Orange Roughy with
Sauteed Olives, Capers & Tomatoes

"This is my entry into the event supporting
"O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month"

I applaud our community of food bloggers with hearts open wide to the needs and concerns of fellow foodies so dear and close Globally! In this day and age, in a world so "Me" focused, it is an honor and privilege to say yes to the call to support a cause like Ovarian Cancer Awareness! Thank you to Jenn of "The Leftover Queen", Michelle of "Bleeding Espresso" and Sarah of "Ms Adventures in Italy", for hosting this event!

And with a special prayer of support for Gina DePalma and her family;
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace".

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found in an old Bon Appétit magazine by Chef Candida Sportiello. The modifications I made to this recipe were a reduction of the red pepper flakes eliminating some of the heat, and adding capers and white wine at the end of the saute period! It is such a fabulous and tasty dish I didn't feel it needed much in the way of change at all.. She is quite the chef and restaurateur!

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Orange Roughy fillets
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, whole
1/8 cup Capers
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs. Sauvignon Blanc

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add half of fish to skillet and sauté until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fish to platter. Repeat with remaining fish. Add parsley and crushed red pepper to same skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, capers and garlic; sauté until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 2 minutes. Spash a few tablespoons of wine and season with salt and pepper as needed; spoon over fish.

I had made saffron rice with this but while I was pre paring to take photo's I completely forgot to plate it. :) It also was yummy!

Fresh Fruit Marsala
with Chantilly Crème

This is a fresh and easy treat for a quick brunch or an afternoon pick me up. My husband loved how wonderfully dense and creamy the whipped topping was compared to that which comes from a can. It's even more economical to make this fresh and the wow factor from your family doesn't hurt either!

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2-3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla (or Marsala)

Freshly washed and cut up fruit of your choice
1 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Marsala

Prepare fresh fruit. Drizzle Marsala Wine over fruit. *Sprinkle a few dashes of sugar only if needed on your fruit. Refrigerate till Chantilly Cream is ready.

Whip cream in blender till soft peaks form. Sprinkle sugar over cream. Continue whipping till stiff peaks form. Add vanilla or Marsala, whip gently till just incorporated.

I used a pastry bag with a star tip for this, but a spoon will do just fine! Spoon cream into bottom of serving glasses, evenly distribute fruit and top off with more Chantilly Cream!
Buon Appetito..

Canary Melon Sorbet

I went to the Farmers Market today and met a sweet couple who grow all sorts of Tropical and Asian fruits as well as the typical California fruit trees. They introduced me to Goji Fruit, which is a small, round, red fruit that is sweet and has a crispy texture. Very interesting. They also had beautiful mangos and melons. I sampled a melon called Canary Fruit. It has a bright yellow skin with an interior of white flesh! It was also sweet and crispy. They told me the best time to eat it is when it is crisp like an apple. So I walked away from their stall today educated in new fruit varieties and placed on a mailing list for tropical fruit tree's.

My friend Celine from Celines Cuisine posted a wonderful recipe for Strawberry Sherbet on her blog. I decided to use her recipe substituting the strawberries with the canary fruit. The color and texture so surprised me, it was so light and white, fresh and delicious. Celines equivalencies were right on! Check out her recipe and also her wonderful post on her trip to San Francisco and her review of the famous Chez Panisse Cafe.

Canary Melon Sorbet
4 cups Fresh Cubed Canary Melon
¾ cup water
¾ sugar
few drops of lemon juice
Mint leaves optional

Cut in half and seed the Canary fruit. Cube in small enough pieces to process. Puree them with water and sugar. Taste and adjust the flavor with a few drops of lemon. Freeze according to instructions for your ice cream maker. When finished, pack down in container for at least an hour. Scoop into bowls and serve.

For Minted Canary Sorbet, boil water, make a tisane by dropping 5-7 mint leaves in a quart of the hot water. Let steep for 24 hours in the refrigerator. When it is time to make sorbet, follow instructions above utilizing 3/4 cups of mint tisane.

Ciao and Buon Appetito!

Minestra Degli Spinaci

More simplified.. "Mineste"

Don't walk away from the table when you look at this dish,
I know it looks unappetizing, but it tastes sooo good and the
kitchen smells so fragrant during it's preparation.
Another classic Country Italian Soup handed down to me from
my nonna and my mom, quick and easy to prepare, perfect on
a cold afternoon!

*Serve this dish with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
and Garlic Cheese Toast. These are a must!

2 lrg bags of Chopped Frozen Spinach (or Escarole)
2 cans Cannellini Beans (Great Northern White beans can be used if Cannellini can't be found)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 lrg Cloves Garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup Water
Salt to taste
*Fresh Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese (or blend)
*Garlic Cheese Toast

Saute finely chopped fresh garlic in olive oil till translucent and golden.
Do not brown! Add frozen spinach. Cook until spinach is warm and
all ice has melted. Add cans of Cannellini beans, including the liquid. Add water and salt to taste. Let Mineste cook for aproximately a half hour or more. The cooking time is very important, the longer it cooks the more the beans soften and break down making a smooth texture compared to a more watery base.

Serve in large bowl with plenty of *Parmesan Cheese and Garlic Cheese Toast.

Buon Appetito,

Risotto with Caramelized Baby Brussel Sprouts
& Crimini Mushrooms

I was looking through old Gourmet Magazine recipes and found a recipe for Roasted Baby Brussel Sprouts with Pecans. It is on my holiday list of side dishes for my Thanksgiving table.. it looks beautiful and with the promise of these not being your ordinary big brother brussel sprout with all the bad rap he gets, I couldn't wait till November to prepare these. I had planned on a Risotto for dinner last week and had quite a bit of Gruyere cheese left as well as Crimini mushrooms, so I incorporated the baby brussels into my dish.

Olive Oil
Arborio Rice
Saffron Threads
Pinot Grigio White wine
7 cups Hot Chicken Stock
Sage leaves finely chopped
Baby Brussel Sprouts
Crimini Mushrooms sliced
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Gruyere Cheese

Par boil the brussel sprouts in lightly salted boiling water, just for around three minutes. Drain and lay on paper towels. The real small ones don't need to be cut at all, for the ones that are medium size, cut in half.

Heat saute pan on medium, add 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 rounded tablespoon of butter. Toss brussel sprouts in to coat. Cook slowly till golden and caramelization begins. Add around 1/8 of a cup of white wine. Raise heat to medium high and continue cooking till wine is evaporated. Take brussel sprouts off heat and set aside.

Dry clean with a mushroom brush the Crimini's. Slice and saute in pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Toss to coat and cook till slighty wilted. Set aside.

I love the depth of sage. It is so aromatic and for this dish I needed something with a little more complexity than parsley or basil.

Take around 5 leaves of sage, 1 whole shallot and 3 cloves of garlic. Mince the garlic and shallot and set aside together, finely chop the sage leaves and set aside.

This is Italian Arborio rice. It is not rinsed before cooking, but do go through it and take out any dark colored rice or particles. I never find this rice to have stones or really much discoloration at all! For this dish use around 3 cups of rice.

In a very large pan on medium heat melt 2 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté garlic and shallots just till they start softening. Pour in all of the Arborio rice and stir, coating all sides of the rice. Continue cooking and turning the rice so it doesn't darken, but cook long enough so the rice kernels evenly turn golden on all sides. Add white wine, approximately 1 1/2 cups and around 1/4 tsp. saffron threads. This will sizzle vehemently.

Add caramelized baby brussel sprouts, sliced crimini mushrooms and chopped sage. Keep heat at a temperature so that there will be a constant simmer (medium low should do it). Cook rice stirring till wine has dissipated.

Add a ladle full of pre-heated chicken stock. At this point season rice with freshly ground black pepper and red cayenne pepper. Continue stirring. Let cook stirring constantly till rice again is dry. Repeat this process of ladeling in broth and drying out rice until risotto is swelled and creamy but still has a bite (it should take around 30 minutes).

When risotto is ready fold in approximately 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese.

Serve in a large platter and drizzle a bit of white wine on top for keeping moist. Decorate with sage leaves and enjoy..
Ciao and Buon Appetito!