DRINK: WFF SUMMER MOJITO

Hello food finders. Try our Mojito to cool that Summer heat.

Our mojitos are a quick, easy, and refreshing.

Ingredients:

Fresh mint

Lime

Sugar to taste

Lemon Lime Soda

Rum

Ice

Start by muddling some mint with your sugar and a teaspoon of fresh lime juice. I like muddling in my shaker as it keeps all you ingredients in place and comes in handy for shaking your cocktail later. The muddling process along with using granular sugar really brings out the aroma and taste of your mint.

Once you have a nice mint paste, add ice, and equal parts rum and soda. Shake and pour. I like to leave the mint leaves in my cocktail, but feel free to strain yours. Enjoy!

FOOD: BREAKFAST PIZZA

Welcome back Food Finders!

With the end of winter quickly upon us, I’d like to introduce you to a breakfast idea that will warm your home and get your family out of bed on a lazy weekend.

Breakfast Pizza!

My breakfast pizza takes bacon, egg, and cheese to new limits. Different tastes in the household are not a problem either. All you have to do is split your pie anyway you like.

Here what to do:

Take your pizza dough out of the fridge. If you make your own, remember that you will need to make your dough the night before and refrigerate. Store bought will be fine, I recommend Terranova pizza dough. See my post for more info.

Preheat your oven to 450 and roll out your dough. Place in a perforated pizza pan and start cooking. Your pizza at this point is just dough, and will look a little odd at first, but trust the process and place it in the oven and start cooking.

While the dough is in the oven, decide on what you want on your breakfast pizza. My morning crowd likes their bacon egg and cheese and also likes their veggies. My pie will be split in half, but make yours as you wish.

Scramble your eggs and season to taste. Remember to under salt especially if you plan on a cheesy pizza. Once your eggs are cooked, place them aside and start chopping your veggies. I used onions and peppers in my example.

At this point you will want to check on your dough. Since you don’t have any toppings you may start to see a big air bubble or multiple pockets of air. This should happen at about 8 minutes of cooking time, but keep an eye out as ovens and cooking times vary.

Air bubbles make topping a pizza challenging, and if you wait to long to get rid of them, they will get crispy and crack and give you a bowl like center of the pie. Since we don’t want that, grab a another pizza pan, or oven safe pan or bowl, or tray and place in on top of the dough to flatten. Leave your pan on top of the dough and cook for a few more minutes. You will want to take your dough out of the oven once it’s 75% cooked.

Now that your dough is almost ready. Cook your chopped onions and peppers in a pan and at low heat with just a little bit of olive oil so as to avoid sticking and render your bacon in another pan.

All that’s left is stacking your toppings. You can easily cook up some sausage, slice some avocado, go mushrooms or steak or both. Make your breakfast pizza. yours!

I start by adding a layer of eggs to my pie, then half gets the bacon treatment and half gets onions and peppers. I cover my toppings in mozzarella and then sprinkle some sharp cheddar on as well. It looks pretty, smells and tastes delicious, it’s satisfying and will warm your kitchen, home and belly!

Get cooking this week and tell me all about it!

2017 Hudson Valley Restaurant Week

Hello Food Finders!

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is upon us and why not take advantage of some great deals on Prix-fix offerings from over 100 participating Westchester restaurants. Please check with individual restaurant’s websites for specifics and call ahead for reservations and potential black out dates and times.

Participating restaurants in alphabetical order below:

105-Ten Bar and Grill
121 Restaurant & Bar
273 Kitchen
808 Bistro
Aesop’s Fable Restaurant
Augie’s Prime Cut
Beehive
Benjamin Steakhouse
Bistro Z
Briar’s Restaurant, The
Brothers Fish & Chips
Cafe of Love
Caffe Regatta
Carlo’s Italian Restaurant
Cedar Street Grill
Cellar 49
Chat 19
Chat American Grill
City Limits Diner
City Perch Kitchen + Bar
Cortlandt Colonial Restaurant
Delfino’s Italian Restaurant
Di Nardo’s Ristorante Italiano
Dolphin
Dubrovnik Restaurant
Eastchester Fish Gourmet
Enzo’s Restaurant
Equus Restaurant at Castle Hotel & Spa
Fig & Olive
Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse
Frankie and Fanucci’s
Gaucho Grill Argentinean Steakhouse
Graziella’s Italian Bistro
Hacienda La Paloma
Half Moon
Harper’s Restaurant & Bar
Harvest On Hudson
Hudson Farmer & the Fish
Il Castello
Il Sorriso
Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges
Juniper
La Lanterna
La Panetiere
Le Fontane
Le Jardin Du Roi
Le Provencal Bistro
Le Sirene Ristorante
Lenny’s Seafood & Steakhouse
Lexington Square Cafe
L’inizio
Little Drunken Chef
Lusardi’s
Madison Kitchen
Mariachi Mexico
Meritage
Mima Vinoteca
Moderne Barn
Monteverde at Oldstone
Morton’s Steakhouse
Moscato
MP Taverna
Mulino’s of Westchester
Pas-Tina’s Ristorante
Piccola Trattoria
PLATES
Posto 22 Restaurant & Wine Bar
Primavera Restaurant & Bar
Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish
Raasa Indian Cuisine
Red Hat On The River
Rela Cafe
Rini’s Restaurant
Risotto
River City Grille
Rivermarket Bar & Kitchen
Rosie’s Bistro Italiano
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Rye House
Saint George Bistro
Saltaire Oyster Bar & Fish House
Sammy’s Downtown Bistro
Sam’s of Gedney Way
Sapori Italian Restaurant
Scaramella’s Ristorante
Sergio’s Ristorante
Sofrito
Sonora
Sunset Cove
Tagine Restaurant & Wine Bar
Tandoori Taste of India
Tarry Lodge
Terra Rustica
Texas de Brazil
The Cookery
The Hudson Room
The Melting Pot
The Old Stone Mill
The Twisted Oak
Thyme Steak & Seafood
Toscana Ristorante
Traditions 118
Tutta Bella Trattoria
Vintage 1891 Kitchen
Winston Restaurant
X2O Xaviars On The Hudson
Zero Otto Nove
Zuppa Restaurant

 

FOOD: FIRED ROASTED SALSA

Hello Food Finders!

Veggie Taco with Fire Roasted Salsa!

As the last few weeks of summer approach, I want to share one of my favorite, simple, all purpose dishes.

My simple salsa is great with chips, but can easily be served on top of a grilled chicken, fish or steak. You don’t even have to stop at your proteins, add it to your vegetables, pastas and rice and create outstanding sides.

My salsa is simple as promised.

Ingredients:
4 fresh on-the-vine tomatoes
1 can fire roasted and chopped tomatoes
1qtr of a red onion
I Lime (juiced)
Cilantro (chopped and to taste)
Salt and pepper

Finely chop your red onion. Chop you fresh tomatoes to the approximate size of your fire roasted variety.

In a bow, mix your tomatoes and onions with the juice of your lime. Salt pepper and add cilantro to taste.

I recommend letting the salsa sit for an hour and stir occasionally. Having it sit will help the lime juice flavor the ingredients.



That’s it. Sit back and enjoy!

FOOD: WATERMELON SANGRIA

Happy 4th of July Westchester!

I have an easy and delicious cocktail that will keep you cool and refreshed this weekend and all summer long.

One of the foods that symbolizes summer for me is watermelon, so I’ve experimented with my sangria recipe and created the Watermelon Sangria you see below.

Watermelon Sangria

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 ounces fresh watermelon cubed
1 part white wine(I enjoy a light white; but use what you have)
1 part vodka (fruit flavored will work as well)
1 part lemonade (watermelon lemonade will work even better)
Ice
Watermelon, blueberries, and mint to garnish

Start by putting your watermelon and sugar in a shaker. Muddle both ingredients until you create a sweet watermelon cider of sorts. Add your ice, white wine, vodka, and lemonade. Shake thoroughly and pour into your glass. Add your garnish and enjoy!

Happy 4th and see you soon Food Finders!

Watermelon Sangria

FOOD: LINGUINI WITH BROCCOLI RABE, GARLIC & OIL

Hello Westchester Food Finders!

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite, quick and easy meals. This one should take you under 20 minutes from start to finish and is a great combo of vegetables and pasta that will satisfy the most discerning tastes and will keep your kids coming back for more as well.

Linguini with Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, and Oil

The ingredients are few but flavorful.

Broccoli Rabe

Linguini

Garlic

Pecorino Romano Cheese

Olive Oil

Start by cutting and cleaning your broccoli rabe. You will want to cut off the bottom end of the stems as they are not really tender. Now if you have time, cut your stems individually, I tend to not have the time, so a good time saving rule is to cut the stems at the point where the packaging ends. Take look at the illustrations below.

Individual Cut

Quick and East Cut

 

Once cut, wash your vegetables.  Boil some water and drop in your broccoli rabe. You will want to boil for 3-4 minutes or until tender to the touch. Once tender, strain and place in a cool water bath. The cool water will stop the cooking process and will keep your vegetables green.

Pulling the veggies out of the boiling water allows you to reuse the water to boil your pasta and thus cut down your cooking time. Drop your pasta in the boiling water. While e the pasta is boiling, peel some garlic and slice. Fill a small pan with half a cup of olive oil on low heat and toast your garlic. The low heat will warm your oil and help infuse the flavor of the garlic without burning. Remember burnt garlic gets bitter.

Take your garlic off the heat as soon as it starts to get golden. It will get darker off the heat, so don’t overcook.

When your pasta is cooked you are less than a minute away from sitting down and enjoying your meal. Strain your pasta, toss in your broccoli rabe, and drizzle with the garlic and oil. Add some fresh pepper and cheese, and now you have a meal in minutes. You can cut some strips of grilled chicken for a lean protein, or feel free to grill some spicy sausage, cut on a bias and toss in as well for a bigger kick. If you can’t decide, try both.  I have and the dish is even more delicious!

Linguini with Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, & Oil

 

FOOD: THE SUB-BOURBON MARTINI

Hello Westchester Food Finders!

I hope you enjoyed restaurant week as much as we have. Next up for our readers we have a special treat. Its refreshing, easy to make, great for entertaining and also strong enough to ease your mind while on the couch after a long day at work. Did I mention that this is a strong drink?

Sub-Bourbon Martini

 

I know your anxious so I’ll get right to it.

Ingredients:

Ice

Orange Liquor

Bourbon

A slice of orange as garnish

A cherry as garnish.

 

Shake 1 part bourbon to two parts orange liquor with ice. Strain in a martini glass and garnish with orange and cherry. Simple. Easy. Delicious!

Try it at home and let me know what you think!

FOOD: BOLO DE L’ARANJA (ORANGE OLIVE OIL CAKE)

Good Day Westchester!

The last post, where we recreated and simplified our Serradura and the plentiful pours of Port that accompanied the desert,  had me thinking if there were any other Portuguese inspired delicacies that I could share with our readers. You could probably say that the following recipe is both informative to you the reader and a great excuse to finish the bottle for me!

 

After checking with our Portuguese friends “Bolo” means cake and “Aranja” is an orange. So most of the title is spoken for. The olive oil is what sets this orange cake apart. The cake is pretty easy to make, and if cut in small portions can actually serve a large group of people. If you move quickly in the kitchen you may have it on a plate in 90 minutes with bake time.

You will need the ingredients below as well as a large glass baking pan (oven safe), a citrus zester, and a stand mixer (or a bowl and whisk). I seriously recommend a glass baking pan. A glass pan will produce a lighter outer crust on your cake. The darker pans and sheets will darken the outer portions of the cake and almost give you a burned tasting crust. Pyrex pans work very well. If your oven takes a while to get to temperature, preheat it to 350 degrees now.

Ingredients:

5 Eggs

1 1/2 cups of Olive oil

1 1/2 cups of orange juice (freshly squeezed will enhance the cake’s flavor)

1 tsp of Vanilla extract

2 cups of sugar

Zest of 5 oranges (zest of 1 orange should be reserved for dressing your cake)

3 1/2 cups of flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1 1/2 tsp of salt

Confectioners sugar (for the topping)

 

I try my best to clean as few pots, pans, and bowls as possible, so I add all of my dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, flour, and sugar) to my mixing bowl and whisk to combine at the slowest speed allowed. WARNING do not put the whisk on high unless you want a sweet flour shower in your kitchen.

“Dry Ingredients”

Add in your wet ingredients slowly. Start with the eggs, followed by the olive oil. By the time the eggs and oil are well mixed you may start to turn up the mixing speed. Next incorporate the zest and orange juice and vanilla extract. Keep the mixer going until you feel like all of your ingredients are well incorporated.

Batter ready to bake

Generously spray your glass pan with a non stick baking spray. Pour in your batter and place in your 350 degree pre-heated oven on the top shelf. Cooking times will vary with humidity and oven differences. I would start checking my cake with a toothpick test every five minutes at the 60 minute mark. Poke your Bolo De L’Aranja with a toothpick, if the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is cooked. My cake was perfect in 75 minutes.

The cake will be easier to cut when cooled. If you and your guests or family can resist keeping your hands off of it, once it cools cut your cake into squares and place in a serving plate. Dust with confectioners sugar and sprinkle on the zest that we reserved. This cake looks good, tastes amazing, and best of all will leave your home or apartment smelling like sweet citrus.

 

Bolo De L’Aranja

Now I have some cake to accompany my port. Make yourself one of these cakes today!

 

FOOD: SERRADURA

Hello Food Finders!

I want to introduce you to a simple and easy Portuguese inspired desert. Serradura means sawdust, which normally wouldn’t be found anywhere near desert, but when the ingredients for this sawdust is a package of Maria tea biscuits and pine nuts, you’ll be in for a treat.

Serradura

My first experience with Serradura was at a family friend’s home. It was smooth airy and delicious. I asked to glance at the recipe, but was vehemently denied. I was told that to get the proper texture you had to follow specific measurements and steps. As delicious as the desert was, I was momentarily turned away.

After a few weeks of not being able to get the Serradura out of my mind, I thought why not try and recreate the desert in a way that takes away the difficulty.

I am relentless; so I decided that I was going to recreate this no-bake desert and simplify it for our Westchesterfoodfinds.com readers. Less measuring, less precision and less technique equals more time to get to all the other things our Food Finders need to accomplish.

Ingredients:

1 Pint of Heavy Cream

1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz can)

1 Package of Goya Maria tea cookies

1 Package of Vanilla flavored instant pudding

1 tbsp of vanilla extract

OPTIONAL: 5 tbsp of nuts placed in the freezer for 30 minutes: walnuts, cashews, or pine nuts work very well

I’ve made it as easy as possible so that you will be using ingredients in there entire packaging quantities. These ingredients will make approximately 8-10 servings. If you are like me, you are better off with the extra desert that a half a can of condensed milk in your refrigerator for weeks!

In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream and vanilla extract to aerate  your desert. Next add your sweetened condensed milk and continue whisking until your mixture is consistent. You don’t want the bottom to be thinker than the top of your bowl, that simply means that the cream and sweet milk have not come together yet.

Once you have consistency, add in your instant pudding mix and whisk some more. When you have pudding in your bowl, you can put away the whisk. Depending on how fancy you want your Serradura to look, you may keep the pudding in your bowl and simply ladle it into your serving vessel, otherwise you may use a piping bag and pipe it into your glass or bowl.

Now to the saw dust. Place your cookies in a food processor or blender and add chilled nuts if you wish. Blend until you have a cookie sawdust. You may be thinking to yourself, why did I used chilled nuts. The answer is simple, blending the nuts breaks them down and releases oils in the nuts, the light heat produced from the blending process and oils can create sawdust clumps. Using the chilled nuts gives you smaller crumble and will be easier to layer in your Serradura.

Pipe or ladle your pudding and “sawdust” in alternating fashion. I use a zip top bag and cut a small hole in on of the ends and pipe my pudding in that way.

 

The finished product tastes delicious and looks luxurious. When your are asked for the recipe, please send them our way and have them visit Westchesterfoodfinds.com