Simple Syrup

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Simple Syrup! Sounds simple enough right? Well don’t worry, it really is. Simple Syrup can be used to sweeten a nice summer cocktail or to add to a granita recipe without having to worry about granules of sugar weighing down your recipes or not getting dissolved.

To start a simple syrup you’ll need just two ingredients: water and sugar. Yup! That’s it.

You’ll want the ratio of sugar to water to be about 1:3. So on a smaller scale, place a cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat with about 1/3 cup of sugar. Just heat the liquid and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

If you’d like to flavor your simple syrup, you can add fresh mint leaves, lemon balm, or other herbs to infuse into the syrup as it’s cooking on the stovetop.

Once the sugar is dissolved, let it cool before using.

For a cocktail, I’m thinking a minty simple syrup would be great in a Mojito or a Moscow Mule! A regular simple syrup would be great for iced teas! You can also use a citrusy simple syrup to dab on a pound cake for a little added moisture and sweetness. However you use simple syrup, just be sure to share 😉

-Chef K

 

Grilled Romaine with Caesar Dressing

Hey everyone!

So along with my Grilled Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Grenadine Reduction and my Grilled Eggplant Caponata, another summertime favorite of mine is Grilled Romaine with my Dad’s Caesar Dressing.

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The grill marks on the romaine make it so flavorful and they look so beautiful served rustically on a plate like the one pictured above. Just wait until you see how easy this is!

Ingredients:

3 hearts of romaine

Dad’s Famous Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients:
1/3 cup oil (canola or olive oil)
2-3 garlic cloves
2 egg whites
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon Anchovies paste
Dash of Worchester sauce
1tsp. Ground mustard
1 Fresh lemon squeezed

Directions:

Cut romaine hearts in half lengthwise, then grill cut sides down, just until grill marks appear, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside and let sit. 

For the dressing, crush garlic in bowl (preferably an unfinished wooden bowl) with a garlic crusher. Then add a tiny bit of oil and Anchovy paste. With a mortar continue to rub together the garlic and Anchovy paste and then add 1/3 cup oil. Then add 2 eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, ground mustard, 1 lemon squeezed, dash of Worchester sauce. Add dash of garlic salt or sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix together with a whisk.

Place grilled romaine head with grill marks up on a plate. Drizzle dressing over the lettuce and add a pinch of Parmesan on top and anchovies (optional).

Serve and enjoy!

-Chef K

 

Grilling a Few Chops


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Hello guys!

From my last post I think you guys can see how much I’m into grilling this summer! When summer finally hits New York, there’s no reason not to soak up every moment in the sun, so I like to create recipes that can capture summer ingredients and cooking outdoors.

Here’s another great grilling recipe that I shared with Veria TV on “The Juice” just a few days ago that will impress your man, friends, family and even just for a solo indulgent meal: Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Grenadine Reduction. Also, don’t worry if you grill indoors! This recipe is also great grilled on a cast iron stove-top grill or in your handy cast iron skillet.

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Ingredients:

8 lamb chops
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
2 ½ Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup grenadine

Directions:

Season both sides of the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Combine garlic, rosemary and olive oil into a paste. Rub the paste on both sides of the lamb chops and let them marinate for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and let the lamb chops come to room temperature.

Heat the grill on high heat. Add the lamb chops and let sear for 2 minutes. Turn the chops over cook for another 3 ½ – 4 minutes.

On high heat over the stovetop reduce the balsamic and grenadine mixture for 8-10 minutes, until consistency thickens.

Once lamb is cooked, plate and drizzle with the balsamic reduction before serving.

Hope you enjoy this one and look out for my other Veria recipes!

-Chef K

Grill It Up!

The summer is for being outdoors! So what better way to make a meal than on your grill to change things up and enjoy the summer sun. I actually just filmed a segment for “The Juice” on the Veria TV Network about Italian Backyard Bites and thought I’d share my own favorite grilled recipe with you. Here I am below by the way! Was a lot of fun shooting with the team!

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I LOVE classic Caponata. The sweet and sour blend of this Italian classic is a killer appetizer, side dish or main entree. Everyone has their own spin on how to make a Caponata, but my biggest secret to a Caponata? Letting it sit overnight before serving! This allows all the flavors to meld together and intensify.

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Grab all your vegetables and throw them on a grill!  The primary base for Caponata recipes include eggplant, onions and tomato. For a Grilled version of this recipe, take the veggies, brush them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on the grill. It’ll take the eggplant about 6 to 8 minutes per side. The onions will take about 4, and the tomatoes just a quick 2 or 3. You’re going to get those gorgeous dark char marks and that nice grilled flavor.

Once done, take them off the grill and chop into half inch pieces. From here you can add your own spin to your caponata. But remember, sweet and salty! You can add olives, capers, raisins or currants and pine nuts for crunch. For the green finishing touch, basil, mint or parsley is always nice. A few shreds of ricotta salata or a slab of burrata on the side….I’m getting hungry!

For the dressing, use a base of vinegar and sugar to balance out the sweet and sour taste. A few tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a teaspoon or so of honey, a pinch of red pepper flakes and then whisking it all up with extra virgin olive oil is always a good way to go. Toss it all together and let it sit and marry.

So simple, so tasty, so SUMMER! I hope you guys all try to make your own version of Caponata and be sure to comment if you have any questions!

-Chef K