Multi Grain, Roast Vegetable, and Olive Salad

by Scott Sapire | December 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Servings:    20


1 Cup Whole Wheat Berry

1 Cup Whole Rye Berry

2 Cups Israeli Cous Cous

2 Cups Mixed Quinoa 

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (for topping)

1/2 Cup Puffed Quinoa (for topping)


Olive & Dressing

1.5 Cups Chopped Olives

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1 tablespoon of preserved lemon rind

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/4 cup marcona almonds



1.5 Cups Diced (1/4") Beets

1.5 Cups Diced (1/4") Carrots

1.5 Cups Diced (1/4") Squash


Soak the rye and wheat berries from 2-10 hrs, then steam for approximately 50 minutes along with the dried cranberries, then add toasted cous cous and cook for 15 more minutes.

Toast the Cous Cous in a dry pan - add to the steamer and steam for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat but leave steamer closed.

Brint the quinoa to a boil in 1.75 cups of water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes then fluff with a fork.

Roast diced vegetables at 350 degrees - toss in olive oil and sea salt prior to roasting.

Chop green olives and combine with preserved lemon rind, chili flakes, almonds, lemon juice, and olive oil.  

Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan.

Toss the grains with the roasted veggies, chopped olives, and the dressing.  Top with the puffed quinoa and toasted pine nuts.

No Lard Mexican Tamales (Chihuahua style)

by Scott Sapire | December 03, 2014 | 0 Comments



I cooked these with one open end for a drier consistency because I was serving it with a cream based sauce and I wanted it to function more like corn bread as a textural component.  

Looking back, I missed the luxuriousness of a moist tamal even if the oozing grease is the antithesis to a light seafood course.

One could close both ends of the corn husk or cook in a folded banana leaf for more moist results.   One could also add more oil.

I dig the swine, but not so for some dinner guests so I tried this concoction and I was pleased enough with the results to replicate them.

These were served with a coconut corn lobster sauce in which the lobster was also poached, along with a seared scallop.

I mixed 3 cups of Masa Harina with 2.5 cups of broth and 1 cup of oil.  I say broth and oil because you can use whatever you want.

Traditional recipes call for lard (pork fat) but I learned Chef Laura at El Tabano in Tulum Mexico corn oil was a great substitute and by the same token, I figured coconut oil would be as well.

Since I was serving a coconut corn sauce, I didn't see the problem and lucky for me, I only had coconut oil in the pantry so decision making was easy.

For the broth I used fresh coconut water.

Since I was already over reaching, I decided to put some squash in the mix.  

Initially I was going to grate it, but wised up at first knuckle slice and boiled then pureed about 1/4 cup and added to the mix for some sweetness.

Approximately 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, cumin, and onion powder finishes the ingredients.

First place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (thank you Kitchen Aid).

Pour in the hot broth and mix, then slowly add the oil.  I let this mix run for about 10 minutes and it reached a consistency that was really easy to work with.

I've had traditional masa doughs get runny and over worked on me more easily.

When done fill the tamale wrapper of your choice with the dough and place in the steamer.  

Remember to soak your corn husks for an hour or so to make them pliable.  Banana leaves can be run over an open flame to increase their pliability.  

I didn't stuff these but it's easy enough to do - just place a dollop of the dough on the corn husk or banana leaf, then a heaping teaspoon of filling, then wrap it up.   The dough almost always covers wrapping mistakes.



Tagged: gourmet, Squash Tamales, Tamales, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Secret To Pan Gravy - Thanksgiving Recipes

by Scott Sapire | November 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

I often smoke or grill my turkeys, which makes a pan gravy tough to come by.  I've resorted to making gravy from scratch and here's my secret - Tails.  Glorious, fatty, mouth watering turkey tails.  Many people are scared of this cut, so close to you know what, but it is some of the best meat from which to derive an umami base due to the fat and connective tissue.


To make this pan gravy I'm using two turkey backs, two turkey necks, 4 tails, and giblets from one bird.  I pan sear them in a dutch oven before transferring to the oven to roast for 45 minutes - 1 hr.  When nicely browned on all sides I remove the bones, deglaze the dutch oven with alcohol - you can use almost anything from beer to bourbon, other spirits or wines of any type including port or sherry.  


I then add chicken or turkey stock and reduce it to make the gravy - sometimes I reduce until it's a gravy, sometimes I thicken it with cornstarch or a roux of flour and butter.


Tagged: dressing, gravy, pan gravy, stuffing, thanksgiving, turkey bath, turkey brine



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