2150 Hwy 35 Sea Girt, NJ 08750

PESCADO VERACRUZANO

Pescado Veracruzano

This dish originates from the highly Spanish influenced costal state of Veracruz. Essential is whole fish (classically red snapper or huachinango but any whole fish could work) smothered in a sauce/dry stew. Serve with rice, boiled or roasted potatoes and a nice salad for a great summer time meal for two.  Hands down one of my all time favorite seafood and or Mexican dishes.  This sauce goes great with scallops and shrimp!

Fish

1 Red Snapper approx. 1.5 lb, scaled and cleaned with head on
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime
salt and pepper

Method:
Preheat oven to broil. Place oven rack 4 inches below heat source. Brush fish with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place on a greased baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes, until the fish is opaque but still firm. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and squeeze lime juice over fish. Alternatively you could grill the fish skin side down.

VERACRUZANO SAUCE

 

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, diced and seeded
1 can stewed crushed tomatoes, approx. 12 oz
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
15 pitted green olives, cut in half
2 tablespoons large capers, drained
2 to 3 pickled jalapeños (depending on desired level of heat), drained, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Method:

In a heavy nonreactive pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes.Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes over low heat, stirring often. Keep the sauce warm while you prepare the fish.Place fish on a serving platter and cover with the sauce. Garnish with choed parsley or cilantro and plenty of lime wedges

 

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My “Perfect Omelet” With Smoked Salmon, Mustard, Dill, Crème Fraiche

IMG_3801I would like to preface this recipe with my definition of “perfect” since that is a totally subjective term. For me, an omelet is the summation of slowly cooked eggs just set and rolled over a warm filling. The texture of the eggs should be almost custardy and wet. Too often people down play the importance of the egg in an omelet, and see it as a means to hold a bunch of “filling” ingredients together. My perfect omelet is also rolled not simply folded over. I don’t have a very good reason for this except for the fact that it’s how it should be done. Fat plays a huge role in the end result. I use a high fat content butter and olive oil. Fat lubricates the proteins as they coagulate and makes a tenderer product. There is no need to add and water or milk to the eggs because that only prolongs the cooking process, and results in rubbery eggs. I also feel the importance of the type of egg used to make an omelet is absolutely crucial. I use organic free-range eggs. When a chicken is aloud to eat a more” natural diet” of bugs, seeds, and whatever else happy chickens eat the quality of the fat in the yolk is greater. Industrial farmed eggs have the nutritional content of saw dust.

A few tips on how to cook the perfect omelet:

• Heat your pan slowly over a VERY LOW flame for more time to avoid hot spots in the pan. This will keep you omelet from getting brown spots.
• Crack and whisk eggs and then allow to rest for at least 10 mins, while you do remaining prep.
• Use very cold butter
• Make sure filling is not too cold. Room temp is best.
• Continuously stir eggs for 45 seconds once placed in pan. This is what will give the “custardy” texture” by making very small curds.

Ingredients:

Omelet:

3 eggs
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbls butter, diced and very cold
1 tbls Crème Fraiche
salt and pepper

Filling:

4 oz Smoked salmon, flaked
1 tsp Capers
1 tsp Red onion minced
1 tbls Whole Grain Mustard
1 tsp Fresh dill, minced

Make the filling:

While pan is getting hot, butter is getting cold and eggs are coming to room temp go ahead and place all ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix with a fork. Don’t over mix it should look somewhat flaky still not tuna salad.

Cook the eggs:

If you haven’t already, crack eggs into a bowl, and add a small pinch of salt and pepper and beat with a fork or whisk vigorously. Add oil to the pan and move around to coat the bottom and heat for 30 seconds. Then add your eggs and butter (the eggs should sizzle). Using a rubber spatula make small circular motions all around the pan. After 45 seconds or so you will see the eggs begin to thicken as butter melts and look cooked around the edges. Let cook for another 30 seconds then spoon mixture minus 2 tablespoons down the middle of the omelet in a line from left to right. Run spatula around the sides of the pan to release. Turn pan off. Now fold the omelet like a letter by lifting handle up and working the half closest to you over the filling. Then tilt the handle down and fold the other half over the first. Slide omelet closer to handle, lift handle and flip the omelet by lifting handle and using spatula (this will take practice so don’t get discouraged. Slide onto a warmed plate garnish with crème fraiche, dill, and reserved filling.

Good Cooking!

James

Super Bowl Sunday Re-imagined “Bar Food”

It’s a bittersweet day. Its time to close a chapter in our lives know as the 2013 NFL season. And with it goes our excuse to disappear into a bar, a friend’s house, or a stadium parking lot on a perfectly beautiful Sunday morning, afternoon, or night (and sometimes when lucky, but not often, all three), drink, and eat whatever we want. So on our final Sunday of football induced debotury, lets go out in style with these re-imagined bites that won’t require you and your guests to put down your beverage or for you to purchase an industrial size box of wet naps. Easy to make, easy to eat, easy to clean!

Good Cooking!

James
Chorizo Chili Empanadas
Approx. 30 small empanadas or 15 large

3 lbs Mexican Chorizo, casings removed
5 tbls Chile powder (ancho preferred)
1 tbls Cumin, ground
3 ea Cloves Garlic, minced
1 ea Spanish Onion, small dice
28 oz Canned tomatoes
7 oz Chioptle Chiles in adobo
1 tsp Salt
6 oz Tomato Paste
30 ea Empanada skins
2 ea eggs, whisked
1 tbls Olive oil

Make the Chile:
Place a dutch oven or large pot over a medium flame with oil, add chorizo and cook until fat has rendered and meat is browned. Push meat to one side of the add garlic and onions, garlic, and spices. Cook until vegetables are soft and fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 20 mins. Pour chili into casserole dish and allow to cool in the refrigerator.

Make empanadas:
Lay empanada skins out on a clean counter or table top. Have your egg wash ready and a small pastry brush. Brush the empanada skins lightly with egg was and place 1 ½ tbls of chili (3 tbls if making large empanadas) on one half of skin from about ½ inch from the edge. Fold the other half over the filling. Do this with all the empanada skins. Crimp edges closed using the back of a fork. Brush the empanadas with remaining egg wash (you may need more), and place on a greased baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 20 mins until golden brown.

Buffalo Yakitori with Bleu Cheese Fondue

For Yakitori:
6 lbs chicken skinless chicken thighs cut large into chucks
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup mirin
1 cup rice vinegar
salt to taste
3 cups store bought buffalo sauce
30 ea bamboo skewers, soaked in water in refrigerator overnight

Make the Yakitori:
Marinate the chicken overnight in a nonreactive dish with the soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar overnight. The next day remove chicken from dish, discard marinade, and lay chicken on paper towel lined plate or tray. Skewer 3-4 oz. of chicken on each skewer and season with salt (this can be done a day in advance). Heat up a grill and brush or spray with oil. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes rotating every minute or so until lightly charred. Remove chicken from grill and generously brush with buffalo sauce. Return chicken to grill and cook on all sides for a total of I minute (this part is very important because it bakes the sauce to the chicken).

For Blue Cheese Fondue:
2 cups bleu cheese crumbles, plus a little more for garnish
1 cup cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mayonaise
½ cup chives, minced
3 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp celery salt

Make Fondue:
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a rubber spatula. Divide mix into a few small heat proof bowls and set aside (can be done several days in advance) . Preheat oven to 350 for 20 mins, and then set to broil. Place fondue under broiler for 3-4 mins until brown and bubbly. Garnish with additional bleu cheese crumbles and some minced chives.