Unplanned International Dinner for two!

Grabbed a package of Murray’s Split Chicken Breasts for dinner, stuffed lemon slices under the skin seasoned with Kosher Salt and Lemon Pepper and roasted in the oven. Yes, I turned the oven on in 90º weather!  You can only eat so much indoor grill pan food in one week!

Started rootin’ through the fridge for sides. A virtual treasure trove of goodies this week!

Found blanched Haricots Vert waiting for a salad and decided to saute them with tons of Garlic and toss with Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs, Olive Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar.

Next was a handful of leftover Crunchy Roasted Smashed Potatoes….sauteed in butter and olive oil then seasoned with smoked paprika and parsley added a beaten egg and called it a quick Spanish Tortilla.

Roasted Lemon Chicken. Potato Tortilla, Haricots Vert & Tomatoes

Roasted Lemon Chicken. Potato Tortilla, Haricots Vert & Tomatoes

Salad was Mache Greens with chopped Prosciutto, Halved Fresh Black Figs, Burrata dressed with Olive Oil and Balsamic Glaze!

Mache, Burrata, Black Figs, Prosciutto, Olive Oil & Balsamic Glaze

Mache, Burrata, Black Figs, Prosciutto, Olive Oil & Balsamic Glaze


Dessert was Simple Fruit Salad w/Chocolate Biscotti and made it a great meal!

Clean plates and satisfied Nana & Poppa!

Eat Well…Be Well!

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Dual Entree dinner for 10

We did a dinner for 10 tonight for a repeat client.  He enjoys his food and asked for dual entrees.  One beef and one salmon.  The point is to provide good choices for everyone and he always tells everyone they may eat one or the other or BOTH!  Tonight’s menu garnered 2 Salmon only; 3 Beef only and 5 combos!

Here is the official menu:

Amuse Bouche:  Skewered Marinated Mozzarella Balls/Sun-Dried Tomato/Stuffed Green Olive soaked in Vermouth



Appetizer:  Two Crostini with Roasted Mini Diced Ratatouille and Shaved Grana Padano, Basil Leaf w/dot of Balsamic Glaze

Ratatouille Before Roasting

Ratatouille Before Roasting Tomatoes added mid-way through roasting!

Crostini w/Roasted Ratatouille and Grana Padano

Crostini w/Roasted Ratatouille and Grana Padano

Salad: Mixed Artisan Green/Red Lettuces, Grape Tomatoes, English Cucumber and Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Beef Entree:  Boneless Short Rib Stroganoff over Buttered Fettuccine with Minted Peas and Roasted Pearl Onions

Fish Entree:  Roasted Wild Caught Salmon with Dilled Horseradish Sauce and Mediterranean Bean Medley

No Pictures of the entree’s the plating was so varied based on the choices of the guests and time was of the essence!

Dessert:  Jelly Jarred Bailey’s Cookies and Cream Parfaits w/Oreo Cookies on the side!

Bailey's Cookies & Cream Parfaits

Bailey’s Cookies & Cream Parfaits

The layers were crushed Oreos–Bailey’s Infused Chocolate Pudding–crushed cookies–whipped cream lightened pudding–crushed cookies–whipped cream–crushed cookie dusting!

The meal was intended to be served outdoors, poolside but sadly the threat of severe thunderstorms and the over the top high humidity prevented that from happening.  We did experience one heavy downpour about an hour before guests were due to arrive, it lasted 10 minutes and once done the sun returned and humidity was even worse.

The guests did enjoy their cocktails outside as we all watched another cloud cover but we didn’t have anymore rain.  The result was that the guests were able to watch us in motion as the kitchen in the “cabana” is open to the bar/dining/great room!  This pool house is a golf cart ride away from the main house on beautifully landscaped property.  This is our second visit and always a pleasure to cook for this group!

The meal was enjoyed by all, based on the applause as we were leaving and I was asked to autograph several of the printed menus for the guests!

Eat Well….Be Well!



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Casual Monday Night Birthday Dinner for Madame!

Today, July 25th is my Darling Wife’s Birthday.  One year ago we were celebrating her 65th Birthday with friends and family in our apartment, it was billed as A Summer Evening in Paris (Briarwood Style) and you can refresh your memory here: https://goo.gl/fEvVGq

We’ve been celebrating all weekend, Friday a visit to Ocean Beach, Fire Island with Charlie, Tiffany and Eric, a wonderful day outdoors.  Friday Evening the RI Huffs arrived for a quick visit.  Saturday Burke, Monica, Kris and Connor, Tiffany, Eric, Charlie and Nana & Poppa enjoyed an amazing brunch at Tacuba Cantina Mexicana in Astoria, Queens, NY.  After our 3 birthday celebration: Charlie on the 23rd, Nana on the 25th and Eric on the 26th we crossed the street and visited the Museum of the Moving Image which had an exhibition of Vintage Video Games focused on the age of Atari!  They actually had the games available to play and lots of fun was had by all!   Even the X-Box generation enjoyed  themselves!!

Sunday was recoup day!

So tonight I planned a simple, casual meal for the two of us for Madame’s Birthday.

The very disjointed menu could have been a disaster, but happily the flavors were perfect compliments to each other.  On paper they sounded like they’d be at odds with each other. They were also selected based on pantry/fridge items some of which needed to be enjoyed soon!  But surprisingly they worked perfectly, especially on a HOT summer evening.  The heat and humidity were suggesting salads and nothing hot.  As you will see the menu was one very cold salad, one room temperature side dish and a barely warmed entree!

The salad was a favorite:  Watermelon Salad–Lime Pickled Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Crumbled Feta Cheese, Chopped Mint with Lime Juice and Olive Oil drizzled as a dressing. Refreshing and cooling compliment to the heat factors of the rest of the menu.

Watermelon, Lime Pickled Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Feta

Watermelon, Lime Pickled Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, Feta

The Entree was Sauteed Chili Spiced Shrimp Lettuce “Tacos”  We spread a yogurt based guacamole on the lettuce topped with Shrimp,  Avocado. Jalapemo & Tomato Salsa, Red Cabbage Slaw dressed with Cilantro/Cayenne Aioli and dollops of Sour Cream!

Sauteed Shrimp Lettuce "Tacos"

Sauteed Shrimp Lettuce “Tacos”

The side dish was Edamame Succotash–Red Onion, Red Pepper, Corn, Edamame with a Scallion/Cilantro/Lime/Chipotle Vinaigrette!

Edamame Succotash

Edamame Succotash

Amazing that the Lime was the unifying ingredient in each dish and made the meal cohesive!

Dessert was Nutella Mousse with Frangelico and Chocolate Biscotti!

Nutella Mousse with Chocolate Biscotti

Nutella Mousse with Chocolate Biscotti

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Eat Well…Be Well!!


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