Entrees

Plantain-Crusted Halibut
Entrees

Plantain-Crusted Halibut

Halibut is one of my favorite fish and in this dish I pound it out gently and stuff it with a crabmeat mixture. Drawing on my Caribbean experiences, I then turn this New England combination into a hybrid by crusting it with crisp plantain chips and serving it with a tropical fruit salad.

Stuffed Eggplant
Entrees

Sicilian Stuffed Eggplant

Eggplant is such an integral part of Sicilian cuisine and can be found in many dishes from appetizers and pastas to sauces and main courses. On our Foodie Trips to Sicily, eggplant finds it’s way onto the menu most days. My stuffed eggplant is a rather rustic dish in which an eggplant is cut lengthwise in half and stuffed with an incredibly flavorful mixture of ground pork, spices, olives and raisins. My Fennel Spice Mix is also great on fish and shellfish.

Sweet and Sour Pork
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Sweet and Sour Pork

I learned to make this dish from a Chinese Chef named Mr. Chang during my years working for Hyatt Hotels. The cuisine we served in that restaurant is what I refer to as “Haute Chinese,” in which a traditional dish is elevated in quality by using premium ingredients. This dish is made with tender pork tenderloin and fresh fruit. The sweet and sour sauce recipe is very simple to make (not thick and corn syrupy like the commercial ones) as is the batter.

Duck Confit
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Duck Leg Confit

The term “confit” refers to something that is cooked slowly in it’s own fat. Duck legs are the most common item cooked in this manner because ducks are quite fatty and benefit from a long-slow cooking process. The legs are first cured for 24 hours with a wet rub of orange, scallion and spices (including star anise) and slowly simmered in duck fat for 10 hours. My recipe for confit calls for 12 duck legs because if you are going through all this effort, you might as well make a decent-sized batch. It freezes well and can be used in anything from crêpes and cannoli’s to onion or bean soups and cassoulet.

Parmesan Halibut
Entrees

Grilled Halibut with a Parmesan Crust

Halibut is one of my favorite fish and can be found on both coasts of the United States. It has a flaky and meaty texture that can stand up to the strong flavors in this recipe. Be careful not to overcook it though, as too much heat can render it dry and unappetizing. The pesto in this recipe is a little different from a standard pesto, replacing the basil and pine nuts with arugula and hazelnuts.

Smoked Turkey
Entrees

Smoked Turkey

For Thanksgiving I always cook my turkeys “Sous Vide” and this year was no exception. See my post “Sous Vide Turkey.” It turned out amazing, as usual. Since it was just Mary Jo and myself, a whole 24# turkey was more than we could eat on Thursday, so like most Americans, we have leftovers for a few days. Saturday came around and we were still working on the first turkey breast and leg/thigh that I seared on Thanksgiving, and I hadn’t gotten around to the second set. So, I decided to smoke the second breast and leg/thigh for dinner on Saturday.

Keshi Yena
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Keshi Yená

The island of Aruba remains part of the Dutch Kingdom, so the Dutch influence is prevalent in everything from architecture to cooking. Keshi Yená is a dish that was originally made by filling an empty shell of a scooped out Edam or Gouda cheese with a spiced chicken or beef mixture and baking it.

Sous Vide Turkey
Entrees

Sous Vide Turkey

I have been cooking my Thanksgiving turkeys “Sous Vide” for over 10 years now, and I’ll never go back to the traditional roasting method. The turkey comes out moist and tender GUARANTEED! No over-cooked, dried out breast. Make the brine days before the holiday to ease your last minute prep and this method frees up your oven and stovetop for other items. As an extra bonus, there is no roasting pan to scrub at the end of the meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fava Bean Custard
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Fava Bean Custard

Fava, or Broad beans are a favorite Spring vegetable in Italy. I harvest them every spring at the villa we rent in Tuscany and feature them in this dish. Frozen fava beans also work well when fresh ones are not available and you can always substitute fresh or frozen peas in this recipe. It takes about 2 pounds of fresh fava beans to yield 1 cup of shelled beans, so be prepared for some serious shelling.

Honey Seared Duck Breast
Entrees

Honey-Seared Duck Breast

Duck Breast is a meat that is often prepared poorly, and quality preparation can be subjective. Personally, I am not a fan of duck breast that is on the rare side. I prefer my duck breast to be cooked to medium-rare, and I think that many people who order duck in a restaurant (maybe for the first, and only time) are turned off by this. On the other hand, over cooked duck breast is equally disappointing. To reach the proper point of doneness, I like to cook duck breast slowly and periodically check it’s internal temperature until it reaches 130-degrees F.