‘Smore Pops

‘Smore Pops
Makes 3-4

I LOVE ice cream but to be honest, I never really like making dessert, which is weird because I studied pastry… anywho, this is a simple, easy and fun looking and tasting dessert that everyone will love.

3-4 ice cream bars, any kind
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Graham cracker crumbs
A blow torch, yes that’s an ingredient here

Place egg white in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, beat with a hand mixer on high speed, gradually adding the sugar until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy.

Spoon on the ice cream pops and torch. Dip in graham cracker crumbs before or after, as desired.

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Cherry Tomato & Sausage Bucatini

Cherry Tomato & Sausage Bucatini
Serves 6-8

This dish was inspired by a dish I had in Italy this summer and what’s impressive about this – and all Italian cooking – is that it’s simpler than ordering takeout. It’s a bang-for-your-buck dish because of one magical ingredient: ‘njuda. Don’t freak out, it’s easy to find! ‘Njuda is a spreadable pork salami that’s great on cheeseboards or in this case, pasta. Take staples like dried pasta and canned tomatoes to a whole new level.

1 lb. bucatini pasta, cooked al dente with ½ cup pasta water reserved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 small shallots, sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ lb. ‘njuda
2 14-ounce canes of cherry tomatoes
2 cups grated pecorino cheese
1 bunch parsley
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Ricotta salata, for garnish

In a large skillet heat a few glugs of olive oil over medium heat and sauté shallot and garlic until just tender and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt.

Add ‘njuda and using a wooden spoon break up and stir into shallot/garlic until broken down, about 2 minutes.

Add cherry tomatoes and cook until they just pop, about 5 minutes. Add naked pasta and cheese to the sauce and then pour the reserved pasta water over the cheese (so it melts!) and toss until creamy and sauce is incorporated. Add parsley and mix once more. Season with salt if needed.

Top with cherry tomatoes and ricotta salata.

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Fennel Celery Salad with Pecorino Cheese

Fennel Celery Salad with Pecorino Cheese
Serves 4

A five ingredient salad that tastes like you spent big $$$ on it at a restaurant. It’s so easy to assemble you won’t even believe it, plus, it dresses itself as you serve it. Dig in.

¾ cup cubed pecorino cheese
¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced on a mandolin or by hand
2 stalks celery sliced on the bias with any celery leaves roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 lemon halved

On a large serving plate place cheese and pistachios in the center. Pour olive oil over and swirl the plate around so the entire bottom is coated with olive oil and the cheese and nuts
are evenly distributed.

Mound fennel and celery on top and season with salt before squeezing both lemons on top.

Serve.

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Quick Turmeric Sauerkraut

Quick Turmeric Sauerkraut
Makes 1 quart

This isn’t exactly sauerkraut… but it’s also so much more than a quick pickle. Turmeric gives the extra antioxidant kick that’s so trendy right now.

3 ½ lb. head of cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon salt, give or take, use your judgment
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon mustard seeds, if you have
1 tablespoon turmeric

In a large bowl, and working in batches, sprinkle cabbage with salt and massage. Do this for each batch of cabbage until very wilted and broken down.

In a small saucepan bring vinegar, water, mustard seeds and turmeric up to a simmer. Pour over cabbage and toss.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

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Waspy Sicilian Pasta

Waspy Sicilian Pasta
Serves 2-4

This marries two different recipes/ideas. My mother has a Junior League cookbook from the eighties and this method for making pasta (or really, a pasta salad) comes from there, so that’s the “WASP” part. In Sicily you’ll find capers in pretty much everything you eat, and this dish is simple and delicious, like everything else there.

4 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup capers, drained from liquid
¼ - ½ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Salt, to taste
½ lb. pasta, any kind, I used mezze rigatoni
Pecorino cheese, to taste

Add garlic, capers, olive oil, tomatoes and salt to a large bowl. Use the back of your fork or spoon to bruise slightly and leave out on the counter all day or afternoon or until you boil pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Strain, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water and add to the bowl, tossing with copious amounts of cheese. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.

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Grilled Vegetable Platter

Grilled Vegetable Platter
Serves 4-6 as a side

There’s really nothing to do this, it’s hardly a recipe. That being said, the one thing to not freak out about and to embrace is that char. Remember this, color equals flavor. Liberally coat all vegetables with olive oil and salt and char on the grill.

Use any type and sit by the grill with a cold beverage until you get a feel on timing. Relax, it’s summer.

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Eggplant Terrine

Eggplant Terrine
Serves 6-8

This is a super easy, summer-version of my favorite winter treat, a beet terrine. You can roast, fry, sauté or bake the eggplant and then layer between tomatoes and goat cheese. Summer lunch dish at it’s best.

5 globe or 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Salt, to taste
5-6 tomatoes, sliced
1 lb. goat cheese, room temperature
1 bunch basil, if desired

Cook eggplant until tender. To do this you can preheat and roast in your oven at 375° F for 15-ish minutes. You can heat a skillet over medium high heat, glug some olive oil in it and sauté each side for about 3 minutes.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (so you can easily remove the terrine) and layer eggplant. Then blot tomatoes slightly with a paper towel and layer in. Season with salt and a bit of olive oil. Then layer in goat cheese and continue until all items are gone. If you choose to use basil, layer in with the cheese.

Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight. To remove, pull plastic wrap and slice.

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Fennel Rubbed Pork Ribs

Fennel Rubbed Pork Ribs
Serves 4

Ribs are so easy, don’t be intimated, they’re nearly impossible to screw up. Low and slow, baby.

4-lb. rack of baby back ribs
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons cayenne
BBQ sauce, dealers choice

Combine all rub ingredients and slather over pork ribs. Rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the smoker.

Place ribs in smoker and smoke uncovered or wrapped in foil for about 2 hours.

Remove foil and place on the grate, basting with BBQ sauce for another hour.

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Lemon Pizza

Lemon Pizza
Serves 2

Pizza in Italy is light and minimal. Most people don’t think that you can stick lemon on pizza – you’re wrong! – in fact, it’s delicious.

1 lemon, thinly sliced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small pizza dough
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to highest setting and stick a cast iron or oven safe pan in the oven to heat.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch lemons; this will take the bitter bite out of them. Remove after 30 seconds and set aside.

Place olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds until olive oil is infused with garlic flavor.

Carefully remove pan from the oven and season the bottom of the pan with the garlic infused oil.

Place pizza dough in pan (be careful, it’s hot!) and top with lemon, shallots, salt, cheese and remaining oil.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbly.

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Lazy Fried Eggs in Bed

Lazy Fried Eggs in Bed
Serves 1

This is the perfect no-fuss meal to make on a Saturday or Sunday morning when you indulged in just a few too many last night. I pair this with a strong coffee, a large bottle of water and a green juice. Within an hour, you’ll be ready to go again.

1-12 pieces of carbs, preferably high quality
2 eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a few glugs of olive oil. You’ll need more than you think. Make sure the entire bottom of the pan is coated. Add bread and toast on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

Add more oil to the pan to achieve same level as before and add 1 egg at a time. This will sizzle and pop, you want that crispy browned edges. Cook for 2-3 minutes until all the white is cooked through and set.

Serve while hot – in bed.

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Mushroom Vegan Tacos

Mushroom Vegan Tacos
Serves 2

You won’t even miss the meat and cheese, I swear. Seems silly to call it “vegan” but hey, it’s a buzz-word, so don’t mind if I do. Plus you can save those “cals” (aka calories) for another Spicy Rosé Paloma.

3 portabello mushroom caps, sliced
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
6 tortillas
1 avocado, smashed with ½ lime
1 lime, divided for some above and then… garnish
Red cabbage, garnish
Sliced jalapenos, garnish
Pickled red onion, garnish

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and sear for 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until all sides are brown. Season with salt.

Remove and set skillet to the side. Using the burner itself, brown both sides of each tortilla to char. Remove and layer avocado, mushrooms, cabbage, jalapenos and red onion. Squeeze some lime on top and enjoy.

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Spicy Rosé Paloma

Spicy Rosé Paloma
Serves 1

I can’t imagine anything better for cocktail hour… or breakfast. If you prefer yours super spicy, muddle the sliced jalapeno at the bottom of the glass before adding the ice.

1 lime or grapefruit, sliced
Pink salt
2 ounces rosé tequila, such as Código – of course, you can use any tequila!
Ice
Grapefruit juice
Few slices of jalapeno

Run the cut side of the citrus around the top of the glass (if you prefer salted) and fill with ice. Top with tequila and grapefruit juice. Garnish with sliced jalapenos and fruit.

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Plum & Burrata

Plum & Burrata
Serves 4 or 1 Super Hungry Person

1 lb. sweet yellow plums (or regular plums), pitted and halved
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Good sprinkling of salt
Few leaves of basil, slapped to release aroma
2 balls burrata

Smush plums slightly with your thumbs and toss with vinegar, olive oil, salt and basil. Plate and break burrata over. Serve with crusty bread and chilled rosé.

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Pea Cannelloni

Pea Cannelloni
Serves 4 (with a side)

A few more steps but worth it. Filling can be store bought or made in advance.

1 lb. lasagna noodles
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons butter
3 gloves garlic, whole
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup pasta water (reserved)
2 cups milk or almond milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Basil, garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, garnish

Bring a dutch oven or oven safe pan filled with water to a boil. Salt generously and par-cook noodles, until pliable. Remove and cool slightly.

In a food processor combine peas, ricotta, lemon zest and juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Pulse until smooth. This can be done up to a week in advance and/or frozen.

Empty water from dutch oven, reserving 1 cup and return to the pan to the stove over medium heat. Melt butter and sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook for additional minute. Then whisk in pasta water and 2 cups dairy and parmesan. Let this simmer while you fill noodles. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt.

Fill each noodle with 2 tablespoons filling and rolling up. Tuck into sauce. Repeat for all noodles.

Preheat broiler and broiler until crispy. Garnish with basil and olive oil.

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