Cristina Ferrare

CHICKEN BREASTS GRILLED WITH SPICY ORANGE-GINGER GLAZE

This is one of my favorite go to meals. It’s light, low in calories and is perfect for lunch or dinner. The chicken turns out moist and tender as is bursting with flavor. I like to serve it with a crisp salad and couscous with chopped fresh vegetables on the side for a perfect dish anytime.
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PASTA WITH FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

Fresh Roma Tomato Sauce

16 (approximately 2-1/4 pounds) Roma (Italian plum) tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 scallions, chopped

1/4 cup white wine

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces of your favorite semolina pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

8 medium to large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (rolled like a cigarette and sliced thin)

Cut the tomatoes in quarters, and set aside in a bowl.

Heat a large saucepan on medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and scallions, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook, reducing by more than half. Add the tomatoes and salt, and cook for 40 minutes at a slow, bubbly simmer. Remove from heat.

In a food processor, puree the tomato mixture in batches, processing each batch for about 1 minute.

Over a separate saucepan, strain the tomatoes, through a chinoise, (a strainer shaped like a Chinese cap that has the perfect size holes to strain the tomatoes, just the right size to separate out the skins and seeds. William Sonoma carries them www.williamsonoma.com) Do not use a strainer with tightly woven small mesh, the holes are too small and the resulting puree will be too liquid.

Add butter and taste to see if the sauce needs more salt.

Cook 8 ounces of your favorite semolina pasta according to package directions. ( I like Penne, farfalle, or linguine with this sauce.) Cook according to package directions and remember to salt the pasta water.

Drain the pasta well. Pour the drained pasta back into the pot you cooked it in, place the pot back on the stove, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add 1 or 2 ladles of the sauce, and mix to heat through.

Pour the pasta into a serving bowl and ladle more sauce on top. Sprinkle with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

CARAMELIZED SCALLOPS

CARAMELIZED SCALLOPS WITH WHITE WINE

I use clarified butter that you can make yourself, recipe below or you can purchase “Ghee” (which is another name for clarified butter) at your market.

*TO MAKE THE CLARIFIED BUTTER, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1 stick (4 ounces) of unsalted butter, allowing the butter to remain undisturbed. When the butter is melted, carefully remove the foam that forms on top. Pour the clear buttery liquid in a bowl, be careful not to let the whey at the bottom get into the bowl. The whey will burn and turn brown at a high temperature. Discard the foam and whey. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
INGREDIENTS
4 servings

12 large scallops

Pinch kosher salt

Freshly cracked pepper

4 tablespoons clarified butter* or Ghee 

1/2 cup Monk fruit sugar spread on a flat plate

½ cup dry white wine

1 fresh lemon, squeezed

1 tablespoon finely chopped flat Italian parsley

8 chives

1 tablespoon lemon zest

INSTRUCTIONS

The crescent-shaped muscle that attaches the scallop to the shell will toughen when cooked. You need to remove the muscle by peeling it away from the sides of each scallop before cooking. Rinse and dry scallops well. Sprinkle both sides of scallops with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add the clarified butter, and swirl to coat the pan. When the butter starts to foam, get ready to add the scallops. Working quickly, hold the sides of the scallop and dip it into the sugar using a twisting motion to coat evenly on one side only. Place the scallops, sugar side down on the skillet and saute for 2-1/2 minutes. If the sugar starts to brown too quickly turn down the heat.

Turn the scallops over and saute for 1 minute. Add the white wine and lemon juice and reduce by half. After about 1-1/2 minutes, transfer the scallops to a warm platter and pour the pan juices over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley, chives, and lemon zest.

 

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Ouzo Cured Salmon

Once again I turn to my favorite Greek restaurant Kokkari in San Francisco for a recipe from their fabulous cookbook, “KOKKARI”. I had dinner there just a few weeks ago and I ordered the Cured Salmon as an appetizer, it was simply amazing! I had never tasted salmon like this before. It had a different element that tasted familiar but I couldn’t quit put my finger on it. I just had to ask the chef what was that incredible flavor I was picking up on. Most chefs are a bit reluctant to share recipes but since this was in their cookbook he told me without hesitation that the salmon was cured in Ouzo!

The salmon tasted incredibly fresh, slightly sweet with a teeny tiny essence of licorice, a tart citrusy flavor from the fresh lemon juice and a fruity green taste from the olive oil. It was so good, I ordered a second. I just knew when I got home I had to make this and share it with my family and friends.

The very next day I brought out the cookbook to look up the salmon recipe.  The very first paragraph said that, “You need a good fishmonger to make this simple dish work; and that the salmon must be impeccably fresh”. When I read that I knew that I had to make a sea-food run to my favorite place to buy fish, Santa Monica Seafood. Santa Monica Seafood has the best, freshest fish other than the sea!

Santa Monica Seafood is a family-owned and operated company with a history stretching back to 19th century Italy. (Hmmm, I thought I felt a connection)  In other words they have been in business forever and their reputation is well known and respected.

Shopping there is a real treat with friendly, patient people to help you and guide you. It’s cheery and bright, with cases that wrap around the interior of the store from one end to the other with fish beautifully displayed. NOTHING smells fishy. In fact when you walk into the store you smell the subtle brininess of the ocean that is clean and sweet. Customers are leisurely and happily dining on one side of the store enjoying bowls of clam chowder, lobster or their fresh catch of the day.

I used to live 10 minutes from the store, now I live in another city 45 minutes north of Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter I make the drive whenever I serve fish because it is so worth it. I made the drive to pick up the fish to make my Ouzo Cured Salmon.

After I explained to the gentleman behind the counter what I was going to make he expertly pick out a beautiful piece of wild caught salmon, firm with that amazing deep rich color that only salmon in the wild have. I left happy and enthusiastic about making the salmon

If you are a fish lover like me you will absolutely love this recipe.

The salmon is super easy to make and it only take 10 minutes to cure! Read more »

Tomato Salsa!

TOMATO SALSA

I put salsa on everything, I just love it. You will always find fresh salsa in my refrigerator. I have it for breakfast with my eggs, any style. I LOVE it in burritos, grilled cheese sandwich’s, taco’s, grilled chicken and shrimp. Yes, I’ve even tossed it in pasta! Of course who doesn’t love good ol tortilla chips with salsa. I buy the extra thick tortilla chips and heat them in the oven at 400 F for 5 minutes. I love the way heating the tortilla chip brings out the flavor of the chip and tastes like it’s home made. I also love the way the warm crunchy tortilla chips feels in your mouth when you dip it into the salsa and take a bite!

INGREDIENTS

8 Roma tomatoes, peeled

1/2 cup white onion chopped small 

1/4 cup cilantro loosely packed, chopped small

2 scallions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Jalapeno finely diced with the seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Slice off 1/4″ off the top of the tomatoes and discard. Place the tomatoes into the boiling water for 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, lift the tomatoes from the boiling water and into a bowl. Immediately run them under cool water to peel off the skins.

The skins should come off easily. If not, place the tomato back into the water for another 15 seconds.

Slice the skinned tomatoes in half lengthwise, top to bottom. Scoop out seeds using a teaspoon, discard.

Dice the skinned and seeded tomatoes into small pieces.

Place the tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, salt, jalapeno and olive oil in a glass bowl, and mix well. Cover in an airtight glass container and place in the refrigerator for a least 3 to 4  hours before serving. This salsa can be make the day before and will last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

 

 

 

“DANGERS OF PROCESSED SUGARS”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT https://amzn.to/2Qj2Iih

dangers of processed sugars

I wanted to share some of the research I did while writing “Food for Thought” Please take the time to read this, it may get you to stop and think before you continue to consume foods that are filled with sugar, too much salt, unhealthy fats, processed, and genetically modified. (GMO’s) At the end I’ve included a special dessert I made for Maria and will be in the cookbook, “Food for Thought” You are the first to have a recipe from the book! Enjoy! Read more »