Monday, April 20, 2015

Dinner Tonight: Dover Sole with Roasted, Glazed Carrots and Green Beans

Herb Encrusted Dover Sole with Green Beans & Roasted Glazed Carrots

Uploaded by atl10trader on April 19, 2015. Some rights reserved. Follow this link to see and comment on this photo:

Fast, Simple, Delicious Dinner: Beet & Goat Cheese Tart with Spring Onions, Thyme

Super easy and incredibly delicious quick, spring meal.

  • Makes one 9-inch tart
  • Start to Finish: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight
1 leek or spring onions, halved and thinly sliced 
3 medium beets, peeled and thinly sliced. I use Love Beets which are pre-cooked
 - available at Costco, Whole Foods
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stem


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unfold the puff pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. 
  3. Place a cake pan or a plate that’s approximately 9 inches
    in diameter onto the pastry dough.
  4. Use a paring knife to trace around it. Remove and discard the excess dough.
    Score the puff pastry all over with a fork.
  5. Sprinkle the leek slices evenly over the round of puff pastry. 
  6. Arrange the beets in circles on top of the leeks, then drizzle evenly with the olive oil.
    Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Sprinkle the goat cheese and thyme on top of the beets. 
  8. Bake the tart until the crust is golden and the beets are fork tender, 30 to 35 minutes. 
The tart can be eaten warm or at room temperature.
Take some liberties:
  1. Add tomatoes
  2. thinly spread a mixture of mustard and a bit of lemon on the pastry
    before the leeks and onions go in.

Inspired (mainly) by: Beet and Goat Cheese Tart | Recipes - PureWow 

voilà le mien!

Beet & Goat Cheese Tart with Spring Onions, Thyme

Uploaded by atl10trader on April 19, 2015. Some rights reserved. Follow this link to see and comment on this photo:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dinner Tonight: Seared Tuna Tower with Spring Vegetables

Tonight was a chance to put to good use seasonal transitional vegetables - a combination of winter ones like beets and kale with spring ones like peas and fresh chives.

Seared Tuna Tower with Spring Vegetables

  • 2 medium sized tuna fillets, seasoned with pinch of curry, salt, pepper
  • 1 cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fennel, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbls combined rice vinegar and/or lemon juice
  • 1 Tbls murin 
  • 4 small/medium beets, roasted or pickled, cut into 1/4" diced cubes
  • 1/8 cup of diced red pepper
  • 2 avocados, 3/4 of which cut into diced squares, 1/4 aside
  • 1 cup and 1/2 cup of spring peas (preferably frozen) separated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbls chives, tarragon chopped

This dish is consumed as much with the eyes as it is with your taste buds. To make it you'll need an O-ring mold, the kind you can get almost anywhere - like these from Amazon.

  1. Saute the red onions and fennel with a little olive oil for about 15-20 minutes until softened. Put into bowl. Add a mix of preferred spices (e.g., curry, za'atar, etc.)
  2. In the same pan with a little more olive oil, sear the tuna on medium-high heat for 2 minutes each side. Place on a plate to cool. Slice tuna into strips and again into 1/2" cubes.
  3. Create an ice bath that you will use to rapidly cool down the green vegetables. Take a large bowl and fill it with ice. Add cold water. Place by the sink.
  4. Bring to boil 2 cups of heavily salted water in a pot or double broiler. Have the colander ready.
  5. Put the peas in and let cook for no more than 1 minute before dumping the water and peas in the colander and placing the peas in the ice bath. Separate 1/2 cup of peas and put the rest in a small bowl aside.
  6. Repeat salted water boil and ice bath for the kale and cilantro but let cook in water for no more than 20 seconds - enough to turn items to a bright, vibrant green.
  7. In an immersion blender place the kale, cilantro, 1/2 cup peas, and 1/4 avocado. Add rice vinegar, murin. Salt and pepper to taste. Blend until a smooth and creamy texture is achieved. You can add more avocado to increase thickness or more liquid to thin it.
  8. Assemble several bowls containing:
    1. red onions, fennel, beets, and red pepper
    2. tuna
    3. peas and remaining avocado
    4. puree
  9. In the O-ring, compact the following:
    1. start with the peas and avocado at the bottom
    2. add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the puree
    3. add tuna
    4. top with red onion, fennel, red pepper
  10. Remove O-ring and voila!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dinner Menu for French Visitors

Here's my recent dinner menu for visiting economic developers from Atlanta's Sister City on France: Toulouse.

I wanted to be seasonal and wanted to really be very Southern with the dessert.  Served this with GA cheeses and toasted baguettes too.


Toulouse Atlanta Dinner by atl10trader on Flickr.

Just follow this link to see and comment on this photo:

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2014 Inspires

Cooking is as much about food and technique as it is about experiences. Atlanta's Food & Wine Festival 2014 in Midtown provided memorable lessons that I had to apply quickly or risk forgetting.

Sous vide, pickled seaweed, escabeche, thin fillets of fish cured in a sugar/salt mixture . . . the topics intrigued and inspired immediate imitation.

Corvina Escabeche with Spring Vegetables

Let's start with the escabeche, (es-kah-BECH-ay), a classic Spanish preparation often paired with oily fish such as mackerel, corvina, or bonito. Its Mediterranean at its essence. Add olive oil to a saucepan at medium heat and the following:
  • 3 - 4 tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/5 inch thick 
  • 1large onions, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • bay leaf (remove when finished) 
  • 2 Ts of combined basil, oregano, 
  • 1 t. of cumin, coriander each 
  • salt, pepper
  • carrots or turnips (optional, cubed into bite sizes)
  • 2 Ts of Espelette Basque Vinegar (or something unique from Whole Foods)
and cook very slowly (3 - 4 hours), covered, over lower heat (I use a 2 out of 10 setting on my induction range so that it cooks caramelized from the inside out vs. fried and charred from the outside in).  At the very end a splash of your best Spanish vinegar tops it off. This makes enough for 6 people.

Prep for fish:
  • Portion the fish into 4 - 5oz pieces, 3/4 inch thick (no more) - ask fishmonger for 30oz if serving 6.
  • Mix a 1/4 cup of equal parts salt and sugar. Use a tablespoon to spread the mix on a flat dish upon which you'll place the fish. This is now considered face down. If there is a skin on the fish, it is now facing you. Leave face down for 15 minutes.
  • Either sous vide the fish at 53 degrees C for 20 minutes or you can prep a pan with medium-hot olive oil and sear with the skin side down for 3 minutes before completely removing from heat.
  • If your fish has no skin, make your own! I use sheets of dried seaweed you can get at Trader Joe's and place 1 or 2 on what I designate the skin side. Continue as in the previous step. Delicious.
The whole thing, escabeche and fish, are served cold or at room temperature on a hot day.

It'd be a shame to not eat this al fresco.

This dish and the recipe is what I derived from notes taken during the Food & Wine demonstration and conversation with Asheville NC's Katie Button who is the talented Executive Chef of Cúrate, the authentic Spanish tapas restaurant continually earning rave reviews since its open in March 2011. Many thanks Katie!

Here is an image of the gazpacho I made to introduce the fish:

Tomato & Cantaloupe Gazpacho with Swiss Chard Dolma, Carrot Halva Over Avocado Aioli

So long as they don't start patenting food recipes, imitation is the highest form of flattery. How else are you going to learn? Let me hear how you fare and what you choose to pair with the fish!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring has Sprung Menu

Spring is arriving. The bounty of food that is about to burst forth from the farmer's markets across the city leaves me very excited.  Just the thought of it had me jumping the gun with this spring 'lite' menu. The menu fed a party of 8.

There are a few photo highlights to share:

Here's the appetizer. Although the menu describes it with spiced cauliflower, it justifiably appears alone.  The cauliflower was rightly moved to the main dish at the last minute.

Next is the main dish which now features the spiced cauliflower. Here's how I made this moveable side dish:

Spiced Cauliflower:
  • 2 heads of cauliflower 
  • 3/4 cup toasted cashews
  • 3/4 cup raisins soaked in mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 cup Vinaigrette of honey, juice of 1 squeezed lemon, and hot chili oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
Set oven to broil at 500 degrees.
Break cauliflower into florets, dress with olive oil, salt, pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet in the middle of the oven rack. Set a timer for 7 minutes and broil.  The tips of the cauliflower should begin to brown.
Place cashews on a separate sheet and into oven as you turn off the heat. After 7 minutes remove nuts, let them cool a bit, and roughly chop them.
Combine nuts with raisins and then with cauliflower.
Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Add chopped italian parsley and serve.

Jerusalem is named in the dish because it comes from that great cookbook of the same name by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

And finally I give you dessert made by my mother. Profiteroles. Everything about them made from scratch: from the puffs to the vanilla custard filling, to the amazing chocolate drizzled down the pyramid that keeps it all deliciously together.  From my early childhood this has long been my request for birthday cake. It was as good as ever.