentation is very important here. Fennel can be bought at the market. It has a licorice after taste but it gives the salad another dimension with all the flavors going on so it is a must. Slice the apples at the moment you are going to make the salad because apples and fennel oxidize and turn brown when left alone for a period of time. You can also substitute another cheese if goat cheese makes you want to cry.

Sesame Crusted Tuna with Wasabi and Balsamic

Feeds 4

2 10oz pieces of sushi grade Tuna, cut into bite size pieces
2.4 oz bottle of black sesame seeds
2.4 oz bottle of white sesame seeds
1 cup panko, Japanese bread crumbs
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsn wasabi paste
grape seed oil to sauté
salt and pepper
4 oz of baby greens for garnish

In a mixing bowl combine the sesame seeds, panko, salt and pepper and mix well. Place the Tuna in the mixture and toss well. Make sure the tuna is coated. Let it sit in the mixture for a couple moments so it absorbs the crust. Place a large sauté pan on the stove, high heat. place approximately 2 oz of grape seed oil into pan. When it is nice and hot, place the Tuna into the pan without burning your fingers. Let it crisp on one side before tossing. Add the vinegar and wasabi paste and toss well. The vinegar will immediately start caramelizing and when that happens it is done. Place evenly over four plates and garnish with baby greens. You may also add balsamic syrup to the plate for presentation.

This is a very simple tasty dish that is spicy and sweet at the same time. It must be done and served immediately because Tuna cools off very quickly. You can serve the Tuna in large pieces if you like also, but i prefer them in bite side pieces. When you cut the Tuna into pieces, make sure they are uniform so the cook evenly. You will be searing them and serving them medium rare to rare so it has to be done very quickly. The breadcrumbs are optional but it gives the Tuna a bit more crunchiness which I desire in this recipe. Make sure when you start this dish , you have backup personnel in the kitchen or you do a dry practice run. The first time you do anything, there is a high chance of misfiring, so be wary. The finished product is supposed to have a glaze and their should be a bit of sauce but not too much.

Feeds 10

1 quart heavy cream
6 egg whites
45 Plasmon cookies (sugar cookies for Tiramisu)
1 cup sugar
4 tbsn vanilla extract
16 oz marscapone cheese
Kahlua or espresso flavored liquor for dressing cookies
cocoa powder for garnish

Mix egg whites in a mixer at high speed until it forms a stiff white peak, firm but not solid. Remove from mixer and set aside. Place heavy cream in mixer along with sugar and vanilla and mix at high speed until you have whipped cream, about 3-4 minutes. Do not over beat or you will have butter. Turn off mixer and add the egg whites to the cream mixture and fold in softly. The egg whites will make the Tiramisu lighter and fluffier which in turn will make you feel better about yourself and me for that matter. Once this is done , taste your mixture for flavor. It is supposed to be sweet so don't get all flustered.
In a glass 12 inch baking dish casserole dish, place a thin layer of your cream mixture, then one layer of cookies. At this point you slowly add some Kahlua over the cookies, enough to hit each cookie with some Kahlua. Another layer of cream, then cookies, Kahlua and so on until you run out of ingredients. Finish with cream on top and sprinkle with cocoa powder and let rest in refridgerator for 3 hours to set. Once done, cut carefully and serve.

Plasmon cookies are available in Italian markets. Do not get cookies that have sugar coating as this recipe is sweet enough without the additional sugar. The reason you can't serve this immediately is because the cookies must soak in the cream and get soft. Tiramisu becomes a cake and is one. It should be soft and creamy to crunchy. This recipe is easy if you follow the steps and be patient. It is also very easy to fuck up so take your time. This is also my favorite dessert of all time when done right. Any recipe that you do must be done with passion or it becomes a chore so show some pride and proper execution.

Champagne Cocktail
4 portions

8 oz peach nectar ro fresh peach puree
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 oz peach schnapps
4 oz chilled sparkling champagne
2 cups crushed ice

In a pitcher combine the peach, lemon juice, peach schnapps and crushed ice. pour the Champagne into the pitcher. Stir it up and serve in 4 rock glasses.

Champagne is wonderful at this time of year but too much of it can cause your stomach to bubble. So in this recipe we add peach nectar and schnapps to sweeten it up and the lemon to give it a citrusy bite. The ice is optional but Chelsea likes everything cold so just do it.

Butterfinger Brownies

Feeds 30

1 pound butter, cut into pieces
4 8 oz butterfinger bars crumbled
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup flour
8 eggs
6 cups sugar
pinch of salt
dash of vanilla extract

Combine the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe baking dish and melt it for about 90 seconds or until fully melted. Using a whip stir it together till it forms a thick syrup. In a mixing machine using a paddle combine eggs and sugar and whip for a minute until combined. Add the chocolate butter mixture and the butterfingers. Add the vanilla. Take the paddle off the mixing machine and add the flour and the salt with a large spoon and slowly mix till it forms a dough. Lay out on greased sheet pan and bake in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool for and hour and serve.

Pumpkin Dip
Feeds 30

3 pounds cream cheese
1 pound pumpkin puree
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

In a mixing machine add the cream cheese and whip for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the rest of your ingredients and mix well. Stuff a Jack o lantern pumpkin with your pumpkin dip and serve with gingersnap cookies

Warm Apple Cider
Feeds 8

8 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon stickes
1 whole orange cut up into 4
3 shots of rum (optional)

In a saucepan on the stove, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it boils, Take off the stove and let it rest for % minutes then strain and serve.

Deviled Eggs
Feeds 6

6 hard cooked eggs
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
pinch of salt
dash of pepper
dash of paprika

Cut eggs in 1/2 lengthwise, remove yolks and set whites aside. In a bowl mash the yolks and add the rest of the ingredients except the paprika and mix well. spoon the mix into the egg whites and top with paprika and serve .

Ginger Snap Cookies

55 cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

In a mixing machine combine the butter and the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the molasses and then add all the dry ingredients and it will form a cookie dough after mixing for 2 minutes at low speed. Refridgerate the dough for about an hour . Take the dough out of frridge and form into small golf size balls and place on a greased sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until the cookies start to brown around the edges.

Potato Pancakes with Applesauce
Makes 12

Ingredients for potato pancakes:
2 cups grated mature potatoes
3 eggs
1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons of salt
1 bunch chopped scallions
Grapeseed oil for saute

Ingredients for applesauce:
5 granny smith apples, just the meat, skin on and washed
2 cups of water
Brown sugar to taste
Touch of cinnamon
1 fresh lemon squeezed

For the applesauce, combine the apples in a sauce pan with the water and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 20 minutes until the apples become soft and mushy. Get yourself a blender and puree this hot mixture with the liquid left in the pot. You may always add more water if there is not enough liquid in the pan . Puree and then return to the pan and taste. Add your lemon, brown sugar, lemon and cinnamon in small amounts till you feel it is ripe. Set aside and cool.

For the pancakes, make sure the grated potatoes are dry by placing them on a towel and twisting the towel to rid the potatoes of water. Combine all ingredients and mix well and then start to shape into pancakes, small 3 inch pancakes. In a sauté pan with oil, drop 2-3 pancakes in at a time on medium high heat and cook till golden brown, then flip and do the same on the other side. It should take 2-3 minutes total. Drain on paper towel and serve with applesauce.

The applesauce must be made 1st because it takes awhile. You may use store bought applesauce but then you wouldn’t really be cooking , would you? The potato pancakes are awesome but they must be done quickly as they oxidize and lose their white color, so make sure you have all your ingredients on hand and are ready to go because nobody wants to bite into a brown potato pancake.

Red Sangria
Serves 12

1 bottle kosher dry red wine
¼ cup brandy
1 orange, quartered
2 apples, cubed, no seeds
2 fresh figs
1 plum, just the meat
Sprig of fresh mint

Cut up all the fruit and put into a pitcher, add the red wine and the brandy and give it a good stir. Put the pitcher in the refrigerator to cool and let sit for an hour or so to cool. When ready to serve ,garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

Sangria is pretty hard to mess up. Just make sure you have a decent bottle of wine and get some quality fruit with flavor. The key is it must be cold and refreshing and not taste like a bowl of sugar. It should distinguish itself with the ingredients making for one hell of a conversation.

Oven Roasted Salmon with Honey Soy Glaze
Serves 4

4 -6 oz pieces of fresh salmon
1 cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup white wine kosher
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Set oven to broil at 550. in a sauce pan combine the sugar, honey, white wine and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and set aside. On a greased broiler plate place the salmon on the plate and add about a ½ cup of sauce for each salmon. Pour onto plate and then put into oven. If it starts to burn as sugar will do , make sure the you have a lower rack to put it on. It will take about 3-4 minutes and should be nice and crispy. Serve immediately.

This is one of the most flavorful dishes ever. The fresh salmon with caramelized sugar, wine and soy sauce makes for a big splash. There is one problem as you are dealing with high heat and sugar which makes for a really hot fire. You must be extremely careful and watch it at all times because once the sugar starts to caramelize, it is done. If you continue on the sugar turns black, ignites and then it is almost impossible to put out a sugar fire. So make sure you have back-up people in the kitchen and a fire extinguisher just in case things go awry.

Chocolate Dipped Figs
Serves 8

1 pound moist dried figs
16 almonds, toasted
¼ cup candied orange peel
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

In each fig , make a small slit in the center and insert the almond and the orange peel, then close it up as best you can.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 50 seconds or on top of the stove but very slowly as it will break if on high heat. You may also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and stir for smooth creaminess. Dip each fig in the chocolate and then set on a wire rack. If you do not posess a rack, use parchment paper. Let set for 10 minute then put in the fridge for an hour until ready. Can be stored in plastic container for up to 1 month.

Comments :
This is a tedious recipe which requires some times so set aside whatever the hell you are doing and get this done. The orange peel can be bought at the gourmet grocery because you are most likely to screw it up and it take a lot of patience and in the end will drive you crazy. The figs are easy and you must toast the almonds to get that toasty flavor. The chocolate should have the addition of butter for creaminess but since this is a kosher recipe , we have omitted the butter. When you dip the figs , use a wooden skewer so you don’t get fingerprints all over the figs and create second guessing amongst your lovers at the table.

Peaches and Wine


1 bottle Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, chilled or even very cold is good
3 ripe good quality peaches, peeled and cut into 8 even pieces
2-3 teaspoons of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the wine

In a glass pitcher, add the peaches and the sugar. Pour the wine into the pitcher and mix well with a wooden spoon so the sugar dissolves. Make sure not to break up the peaches, you want to keep them whole. Pour the wine into a glass and add 3-4 peaches and serve.

Make sure when you purchase the peaches they are ripe and soft but not mushy. Also go to a reputable market where you may pay more for the peaches because there will be no flavor if you get a stiff peach. You may use any wine you like but these wines work best with the sugar and the peaches. Also if you are not into sugar, you may substitute Splenda or another sugar substitute. The wine should be served ice cold so it is nice and refreshing on a hot summer day.

Buffalo Mozzarella Napolean

Ingredients serves 2
1 container Buffalo Mozzarella, cut into 4 even slices
6 plum tomatoes, cored, cut in 1/2 , tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper
and roasted in oven for 4 hours at 230 degrees
2 slices thinly sliced Prosciutto Di Parma
2 handfuls baby arugola
2 fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

In the center of the plate add 3 pieces of oven dried tomatoes, top with 1/2 bunch arugola and then the buffalo mozzarella. Then add a slice of Prosciutto di parma, arugola, 3 more halved tomatoes, and top off with buffalo mozzarella. You should have a nice steady tower. Add a shot of salt and pepper over the top, a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and top with a leaf of basil and serve.

Buffalo Mozzarella you can find at any gourmet upscale supermarket. It is stronger than regular mozzarella and may take you a while to love it. You may substitute regular fresh mozzarella , It is almost as good. The plum tomatoes I would do in batches of 10 , then roast on a sheet pan. They must be cored, cut in half and tossed in salt, pepper and olive oil then roasted slowly. If you dont have the patience to roast something in the oven for 4 hours at 230, I suggest you get a physical. There is nothing as sweet as a fresh slow roasted tomato. You may also buy them at the market but who the hell knows what goes on in that kitchen. Prosciutto Di Parma is the only product to use, ask for it and if they dont have it , go somewhere that has it. The other prosciuttos are salty and not as sweet.
Grilled vegetables and chic peas also may great substitutes if you want to mix and match ingredients.

Watermelon Feta Salad

1/2 medium size watermelon, cut into bite size cubes
1/4 sweet onion such as a Vidalia or a white onion , peeled and sliced thin
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
4 teaspoons crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and taste for flavor. It should have a sweetness about it but a hint of vinegar and salt then followed by the mint. Do not add a lot of salt as just a pinch will do to make the watermelon juice and intensify its flavor.

When you look at the ingredients in this salad , you may ask yourself why on earth would you combine them all? I did myself but as it turns out this salad is refreshing and since watermelon is all sugar , this dish fortifies your nutritional needs. fresh herbs, olive oil, onion and cheese are all components of a solid healthy meal that offset all that sugar but give you exactly the refreshing bite you are looking for. Serve the salad right away or keep it in fridge for later. It holds up well.