Mutabel

Mutabel is the a very delicious cousin to hummus. Its the same exact ingredients but you end up subbing the chickpeas for grilled eggplant that’s been mashed up. It was so popular at my last Talin’s Table event that I had people asking to come cook it for them! Anush!

Serves 1 bowl

Ingredients
. 5 eggplants, grilled, peeled, and mashed
. 1/4 cup tahini
. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
. 3 tablespoons EVOO
. 1 lemon, juiced
. 1 tablespoon cumin
. 1 teaspoon salt
. 1 teaspoon white pepper
. dried oregano for garnish
. red pepper for garnish
. 1 fresh mint leaf for garnish

Procedure
1. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients really well and top with the dried oregano, red pepper, and fresh mint leaf.

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Salmon Tartare

Salmon tartar… a dish some people either love or don’t even want to try. It’s just like sushi, and if you don’t like sushi, you’re totally missing out. Salmon is one of my favorite fish to eat raw. If you get really good quality, it should just melt in your mouth.

I know that a very typical tartar is tuna, but because I love salmon so much, I decided to go with it. I made little cannoli out of Lavash Bread to bring my own culture into it and I finished it off with a dollop of Lebni (kefir cheese- learn to make it HERE). This is a very elegant but easy dish to make  and it serves well for bigger parties too.

You will want to make sure to get sashimi/sushi grade skinless salmon filet and the best part is from the thickest part. Give this recipe a try and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients
. 8-ounce boneless salmon fillet, skinless chopped into 1/9 of inch cubes
. 1 shallot, finely chopped
. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
. 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
. Juice of 1/2 an orange
. 1 tbsp EVOO
. salt to taste

Procedure
1. 5 hours before serving, add all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
2. Place a piece of of plastic wrap directly over the mixture, to keep moisture from getting to it and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Either serve with pita chips or a baguette that has been sliced and toasted.

Anush!

Simple Pasta with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

This is one of the easiest and flavorful pastas. It’s so simple that I have to hold myself back from making it every night. If you like garlic, you’ll love this. Don’t forget the wine!

Ingredients

.16 oz. bag dried spaghetti (or whatever type of pasta you like)
.4 tablespoons EVOO
.5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
.1/2 bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
.1/4 cup of white wine
.4 oz. goat cheese log (sliced into 4 slices of 1/4 inch thick)
.4 slices of pancetta, cooked to crispiness

Procedure

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the dry pasta and boil for 11 minutes.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, in a sauce pan add 2 tablespoons of EVOO on medium heat.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic creates an aroma.
  5. Add the white wine and let it cook and thicken like a sauce.
  6. Add the parsley.
  7. By this time, the pasta should be all done. Add the pasta into the saucepan and mix.
  8. Plate the pasta and on top add a slice of pancetta and a slice of goat cheese.

Photo by: Hayley Boomhower and Sean Rea

And there you have it, a simple, easy, fast, and not to mention delicious pasta dinner. Anush!

oh, hummus

Nowadays everyone is making hummus… any kind – white bean, kidney bean, roasted beet,…. you name it! However, i have to say, as creative as that is, when i often times taste the traditional hummus some serve, it doesn’t even come close to being delicious and flavorful as it is meant to be.

I have my own version, of course with the help of Nani and my mother. But its still very traditional. Here’s the recipe so you can try it and tell me what you think!

Photo by: Hayley Boomhower and Sean Rea

Ingredients
. 1 can garbanzo beans
. 1/4 cup tahini
. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
. 3 tablespoons EVOO
. 1 lemon, juiced
. 1 tablespoon cumin
. 1 teaspoon salt
. 1 teaspoon white pepper
. dried oregano for garnish
. red pepper for garnish
. 1 fresh mint leaf for garnish

Procedure
1. Drain the can of garbanzo beans and rinse with water.
2. In either a nutribullet or a blender, add all your ingredients and blend. Add more EVOO if it doesn’t blend well.
3. Finish it off on either a plate or a cute bowl, drizzled with EVOO, dried oregano, red pepper, and a fresh mint leaf.

Try it out and let me know how you like it! Anush!

Surf ‘n’ Turf

With summer just around the corner, there is nothing like a nice meal of some surf ‘n’ turf. I had a request to make filet mignon and prawns in celebration of a 30 year wedding anniversary (what a rarity these days- definitely calls for a lovely celebration). I took the challenge and made a delicious meal for 6 people.

I started out the night serving these delicious pizzette (I know..they aren’t round..still good though!). I then served a small traditional wedge salad and finished the evening off with surf ‘n’ turf. They ate and enjoyed every bite of it. A simple and festive meal ensured to be celebrated by the palate too. 😉

Ingredients

.1 frozen puff pastry sheet (you can make puff pastry ahead of time and freeze it so you have it for later uses)
.1 onion, sliced
.1 package of organic red strawberries, sliced
.1/4 cup Cabarnet Sauvignon
.balsamic glaze
.2 tablespoons EVOO

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut puff pastry sheet into small triangles or circles -whatever your lovely heart desires. Score 5 centimeters in using a fork to allow for the puff pastry to only puff the crust.
  3. Place the cut puff pastry onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  4. Bake the puff pastry for about 15 minutes
  5. While the puff pastry is baking, heat the 2 tablespoons of EVOO.
  6. Add the sliced onion to the pan and sautée until becoming somewhat golden.
  7. Taking the pan off the fire, add the red wine to the pan and place back onto the fire and cook until the onions become soft.
  8. By this time, your puff pastry should be done baking. Take them out of the oven and while still hot, score once again where you had previously scored to release the air that was built up in the pizzette
  9. Once cooled, add the onions, top with the sliced strawberries, and finish off with drizzling some balsamic glaze

For the main entree I made roasted potatoes with rosemary, garlic asparagus, filet mignon with rosemary and peppercorn, and shrimp scampi. This was a huge hit and not a single complaint. Try it out!

Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

.potatoes (depending on how many people you serve, I calculate 1 potato per person)
.2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
.1/4 cup EVOO
.salt and pepper

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Quarter potatoes and place in a bowl
  3. Add the EVOO, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste and mix
  4. Place the potatoes flat in a sheet pan lined with foil and bake for 35 minutes

Sauteed Asparagus

Ingredients

. one bunch of asparagus
.1/4 stick of butter
.2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Procedure

  1. In a pan, melt butter
  2. Add garlic and and cook until it becomes fragrant and slightly golden
  3. Add the asparagus and sautée until soft and fully coated with the butter and garlic.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients (for 6 people)

.3 lbs. prawns, peeled
.1 stick butter
.5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
.1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
.salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. In a medium pan, melt the butter
  2. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant
  3. Add the prawns and cook until they become pink (fully cooked)
  4. Finally, add the chopped parsley and mix thoroughly and plate

Filet Mignon with Rosemary and Peppercorns

Ingredients

.1 inch thick cut filet mignon
.1/4 cup peppercorns
.1-2 cups of EVOO
.1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
.salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Salt both sides of filet mignon while still raw
  3. Put the EVOO in a sauce pan and heat for about 4 minutes
  4. Heat a grill pan to very hot and sear both sides creating grill marks on your meat (3-4 minutes on each side)
  5. Take the grill pan, with meat still on it, and put it in the oven for 5-7 minutes (medium rare)
  6. While the meat is finishing off in the oven, add the peppercorns to the EVOO and fry for about 2 minutes
  7. Take the meat out of the oven and place on the serving plate to rest
  8. Add the rosemary to the EVOO and after 30 seconds, ladle the EVOO sauce over the filet mignon and enjoy