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Featured Recipes: Olive Oil Poached Fish/Shellfish and Lobster Diavolo

This week I am featuring two recipes, both seafood dishes and I am honored to have permission to bring them to you. The recipes are from Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs the founders of Food52. I discovered food52 a little over a year ago and it has been life changing for me. Amanda and Merrill brought their brilliant plan to start a website celebrating home cooks (like myself) to life a little over two years ago,  and it’s now one of the most popular food related websites available on the internet. They have already published one cookbook,  with a second coming out in October of this year as well as an IPad holiday App. Check out Amanda’s recipes and Merrill’s recipes on Food52.

Poaching fish or shellfish in olive oil is simple, and delicious. Add your favorite herbs and aromatics to the oil. The fish or shellfish are tender and and flavorful. I poached some shrimp and lobster tails. I didn’t use whole live lobsters (phobia) instead,  I decided to poach lobster tails in olive oil a la Amanda for Merrills Lobster Diavolo. This is a variation of the famous Lobster Fra Diavolo.  The dish is finished with fresh mint (my mint went bad and I was only able to salvage a few leaves so I mixed it with parsley to garnish the dish),  which in  my opinion makes this such a stand out recipe, adding a fresh twist to a classic. I used canned tomatoes instead of the fresh since seasonal fresh tomatoes are not available yet. I poached half of the shrimp in the oven and the other half on the stovetop with the lobster. I set the oven to 200 degrees and it took about 20 minutes. Both methods turned out fantastic. I invited a friend over for dinner and he gave both dishes two thumbs up!

Stovetop poaching

Olive Oil Poached Fish – By Amanda Hesser

To Poach Any Kind of Fish

Lay the fillets in a shallow, oven-proof casserole dish or skillet, just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Cover the fish with a 1/8-inch thick layer of olive oil (a good brand, but not your best), season with a flakey sea salt and any other herb or spice you like, then send it into a 275-degree oven, basting it often, until it’s cooked through. For a 1-inch thick fish fillet, it takes about 30 minutes.

To Poach Shellfish

I like to cook them on the stovetop. Place them in a single layer in a saucepan and pour in enough oil to just cover them. My default aromatics are thyme and lightly smashed garlic cloves (see photo above). Then set the pan over low heat, letting it warm enough so that tiny bubbles begin emerging on the sides of the pan, but none of the shellfish are bouncing around. Baste often and you’ll see the shellfish slowly turn opaque and constrict. When they’re cooked properly, they’ll be bouncy and light and not at all tough.

Lobster Diavolo

Lobster Diavolo- by Merrill Stubbs

Serves 2

2 pounds Roma tomatoes (or 28 ounces canned tomatoes with their juices)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for finishing

2 fat cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


2 1 1/2-pound live lobsters

1/2 pound spaghetti

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and cut a shallow “x” through the skin of the non-core end of each tomato with a sharp knife. Working in batches, gently lower the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, until the skin begins to peel away from the cuts you made. Remove the tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside until they are cool enough to touch.

Peel and then roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside. Pour the olive oil in a shallow, heavy saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, until fragrant and softened, but not browned. Add the chili flakes (start with half if you’re not sure about the heat – you can add more later) and cook for another minute or two.

Add the tomatoes and any juices, along with a few generous pinches of salt and stir through. Raise the heat to medium and let the tomatoes come to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours, until the tomatoes have completely broken down, adding water as needed to keep the sauce from drying out. When the sauce is ready, taste for salt and add more necessary. Cover and set aside.

Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the lobsters to the pot and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lobster’s antennae can be easily pulled off. Remove the lobsters from the pot and set aside for a few minutes to cool a little

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until still quite al dente. Reserving about half a cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta in a large colander and set it aside while you finish up with the lobster.

To remove the lobster meat, twist both claws off the body at the shoulder joint. Use a lobster cracker or the back of a chef’s knife to crack the shell and remove the claw meat. Use a pick or a small fork to pry the meat from the knuckles, twisting at the joints to separate one knuckle from the next. Twist the lobster body from the tail and discard. Twist off the fans at the tail, and then gently insert your finger into the opening, pushing the tail meat out the other end (it should come out in one beautiful piece). Clean off any roe, fat and green goo, and remove the vein if you like by peeling back the strip of meat on the top of the tail.

Keep the lobster meat in a warm place while you finish up the pasta: Turn the heat to medium underneath the pan with the sauce. Add the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water, using tongs to toss the pasta in the sauce. Add a splash or two of olive oil if you like. When the pasta is well-coated in the sauce and warm, arrange it among two shallow, warm bowls. Slice the lobster tails into ½-inch medallions and arrange these, along with the claw and knuckle meat, on top of the spaghetti. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle generously with mint. Serve immediately.

Olive oil poached shrimp and Lobster Diavolo

White Cake With Whipped Cream Icing and Blackberry Lemon Cream Filling

I have found a great recipe for yellow and chocolate cake but still continued my search for a white cake recipe, a cake that is moist and tender. I decided to try tweaking my yellow cake recipe to make it white and it worked beautifully. The cake is exactly what I was looking for. I spread a thin layer of blackberry lemon cream on the bottom layer and made a whipped cream icing using some of the Blackberry cream mixed in which acted as a stabilizer. It’s delicious, the icing is not too sweet and has a subtle blackberry lemon flavor. Added plus, it’s a beautiful shade of lavender.
  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature (1/2 cup egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar divided
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/3 cup  + 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature + 1 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray with cooking spray 2 9 inch round baking pans, place parchment round in each, spray or butter again and coat with flour. Set aside.

In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat egg whites until frothy, add  1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbs at a time beating after each addition. Continue beating until egg whites are thick and glossy. They should be stiff enough that when the beater or whisk is lifted they stay on the beater and don’t drop off.

In large mixing bowl sift flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the vegetable oil, milk,cream,and vanilla, beat with hand mixer on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Gently fold in the egg whites.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and invert onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.


Frosts a 9 inch layer cake

1 pint cold heavy cream

1/4 cup  + 2 tbs confectioners sugar

1/3 cup blackberry lemon cream

Get the mixing bowl and beaters cold by putting into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and either using a stand or hand held mixer add the heavy cream and confectioners sugar and whip until its thick, add the blackberry lemon cream and continue whipping until it is the desired consistency.

Spread a thin layer of the blackberry lemon cream on the cake layer and then spread some of the whipped cream on top of that. Place top layer on and frost the rest of the cake.

Blackberry,Lemon Cream

Blackberry Lemon Cream

I have been wanting to make the recipe for Tartine Bakery’s Lemon Cream since I saw on Food52 a few weeks ago. It is truly a genius recipe, really this is lemon curd, and the method of preparation is what is genius, after cooking the lemon, sugar and eggs you use either a countertop blender or immersion blender and add cold butter and whip it to a creamy, thick, billowy treat. Genius, most definitely.

I decided to play with the basic recipe and put a twist on it by using blackberries and lemons. I had the last of my frozen blackberries from last summers farmers market begging to be used  so I threw caution to the wind and made my variation. I didn’t know how it would turn out and I usually don’t change a recipe without having made it first. It turned out so well and I think its because the basic recipe is just so good. First I will give you the original and then how I tweaked it to add the blackberries.

Original Recipe for Tartine Bakery’s Lemon Cream

Makes about 2 1/2 cups (625 ml)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (5 oz/155 ml) lemon juice (Meyer or regular)

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter

Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

Combine the lemon juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of a saucepan over, not touching, the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. If you don’t have or trust your thermometer, don’t worry. It should thicken to the point that your whisk leaves a trail through the curd.

Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.

Meanwhile, cut butter into 1-tablespoon (15-ml) pieces. When the cream is ready, leave it in the bowl if using an immersion blender, or pour it into a countertop blender. With the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will be pale yellow and opaque and quite thick.

You can use the cream immediately, or pour it into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To use after refrigeration, if necessary, gently heat in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water until it has softened, whisking constantly.

Blackberry Lemon Cream

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

1/2 cup sugar

3  large egg yolks

1 whole large egg

Juice of one lemon

Zest of half a lemon

8 oz  unsalted butter (slightly cool not cold)

Put blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a saucepan, cook until sugar melts and berries are very soft. Remove from heat and pour into a strainer and press to get all the juices, really press it well to get it all. Amazingly this made exactly 1/2 cup + 2 tbs which is the amount called for in the original recipe. Let cool until its just warm.

Add some water to a saucepan and place on medium heat, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat so the water simmers,  pour the blackberry lemon juice in a mixing bowl that will rest on top of the saucepan, add the eggs and whisk to combine place the bowl on top of the simmering water and stir constantly, you want to cook it until it reaches a temperature of 180, it will get noticeably thick and coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let sit until the temperature goes down to 140.

While you are waiting for it to cool down cut the butter into 1 tbs size pieces. Pour the mixture in the blender and with the blender running add the butter a piece at a time blending well with each addition. It will become very thick and creamy. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Maple, Ginger Glazed Rib Eye Steak With Maple Caramelized Onions

Maple ginger glazed Rib Eye

I love the touch of sweetness that maple syrup brings to this steak, I gave it a slightly Asian flavor by adding soy sauce and freshly grated ginger to the maple syrup. The steak has a short marinade then is pan seared and finished in the oven. I caramelized some onions with the rest of the marinade and topped the steak with them. There is enough marinade for 2 steaks with a little left over to glaze the steak before putting in the oven and to add to the onions. I used rib eye steaks because thats what I had you can use whatever cut you prefer. The onions are optional but I recommend you give them a try, they are delicious with the steak.

Makes 2 steaks

2 steaks pastured,grass fed (I used rib eye almost 2 inches thick)

1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated

1 tablespoon melted butter

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced

1  tbs butter

2 tablespoons marinade made for steaks

Take steaks out of the refrigerator, lightly salt (just a little) and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Grate the ginger, place in small mixing bowl, add the maple syrup, melted butter and soy sauce and whisk to combine.Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and spoon about half of the marinade on the steak and let sit for 15 minutes. Heat oven proof skillet lightly coated with olive oil. When the skillet is good and hot, scrape some of the marinade off of the steak, add pepper and place the steaks in the skillet let them sear about 3-4 minutes, spoon a little more marinade on top of steaks and place it in the oven for 7-8 minutes for a medium rare steak. Remove from oven place on cutting board and tent with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. The steak should feel firm but not dry when you poke with your finger. There will be a slight give. You can use a meat thermometer if you are more comfortable doing that for a medium rare steak it should register 135-140 when you remove from the oven, and the final temperature would be 140-145 after it rests.

To make the onions, melt a tbs of butter in a skillet, add the sliced onions and spoon about 2 tbs of the marinade on them and let them caramelize on med heat. It will take about 20 minutes. You can serve the steak whole or slice it, your choice. Top with the caramelized onions and serve.

Featured Recipe: Chocolate Stout Cake With Cream Cheese/Mascarpone Frosting

Chocolate Stout Cake with Cream Cheese/Mascarpone Frosting

An amazing cook, Liz aka mrslarkin on food52 posted this recipe a while ago.  I had made a mental note to try it, but forgot until the other day when I saw her tweet a picture of the cake she made for her daughters birthday. It looked so good I just had to make it, she added red gel color to make it a red velvet cake and frosted with cream cheese icing. I asked her if I could feature the cake here and she graciously gave me permission.  I think what really makes this cake special is the addition of Guinness Stout, strong coffee, sour cream and butter. It’s so moist,  tender and flavorful with a wonderful crumb and it’s not overwhelmingly sweet either, honestly, its one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. I’ve talked about the cake now let me tell you about Liz, she is a tremendously talented cook and baker, she is the Pound Ridge Scone Lady, you can find her selling her delicious scones and baked goods every week at the farmers market. She is a contest winner on Food52 whose recipe for Lemon Posset was published in the first Food52 cookbook. You will also find her recipe for Butternut Sage Scones which will be in the second Food52 cookbook due out this October. When you just have to have a cookie, why not make her addictive and delicious Chubby Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  You can view all 134 of Liz’s recipes on Food52. Be prepared you will want to make all of them, and be sure to look her up if you are ever in Pound Ridge New York at the farmers market and sample her delicious baked goods.

Makes: A 9 inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes

The Cake:

1/2 cup  Guinness Stout

1/2 cup espresso, or strong black coffee

3/4 cups  cocoa powder

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar (press out any lumps)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (press out any lumps)

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set oven rack to middle. Butter two 9 inch round baking pans, line with parchment, then butter again and dust with flour or unsweetened cocoa powder.

Warm the stout and coffee. I do this in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, then add butter and stir until melted. Add cocoa powder and vanilla, and stir till combined.

In large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda and salt.

n mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together the eggs and sour cream. Pour in chocolate mixture and mix slowly. Gradually add flour mixture and gently mix until it is all combined. Pour batter into baking pans dividing evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Check with a cake tester to be sure – it should come out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pan(s) and set on cooling rack to cool completely.

Liz made a cream cheese frosting for the cake, I used the recipe I always use.

Cream Cheese,Mascarpone Frosting:

6 oz cream cheese at room temperature

6 oz mascarpone at room temperature

6 oz butter at room temperature

Enough confectioners sugar to make it spreadable you can make it to suit your taste. I find it usually takes about 4-5 cups

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the cream cheese, mascarpone and butter until smooth, add the confectioners sugar a cup at a time until you reach the desired sweetness and consistency, add the vanilla and beat just to combine.

Frost the completely cooled cake and enjoy!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day – Corned Beef,Colcannon and Irish Brown Soda Bread

In honor of St. Patrick and the beautiful country of Ireland on today’s menu is Irish fare. Corned Beef, Colcannon and Irish Brown Soda Bread.  I made the corned beef as I do every year, bring to a boil on the stove top with onion and spices and then braise in the oven for about 4 hours, next year I am going to make Suzanne Goins genius recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage that is on Food52. The Colcannon is a recipe from Whole Foods, you can’t get more simple or delicious in my opinion, boil the potatoes, saute some onion and cabbage and mash it all together I made two very minor changes I caramelized the onions before adding the cabbage and instead of milk I added melted butter and creme fraiche.  Here is, Whole Foods Colcannon recipe  The Brown Bread is from food52, its a recipe Merrill Stubbs posted, it’s a family recipe her Mother always made and is absolutely delicious, Irish Brown Bread slathered with Irish butter.  I am looking forward to having Creative  Culinary’s authentic Irish Coffee Recipe

Irish Coffee,Brown Bread with Butter and Caramelized Pear Jam

Featured Recipe-Roasted Asparagus Sandwich With Pickled Onion,Bacon and Hard Cooked Egg Dressing

This amazing recipe is from Jenny aka gingerroot her cooks name on food52, she is a very talented cook, art educator, foodscaper and Mom to two gorgeous children and she is lucky enough to live in Hawaii, her recipes are stunning, expertly seasoned, paired and prepared. This sandwich is so delicious, I made it for the first time on Sunday and each ingredient fits with the other like a glove. I used flat bread rather than a baguette, no matter what kind of bread you use the ingredients speak for themselves. I think this would be an excellent sandwich to pack for lunch. Jenny will have several recipes published in the food52 cookbook coming out in October of this year, you might want to try her Late Night Coffee Brined Chicken, or her Roasted Carrot Harissa And Creme Fraiche Crostini, there are so many great recipes,  and like me you will want to make them all, you can view her 112 recipes on Food52. Don’t overlook her fabulous drinks either, my new winter staple is her Dirty Chai Toddy and I plan on trying it on ice this summer, its just that good!

Serves 1

1 6 inch baguette

4 asparagus spears, washed woody ends broken off

2 slices thick bacon

3-4 sprigs Italian parsley

olive oil for drizzling

sea salt

For the hard cooked egg spread

1 hard cooked egg (see note about cooking egg)2

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp capers,drained, finely chopped

Squeeze of a small meyer lemon wedge (about 1 1/2 tsp)

freshly ground black pepper

For the pickled onions/leeks

1 cup negi onion or baby leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

6 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon  kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dill seed

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns

1 small hot dried chile, such as chile de Arbol, trimmed, seeds removed

PICKLE THE ONIONS AT LEAST 1 DAY AHEAD: Place thinly sliced negi or baby leeks in a heatproof container with a tight-fitting lid. Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush seeds, peppercorns and chile. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Add crushed spice mixture. Bring to a boil, cook for two minutes. Pour hot mixture over onions. Cover and refrigerate at least one day, up to two days. Note: This makes enough onions for at least two sandwiches.

WHEN READY TO ASSEMBLE SANDWICH: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Place asparagus on foil; drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 10 minutes, shaking pan once halfway. Asparagus are finished when they are fragrant, slightly wrinkled, but still juicy. Set pan aside to cool.

Meanwhile, toast baguette in a dry pan over medium low heat or in a toaster

Make hard-cooked dressing by slicing egg in half and removing yolk. Grate yolk into a small bowl. Finely chop cooked white and add to bowl. Add olive oil, chopped capers, lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Mixture should have an egg salad consistency. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.Place bacon in a cool, dry skillet and cook over medium heat until golden crisp and fat is rendered. Remove from pan and allow pieces to drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Lay toasted baguette halves on a plate. Spread hard cooked egg dressing on one half. Top with parsley sprigs, breaking to fit bread if necessary. On the other piece of baguette, break bacon slices to fit bread. Add a generous quarter cup of drained pickled onions. Top with roasted asparagus. Carefully put sandwich together, pressing down slightly. Cut in half and enjoy immediately.

Tarts With Coconut,Almond Sweet Pastry Crust-For Pi Day

Fruit Tarts

In honor of “Pi” Day I am posting a recipe for fruit tarts, the pastry crust has toasted almond flour and coconut, filled with pastry cream and topped with fresh berries. The pastry and pastry cream are adapted from Martha Stewarts recipes from her website.

Pate Sucree: (Sweet Pastry Crust)

Serves 6

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup Toasted almond flour ( I get it from King Arthur)

1/4 cup flaked coconut

2 tablespoons sugar

8 ounces Unsalted cold butter cut into pieces (I like to use butter with a high fat content like Plugra)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks

2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

Put flour, almond flour, coconut, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse just to combine. Add your butter and pulse until it resembles crumbs. Add the egg yolks and 2 TBS cream pulse until the dough comes together. If too dry add the other TBS of cream if you find it still has not come together add cream a tsp at a time, Be careful not to over process.

Remove dough from processor and form into two disks wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

You can roll your dough or press into tart or tartlet pans I found the dough to be a little temperamental when it was cold and pressing was so much easier. Prick with fork and put on sheet pan and place in freezer. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. When your dough is well chilled take out of freezer and put a parchment round in each and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for approx 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and remove the parchment and pie weights or beans and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until lightly brown

Remove from the oven and let cool, before you fill the tart refrigerate for at least 30 minutes preferably an hour. Remove tart rim and bottom and fill with your favorite filling

If you want to make a plain pate sucree increase flour to 2 1/2 cups omit the almond flour and coconut and increase the sugar to 1/4 cup.

Pastry Cream:

2 cups half and half or whole milk

1 vanilla bean split or 2 tsp pure vanilla extraxt see note in step 1.and step 3

1/2 cup sugar

4 large egg yolks at room temperature

1/4 cup Corn starch or flour

1 tablespoon butter

Place half and half or milk (I used half and half), vanilla bean in medium saucepan. (NOTE: If you are using vanilla extract do not add your vanilla now) Cook on high heat scalding the milk Remove from heat. In medium bowl whisk eggs and sugar until thickened sift in cornstarch or flour and beat until combined.

Pour half of the hot milk into egg mixture whisking as you pour. Pour back into saucepan and cook on medium high heat whisking constantly until mixture thickens takes approximately 2 minutes and if you are using a thermometer then take it off the stove when the temperature reaches 170-175. It will be thick. Remove vanilla bean.

Transfer to bowl. Add vanilla extract now if you did not use a vanilla bean and add the butter stir and cover with plastic wrap pressing it directly onto the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Raspberry Reduction

Pork Tenderloin With Raspberry Reduction

Spring is almost here and that means seasonal berries will be hitting the green markets really soon. Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit but I can’t help it, Spring is my favorite season and I look forward to the treasure trove of berries and produce that I will be able to buy very soon. This recipe is simple to prepare, takes advantage of seasonal fruit and is really delicious. You can make it without the berries of course but I recommend you seek out raspberries, pork pairs well with fruits whether its apples or prunes or pears. The meat is pan seared  finished in the oven, it will be slightly pink when done. If you have a meat thermometer it’s best to use it so that there is no guessing whether or not the pork is done. The sauce with raspberries, shallot,  wine, dijon mustard and butter is simple to prepare and adds complexity to the dish.

Serves 3-4 depending on serving size

1/4 cup Olive Oil for marinade

1 clove garlic crushed

1 Small Pork Tenderloin (Mine was 1.20 lbs)

1/2 pint fresh raspberries

Olive oil for pan

Salt and pepper to taste (for the pepper I used a blend of black,white, green and pink in the pepper mill)

1 Small Shallot chopped or half a larger one

1 tablespoon Raspberry vinegar( I used Alessi White balsamic Raspberry Vinegar)

1/2 cup White wine (If you have a Rose open use that It would be just as good)

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon butter

Pre-heat oven to 425. Crush garlic add to ziplock bag along with pork and 1/4 cup of olive oil seal bag and give it a good squishing make sure that garlic clove and olive oil really permeate the meat. Refrigerate for an hour or two. Remove meat from refrigerator and let come to room temperature about 20- 30 minutes.

In heat proof fry pan coat with olive oil and place on high flame get the pan nice and hot, season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the pork in hot fry pan and brown on all sides. Finish cooking in the oven. For a small pork tenderloin it will take about 12-15 minutes but you should use a meat thermometer remove meat when it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Remove from oven and let meat rest in pan tented with foil for approximately 15 minutes. The juices will release into the pan. Note: The pork will continue cooking to reach an internal temp of 155 and will have a slight pink tint, if you prefer your pork more well done remove from oven with an internal temp of 155 and it will reach 160 after resting.

With tongs remove pork from pan and tent with foil, place fry pan with those lovely brown bits and meat juices on med/high flame and add the chopped shallot (if needed add a little more olive oil to cook the shallots), cook until caramelized. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, add the mustard,and the raspberry vinegar and reduce by 1/2. Don’t worry it doesn’t look like much sauce when you add the raspberries and cook they will release juice. Adjust seasoning before you add the raspberries I only added a little pepper I did not add additional salt you can add if you like. At this point before you add the berries you can add the tablespoon of butter. Add the raspberries and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes the raspberries will release their juices. Stir gently as it cooks as you want the berries to remain intact. Slice pork into medallions and spoon sauce over the meat.

Celery And Potato Gnocchi With Herb Sauce

Celery and Potato Gnocchi With Herb Sauce

I created this for the latest food52 contest, the ingredient we have to work with is celery. I found this pretty challenging, I like celery raw in salads as opposed to cooked. I struggled to find a different and creative way to use celery in a dish and I thought, gnocchi might be good venue for the celery challenge, my instincts were correct, the gnocchi have a subtle celery flavor and to dress them I made a quick, fresh herb sauce utilizing the leaves and thin stems of the celery, parsley, mint, garlic, butter and olive oil. The result is delicious and I am already thinking of ways to incorporate other vegetables in the gnocchi.

Serves 6


5 large stalks of celery cleaned and chopped into 2 inch pieces

1 large potato (I used russet)peeled and sliced in thick pieces

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp celery seed (optional to intensify celery flavor)

large pot of boiling water that is salted

Slice potato and celery and boil together. boil until they are very soft, drain and let cool in the strainer until they are just warm, press with a fork to remove any liquid. Add to food processor and process until smooth, add egg, salt, optional celery seed and 2 cups flour. Pulse until you have a cohesive but somewhat sticky dough add more flour and pulse if its too sticky. Dump the remaining cup of flour onto work surface and plop the dough on the flour, knead until you have a soft dough incorporating all the flour. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add enough salt so that the water is salty. Dust surface with more flour and cut dough into 8 pieces cover dough you are not working with with a clean kitchen towel. Roll a piece of dough with your hands until it forms a long (like a thick dowel) cylinder shape, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces, If you want to get fancy roll each piece on the back side of a fork so you have tine marks, place gnocchi on floured sheet pan, dust with a little more flour, and cover until ready to cook, continue until all dough is used. This makes a substantial amount of gnocchi so use what you need for a meal place the others on a floured parchment lined baking sheet in one layer and freeze. Transfer to a freezer bag. Put the gnocchi in the boiling water and stir to separate them, they are done when they float to the top, remove with strainer and add directly to skillet with the sauce.


1/2 cup celery leaves with tender thin parts of the stalk finely chopped

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped

1 clove garlic minced

splash of olive oil for skillet

4 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted your choice)

Heat olive oil in skillet, add garlic and saute until soft add the butter and when butter has melted add the herbs, stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes. Saute the gnocchi in the sauce for a few minutes, top with grated parmigiano or romano cheese.