A Braising Fool

This recipe is basically the same as my Braised Lamb chops. I used chicken breast because it was what I had available but it’s better done with chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin on of course.

The sauce is made with white wine, butter, garlic and stone ground mustard. The color was a little beet juice.

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Braised Lamb Chops And Root Vegetables

I love me a nice rack of lamb but here in NYC you’re going to pay for it about $55 for a medium rack. Individual chops as tasty as they  are will make you cringe at $22 Lbs. So What is the option? You can go for the less expensive and less desirable shoulder cut for about $ 10 for 3 chops. Why the discrepancy? I think because it’s a tougher cut of meat, at least that’s what I hear. The reality is that if you braise them, they will be heavenly and it won’t break you.

  • lamb shoulder chops (thick about an inch and a half)
  • A few sprigs of Rosemary and Thyme
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of red wine,  Cabernet Sauvignon ( I used Merlot because it’s what I had )
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Whole  garlic (about 1 head)
  • 2 dried bay leaves

Root Vegetable

Any you like

  • 2 large turnips
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • A bunch of  brussels sprouts—I know not a root vegetable but so what me likes
  • 2 large celeriac if you can find them, this time I did not
  • Olive oil

Toss the veggies in olive oil, maybe add some dill, thyme or Rosemary, salt  and pepper to taste.  Roast on a separate pan until done.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season lamb with 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large high-sided ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear chops until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.
  2. Add wine and vinegar. Boil until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add stock, garlic, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
  3. Braise lamb in oven, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover. Braise, basting often, until lamb is tender and just falling off the bone, about 45 minutes more. (If liquid is not saucelike, simmer over medium-high heat until thickened.) Serve lamb with sauce

Recipe tweaked from: http://www.marthastewart.com/857631/braised-lamb-chops-red-wine-and-figs

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St. Paddy’s Day Treat

It maybe gauche of me to use fine Bushmill Irish Whiskey other than the traditional way–Neat but if you want a good St.Paddy’s Day cocktail you must use good stuff.


2 oz blended whiskey
juice of  2 large Grapefruits/ set aside some pulp
1/2 tsp powdered sugar ( home made if you have a magic bullet)                                                                                             Blend some ice until medium crushed–add all ingredients in a Cocktail Shaker, shake vigorously, serve immediately.    Sláinte!

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Mrs. J Famous Pizza

You can ask but don’t hold your breath she won’t reveal her secret ingredients.

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First Dish From Your Reciepies

All good dishes begin with good ingredients. So, I go where I can find fresh ingredients The market. So much yummy stuff there I felt it in my bones I would find planko. Not only did they have the planko but 3 different kinds of crab cake mix. I got the planko as directed. The next set of photo is some additional goodies I got:

Following HITO’s directions yielded the following:

And thus the finished product. Not too bad heh? Pinot Grigio, Remoulade, Spring mix with walnuts, apples, Hito’s  Famous Crab Cakes.

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The Place to be

If any self respecting foodie walks into the Grand Central Station Market and not get exited then they must be half dead. For us city dwellers there is no better way to get some of the cooking essentials without having to make a trip to Little Italy ( We have 2 one in the Bronx one in Manhattan) for ParmigianoReggiano or to China town for some wonton skins. The appeal of a quick dash for some truffles or cinnamon sticks is irresistible. There are bigger markets, I love Chelsea Market near the high line park, food and a view! Below are some photos. Now get the hell out of my way I’m trying to catch my train fool.

Got Some Cheese!

And some Quiche and the the Moroccan Beet Salad.

Finally some Italian Sage Sausage….Man  this stuff is expensive.Finally some Italian Sage Sausage….Man  this stuff is expensive.

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Panna Cotta made simple

Panna Cotta is an Italian custard like, dessert made by simmering together cream, milk, sugar, gelatin, and letting it cool until set. Translated it literally means “cooked cream”, there are similar desserts such as the well-known flan, little less known tembleque (a light coconut custard from Puerto Rico), the traditional Crème Brûlée and even (a stretch here) the exotic Sikand (India). Although they have different ingredients they share the creamy texture, and richness of the superb panna cotta.

Basic Panna Cotta

1/2-cup evaporated milk (it lends a silky character)
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin (approx. 2 teaspoons) if you are a nutso 😉 vegan you can substitute gelatin with  Agar Agar Powder ( follow carefully instructions on the box)
1/2-cup sugar
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup milk; let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and sugar. Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean. If using a vanilla bean, slice the bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds into cream (add whole bean to cream for additional flavor). Bring cream just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved; remove from heat and remove vanilla bean pod. Add the softened gelatin mixture and whisk to completely dissolve the gelatin.

Strain hot cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup with a pouring spout; pour into ramekins or custard cups (if you don’t have any of the two, use a tea cup. don’t worry nobody will know the difference, and we’re not telling right?)
A nice touch; if using a vanilla bean, stir the bean to give the final product a peppered effect. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

To unmold, carefully dip bottom of each ramekin in a baking pan of hot water briefly. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin to loosen it from the inside of the bowl. Wipe the outside of the mold dry and place on individual chilled serving plate (topside down). Invert the custard onto the plate and carefully lift off ramekin (tap gently to release). Garnish with berries or fruit of your choice. Or with any berry, chocolate sauce.

Strawberry Sauce

1-1/2 cup strawberries
1-cup sugar
1-cup water
1-tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar. Stir and cook until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a slow boil; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half.

In a food processor or blender, add strawberries and process until a thick puree. Add strawberries puree into the hot syrup. Cover and refrigerator until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, sauce over and around the panna cotta and serve.

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