Category Archives: Italian

Cauliflower Cutlets

Spiced Indian Stlye Cauliflower Cutlets

I love this simple recipe that requires very little time.

Ingredients
4 eggs
1/2 cup ground pork rinds or almond flour (if using almond flour, add 2 tablespoons of water)
6 cups steamed and mashed cauliflower (entire head of cauliflower)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
1⁄2 teaspoon ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly cracked pepper
4 tablespoons of cilantro, finely chopped
4 green chillies, finely chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1 lb of sugar-free cooked bacon, crumbled
Bacon grease or any fat of choice for frying

Directions
In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high until they are nice and fluffy. Add the ground pork rinds and continue beating the mixture.

Add the remaining ingredients, all expect for the bacon grease.

Cover your hand in grease and form patties that are 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. This should make 16 cutlets.

Fry 4 at a time in a pan heated to medium- high. It will take 1-2 minutes per side. Set on a paper towel for the excess grease to come off. Serve plain or with greek yogurt, my spicy yogurt sauce or spiced jalapeno sauce.

Advertisements

Asparagus Basil “Risotto”

I invented this recipe on a sleepless night where I had too many random ingredients in my fridge and needed to get rid of them all.

I have to say, this dish is superb- it is cream and very reminiscent of risotto.

Asparagus Basil "Risotto"
Risotto Ingredients
1 head of cauliflower
1 cups chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable stock)
1/2 cup beef broth (vegetarians use vegetable stock)
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Kosher salt to taste
1 to 1/2 cups wild mushrooms
2 cups asparagus, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces or discs (I prefer the look of discs)
1 cup grated Parmesan,
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Basil Sauce Ingredients
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
Bring the chicken broth and beef broth up to medium temperature in a saucepan and maintain the temperature and keep covered with a lid.

Trim the core and cut leaves off from cauliflower. Break the florettes into chunks, then press the button a few times with a break in between in a food processor. You wanted it to still be chunky and resemble rice and not to become dust. 9 prefer to use a ricer for this step but it is a bit harder with uncooked cauliflower but the “rice” does look better.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onions, garlic and shallot with a pinch of salt to sweat until everything becomes translucent (not browned),which will take about 5 minutes.

Add the “rice” and stir constantly adding in the liquid by 1/3 volume until everything has been absorbed, this will take 8-10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, remove from the heat and still until everything has melted beautifully. Serve immediately.

Combine together the sauce ingredients in the blender and blend on high. Pour a few tablespoons on the bottom of each place before placing the risotto on top.

Spicy Indian Vegetable Fritters

Vegetable Fritters

Makes about 24 fritters
Ingredients
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 large organic eggs
2 scallions
4 tablespoons parsley, coarsely chopped
¼ cup almond flour
1 green chili, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup nuts (choose peanuts, macadamia nuts or anything else you like, chop them down so they are a manageable size)

4 cups of oil to fry

Directions
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets until it is grainy but not fully pulverized.Microwave the mixture for 5 minutes.Transfer the cauliflower to a towel and twist out all of the excessive moisture.

Mix the cauliflower in with the remaining ingredients.

Make each of the fritters into 1 inch round balls and press down to make a disc shape.
Bring the oil up to 350 degrees F.
Fry 2-4 at a time without overcrowding the pan. When you add too many, it drops the temperature of the oil and instead of frying quickly, the fritters just soak in all the oil.

Garlic Lime Chicken

Marinade
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons lime juice

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, sliced thinly
6 cloves of garlic, whole

Garlic Lime Chicken
Place the chicken in the marinade for a minimum of an hour or overnight.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow it too cook on each side until golden brown (5-7 minutes each side). Remove the chicken and set aside, brown the onions and then add the whole garlic, turn the heat down to low and add the chicken and marinade back in and allow to cook until the chicken is fully cooked, this should take about 15-20 minutes.

You can also use this recipe and just grill the chicken for a delicious finish.

Almond Butter Cookies

Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients
1 and 1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup sugar equivalent (I love Stevia)
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanillaDirections
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a non-stick baking mat.

Set the almond flour aside and blend in the room temperature butter in small chunks. Add in the eggs and vanilla until well incorporated.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls on a cookie sheet and and flatten them out.  I like to poke holes and shape them like traditional butter cookies. If you are using crystallized stevia, sprinkle some on top.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown on the top.

Allow the cookies to cool before removing.

Cooking 101: Herb Roasted Chicken

I love roasted chicken and make this simple recipe at least a few times a month. It is super easy and delicious. Herb Roasted Chicken

Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon coconut oil, grape-seed oil or any other oil you prefer
4 pieces of chicken breasts or 8 pieces of thighs, it can be skinless or boneless. If you are using skinless and boneless, it takes less time to cook and check on the meat 10-12 minutes earlier.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat the meat with a paper towel to make sure it is dry and all moisture is removed.

Combine together the seasonings, oil and butter.

Pour over the chicken and rub it into the meat and place in a baking dish. If you use a metal dish, the cooking time will be decreased by 5-10 minutes.

Bake the skinless, boneless chicken breasts for 30-40 minutes
Bake the  bone-in chicken breasts for 40-50 minutes
Bake the skinless, boneless chicken thighs for 40-50 minutes
Bake the bone-in chicken thighs for 50-60 minutes

This is great on salads, in sandwiches or just the way it is.

To Brine or Not To Brine: ALWAYS BRINE!

Brining is the process of soaking anything in or saturate with salty water. This does not make the meat, vegetables or whatever you brine (I am not really sure what else you would want to brine) salty, it actually allows the water and flavor to flood every cell in the meat. It also takes any cut of meat that may be tough and tenderizes it. This easy technique can be used on ay cut of meat.
The Perfect Grilled Citrus Chicken

For all of the brines, immerse the meat in water and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour, overnight or leave in the freezer labeled (cause it is very hard to tell what it is, duh!) Before you cook the meat, allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes out of the brine, pat dry. By patting the meat dry, you are removing the excess liquid which will allow the meat to brown.

You can watch my YouTube video on the topic here.

Thanksgiving/Christmas Brine
1 1/4 cup no-iodine added salt (2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 gallon vegetable stock
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sage leaves
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon ice water

Chicken Wings Brine
6 cups cold water
1/3 cup no-iodine added salt (1/2 cup kosher or coarse salt)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
2-3 pounds chicken wings

Poultry or Pork Apple  Brine
1/2 gallon cold water
2 quarts apple juice
2 cup no-iodine added salt (3 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
10 whole cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

Spicy Turkey Brine
2 quarts vegetable stock
1/2 cup no-iodine added salt (3/4 cup Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cinnamon stick
2 quarts cold water

Apple Cider Poultry or Pork Brine
2 gallons water
4 cups apple cider
3 oranges, cut into quarters with peels
1 lemon, cut into quarters with peel
2 cups no-iodine added salt (or 3 1/2-cup Kosher salt or coarse salt)
2 cups packed brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons peppercorns
6 whole bay leaves
2 apples, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon whole allspice, coarsely crushed
1 inch of ginger, peeled and sliced

Poultry or Pork Maple Brine
4 quarts water
2 cups dark brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup no-iodine added salt (1/2 cup kosher or coarse salt)
8-10  cloves garlic, smashed
6-8 whole bay leaves
3 large sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

Simple Fish Brine
1 gallon water
2 cups no-iodine added salt (or 3 1/2-cup Kosher salt or coarse salt)
2/3 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
2 lemons, quartered with peel on

Beer Fish Brine
4 cups light ale
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1/4 cup pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning

Steak Brine
6 cups water
1/4 cup sea salt
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed

Sweet Poultry/Pork Brine
2 quarts chicken broth
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups no-iodine added table salt (non-iodine)
2 cups honey or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
2 tablespoons whole cloves
8-10  cloves garlic, smashed

Smokey Poultry/Pork/Steak Brine
4 quarts water
2/3 cup sea salt
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Hawaiian Poultry/Pork Brine
4 quarts pineapple juice
2 oranges, quartered with peel
1 lime, quartered with peel
2 cups brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 1/3 cups soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup no-iodine added salt (1 1/2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
6 cloves garlic, cut into halves
4-6 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons red pepper, crushed

Cornedbeef/Pastrami Brine
4 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
10-12 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons pickling spices
1/4 teaspoons juniper berries
8 bay leaves

Italian Brine for Pork/Beef/Steak
6 cups water
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes