Monthly Archives: August 2012

Broccolini in Oyster sauce


the traditional chinese vegetable dish but made with borccolini instead. chinese broccoli (gai lan) could easy be substituted if desired

1 lb broccolini or chinese broccoli (gai lan)
1 Tbsp oil
2 scallons chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp minced ginger
3 garlic cloves,minced
3 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or sherry)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup water
2 tsp cornstarch

in a small bowl combine the oyster sauce,soy sauce,wine,sugar,sesame oil,water and cornstarch
blanch the broccolini in boiling water for 2 minutes. if using  gai lan slice diagonally  first. after blanching immerse in cold water to stop the cooking. then drain and dry

In a wok heat the oil until very hot. strifry the ginger,garlic and scallion 10 seconds. add the broccolini and stir fry 1 more minute. add the seasoning sauce and stir fry until the sauce thickens




Pastitsio is very similar to a greek lasagna. this is basically the recipe from the Parthenon restaurant in chicago with a few changes. this recipe takes a while to prepare but is oh so worth it.  1 1/2 pounds of cheese,1 lb of butter and 2 lbs of meat, this is not a low fat low calorie dish.

Bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
1 lb ziti or penne pasta
1 lb grated parmesan,romano or kefalotiri cheese (kefalotiri preferred but parm or romanao can subsitute)
2 eggs beaten
1/2 lb softened butter cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
6 Tbsp olive oil,divided
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
1 onion small dice
1/2 cup white wine
4 roma tomatoes,diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice

prepare the bechamel sauce and set aside (recipe below)
preheat the oven to 350
cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain well
pour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter,eggs and 1/2 the cheese. stir to mix well,set aside
heat 4 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. add the ground beef and lamb and cook until brown. drain the fat and add the onion. cook 4 minutes. add the wine and cook 5 minutes.add the tomatoes,tomato paste,oregano and allspice. cover and cook 15 minutes over medium heat.

pour the meat mixture into the pasta mixture and blend well
Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and coat the bottom.
sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining cheese over the oil.
pour the pasta into the dish. sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining cheese over the top.

bake at 350 for 15 minutes
lower the oven temperature to 325
spread the bechamel over the top. sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. 
bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes until golden brown

Bechamel sauce

2 cups milk
1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 lb grated parmesan,romano or kefalotiri cheese (kefalatori preferred but the others can substitute)
2 beaten eggs (room temperature)

In a small saucepan scald the milk.
in another saucepan mellt the butter
gradually add the cornstarch milk and nutmeg whisking continuously
add the cheese and stir to combine.
set aside to cool
when cool stir the eggs into the mixture.



This recipe serves 6-8


green chile mashed potatoes


I made these with mild hatch chiles but you could use anaheim or poblanos just as easily. use 3 anaheim or 2 poblanos

1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes,peeled and cut into chuncks
3 mild hatch chiles (or anaheim or 2 poblanos)
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

preheat a broiler. place the chiles under the broiler and cook,turning frequently until the skin is blistered all over. pace the blistered chiles in a plastic ziploc and let sit 15 minutes. remove the skin from the chiles and dice.

while waiting for the chiles bring well salted water to boil in a large saucepan. add the potatoes,cover and cook until for tender 20 minutes or so. drain the potatoes. pass thru a potato ricer and return to the pan. place the potatoes under medium heat and add the diced chiles,milk,butter and cilantro. stir to mix throughly until the butter is melted and evenly distributed.

serves 4

Cavatelli with Sardinian Sugo


This recipe originally came from rachel ray but I modified it. It is a moderately spicy pasta sauce. It has the advantage o  being fairly quick quick to make

1 lb cavatelli or similar dry pasta
14.5 oz can chicken broth (I use swansons)
1 lb ground pork
1/2 tsp saffron threads (3 or so pinches)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 medium onion diced
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 28 oz can tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp olive oil

bring water for 1 lb pasta to a boil

in a medium sauce pan add the chicken broth and the saffron. bring to a boil reduce heat to a medium simmer and cook until reduced by 1/2 (about 15 minutes)

in a  large saute pan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. when hot add the fennel seeds and toast for 1 minutes. add the pork and raise the heat to medium high. add the sage,pepper flakes and paprika. cook,stiring frequently until the meat is browned. add the garlic and onions and cook 5 minutes more,until the onion is soft. add the tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon. bring to a boil,reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. add the basil and the chicken broth/saffron mixture. bring to a boil and simmer 5 more minutes.

while the sauce is simmering cook the pasta.
stir the cooked pasta into the sauce.

serve with romano cheese and crusty bread.
serves 4