A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Sounds like a lot of garlic right? This old French dish is delicious because the garlic simmers away and becomes almost sweet and tender. Each medium sized head/bulb of garlic has about 14 cloves so you will need around 3-4 heads of garlic. Break up the heads and place the cloves into a large Tupperware. Shake, shake, shake and a lot of the skins will come off. The rest are easily peeled. This recipe is a bit different because the garlic and chicken are placed under the broiler after cooking to give them a lovely golden color and crispy skin.

1 chicken quartered (if you can’t figure out how to do this I am sure your butcher will help. Here I remove the breasts from the bone for easy serving but if you prefer to leave it on for more flavor that is fine)
Large pinch of salt and pepper to season the meat
40 cloves (aprox) of peeled garlic
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup white wine
2-3 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cognac
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400
Place the chicken on a plate and season them with salt and pepper. Into a Dutch oven or stockpot (about 5 quart is fine) add the chicken, garlic, thyme, and white wine. Cover the pot and place into the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After thirty minutes you will check your chicken, if the breasts are cooked through and the juices run clear not pink, then you can carefully remove them. Recover the pot and place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the leg meat is also cooked through. Remove pot from oven. Place all of the chicken parts on a baking sheet. Scoop out the garlic and add that to the baking sheet as well. Brush the chicken parts and the garlic with the melted butter. (And re-season with more salt and pepper if you like)

Position a rack about 5-6” away from broiler unit. Place chicken/garlic under the broiler for about 4-6 minutes or until the garlic is golden in color and the chicken skin is crispy.

Meanwhile, remove the thyme sprigs from the pot of cooking liquid. Whisk together the cornstarch and water- add it to the pot of liquid along with cream and cognac. Place pot over high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and season sauce with salt and pepper. To serve, add the golden garlic into the sauce and serve over the chicken.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Braised lamb with orzo (Greek)

2-2 ½ Pounds of lamb meat (I like to use the “for Stew” meat- it will have bones but they help flavor the dish)- another option would be to use lamb leg cut into 2” chunks
Salt and ground pepper to season the meat
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion peeled and diced
1 can 24 oz of crushed san Marzano tomatoes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of ground pepper
1 cup red wine
1 cup orzo
7 cups boiling water
Feta cheese to garnish, use as much as you like…

Preheat the oven to 350
Season beat with salt and pepper. Place a large braising pan or wide Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in the vegetable oil then, when oil is hot, add the meat. Sear the meat on all sides (about 5-10 minutes total). Work in batches if you must.

Add all seared meat back into to the pot, lower the heat to medium- medium low. Add in the onions and stir. Cook onions for 2-3 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, salt and pepper, along with the wine. Cover your pot and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the lid and add in orzo, along with boiling water. Stir. Re-cover the pot and cook and cook at 300 for 1 hour. After this hour you will remove the lid and let the lamb simmer away, uncovered, for another 2-3 hours. The orzo will become plum and the lamb will be falling off the bone. To serve, scoop out the tomato coated orzo; top it with lamb chunks then a generous helping of feta cheese chunks. This dish is a perfect for a “dinner party” since it can be prepared in advance, and then left to simmer in the oven for several hours.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is, for the most part, about making poached eggs and hollandaise. After that it is all about assembling ingredients.

1 Recipe Hollandaise sauce
You will first want to make Hollandaise Sauce and keep it in a bowl over warm, but not simmering water while you poach the eggs. If the water gets too hot the sauce might “break”. I would prefer a room temperature sauce to a broken one so I might also suggest that you just hold it aside in the food processor while you quickly prepare other items.

English muffins must be broken in half and toasted. These can be kept in a warm oven.

For each English muffin you will need 2 poached eggs (see recipe for poached eggs)

For each English muffin you will need 2 slices of Canadian bacon sautéed until crispy (about 1-2 minutes per side)- These too may be done slightly ahead and kept in a warm oven.

To assemble- Place a piece of bacon on top of each muffin half. On top of each bacon place a poached egg then drizzle with a good size spoon full of Hollandaise.

Garnish with fresh herbs such as minced parsley; chives or I like little bits of thyme.

Eggs Florentine or almost anything a la Florentine means with spinach. In this case you will simply substitute sautéed (and drained) spinach for the bacon.


(1-1 ¼ cups)

Hollandaise is an old school French sauce, made from whipped egg yolks and butter. The two ingredients, when whipped together form a light creamy sauce to use on top of fish, asparagus or my personal favorite Eggs Benedict/Eggs Florentine (Benedict but with sautéed spinach in place of ham). You may never intend it drizzle this sauce over your vegetables (I don’t) but learning to make it is quite worthwhile if you love eggs benedict as I do.

The ingredients-
3 egg yolks
1 Teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon table salt
Dash of Tabasco (optional)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or wine vinegar
1 ¼ sticks of butter – if doing this by hand over double boiler the butter will be room temp and cut into small, pea size chunks… If doing this in the more modern way the butter will be melted
Have on hand- heavy cream

Set up some simmering water in a pot (I use a pasta pot because they are taller and keep the eggs further away from the heat). Simmer but never boil the water. Set a large heatproof bowl over the pot and add the eggs. Whisk eggs for 1 minute. Whisk in the cornstarch, salt, Tabasco, lemon juice or vinegar, Then, slowly, a few pieces at a time, whisk in the lumps of butter until a creamy sauce forms.

THE MODERN (and I happen to think better/much quicker) WAY- it is so easy to make this sauce if you use a mini food processor. You will use melted butter in place of chunks.
Place your egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, Tabasco, and lemon juice or vinegar into the processor. Pulse a few times. With the processor running, pour the melted butter through the top 2 holes of the processors cover. Continue adding butter until you fell the sauce thickens and you have reached the desired consistency.

Why the Heavy cream? Well, if your sauce breaks or curdles from too much heat some say you can add a tablespoon of hot water and a tablespoon of heavy cream into the broken sauce and whip it up again. (Alternately you could start in a fresh bowl, whipping a new egg yolk and add the broken sauce back into the new egg) I happen to think these fixes are just ok at best- maybe its better to make a new batch…

Can I make it ahead? It’s so easy to make in the food processor that there is no need, but if you insist then refrigerate it. You can try to reheat it in the microwave (10 seconds at a time until warm) or over a water bath, or putting it back in the processor and pouring through the spouts 4-6 tablespoons of hot heavy cream.

Sauce Béarnaise-Hollandaise with chopped shallots, parsley, tarragon, and lemon juice and reduced wine vinegar
Sauce Paloise- wit chopped mint and anchovy
Garlic Hollandaise - with minced garlic
Mustard Hollandaise- with mustard
Sauce Maltaise- basic sauce Hollandaise but with orange juice (about1Tablespoon of orange juice incorporated while making the sauce and 2-4 tablespoons of juice and or zest whipped in to the finished sauce) in place of lemon juice or vinegar

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How to kill a lobster

This is one of few moments in a home cooks life when they will actually have to kill their food. Most meat comes in pretty little packages from the market. Eventually, if you cook often, you too will have to deal with the lobster “issue”. There are a few options- I am not going to tell you which one you should choose, that is up to you. My aim is simply to provide details. I will say though, dealing with a live lobster in your home will give you a much-needed respect for the origins of most of your food.

The Grandma method- my grandma used to plunge the lobsters in boiling water headfirst. (2 minutes to kill them, then remove them if you plan to cook them again in another fashion). As ledged has it, she would scream every time she put one in the pot. I think of her every time I cook lobster.

The freezer method- some say it is most kind to place the lobster into the freezer for about 30 minutes (it makes them sleepy) before plunging them into the boiling water. I told my butcher of this method once and he though that was quite funny. “Sure, get them nice and sleepy and comfortable before you kill them, that very kind!” – his quote not mine.

Julia’s Method- well, this is the method provided for us in Mastering the Art of French Cooking if you object to steaming or splitting a live lobster- plunge the point of a knife into the head between the eyes, or sever the spinal cord by making a small incision in the back of the shell at the juncture of the chest and the tail. Humm, going at a lobsters hard shell, while its flopping around on your cutting board, using one of your cheapest knifes sounds like a recipe for disaster… but once again, I shall not judge.

The “I just can’t deal with this at all!” method- Lobster tails are sold uncooked and frozen from most fishmongers. I have also seen full, uncooked, frozen lobsters at some gourmet markets for double the price, and I doubt they taste as good. Your grocer might also be able to steam the lobster for you, but if you plan to re-cook the lobster be sure that he/she steams the lobster just long enough to kill it but dose not cook the lobster completely.

P.S- In case you are wondering, and I know that you are, I have never seen the rubber bands around the lobsters claws melt, when left attached to the lobster for only the first 2 minutes in boiling water

Monday, April 14, 2008

How to poach an egg

Poached eggs are mostly about having everything ready before you begin.

Eggs (as many as you care to poach) plus several extra- the fresher the better…

Have ready
A wide, shallow pan, (sauté pan with high sides is best) filled with about 2” simmering water
A skimmer, or slotted spoon and a spoonula or heatproof spatula
A tea towel to dry the eggs on or a bowl of cold water if you plan to save the eggs for later
Individual Teacups, saucers, or ramekins to hold the cracked eggs until you are ready to cook them

To begin –
You will want to crack all of the eggs, plus an additional few, into teacups or ramekins without breaking the yolks. Once they are all ready to be cooked add the vinegar to the simmering water.

Slide into the water your first egg. Gently, with the spoonula, fold a little of the whites over the yolk. DO NOT STIR! If you stir you will just make a mess. Cook 2-3 minutes for runny yolks and 5 minutes for firmer yolks. You may cook only 2-3 eggs at a time. When the first batch is cooked use your slotted spoon or skimmer to lift the eggs from the water and drain on a tea towel. If you are holding the eggs for later immerse them in cold water and refrigerate.

Trim the eggs of excess whites with a paring knife.

Eggs may be placed back into hot water for 1-2 minutes to rewarm them.

Alternately- egg poaching pans are available in cookware shops if you are looking for if you want eggs that look exactly the same each time.

Lobster burger and more

This weekend I once again spent time cooking from what is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks. Michel Richard’s Happy in The Kitchen actually makes me happy to cook from. This Saturday night I made lobster burgers from his cookbook, last weekend I made Filet Mignon with simple Syrah Sauce and the week prior I made an apple risotto topped with vanilla ice cream that my kids devoured as a mid morning snack (I don’t think the risotto is in the cookbook, but rather from his appearance on a French Culinary Institute interview).

The book is great fun, but many recipes have several other recipes woven into them so read carefully and plans ahead before you start. The filet Mignon’s were topped with delicious deep fried Enoki mushroom Tempura. These appear complicated but were very easy and the children thought they were French fries and couldn’t get enough of them as they came crispy, out of the oil and dusted with sea salt.

Another big winner was the Syrah sauce. Michel uses beets to deepen the flavor and color of the sauce, and it is a brilliant idea (I plan to use it often). The downside of the book, if there is one, is that some of the recipes make use of a meat slicer. I don’t know about you but I don’t have a meat slicer hanging around on my countertop. I tried using another cutting device in its place and failed miserably. The book will teach you a lot of technique and you will have a lot of fun learning from it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lemon Confit

To confit is to preserve something. Some say the term was used mainly for fruit preservation then became used for the preservation of meats stored in there own fats (like duck confit). Lemon confit could not be simpler, though you must plan a month in advance of when you intend to use it. If you cook Moroccan, or a lot of fish, you must make this!

1 large sterilized canning jar
6 lemons, quartered
1 box- 48 oz of kosher salt – you will use about 3- 3 1/2 cups (or enough to cover lemons) depending on the size of your canning jar

Simply place the lemon quarters into the jar, and then pour in enough salt to cover the lemons. Jiggle jar to distribute salt evenly, refill with salt as needed. Place the jar into a dark and cool spot for 1 month.

To use the confit pick out a wedge of lemon, rinse it under water to remove the sludge-like salt. Cut or scrape away the pulp and some of the pith. The confit makes a nice addition to Moroccan stews (tagine). When minced it is also a handy garnish.


Churros are a doughnut like snack found in Spanish cultures, both in Spain and Latin America. They are made from a doughnut like batter, pressed through a star pastry tip into hot oil. Once fried and golden they are often coated with cinnamon sugar and served with hot chocolate or chocolate dipping sauce.

Vegetable Oil to fry
1 cup water
½ cup (1 stick) Butter
½ Teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup flour

3 eggs scrambled lightly in a small bowl with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Scant ¼ cup sugar seasoned to taste with ground cinnamon

First you prepare the dough by placing water butter and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a gentle boil to melt the butter. . Lower heat to medium, stir in the flour with wooden spoon and cook dough until combined (about 2 minutes). Dough should have formed a unified mass. Remove from heat. Add egg mixture and whisk vigorously until the dough comes together as one again. Scoop dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (mine is numbered 845).

Place oil in pan- I am frying in a cast iron pan so I will fill the large pan about halfway with oil. Heat oil. Test oil by dropping in a bit of batter. When batter fries you are ready. Pipe the dough directly into the pan. Each churro will be about 4” long. Cut churro from the rest of the dough with a knife and let it fall into the oil. Cook until golden. Cook chuuros in batches.

Once cooked set aside on paper towels to drain. Roll churros in cinnamon sugar and serve.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Classic Roast Chicken # 2- A variation

This is just a slight variation on my classic roast chicken

1 large Perdue or roasting chicken
3-4 tablespoons butter

For the cavity-
1-2 lemons cut in half
2 heads of garlic with the top cut off to expose the cloves (or cut in half)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ red onion, chopped roughly for stuffing bird
Kitchen twine

To rub on the skin-
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2-3 Minced rosemary
Plus about 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika when crisping the skin

To place in the pan under the bird-
2 carrots
1 ½ red onion roughly chopped
2 ribs celery

Preheat the oven to 400

Remove any of the extra parts from inside the chicken. Loosen the skin above the breasts and place about 2 tablespoons of butter under the skin of each breast. Place into the cavity of the chicken, the lemon, garlic, thyme and onion. Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine.

Drizzle a bout 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of the chicken. Season the top and legs of the bird with kosher salt rosemary and freshly ground pepper. Add the carrots onion and celery to your roasting dish. Place the chicken into the tightly fitting roasting dish (oval if you have it)- Roast 1 1/2- hours or until the bird reaches165 (in the thigh area) with an instant read thermometer.

Carve the bird by starting at the backbone and removing the entire left breast then right breast in chunks. Remove both legs season these pieces with a dash of Spanish paprika on each. Place the carved meat into the broiler to crisp the skin for just a few minutes or until golden.

Pan sauce for Classic roast chicken #2

It might seem a little strange that I have used demi – glaze here rather than a reduced chicken stock but I loved the richness it brought to finished dish.

½-3/4 cup of shallots peeled and diced, fine
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup white wine
Juice from 1 chicken- fat removed, and strained of roasted vegetables (there should be about 1 cup or less)
1 heaping teaspoon demi –glaze
A little cornstarch (about a teaspoon) or arrowroot mixed with water (about ¼ cup)
Salt and pepper to season

Place the shallots, and butter in a small saucepan, cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until shallots are translucent. Add in the white wine and reduce wine over high heat for a few minutes or until reduced by about 1/4. Add the chicken juice and demi glaze. Whisk to combine. Thicken, adding just a little at a time, with the cornstarch mixture. Mixture should boil for the sauce to thicken. Only add in about a ¼ teaspoon at a time and stop when sauce is thick enough for you. Re- season with salt and pepper.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Goat Cheese Soufflé

This is a classic. It’s a great for a mothers day brunch. I make mine a few hours in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator until I am ready to bake it.

To prepare the soufflé dish for savory soufflés-

Butter to coat the inside of soufflé dish
Italian bread crumbs to coat the inside of the soufflé dish

Rub the butter (about 1 tablespoon) around the inside of a 6-cup soufflé dish to coat the dish- remove excess butter. Add the breadcrumbs to the dish and turn the dish around to coat the inside with the breadcrumbs. Dump out excess crumbs. Set dish aside.

Preheat oven to 400

3 Tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup warm milk
¼ tablespoon kosher salt
Pinch of ground pepper
Pinch of Spanish paprika
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
4–5 oz of crumbled goat cheese
1 Tablespoon minced parsley (optional)

Into a medium saucepan over medium heat you will, with a wooden spoon stir together your butter and flour. Stir until just combined then slowly, whisk in the milk. Stir until mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and paprika. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks.

In to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add the egg whites. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Add in cream of tartar and whisk just to combine.

Pour the slightly cooled yolk mixture into a large mixing bowl. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites. The batter will become fluffier; fold in the remaining egg whites along with the goat cheese and parsley. Fold to distribute ingredients but do not over mix. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pasta Primavera - my way

4 Tablespoons olive oil
¼-1/2 Head Radicchio, cut into bite size chunks
12 Broad beans, about 2-3 oz, stems removed
3 oz of yellow wax beans, trimmed of stems
3 oz of mixed mushrooms (feel free to add more- I used some enoki, and a wild mushroom mix)
2-3 oz of Fiddle head ferns
3 large cloves peeled minced garlic
2 tomatoes cut in half and squeeze out juice and seeds- then dice
¾ pound of cooked pasta
2 oz of your best grated Parm. Cheese
Kosher salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to finish

Place your oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the radicchio, and cook 1-2 minutes. Add in Broad Beans, wax beans, cook 1 more minute. Add in Mushrooms, Fiddlehead ferns, garlic- cook 1 more minute. Add more oil if necessary so garlic will not burn. Stir often. Add in tomatoes. Stir the cooked, drained pasta into the pan and season with cheese. Re season with salt and pepper to taste then drizzle with a little of your best olive oil.

Variation- This dish is (gasp) vegetarian! - I am quite sure that large chunks of crispy pancetta would make the flavors even better- add about ¼-1/2 cup of cooked pancetta or bacon when you add the cheese… if you like.

Pasta Primavera-the story

Pasta Primavera is not Italian. It was created in the 70’s by the owner of Le Cirque in New York.

I have fond memories of Pasta Primavera. I landed my first job, along with its measly salary, as an Art Director many years ago. Across the street from our office was a nice Italian restaurant. Whenever our budgets would allow, a group of us would splurge and go for lunch there. We always had Pasta Primavera, fresh bread and a glass of wine. We often sat outside or by the big open windows gazing at the passerby’s along the quaint area of Irving Place.

So, out of nostalgia, I ordered Pasta Primavera again. This time at a bustling restaurant known for it’s bar crowd. Clearly, they were not there for the food. It was awful. A heaping bowl of pasta with a few measly peas and perhaps a slice of carrot was set before me. The pasta was practically floating in soupy, pink cream sauce. On top, sat a hunk of grilled chicken breast as chewy as a rubber tire. Where were the vegetables of spring? Where was the love?

I set out to my local whole foods. My goal, rather that to recreate a dish, was to make my own version of Primavera using whatever I could find. These days, thanks to Alice Waters, we are fortunate to have a much larger selection of vegetables in our markets. Why not use them for Primavera?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sweet Crepes

Sweet Crepes are just a slight variation on the savory crepe recipe. Fill them with Mousse or fruit for a delicious dessert.

2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup milk
Additional water if needed to thin the batter
6 Tablespoons melted butter (clarified butter would be even better as it will not burn as easily while you cook but its ok to use regular butter)

Add the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, water and milk. Stir or whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer to be rid of lumps. Let mixture rest ½-1 hour. (Add extra water to thin batter if necessary)

To Cook-
Place your crepe pan over medium heat. Brush pan with melted butter. Pour in enough batter to lightly coat the bottom of your crepe pan (about 3 tablespoons for a 8” pan or up to ½ cup for larger pans). Swirl pan to coat. I find an offset spatula sometimes helps even out the batter. Uses extra batter to fill any wholes. Cook until golden on the first side (approximately 2 minutes) then flip the crepe over (use tongs or spatula to help you)And cook the second side until golden. Brush skillet with butter before starting each crepe

Chocolate Crepes

2 cups all purpose flour
5 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa
Scant ¼-1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup milk
Additional water if needed to thin the batter
6 Tablespoons melted butter (clarified butter would be even better as it will not burn as easily while you cook but its ok to use regular butter)

Add the flour, sugar, espresso powder, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl- stir to combine. Whisk together the eggs, water and milk. Stir or whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer to be rid of lumps. Let mixture rest ½-1 hour. (Add extra water to thin batter if necessary) Proceed as in sweet crepes to cook.

Savory Crepes

Most Crepe Recipes will have you work with 1-cup flour. The result is about six - 11” crepes or about 8 smaller crepes depending on the size of you pan. To me this is an exercise in frustration, as the first few crepes are notorious for being unusable. I prefer to start straight away more batter. After being combined, the batter should rest for 1 hour before use. Crepes can be made in advance and refrigerated for about 2 days. They can be stuffed with a variety of delicious leftovers (ham, cheese, roast chicken, mushrooms, fresh or blanched vegetables) and Mornay sauce is a classically served with them. Re-warm stuffed crepes in the oven before serving.

2 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 ½ - 2 ¾ cups milk (I have found that 2 ¾ makes for thinner crepes but add it slowly)
6 Tablespoons melted butter (clarified butter would be even better as it will not burn as easily while you cook but its ok to use regular butter)

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Stir or whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer to be rid of lumps. Let mixture rest ½-1 hour.

Place your crepe pan over medium heat. Brush pan with melted butter. Pour in enough batter to lightly coat the bottom of your crepe pan (about 3 tablespoons for a 8” pan or up to ½ cup for larger pans). Swirl pan to coat. I find an offset spatula sometimes helps even out the batter. Uses extra batter to fill any wholes. Cook until golden on the first side (approximately 2 minutes) then flip the crepe over (use tongs or spatula to help you)
And cook the second side until golden. Brush skillet with butter before starting each crepe.

I like my crepes filled with either ham and cheese or Nutella because that is how I ate them in France.

Green beans with bacon and pine nuts (Spanish)

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
3 Shallots peeled and minced
A little over 1 pound green beans, stem end removed- blanched 3 minutes in boiling water
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
1/3-3/4 cup bacon, bite size pieces; cooked until crispy, measure after cooking
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼-1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

This is a very easy side dish if you have all the items ready to go into the sauté pan. Over medium heat add in the oil, garlic and shallots. Sautee2-3 minutes. Add in green beans, sherry bacon salt and pepper. Garnish with pine nuts.

Moules Mariniere

Mussels should be closed before cooking and open after cooking. Very simple.

4 Shallots, peeled and minced
1 ¾ cup white wine
5 Tablespoons butter
1 clove of garlic minced
¼ cup parsley, minced
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt and pepper
Mussels, 1 bag (about 2 pounds)

Into a large stockpot place the shallots, wine, butter, garlic and parsley. Simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat, add in the breadcrumbs, stir then add in the mussels. Cover and cook on medium low for about 5 minutes. Serve with crusty French bread.