Amberjack Fish speared by my husband in the Lousianna Gulf & Easy Mango Coconut ,lime, jalapeno sauce

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Now that I live in the middle of the USA I really appreciate fresh fish; I took this for granted living in Southern California and then Italy where fresh fish reigns and the average person knows fresh from not so fresh. I learned from my Ligurian (Cinque Terre) raised husband to use few spices with fresh fish. The great thing about freshly caught fish is that less is more, meaning you want to keep it simple so as to taste the flavor of the fish. Fish that’s fried or cooked with lots of sauce and spice is often a way restaurants camouflage its age. The best part is that makes cooking it so easy and fast!

Recipe for Super Fast and Easy Fresh Fish Filet with Thai inspired sauce

3 to 4 filets of fresh fish
1/2 cup mango puree- bottled or smash a mango with a fork and season with salt , pepper and lime juice
1 jalapeno minced
2 green onions sliced
1 to 2 tbsp.coconut oil
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Heat the coconut oil in a skillet then add the fish filet. Flip when half way cooked.
That’s it!
Then to plate:
drizzle the mango on each plate or one serving platter
Place filet on top
sprinkle salt and cracked pepper
finish it off with a sprinkling jalapeno and green onion

You can serve it with coconut rice or green salad

10 minute Chicken Exquisite! From start to finish!

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Recipe:

This is so easy and takes only 4-5 minutes in the pan. 10 minutes is the total time! Whole Foods had chicken breasts for 2.99 a pound so I bought 3 packs of it. I froze 2 of them.
I was tired of the same chicken breast dishes that are baked or pan fried. They tend to be dry in the middle too. I remembered the Roman way they do veal and chicken and it had total appeal to me last night. Pounding the meat thin makes it cook real fast and you can scrape those brown bits, deglazing with Marsala or Sherry (can use broth, wine or water) which adds to the yumminess.

Ingredients:
boneless chicken breasts – 1 breast becomes double in size after pounding thin to 1/4 inch between plastic wrap
1 or 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh sage leaves- 5-10
Marsala or Sherry
balsamic glaze (optional)
Sea Salt
cracked pepper

Method:
heat the oil in the pan
add the garlic, sage leaves then chicken. Flip after 2 minutes. When pan dries up deglaze with marsala and cook until it evaporates. When golden brown on both sides remove from pan.
drizzle with balsamic and serve hot.
It’s delicious with artichokes or roasted vegetables and a green salad.

wine pairing:

white: Pinot Grigio or

red: Barbera

All About Artichokes- even though the season is ending now…but I haven’t eaten one this year!

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Roman artichokes in extra virgin olive oil, fresh mint, garlic. My favorite way to prepare them!
artichoke all giuda
Roman Artichoke Jewish style Carciofi alla Giuda

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artichokes
trimmed artichokes in the Italian market
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My First Artichoke Garden in Chattanooga TN. Looks like I’m the only one around here growing artichokes! I have to wait 120 days! I hope it works

VIDEO: How to trim artichokes Roman style

Am I crazy to try artichokes since 100% of commercially grown come from California where I am from?

If they grew in louisiana in the 1800’s I would think they can grow here...

1500s – In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici (1519-1589), married to King Henry II (1519-1559), of France at the age of 14, is credited with making artichokes famous. She is said to have introduced them to France when she married King Henry II in the mid 16th century. She was quoted as sayig, “If one of us had eaten artichokes, we would have been pointed out on the street. Today young women are more forward than pages at the court.”
1600s – Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery contains a 17th-century recipe entitled “To Make Hartichoak Pie.”
1800s – French immigrants brought artichokes to the United States in 1806 when they settled in the Louisiana Territory. But though the first commercial artichoke fields were developed in Louisiana, by 1940 they had mysteriously disappeared. They were later established in Louisiana by French colonists and in California in the Monterey area by the Spaniards during the later 1800s.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832), poet and dramatist, shunned the artichoke. In his book Travels Through Italy, Goethe says, “the peasants eat thistles,” a practice he could never adopt.

20th century – In 1922 Andrew Molera, a landowner in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California, just south of San Francisco, decided to lease his land previously dedicated to the growing of sugar beets to Italian farmers that he encouraged to try growing the “new” vegetable. His reasons were economic as artichokes were fetching high prices and farmers could pay Molera triple what the sugar company did for the same land.

By the early 20th century, Fannie Farmer noted in her ninth edition of her cookbook that California artichokes were selling in Boston for 30 to 40 cents each.

In the 1920s, Ciro Terranova “Whitey” (1889-1938), a member of the mafia and known as the “Artichoke King,” began his monopoly of the artichoke market by purchasing all the produce shipped to New York from California at $6 a crate. He created a produce company and resold the artichokes at 30 to 40 percent profit. Not only did he terrorize distributors and produce merchants, he even launched an attack on the artichoke fields from Montara to Pescadero, hacking down the plants with machetes in the dead of night. These “artichoke wars” led the Mayor or New York, Fiorello La Guardia, to declare “the sale, display, and possession” of artichokes in New York illegal. Mayor La Guardia publicly admitted that he himself loved the vegetable and after only one week he lifted the ban.

Did You Know?

Nearly one hundred percent of all artichokes grown commercially in the United States are grown in California.

In the 16th century, eating an artichoke was reserved only for men. Women were denied the pleasure because the artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac and was thought to enhance sexual power.

Artichokes are one of the oldest foods know to humans.

Marilyn Monroe was the first official California Artichoke Queen in 1949.
How To Purchase Artichokes:

One medium to large artichoke will yield approximately 2 ounces of edible flesh.

If the artichoke feels heavy for its size and squeaks when squeezed, you have found a fresh artichoke.

Select globes that are deep green, with a tight leaf formation, and those that feel heavy for their size. A good test of freshness is to press the leaves against each other which should produce a squeaking sound. Browning of the tips can indicate age, but can also indicate frost damage.

Fall and winter artichokes may be darker or bronze-tipped or have a whitish, blistered appearance due to exposure to light frost. This is called “winter-kissed.” Look for tender green on the inside of petals. Many consider these frosted artichokes to be the most tender with intense flavor. Avoid artichokes which are wilting, drying or have mold.

How To Store Artichokes:

To store fresh artichokes at home, sprinkle them with a little water and refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag. Do no wash before storing. They should last a week when stored properly.

RECIPES
Roman Artichokes in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Herbs  –  Can Make Ahead

Ingredients

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 artichokes with stems, trimmed – see video

Method:
In a bowl, combine parsley, mint, garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Rub artichoke hearts inside and out with herb mixture. Place them stem-side up in a medium pot. Add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and enough water to come halfway up the sides of the artichoke hearts.
Place pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer until artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining herbs. Cool completely in the cooking liquid.
Divide artichoke hearts onto four plates, and serve at room temperature with some of the liquid spooned over the top.

Carciofi alla Giuda
Roman Fried artichokes

Ingredients:

4 whole artichokes
3 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lemon

Method:

Remove the hard leaves from the artichokes, cut stalk leaving about 1,2 inches of it.
With a very sharp small knife, shape the artichoke from top to bottom turning it, so as to remove only the hard part of the leaves. Soak the artichoke in water with the juice of one lemon and repeat the operation for each single artichoke.

Meanwhile, in a pan heat up plenty of oil.

Drain the artichokes, dry them and press them lengthwise on the table to open the leaves. Each operation must be repeated for each single artichoke.
Season the inside of the artichokes with salt and pepper. Then dip the artichokes into the boiling oil with the stalk up, cook per about 10 minutes, then turn them upside down and cook on the other side, for the same time.
Drain them on absorbent paper and serve hot.

Hibiscus Cooler- Best Summer Beverage, Refreshing, Delicious, Full of antioxidants

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Hibiscus Cooler
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Dried Hibiscus Flowers
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Hibiscus Flower

This is so yummy and refreshing! I’m drinking it right now. Without sweetener it’s tart but I like it. I usually add about 2 tbsp Agave which is 120 calories to the entire half gallon.

Ingredients:
2 cups hibiscus flowers (I find them at the Mexican stores)
10 cups boiling water

Method:

All you do is add about 2 cups of dried hibiscus flower to a 4 quart pot of boiling water. Boil 5 minutes. Let sit until cool.
Strain and and sweetener at this point if you want
refrigerate.
serve over crushed ice

Butternut Squash Artisan Pasta with 5 Ingredient Skinny Pumpkin Sage Sauce

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So everyone wants to eat lighter around here so came up with this light version of pumpkin sauce using cottage cheese instead of cream and going for lots of pumpkin, galic, sage flavor.

Skinny Pumpkin Sage Sauce
5 ingredients only!

1-cup pumpkin pure – I prefer freshly roasted but canned is ok too
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced
10 fresh sage leaves- more or less
1-cup low-fat cottage cheese

Sauté garlic in 1 of the tbsp. butter until soft- a minute or 2
Add pumpkin and cook for another minute
Add cottage cheese and cook until heated through
Mix all with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste
Meanwhile sauté the sage leaves in the remaining tbsp. of butter until crisp.
Salt to taste

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente
Add some pasta cooking water to the sauce to thin it out if needed.
Add your pasta to the sauce and stir until it’s hot and well amalgamated.
Sprinkle sage leaves on top

Buon Appetito!

Best Fire Roasted Bell Peppers that don’t even compare to the bottled kind!

Bell-Peppers

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These are so delicious with the smoky flavor you get from the fire. They are best when you put them directly on the grill to be scorched by the fire but you can do it the easy way by cooking in the oven on broil.  My Italian family does it directly on the gas flame on the stove which turns out best but a mess to clean up.

Ingredients:

bell peppers, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper

Method:
Cook until blackened on all sides, turning as they blacken on each side.
When they are black all around place immediately in a paper or plastic bag to sweat for 15 minutes.
When they are cool the skins will peel right off.
Slice in strips if you like and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper