Toasted Almond Mint Pesto

May 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Side dish, Summer Meal

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Here’s a little something-something to smear over a bite of your juicy grilled lamb chop…


Almonds, oven or stovetop toasted.  Chopped garlic. Cracked pepper, sea salt and fresh lemon juice.  A big fist of mint. All smashed together with a mortar and pestle.  Well, actually it’s the molcajete we use for guac, but same diff.  Stir on in a good pour of fruity olive oil and call it a pesto.  


A great addition to a lamb dish.  Or tossed in fresh pasta, smeared on crusty bread, mixed into a salad dressing…..  



Lazy Dude Egg Salad

August 8, 2015 by  
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Do as little as possible here.  Dial it back.  Start slow, ease off.  



Eggs just barely hard cooked, shelled and chopped.  A dollop of mayo – not too much!  Cracked pepper.  Celery salt.  Chopped celery and red onion.  Done.

Generously spooned on a sliced roll, maybe some Cholula heat.  A cold Modelo and some chips.  No better.     

Zucchini – 1988

May 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Side dish, Summer Meal

Zucchini was big part of childhood in that the backyard garden shot them out of the ground directly at you.  Hundreds of them.  So there were zucchini breads, zucchini salads, zucchini in pasta….  Apparently a popular garden item in the burbs’, as everywhere you turned in Framingham, Mass circa 1988, someone else was pushing the ubiquitous squash on you.  

And so late one summer night several young men were reportedly spotted with a large crate of zucchini, surreptitiously depositing them in unlocked cars all along Union Avenue.  And no, things never ever ever got crazier than that during my whole time in high school.  

In any event, as the weather warms and before they get played, here’s a little ditty to get your zuc’ on:


Half a teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted in a dry skillet and crushed. Sauté a bit of chopped shallot and garlic in olive oil, a touch of tomato paste.  Diced zucchini in, toss around.  Season with S&P and a shake of red pepper flakes.  This all happens in like 5 minutes, keep a little crunch in your squash.  

Can I get a pulled pork sandwich

April 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Family Meal, Summer Meal

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Yes let’s eat this right now.  


Pork shoulder brined in sugar and salt water overnight.  Drained and dusted with cracked pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and sea salt. Into a covered dutch oven with a good pour of chicken stock and one can plus one teaspoon beer.  A couple bay leaves and a few shakes liquid smoke.  Slow and low — 225º for several hours.  Pull apart with a couple forks, let it all soak in the braising liquid a while.  On stovetop, cook off most of the excess liquid before service.  

Served on a toasted sesame seed bun with the sexy coleslaw and some homemade bbq sauce.  A few sliced pickles on the side from the Pickle Guys on Essex Street.  Yes.


Sweet-Hot Grilled Chicken Satay

August 2, 2014 by  
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Just so so good.  Like wow.    


Slice boneless skinless chicken thighs into strips – probably get 3 or 4 strips from each.  Toss in canola oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and garlic powder.  Thread onto skewers.  

The sauce – on stovetop 3 parts teriyaki sauce, 1 part hoisin sauce, 1/2 part rice wine vinegar and a good squeeze of Sriracha.  Throw in some smashed garlic and ginger if you are feeling that.  Let all it simmer for 10 mins or so and taste – looking for sweet/salty/sour/spicy.  A touch of honey if you need some more sweet.  


Grill the skewers until nearly done, remove from grill and brush all over with the sauce.  Return to the grill for just a minute.   Served this with jasmine rice and grilled zucchini (below).  No leftovers.  None.



Thai-Style Spicy Mussels

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Summer Meal

Last week was “classic” mussels, let’s mix it up with a not-so-classic Thai style –  a little One Night in Bangkok after your April in Paris.  A little sweet, a little spicy – coconut milk, pineapple, fresh ginger, lime and hot hot serrano peppers – what’s not to love….


Sauté chopped shallot, fresh ginger and serrano peppers in a bit of oil in a big pot or dutch oven.  Add one can coconut milk and the juice from a can of pineapple chunks.  Chop up the chunks a bit and add to the pot.  Add zest of a couple limes.  De-beard and steam mussels in your broth of awesomeness until just opened.  Turn it all into a dish (or serve in the dutch oven, as above) and garnish with chopped cilantro.

p.s. you can see the “classic” mussels from last week’s post in the background – we did a 2fer


Classic Steamed Mussels with Buttered Crusty Bread

July 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Summer Meal

This one’s easy as all get-out (well, mostly) and a real crowd pleaser.   The ‘mostly’ refers to de-bearding the mussels which can take some time. Otherwise a snap.  


In a pot or dutch oven, lightly sauté chopped shallot and garlic in a nice pour of olive oil and a good knob of butter.  De-beard your mussels while this cooks for a bit over low heat – no browning.  Then a good pour of white wine and a handful of seeded chopped plum tomatoes.   You could also add cream now, which is traditional.  I skipped to keep it a touch lighter, we didn’t miss it.  Mussels in – steam until just opened.  Turn the whole thing into a bowl and garnish with a good throw of chopped parsley.  



Serve with a nice crusty bread slathered with some good European butter. And bring an extra bowl to the table for the shells.   

Shrimp and Crab Enchiladas

June 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Dinner party, Summer Meal

A great addition to Taco Night — soft corn tortillas stuffed with shrimp, lump crabmeat and melted spicy jack cheese, all topped with red and green chili sauce …

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Toss shrimp with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and a touch of cumin.  Sauté briefly on high heat, cool and chop.  Add equal part crab meat, then some shredded pepper jack cheese and a bit of mayo to bind it all together.  Stuff into corn tortillas and roll.  Line up in pan, top with chili sauce and some more shredded cheese. Into a 375º oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, maybe 15 mins or so.   

Ready for the oven:


Dig on in …


The 70’s Beach-Wich

August 24, 2013 by  
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We’d take this sandwich to the beach in the late 70’s.  Let’s bring it on back:


Oven to 375º, halve pitas and stuff with black forest ham and sliced cheddar.   Into the oven on a lightly greased cookie sheet until the cheese melts and the pitas crisp up.  Let cool, spread some light mayo on the inside of each.   Wrap individually in foil and throw in the cooler.  Bring spicy Dijon mustard and sliced tomatoes separately, along with chips and pickles.

p.s. when eating imagine driving to the beach with 4 x 60 AC and the Little River Band playing on the a.m. radio…