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

 

THINGS: BENTON’S BACON

I have the pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite things.

Benton’s bacon is not just delicious bacon, it’s much, much more!

Benton’s uses the highest quality livestock, and their curing and smoking process adds layers of flavor to your bacon. The bacon cooks up lean and renders nicely. It doesn’t curl and shrivel, and the thick cut rivals anything’s you would find at your local premium steak house.

The smoke on this bacon definitely separates it from the others. Add a little to your favorite dish and you can easily taste the hours and patience Benton’s put into their smoking and curing process..

Cook it up at a tailgate, and I promise that you’ll have lots of new friends. Get creative and add it to your sauces for depth and flavor.

My favorite is just having it on its own.

Thankfully you can have this delicious Tennessee delicacy to your door in a day or two and on your plate as fast as you can cook it. This makes a great gift, so get some today at http://bentonscountryhams2.com !

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

THINGS: TERRANOVA PIZZA DOUGH

Hello Food Finders,

I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite things. Terranova pizza dough is by far my favorite dough. It produces delicious, crispy, crunchy, chewy and non-greasy crust to any pizza combos you can think up. The texture is always just right, and easy to work or roll out. Whether you are making your pies in the oven or flatbreads on the grill, this dough delivers. Don’t take my word on it, grab some dough and make some pizzas.

Fresh Mozzarella and Garden Basil

Pepperoni

Fig with Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, & Truffle Oil

 

Eggplant Parm!

 

Take a look at some of my examples, and try some of your own topping combos and let me know how it goes! You can find Terranova pizza dough at their retail store in the Bronx or at Whole Foods in White Plains. Go get some today !

 

Visit their website for more information.

https://www.terranovabakery.com/where-can-i-buy-terranova-pizza-dough/

 

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: VEGETABLE SOUP WITH SOME BUBBLY

Westchester, with the cold weather around for a few more months how about trying a healthy, hearty, and nutritious vegetable soup that will warm you right up! It’ll snap you from your sweet Valentine’s Day hangover and put that leftover Champagne or white wine to good use!

Save some time and start by chopping your onions; You can chop your other vegetables while the onions are sweating!

Start buy chopping  1 cup each of Yukon gold potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, and celery. If you have it available I recommend substituting a half a cup of fennel for half a cup of celery to add more depth in flavor.

Place the onions in the largest soup pot you own on low heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sweat the onions until they are translucent. Next drop in all of your vegetables.

Onions breaking a sweat!

Here is where I like to use my leftover prosecco or white wine. Take your leftover 750 bottle and fill the empty part with water. You will want to use 3 750ml bottles worth of liquid in total. I like dropping in the veggies first so that you don’t get any splash on your stove that you would usually get if you dropped the veggies into a pot of water.

Bring the liquid to a boil and then keep at a simmer for an hour. The low and slow cooking will create a flavorful broth. Your veggies should have softened at this point.

Test a potato, if the potato is cooked to taste the. You are almost there. At this point you want to add a can of cannelloni beans, a package of frozen chopped spinach, a tablespoon of roasted minced garlic, a tablespoon of parsley and a tablespoon of basil. Salt and pepper to taste. I like to salt at the end because if you salt early, some of your broth will evaporate and you can end up with a salty soup. Bring the soup to a boil once you have added the last of the ingredients.

 

Healthy, Hearty, Vegetable Soup

Ladle and enjoy.

FOOD: GRILLED MAPLE CHILI GLAZED JUMBO SHRIMP

Good Day Food Finders!

My next dish works well as an appetizer or entrée. Its fresh, simple, and exclusively for WestchesterFoodFinds.com !

Grilled Maple Chili Glazed Jumbo Shrimp

I was lucky enough to find these jumbo shrimp at my local fresh fish monger. It is a special occasion for me so I opted for the fresh, wild caught, Florida variety. Keep in mind the larger the shrimp, the fewer per pound, and the more expensive they get.  If you are on a budget, get the smaller size and follow the recipe as is. The only adjustment you will need to make is that you will skewer your shrimp.

I prefer to clean my own shrimp. If you want to save yourself the effort, you can buy them cleaned and de-veined, but I feel that the shrimp is at its freshest with the shell on.

Wash your shrimp and remove the shell. I also remove the tails at this point as doing so eliminates having your guests having to deal with them on their plates.

Hold your shrimp firmly and make a shallow cut along the back down to the tail. Pull out the vein and nasty stuff and rinse under water. Repeat until all of your shrimp are washed and cleaned.

On to the maple chili glaze. Mix 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and red pepper flakes to your desired level of heat per pound of shrimp. Place your shrimp in a plastic zip top bag and pour in half of your glaze. You will save the remaining glaze to drizzle over your shrimp once cooked. Seal the bag and move the shrimp around so that they are all covered. Place the bag of shrimp and let them marinate for a few hours before grilling.

Shrimp cook quickly. Preheat your grill so that you get nice grill marks. Place the shrimp on your grill at high heat for a minute on each side with the grill lid closed. Your  shrimp is ready when pink and firm to the touch.

On the Grill

Plate, drizzle, and garnish with some fresh parsley. You can serve as an appetizer as is, or with a side of rice and vegetable and make them a meal.

Enjoy! Please share the recipe with friends and family and please like us on Facebook!