Lobster Bisque

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 40 MINS

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This is the quintessential lobster bisque soup you will find in most fine dining establishments but it’s not as fussy to make as it sounds. It’s super simple to make and you can easily sub seafood stock for lobster stock. When we have lobster for a holiday meal, I save the shells, the little legs and tails and freeze to make lobster stock. Don’t have lobster meat or shells on hand? Consider making the same recipe using shrimp and shrimp shells.

INGREDIENTS

* 3 Tbsp. butter
* 1 cup yellow onions, chopped
* 1 medium carrot, chopped
* 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
* 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
* 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
* 3 Tbsp. flour
* 2 cups seafood or lobster stock
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1/4 cup cognac, brandy or sherry
* 12-16 oz lobster meat, chopped
* 1 tsp. smoked paprika
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
* 1/4 tsp nutmeg
* 1/4 tsp. cayenne or more to taste
* 1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream
* salt and freshly-ground black pepper
* 1-2 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and tomato paste, and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are cooked and translucent.
2. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and mix well and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the seafood stock, white wine, cognac, lobster meat, paprika, bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, and stir to combine.
4. Simmer for 25-30 minutes over medium-low heat, be sure to stir a several times to prevent the bottom from burning.
5. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme.
6. Remove a couple of small pieces of lobster, chop and set aside for garnish, optional.
7. Pour in the heavy cream, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir.
8. Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or pour, in batches, in to an high speed blender. Blend for 20-30 seconds and until smooth.
9. Pour into bowls and garnish with reserved, chopped lobster and parsley, optional.

NOTES

Oil Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

YIELDS | 4 cup SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10-15 MINS

COOK TIME | 2-21/2 HOURS

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I make a big batch of these oil roasted cherry tomatoes and freeze them. I use them throughout the winter months and spoon them along with the oil into pastas, on top of flatbread’s and pizzas and toss into stews for a burst of fresh tomato flavor.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 pints cherry tomatoes
* 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
* 6 fresh thyme sprigs
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed, optional
* 6 Serrano peppers, optional
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 225F.

1. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a baking dish and drizzle them with the oil.
2. Add thyme, garlic and salt. Bake until the tomatoes are swollen and the skins are wrinkled. About 2.5-3 hours.
3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Freeze in 1 cup containers along with equal amounts of oil or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

NOTES

I typically make two batches; one with time and kosher salt iand 1 batch with garlic and Serrano pepper for a spicy version.

Savory Tomato Pie

YIELDS | 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 45 MINS Plus cooling time 60 MINS

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This is a savory, herbaceous pie that highlights the bounty of tomatoes from summer’s end. This easy Tomato Pie is perfect for Meatless Monday. Simply omit the bacon or sub with vegan bacon. I found myself slicing slivers of it cold straight from the fridge though I did allow the family to have some too 😍

INGREDIENTS

* 3 pounds assorted medium to large heirloom tomatoes
* 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
* 6 thick-cut bacon slices, diced, or vegan bacon, optional
* 2 large shallots, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
* 6 ounces aged extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
* ½ cup mayonnaise
* ½ cup chopped fresh basil
* ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
* 1 large egg
* 1-9” pie shell store bought or home made
* Fresh basil leaves
* Minced fresh chives

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Set aside enough tomato slices to cover the top of the pie, about 7 or 8 slices and place on top of paper towels to absorb the excess juice. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and set aside. 

2. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray or oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the remaining tomatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until blistered and slightly dried. Cool completely, about 1 hour.


3. Meanwhile, cook bacon, if using, in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fat is beginning to render, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped shallots, and cook until bacon is crisp and shallots are caramelized, about 6 to 7 more minutes. Stir in garlic; and cook for about a minute and until fragrant. Transfer bacon mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool 20 minutes.


4. Stir together cheese, mayonnaise of choice, basil, chives and egg until combined. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Fold in the bacon and garlic. 


5. Spread a third of cheese mixture into the pie crust and then layer on half of the roasted tomato slices in an overlapping pattern then repeat this step.
6. Spread the last of the cheese mixture on top of tomato slices and then top the pie with the reserved sliced fresh tomatoes. Press the tomatoes and filling into the crust . 

7. Bake the pie until the filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes and then transfer to the wire rack, and let cool for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with basil and chives, kosher salt to taste and freshly ground pepper to taste. 



NOTES

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME 0 MINS

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This may be the quintessential summer soup. Served cold, it is light, refreshing and highly nutritious. This versatile soup would look beautiful on a table set for brunch, a wedding or holiday but it is easy enough to make for any weekday meal. Use cashew yogurt and veggie broth for a wonderful vegan option.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
* 1 small avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped.
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
* 1/2 cup vegetable stock.Slices of thin cucumbers for garnish.
* 2 tablespoons shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pour all ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until very smooth.
2. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
3. Pour into individual bowls, garnish with pistachios, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil.

NOTES

Tomato Bread with Smoked Olive Oil-Lemon Ricotta and Sardines

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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My son, Adam, and I created this recipe together. It is so easy to make yet it delivers a complex layers of flavors. The smoked olive oil gives the creamy ricotta an earthy flavor and pairs perfectly with the sardines. The lemon brightens the entire dish and is a delightful compliment to the overall umami profile. This tomato bread bursts with flavor. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making it over and over again.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
* 2 Tbsps smoked olive oil plus more to taste
* 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
* 2- plump garlic cloves, peeled
* 1-2 large, fresh ripe tomatoes, halved
* 1- large loaf crusty bread, such as a French boule or baguette
* 1-tin, 3.735 oz skinless, boneless sardines, packed in olive oil
* 2 Tbsps room temperature butter or olive oil to brush onto the bread
* One small bunch chives, chopped for garnish, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread each side with butter or olive oil and grill or toast in the oven until golden brown, set aside.

2. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice to a food processor or high powered blender. Turn the machine on low to medium and slowly drizzle in 2 Tbsp smoked olive oil and blend until the mixture has a silky texture. Add more smoked olive oil as needed.

3. Pour mixture into a small bowl and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Rub the fresh garlic on to each side of the toasted bread.

5. Generously rub each side of the toasted bread with the tomato. Be sure to get the tomato into every nook and cranny.

6. Top tomato toast with the heaping Tbsp of the creamy ricotta-Lemon mixture.

7. Top each slice with 2 to 3 sardines, sprinkle with additional kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and garnish with chopped chives, optional.

NOTES

Use any leftover ricotta mixture to mix into mashed potatoes or stir into rice for a savory side dish. Top grilled chicken or fish with it and garnish with chives or another favorite herb.

Kimchi Pancakes

YIELDS | Makes 4 larger or 8 smaller pancakes SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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These pancakes are savory, have a nutty, chewy outside and a tender , bursting with umami flavor on the inside. They are incredibly easy to make and reheat well. Serve alone for breakfast lunch or dinner or serve alongside with an asian inspired soup or salad.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 large egg
* 1-2 Tbsp kimchi brine or more to taste
* 4 Tbsps soy sauce, divided
* 1 cup all-purpose flour, I like Bisquick
* 2 cups kimchi, coarsely chopped
* 4 scallions, trimmed, sliced thin plus extra to use as garnish
* 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, as garnish, optional
* 4 Tbsps sesame seed oil or any neutral oil, divided
* 3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and 3 tablespoons soy sauce and set aside.
2. Crack 1 egg into a medium bowl. Add kimchi brine, to taste, add 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and ¼ cup filtered water. Whisk until slightly fluffy.
3. Whisk in the flour and add the chopped kimchi, mix well.
4. Add the scallions to the mix but save a couple Tbsps as garnish.
5. Heat 2 Tbsps oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and drop about 1/2 cup of the batter into the hot oil. You should be able to fit 2 larger pancakes in the pan.
6. Cook pancakes for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and then carefully flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Move the pancakes to a plate and cover with a clean towel to keep warm.
7. Add the remainder of the oil to the pan and cook the remaining batter. You should have two more pancakes for a total of 4 nice sized cakes.
8. Combine 3 Tbsp. vinegar and remaining 3 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small bowl.
9. Transfer pancakes to a serving platter and garnish with remaining scallions, cilantro, if using, and drizzle the vinegar, soy sauce mixture evenly over all the pancakes and serve.

NOTES