Greek Couscous Salad

Need a new idea for a summer lunch? Swap out the classic and boring pasta salad for this sophisticated couscous recipe!

couscous salad greek chefanie stephanie nass

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Near East couscous
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumber
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes 
  • 8 oz. feta cheese
  • 1/2 pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar (or juice from olives)
  • Salt to taste.

Directions:

  • Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • When water is boiled, add box of couscous and turn off heat.
  • Put on lid and let sit for 8-10 min. until couscous has cooked and absorbed water.
  • Meanwhile, chop vegetables and cheese into bite-sized pieces.
  • Mix vegetables and cheese with 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 T red wine vinegar (or juice from olives).
  • Put couscous in a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
  • Add vegetables to couscous, and mix together.
  • Salt to taste.

Broccoli Pesto

We've all felt the post-pasta bloat and guilt, especially during the summer. It doesn't always have to be that way. Here's a healthy twist on a classic pesto recipe that uses whole wheat pasta and broccoli florets. Enjoy!

broccoli pesto chefanie stephanie nass

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled, green shoots removed
  • 1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/2 package cherry tomatoes.

Directions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Put broccoli florets into boiling water to tenderize (approximately 3 minutes)
  • Take the broccoli florets out of the pot and then, in the same pot, add the package of whole wheat spaghetti to cook
  • Add all other ingredients to a food processor and chop until smooth
  • Add the pesto to the spaghetti
  • Halve cherry tomatoes and garnish on top of pasta

Simple Truffle Arugula Pesto

If your sick and tired of average basil pesto and want to 'wow' your guests with sophistication, try this super easy recipe.

simple truffle arugula pesto pasta stephanie chefanie nass

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T black truffle oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Put arugula, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese into the food processor and blend.
  • While the food processor is on, pour in the olive oil and the black truffle oil.
  • Mix until pesto-like consistency.
  • Add extra salt and pepper to your liking.

Truffle Tagliatelle

Truffle thrills are one of Chefanie's favorite cooking hacks!! This product is delicious and gives an amazing truffle punch to otherwise simple dish

Ingredients:

• 300g Tagliatelle

• 1 medium onion, sliced

• 2 T olive oil

• Salt

• 1/2 can of Urbani Truffle Thrills

Directions:

• In a large sauce pan, sweat onions in olive oil over medium low heat.Season generously with salt.

• Set a tall pot of salty water to boil.

• When water comes to a rolling boil, add tagliatelle. Follow pasta box cook time as a guide, but also taste it. There should be a little bite, al dente

• Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce pan

• Add the Truffle Thrills.

• Serve.

Magret de Canard with Braided Leeks, Plum Sauce and Flower Petals

Magret de Canard with Braided Leeks, Plum Sauce and Flower Petals

Magret de Canard with Braided Leeks, Plum Sauce and Flower Petals

I'm about to finish the first of six levels at culinary school on Monday. This weekend, I am preparing for the ServSafe food safety exam, the cumulative written exam, and the cumulative practical exam, which includes turning 8 perfect potato cocottes in 20 minutes! (This blog post and a wedding later tonight are my study breaks.) The highlights of the first level level have been potato day, game birds day, and fish day. So far, I've learned how to identify the parts of cattle, pig, and lamb, as well as quarter poultry. I love my instructors and classmates. 

One of the greatest parts of being in culinary school is the opportunity to enter major culinary competitions. In February, I submitted this duck recipe, as part of a 3- course menu proposal to the New York Intercontinental's Ça Va Brasserie, and am one of six finalists. This duck is sweet, salty, and easy to prepare. Also note, Magret de canard is not exactly duck breast; it's duck breast specifically from a moulard duck, and it tastes much richer than Pekin duck breast. 

RECIPE

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Magret de canard
  • 1 blood orange
  • 2 T honey 
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 dollop hoisin sauce

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Pat the duck breast dry.
  • Score the skin side of the duck breast in a criss-cross pattern.
  • Lay duck breast skin side down in a cold pan.
  • Set pan on a medium high flame for 9-10 minutes.
  • Julienne leeks and cook them à l’étuvée
  • Mix juice of orange, honey, and soy sauce.
  • Flip the duck; pour out duck fat that has been released into the pan; return pan to the flame for 1 minute.
  • Flip again; pour in soy sauce mixture; and put in the oven for 6 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the oven and rest the duck breast on a wooden board for 10 minutes.
  • Plate the duck, leeks, and hoisin sauce; spoon pan sauce over duck; and sprinkle flower petals.
  • Serve.

10 minutes active time, 30 minutes total time. Serves 2.

Spaghetti Squash with Brussel Sprout Petals

All goods things must come to an end. Which means zucchini season must come to an end. Which means zoodles must come to an end. 

But the end of the zoodle season means the beginning of the spaghetti squash season. Spaghetti squash is sweet and easier to prepare. I whipped up a bowl of spaghetti squash with some brussels sprouts, and if you squint enough, it could almost look like a bowl of spaghetti with truffle shavings (!) Anyway, it was delicious, filling, and healthy. 

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 4 brussel sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Prepare the brussels sprouts: Cut off the bottoms and slice the brussels sprouts lengthwise. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Prepare the spaghetti squash: Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. 
  • Line a roasting pan with parchment paper.
  • Place the spaghetti squash halves downward and the brussels sprouts beside them in the roasting pan.
  • Put the roasting pan in the oven for 40 minutes (or until the squash is tender and the sprouts are crispy).
  • Scrape the spaghetti out of the squash: Using a fork, rake the meat of the squash lengthwise.
  • Toss the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the spaghetti squash in a serving bowl. Fluff, if necessary. 
  • Top the spaghetti squash with the brussels sprouts. 
  • Enjoy. 

15 minutes active time, 1 hour total. Serves 2.

Ramp Pesto

It might sound strange -- and it might be because my mom only cooked what was in season when she was pregnant with me, but I have seasonal cravings. In November, all I want to cook is squash, and in July, all I want to eat are tomatoes. One of my favorite ingredients this time of year is ramps. Ramps are part of the allium family, and like white truffles, their growth cannot be forced. They grow for a few short weeks in the spring (April/May) and can be found only in very specialized food markets. When I've worked in restaurant kitchens, I've always paid attention to the ways in which cooks preserve ramps: pickled ramps in salad dressings, freezing ramp pesto, etc. The flavor is just that special. 

This pesto is easy to pull off and can be brushed on yellow corn, used as a pasta sauce, or drizzled on pizza. It can be baked into bread or mixed with grilled chicken. The flavor is peppery, but not too sharp. 

RECIPE. 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 ramp bulbs with their stems 
  • 1.5 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 T roasted almonds or pinenuts 

Directions:  

  • Throw everything in a blender. 
  • Adjust seasoning. 
  • Voilà. 

15 minutes total time. 

Basic Homemade Pasta

On cold winter nights, there is no activity - or dinner - as warming as homemade pasta. I learned how to make pasta from scratch in culinary school using a manual roller that required coordination and strength. This holiday season, I discovered the pasta attachment set from KitchenAid; my life and the Victory Club menus are changed forever. 

The process of making pasta is facilitated by KitchenAid's attachments. The attachments make the pasta sheets (and ultimately strands) much more uniform. Not only is this uniformity more beautiful, but also it ensures a more even cook time for all of the pasta.

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 8 organic free-range eggs (preferably from the farmer's market)
  • 8 T water 
  • 3.5 cups AP flour
  • 3.5 cups semolina flour 
  • 2 t salt

Directions: 

  • Using the bowl of the stand mixer, use a fork to mix dry ingredients (flour, semolina, salt) then add wet ingredients (water, eggs.) When the ingredients are incorporated, put the bowl into the stand mixer with the dough hook at "2" speed for 5 minutes. Let the dough form a blob.
  • Divide the blob into quarters, and knead each quarter of dough on a marble surface for 5-10 minutes each. 
    • Leave the other 3 quarters covered with plastic wrap when not being kneaded - this will prevent the dough from drying out. 
    • You cannot ever overwork pasta dough, and you know it is kneaded enough when the dough pops back at you after being poked.
  • Cover all dough with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for as little as 1 hour and as long as 2 days.
  • After the dough has rested, flatten each quarter of dough with a rolling pin.
  • Put the pasta sheet attachment on the stand mixer, and set to "1." Pass the flattened dough through roller. The first time, it passes through, it will likely have some holes. If this is the case, fold it in half, and pass it through the roller again. Pass it through the roller at the "1" thickness twice. Then pass it through the "2," "3," and "4" thickness two times each. 
  • After the pasta sheet has passed through the "4" thickness for the second time, attach the Fettuccine attachment to the machine. Pass the sheet through the fettuccine attachment, and cut strands to desired length. 
  • Use immediately or freeze for up to 2 weeks. 

Serves 8. 20 minutes active time; 75 minutes total time. 

Inspired by The Little Kitchen's recipe.

Grilled Tuna

This is super easy, totally delicious and I guarantee none of your dinner guests will have tasted such an exotic tuna steak. Also, the seasoning does the presentation work for you, making this a 5 minute ordeal. 

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 8 tuna steaks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Montreal seasoning

Directions:

  • Coat the tuna with the Montreal seasoning. I haven’t given an exact amount because it's up to you; I like to cover the tuna almost entirely, but it's really as much as you want. 
  • Heat the pan on a high heat and once the pan is hot, pour in oil.
  • When the oil is shimmering, add in the tuna steaks.
  • I like to keep them juicy and red so I heat them for about 2 minutes and then turn them over for another 2 minutes. However, if you prefer your meat well-cooked then keep them on the heat for longer. 
  • They are ready to be served straight away.

Serves 8. 15 minutes total time, 15 minutes active time.

Cacio e Pepe

I can't deny that it took me a few tries to refine this authentic Italian dish. It looks easy, and in many ways it is, but do not be misled by the few ingredients and short preparation time needed; it takes precise timing to cook pasta like a true Roman!  

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 600 grams of spaghetti
  • 250 grams of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pink pepper corns.

Directions:

  • Pour water into a tall pot (about three quarters of the way up) and bring it to a boil. 
  • Meanwhile, grate the cheese. 
  • When the water boils, add the salt and the pasta. 
  • Use the instructions on the pasta box as a guideline for how long to keep the pasta in. However, pay close attention to cook it al dente; try the pasta, it should have a little bite. 
  • 2 minutes before you take the pasta off the heat, heat a serving bowl by placing it on top of the pot. 
  • After 2 minutes, remove the serving bowl and drain the pasta. 
  • Put the pasta into the heated serving bowl and add the cheese. 
  • Keeping tossing the pasta until the cheese has melted and reached a creamy consistency. If it gets too thick, add more water. 
  • Just before you serve, sprinkle on the pink pepper corns and mix. 

Serves 6. 20 minutes active time, 25 minutes total time. 

Cornish Hen with Cornbread Stuffing

RECIPE

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Cornish hens
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • Olive oil (as needed)
  • Kosher salt (as needed)
  • Freshly ground pepper (as needed)
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cup yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 cups cornbread
  • 2 celery stalk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • chives, chopped (for garnish)
  • kitchen string

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Peel the onion and cut into slices.
  • Place onions into a roasting pan (lined with foil) in a single flat layer.
  • Gather ingredients for stuffing.
  • Crumble cornbread in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan.
  • Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.
  • Add the onion mixture to the cornbread.
  • Add the celery & chicken stock.
  • Add parsley, salt and pepper; mix together.
  • Remove giblets from the hens, and rinse them inside and out.
  • Pat the insides and outsides dry with paper towel.
  • Pack cavities of hens with the cornbread stuffing.
  • Tie legs together with kitchen string.
  • Place hens in pan.
  • Rub hens with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast 40 minutes or until juices run clear when you cut into a leg.
  • Garnish with chives.

 

25 minutes active time, 65 minutes total time. Serves 8.

Inspired by the Kitchenbowl recipe.

Filet Mignon

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef tenderloin (approx. 3 lbs)
  • Montreal seasoning

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425º F.
  • Trim any fat and silver skin on the tenderloin.
  • Coat the tenderloin with Montreal seasoning. I haven’t given an exact amount because it's up to you; I like to cover the tenderloin almost entirely, but it's really as much as you want. 
  • Place the tenderloin in a shallow roasting pan.
  • Roast the tenderloin uncovered for 35-50 minutes or until desired doneness; if using an oven thermometer, the final roasting temperature is 135º F for medium rare (145º F after standing) and 150º F for medium (160º F after standing).
  • Transfer meat to a cutting board and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice the tenderloin into 3/4 inch medallions.

Serves 10-12. 50-65 minutes total time, 15 minutes active time.

Truffled Turkey

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh turkey, with giblets removed
  • 3 ounces white truffle butter (room temp.)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled and cut into eighths
  • 1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
  • Olive oil
  • Kitchen string

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Drain any juices from the turkey; pat turkey dry with paper towel (inside and out).
  • Place turkey on a flat rack in a large, shallow roasting pay.
  • Staring at the large cavity end, gently run your fingers between the skin and the meet of the turkey, loosening (but not tearing) the skin.
  • Place softened truffle butter under the skin; gently massage skin so as to spread the butter evenly over the whole breast.
  • Generously salt and pepper the cavity.
  • Place half of the thyme sprigs, onion, and garlic in the cavity.
  • Tie the legs together with kitchen string; tie 1 length of string around the bird and the wings to keep the wings close to the body.
  • Brush the turkey with olive oil; generously salt and pepper.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves from the stems, chop them, and sprinkle them on the turkey.
  • Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until an oven thermometer (placed in the center of the breast) reads 160º F.
  • About halfway through or when the breast is golden brown, cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent skin from burning.
  • Remove from the oven, still covered with aluminum foil; allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Carve and serve.

10 minutes active time, 3-3 1/2 hours total time. Serves 8.

Inspired by Ina Garten's recipe.