Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Earth Day is just around the corner… and I can’t think of anything more that represents
the flavors of the earth more than Falafel. 

If you’ve never tried it or heard of it before, let me tell you this… it’s so delicious  you’ll wonder how you’ve gone so long with out ever eating them! 
It’s a fantastic balance of flavors from the  chick peas, cumin, coriander, cayenne… truly Mediterranean tastes, but really earthy.

We aren’t big fryers in our house… but this is one fried dish that’s the exception.  It’s healthy, it’s hearty and it’s a relatively inexpensive meal…and it’s not as hard as you think.  I know there are some powdered mixes out there, but just give this one a try.  I promise you’ll be patting yourself on the back at how proud you’ll be over making them!

Falafel in a Pita

      1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (if you can find    dried  ones and rehydrate them in 2 cups of water, even better!
                  1 onion, chopped
         1/2 cup fresh parsley
         2 cloves garlic, chopped
         1 egg
         2 teaspoons ground cumin
         1 teaspoon ground coriander
         1 teaspoon salt
         1 dash pepper
         1 pinch cayenne pepper
         1 teaspoon lemon juice
         1 teaspoon baking powder
         1 tablespoon olive oil
         1 cup dry bread crumbs
         oil for frying
      Tahini Sauce…
1/2 cup Tahini paste
1/2 lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil

         Shredded Romaine Lettuce
         Chopped Tomatoes

In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; or place in a blender on coarse… don’t make it too thin. Remove from blender and place in a bowl… then process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas. (I like to do mash the chickpeas by hand with a masher… hand for the record, I think it gives a better consistency but if you must use a blender.)
In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together- don’t make it too dry as the falafel will then be to dense and not cook well.  Add more or less bread crumbs, as needed.
Form 8 balls with two spoons…(a little larger than a ping pong ball size) or use an ice cream scooper… there are also special falafel scoopers that you can find in some specialty gourmet food stores. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (enough to cover patties) Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides- approx 3-5 minutes.
Remove & drain on a paper towel.

Serve immediately while hot.

Cut Pita bread in half… add lettuce, tomatoes, onion… split a falafel ball in two and place inside and top with Tahini sauce.

I sometimes even like to mix a little yogurt, fresh dill & cucumbers together and use that as a topping…

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lemon Chicken Zsaziki Gyros

Lemon Chicken Zsaziki

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lobster Rolls

I'm addicted.  I love them. They're delicious. They're my favorite.  I think I could eat them for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  I do not lie about this.  Lobster Rolls are what I like to think of as sweet little sandwiches, where the roll just wraps it's self around sweet pieces of lobster meat and gives it a big hug. 

I will not keep you waiting anymore!  

Lobster Rolls

2 or 3  1 ½ lb. live Maine Lobsters
1 onion cut in half
½ cup dry white wine
Fresh thyme
Coarse Salt

Fill a very large pot with water and add the wine, onion & thyme to a rapid boil.  Add the salt.  Then add the live Lobsters (head first) and cover the pot.  Now walk away and say a little thank you to the lobsters and come back in 11-13 minutes… and it’ll all be over.  Remove the lobsters and set aside and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes. (SEE BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL HOW TO'S FOR COOKING THE LOBSTER) 

Then you can get crackin’! Remove all of the lobster meat.  Start with the tail, twist it off the body and then using kitchen shears, cut on the inside of the tail all the way down the middle… the tail meat should come out fairly easily.   Then using a mallet, crack the claws and pull out the claw meat.  Using the kitchen shears again, cut the knuckle on the claw- it’s got the sweetest part of lobster meat in it!  Cut all of the meat into a large dice. Don’t cut them too small! 

Reserve in a bowl, put in the fridge. 

½ cup lowfat mayo- or you can make your own- (egg yolks, lemon juice, oil & a smidge of Dijon) 

½ lemon juiced
1 tsp. fresh thyme minced
2 celery stalks diced
2 green scallion or onions sliced thinly
½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ stick melted butter (optional… but oh so good!!!)
1 tsp. Paprika

Mix all the ingredients, except the butter and paprika, in the bowl with the lobster meat.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

4 Hot Dog Buns

Brush the hot dog buns with the melted butter.  Put face side down on a grill or a skillet and allow to turn golden brown.

Layer with Ice Berg lettuce and the Lobster Salad mixture.  Sprinkle some paprika on top! And if ya got a little bit of that extra butter left... a little drizzle of that wouldn't hurt either on top! 


**If you're a bit squeemish about boiling your own lobster- when at the market or fish monger- you can ask them to steam them for you- most of the time they will!  If you can do it on your own... here's a pretty detailed guide on how to. 

**How to Boil a Lobster**

  • Boil enough water to cover the lobsters in a large pot.
  • Add the lobsters head first carefully into the water then partially cover the pot.
  • When the water comes back to the boil reduce the heat to a low boil and begin timing.
  • How long to boil a lobster:   Boil for 10 minutes for the first pound, then add three minutes for each additional half pound. So a one and a half pound lobster will be cooked in 13 minutes, a 2 pound lobster will be cooked in 16 minutes. Multiple lobsters can be cooked in a pot with this timing – just make sure your water comes back to the boil before starting the clock.
  • Remove the cover entirely when the water begins to foam up to avoid spilling over.
  • When cooked the lobsters will be bright red.
  • Drain the lobsters carefully and let cool until they can be handled.

    Special Note:  It might be tempting to grabbed the pre-cooked whole lobsters you see in the seafood case, but don't do it!!!  If the lobsters were not alive when they were cooked, the meat will be very off-tasting and mushy. There is an enzyme that's released by  lobsters when they die and any delay in cooking them will result in a very gross tasting lobster.  Some stores will fish any dead lobsters from their tanks (it happens…) and cook them to avoid throwing them away. If you are not absolutely sure buy one that’s live and kicking!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artichoke Hearts Sun Dried Tomatoes Buffalo Mozzarella & Basil Pasta

The Pasta....

1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 tbs. chopped sun dried tomatoes or 1 large tomato diced
Buffalo Mozzarella drained and cut into 1 inch pieces 
1 clove of garlic sliced paper thin
1-2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. fresh basil chopped
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional) 
salt & pepper to taste

1 lb of spaghetti, fussilli, bow tie, linguine, fettucini, or any kind of pasta that you really like cooked al dente.

The Chicken... 

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 clove of garlic minced
1-2 tsp. olive oil
fresh basil & oregano chopped
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large zip lock bag or tupperware and allow to marinate for at least 5 minutes.  Spray a pan with some non stick spray and cook on each side (depending on thickness) for at least 5-7 minutes.  Set aside. 

In a large saute pan add olive oil, artichoke hearts and garlic & saute for a few minutes.  Add tomatoes & garlic and cook for a few more minutes.  Add al dente pasta and all seasonings & herbs.  Give a through toss & then add the mozzarella.  

Slice chicken breast on a diagonal and place a top the pasta.... sprinkle a bit more of basil on top and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken & Lemon Potatoes

 Chicken & Lemon Potatoes

 Chicken & Lemon Potatoes

6 Medium Yellow Potatoes Quartered
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoon oregano
½ cup lemon juice
1 whole chicken quartered
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
¾ garlic salt
2 tabespoons. butter melted
1/4 cup lemon juice

Peel & quarter the potatoes. Place in bowl and combine with all ingredients. Let marinate, mixing it every so often so that potatoes do not discolor or turn brown.

Combine all of your dry seasonings together in a bowl and rub all over both sides of your chicken pieces.
Place chicken, skin side up, in roasting pan and drizzle butter and lemon juice over the top. Add potatoes all around the sides of the chicken, juices included. Roast,uncovered, in preheated, 395 degree oven for 45 min to 1 hour.

Make a quick greek salad on the side and this is a perfect meal for any night of the week!

Greek Salad

2 -3 Large Diced Tomatoes
1 Large Diced Red Onion
2 Large Diced Cucumbers
1 Small Diced Green Bell Pepper
1 cup Diced Feta Cheese
1/4 cup Kalamata Olives
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup Olive Oil
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss & enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Love Love me some Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

Love Love Love
Valentine’s Day… I’m gonna get cliché on all of you right now… and 3…2…1… CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES!!!!

1 package milk chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
1 pound strawberries with stems- about 20

Wash & dry the strawberries very well.

Melt the Chocolate Chips in a heatproof bowl.  Fill a small saucepan with a  cup of water and bring it to a boil… place the heatproof bowl on top of it and turn off the heat.  Allow to sit on top of the hot water until all the chocolate melts.
To make your life even easier, you can put it in the microwave on half power for 30 second intervals and  melt the chocolate until melted.  (Should take about 2 minutes)

Once it’s melted, dip each strawberry in the chocolate and lift and twist it allowing any excess chocolate to drip off.  Place dipped strawberry on a  cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment or wax paper.  Place in the refrigerator for about 40 minutes before it sets.

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends! May it be filled with lots of  LOVE & CHOCOLATE!!!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Football Sunday Buffalo Wings

When football season is going on in our house this is a staple!  This recipe has been tweaked and turned and well, let's just say I've done all the wing work for you!  TOUCHDOWN!!!! 

So easy to make and always a favorite! 

Buffalo Style Chicken Wings

24 chicken wings & drumettes
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce (I use Crystal) 
1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt

2 cups canola or vegetable oil

Heat the oil over high heat in a deep skillet or deep-fat fryer  (around 400 degrees F). Add half the chicken wings and cook until they're golden and crisp.  When done, remove them to drain on paper towels and cook the remaining wings.  
Melt the butter and then incorporate the rest of the ingredients.  Pour into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and give it a toss to coat throughly.

Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch with some fresh cut celery and carrots! (those are the veggies that justify eating them!) 

Buffalo Wing Goodness!!!!