Monday, August 24, 2015

I LOVE WHEN THIS HAPPENS


8-24-15 A CONCOTION OF INGREDIENTS           



Cooking tonight’s dinner was pure pleasure.  It began with a simple idea to utilize the veggies in the fridge, and evolved on the stovetop. 

The plan was rather simple.  The day began with asparagus, fresh Roma tomatoes, and chicken breasts that had to be used.  At the market I picked up some Leeks and Shiitake mushrooms, imagining them cooked with the chicken and asparagus in a light fresh tomato sauce, served over pasta or rice.

I started by cooking the mushrooms, leek, and a clove of garlic, in olive oil over moderately high heat.   I removed them when they started to brown and set them aside.  In the same skillet I browned the chicken in hot olive oil and cooked sit until it was not quite finished.  After deglazing the pan with Sweet Vermouth I set the chicken aside (next to the mushrooms).  Next up -  I began cooking the Asparagus, cut into 1” pieces, along with the coarsely chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and fresh basil leaves.  After 10-15 minutes I added the mushrooms and chicken, now cut into bite sized pieces, to the pan and let everything simmer over low heat.  Somewhere along this process I decided I would serve this on a bed of rice, and not pasta.

Watching it simmer It occurred to me that it needed some of Emeril’s “Bam”, so I added shrimp – cooked, peeled, and frozen - to the pan.  The final inspiration was  to add some Old Bay seasoning and top everything with thin slices of lemon.




Friday, August 7, 2015

A Midtown Market Dinner - Pasta w Shiitake mushrooms & Asparagus

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8-7-15   Lemon dill Fettuccine w Shiitaki mushrooms and Asparagus

                                     

INGREDIENTS:  All ingredients from MTM
           
1.     Al dente fettuccine
2.     Shitake mushrooms
3.     Asparagus
4.     Black olives sliced
5.     Olive oil
6.     Shallots
7.     Garlic ( I used Dorot’s frozen crushed garlic cubes and dill available at Midtown Mkt.)
8.     Dill
9.     Fresh lemon juice

PROCESS:

Saute the mushrooms and shallots in olive oil, with garlic and dill.  Cook for  about 5 minutes before adding the Asparagus.  Add the lemon juice and black olives several minutes before adding the pasta.  Add the pasta, drizzle with extra olive oil and mix well.  Serve with grated Grana Padana or Parmigiana cheese.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

DRAWING ON MY PAST

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Or should I say drawing from my past?  Better yet, how about simply drawing my past, because that is what I’ve been doing.

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently conducting a private retrospective of my work.  Fortunately I have digital files of most of my artwork, as well as portfolios filled with drawings and sketches from the past 50 plus years.  The volume of the work is impressive.  Most of it is pretty good, some of it is very good, and some of it is not so good to awful. I saved everything.  Seeing my work evolve has been gratifying, and confronting the failures has been sobering.  The experience has inspired me to move forward, building on the good while learning from the bad.

On a recent visit to family and friends I photographed the elementary school I attended (as did my father).  It opened in 1916 and was shut down several years ago; residents are now trying to raise the money needed to save the building for use as a community center and library.  It did not take long for me to decide to paint the building once I returned to my studio.



As often happens, one thing leads to another, and the next thing I knew I was painting my high school using photos I took at our 50th reunion 7 years ago.



And the wheels keep turning.  Elementary school, high school.  What’s next, Jr. high, college?  Maybe both, and just like that a new series emerges – painting the “places of my life”.  As a result, I just spent hours going through old photos and slides looking for photos I knew I took about 20 years ago of my college campus.  I found the images I wanted, and planned on painting my colleges Administrative Building where we had most of our classes.  However the 50th reunion of our medial school class is this October, and the reunion committee has asked for a painting of the old Jefferson Medical College building, so my orderly progression will be a bit disrupted.







After that I have a lifetime of drawing to do.

I love being an artist, it is a way of life, and he work never ends.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

6-19-15 Angel Hair with sausage, celery and carrots

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I was in the mood for sausage, but not with the usual red sauce



INGREDIENTS:
1.     Angel hair pasta – almost any other pasta can be substituted
2.     Italian sausage with casing removed
3.     Celery
4.     Carrots
5.     Onion
6.     Anchovy – 1 fillet finely chopped
7.     Olive oil
8.     Garlic
9.     Fresh basil
10. Chicken broth – about 1/3 cup
11. White wine
12. Black olives – sliced
13. Panko



PROCESS:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderate-high heat and add the anchovy, carrots, garlic and onion, and cook until soft.  Add the sausage and cook until it and the vegetables begin to brown.  Add several torn basil leaves and several splashes of white wine.  Stir frequently, and when the wine has cooked off add the chicken broth, lower the heat and simmer until it begins to thicken.  Sprinkle with the Panko while the pasta is cooking. 

Add the pasta to the skillet and mix well and add the olives before serving.  Add pasta water if needed.

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

6-10-15 Linguini w shrimp, asparagus in lemon butter sauce


6-10-15   Linguini w shrimp, asparagus in lemon butter sauce



This dish looks elegant, but is quite simple to prepare, requiring only a few ingredients

INGREDIENTS:
1.     Linguini
2.     Shrimp
3.     Asparagus
4.     Olive oil
5.     Lemon juice
6.     Butter
7.     Garlic
8.     Fresh dill
9.     Red pepper flakes (optional)
10. Salt and pepper

PROCESS:

I started by cooking the shrimp in olive oil and butter and setting it aside while washing and removing the tough ends of the asparagus.

In a large skillet slowly cook a thinly sliced clove of garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil and butter while the pasta is cooking.  Next, coat the asparagus and shrimp with olive oil and grill over medium-high heat, the asparagus – about 5 minutes, and the shrimp until they begin to brown.  Remove from the grill and keep warm.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet and mix well, adding some pasta water if needed.  Drizzle with olive oil and freh dill and serve with the shrimp and asparagus on the side and wedge of lemon.

 COMMENTS:

These ingredients were meant to be used together, and linguini is the perfect pasta for this dish.




Monday, June 8, 2015

SEASONAL LANDSCAPES?

I have done very little painting with oils - and I keep telling myself I should do more .  Here are three 6x36" landscapes I did 7 or 8 years ago, the same scene in 3 different seasons.

Spring-Summer

Winter

Fall

Saturday, June 6, 2015

6-6-15 Wild mushroom ravioli/creamy tomato sauce



I love cooking like this, looking in the fridge and pantry to see what’s there and what has to be used or tossed.  This evening there was a package of mushrooms and some frozen ravioli that demanded some attention.  Pouring myself a glass of Pinot Grigio, I set about seeing what I could do. 



 INGREDIENTS:

1.     Wild mushroom ravioli
2.     Sliced white mushrooms
3.     Shallots
4.     Garlic
5.     Onion
6.     Olive oil
7.     Diced tomatoes
8.     Cherry tomatoes (canned)
9.     Heavy whipping cream
10. Anchovy paste
11. Fresh Dill
12. Fresh Basil
13. Parmigiana Regianno

PROCESS:

Sauté the mushrooms, garlic and slice shallots with the chopped dill, in olive oil over high heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown.  Remove, cover, and set aside

Sauté the garlic, 2 finely chopped anchovy fillets (or paste) and chopped onion in olive oil until soft.  Add the tomatoes and several leaves of fresh basil and simmer for 30-60 minutes.  I used a hand held blender to create a less than smooth puree.  Stir in the cream several minutes before the pasta is ready.

Cook the ravioli per the package directions, drain and place in serving bowl with the sauce.  Serve the ravioli with a portion of the mushrooms, shavings of Parmigina, and fresh basil.

COMMENTS:

This was a fun dish to prepare, and even more fun to eat.  I could not help feeling guilty that we wee not sharing it with others.