Oswald Rivera

Author, Warrior, and Teacher

Category: all (page 4 of 53)

SALMON FILLETS WITH LEMON, TARRAGON AND GARLIC SAUCE

We are fans of salmon, and we are always experimenting as to how to cook salmon fillets in unusual fashion.  Here’s a result from that on-going experimentation: Salmon Fillets with lemon, Tarragon  and Garlic Sauce. Technically, summer is here, so you should find fresh tarragon at your local grocer. Garlic is always in season. Now you have the makings for a great sauce to top that fillet. A quick, easy and delicious entrée. With a veggie or potatoes on the side, some crusty bread, and a good white wine  (or red, for that matter), you have a great repast.

SALMON FILLETS WITH LEMON, TARRAGON AND GARLIC SAUCE

Ingredients:

4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets |
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon dried

Instructions:

  1. Rinse salmon fillets under cold running water and pat  dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard,  2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and tarragon. Set aside.
  3.  Put the remaining  2 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron, non-stick or carbon steel skillet over medium high heat, and heat until the oil shimmers. Cook the salmon fillets flesh-side down for 5 to 7 minutes,  depending on how done you want them. Flip and cook the skin side for 1-2 minutes. Serve with the sauce.
    Yield: 4 servings.

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM BURGERS REDUX

On 09/08/20 I posted a recipe on grilled portobello mushroom burgers. In that dish, the mushrooms were marinated in a mix of Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper; and they were topped with mayonnaise. I’m always experimenting with portobello’s since they are the closest vegetable to beef burgers in terms of taste and texture. The new recipe featured below I call Portobello Burgers Redux. In this outing, the marinade is a combination of soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, plus the option of adding hot sauce. It’s a very simple recipe and you can add whatever topping you want to the mushroom burger, be it tomato, lettuce, scallions or avocado.

What’s convenient about this dish is that you can grill it, broil it or, as we did it, in a skillet atop the stove, cooked in a some olive oil (about 3 tablespoons). Either method will render a terrific tasting veggie burger.

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM BURGERS REDUX

Ingredients:

Marinade:
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 clove garlic, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
hot sauce to taste (optional)

4 large portabello mushrooms caps
4 large hamburger buns
4 slices cheese (Swiss or  Muenster)

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients together. Place each mushroom in another bowl, gill side up. Pour ½ of the marinade over each mushroom, pouring a little in the bottom of the bowl first, to wet the upside down cap, and the remainder into the upturned cap. Marinate for  five-10 minutes. Do not marinate longer as the mushrooms will absorb too much marinade.
  2. Grill mushrooms on a gas or charcoal grill, a wood fire, under the broiler or, as we did it, in a hot skillet on the stovetop. Two-three minutes per side will usually do, or until mushrooms are brown and tender. If desired, add a slice of cheese on top during the last minute of cooking. Serve on burger buns with toppings.
    Yield: 4 servings.

VELOUTE SAUCE

Once in awhile I like to go back to classical French cuisine. In the canon, my favorite are the sauces. Auguste Escoffier, the chef who in the early 20th century popularized French cooking, is credited with categorizing the “mother sauces.” You know of them: espagnole, tomato, béchamel, hollandaise, et al. Among them is velouté sauce which, despite its fancy name, is the easiest to prepare. Velouté sauce is simply broth thickened with flour, butter and stock. Velouté is the French word for “velvety”; and this sauce renders a creamy, delicious miracle that goes well with streamed or pan broiled fish, or even poultry. It can also work as a base sauce that you can enhance by adding other ingredients such as herbs, wine, shallots, or meat drippings and make it into  a gravy. You are only limited by your imagination. Prepare this beauty, and  witness the amazing results.

VELOUTÉ SAUCE

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt to taste
A few grains of peeper
1 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1/3 cup cream

Instructions:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Take care not to let it turn brown or burn. Add flour, salt, pepper and blend well with a wire whisk.
2. Add chicken stock slowly, stirring constantly to make sure it’s free of lumps. Bring to a boil, add cream, reduce heat, stirring constantly to make sure the sauce doesn’t scorch the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, to desired consistency. The sauce should be smooth and velvety. If it’s too thick, whisk in some more of the broth. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Use immediately, or keep it covered in a warm bowl until ready to use.
Yield: About 1 cup.

 

 

 

 

 

BROCCOLI WITH BLACK OLIVES

I’m old enough to remember when George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, loudly proclaimed on TV, “I hate broccoli.” I must say, that was an ill-conceived comment. Somewhere in some prep school, someone must have forced the vegetable on him and this was the result. And I know that a lot of kids (and adults) most likely share his view. Which is shame. Broccoli is not only healthy but, when prepared well, it can be quite tasty. Unlike the late President, I am a proponent of broccoli. Always have been, even as a boy back during the Punic Wars.

The recipe given today emphasizes this ethos. It’s simple but delicious. Broccoli does not have to be smothered in a sauce to make it palatable. This unusual way of serving broccoli turns it into a savory dish. The broccoli is combined with black olives, onion, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Green olives may be used instead of black, but black olives give it a more contrasting color which makes the dish more interesting. Served over rice (or your favorite grain), this dish makes a great vegetarian dinner, which even non-veggies will like. It can also be served as an accompaniment to grilled/broiled steaks or pork chops.

BROCCOLI WITH BLACK OLIVES

Ingredients:

1½ pound broccoli
1¼ cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small-to-medium onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and black ground pepper taste
¾ cup pitted black olives, halved
4-5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Wash the broccoli, remove the leaves and break the florets into fairly large bunches.
  2.  In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and add the broccoli. Cover the pan and cook the broccoli for 10 minutes over moderate-high heat. Drain the broccoli.  Reserve the water in which the broccoli was cooked.
  3.  In a large frying pan or skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook the broccoli for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add some of the water in which the broccoli was cooked if the pan gets too dry.
  4.  Add the olives to the pan and  cook for another 2 minutes. Place the broccoli and olives in a warm serving dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.

CALAMARES FRITO (Fried Squid)

In the southern part of Puerto Rico lies the fabled town of Ponce, which a has a coastal area known as “Los Meros.” This area, at one time, was home to a number of makeshift restaurants, some no more than tarp structures that sold beer, snacks and sandwiches. The sandwiches consisted of the local seafood like conch and octopus. When I would visit my parents in Ponce, the first thing we did was drive up to Los Meros and enjoyed their superb squid, another item on the menu. I know, you’re saying, “Yuck!Squid?” Yes, as in fried squid, the recipe that my family got most likely from a joint in Los Meros.

In my family we enjoyed this dish over rice, and the leftovers were used for sandwiches the next day. I’m just saying, give the fried squid a try. It is also very popular in the Mediterranean. We can’t all be wrong. You’ll be surprised how delicious this dish can be. You like fry chicken? you’ll love fried squid. I guarantee it.

Note that in this recipe you can use frozen squid. Today you can buy frozen calamares (or calamari) rings that are already cleaned and ready to cook. If you’re lucky enough to find these, half the recipe given is already done.

CALAMARES FRITO
(Fried Squid)

Ingredients:

3 pounds fresh or frozen squid
2 cups bread crumbs
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon oregano
3 eggs, well beaten
Oil for frying
Lemon wedges

Instructions:

  1. If frozen, thaw the squid. Whether fresh or frozen, remove the arms by cutting them from the head, and reserve them. Remove and discard the head, chitinous pen, and viscera. Wash thoroughly and drain. Cut the mantle into rings.
  2.  In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and oregano
  3.  Dip the tentacles and mantle rings  in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs, coating well.
  4.  Deep-fry in a pan or skillet until golden brown.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
    Yield: 4-5 servings.

 

MAKARONADA (Tomato-Meat Sauce)

One of the most popular dishes in the Nuyorican repertoire is Picadillo (pee-kah-dee-yoh), a ground meat stew that we serve over rice. Lately I’ve discovered a recipe that is very similar to picadillo, but is of Greek origin. It’s a tomato-meat sauce called makaronada. It’s fascinating that, on two different parts of the world, you could find such similar recipes. The difference with the Greek version is in its ingredients. It includes such things as cinnamon, allspice and cloves, things we would never put in our picadillo. Also, instead of tomato sauce, as we do it, this dish has tomato paste.

We tried out the recipe and found it marvelous. The mix of ingredients with the ground beef makes for a marvelous meal. This dish, I’m told, is normally served over macaroni with grated cheese.  This time around we used whole-heat penne, and it came out great!

MAKARONADA
(Tomato-Meat Sauce)

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound ground beef (can substitute chicken or turkey)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups water
¼ cup red wine
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Dash ground cloves

Instructions:

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat loses its pink color.
2. Combine the tomato paste and water and add to the meat mixture. Add wine, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick, allspice and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1 hour
3. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

 

 

CAULIFLOWER WITH TOMATOES AND CHEESE

This is a scrumptious vegetarian dinner that can also serve as a side dish or an accompaniment to chops or omelets. And it requires minimal preparation. Even the kids, those who hates veggies, will love this one. Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Cheese will satisfy every palate in the house, especially a hungry palate.

CAULIFLOWER WITH TOMATOES AND CHEESE

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 large cauliflower, trimmed, washed and separated into florets
6 tomatoes, blanched and roughly chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
½ cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease a large shallow pan, skillet or casserole with the tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, cook  the cauliflower in boiling water over moderate heat for 9 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain the florets and place in the pan. Arrange the chopped tomatoes on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper and half of the melted butter.
4. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and Swiss cheeses and sprinkle the mixture over the vegetable pieces. Spoon the remaining melted butter over the mixture and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4-6 servings.

 

PUERTO RICAN BLACK BEAN SOUP (Yoga Version)

The recipe is Puerto Rican black bean soup. I call it the ‘yoga version.’ I’m always on the lookout for good bean recipes. Beans are an integral part of Puerto Rican cuisine. But this one has an unusual provenance. My wife, Holly, is a proponent of yoga; and her library includes the  Yoga Natural Foods Cookbook by Richard Hittleman. Now, this book is an oldie. It was first published in 1970 when, during the age of Aquarius, natural food and diet and all those hippy-dippy concepts began to gain currency in our society. So, I was intrigued as to what a yoga cookbook would do with Puerto Rican black bean soup

The recipe calls for garlic, cumin and oregano to be crushed in a mortar. The assumption is that when he mentioned cumin and oregano, the author meant whole cumin seeds and fresh oregano. For the sake of convenience, I tried the recipe with ground cumin and oregano, the type that you can get in any store, and the recipe was just as delicious. So, your choice as to use fresh herbs or dried. Also, the recipe calls for vegetable salt. I discovered that vegetable salt is hard to find in my area. Regular salt is just as good with this dish.

In my culture, beans and rice go like love and marriage. In this case we paired the beans with yellow rice, but plain boiled rice is also good.

PUERTO RICAN BLACK BEAN SOUP
(Yoga Version)

Ingredients:

1 pound black beans
4 cloves garlic
½ tablespoon vegetable salt (can substitute regular table salt—we like sea salt)
1½ teaspoon cumin
1½ teaspoons oregano
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions (chopped)
2 green peppers (chopped and seeded)

Instructions:

Soak beans in water to cover, overnight. Add water to make two quarts and cook until tender. Put garlic, salt and herbs in a mortar and crush. Sauté vegetables in oil until transparent. Add garlic mixture and a tablespoon  or two of water and simmer a few minutes. Add this mixture to beans and simmer 30 minutes.
Note: The book does not tell how many servings the recipe yields. But I would surmise it’d  be from 6 to 8 servings.

 

APPLE BUTTER PEAS

This recipe intrigued me solely because it contains apple butter. To me, apple butter is for breakfast, on toast or on pancakes. But with peas? As a side dish or main vegetarian course? This I had to check out. And it’s a marvelous combination. The recipe also calls for roasted pumpkin seeds. So, it’s very healthy, another plus.

The dish can be served with rice, or your favorite grain. This time around we served it with tostones (friend green plantains – check post of 09/29/09 for a recipe).

APPLE BUTTER PEAS

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound frozen or fresh shelled peas
½ cup water
½ cup apple butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  1. Heat butter in a skillet or pan. Add onion, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2.  Add peas and water. Sauté until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the apple butter and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
  3.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

This is the Puerto Rican method of making sweet and sour chicken. It contains no Asian ingredients, just what’s on hand. You probably have everything you need in your cupboard or kitchen. The dish is normally served with rice (plain boiled or yellow rice). But you can pair it with your favorite pasta, be it  noodles, tubular or ribbons .

Ingredients:

2½ pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 can (1 pound) tomatoes, broken up
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Dredge chicken with flour and salt.
  2.  Heat oil in  a large pan or skillet. Add chicken and cook pieces until brown. Remove and set aside.
  3.  Add remaining ingredients except for parsley, and stir to mix. Return chicken to skillet. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.
Older posts Newer posts

© 2022 Oswald Rivera

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑