Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4/25/10 - Seafood Scampi with local clams and ramps

After a tough pilates session followed by a walk through the neighborhood, we headed home with only one thing on our mind....food! Our pilates lesson is at 2pm so depending on when we get up, it can be difficult to eat before going since you need about 2 hours to digest. Today was one of those days - though I was in "bed" (or rather the couch!) early, I still slept till almost noon. I guess I was really tired? Either way I was dreaming of using some of our remaining farmer's market scores and decided that a nice pasta with seafood would be delicious.

As I started the get the clams (the fishmonger said they are/were from eastern LI), shrimp & scallops ready and the pasta water boiling, I decided that perhaps I could substitute in some of my local ramps for the garlic that is so very important in a good scampi. This was the first time I ever tried to use ramps - a cross between a leek and garlic that is part of the lily family, with both an edible bulb and leaf. I wish that I had looked up the site I linked to above that recommends mixing some garlic in with the ramps to really bring out the flavor as I felt that they weren't all that prominent in my dish. While none of the flavors were very prominent, the combination of all of the ingredients, along with a little zip from some crushed red pepper was delicious.

Seafood Scampi
12 large shrimp - peeled & deveined
12 little neck clams - shells scrubbed
12 scallops
1 bunch ramps - washed ans diced - whites separate from the greens
5 mushrooms - sliced
1/2 red pepper- diced
1/2 c white wine
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp fresh chives 
1/2 lb linguini

optional grated Parmesean cheese

1) Cook linguini according to package- once cooked stain and toss with 2 tbsp oil
2) In a large wok pan heat up 2 tbsp of oil
3) Saute ramp whites and peppers until softened
4) Stir in mushrooms and ramp greens and add white wine
4) Add scallops, shrimp and clams and cover pan to steam
5) Once clams have opened, toss in pasta
6) Add crushed red pepper and chives and top with grated cheese if desired

Saturday, April 24, 2010

4/24/10 - Greenmarket Fresh Spring Salad

Even though its still just April, the Green Market in Union Square in NYC is open! I have been craving the sunshine and fresh foods, so we decided to take a trip in this afternoon to see the offerings. While its still early for most vegetables the first greens have begun to arrive and even some early greenhouse grown produce. Also there is many fresh farm products including cheeses, meats and baked goods.

Once we got home, it wasn't long before I was preparing our food score into a nice fresh lunch. I tried to keep things simple as to showcase all the beautiful flavors from the food. A blend of micro-greens and baby spinach formed the base of the salad and was topped with some apple, crumbled cheddar and seared lamb sausage. I dressed the salad with a mild vinaigrette that I mixed from red wine vinegar, oil and mustard. I also had fun teaching Jeremy to shuck a cherry stone....which was quite interesting since he is a lefty so it was all backwards!

This was what we brought home: 
1/2 cheddar & jalapeno loaf (he loves it but its a little spicy for me!) $7
1/4 lb sharp cheddar (we also tried some medium aged alpine) $4.50
bunch of ramps (I had to see what the fuss was about!) $3
bottle of bittersweet hard cider (also tried an ice wine and a pear & peach wine) $14
flat of basil plants, hot peppers and lettuce (since we didn't kill the parsley, cilanto, chives and oregano we have going yet we are going to give it a go!)
4 pack of lamb & rosemary sausages $12
mixed swiss chard $3
baby spinach $5
micro green mix
2 small juices (fuji apple and apple currant) $3
and best for last.....1 doz cherry stones $5 and 1 doz little necks $6

Saturday, April 17, 2010

4/12/10 - Marsala Mushroom topped Risotto with Scallops

Lately, I have been a little lazy. While there are many grocery stores nearby, I have put off visiting them and instead decided to live only on take out. Its funny because I am never really satisfied with takeout and usually end up feeling ripped off when I take the food quality vs the price into consideration. Yet, every so often I find myself flipping through the usual menus and asking "Do you want Chinese, Sushi, Mexican....?"  Its times like these where something like FreshDirect probably would make a lot of sense for me since its not that I don't want to cook, its just that I don't feel like dealing with the store.  I have gone as far as checking out the circular and even making a list but that last step....oh well, maybe tomorrow! 
This dinner was made from the last of my fresh veggies (mushrooms) and some scallops I had frozen from a sale a few weeks back. The risotto is a pantry staple dressed up with cheese (Parmesan) and herbs which are also ever present in my fridge. (And hopefully soon my window sill garden - this time there are actual leaves!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

4/7/10 - Mediterranean Stir-Fry

This isn't your traditional Asian stir-fry but its just as easy....and the assembly is very similar - just make sure to cut veggies the same size! I served the stir-fry on a bed of cooked broccoli rabe instead of a more traditional rice or pasta because I had a big chicken club sub today and felt the need to be a bit healthy! This meal was made with chicken however you can easily substitute the chicken for some beans (I would say canellini beans would be best) to make a vegetarian version.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

4/6/10 - Recycled Fried Potatoes (with Teriyaki Salmon)

I was finally able to work out today after a few long, lazy weeks on the couch. After getting in a nice workout the last thing I wanted was a heavy meal (or really any meal - I tend to not be hungry after I exercise....until all of a sudden I realize I didn't eat and then I am starving!!!!) Once we got settled in at home it was already 8pm and I knew it was time to get something going. Luckily before leaving on our walk I was smart enough to check on the salmon which was defrosting in the fridge - it wasn't quite defrosted just yet so I needed to get that ready as well.

What I like about this dinner is being able to reuse leftovers from other meals in a tricky way. Something about eating the same exact thing the next night seems boring to me but re-making the ingredients is totally acceptable. What can I say sometimes I am a bit strange!  Tonight's makeover took plain baked potatoes from Easter dinner and fried them up with some peppers, mushroom and onion till they got a bit of a crispy crust.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

4/4/10 - Easter Dinner....Boneless Leg of Lamb

We were with family all weekend but left early on Sunday to beat traffic, which means I made my first ever Easter dinner. With lamb on sale this week at the store I couldn't resist picking up a small boneless leg to attempt a roast. I left it to defrost in my refrigerator on Friday afternoon and came home Sunday morning hoping that everything would be ready to go (it was!). We had a friend joining us so I tried to have dinner ready by 5 pm but as always I was a off by an hour. I assumed that the stores were closed because of the holiday, so I had to throw a nice dinner together with the left overs from the week.

I was a bit perplexed when I saw that my roast was wearing this elastic girdle but quickly figured out that it was a clever way to "tie" the roast. I studded the roast with garlic and lemon before coating it in salt & rosemary which infused a lot of flavor throughout the meat. I was happy that I got the roast on the right side of med- rare/ med line and everyone was happy. I added a side of raspberry chipotle maple glazed carrots, asparagus wrapped in bacon and finally a baked potato (simple but delicious!). I also served a small salad to start - mixed greens salad topped with pear and cheese (pictured above).